Kameelah Benjamin-Fuller, PTC’s chief diversity officer, was inspired by the work that had gone into large, corporate law books that surround her as a child. She’s still inspired by her surroundings, only now they include amazing applications for the Internet of Things, as well as the beauty and intellectual stimulus of Iceland.
IoT Now: As a child what job did you want to have when you grew up?
Kameelah Benjamin-Fuller: An entertainment lawyer. I was fortunate to grow up in a home surrounded by large corporate law books. Although I didn’t really have any concept to the content, the fact that somebody had taken the time to write, so much about this discipline really impressed and fascinated me at a young age; through these books I could understand the way that the world worked, and all its policies.
With a deep-rooted passion for the arts and music, the combination of the two pointed me in the direction of entertainment law. I could help people make a livelihood, whilst adding protection to them, in an industry that I loved.
IoT Now: If you had one business lesson to share with your younger self what would it be?
Kameelah Benjamin-Fuller: Don’t be afraid to be ambitious and voice your opinions. Ideas, plans, and decisions begin and end with opinions, that coupled with ambition is a driving factor for growth for your company, no matter the industry. That said, I am more than happy at where I have arrived at this point, but if I had spoken up a little more and voiced my opinions when I was younger, I wonder how different the outcome would have been.
IoT Now: Without naming and shaming, tell us about your worst ever boss?
I can’t pinpoint one individual, but there are certainly moments in my career where my own development has been forgotten. Although, I am fully aware that people get busy and are focused on what is expected of them rather than the development needs of the people that report into them. Turning that into a positive, it’s become a reason why I am obsessed with talent development. ‘Tell me what you want and what you want to do’ is something I ask in all aspects of my life, ‘are you getting what you need?’
IoT Now: Which Internet of Things (IoT) use case has recently fired your imagination?
This must be Stannah in the UK, the company has a rich history of helping people that spans 150 years. To add to that history is its digital transformation journey which has seen it use PTC’s Creo, Windchill, and ThingWorx to enhance its design, product lifecycle management and Industrial IoT capability. Now, through PTC’s Vuforia Chalk and TWNKLS, they are bringing virtual stairlifts to homes across the world with an augmented reality app called Envisage.
The process takes just a few moments to complete and the client can then be transported into the future to see the product set-up in their home, whilst making this process as easy as possible for its customers and their family.
IoT Now: What has been your most memorable business travel experience?
Kameelah Benjamin-Fuller: Without doubt, Reykjavik in Iceland while I was working for TripAdvisor. Iceland has been voted the most gender-equal country for several years in a row by the World Economic Forum, its super progressive around diversity. I was there representing an American company who had acquired an Icelandic company, to be able to have cultural conversations about our geographical differences was empowering. It was certainly a stimulating trip both intellectually and aesthetically.
IoT Now: What lessons have you learned from doing business in other countries or organisations?
Kameelah Benjamin-Fuller: When you work for an organisation that’s multi-national, you must find ways of respecting culture and nuances, and at the same time tell a comprehensive story. That is a real skill, I’m still learning it daily; trying to refine and get better at it.