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Leaders with Ambition - An interview with Vaclav Koranda of T-Systems Malaysia

Previously from T-Systems' Czech office, Vaclav ventured to Asia with his family in search of a warmer climate and a new challenge in a new market. Read on further for more details on his journey, what inspires him and more. 

1. How did you come to your position today?

Prior to this, I held a similar position as Vice President of Human Resources at T-Systems’ Czech office. In 2014, the firm had merged with another company and I found myself on the lookout. It was a cold winter, and during a discussion with my wife, she suddenly said: “Why don’t you look for a job in a tropical country?” I thought she was joking at the time, but somehow the idea was stuck in my head and the next day, I went to our careers website and found my current job there. 
  

2. From your first job until the present, what important lessons have you learned along the way?

  1. Never give up.
  2. Never underestimate the people around you, they might surprise you!
  3. Do good by others and eventually, you will be reciprocated.
  4. Do your best; if you don’t succeed at something, learn from your mistakes and do it better the next time.

3. Who is your role model and tell us a bit about them.

I’ve had several role models in my life. My mother, for her diligence and hard work; my father, for his kindness and warmth; my grandfather, for his precision and technical ability; my grandmother, for her humbleness and sense of humour; and my uncle for his entrepreneurship and generosity.

4. What inspires you?

I find great sources of inspiration in music and nature.

5. What is your greatest achievement to date?

This year, I was awarded a title of “Chief Human Resources Officer of the Year” by the Employer Branding Institute in India, under the patronage of MIHRM.

6. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career and how did you overcome it?

The same incident occurred a couple of times where I was hired for a job and soon after, my stakeholders completely changed. This is typically quite a risky situation, especially if you are still in the probationary period of employment. I overcame the situation by applying each virtue in question 2!

7. What is the most valuable advice you have been given?

If you are in a difficult situation or in some kind of trouble, don’t wait for anyone to help you. The best person that can help you is yourself.

8. What advice would you give to professionals looking to excel in their career?

  1. Work hard
  2. Build relationships with other people
  3. Constantly strive for self-improvement

9. Can you give me 3 things on your ‘bucket list’?

Fly an airplane, conduct a big symphony orchestra and retire!

10. What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?

Intelligent, friendly, funny.

11. If you could live in any country in the world, where would you live?

My heart is torn between Europe and Asia – when I am on one continent, I miss the other, so it would be very difficult for me to stay just in one country.

12. If you won a lottery ticket worth $10 million, what would you do?

I would retire and invest the money into a diversified portfolio with an average 10% return. That would cover inflation and still give me a decent income.