The Security Industry Buff
COLLEEN GLAESER. 44, has been CEO of the AxonnSoft SA security-solutions company since 2016. She lives in the Midlands with her husband Daniel, 43, and has a daughter, Sharon, nine. She also owns Karkloof Safari Villas and the Platinum Samsung Telecoms dealership, Dynamic Communications & Surveillance Solutions (DCSS) Dropping out of school at 16 was risky but it did pay off. Traditional schooling wasn't for me, so I dropped out, with my parents support, to enrol at a college to study sales and marketing My dad was a salesman in the property industry so it was in my blood. I established my telecoms business at 22, and my sales background has since helped me close corporate deals for all my businesses I spotted a gap in the market and filled it. My clients were happy with the CCTV system we were installing through DCSS but I worried it was reactive rather than proactive- shop owners could only look back through footage hours after a crime was committed. I went to various local security companies, but couldn't find a solution. Finaly. I came across AxonnSoft in Russia. Their facial-recognition and camera systems were unparalleled. I bought Axonn Soft Southern Africa and signed a partnership with Moscow's HG.
What we do is like the real-life version of tactics employed by 007. Im very proud of our sweet hearting' algorithm, where camera systems monitor point of-sale scanners and actions by till operators in retail stores, to check that the number of swiped and paid-for items is the same, It's revolutionised the way stores handie security. My other mission is to start up safe-city projects, helping to eliminate everything from car jackings to petty theft. Our streets should be safe I am often the only women in the boardroom, but that doesn't scare me. The industry is very male-dominated, but because I love my job and know what I'm taiking about, I'm never intimidated. AxonnSoft has offices in 43 countries and I'm the only female CEO on the international board. I wish it was more inclusive, as it's the combo of men and women that works. There's no place for an 'either or' attitude in this day and age. I believe women can have both -a thriving career and a happy family. It's not easy, but if you make the decision to succeed in both worlds, you'll find a way to do it. For me, that means answering work mails late at night and early in the morning when Sharon's asleep, so I can watch her hockey game that afternoon, knowing I'm up to date. My husband is also an amazing support, which helps Karkloof Safari Villas is a little piece of heaven. It's where I go to unwind. I took ownership last year to help diversify my business portfolio and it's now a place I associate with family, as we often take holidays there. I have a brilliant team at Karkloof, so I can relax without worrying.
MY SECRET INDULGENCE : l love series and documentaries about the British royal family. If my husband suspects I'm in a bad mood, he hints I should watch one of those movies with the big dresses and crowns' to lift my spirits-he's not wrong!