Mr Richard White
About the speaker
Our speaker today is Mr Richard White.
Richard is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of WiseTech Global, a software and technology company that focuses on logistics execution software and systems. He has extensive knowledge in the area of Logistics Operations; Customs and Border processing; and Supply Chain Compliance.
He has more than 20 years’ experience in the logistics industry and over 30 years’ in software development, embedded systems and business management. His company supplies its platform to some of the world’s biggest freight, customs, warehousing, and trucking companies including Toll, MainFreight, UPS, DHL, TNT and many others.
Richard also works with the Australian Computer Society and a number of universities and high schools on creating a pathway for students to enter the IT industry. He holds a Masters of Business in Information Technology from UTS.
It gives me great pleasure to invite Mr Richard White to deliver the occasional address.
Hi everyone, first of all I want to thank UTS for inviting me to speak, it’s a great privilege, I am very honoured.
I also want to thank UTS for being a very fundamental part for the creation of my career and my company. Thirteen years ago in 2002, I was one of these graduates, I graduated with a MBITM and as part of that degree, I spent my time writing assignments substantially like business plans for a new company, a new vision, a new future. As part of that degree, I found ideas and thought of things I couldn’t have imagined possible prior to enrolling in that degree and I graduated almost exactly 13 years ago and immediately started building a new idea.
I hired 16 new people, many of whom were UTS graduates and we started building a platform that became a screaming success, it became a world leader in logistics and it grew this company from its humble roots in the early 90’s with some very important Australian customers, but now into a global platform. That degree focussed me, gave me purpose, gave me understanding and introduce me to a number of things that I would not have had access to, had I not been a student at this university.
It also gave me the humbling experience of having a fantastic mentor in Ken Dovey who was instrumental in the way that I was able to think, and work, and study, and create out of that degree. I have many times thanked Ken and I continue to thank him because of that engagement. Now, Ken has obviously a lot to do with my success and as a mentor, has created an enormous value for me but he has moved on. Because we are a successful company, Ken I think focuses on MBIT students, one of whom graduated today, Imran Khan is the product manager for our accounting products. Congratulations Imran. I’m very proud of the fact that we sponsor graduate degrees as part of the company, we provide them free to staff provided they pass with screamingly high marks.
Ultimately, we are as a company a meritocracy; we have an enormously intelligent, fantastically motivated group of people. I think John Mills, you also graduated today and Daniel Lekic, I think we had a little bit to do with a number of people in the room. We are very proud of the fact that we have an association that transcends just an employment arrangement. We continue to sponsor a large number of BIT scholarships and we continue to engage with the University with the BScIT in placements in undergraduate placements. We obviously employ lots and lots and lots of UTS graduates, that’s a hint guys, girls, see me afterwards.
For those of you who just graduated, I am going to give you a couple of hints. The first is ‘Start’, because you’ve just started something much bigger than you can possibly imagine. The second thing, I would suggest to you is that you need to bring other people with you, you need to look back into your community, into your friends, into your brothers and sisters, into your group and influence people to do the same as you and to do better. You need to think about Australia as a society and think about what you can do to generate change and improvement because you actually have a degree in one of the most important future areas of any industry in the world.
There are only a few really substantial Australian founded software companies and that’s a shame and it need to change, it needs to improve. Atlasaian I think many people have seen its Initial Public Offering (IPO) quite soon, for those of you who read the newspaper here, it is rumoured that we are also IPO, I can’t say more than that apparently but what I can tell you is making a company that’s worth something in monetary terms is the more trivial issue. What is more important is making a company that employs great people and changes the world.
For those people who think about what is technology and what it does, I’m going to give you a couple of thoughts; some of which I’ve borrowed from other people, some of which I’ve come about from my own observations. First, there is only two sorts of companies today; there are companies that are software companies, technology companies and there are companies that are been torn apart by software companies and technology companies. That’s it.
If you don’t think in clear terms about the disruptive nature of technology and think about what it means for the future, you are going to lose. If you think about disruption, you think about technology, think about what’s going on around you, what’s happening in almost every level of society with technology, then you’re going to be able to take advantage of that, you’re going to be able to leverage that, and you are going to be able to do things which other people look in wonderment at.
Technology is a fundamental improver; it’s a fantastic tool in order to grow a society, to fund the wealth of a nation and to grow people’s ability to help others. There isn’t much more that you can do other than be a great technologist and think about how to apply that to your business, to your life and to the world.
Now, as a country we have in recent years lacked an understanding of what technology really means, in a political sense we have, I don’t want to get into too much politics so excuse me for jumping on that bandwagon for just a little bit of a moment. Ultimately we need our leaders to understand the value and power of technology, it is most fundamental that we drive that message home. I’m saying to all of you, the graduates to the undergraduates, to parents, to friends to anybody you can talk to in the streets, we have to think differently about the value of technology, the value of an education in technology, a career in technology and the application of technology to the world. It is absolutely fundamental for Australia to get there and do more with what we potential have. We have a huge opportunity, it is massively important and it is relatively easy to take advantage of it but we have to stop thinking of ourselves as a culture that goes out in the wilderness and digs mountains and sends them to China. There is nothing wrong with mining our resources but that’s not the future.
We have to stop thinking about ourselves as a service economy; there is nothing wrong with opening doors for people but ultimately a service economy is a by-product of other things. What we need to do is think of ourselves as a group of people, as a society, as an economy that can make change happen and leverage that change for our advantage to help the world do that as well; to grow everybody into a better life. The world needs you as technologists to make things better.
If you go to our website, there is a credo on the website, it’s a very important document for us and it has a deep meaning, and there are many parts of the message which I’d like you to think about, read it if you will. It’s not just about the company, it’s about think about the way of life and the ending words in that credo are “Change the World”. That’s what I want to leave you with; you’ve graduated now it’s time to start and change the world.
Thank you very much.