On the lighter side of things, we ask Paramjit Uppal, CEO and Founder of AND Digital what makes him tick.
What would you describe as your most memorable achievement?
Building AND Digital to a company of over 1,300 people (or ANDis as our workforce is collectively known) is my greatest achievement. Not only are we a tech company that’s making an impact in the digital world, we’re also making a real difference in the physical world.
What first made you think of a career in technology?
I’m a first-generation immigrant to the UK from India. Back in the 70s, the technology sector was in its infancy. However, it was also a space that allowed me to compete on an even playing field with my peers.
What style of management philosophy do you employ within your current position?
I let those around me do what they are good at and try to provide an environment that fosters creativity, collaboration and allows people to take ownership. To get the best results you need to nurture and motivate your people in small, well-connected groups. This means everyone is constantly evolving into their best self within the organisation and can pivot to meet new opportunities.
What’s more, I firmly believe in the power of the AND… i.e. the ability to combine multiple ideas and approaches, which on the surface may appear contradictory, but when carefully synthesised can create something new, different or truly impactful.
What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry?
The world truly went digital in the last two years. For many companies their hand was forced to make a substantial investment in tech. As a result, the major areas of investment are likely to be in ensuring new digital infrastructure is optimised, managed correctly and secured in a constantly evolving world of digital threats. Data engineering, experience design, cybersecurity and cloud tech will all be areas of additional investment by those companies looking to stay truly digital, competitive and agile to emerging opportunities.
How do you deal with stress and unwind outside of the office?
As a foodie I like to unwind in a restaurant. My local area spoils me with two three-star Michelin restaurants. Spending quality time with my family is also a source of great regeneration, particularly when travelling around the world on our quest to visit as many countries as we can but in alphabetical order – we’re currently on the letter ‘H’.
If you could go back and change one career decision, what would it be?
I wouldn’t go back and change anything. I truly believe everything happens for a reason. I try to look forward as much as possible as a result – after all, you have to take the rough with the smooth to reach the summit of your ambitions.
What are the region-specific challenges when implementing new technologies in Europe?
Each geographical region has its own unique challenges. Broadly speaking, Europe is lagging behind the UK when it comes to the available tech talent to drive growth – particularly when it comes to ecommerce.
In fact, a recent report AND released on the tech market in the Netherlands found that over a quarter of Dutch companies say they are missing out on revenue because they do not have the digital capabilities to meet the demand and expectations of customers and end-users. A further 28% also said they are lagging behind in their digital innovation. This is just one small snapshot of some of the challenges the entire continent is facing.
As a result, we invest a lot of time and money into ensuring we really get under the bonnet of the market we’re entering. I’m pleased to say that we have plans to launch further clubs (our name for offices) in Europe in the coming year.
What changes to your job role have you seen in the last year and how do you see these developing in the next 12 months?
Working from home has been a massive change in the last 12 months on a personal and company operational level. We’ve now got a blended working policy in place which gives everyone the freedom to operate where they need depending on what type of work they’re doing. It’s all about empowering people to perform at their best.
What advice would you offer somebody aspiring to obtain C-level position in your industry?
Being an expert in your field will take you a long way when coupled with a good attitude and ability to think objectively.
Getting things done at pace is also important – particularly in the tech sector. You need to be a good delegator and have a solid strategic mindset – this also encompasses the management of risk, the guiding of others in your business and having the ability to shape decisions.
Perhaps most importantly, you need to be commercially minded too. After all, you need to deliver consistent business results to eventually achieve a bigger purpose.Click below to share this article