How long have you been with Hi-Lo?
I started in Hi Lo on January 2nd 2006 in the position of IT Director Designate. I became IT Director effective October 1, 2006, which is the position I currently hold.
Give us a brief outline of your academic background and endeavours
I attended the University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada) where I graduated in 1981 with a BMath Honours degree with a major in Computer Science and a minor in Statistics.
After graduation, I worked and lived in Canada (Toronto area) for just under 13 years – all at the same Company, A.C. Nielsen, in their Systems (IT) Department doing programming and computer systems analysis. I returned to Trinidad in 1994 and have worked at 3 Companies:
- Caribbbean Bottlers (formerly Canning’s Soft Drinks) – IT Manager – 1994 to 1998
- KPMG – Senior Manager, IT Consulting – 1998 to 2005
- Hi Lo Food Stores, IT Director – 2006 to present
Give a brief Job Description of your role as IT Director
Responsible for providing and supporting IT solutions for the Retail Division of Trading and Distribution Limited (Hi Lo Stores, Diskomart Stores, TDL Retail Head Office).
- Establishing and guiding IT Strategy, Policies and Procedures,
- Establishing and managing a suitably structured and staffed IT Department within TDL Retail
- Establishing and maintaining relationships with external IT vendors and service providers
- Approvals for procurement of IT related software and equipment
- Overseeing IT Projects and IT Operational support utilizing in house IT personnel and/or external IT vendors and service providers as appropriate.
What is the most fulfilling aspect of your job?
Having satisfied Customers (End Users) – knowing or getting feedback that the IT solutions provided to our fellow Associates at TDL Retail are allowing them to do their job efficiently and effectively.
What advice would you give an up and coming IT professional?
Be prepared for long hours and hard work.
Keep abreast of IT trends and developments.
Pay attention to detail and spend the time to deliver a quality solution each and every time – it will pay off in credibility earned and in little or no need to revisit past work to fix inadequacies or oversights.
Keep these two mottos in mind (they are the TDL Retail IT Department mottos):
- Do IT Right the First Time
- Continuous Sustainable Improvement
What is your favourite book?
I don’t have a single favourite book. These days, when time permits, I enjoy reading a James Patterson novel (fiction).