Q&A profile Jeyan Jeevaratnam is vice president and country manager (Australia and New Zealand) for Avanade, the joint venture between Accenture and Microsoft. But we remember him best from his past leading telco AT&T in Australia. But it seems like he's also a revhead — describing himself as "a bit of a Formula 1 Racing fanatic".
Jeyan Jeeveratnam (Credit: Avanade)
What was your first job ever?
My first part-time roll was in retail at the local David Jones where I worked Thursday nights and Saturday mornings. After graduation my first full-time role was at IBM where I remained for 14 years. Both roles taught me to always understand and respect your customer's needs. Regardless if they are purchasing a consumer good or a technology solution — you need to know, understand and respect your customer.
What do you most like about working in the IT industry?
Through the various roles I've held, I've had the pleasure of working in a range of industries, from IT to telecommunications and now, consulting at Avanade. What I really like about the IT industry in particular is the high level of innovation and the speed at which technology is constantly changing, which in return means we are always learning in this industry. Additionally, I also love mentoring young professionals in this area and helping them advance in their careers.
What's your hobby?
I enjoy spending time with my family — taking them travelling and to the movies. I am also a bit of a Formula 1 Racing fanatic. Working with large corporations, I've been fortunate to attend lots of races. I have even been in the pits at some races and gotten up close and personal with superstar drivers.
Where do you think the Australian IT industry will be in five years?
The Australian IT market is growing; however, we follow the world as opposed to being leaders in this space. Over the next few years, we need to foster and grow local Australian talent! I'd like to see more importance placed at a corporate, government and educational institution level to grow Australia's skills and talent. I think we will also start to see technology taking credit for being at the centre of collaboration, empowering businesses to work smarter and more efficiently.
What/who has been the biggest inspiration in your career?
There is a saying from which I have drawn a lot of inspiration from, "just do the best job you can right now and you'll be amazed at how things work out for you". I have worked with some key leaders in the IT industry — and what drives them and me is by remembering this: attributes of a leader is to take risks, make the best decision, and lead by example. By constantly trying your best, everything will be OK. This has gotten me to where I am today!