In this episode of Conversations@Jazz, we speak to the co-Chief Executive Officer at VEON, Sergi Herrero. He calls himself “Silicon Valley’s adopted child,” and is an expert in innovation and technology. Sergi heads the Ventures division and takes the company beyond traditional connectivity while also providing enhanced new digital products and solutions.
We spoke to Sergi about the need for processes, what it means to be true to yourself, how speaking through your heart can help aid you in both your professional and personal life, as well as what advice he would give to youngsters from his experience and the learning that came with it. When asked about why he is famous for his preference for process over hierarchy and how he emphasizes the need to take time with each task, Sergi said, “If you go fast too many times, you lose focus on important things and do not truly change the base.” He explained that counterintuitively, slowing down in process allows better results, especially in the beginning.
The former Global Director of Payments and Commerce Partnerships at Facebook, Sergi, said, “No matter what type of society you are in, if you speak to your heart, it goes a long way.” He believes that there is something to learn wherever you go. Sergi comes from a family of farmers. When he returned to the family farm after his formal education, he realized that he learns something new every time. “It isn’t necessarily about their work but things that I can apply to my day-to-day life,” he said. “Asking questions is the best way to learn, and tools are only secondary.”
The conversation took place at the National Incubation Center, where Jazz xlr8 works to connect startups with global opportunities. Sergi noted that it is the diversity he saw among the startups that will only help them tackle challenges better. “What may work somewhere else may work here too,” he said.
As we experience a lockdown due to COVID-19, it is worth harking back to what VEON’s vision is when it comes to how to transform developing regions like ours into expansive digital hubs.