By Charndré Emma Kippie
Greg Gatherer is a locally based Account Manager for the Southern & East Africa Division, at Liferay in South Africa. With years of work experience within the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Greg is a natural change agent, always looking to provide the best fit for clients and companies. He suggests that banks consider moving away from legacy systems to simplify the service process and drive innovation.
Liferay makes software that helps companies create digital experiences on the web, mobile and connected devices. As a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Experience Platforms, Liferay works with Fortune 1000 companies across multiple industries to create a seamless experience for all audiences such as partners, employees and customers.
Born in Irene, Centurion, his early career was very much embedded in Operations Management within various industrial, IT and financial sectors, which has given him strong technical and operational experience. Greg has completed a National Diploma in Operations Management, via the University of Johannesburg and, at present, is focused on driving digital experience solutions into businesses for true digital transformation resulting in optimised customer and employee experiences.
Please could you tell us a bit about your background – how did you get to this point?
Having often been employed in organisations needing to radically change due to digitalisation, I therefore have been witness to companies and former colleagues being consumed by faster moving technologies. I have always been driven to keep looking forward by focusing on the horizon rather than what is happening right now.
What excites you the most about the work that you do?
Helping organisations achieve something that hasn’t been possible for long, creating rich, unified digital experiences to create hyper engaged platforms. My day is often centered around questioning the status quo and having conversations about embracing technology to improve efficiencies with ease that leads to awesome digital experiences.
Please tell us about any important milestones/achievements you’re proud of.
So many along the way from the early years of driving continuous digital inkjet print technology in Africa, to driving fantastic digital communication migration strategies en masse to right now being part of an awesome team shaping unified digital experiences.
In your opinion, how can banks move away from legacy systems and drive seamless, personalised solutions in 2021?
Banks need to look internally and drive innovation within their employee base and core systems to simplify the service process that will motivate staff, make their lives easier and keep them primarily focused on serving the end customers’ wants and needs.
What 3 tips do you have when it comes to implementing financial solutions in your field?
- Promote self service, allow the client to choose their own path.
- Remain in a ‘Forever Beta’ – continuous improvement mode.
- Be flexible in changing solutions based on Know-Your-Customer Metadata.
- Promote two way communication between client and the Bank.
Let’s talk Fintech – what significant trends are you witnessing right now?
RPA is really aiding banks in providing amazing efficiencies around service by taking on the typical repetitive process that is a burden to staff, that ultimately results in low morale, lack of interest and poor customer service.
What is your ‘why’ i.e. Bottom line? And how do you stay motivated?
Everyone needs purpose.If your purpose in life is being addressed, realised and lived then you will be motivated everyday! My “why” is my purpose,
Have you read any books that have enriched your career?
A good few actually. The few that stand out right now is the very first career development book ever read by Richard Branson titled Screw it Let’s Do it. This was a great introduction to reading business-related literature. The second one that comes to mind is a book by Charles Duhigg called The Power of Habit, and finally the current book that I am reading is called Power Up by Debbie Craig. This is an awesome book about key competencies and capabilities that we require as people in these crazy unpredictable times.
Outside of work, are you involved in any extracurricular activities and/or community outreach projects?
Loads of family time spent on weekends in the bush or in the Drakensberg. I dabble a bit in camping, not quite a fan, but will keep going with it and see if it grows on me, and I keep rather active with Crossfit, squash and Enduro Motocross.
What advice do you have for young financial professionals navigating the space right now?
Balance is absolutely key to any professional. So often we get caught up chasing the dream; often leading to burn out and disillusionment. Balance provides the resilience to dealing with stress, and stress is an absolute monster that challenges a young professional on a daily basis.