BACKSTORY: Saab’s Trevor Raman
We question CEO of Saab Grintek Defence Trevor Raman
Nominate your eighth wonder of the world.
The Internet — it’s everywhere and is one of humanity’s greatest inventions. I believe it can be used to eradicate discrimination, social disparity, poverty, diseases and illiteracy.
What’s the worst airport you’ve been in?
Frankfurt Airport, Germany. I am always anxious about making short connections that require the dreaded run through the infamous long tunnel that connects terminal B to other terminals.
What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?
Consider the big picture and have a win-win approach while clearly defining your walk-away position.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Patience is important; however, it is often overrated and misinterpreted. That leads to stagnation and indecision. It is important to be proactive.
What is the one investment you wish you had made, or made earlier?
Buying property in Sweden when I lived there and the market was much more affordable than it is now.
Which phrase or word do you most overuse?
"Let’s talk about it." Workplace conflict is caused mostly by colleagues not talking to each other. At home, it’s "What’s for dinner?"
On what occasion do you lie?
Never. I don’t like lying and I will not tolerate it.
What was your first job?
I was an engineer at Armscor’s aeronautics division.
What is your biggest indulgence?
Chocolates, especially Cadbury.
Tell us about a hidden gem in SA that not many people know about.
On the Durban north coast, where I grew up, Seabelle Restaurant has the best prawn and crab curries.
Who is your favourite hero of fiction?
Is there such a thing as "enough money", and, if so, how much is it?
Yes, enough to sustain a comfortable and healthy life and to cater for your needs rather than your wants.
What are you reading at the moment?
Frugal Innovation: How to Do More with Less, by Jaideep Prabhu and Navi Radjou. I’m also reading Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T Kiyosaki.
Which living person do you most admire?
Elon Musk. I admire the way he challenges traditional business models and thinking. He is deeply driven by his vision and isn’t afraid of making mistakes in pursuit of it.