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From learner to leader at Altron Bytes MS

Altron Bytes Managed Solutions has an ever-rising star in Sumeshan Ramsamy (30), who started out as a learnership programme candidate, and has consistently worked his way up the organisational ladder to become the youngest Regional Service Manager that Altron Bytes MS has ever had.

Ramsamy's path to success has been just over a decade in the making, but his interest in technology and innovation began early on…

"I've always liked computers. When I was in primary school, I remember my father getting this Windows 95 PC for us and I'd take it apart and put it back together again, over and over.

"I was 19 and studying towards a diploma in IT when my father told me of this learnership programme he'd heard about through Altron Bytes People Solutions. So I sent in an application, went for an interview and was accepted.

"The learnership involved five months of theory, which entailed training at Altron Bytes People Solutions every day from 8am to 5pm, learning about networks and system support engineering, as well as a seven-month practical component, which led to my being placed at Altron Bytes Managed Solutions, within different parts of the organisation, to gain varied experience and also to learn about the business as a whole, how it works, and become familiar with the company's goals and objectives.

"I was there, carrying technicians' tool bags around, learning the nature of managed services, when they offered me a contract position as a proactive technician. This meant travelling around with the service teams, basically changing entire ATMs at a time, on-site in KZN. Through that work experience, I was offered a permanent position as a technician. I worked as a technician for just over five years, when a Field Service Manager (FSM) position became available in Richards Bay. I applied, went for the interview and got the job.

"I worked there for four years before being called up to work as an FSM at the Altron Bytes MS Head Office in Johannesburg. This lasted for a period of seven months before the Regional Services Manager position materialised. I applied, was successful, and as of the beginning of April this year, became responsible for managing our service centre in KZN, as well as a portion of the Eastern Cape.

"I've definitely grown as an individual. Sometimes, when I sit back and think of the age I'm at now and what I've managed to achieve already, I've probably grown more than I should have, which is a good thing, of course. I'm fortunate and really grateful for it.

"Altron Bytes MS has been good to me. Going forward, I have both short- and long-term goals, where I see myself as a National Services Manager, Operations Executive, or even possibly MD one day. Having a mentor is also part and parcel of the learnership experience I've had, and I am especially lucky to have one in Altron Bytes MS Managing Director, Chad Baker.

"I enjoy sharing my knowledge and guiding others where I can. I believe the whole learnership programme should instil a 'pay it forward' culture in the people who benefit from it so that they, in turn, are encouraged to go out there and uplift others. It's about empowering wherever we can.

"It's an exciting time for me, with a lot of challenges and huge responsibility, but I know that I will gain a lot from this chapter I'm in now. I also think it's important for people out there, as well as those within our organisation, to know that there's always room to grow and that there are avenues open to you if you're willing to put yourself out there.

"There is always an opportunity, you just need to grasp it. And when there's extra work to be done, put your hand up, not because you want to show off or anything, but because you will be exposed… because you're guaranteed to learn from it."

About the Learnership Programme at Altron Bytes People Solutions

Sourcing and developing people with the right skills is critical to innovation, particularly in the technology sector, which is limited as a result of South Africa's educational legacy.

Altron is committed to the ongoing development of people and, as such, the organisation inducts over 50 learners biannually into learnership programmes, where the average post-learnership placement rate of students is 80%.

Once qualified, the candidates who come from all walks of life (including previously disadvantaged, unemployed and unskilled individuals), are placed within the group's operations where a need exists for entry-level skills.

Altron is always looking for dynamic talent and great minds to help nurture and develop. If you think you have what it takes, please send your details to Kavashan Naidoo:

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