In our series of 'meet the team' interviews, we chat with Simon Kaye, VP PreSales & Client Delivery.
Tell us a little about yourself
I live in Oxford, one of the most picturesque and interesting cities in the UK. It's great for walking or cycling to fantastic restaurants and pubs with my wife, youngest daughter (as the others have flown the nest) and a small crazy poodle dog. Before joining Alliants I have worked in a variety of CRM and BI roles, taking a break from travel and hospitality sector in 2002 to work in telco and risk-IT, returning 10 years ago when i joined Alliants.
What attracted you to join Alliants?
The enthusiasm of Nick and Tris to want to make a difference. When I joined we were working on a variety of consulting projects across the industry, it’s been a fantastic journey as we have sharpened our focus on hospitality and product delivery.
What are some of your passions?
I love travelling, especially with the family. I have been to 45 different countries and particularly enjoy getting off the beaten tourist trail to find interesting things to eat and drink. My other passions are cars, owning them; especially those with some character and watching them race - WEC and F1 being the obvious favourites, but classics, GT, car club, even banger racing.
Who has been the biggest influence in your career?
It's been a long career so there are many; I’ve had good and bad bosses both have influenced my outlook and behaviour, the result being that I’d always want to be part of an open, honest and collaborative company. From the conferences attended and leadership books I have read, one of the stand-outs was Andy Bounds, the author of ‘‘The Jelly effect’, he made a big difference to my approach in delivery. His books focus on 'afters,' he says it’s not what you say that counts but what people do differently after you’ve said it.
What is a great day off for you?
A fast winding drive to a top quality gastro pub, some proper ‘ruby’ beer, great food, red wine, fun with the family and a country walk back home.
What’s been your best travel experience?
We’ve had many memorable experiences: being stuck on a Vietnamese train for 3 days when Typhoon induced landslides took out the track ahead and behind us, having to lock down on a golf course as a tornado blew into Honduras, and watching the beach bars flood as cyclones hit Oman.
All that said the best experience is sitting with a great view and great food especially where that’s unexpected. One that springs to mind is a stunning French restaurant in Antananarivo after days spent camping in the rain looking for indri and eating stew for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
And finally…Your best travel tip?
Your children are never too young to travel- take them everywhere, so many memories, so many experiences. Although I may not have said that all the time on long train trips in India in the height of summer with a 4-year-old.