Here Today, everywhere tomorrow
- 03 May, 2006 09:31
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.
What do you think will be the 'next big thing' in the industry?
JZ: Slowly, we are seeing the emergence of digital home entertainment, digital integration, digital lifestyle - no doubt this is where the industry is heading. We are starting to see elements of home entertainment integrated into IT products across the board.
What is the main focus of your company this year?
JZ: As you will see, TodayTech is expanding its product offerings exponentially. Our goal is to increase choices and complementary products for our customers, providing them with a complete solution. Rather than simply taking orders from customers, we also offer great service. This year, we will be putting a stronger emphasis on services in all eight offices across Australia. Service is something we are good at but want to make even better. We will also be fine-tuning our internal structure, streamlining operations and making the organisation even more efficient and cost effective.
What do you do when you are not at work?
JZ: I enjoy playing sports such as badminton and golf. I also encourage all my staff to play sports and form teams.
Do you own any gadgets? If so, what is your favorite at the moment?
JZ: To be honest, I am not much of a gadget person. However, my favourite is my VoIP connection. It allows me to have endless conversations while I'm away on business trips. At the end of the month I won't be receiving a monstrous phone bill and it keeps me connected to my business and family.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
JZ: When I was little, I did not have a specific position in mind. However, I knew I always liked challenges, viewed things differently, had high standards and could see myself in a leadership role.
If you weren't in IT, what would you be doing now?
JZ: An alternative occupation has not crossed my mind. I could be in any job that requires good critical thinking and analytical skills.
What is your biggest ambition?
JZ: My biggest ambition is to extend TodayTech Group further and become a successful company with a strong presence in the Asian-Pacific region. Not only would TodayTech be recognised as a proud Australian company, but it would also have the ability to compete internationally.