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Entrepreneur, Projects, IT and Logistics
From Coding to Hospitality: A Journey of Adaptability and Resilience
A Path Unveiled
In a world defined by mainframe computers and COBOL programming, as a young apprentice I embarked on a journey that would shape my professional trajectory. With a commercial apprenticeship in hand, I chose the ‘information technology’ option, a decision that would lead me down an unexpected path.
As I delved into the world of programming, a breakthrough arrived—the emergence of micro-computers. Eager to learn, I landed my first job by developing a printer driver for these cutting-edge devices, realizing the potential they held. This marked the beginning of my foray into evaluating and developing programs and solutions.
With each new technological advancement, my career soared to new heights. I transitioned into a role as a pre-sales and post-sales technician, responsible for introducing micro-computers to SME companies. My mission: to install these marvels of technology and train employees to harness their power. The world of programming became my second nature, and I evolved into an Analyst-Programmer developing applications for SMEs.
The Era of Networks
Amidst the rapid evolution of technology, networks began to weave their way into the fabric of businesses. As a young professional I seized the opportunity, furthering my education in the realms of servers and networks. My prowess did not go unnoticed, and I was offered a position as a technical sales manager in hardware and software distribution.
Leading the Way
Through hard work, dedication and a bit of talent, my career trajectory continued to ascend. I was promoted to the role of Products and Purchasing Director, propelling the company’s growth to unimaginable heights. Guided by my newly acquired expertise in inventory and logistics management, the company multiplied its size by ten.
The merger of the distribution company with another distributor paved the way for an international opportunity. Joining the ranks of Silicon Graphics, a manufacturer of high-performance graphics computers, I became a logistics manager overseeing projects in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. My innovative spirit shone through as I pioneered a groundbreaking hub-and-spoke logistics network in close cooperation with DHL, revolutionizing spare parts and reverse logistics.
Ever-adaptable, it was time for me to change yet again. I joined the renowned Swatch Group, a leader in the watchmaking industry. Tasked with centralizing the distribution of watches and jewellery across Europe, I spearheaded integration projects, retiring outdated legacy systems and implementing SAP ERP. My accomplishments led to my appointment as the Director of Swatch Group Distribution, overseeing IT and logistics operations across Europe.
A Crossroad of Opportunities
My professional’s journey encountered a pivotal crossroad. Faced with a choice between leading the logistics dimension of the company or taking on a new role as the Head of IT for Europe and Asia, I had to take a bold decision. Recognizing the potential in Asia, I seized the opportunity to establish an IT competence centre in Singapore, while heading the European IT operations, reporting directly to the CIO.
A Beachside Interlude
After years of relentless pursuit in the corporate world, I finally get the chance to fulfil a long-held dream—having a small hotel near the beach. With unwavering determination, I embarked on a new venture in Thailand. Creating a company to operate a quaint guesthouse, I found joy in combining my entrepreneurial spirit with a love for hospitality.
Navigating Stormy Seas
Life, however, had its own twists and turns. After having developed the business to open a second hotel, political unrest, declining tourism, and mounting taxes took their toll, and my small enterprises faced tremendous challenges. Despite my resilience and tenacity, the unforeseen blow of the COVID-19 pandemic left me with no choice but to resign and close both establishments, losing everything in the process.
Raising from the Ashes
Returning to my homeland in Switzerland, the resilient professional that I am refused to let adversity define my journey. In the face of temporary setbacks, I secured seasonal jobs, striving to regain my footing. Fuelling my determination, I embarked on a new endeavour—completing a Cybersecurity analyst professional certificate, further expanding my skill set.
Embracing the Future
Now armed with a wealth of experience and fresh certifications, I set my sights on the future. Driven by my passion and expertise, I aspire to assume again a leadership role for a dynamic organization. Armed with adaptability, resilience, and a wealth of knowledge, my journey continues, ready to conquer new horizons.
(c) Etienne Udry 2023 - all rights reserved