1. Describe yourself in three words.
Open-minded, creative, hands-on.
2. Tell me about your journey to Asia with regards to your professional career path?
With more than 15 years of experience in fast-paced environments, I’ve held various roles in a number of privately held companies in multiple industries.
In addition to finance and controlling, I played pivotal roles in corporate restructuring, business development and strategy consulting. Overall, I enjoyed working with more than 20 subsidiaries and joint ventures globally.
One of my first intersections with Asia began eight years ago at a German automotive supplier. I worked on a project to build a production plant in Suzhou, China. This experience opened me up to the tremendous economic growth that Asia was experiencing, the size of its markets individually and the resulting abundance of different business opportunities.
Almost four years ago, I was working at the OTRS Group headquarters (HQ) in Germany when there came a business need to restructure existing subsidiaries in Asia. Excited by this opportunity, I took a leap of faith and moved to Asia to restructure and scale the business in this region.
3. How do you approach changes? From Europe to the Asia Pacific Region – it is a different game plan for business.
Personally, I enjoy challenging myself and pushing beyond my comfort zone. Most of the Asian markets are highly competitive and very fast-paced. Therefore, it provides an ideal environment which motivates us, my team and myself, and helps us to improve – steadily and rapidly.
4. What is your biggest challenge in the Asian market compared to your experiences in Europe?
First, I would like to highlight that APAC Region is a very diversified region. Understanding the business relevance in each country, ramping up rapidly, having maximum flexibility and building relationships quickly is imperative in most of our target markets. But, having one game plan could be misleading, as each country carries a unique set of cultural and social norms which have a direct impact on how business is done.
5. What was your biggest success so far?
We are proud to have restructured the business model in APAC successfully, having gained financial independence for the Asian subsidiaries, having built up a strong local team and having ensured top quality services for our customers in many countries in different industries.
6. What was the inspiration or trigger point to scale and build business in Asia?
OTRS Group initially had joint venture partnerships with local companies in APAC. However, as business started growing, it became challenging to maintain high quality standards whilst meeting local customer expectations by liaising via intermediaries. This created a need to restructure the business model in the region. Speaking of potential customers, APAC is a gigantic market for us with a large talent pool relevant to the IT industry.
7. It´s said that Asia´s tech industry is catching up with Silicon Valley? What could be the reasons for this fast growth rate?
I have no doubt that Silicon Valley continues to be a top destination for innovative entrepreneurs and companies. What is more striking is the rapid growth of innovation hubs in Asia — especially in China and India. The four biggest competitors of Silicon Valley are in China: Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Shenzhen, with India’s Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Mumbai also taking top spots.
Mark Zuckerberg’s motto was: “Move fast and break things.” Chinese companies are following this motto more than anyone else.
Supportive governments with ambitious plans to become a global tech leaders in the next decade is another reason for the fast growth rate in both China and India.
Taking the example of the different fields of artificial intelligence (AI), China is already ahead in autonomous AI – and I am quite sure that China will catch up in internet, business and perception AI quickly. Disruptive technologies from Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and some more APAC countries are no less impressive.
Smart cities, which can be larger than entire nations, represent huge opportunities for companies.
8. What do you foresee in growth for OTRS Group through digital transformation and the emergence of smart nations around Asia?
Singapore is ranked first in the Asian Digital Transformation Index. South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, China, Thailand, India and the Philippines have also made tremendous leaps forward in this area. CIOs in the region extend their tech budgets. Additionally, the shift of tech budgets towards software, services and cloud-based solutions generates considerable growth potential for OTRS ASIA.
Smart cities, which can be larger than entire nations, represent huge opportunities for companies. Singapore, the regional HQ of OTRS ASIA, is one of the smartest cities of the world. Smart mobility, safety, healthcare and administrative services are only some of the playgrounds. One of our main goals for the future is to increase our customer base amongst government and public sector in more Asian countries
9. How do you find the positioning for OTRS ASIA in the far east business space?
Asian companies of all sizes and from all industries need reliable partners providing highly configurable solutions to overcome the challenges of digital transformation.
Having said that, customers seek providers with strong competency in ITIL/ ITSM and help desk methodologies with process management flexibility. OTRS Group provides a platform to manage all types of internal and external communication. This is something that we take into consideration when offering our services in the region and also our approach when defining our product innovation strategies. Pricing is another important factor in Asia as customers in different countries have different levels of price sensitivity – hence creating a need for flexible pricing models.
10. How would Asian customers benefit from OTRS?
One of the main pillars of digital transformation is speed — where intelligent process automations are used to increase efficiency significantly. OTRS offers cloud-based solutions which are best-in-class when it comes to having a secure platform. In times of digital transformation, customers benefit from OTRS more than ever before as they can define use cases to fit their business needs in a creative, seamless and elegant manner. Corporate communication, which is another main pillar of digital transformation, can be very tricky and complicated these days. With OTRS, customers can enable transparent and efficient communication methods, making it easy for teams to communicate and provide support anytime, anywhere. Customer service experience especially in the form of service desk support is a critical mission for many companies today. With more than 15 years’ experience in this field, Asian customers can benefit from the deep know how of OTRS.
11. What is the next step / strategy for the OTRS Group in Asia?
I am absolutely convinced that the future belongs to the fast. One of the next steps is to extend partnerships to new regions and consolidate existing ones. OTRS ASIA will continue to move faster, while becoming more flexible and more LOCAL.