“Where there is technology that can save people money, there is business to do done,” says Mark Dasent, industry veteran and Connector Systems’ general manager.
Dasent says the company has been growing, even through the global financial crisis, as businesses realise the ROI of investing in the technology that the distributor works with.
“Business is doing very well. We grew last year and want that to continue this year,” says Dasent. He adds that Connector Systems has taken on “a number of vendors” in recent months and has also worked on “a lot of consolidation” of its brands. “We have plans to grow significantly [in 2012].”
He says the company’s main segments—network, wireless, security, voice and cabling—are all “doing well”. Connector Systems has also recently appointed a new BDM for the Ruckus portfolio and has plans to grow into other markets, such as government and telecommunications. “We have good plans there,” says Dasent.
The company has also been conducting business in Australia and Pacific Islands such as Fiji and Samoa. Dasent says the company has been attending events in those countries and areas such as the hospitality market represent growth opportunities for the company in those countries. “We are looking at how we can expand our presence in Australia. We’re at the planning stage at the moment. If the right opportunity comes along, it may still happen this year,” says Dasent.
Dasent has now been with Connector Systems for two years after a long stint has general manager of Renaissance. “It was a good change for me,” he says, adding that he has now also got a small ownership in Connector Systems, something that was always part of the plan when he joined but was only formalised a few months ago.
Over the past two years, he has been working with Connector Systems partners and customers, mainly focusing on the wireless side of the business. He knows how important it is to maintain good relationships in the industry and says one of the best piece of advice he can give to anyone in the same business is to “maintain your integrity and don’t burn bridges”. “The IT industry is a small place.”
For Dasent, the people are the best thing about the IT industry, along with its fast pace and “the buzz of putting a plan in place and seeing it implemented”.
After what he describes as a “fairly generic Commerce degree” at Lincoln University, Dasent still didn’t know he would end up working in IT. A job as the “store man at Insite Technology” opened the door into the industry and, once there, he chose not to leave. “It just seemed to suit my personality,” he says.
Dasent says his role at Connector Systems varies a lot and he likes it that way. “I could be working on plans with our vendors, meeting or talking with customers, talking and rebounding ideas with staff, sorting out issues, or playing tennis with a customer,” he says.
He says that variety is part of the nature of the distribution business and he is lucky to be able to quickly adapt to different situations and juggle a lot of things at the same time. “Most of all I try as much as possible to make sure any interaction I have with people is a positive one with positive outcomes.”
Dasent jokes that if he wasn’t in IT, he would probably be out on a farm crutching or drenching sheep, or in the country somewhere mowing lawns. Instead, he’s now investing in the wireless market, which he believes will have a big impact in the IT industry as a whole over the coming years. “I am really enjoying this area of the market right now.”
Where do you live now and where did you grow up and have lived before?
I am a Hawkes Bay boy, born and bred on a farm 30 min’s from Hastings. I now live in Hillsborough, Auckland, with my wife and three kids
Are you married? Kids?
Yes to Emily-Jane. We have three kids: Jessica, 12; Lucas, 10; and George, 7
What are you currently reading?
I have just finished Bear Grylls’s autobiography Mud, Sweat and Tears—what a great read, and what a legend he is.
Who is your mentor? Or someone you admire professionally?
I don’t really have one person, but my main motivation comes from the people around me, staff, vendors and customers. I am really enjoying the environment at Connector Systems and think Dale Smith (MD) has great leadership and vision.
When you were little, what did you think you would be when you grew up?
Probably back on the farm
Do you have any favourite sports?
I enjoy all sports and still play hockey and cricket.
What's your favourite gadget?
And your favourite website?
I don’t really have one to be honest - in the last year or so though I think the level of quality web sites has improved significantly which is a good thing.
What's your drink of choice?
Not too fussy really, but I try harder these days to drink in moderation!
How do you keep the work/leisure balance?
I believe I have a good sense of work life balance, having a young family helps here and I think I have mellowed as I have got older and no longer sweat the small things.