'Never limit yourself by having that 9-to-5 mentality': Raymond MA
The Group General Manager, Automotive UAE, Union Motors, on things that inspire him
How do you typically start your work-day?
With a trip to the gym - though reluctantly! I am always aware that I will be sitting down for a good part of the day, so getting in some exercise is really important. No two days are the same once I reach the office, but the first hour usually involves a walk around the head office, greeting all staff, and then a tour around the showroom to ensure everything is of the highest standard.
Describe your work in a sentence.
Applying an entrepreneurial approach to working with emerging car brands in the UAE GCC, and integrating modern technology to service customers and business partners in automotive sales, servicing and parts distribution.
What is your number one
personal principle or success mantra at work?
You won't get anywhere without putting in the hours! Never limit yourself by having that nine-to-five mentality.
Do you have a catchphrase that you like to use to inspire people around you?
I always say that a business is only as good as its people.
In your workday, what is the one thing you cannot do without?
It would have to be coffee. I drink gallons of it - I just love the taste and it keeps me alert throughout the day.
Most challenging project to date.
Launching two new car brands in a new territory has had its challenges. Our competitors have sold here for many years and have made their mark, so they have a great advantage. Perseverance has been key, along with a highly consistent delivery of the same message; that we are offering quality and features with a very affordable price tag. We are seeing great and encouraging returns on our efforts now, but it has taken time and patience - it's great to see the approach paying off.
One scent that you cannot get enough of?
I love the smell in the interior of a brand-new car! It's just so satisfying and, subconsciously, it says luxury! I never get tired of that clean smell. The fact that it doesn't last long makes it more appealing in my book.
Who is your role model as the perfect professional?
There is no one in particular, but I like individuals who don't back down when there are challenges, and who have great self-confidence and vision. If you don't believe in yourself, neither will anyone else.
Your favourite indulgence when you need a break from work?
I have two children aged six and eight, so any activity with them relaxes me. Even just driving them to playdates or football practice is relaxing in the Dubai sunshine. I also love performance cars - having owned a few - and I love putting my foot down on the open road. Being invited to special events where supercars are the stars of the show is part and parcel of my job - and it's a great perk!
What is the last thing you do before you go to sleep?
I always have one last look at my emails. I know I shouldn't do this right before sleeping, but working alongside colleagues in China means that I am retiring when they are starting their day, and I get anxious if I know they want to make contact regarding any important news or information. Once the lights go off, I am very fortunate because I can easily survive on just four or five hours sleep. It's a gift that I never take for granted.
- Staff reporter