Getronics CEO Nana Baffour Talks Strategy, M&A, And Achieving The $1B Milestone With Purchase Of Pomeroy


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A year ago, you said Getronics would be a billion-dollar company by 2020. With the Pomeroy purchase you said you have achieved that ahead of time. Why is that figure significant?

A billion in and of itself is interesting so far as it captures the imagination of the public, and it becomes a vision for people to rally around. A billion dollars is kind of like inserted in our culture, that's the threshold of big time, right? So that's one reason why it's important. We want to aspire to the highest aspiration that you can have, in terms of having ambition, and so that's why the billion is important.

Breaking it down a little bit, it's important because skill is important in our business. Being able to offer services consistently across 22 countries requires skill. That's important, because wheeling and dealing with some of the customers we have, they need to know that we are strong and stable and have skills that are going to be there. Getronics has been around for 130 years. That's saying a lot in a very dynamic space like technology. To be around for 130 years through thick and thin, and we have customers that have been with us for 20 years. Just like Pomeroy has customers that have been with them for 15 years. So that's what the billion dollars represents. It represents skill. It represents ability. But more important than that, it represents the ability to really kind of bring heft to the solutions.

But I will tell you this. Even at a billion dollars or euros, because we hit both, we still behave like a startup. I tell people we are the biggest technology startup that you've never heard of.

We think like a startup. I'm an entrepreneur. We get people who have a strong can-do attitude because that's what our clients expect from us. So that billion dollars, it means a lot, from a vision perspective, from a skill perspective, from an abilities perspective.