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Five-minute interview: Roger Whittle, Jigsaw24
In the latest profile interview, we find out a bit more about the CEO of Jigsaw24, Roger Whittle
Morning, Roger, tell us what you do for a living.
I’m Roger Whittle and I am CEO of Jigsaw24.
Why are you the right person for this job?
I founded Jigsaw24 in 1992, which means we’re celebrating our 30th anniversary this year, and they still haven’t been able to get rid of me!
What gets you up in the morning?
Going to work at Jigsaw24, knowing I’m going to spend the day working alongside brilliant colleagues, in our quest together to help organisations all over the UK thrive with the very best Apple-based Jigsaw24 solutions and services.
Who helped you get to where you are today?
My wife. My children. My friends. Hundreds of fantastic colleagues at Jigsaw24 – those from the past, long-time employees and our newest recruits, who have helped to build the business into one of the UK’s most respected Apple service and solutions providers in the channel. Each and every one of them have helped shape the business into what it is today.
What is the best or worst business advice you have received and from whom?
“If you don’t cannibalise yourself, someone else will” – Steve Jobs.
What advice would you give to someone starting out today in IT?
First, whether you’ve ended up working in IT by sheer luck or you’ve chosen that career path – you’ve made the right choice.
Second, enjoy working hard – you’ll need to, to make a big difference.
Third, get to know everyone around you – listen and learn from them all.
And lastly, never give up!
Is it possible to get through an industry conversation without mentioning ‘digital transformation’?
I tried once. I nearly made it, but unfortunately mentioned “immersive user experience as a service” instead.
What does the next five years hold for the channel?
Exciting challenges, growth and lots of digital transformation.
Primarily, lots of growth as more businesses – dare I say it –“digitally transform”. We’ll see employee choice becoming more of a norm in the workplace and managed service providers (MSPs) will need to pivot to be able to provide a wider range of services to meet those developing needs.
“Whether you’ve ended up working in IT by sheer luck or you’ve chosen that career path – you’ve made the right choice”
Roger Whittle, Jigsaw24
Fortunately, at Jigsaw24, we’ve already started that particular journey and I’m confident we’ll continue to be in the right place to respond to whatever the next five years brings.
Tell us something most people do not know about you.
In 1984, when I was 20, I went to Japan on a fantastic industrial study tour with Toyota and Toshiba, and it changed my life. I knew from that moment that I wanted to work in IT, and most importantly somehow with Apple.
Have you learnt anything new – guitar, painting etc – during the pandemic?
Unfortunately, like many of us, I learnt how to put on weight. I now need to learn how to lose it!
What goal do you have to achieve before you die, and why?
I’d like to travel around the world for a year with my wife, but very importantly, without flying in an aeroplane. At Jigsaw24, we’re doing everything we can to reduce our impact on the environment and we try to take that focus into our home lives too.
What is the best book you’ve ever read?
I am a huge Shakespeare fan so anything and everything by the great man.
And the worst film you’ve ever seen?
Australia. Completely OTT – I can’t believe it scored 55% on Rotten Tomatoes. Robot Monster (1953) looks like a cracker too.
What would be your Desert Island MP3s?
Anything by David Bowie, The Talking Heads, or Monty Python.
What temptation can you not resist?
Quoting Oscar Wilde.
What was your first car and how does it compare with what you drive now?
A VW Beetle. I drove it for 50,000 miles in 1983-87 and then sold it (for £580) for more than I bought it (£500). I loved that car. My current car is less orange and more electric than the VW Beetle.
Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with? Why, what did they do?
Donald Trump. Where do I start?
If you could be any animal for a day, what would you be and why?
Larry the cat at No.10 Downing Street so I could find out what the hell has been really happening there these past few years.
If you were facing awesome peril and impossible odds, which real or fictional person would you most want on your side and why?
Elon Musk as he is one of the cleverest people alive.
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?
The silverback gorilla because they are endangered and magnificent.