We recently spoke with Director of Telecommunications in Australia Gregg Rowley.
Gregg has 25 years of experience in the telecommunications and cyber security industries and has worked as a senior executive in the marketing and strategy areas at all of the major mobile operators in Australia. Most recently before BAI, he headed up the corporate strategy area at Telstra. Gregg very much enjoys travel and has worked and lived in the UK and the Middle East. He started his commercial career as a consultant at McKinsey, specialising in the technology sector.
What’s the most important development happening in our industry and what does that mean for BAI?
I think the key development happening in the telecommunications industry is the economic pressures the carriers are facing from the struggle to keep up with the market’s insatiable appetite for data. We simply see no let up in the need for increased data speed and volumes as new digital applications are launched and enhanced. This is putting enormous pressure on the mobile operators, especially. The operators need to deploy new technologies and upgrade their networks to keep abreast of demand, while at the same time seeing data pricing continually falling. The rollout of 5G is not just about marketing messages, it is most importantly about ensuring the networks can handle the growth in data volumes and speeds the market is demanding.
What inspires you most in the work that you do?
I believe technology is at the centre of some of the most important changes in our society today and that the growth and deployment of telecommunications infrastructure has brought enormous benefits to people across the globe. BAI Communications is one of the relatively few companies that is at the heart of this revolution. We fund, own, and operate some of the most important broadcast and communications infrastructure in the world. I find it inspiring to be part of the communications revolution. It certainly beats selling potato chips!!
What is a technique you use to be more effective in your work?
Humour and focus. We all spend a lot of time at work. People get stressed and also need guidance at times. I think it is important to have some fun at work, to both relieve stress and to give feedback to people in a respectful way. I find humour works well in both of these situations. Also, it is incredibly important to be focused. There are never enough hours in the day, so I find one of the ways to be effective at work is to be explicit about what we are not going to do, not just what we will do.
What’s one of the ongoing challenges you face at work and how do you manage it??
When you are trying to develop a new market, as we are with neutral hosting in Australia, it very important to be resilient and flexible. There are many challenges in trying to sell services that are leading the market, and many prospective customers don’t understand these new services. It is easy to say that challenges are learning experiences, but you need to be resilient and support each other when the inevitable disappointments occur in a new market. You need to be able to adapt your strategy and continue to move forward. These are some of the key challenges we face at BAI in the telecommunications market.
What is your advice for proactively managing your career?
My advice is to understand the role you would like to do and work for someone who is already good at doing it. I guess it is obvious but I think this is the fastest way to learn to be good at what you want to do and therefore setting yourself up for future success. The added advantage is that good people usually have a great network that can be very useful for your career.
Who has been the greatest influence on your career?
I have been very fortunate to work with a number of good people and some of these have become mentors. I have learnt different things from each of them. Bob Mansfield at Optus taught me what being customer focused really meant. Dick Simpson at Optus taught me the real power of a team and the power of humour to motivate and build a culture. David Thodey at Telstra taught me the meaning of leadership and discipline in management. Andy Penn at Telstra taught me the power of challenging the sacred cows in an organisation and being very clear on expectations.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Given the industry we work in, people are probably not surprised to learn that I am quite a nerd. I love new technology and ideas.