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Five-minute interview: Nick Offin, Dynabook

Dynabook’s Northern Europe division leader, Nick Offin, is the latest to share some personal insights

Welcome, Nick. Tell us what you do for a living.

I lead Dynabook’s Northern Europe division, which consists of the UK and Ireland and all the Nordic countries. We are the PC vendor born out of the Toshiba PC business, with technology input from our parent company Sharp. Managing Dynabook’s channel partners is a huge part of my job as they are so vital to our business.

Why are you the right person for this job?

I’m passionate about growing Dynabook, using my 20-plus years of experience across the IT industry in Europe. Leadership and trust within teams are critical when you set a new course in a business – bringing these attributes with you is important. The most essential part of my role, which I also thrive on, is communicating to customers and the channel about our future plans – such as how we’re refreshing our partner programme to adapt to the “new normal” and also new product offerings beyond laptops – so they feel part of our journey.

What gets you up in the morning?

Our three-year-old rescue dog does the trick.

Who helped you get to where you are today?

Having certain mentors at different stages throughout my career has taught me first-hand different styles, both good and bad, to draw inspiration from.

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

The best advice, which has for me proved wise time and again, was to be driven by four clear metrics: revenue, margin/profit, customer/partner, and people.

The worst was from a previous colleague, and was a variation on the old three envelopes business joke wherein a new executive is presented with three numbered envelopes by an outgoing exec that are supposed to give advice for problems they can’t solve. Needless to say, not very helpful!

“Having certain mentors at different stages throughout my career has taught me different styles, both good and bad, to draw inspiration from”

Nick Offin, Dynabook

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

Be prepared to deal with ambiguity and know that you will have to adapt. But most importantly, enjoy the ride as the IT industry, like technology, moves at such a fast pace!

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

Yes, of course. It’s an industry customer trend that we all must embrace, but it means different things to different customers. Our industry has a habit of getting behind banner trends and adapting their marketing and solutions to conform. But when all the major analysts and consultancies see something as the next big wave, the industry must follow.

What do the next five years hold for the channel?

A lot has changed over the past year, however, partners which are currently supporting remote workers and offering services such as mobile devices, cloud computing and security technologies are succeeding as the trend of remote working continues. This is likely to accelerate in the next five years and will be known as the new normal.

Tell us something most people do not know about you

I’m half-Dutch.

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

Hard to say, it’s always changing!

What is the best book you‘ve ever read?

Exodus by Leon Uris.

And the worst film you’ve ever seen?

Thunderbirds, which is a shame as I grew up watching the TV series.

What would be your Desert Island MP3s?

 A few of the greats from The Beatles (Abbey Road), Pink Floyd (The Wall), Bruce Springsteen, Elton John and The Rolling Stones.

What temptation can you not resist?

Chocolate.

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

A Ford Escort. I’m currently driving an automatic, but I remember the joys of the Escort on my first day driving through the city traffic with continuous clutch action.

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

Kim Jong Un. No explanation needed.

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

King of the jungle.

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

Jon Snow from Game of Thrones (he seems pretty indestructible).

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?

I bet the silverback gorilla has a great left-right combination.

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