CIO Lazada Group
"The most important decision in my career was to take on tasks where I knew I was out of my depth."
What is the most surprising thing about you that most people don’t know?
I still regularly spend some time at coding.
What are the most important decisions you made in your career?
To take on tasks where I knew I was out of my depth. To highlight areas where I will need help, to reveal my weak spots, to identify the right people that can help and then work with them to deliver. Another one was moving to Singapore to work for Lazada.
What will be the most valuable skill for your profession in the next 3 years?
Efficient data engineering. Structuring massive amounts of data so that it can be used and taking data science inputs and productionising it.
What’s your worst mistake and how did you overcome it?
Allowing the commercial side of the business to define requirements without challenging them. This resulted in lost time and a way too complicated solution which needed to be re-implemented.
What’s your biggest ambition now?
To empower the business with data capabilities; ensuring that the people in the organization know how data science process works and how they can use the capabilities in the organization and business development.
What is the most interesting book you have read and why?
Logical puzzles help keep me sane. For example: you are walking down a road and arrive at a fork that splits into two separate paths. When you reach it, you meet two identical twins, each standing at the edge of one of the two paths. You know one leads you to eternal happiness and the other to misery and suffering. You also know that one of the two twins always tells the truth and the other always lies. You need to go down one path and you have only ONE question you can ask. What is the question you need to ask to be forever happy?
What talks such as TED or podcasts do you listen to?
Hans Rosling's TED Talk on statistics is one of my favourite ones.
What industry websites, blogs or influencers should we bookmark right now?
Conferences are absolutely needed. Strata is one of the main ones that I attend. [Strata is a leading big data conference. Strata Singapore will be held in December, 2017]
In terms of resources, there isn't just one source and I mostly follow open source communities. These days the big firms like LinkedIn, Google, Facebook share a lot of concepts in their engineering blogs. I also follow Wes McKinney’s and Ben Thompson’s blogs.
What are you going to learn in the year ahead?
Let’s see what the year brings. I'm planning to learn one or two coding languages.
Learn more about Klemen Drole on Linkedin
"The most important decision in my career was to take on tasks where I knew I was out of my depth. To highlight areas where I will need help, to reveal my weak spots, to identify the right people that can help and then work with them to deliver"
Lazada is Southeast Asia’s number one online e-commerce platform with a local presence in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. It provides direct access to approximately 550 million consumers.
In April 2016, Alibaba announced its acquisition of a controlling stake in Lazada for US$1 billion.
Explore the career journeys and resources that shaped the Great Owls
“I don’t think there’s ever just one important decision. It’s life. You’re always making decisions along the way and most are important. Some you make more wisely than the others, but you learn from each. I view everything through that lens.”
“The most significant decision was to get out of my comfort zone and move abroad at the age of 17.”
“Whenever I see an opportunity, I go for it. I’m comfortable with a high degree of uncertainty — constantly reminding myself “what’s the worst that can happen?”
“One of the most intriguing decisions I made was leaving the Boston Consulting Group after having been a partner for a number of years. Curiosity got the better of me.”
“You’ve got to learn how to un-learn and re-learn again. Things are changing very fast, you can choose to complain about it or you find a way how to get involved.”
“The most important decision in my career was to either start or stop a business. I’ve been through four startups and each one led me to a new city and adventure.”
“The most important decision in my career was to take on tasks where I knew I was out of my depth. To highlight areas where I will need help, to reveal my weak spots, to identify the right people that can help and then work with them to deliver.”
“One of my biggest mistakes was not paying attention to corporate culture when I was building my company.”