AV Insider Spotlight : Stuart Craig, Ceo -Asia Pacific (Crestron)
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 Stuart Craig.
Here is a brief intro about him.
Stuart Craig has worked in the Audiovisual industry for over 20 years. He is currently serving as Ceo – Asia Pacific for Crestron.
Please drop your questions in the comments below and i will make sure that he sees them.
1.Describe your journey in the AV industry? How did it start?
I was fortunate enough to have a father who was a pioneer in the audio industry in Australia and whilst my intent was to be a film director or script writer, I somehow finished a commerce degree at university and ended up in AV.
At 18 who really knows what they want to do??
I started in this industry in 1994 in pro audio and then I gravitated towards Crestron. With Crestron I loved the speed, innovation and the people; it was something I wanted to be a part of and challenge myself to see if I was good enough to contribute in some way to such an industry leader. Starting out in ANZ and now engaged in the very diverse and fast growing Asia Pacific I am still learning every day and that can’t be a bad thing. The growth and challenges of this industry are highly motivating.
2.What do you think is the challenges that are facing a new person who wants to join the industry.
In most countries there is still no clear career or training path to join the AV industry and that needs to change. I am a big fan of the work Infocomm has done and would like to see their efforts accelerated in the APAC region. More people and better people are needed if we are to deliver on the growth rates in this region.
There are a lot of older folk in this industry who pioneered and built businesses on an industry that hardly existed. They have learnt, adapted and pieced together their businesses dollar by dollar, step by step. That knowledge will be lost if we don’t have more mentoring and knowledge sharing before those guys retire. Equally, where are the new breed of industry leaders coming from?
3.What are the positives of working in this industry
We have gone from a fringe industry to mainstream. Once we were the overhead projector on a trolley (am I sounding old?) and now you cannot build any type of infrastructure without a properly designed and managed AV system on a network. That’s exciting!
The other is to be surrounded by passionate people in this industry. All this change in the technology and the applications of that technology (by great people) makes it a brilliant place to be.
I used to go to social events and when you said you were in the AV industry people looked a tad perplexed as to what that was or meant but now, people get it and that’s good for all of us.
4.What in your opinion would you change in the industry? What are the negatives that are prevalent ?
I’m an optimist so tend not to dwell on the negatives. It’s easy to join the complainers but that mindset will only ever hold you back.
The industry needs to stop questioning itself in terms of how it can deliver or survive or grow in an IT environment. We can and will deliver. There are more opportunities than ever before in our industry and that should be the focus. Your next customer is the ability to grow, adapt yourself and your business.
[RELATED] : If you have missed any of the previous interviews, please click here.
5.Describe your ideal client? What do you wish clients to know before hiring you.
The ideal client is open to new technologies and challenges us to deliver. They have an expectation that we will deliver on the brief and provide an intuitive user experience; that we must do.
They want a networked, scalable and managed system and one of their and our ultimate goals is that the system is well utilised by staff at all levels.
6.If you were going to start over, what would you do differently ?
Wow, good question! Should I play the song “regrets, I’ve had a few…” but no not really and there is no productivity to looking back. I have had a wonderful experience and established great friendships in this industry and could not ask for more. Every year I have learnt so much and I hope that continues until I retire (which at 42 is still some way off!)
7.Describe a typical work day for you. What are your daily disciplines?
Clearly I travel a lot but usually I wake at 6am and always exercise. I have a water rower at home and love it. Once at work I plan the day and list priorities before diving into email and at the end of day I always write a ‘to-do’ list before I go home.
In the middle of the day I do what I love to do, build and direct the teams in the region and assist customers where I can.
8.Describe the apps and gear that you use daily which makes you more productive?
I use Skype for Business a lot. I use my iPhone 6S a lot and Whats App seems to buzz away at me all day. In the end though there is no substitute for looking up, getting up and making it happen; use your personality, engage your teams and customers and realise that the technology is a must have aid but you and all you have to offer are the main game.
For more information about Stuart Craig, please find a few links.
Next week we will be featuring another AV Insider so please stay tuned.