AV Insider Spotlight :Peter Kam, Business Development Manager, West Indies

Every week, I am highlighting on some of the incredible people who are in the Audio Video Industry. As this blog is mostly about AV insiders, today we are profiling Peter Kam.

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Here is a brief intro about him.

With a solid background in Audio Visual (AV) and Information Technology (IT) design, planning and implementation, Peter Kam has the unique ability to knowledgeably engage clients at both the Executive and Technical levels. He has engaged in consulting that has spanned several industry verticals such as government, financial, energy, healthcare, education and telecommunications, and have brought value to clients such as BP Trinidad and Tobago (bpTT), Citibank (Trinidad and Tobago), Republic Bank Limited (Trinidad), The University of the West Indies – UWI (Trinidad, Barbados & Jamaica) and The Government of Trinidad and Tobago.

1.Describe your journey in the AV industry? How did it start?

After graduating with a BSc in Computing and Information Systems, I was introduced to the Managing Director of World Wide Net Ltd (WWNL) by a mutual friend to consider a career in the AV industry. WWNL was the first AV Integration company in Trinidad and Tobago, focusing primarily on the corporate sector with technologies such as Video Conferencing, AV Integration and Automation of such solutions. With careful consideration, I decided to pursue a traditional career in IT with the largest Insurance Companies in the Caribbean, specifically in the area of Networking and Infrastructure which I has a passion for. I followed this path for just over two years, when I received an unexpected call from WWNL again in 2006 indicating that were in the market for a AV Engineer with a focus in Pre-Sales Engineering. This call led to a meeting to discuss the details of the job and the industry as a whole, but I was still not sure about this “unknown” industry. Even though I was not sure where this path would lead, I made the decision to make the big leap into the AV Industry and have never looked back.

Even though my focus was in Pre-Sales Engineering, I played an integral part in many other areas including Sales, System Design, Installations, Project Management and at times Programming. During this time I also completed numerous certifications from Polycom, SMART Technologies, AMX, Lutron and Extron. My exposure to all parts of the business helped be develop my knowledge of the industry very quickly, and in 2008 I took over the role of Business Development Manager in 2008. While my focus has now shifted to Business Development, I still wear my many hats which keeps the job interesting and always on my toes.

2.What do you think is the challenges that are facing a new person who wants to join the industry.

Starting off in the AV Industry can be very easy if your focus is only on one skilled role, however you will quickly realize that to be successful in this industry you must be knowledgeable and skilled in all aspects of the industry.
Unfortunately there are not much courses that allow an individual to develop all of these skills at one time. This means that even well-educated individuals who want to become successful must have the drive and determination to continue to learn and develop themselves to become a technically sound, business savvy individual.

3.What are the positives of working in this industry

I believe that the variety of skills that someone can gain and be exposed to in the AV Industry is far greater than any other industry. This combined with the pace that technology has been evolving in the past couple of years, anyone who is interested in developing their knowledge and career quickly, cannot go wrong with a this industry once they are willing to put in the time and effort required.

4.What in your opinion would you change in the industry? What are the negatives that are prevalent ?

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I am not sure it is a negative, but in today’s market, a significant amount of decision makers are heavily influenced by consumer marketing. This is great because it drives business to the ProAV side of the industry, however the customers are many times misled by marketing which leads to them requesting solutions that I consider an “Overkill” for the application. For example numerous customers now request an End to End 4K Solution for their small conference rooms, while I am pleased to offer them the requested solution, I would much rather offer them a fit for purpose solution that gives them value for money.

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5.Describe your ideal client? What do you wish clients to know before hiring you.

I like my clients to understand that everyone in the AV Industry has access to the same or similar products now, it is not like 10 years ago when each manufacturer had an exclusive partner in each country or region. The real reason why they should hire me is because of my knowledge and experience, this allows me ensure that the Solutions that we design and install for them meets their needs while remaining on budget.
Too many times clients make a decision based purely on budget and it is only after they realize that the proposed “Solution” cannot achieve half of the functionality promised.

6.If you were going to start over, what would you do differently ?

Nothing, I have quite enjoyed my career path thus far and I believe that all of my experiences have lead me to be the person I am today.
7.Describe a typical work day for you. What are your daily disciplines?

Other than replying to Emails and keeping track my Technical Staff, my main focus every morning is to create a “To Do” list and trying to work through it to ensure everything gets done. If for some reason my priorities makes one of those items slip to the following day, I try to ensure that it is on top of the To Do list the day after.

8.Describe the apps and gear that you use daily which makes you more productive?

There are only things that I use daily and allow me to be more productive. Evernote allows me to keep my notes digital and allows me to quickly search my old notes on a site visit or design that I will like to revisit. Teamup is a hosted calendar that allows me to schedule and keep track of what my team is working on very quickly. TeamViewer is a remote collaboration tools that we mainly use for remote support or remote access for quick installation or troubleshooting support. The last piece of gear that I can’t seem to do without is the old pen and paper, my pocket book stays with me at all times.

Please drop your questions in the comments below and i will make sure that he sees them.

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For more information about Peter Kam, please find a few links.

LinkedIN – Peter Kam
Instagram – instapkam
Twitter – @peterkam80
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Next week we will be featuring another AV Insider so please stay tuned.

Ajish Raju

About Ajish Raju

Ajish Raju is co-founder and Chief Evangelist of Favante. He loves traveling, trying new cuisines and gadgets. Reach him at ajish@ajishraju.me