Five minutes with Christopher Probst

In the PACE hot seat is Christopher Probst who handles Business Development – Major Projects at Omron.

How did you come to be in this industry?
After studying law for a year I realised it wasn't for me, and moved into studying engineering. From there I gravitated towards engineering and sales.

What's the greatest challenge in your job?
On a day to day basis, I would have to say the greatest challenge is keeping up with the rapid change of technological advancements and translating new technology into innovative business opportunities. 

On a broader perspective, the industry must face the challenge of lobbying for government support to enable forward thinking individuals and organisations to implement new-age business plans to realise green technology, growth industries and jobs for our nation.

Another challenge for me in my job is the ongoing need for skills training and professional development to enable organisations and individuals to remain competitive in an ever-changing global environment — of which Australia is a part. This requires the investment of time and money which can be a scarce resource. 

What's the best business idea you have that you will never use?
That would be a TattsLotto winning number predicting service. Send me your $10 now … allow 10 days for delivery.

What do you see are the biggest opportunities for our industry?
The biggest opportunities revolve around green technologies — enabling waste products to be recycled and reused by utilising new-age automation technologies and innovatative processes. Yesterday's trash is tomorrow's profits. We can do all this whilst looking after our planet.

If you could be anything else, what would it be and why?
Superman. I love the idea of x-ray vision. Or Santa Claus. I only have to work one day a year and make everyone happy. And with a bit more padding, I could almost fit into that red suit.

Professionally, a lawyer. People are way more unpredictable than machines.

On a personal level, a few years ago, when my first daughter was younger, I used to manage her basketball team and later became club president. I gave this away when she no longer had the desire to play.

I enjoyed enabling kids to develop and participate in a great sport that keeps them fit and healthy. Now that I am blessed with two more children, I would thoroughly enjoy taking on the role of a coach again.

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