Driving Growth: A Conversation with Andrew Coulsen, CEO of Dimension Data: Europe

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We recently caught up with Andrew Coulsen, who has been on a journey since 2006 to drive growth for Dimension Data: Europe, to discuss the lessons learned during the journey as well as the key trends that will impact the future of the company.

Global Trends: What were the challenges that you faced at the start of your journey?

As CEO of Dimension Data: Europe, together with my team, we are responsible for approximately 2,200 employees, in 35 locations, across 10 countries within the region generating over US$1.3 billion in turnover. In 2005/6 we consolidated the reporting for UK and Continental Europe into one European region, nearly achieving breakeven profit.  This enabled us to take control of a fragmented business which historically had very unstable profits as well as high staff churn and create a consistent business model in an economically challenging market facing strong competition and technical innovation.



Does the current obsession with short-term, quarterly results limit our ability to bring long-term thinking into today’s reality? If so, what does it take to bring Global Trends into our business planning today? Emerging patterns of competition in many industries suggest that with the pace of change in the environment and customer demands, there is no room for a company to focus only on the short-term. The challenge is how to strike the right balance in bringing long-term thinking into a short-term obsessed world. This series of articles is designed to help leaders businesses understand and address this challenge by applying some specific tools that we have found useful in practice.