Que: Please tell me your story? Or How did you get your start?
Ans: I attended Georgia Tech back in my college days, where I found my love for technology. After graduating, I began working with SAP. Over the years, I got more and more involved and ended up owning my own business in the industry. I retired for a few years until an old friend of mine called me up to tell me about SAP’s latest release, SAP HANA, back in 2012. The opportunity arose, and I had to dive back in, thus came the creation of Approyo the very next year.
Que: How do you diversify your organization’s offerings to appeal to the target audience?
Ans: We are a partner of SAP; therefore, we offer SAP solutions as a service to our customers and partners around the globe. Where we differentiate ourselves from other companies, is through our expertise. Many other Managed Services Providers likely provide multiple forms of ERP systems to expand their services portfolio. Approyo on the other hand, only deals with systems related to SAP directly. While we provide integrative services with other ERP service providers such as Microsoft Azure, AWS, etc., our main focus is still on SAP.
Que: Brief us about your company’s future perspectives.
Ans: Utilizing long lasting experience in today’s core competence within the SAP industry, we strive to become one of the leading Managed Services Providers in the world. Continuous use of innovative technology to assist companies in transforming their business processes, helping them become more agile and organized. In the future, we would like to expand our service offerings even more so, as technology advances through Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), etc.
Que: What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment?
Ans: My greatest accomplishment bringing this company to the market in a manner that makes me proud. I am proud of the growth of our team, our customers, and our business in general. Outside of work, my greatest accomplishment is my family, who I look forward going home to every day.
Que: Being a CEO in this environment is very challenging and all consuming—are you prepared for the challenge? (How would you Control the Situation)
Ans: I like to believe that I am always prepared. The COVID-19 pandemic has been nothing short of disaster-recovery. Approyo has continued on through these times, operating as usual.
Que: What is your “Secret Sauce?” i.e. what are the 3-5 Leadership Principles that you have discovered and executed that have contributed to your success?
Ans: One- Don’t question things, just do them! Life is too short to question every little thing, if you have a gut feeling that something needs to be done, then go for it. Sometimes risks were meant to made. Two- Be passionate about your job. If you are truly passionate and care about the results, care about the work you put out there, then you will do much better in your career. Find the job role that fits your mind, whether it’s on the creative or logical side. Three- Be an equal, not a dictator. Work with your team to establish goals and do what you can to help them reach those goals. Whether its training, or giving them the tools necessary to succeed, you must make sure that they are set up to be successful, don’t just throw them in and hope they do great.
Que: What are your biggest failures professionally? What have you learned from them, and what would you do differently?
Ans: My largest failure was with a company I started in the 1990’s… it ended up closing and sadly went into bankruptcy. It was devastating to my ego, my soul, and my heart as I had to close it and let everyone go find new work at other companies. I learned I never want to go down that path ever again, and today I work to do everything I can to make sure that history does not repeat itself. I’ve learned to spread your eggs into many baskets and not into just one.
Que:What does success look like for you?
Ans: For me it is all about watching our staff grow and in-turn watch the clients grow and make them successful. Success looks like all around customer satisfaction. Having conversations with customers and partners, and receiving positive feedback is what drives me and the rest of the team to do our best. Our mission is “SAP Made Simple”, and when customers talk about how simple, quick, and organized their systems are because of the project/s we did for them, that’s what makes us truly successful in our industry.
Que: What are some of the new ideas you would implement in this position?
Ans: As an influential leader, I think it’s important to think about more than just yourself. Know your responsibilities but take the initiative to go after things that aren’t necessarily “necessary”. You must have an all-encompassing Birdseye view of your entire organization. Use technology to your benefit.
Que:What do others say about your leadership style, Give us some examples of your leadership skills.
Ans: While I overlook the entire company, I trust my team to make their own decisions. Our team of SAP experts are
certified and trained to know what is needed of them. I work hands on with partners and customers to check in, but it is my service delivery team that keeps our customers’ systems up and running on a daily basis. The office environment is casual for a tech company, but we all get our work done at the end of the day.
Problem-solving and Integrity are two of our main values here at Approyo. With me personally, I work to solve other business’ problems, using SAP as the solution.
Sometimes a company might not know exactly what they want, but by determining their business needs and where they wish to improve, I am able to map out the exact solution to solve their problem. Our integrity is what keeps Approyo in the minds of prospective clients. Honesty is always the best policy, and I believe standing by your word will lead you to better business relationships. Dependability is another big one. I believe to be an influential leader; you must be willing to not only do your best in your own role but willing to help your team as well.
Que: What is your “vision” in life, e.g. what drives you for a Successful Journey?
Ans: My vision is simple, “life is too short”. While business is important to my journey to success, there is more to life than just work. In work and life, you have to take risks to get where you want to be. The entire reason that Approyo exists today is because I took the risk of investing in a business within the SAP industry. When you’re outside of work, you’ve got to have fun which is why I also live by the saying, “Work hard, play hard.”
Que: What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?
Ans: Every leader should take the initiative to keep their business agile and innovative. Leaders shouldn’t be okay with staying stagnant; they should always strive for more. As a leader, you should always want to better your company in any way possible, which means staying on top of your own business practices and industry insights to drive profit.
Que: What’s the best advice you’ve recently received?
Ans: HOARD FOR THE FUTURE. During this pandemic, it has been all about hoarding every resource you can. No matter if it is staff, clients, or cash, we are in a pandemic, so we want to help customers success and we want to help grow in and out of it.
Que: What question do you think we need to be asking that we haven’t asked already?
Ans: Why do I do what I do? I do what I do, Get up at 5 a.m. start calls in Asia with staff, have meetings with European clients & staff, start the coffee pots at the office, meet the team via Microsoft Teams and in person if they want to come in say “hello” and really dig into the day. I want to support them and love working with them all.