Rob Rosa’s interest in security was piqued at a young age. He began his career working as a security guard when he was just 18 years old, and hasn’t looked back since. Instead, his enthusiasm for and knowledge of the security industry has grown and expanded over the years into risk management, security technology and the management of security principles and protocols. But Rob says it wasn’t until he began working for the City of Melbourne in 1986 that his career in the industry really took off. There he was able to broaden his horizons and learn about all the aspects of security, from personnel right through to the use of electronics.
“I enjoy working with and helping people,” says Rob. “That was one of the main reasons I wanted to be in a security role. But I also wanted to work for the government, so my ideal position at the time was presented to me by Melbourne City Council.” He adds, “I met some wonderful people from all over the world who came to visit our lovely city. And I got to meet Jackie Chan, Jimmy Smits, Michael Jackson, lots of famous people who came to film movies or perform in Melbourne.”
Rob has now been in the business for more than 30 years. After he moved on from his role as the head of security for the City of Melbourne, he spent nearly 10 years working at Hills Holdings, a leading security technology provider, first as the national sales manager, before advancing to the role of general manager of sales and operations. Then in 2013, he left Hills to become the COO of Q Security Systems (QSS). One year later, he was promoted to his current role as CEO.
Securing new opportunities
I enjoy working with and helping people.That was one of the main reasons I wanted to be in a security role.
Rob’s promotion came at a time when the company was facing some difficulties. QSS’s two key OEM partners cut ties with the company after deciding to change their strategy to market. Rob worked hard to create a new direction for the business to ensure a minimal loss of sales revenue. He says that although it’s been a very challenging time both personally and for the company, ultimately it’s opened the door to new opportunities for QSS.
“While this has been a painful process, it’s been one that has allowed us to expand our business into new emerging markets and broaden our client base. Although we still feel the impact of losing two of our key suppliers, we’ve now partnered with some very strong companies to form winning alliances, which may not have been possible if we continued with those legacy companies, due to channel conflict,” he explains.
Supplier relationships can make or break a business
Fortunately, over the years Rob has accumulated a number of contacts with security suppliers, such as Bosch Security Systems and FLIR Systems. He has now spread the business across 8–9 key suppliers and works hard to build on those relationships. He is all too aware that those relationships can make or break a business. It’s important, Rob says, that QSS work closely with suppliers to meet changing and emerging market demands.
“Without a doubt the partnership between suppliers and any business makes for the success or failure of a company. Honesty, open communication and the ability to both seek assistance from and offer support to a key partner are paramount. We value all our key suppliers and continually work hard to ensure that the synergies are maintained for growth in sales and also the wellbeing of the organisations involved.”
Good leadership involves consultation and collaboration
It’s testament to Rob’s leadership skills and security know-how that QSS has weathered the storm. And those skills were hard won. Rob recalls taking a leadership course a number of years ago, and finding the experience of being critiqued as a leader both sobering and life-changing. “Today my leadership is about consultation, listening and working together with my team, clients and key suppliers and also ensuring that we maintain the best interests of the shareholders.”
Rob’s a strong believer that you lead by example, so he is mindful of the way that he treats people, and strives to create a culture of respect at QSS. Over the course of his career, he’s come to recognise that “hard work, determination and perseverance are key attributes that business leaders require and with that and a strong team, any adversity can be overcome and turned into a positive situation”.
When asked about his vision for the future of QSS, Rob says three words come to mind: consolidation, stability and growth.
“We’ll continue to add new products at competitive price points, and we’re anticipating moving into 2017 with a more stable trading environment, after some of the challenges that QSS has overcome in recent years. We look forward to strong growth and market expansion in the future.”
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