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60 seconds with… Sammy Kinlaw

Sammy Kinlaw, Vice President, Worldwide Channel and OEM Sales, Lexmark

What’s currently having the greatest impact on your business?

The ‘Reason of Call’ for Lexmark has exploded. We are now a disrupter. Between our new products, new cloud offerings, new coverage models and new programmes, we are presenting ourselves in an entirely new view for the worldwide channel.

Where do you see the next big opportunity?

The barriers to managed print are coming down. Our new tool suite is making it easier for a smaller VAR to enter the managed print world. I see an entirely new partner set using Lexmark because of our combined new products and new cloud offerings.

What would make your day job easier?

We are smaller than many of our competitors. We have to work harder. We have to drive consideration factors in new ways. I’m not looking for easier. As long as we drive results, we are comfortable being a working-class vendor. Partners respect that.

What’s the best bit of business advice you’ve been given?

I love this question. I’ve had the benefit of reporting to executives from around the world. I’ve had Italian bosses, French bosses and of course American bosses. I’ve learned from many different styles and management cultures. An early mentor told me “to always be the most prepared”. I’ve lived with that philosophy and it allowed me to advance at a very early age.

If you had had a crystal ball, would you have done anything differently?

Yes – I would have had more management courage. Having been promoted very early in IBM, I second guessed myself as a young executive. I wish someone would have told me earlier to always trust your gut instincts.

Describe your most embarrassing moment.

During university I overslept for my first ever exam. I showed up late and had to ask the professor in front of all the students if I could make up the exam. Side note, he did let me. So, lesson learned, always ask. You may get what you want.

What was your first job?

Ironically, working in an office supply store making copies.

What would be your dream job?

Outside of our industry I think about architecture and city planning.

Fine dining and good wine, or curry and a pint?

Fine dining and FANTASTIC wine.

How do you like to spend your spare time?

On the tennis court.

Favourite holiday destination?

Jamaica by FAR, second place would be Vail Colorado.

Money’s not an issue, what’s your perfect car… and where would you like to drive it?

M5 BMW – amazing performance in a car that you can still use as a family vehicle. I don’t like long car trips so just around town.