One day 16 years ago, Julius made his first trip to Kenya. He instantly fell in love with the sandy beaches at the Coast, acclaimed tourist attractions such as the Maasai Mara, and most of all, the clement weather. He returned home, but Kenya remained in his heart and soul. Three years ago, he relocated to Kenya from the Netherlands. SGA security firm, his brainchild, has presence in three countries.
Tell us about yourself
I really love travelling to new destinations. But professionally, I take pride in my 35-year experience in information technology, business management and security co-ordination. I was Chief Executive Officer and Co-Owner of Linxtelecom and Linxdatacentre where I worked with an ICT security data centre to offer IT solutions in Russia and Europe. I have also worked as director at AT&T Capital Corporation, and been a manager at Philips International. One of the reasons I am here is to share my experience.
Is this what you always wanted to do?
I studied business economics and taxation law, then gained the required experience while working at Philips and other companies. In 2000, together with a few other associates, I established a company that specialises on management and data services. It has been a truly enjoyable journey.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Set strict terms and deadlines of operation, and always strive to finish what you have started. Be curious and fearless as you start your career, and be guided by your goals.
Any tips for young entrepreneurs?
They should always seek to provide their customers with goods and services of good quality, and build a strong brand. They should also maintain high levels of professionalism and be ready to learn from their mistakes.
What values have you learnt from your career journey?
Professionalism. I started out as an expert, then quickly moved to management. I was only 39 when I was first named CEO. But this is not to say that I had it easy. I had spent so many years working in the industry, and my level of experience far outmatched some of my older colleagues.
Do you consider yourself a risk taker?
Any entrepreneur worth his name is a risk taker. However, it is important to take calculated risks which could help you achieve your goals.
If you could pursue a different profession, which one would it be?
That’s tough because I feel like I’ve done so much. However, I would wish to be a lecturer.
If someone were to write a book about you, what would its title be?
Educating and Innovating the Security Sector.
Tell us about your 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s
After university, I went through a period of self-discovery and found out that I had a lot to learn. In my 30s, I was really ambitious. I spent all my time trying to learn more about my career. I even neglected my social life. I started my own company at 40, and began to spend more time with my family and friends. In my 50s, I decided to focus on making my society a better place instead of making more money. I turn 60 this year.
Your parting shot?
Set targets and have a clear plan. Where do you want to see yourself in the next five years? Without a good strategy, you will not reach your goals.
Away from work, what else interests you?
Spending time with my family, and travelling. I have a two-year old daughter who I adore.