“Building a business from the ground up is extremely rewarding as you see the ideas you have, come to fruition.”
What led you to recruitment?
The people and timing. I initially joined the Nike graduate scheme in London in 2001. Due to global events that year, the scheme ended up being suspended. A friend of mine was at the time, working for a boutique Executive Search firm in London focussed solely on partner level searches. He invited me to meet the owner of the business who quickly managed to persuade a 21 year old that learning how to do business at C-level early in your career could only be beneficial. That was the start of my recruitment career.
What skills have helped you in your role as a managing director?
Having spent the last 10 years developing businesses and markets across Mainland China and South East Asia, I felt very early on that you need to learn and adapt before you can influence. Working with that philosophy as a managing director I believe has helped me understand, empathise and thoroughly enjoy the role. Patience and a sense of humour don’t hurt either!
How have you balanced the demands of the job with your life away from work?
I have certainly thrown myself into all aspects of life at PageGroup! If you do pursue an international career, you tend to find a large part of your life revolves around work both inside and out. Sport was and still remains a key form of balancing things. Whether that be through golf or more recently, triathlon events around various parts of Asia Pacific. I've always believed in 'happy life outside of work = happy at work' and getting married in 2014 has certainly also played in big part in that!
What is most rewarding about your job?
Building a business from the ground up is extremely rewarding as you see the ideas you have, come to fruition. Indonesia is now a 50-person business growing at over 50% year-on-year with a predominantly Indonesian management team. However, it seemed only recently that I was having a meeting with my newly appointed No.2 and a blank sheet of paper deciding on where to start in a market and country neither of us knew much about. Having worked for the Group in London, Shanghai, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur and currently Jakarta, those types of journeys are hugely rewarding and do certainly exist!
Do you have any advice to anybody thinking about joining PageGroup?
If you’re commercially-minded, like taking yourself out of your comfort zone, enjoy being given real autonomy to make business decisions and thrive in a team environment, this is genuinely tough to beat.