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Five-minute interview: Gerry Sheldrick, Exclusive Networks Ireland

Exclusive Networks Ireland’s country manager, Gerry Sheldrick, tells MicroScope about his career and ambitions, as well as some insight into what makes him tick

Hello, Gerry. Tell us what you do for a living.

My name is Gerry Sheldrick and I’m country manager for Exclusive Networks Ireland following the acquisition of the NextGen Group in July 2018. I’m lucky to work with a great team and, together, we challenge traditional value-added distributor [VAD] models through disruptive distribution, as well as redefine value and create differentiation.

Why are you the right person for this job?

I’m fortunate to have 20-plus years’ experience in the IT industry and have launched many leading-edge products. 

What gets you up in the morning?

The idea of bringing in leading technology to our partners and having access to more technology within the Exclusive Group. 

Who helped you get to where you are today?

I’m so grateful to have had many mentors over the years, but I am most fortunate to have crossed paths with Tony Donegan, our CEO, more than 12 years ago. Tony taught me that there is no problem that can’t be solved with creative thinking and determination. 

What is the best or worst business advice you have received and from whom?

The best advice I have ever received is to follow my gut – it works every time. 

What advice would you give to someone starting out today in IT?

Find a niche area and stay focused on that. If you try to do it all, you’ll lose it all. 

Is it possible to get through an industry conversation without mentioning ‘digital transformation’?

Yes, of course. This is an ever-evolving topic of conversation. From a security standpoint, we are completely clear on how this transformation is evolving from manual procedures to technology solutions. 

What does the next five years hold for the channel?

It’s all about cloud. Lack of specific expertise will drive this a lot faster, even for large enterprise. 

Tell us something most people do not know about you.

I play the trumpet.

What goal do you have to achieve before you die, and why?

I’d love to restore a classic car with my son when I retire. We are completely hooked on motor restorations. 

What is the best book you’ve ever read?

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. 

Gerry Sheldrick

“The best advice I have ever received is to follow my gut – it works every time”

Gerry Sheldrick, Exclusive Networks Ireland

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And the worst film you’ve ever seen?

The Irishman

What would be your Desert Island MP3s?

Definitely The Doors, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Pink Floyd and Status Quo. 

What temptation can you not resist?

Cheese is my nemesis.

What was your first car and how does it compare with what you drive now?

My first car at 17 was a canary yellow Toyota Starlet. It looked like a bumblebee, but it was all I could afford. It’s a far cry from the Audi I’m driving now.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with? Why, what did they do?

Donald Trump, for obvious reasons. 

If you could be any animal for a day, what would you be and why?

I’d love to be my dog – I’d be treated like a king.

If you were facing awesome peril and impossible odds, which real or fictional person would you most want on your side and why?

Clint Eastwood because he can shoot, punch and he doesn’t let the old man in. 

And finally, a grizzly bear and a silverback gorilla are getting ready for a no-holds-barred rumble. Who is your money on and why?

100% the gorilla – if he can outrun the bear. 

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