CIO: What is your role and responsibilities at your current organisation?\n\nI am responsible for all technology across Liberis, and currently as an interim looking after product development.\n\nThis means ensuring that all of our technology services are running to plan, supporting our business and\u00a0customers, and running efficiently and to the required level of performance.\n\nAs well as ensuring the smooth running of business as usual, there is the development of new product features, the onboarding of new partners and geographical expansion that has to be supported by the product and technology teams. Add to this the architectural enhancement, the integration\u00a0of new innovations and ensuring that we are a product and technology-led organisation, every day brings a new and exciting\u00a0challenge.\n\nFor example, at the moment, we are building an end-to-end, one-click embedded finance journey.\u00a0We\u2019re streamlining the application process, evidence collection, quoting, decisioning, and funding \u2013 in order to provide funds into a customer\u2019s account in hours.\u00a0We\u2019re using advanced architectural structures to deliver a fully API-enabled set of services that can be embedded in a partners ecosystem.\n\nCIO: How has your career evolved to becoming an IT director\/CIO\/CTO?\n\nWhen I was very young, my family moved to Africa \u2013 which was truly a life-enhancing experience. I grew up away from my entire family so it taught me adaptability at a young age. When you enter a class full of people in a strange country, and with a completely different culture, it can be very daunting, so you learn all sorts of techniques to survive. On my return to the UK, there was a mismatch in the education I had received and the available syllabus, so I had to look for an alternative path. I wasn\u2019t able to follow the traditional route of A-Levels and onto university to get a degree, as I didn\u2019t have the requisite base knowledge.\n\nFortunately, I was able to join an organisation at the ground level and be trained in each new role. I am happy to see the uptake of apprenticeships now as I really believe that learning from the bottom-up gives you a much more rounded skillset.\n\nThis is how I found myself in the technology industry and my route has since been fairly traditional, as I progressed through development, architecture, project management and then into leadership roles.\n\nCIO: Tell us about something you have worked on over the last 12 months that you are proud of?\n\nSince joining Liberis, we have practically doubled in size and I am very proud to be part of the team to help realise this incredible business growth \u2013 and this is only just the start.\n\nIn addition, in the last 12 months, I have been working as a mentor for a start-up accelerator. This involves me giving up time to talk to founders and advise them on their technology and product decisions.\n\nIt is incredible how many people have such passion about their ideas and give up so much to try and launch them into a successful business. Starting a company is exhausting both emotionally and mentally and requires incredible self-belief and resilience. It is an honour to help these founders in even the smallest way on their journey.\n\nCIO: What do you do outside of work?\n\nOutside of work, I have an active life doing high-intensity training and yoga. I am a jigsaw puzzle addict and find this to be a fabulous stress management tool.\n\nI love visiting new countries and exploring different cultures; I visited the walled city of Dubrovnik in one of the brief gaps between COVID-19 lockdowns and was privileged to have been there when it was almost empty. It gave me the opportunity to walk around freely and enjoy the history of the town and the magnificence of the buildings. I love cities and I can never get bored of New York and London. \n\nWhen I get a chance, I love painting large abstract bright and colourful pictures. I have been to many workshops and worked on many varieties of pictures including a large nude portrait \u2013 very tame and decent \u2013 but I prefer abstract art. I am also an avid networker and supporter\/mentor of start-ups.\n\nCIO: What\u2019s the best piece of career advice you\u2019ve ever received?\n\nIt came pretty late in my career but a wonderful lady that I worked with at Vodafone said \u2018do not sit back and let your career happen\u2019; you need a plan that you actively manage the same as any other kind of project in life.\n\nOnce I started doing this, I took control of my career, which was so incredibly empowering. As a result, I was much more selective about what I wanted to achieve and the results have been incredibly\u00a0rewarding.