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The ARN Hall of Fame consists of a small, but epic group of the IT industry’s best minds and at The Missing Link we’re incredibly proud that one of this year’s inductees is our Co-Founder and CEO, Alex Gambotto.
Alex’s incredible story started at The Missing Link when he was fresh out of high school, working hard to build a business while his friends were off having fun at the beach or a drink at the pub. Fast forward to today and that work ethic has resulted in an incredible, well respected IT business spanning infrastructure and cyber security. The Missing Link service some of Australia’s top businesses and government organisations, has just topped 100 employees and is proud to be one of the most highly awarded businesses in the Australian IT industry.
I sat down with Alex to chat about being inducted into the ARN Hall of Fame and why he believes people are the key to The Missing Link’s success and his inspiration.
Q: How does it feel to be inducted into the ARN Hall of Fame?
Alex: It’s amazing and humbling. I'm seriously flattered to be included in something as prestigious as this, especially because this was voted by my peers and it is the most coveted award in the IT industry. This is certainly an honour that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
Q: What is key to the success of The Missing Link?
Alex: For me, it’s all about the people. When Daniel and I started out, we made sure we hired the right people for the business. We were (and still are) acutely aware of the fact that we can’t do it all ourselves. I don’t believe any industry changes as quickly as technology does, so to stay ahead of the pack, we need to focus on our team, ensuring they are constantly learning and evolving. This is one of the reasons we’ve managed to create a business that has achieved growth (on average) of 25% per year for more than 21 years!
There are so many people that are vital to our success and I constantly thank them all, because I know we couldn’t do it without them. It's their consistent hard work and willingness to learn, that helps give us our respected name in this industry I love so much.
Q: What do you look for in an employee?
Alex: When I look for new team members I always look for one main ingredient, intelligent disobedience. My team and I are continually challenging the status quo, I believe intelligent disobedience is needed if you want to be the best. It’s the X-factor to ensure you don’t just do what you have done in the past, if you want to be successful you need to evolve to stay ahead of the curve.
Q: What inspires you on a professional level?
Alex: There are lots of things that keep me striving for more, two of these are our competitors and upcoming IT professionals.
First, our competitors and industry disruptors challenge me, they keep me up at night wondering how we can stay relevant and ahead of the game. Every growing business faces daily challenges which need to be solved, but you need an unwavering focus and determination for success in all facets of the business, from culture all the way through to profit.
Next are the up and coming IT professionals, they inspire me. It’s invigorating to see the new wave coming in and making a real impact on our close-knit and exciting IT community. I’m a huge advocate of hiring graduates, letting them show their skills and hear their fresh ideas. In fact, some of our ex-staff have gone on to create amazing businesses and a few have even become formidable competitors. I love the fact that they learned the ropes here and now they challenge us.
I remember what it was like to be 22 years old and having to work incredibly hard to prove myself, not everybody believed in me, but I did. There is still plenty of room for people in our industry to be a huge success if they really want it and are willing to put in the hard work.
Q: Anything else?
Alex: When I was that 22 year old guy I dreamed of winning an award as big as this. I can’t believe it, I really have my great team to thank in helping me achieve this dream.