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Five Minute Interview: Rob Darby, Comms-care

Tell us what you do for a living.

Sales director at Comms-Care Group

Why are you the right person for this job?

I’ve been with the business for 10 years, initially starting as an appointment maker for the sales team.  I quickly progressed to account manager and then sales manager before being appointed as sales director two years ago.  I think the fact I have experience from both sides of the fence is key to being the right man for the job.

What gets you up in the morning?

Luckily I’m a morning person anyway so I don’t need an excuse to get up in the morning. However the fact I love my job helps!

Who helped you get to where you are today?

A few different people have played a role in helping me achieve what I have in my career so far. Those people know who they are.

What is the best or worst business advice you have received and from whom?

This is a tough one as I’ve had so much good and bad advice over the years. One piece that sticks in my mind was given to me by a former managing director who has since sadly passed away, and he said this just after he closed a large deal as he left the office to celebrate at a local pub: “If there is such a thing as good leadership, it is to give a good example.”

I’m not sure if he meant to lead by example by closing the deal or by going to the pub. Sadly I never got the chance to ask him.

What advice would you give to someone starting out today in IT?

Be prepared to work hard and be prepared to learn. If you can do this every day then there are no barriers in this industry. You get out what you put in.

What’s running on your smartphone?

My most recent app is one that allows me to control my heating from my phone. It’s a little geeky but nothing beats a warm house when returning from a late meeting!

What does the next five years hold for the channel?

Consolidation. I think we will continue to see some of the larger players acquiring some niche players in order to give their existing businesses an increased market reach. I also believe the next five years hold magnificent opportunity for business that are dynamic and prepared change their approach in an ever changing market.

Tell us something most people do not know about you.

I have never eaten mincemeat! It’s not that I haven’t tried it, I just can’t physically swallow it!

What goal do you have to achieve before you die, and why?

I would love to go attend the Boxing Day test at the Ashes in Australia. I was close to doing it in the series just gone but looking at the results thankfully I couldn’t make it in the end.  When I do eventually go I will watch an England victory.

What is the best book you've ever read?

Thursbitch by Alan Garner – it’s not the most well-known but it’s a great read.

And the worst film you’ve ever seen?

It has to be The Dictator.  I liked Ali G and Borat but The Dictator was a step too far.  It was two hours of my life I can never get back!

What would be your Desert Island MP3s?

I have quite a varied taste in music, I would probably end up with a varied selection. Anything from Drake to Alicia Keys to  Queen. Embarrassingly my phone even includes music from the Vengaboys!

What temptation can you not resist?

A curry. If you buy me a curry you’re a friend for life!

What was your first car and how does it compare with what you drive now?

My first car was a Ford Fiesta Mark 2. It was very unreliable and awful to drive, however I loved it. I drive an Audi Q7 now which is opposite in every way to my Fiesta but in a weird way it doesn’t have the same character.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with? Why, what did they do?

Keith Lemon – the man is an idiot!

If you could be any animal for a day, what would you be and why?

A fly – it would be great to be able to fly and be small enough to go unnoticed.  Just imagine some of the conversations you would overhear!

If you could take part in one event in the Olympics, which would you choose and why?

It would have to be the 100 meters. I’ve never been a long distance runner and none of the field sports really appeal to me. It would be great to carry the title of the fastest man on earth!  

If you were facing awesome peril and impossible odds, which real or fictional person would you most want on your side and why?

Dynamo as he is an incredible talent. I’ve seen him walk on water, walk through a pane of glass and disappear into thin air. They have got to be good skills to have if you were facing peril.

And finally, a grizzly bear and a silverback gorilla are getting ready for a no-holds-barred rumble. Who is your money on and why?

The bear every time!


This was first published in March 2014

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