Wireless Tech Group's Eric Gagnaux talks to ARN
What was your first job?
At the age of 16, I got my first summer job as a warehouse assistant in a diary product shop in Switzerland. I would leave my house at 4:15am and ride my bike to reach the shop for 5am. It was well paid for a summer job and quite convenient because I'd finish my day at 2:30pm.
How did you end up in the IT industry?
I did an engineering degree in telecommunications back in Switzerland before I started working for a privately owned PBX company there. After three years in the telephony world covering the banking environment, I wanted to see what the networking side of telecommunications could provide. After three months in this new company, the boss asked me to become the salesman for all wireless solutions. I accepted without hesitation. The job took me to Singapore, where I spent seven months, but I didn't like the job there. My wife, who is a midwife, was also unhappy so we decided to move on. We came to Australia in August 2004 because we had some good friends in Sydney. When I arrived, I was hired by an American company, IP3 Networks, and worked from home as a sales engineer. I was traveling every month to Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Indonesia. This is where I met the Wireless Tech Group CEO and we started talking about setting up the business in Australia.
How did you progress to where you are today?
Taking it step by step and working hard. I also took risks regarding different job opportunities. I was definitely positive and optimistic at all times. I learned a lot from experienced colleagues and I wasn't shy asking questions. As a young salesman, I learned quickly how to take responsibility and how to manage the relationship with my customers.
What do you like about your current job?
I like the diversity the IT world provides. I also like getting to the bottom of customer needs, then finding and designing the best solution. Meeting people is very important; I prefer face-to-face contact. The best thing about Sydney is the coffee culture, where people make time for quick but positive meetings.
What is the biggest achievement of your career?
I started a new business and made it profitable in a year despite operating in a country with a different language and culture. On a personal note, I also became a father last month.
What do you dislike most about the IT industry?
The OSI seven layer model [Open Systems Interconnection reference model for networking developed to standardise the protocol stack for implementation]. And despite proposing the best products or solutions in terms of quality and price, we still find many customers who are not prepared to take any risks and choose products with the best marketing.
What will be the 'next big thing' in the industry?
Full mobility with high-speed Internet access anywhere. This will be provided by a combination of Wi-Fi, WiMax and 4G technologies. Everything will be available on your PDA or phone including TV, high-speed Internet, home surveillance and much more.