After six years and many different roles, Antonio Carosella is now Head of Digital Events for APAC at the Cloud Communications division of NTT Ltd. His role is vary varied, from supporting the Digital Events Sales Team to allocating booked events within his team, meeting clients to discuss project requirements, reviewing completed projects, and many more tasks. In addition to that, Antonio also likes to be involved in the actual production of events. According to him, it is the best way to keep up with all the new requirements from the clients.
We wanted to know more about how Antonio manages this key role for the organization and what choices helped him get where he is today in his career.
Q. As Head of Digital Events for the APAC region, you must oversee a lot of people. How many are there and how do you manage such a big team?
Currently, the APAC team counts thirteen Event Producers reporting directly to me and two more for whom I am a functional manager. It’s certainly a nice team to work with, but sometimes it can be challenging. The team is spread across a whole region: from India to Japan, from Singapore to Australia. The cultural differences can be huge and challenging to overcome, and even more for me since I come from Europe. However, I believe we have reached great stability within the team and we all work together as one. I like to say that we are all wheels of a very well-oiled machine and this allows us to keep our clients happy.
Q. What is the event you are the proudest to have organized in six years working for us?
There are a few that come to mind. Some have had specific importance for local markets such as the DBS Townhall in Singapore or a few webcast sessions we ran in Australia for government-related agencies. Speakers were the Prime Minister and various Ministers addressing an audience of thousands. However, the one that makes me proudest is the Amgen Franchise Week that took place throughout the last week of March 2020. It was a real challenge as there was a component with two platforms, we had little to no exposure until then and it was organized on a very tight timeline. We had a lot of support from our Americas-region colleagues and so my team and I had the opportunity to meet some wonderful colleagues on the other side of the world.
Q. What is the most pleasantly surprising thing about working here?
It is surprising to see how much and how fast things have changed during my six years in Singapore. When I look back, we have grown so much as a team and as a company. The continuous change is really what keeps you going. It is a challenge but also the main factor that keeps us on our toes is always being willing to do more and learn more.
Q. Originally from Italy, you moved first to London and then to Singapore. Was working in a foreign country one of your childhood dreams?
My family had always been open to me leaving the nest whenever I felt the need and I started quite young. Back then, I remember my parents asking me whether I wanted to do the student exchange program in the USA or have a motorbike, and just as many naïve teenagers might have done, I chose the motorbike. My parents thought otherwise and, one month later, my 16-year-old self was on a plane to the USA. It changed my life and it changed me as a person. Since then, I have always felt a bit out of place in Italy. At that point, my goal really was to be able to see the world. I went back to the USA for a while, then the UK and now Singapore which is the country I love and consider my home. Traveling and living in different places and experiencing different cultures is something hard to replace with any other skill or work experience. Surely a recommendation to all the young people out there, as soon as traveling is deemed safe again.
Q. Tell us what it was like for you to move from London to Singapore. Did you experience culture shock?
There was no huge culture shock, Singapore is probably the least Asian of the Asian cities: it is such a melting pot of different cultures and everything works to perfection. Knowing that it was very easy for me to adapt to the new city, the new environment, and the new life. Coming from the chaos of Italy to the UK was already quite a step ahead but moving to Singapore, I felt like that was paradise. I was a bit scared at the beginning. Indeed, it was my first time in Asia, so I did not know what to expect and, to be honest, I had to go and check Google Maps to see where exactly Singapore was. But I would do it over and over again: this place is great, and people are very friendly. My wife is from Singapore and I am now a Permanent Resident.
Q. What advice would you give for someone who wants to be an enthusiastic Head of Digital Events like you?
It is a very interesting role and I would recommend it to anyone. The reward for completing a successful event is a great feeling. But you need to be prepared to hustle, be focused on every small detail, be customer-focused but also firm to ensure that internal requirements are complied with. The day-by-day routine can seem challenging and repetitive but it is not, and it exposes you to so many different people from different walks of life. I can’t think of many other jobs that allow that. If anyone is reading this who is interested in having a chat to know more, please do get in touch.