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Pop Quiz, Monday with Gary Hargraves

Gary Hargraves
Photo credit: Gary Hargraves

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Gary Hargraves

Gary Hargraves

What is your job role?
Digital Services Consultant

Tell us about your company?
I work for Wipro technologies and help oil and gas companies modernize their business using the most recent emerging technologies such as machine learning, internet of things and blockchain. I also recently started a digital community called “Wall Hangers” for people interested in sharing stories about hunting and fishing. I use a mobile app called Mighty Networks to enable the digital community. Finally, I’m writing my first book, which is focused on helping people as they enter the consulting business.

What do you love most about your job?
I’m usually working on an industry first type project by leveraging a new technology to solve complex issues. For example, I’ve helped improve customer loyalty using mobile technology, enabled connected cars using the internet of things and, developed predictive maintenance solutions using advanced analytics in the past year. I’ve also helped with a number of blockchain projects focused on the supply chain. Recently I’ve been helping fortune 500 companies use crowdsourcing to address digital skill gaps and accelerate the number of digital projects they can work.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Being in the emerging digital technology business, I learn something new each day. By working with fortune 500 companies, I’m able to use those learnings to help solve enormously large problems.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
I’ve worked for HP, IBM and now Wipro. These companies represent a combined 250+ years of innovation. My co-workers ooze innovation and inspire our clients and me to tackle some of the world’s largest business challenges and transformations. Together we are all riding the 4th industrial wave – the digitization of everything.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
By keeping a sense of humor about as many things as possible.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Change tends to make people uncomfortable. Digital change is especially uncomfortable because the skills required to keep pace are changing faster than ever and at an exponential rate. Digital technology has flattened the world more than ever, brought in a new cross-pollination of industries and pierced through traditional, national borders. So making sure my clients understand the reasons for change because of the complex digital wave we are living, yet keeping the change message simple enough to prevent paralysis by analysis is a challenge I face every day.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
I’ve been around long enough to know there will always be the next best technology, methodology, and new way of working…but whether working a small or large project, the successful projects all have a focus on the team members success, recurring communication and set and meet the right level of expectations with stakeholders.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
There is not a prescriptive formula for consulting services, but experience matters. Find someone in a role that you want to be in the coming years and have that person mentor you. Then keep in touch.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

https://www.wipro.com/en-US/oil-and-gas/

https://www.mightynetworks.com/ then search “Wall Hangers.”

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Written by Ricky Singh, MBA

Founder & Editor of The Startup Growth

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