Bilal Waris started at the start of 2019. He’s known for shaking things up within an organisation and perhaps for being a bit unconventional. So we decided to sit him down to find out what we have to look forward to from him over the next few months:
3Ditor: Hey Bilal, welcome to ada. How are you settling in?
Bilal: Great coffee! Having spent 10 years at Telenor and then Axiata, I am no stranger to building teams in organisations to deliver business outcomes. Everything here moves very fast, yet we all have to make sure we stay on top of things. Be ahead of the game, so to speak. So observing the people here, they’re very digitally-inclined. At the risk of stereotyping, we’ve got a lot of geeks in the house – analysts, data scientists, IT developers and so on.
3Ditor: Is that a bad thing?
Bilal: Of course not! They play important roles in our organisation and for our business. In fact, we are looking for more of them. People who get excited about numbers. People who are able to understand how to use data and remove the headache from marketers and advertisers. They are our bread and butter!
3Ditor: How many more do you need?
Bilal: Good question! We are a regional organisation. We have offices in Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea, and Sri Lanka. And they’re all currently expanding as the demand for data crunchers is growing rapidly throughout the region. It’s an exciting industry to be in. But with our expanding headcount, it’s not just a simple matter of hiring them – we need to look after them too!
3Ditor: Look after them? You pay salaries, no?
Bilal: Of course! But this industry is constantly changing so we don’t hire based on existing skills. The skills a candidate already has are important, but we’re more concerned about future potential and their ability to grow with us as continue to disrupt the status quo.
This means we don’t compete on salary alone (as anyone can throw more money at a candidate). What we focus on is creating an environment where our people are constantly learning and experimenting. It’s (hopefully) a working environment and experience that’s difficult to replicate.
3Ditor: So how will you achieve that?
Bilal: Well I have some plans in store, and a few initiatives in the pipeline, which will be rolled out gradually across the next few months. Our people will be the first to know.
3Ditor: Such as what?
Bilal: Well I can tell you we will be the best employer to work for very soon. We will build our employees so they can beat any challenge that’s thrown at them. We will be delivering the most innovative data-driven solutions to our customers.
At the end of it all, our true north will remain – to be customer-obsessed and people-centric.
3Ditor: Wow. Sounds exciting. What will be your first step?
Bilal: Well if I tell you, the whole world will know, wont they! Stay tuned and nice surprises will be coming along. Thanks for the coffee and I promise you I will let you know… in time…
3Ditor: **Guess I need to bring sandwiches next time….