100 days of DHI with Tariq
Tariq Cassim is the Head of Department for Software and Services at DHI Singapore. He has over 15 years of experience in software product development, as well as project management and implementation in Asia Pacific.
How was it stepping in as a new manager?
‘I’m not one for very traditional leadership methods and luckily DHI’s culture is very similar. I just plunged right in and it took a while, I will admit, but it helps that as developers, all of us are very hands-on people. The implementation of an agile development methodology within the team has enabled us to work very closely together, and this has helped me get to know the team better in a short span of time.”
What would you say has been the challenge working with a whole new team?
‘I think I’m more fascinated by my team than thinking about challenges to be honest. Within a team of 16, we have ten nationalities! DHI does have a very multi-cultural environment but ten nationalities within a team… I mean, just imagine. Every day is interesting because of this diversity.’
What are you and your team now working on?
‘One of the projects we are working on is with a global reinsurance company based in Munich. We are developing a series of parametric insurance products for real-time impact assessment. We assess extreme rainfall and typhoon data and the results are automatically pushed to a web based platform.
This product helps protect the livelihoods of vulnerable low-income individuals by providing swift un-bureaucratic cash payouts following extreme weather events. This support will reduce poverty and vulnerability by enabling these communities to recover quickly following a disaster.’
But isn’t this data probably already available out there?
Yes, data is always available but what you do with the data is what matters and this is where DHI steps in. From data scientists to development teams skilled in working with big data, we churn meaningful and easy-to-access reporting dashboards with the data we have. We are further working on improving the user interface and user experience by making the client’s website intuitive, mobile friendly and easily understandable. We also have plans for a mobile app – but more information on that another day!
What would you say is your one defining quality?
‘I’m originally from Sri Lanka and as you can guess in that country, we are forced to create opportunities for ourselves. I was always taught very well the value of hard work. In my initial years working full time with IBM's ERP Systems, I spent my evenings pursuing further studies and completing my bachelor’s degree. I was thrown into the deep end of the pool and I think it’s safe to say I survived. At the end of the day we all have 24 hours, it is what you do with it that defines you!”