Meet our Middle East team! Julian Lambert and Rashad Samadzada share their backgrounds, what led them to Copperleaf, what excites them about the asset management industry, and some of the interesting projects they’re currently working on.
What is your role and what do you do?
Julian: “I’m a senior sales director responsible for developing the market for Copperleaf’s Decision Analytics Solutions in the Middle East. My focus is on building relationships with organisations that manage critical assets and infrastructure. This is where Copperleaf’s suite of Asset Investment Planning and Management (AIPM) solutions can make a major impact. It’s exciting to be the point person in such an important new territory for Copperleaf® and I’m delighted to have this opportunity.”
Rashad: “I’m a solutions consultant responsible for developing technical demonstrations and providing input to our product team on advancements to meet emerging market needs. Joining Copperleaf was a relatively easy decision for me. I like working with people and love that Copperleaf is laser focused on continually improving its enterprise software solutions. In my opinion, Copperleaf is just getting started. I see huge growth potential and knew I wanted to be part of that.”
Can you tell us about your professional background and what led you to Copperleaf?
Julian: “I love the Middle East and have been living and working here for the past 12 years. Since getting my degree in mechanical engineering, I’ve focused primarily on asset-centric businesses. I’ve worked in the offshore oil and gas industry; risk, reliability and asset management consulting; and the energy trading software industry. It’s as though I’ve always been preparing myself for this role with Copperleaf—I just hadn’t realised it!”
Rashad: “I was born and raised in Azerbaijan and moved to United States when I was 17. After obtaining my bachelor’s degree in computer science and working in the US for several years, I moved to the UK where I worked as a consultant delivering software solutions to utilities across Europe. In 2014, I moved to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to focus on implementing enterprise solutions in the oil and gas, telecom, and mining sectors in the Middle East and Africa.”
Copperleaf has a wonderful culture. There are no politics or bureaucracy. Everyone is focused on resolving our clients’ pain points by delivering exceptional value and providing extraordinary experiences.
What are some projects you’ve been working on?
Julian: “I’ve been lucky to have had exciting opportunities in the UAE and broader Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states to focus on from day one. This has been great because I tend to learn better when I’m able to combine training with practical experience, and it also gave me the opportunity to build my network with organisations in the region and within Copperleaf straight away.
Clients in the Gulf expect high levels of service and value for their money. At Copperleaf, we are incredibly proud of our 100% client retention rate; every organization that has implemented our solution continues to use it successfully today. I’m determined to make sure we maintain this record, so I need to ensure we are offering well-developed solutions with a clear return on investment.”
What changes do you see having a lot of impact in the industry?
Rashad: “We are living through the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Digitalisation and connectivity are bringing fundamental changes to historically conservative sectors that have been operating for over a hundred years. Utilities, transportation, rail, oil and gas, and mining—these industries have an avalanche of data as well as new technologies heading their way. The ones who adapt and reinvent themselves will come out on top. I see enterprise software like the Copperleaf Decision Analytics Solution as a key element to help these sectors on their journey to transform.”
How do your team members support you as a remote employee?
Julian: “I’m literally located on the other side of the world from our head office in Vancouver. There’s a 12-hour time difference and my weekends are on Fridays and Saturdays. I could easily feel isolated, but with open communication, support from headquarters, and a little bit of flexibility on both sides, we consistently achieve everything we need to.
On a day-to-day basis, I work mainly with the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) team whose time zone I overlap by more than half the day. I can easily discuss new ideas with my colleagues and find the team to be both supportive and agile.”
Rashad: “Julian and I support each other as much as possible and we are also supported by the wider EMEA team. My questions are always answered quickly and knowledge is shared openly. We also have informal video calls with one another to catch up and connect.”
Clients in the Gulf expect high levels of service and value for their money. At Copperleaf, we are incredibly proud of our 100% client retention rate; every organization that has implemented our solution continues to use it successfully today.
Senior Sales Director
What’s your favourite part about working at Copperleaf?
Julian: “The team is fantastically supportive; everyone wants everyone else to succeed and is prepared to help make that happen. Secondly, for a relatively small company, Copperleaf packs a huge punch. There’s a maturity about the people and processes that shines through in the quality of our software and services.”
Rashad: “Copperleaf has a wonderful culture. There are no politics or bureaucracy. Everyone is focused on resolving our clients’ pain points by delivering exceptional value and providing extraordinary experiences.”
Do you have any hobbies or secret talents?
Julian: “My hobbies are all about sports and the outdoors. I play veterans rugby, water ski, and exercise regularly. I love to spend time camping with my family in the desert or hiking in the mountains. Last summer, we spent three weeks hiking in the Canadian Rockies, and it was the most incredible experience–even though I never did see a bear catching salmon from a stream.”
What excites you about the asset management industry?
Rashad: “In today’s world of social media, selfies, and short attention spans, I like being part of an industry that is physical and tangible. I see asset management as the real stuff that “makes the world go around”. During the pandemic, we were all grateful to our essential workers. At the top of the list are doctors and nurses, but if you look beyond first responders, there are the people who ensure that the assets and infrastructure we take for granted continue to run safely and without interruption. Transmission lines for electricity, telecom towers for internet, roads and railroads to deliver the food and other products we rely on—all of these are maintained by the asset management industry. It’s exciting to have the opportunity to support these companies and help them allocate their funds and resources in the most optimal way.”
Copperleaf is always looking for talented individuals to join our fast-growing team! Check out our careers page here.