James (Hemi) David

Associate Director, Sales, Datacom

Young Executive of the Year winner, 2019

Graduating with a first-class master’s in history, James says that although he may not have followed a traditional career path, it has been his love of history and interest in people that has seen him succeed in customer-facing roles and set him on a path to corporate leadership.

When he was named Deloitte Top 200 Young Executive of the Year in 2019, James was Datacom’s Enterprise Portfolio Manager for the IT services firm’s top 20 New Zealand customers. The judges admired the example he set “integrating and celebrating his Maori culture within the corporate world,” and were impressed with the dedication he has shown to his career.

Since then, James has become Datacom’s associate director for enterprise sales across Auckland, helping to transform businesses and sectors as they become more agile to respond to the post-pandemic world. His passion for supporting people of all backgrounds to succeed in the workplace sees James also involved in helping to build Datacom’s te ao Maori strategy and engage with communities across the country.

What inspired you to apply for the Young Executive award?
I was approached internally to consider applying. I wanted to do it not only because it was a great way to recognise the work that I’d done, but also the great work that my team and organisation were doing. The process the whole way through was fascinating and I got to meet a bunch of awesome people including the amazing judging panel.

What advice would you share in terms of the application process?
The biggest thing is that you need to take some time to think about the application. I decided for an afternoon to lock myself in a room and really think about the questions, think about what I wanted to say and what I wanted to be in the future.

For the judges, it is about being genuine in your written application as well as in your interview. I went into the conversation with them with no fear or expectation, I just wanted to have a good chat with some really interesting people – and that is exactly what we had.

How do you think your involvement in the awards has helped you along your career journey?
The award helped to demonstrate my capability, which certainly raised my own profile both internally and externally. But more importantly, it also helped to showcase the awesome things that Datacom does and gave me further opportunities to be a part of them.

It has also connected me with some really interesting people. One of the other finalists went on to become a big customer of ours, and I have a great relationship with them because we have been through the awards process together.

What would you say to another young executive considering applying for this award this year?
My advice for someone who is considering applying is: Do it! It doesn’t really matter what your background is, where you are from, or what role in the business you have. If you are someone who is an up-and-comer and passionate about what you do and where you want to go with your career, put your hand up. You could end up winning and meeting some amazing people. Go for it, get your application in, and give it a crack!

Considering applying? Find out more about the Young Executive of the Year Award today!