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Achille Ubalijoro, Managing Director and Project Executive Consultant

Managing Director Kabera Consulting Inc. and Project Executive Consultant.

Tell us a bit about you.
I am Managing Director and Project Executive Consultant at Kabera Consulting Inc. I am passionate about linking business results to a delivery system based on a combination of industry best practice and world class project/program management.

I am a citizen of Rwanda and Canada. I have lived in Rwanda, Uganda, US, France, Canada, China and Japan. I am the third in a family of seven children. I arrived in Canada from France, 25 years ago.  After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with specialization in Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing at École Polytechnique de Montreal, I joined Bombardier Aerospace where I worked from 1995 to 2004. I held various positions at differing levels with Bombardier Aerospace in Engineering, Manufacturing and IT, including technical, analytical and project lead roles. After earning an MBA in Strategic Management of Technology in 2003 at Concordia University in Montreal, I embraced a successful management career either as project manager, Senior Manager Transition, Program manager or Executive Consultant. I worked successively for SITA, a world’s leading specialist in air transport communication and IT solutions, for CGI one of the largest independent information technology and business process services firms in Canada, the Office of the CIO of the University of Ottawa, as well as for Aeroplan now AIMIA, a leading loyalty marketing company in Canada which includes Air Canada’s Top Tier Program, for Dassault Systèmes Japan, as interim PMO Director Asia,  for Dassault Systèmes China as QOROS Program Director and now for Dassault Systèmes Canada as Senior Project Manager. I have Project Management Professional (PMP), Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) and Program Management Certification (PGMP) certifications.

In my free time, I enjoy core training, hot yoga, and volunteer on the boards of nonprofit charitable organizations centered on professional development and youth education.

Tell us about Kabera Consulting Inc. What is the business model/value added, who are your target customers?
I founded Kabera Consulting Inc. in Sept. 2008. We provide the ability to link business results to a delivery system based on a combination of industry best practices, and world-class project management. I partner with highly skilled
Project Managers, Solution Architects and Business Analysts to cater to the needs of companies that have complex transformation projects, leveraging mostly Information Technology capabilities in order to achieve superior business results!

What is the biggest challenge your clients face? How do you help them address it?
My clients above all want peace of mind, when it comes to project/program delivery, they want no surprises. My approach leverages my 20 years of experience in IT and PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) domains, coupled with my own personal experience as a citizen of the world, and someone whose strength is to foster simplicity, speed of execution, getting things done, learning, continuous improvement and sharing of knowledge.

What makes your business unique? 
To manage the projects of the 21st century, you need to master multiple dimensions, such as Leadership, Technology, Business Processes, Change Management,  multi-cultural contexts, to name a few. Therefore, as a successful project/program practitioner, it is the combination of these unique capabilities that eventually provide value to the customer and his stakeholders.

What is one of your biggest accomplishments so far? 
Having founded Kabera Consulting during the peak of the worst recession of our generation, and never having lacked work during that period.

Tell us about your definition of leadership? 
Leadership for me is to harness the power of diverse individuals and groups thereby delivering superior professional and personal results.

Tell us about your favorite spot in Montreal? 
I like my surroundings, and NDG for me fits the bill. Great neighbors, quiet, close to very good restaurants and small local shops.

You know the meaning of the word “Manyatta” but what does this group mean to you? 
I believe in networking, it is a key enabler for my professional success, most of my clients were part of my network, and Manyatta exemplifies this approach. By bringing together people from diverse backgrounds and professions, you strengthen that community and allow its members to prosper both individually and collectively.

Do you have a piece of advice for aspiring young men and women who wish to be successful in your field? 
Have no fear, what counts as Mother Teresa used to say, “God doesn’t require us to succeed, He only requires that you try.”

Can you tell us whether and how your background has been an asset in your career? 
Definitely, I am extremely proud of my parents and the upbringing that was provided to us, to my siblings and I. I actually named my company after my mother, Kabera, as a tribute to the entrepreneurial spirit of African women, who are the backbone of our continent. Our parents also exposed us to the power and opportunity of diversity. When one knows the tragic history of my birth country, Rwanda, one can understand that diversity is a treasure that is to be nurtured and protected, the greatness of a country, group or community, lies in its capacity to provide the greatest opportunities to All its people, and protection to the weakest among them.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? 
One of my bosses once told me that the cemetery is full of irreplaceable people, that was an eye opener for me;
It sounds negative, but in reality, it keeps you grounded.
Whatever your talents and God given gifts, you must not take that for granted. The world will move on, with or without you, so make the most of it.

What is your vision for the African Diaspora in Canada? 
Most immigrant communities in Canada have made an impact and have taken their seat at the table. I wish that the African Diaspora will also do the same, our seat will not be given to us, we need to take it. In French we say, “devenir une communauté qui compte.”.

Tell us about a person who has influenced you and helped you shape your view of the world.
My wife Françoise, she has always pushed me to be myself, to not compromise, to make the hard choices vs. the easy route of compromise and conflict avoidance.

Why is networking important to you? 
You cannot succeed alone, as simple as that. Behind every successful person, there`s a team, family, friends, village, country, etc….

How do you stay on top of your game?
Learning, learning and learning. But most of all, remembering what one of my bosses once told me – the cemetery is full of irreplaceable people, it is not about being on top, but about trying and persevering.

Tell us about an experience which has shaped who you are today? 
The 90s were a decad horribilis for me, the war in Rwanda that terribly marked and dismayed by the loss 1,000,000 innocent Rwandan lives in the nineties, the third genocide of the 20th century, yet the world community had Once again failed to uphold the principle of Never Again. These events for me, showed how privileged I was, the opportunities I was afforded that so many would never have the fortune to exercise. So I am driven by that view, and will never let anyone else shape my destiny, aside myself. Whatever the obstacles I face, I remind myself where I came from, and to live up to the challenges thrown at me, remembering those that will never be afforded that chance. In simple terms, no excuses.

How to contact you online?;