Quick-fire Q&A with Ian Goss-Ross

Ian Goss-Ross is part of an elite group of international professional engineers affiliated to the International Union of Professional Engineers and the International Society for Professional Engineers. Armed with an impressive list of electronic engineering qualifications, the CEO of Elingo has a clear understanding of current and emerging computer telephony and call centre industry standards, technologies, applications, design philosophy, and implementation techniques.

Describe your leadership style.
I focus on individuals’ strengths and talents, and maximise teamwork to achieve the best results.

Your top tip to beat procrastination?
Do the tasks in the short term, but train and empower somebody else to do the tasks that don’t inspire you.

Favourite getaway destination?
Anywhere off the beaten track, in the bush or on the beach.

Who or what inspires you?
People who do and understand delayed gratification/reward and people who deliver exceptional value individually and as part of a team.

Your one wish for South Africa?
Financial growth and stability.

If you could have any 3 people over for dinner, who would they be and what would you serve?
Cyril Ramaphosa, Pravin Gordhan, Clem Sunter – A strategic discussion to get South Africa on track again. My wife would cook one of her amazing “never able to repeat by anyone including herself” meals in which she uses some of my best red wine.

What five pieces of advice would you give to aspiring young business starters?

  • Google it! I speak to so many people (young and old) with bright ideas, and they think they have unique ideas… but they have not done the research.
  • Find out if it is a “scheme” or an “opportunity”. With a scheme there is no real contribution or skill that delivers value. With an opportunity you have to identify your niche that nobody else delivers and it requires hard work. If you are scheming, forget about it.
  • Starting a new business, even a very small one, usually requires a larger investment in terms of money and effort than what you think. Make sure you have the time and the funds. Starting a business on the side line, while you have a full time job, requires a real commitment.
  • Keep on spreading your risk. Every sport has its injuries. Build your business but keep on investing elsewhere.
  • Growing a business is all about the people you employ and work with. Your technical skill or ability is secondary.

  • What is the one thing most people don’t know about you?
    I am a craft gin fanatic and I am the co-owner of an amazing craft gin company.

    What would you do with an extra hour in your day?
    Learn something new, teach somebody else a skill, or distil another bottle of craft gin.