In this edition of ARN's 'One-on-One' interview series, we speak to Alex Gambotto, CEO of The Missing Link, who opens up on his passion for computer games and business that led him to where he is today, and what's in store for The Missing Link in the months ahead.
What was your first job?
That seems like a lifetime ago. I loved my first job, I worked at a beach rental company in Cairns. I was the guy who would put out the equipment (like jet skis, etc...) and make sure it was ready for our customers to use. Today, I still have a strong connection with Cairns and it has become one of my favourite places to go on holiday with my family. Sun, fishing, reef snorkelling and relaxing – what more could you ask for?
How did you get started in the IT industry and progress to establishing The Missing Link?
Like many teenagers at the time, I loved computer games. That love soon expanded to IT in general as I would work on my home set up, making it better and better for gaming. I’ve always had a strong appetite for business and risk ever since I was a kid, I also realised I was what many call ‘a people person’. In the end, I combined my love of chatting to people, IT and passion for business – and with the help of my business partner and best friend, Daniel Forsythe, “The Missing Link” was born.
What has been your biggest business mistake, and the lessons you've learnt from that experience?
I’ve learnt that it is a big mistake for me to spend a lot of time looking at business opportunities outside the IT world. I have a real passion for business, and think that many other businesses out there seem like they might be fun and exciting to get involved in too. I seem to get presented with opportunities fairly regularly and I end up spending a lot of my personal time looking at these and considering some level of business involvement. The key learning for me over the years was to be better at saying ‘no’ to these opportunities and instead spend more time with family and friends.
What are some of your plans for The Missing Link in the coming months?
There are two main areas: First, we are successfully growing our business organically so I will continue to focus on that. Secondly, I am excited about our new “Automation” division we have just launched. It is focused on Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and I believe RPA is the next IT sector which will really explode.
It offers so many business benefits for our clients, specifically boosting their productivity. RPA also means their staff are more engaged at work, because those more repetitive or ‘boring’ tasks are done for them, allowing more time to concentrate on creative, decision making or higher value tasks. It really is an exciting time for The Missing Link and our industry.
What are some of your biggest ambitions - personally and professionally?
Personally, I want to continue to focus on being the best father I can be. I hope I can guide my children to grow up to be happy, kind, hardworking, and balanced individuals. From a professional point of view, I’m focused on guiding The Missing Link to become the leading IT integrator in Australia and beyond.
What has been the best piece of advice you've ever received?
At a young age, when I was faced with a big business decision, my mentor at the time told me a Shakespeare quote, which has stuck with me, he said, “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” So although the quote is perhaps not traditional business advice, it certainly did what he wanted and got me thinking - in the end, I’m confident I made the right decision.