Parc Capital is announcing that Ettienne Reinecke, former Global Chief Technology Officer for Dimension Data and NTT Ltd joined our team, with an advisory role specialising in the new Parc Utiliti Venture Fund.
Ettienne Reinecke Bio
Ettienne recently retired from corporate life. He spent 30 years at Dimension Data, where he was part of the executive team that globalised the company in the 1990’s, listed the company on the LSE in 2001, and again took it private as it was acquired by NTT of Japan in 2011. He had the opportunity to help manage the company from its emerging stages to become a $11 billion IT services company, operating in more than 70 countries with over 40, 000 staff. As Chief Technology Officer (CTO), he was responsible for the technology strategy and standards, enterprise architecture, innovation agenda and advanced technology for sport portfolios of the company. In addition to CTO, he held various business leadership positions over his tenure, including Global Executive for Networking, Global Executive for End User Computing and was instrumental in establishing Dimension Data’s Cloud Business Unit in 2015. Ettienne led many business developments and start-up initiatives within the organisation over the years and played a key role in many of the acquisitions.
What led to you joining the team at Parc Capital?
I have known two of the partners of Parc Capital for some years we worked together at Dimension Data and later NTT Ltd. In 2019. I became an investor in Parc Capital’s first fund, and during that period I formed a strong understanding and respect for what Parc Capital was establishing. I have always had a passion for technology and innovation, and upon my exit from corporate life, the opportunity to apply my experience and knowledge in the venture capital space, and help grow Australian businesses, was an attractive proposition. The Parc Capital formula coupled with like-minded individuals was the perfect fit. I am excited to contribute to the building of a next generation investment company that embraces strong values, experienced leaders, and an active investor base.
As an owner operator, what lessons have you learnt the hard way?
I have been fortunate to help build a small company to a global corporate over the last 30 years and within that I have developed start-ups and drove new initiatives that had to stand on their own. I have learnt that FOCUS is critical. You have to be meaningful and relevant in what you do, you have to be a master of something – being a generalist or diversifying too soon generally ends in disaster. I have also learnt that fiscal discipline is fundamental and innovation trumps mediocrity every day of the week. I have learnt that success is about the people, with the right people you can take on the world. And finally, I would argue that successful businesses are built on PASSION – you have to believe, you have to inspire, and you have to overcome
How does your experience help inform your role at Parc?
At Parc Capital we are investing in emerging businesses that are platform-based and using technology to disrupt existing market segments – something I have been doing my entire career. I have a strong understanding of the technology, but equally important, I have many years of experience in how to grow and manage businesses, globalize and navigate economy of scale or diseconomy of scale events – experience that would benefit the companies we invest in as they grow and scale.
What excites you about the current crop of Parc Capital investments?
The current investments fit our key criteria perfectly – Hutly is using a blockchain-based transaction platform to disrupt the real estate rental process, the distributed ledger technology is cutting-edge, a perfect fit for smart contracts and low cost micro-transactions – and has the potential to not only disrupt this market, but to improve the outcome for all stakeholders. Mosh on the other hand has been an early entry into telehealth in Australia, it has leveraged technology to allow men to easily access healthcare services. They are using technology to provide frictionless access to such services, removing traditional obstacles, which is good for the well-being of a wide range of stakeholders. Technology is the common differentiator, and this is very exciting!
As a global technology executive how have you seen technology evolve over your career?
I started my career in IT, just as it entered the mainstream business world in the late 1980’s. I have lived through the mainframe to client-server transition, the growth of the internet the e-commerce the disruption of cloud computing and, more recently, the power of augmented reality, data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence. I have seen how these technologies have disrupted business models and created new markets. I believe we are only at the start of what technology will truly unlock in our lives and businesses, and I believe this change and disruption will only accelerate.
How do you see technology enabling businesses in the 3-5 years?
I believe technology will play an increasing role in all forms and aspects of business, 3-5 years is a long period in the technology landscape, and the impact will be profound. Technology will be core to both defensive strategies, using technology to automate business processes to achieve operational efficiency, and offensive strategies, using technology to disrupt or create new industries.
Technology will re-engineer just about every industry, whether it is creating a bio-medical digital twin of the human body to assess medication or customise healthcare, using predictive AI to achieve forward looking business insights or using augmented/virtual reality to redefine education or how we work. In short, innovation will remain the only form of sustainable differentiation, and technology will be at the centre.
What book should every founder read?
I would recommend founders read ‘Dealing with Darwin’ by Geoffrey Moore – it deals with a good blend of business, focus and innovation. Geoffrey Moore has kept it simple and it is an easy read – but the principles transcends time and provides great insight how to keep innovating over the life cycle of a business.
What experience shaped who you are?
Outside of work, living on three different continents and doing extensive travel before and during my business career has given me a deep insight into cultures, people and in many ways’ humanity. I would add that sport has also had a major impact on who I am, whether it is team sport or endurance sport, it has taught me value of teamwork, hard work and persistence
What advice would you give to owner operators during these uncertain times?
You must back yourself – and do what it takes to navigate the storm. In fact, find ways to use this challenging time to validate your business value and even take market share. If it requires new funding models or different partnerships, be open to it. Know one thing, if you get through this period, you will be stronger coming out the other side – and things will get better!