What was your first job?
Jack Zhong (JZ): After completing my studies in Australia, the first full time job I was involved in was as a programmer and analyst. This provided with me an excellent entry point into the IT industry where I have been able to develop my career.
How did you progress to where you are today?
JZ: While in the IT industry, I slowly joined the hardware arena. In 1990, I founded TodayTech - first as a small retail outlet and as time went on it became a national distributor with offices across Australia. I had a vision of TodayTech not only as an Australian national company, but also a corporate powerhouse with offices across Asia-Pacific. In 1996, the company expanded and ventured into China. Throughout the years, Australia and Chinese operations have grown significantly. Today, the TodayTech Group is closer to my goal but, like anything else, there is always room for improvement.
What do you like about your current job?
JZ: As the CEO, I am able to experience and absorb knowledge from various areas. The three things I like the most about my role include dealing with business management, the challenges, and the action. From a business management perspective, I'm experiencing the MBA courses in action. To operate a company requires knowledge from various areas. From finance to sales, marketing to human resources, legal regulation to operation, the cross-disciplinary nature of the role allows me to learn and practice different subjects continuously. I view the challenges as opportunities to be creative - overcoming the obstacles becomes an art. The more practice you get, the better you will be at it. I see it as a very positive test of knowledge and wits. The energy surrounding a team powered with innovation and driven to achieve is exhilarating. This always gives me a lift to the next leg of the journey.
What is the biggest achievement of your career to date?
JZ: Operating functional and profit-generating operations in Australia and China.
What do you dislike most about the IT industry?
JZ: There are too many smart people competing against each other in this industry. Unfortunately, some people come to IT business for quick sales only and disregard other important parts such as business practice and service. Such actions only ensure temporary survival, not long-term gain, and it hurts the industry.