Kumail was Endava’s Delivery Unit Manager in Moldova until 2016, at which point he accepted the challenge of setting-up the first Latin American Software Engineering Centre for the company in Bogotá, Colombia, where he continues building teams and growing the business to provide services for US and European clients.
How has your Endava experience been?
I joined Endava nearly 5 years ago to help turn around the Moldovan business and get it back on a growth trajectory. It was a successful experience; in 3 years we grew the business from 200 to 450 people and established several major accounts.
During my career I have always been attracted towards new challenges, starting from scratch and solving problems, and as the business continued with its strategic growth programme I had the opportunity of setting up our first Latin American business in Colombia. In July 2016 I landed in Bogotá with a team of 5 and a huge mission; 18 months later our Bogotá Software Engineering Centre is operating with a team of 120 people.
What do you value most in your professional life?
For me the quality of the team is essential, people I work with are important not only as professionals, but as unique individuals. I value my team made up of passionate, diverse, ambitious and creative people, who support each other and welcome challenges. One of the main reasons we decided to setup a delivery centre in Bogota was people’s professional skills and attitude - a premise for successfully embracing and promoting the Endava culture.
One other aspect that drives me is the highly challenging and supportive vibe that runs through the veins of the organisation.
These past few years have been an exciting journey. Can you share some of your proudest moments?
As I was saying, building the right team is something very important for me. When I was in Chisinau, capital city of Moldova, we took an aerial photo of the whole team in 2014, 300 people all together, and that photo was the result of the growth and success of the operation - more importantly, it illustrated the impact that we had on the city by reaching 300 families and indirectly supporting many local businesses.
Another proud moment happened during the start-up of Endava Colombia, when after only three months we won our first US client and started delivering engineering services for them.
The latest achievement I can relate to is that we have now built a strong and passionate team who are working on exciting and challenging engineering projects providing Digital, Automation and Agile solutions to international customers – which is helping to raise the profile of Colombia.
What can you tell us about yourself outside work?
I have to confess that I have slight workaholic tendencies, mainly because I’m passionate about what I do and I’m results driven. Nevertheless, this leaves me time to enjoy pastimes as well and I’ve learnt to “switch-off” when needed.
I enjoy social and competitive sports, especially tennis and golf which I play as often as I can. I also enjoy travelling, getting to know new places and interacting with different kinds of people. I have been fortunate enough to live in 7 countries and to visit over 30 others. You could say I am a bit of a global nomad, who never forgets to enjoy good food and wine!
What advice would you give yourself if you were starting work at Endava today?
Take advantage of the international opportunities and get to know the great people in Endava. As part of our culture the company invests in its people and offers them great career paths which support their professional and personal growth.
Take me as an example: my path within Endava encouraged me to travel around the world with my work and gave me the opportunity to establish our Latin American operations and live and work in Colombia. I also had the chance to bring a few colleagues with me!
The key is to be proactive, work hard, listen, be open-minded and take a risk once in a while!