Crown Records Management UAE’s Business Development & Operations Manager, Nitin Alex, recently sat down and discussed his experiences as a Certified Records Manager (CRM), and a member of the Institute of Certified Records Managers (ICRM):
What is your professional background?
I am a CRM professional with a double master’s degree, combined with a track record of over 18 years in the RIM/IT industry with extensive expertise in leading the development of Information Management frameworks and processes.
My competencies include technical hands-on support, risk management, strategic infrastructure design, troubleshooting and maintenance of IT solutions, with an advanced understanding and familiarity of information management principles and information systems and archives.
Over the last 10 years I have been combining my IT skills to work within a Physical/Digital data management and storage domain.
I have worked extensively in the United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, and Australia. To this end, I am currently employed in the United Arab Emirates, with one of the leading Records Management Companies looking after RIM needs and requirements of more than 300 customers across various domains within the UAE.
Why did you decide to pursue the CRM designation?
I was looking to gain recognition of competency; show commitment to the profession and help with job advancements in the profession.
After doing some research online and speaking to a few industry experts, I was pointed to the ICRM website.
What/who inspired you to become a CRM?
I got into the RM industry as a novice and wanted to become a subject matter expert in the field. Although I had 7 years of hands-on experience, I did not have anything to show of it on paper. This led to searching for relevant certifications and the CRM fitted the bill.
How has being a CRM helped you in your RIM profession?
It bolstered my RIM credentials and confidence and made me an asset to some small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and large corporations who understand and appreciate the value of a good, working RIM program.
How has the RM / RIM profession changed the most since you became a member?
No major change here, except with the current push to a more digitised, paper-less economy. The process of keeping and maintaining a digitised version of the physical records has become a challenge, but there are robust bespoke solutions now available.
I feel one now needs a strong business acumen, coupled with ability to manage, and influence stakeholders across all levels within the business which will surely go a long way in bringing the much-needed improvements.
What do you enjoy most about being in the RM / RIM profession?
The ability to make the customer see the bigger picture in understanding information management principles and getting them familiarised with information systems and archives is what I enjoy most.
What is the most challenging project / assignment in RM / RIM you’ve ever been involved in, or led?
The last huge project that I led was for a major Bank in the UAE.
They had more than 12,000 metal trunks filled with bank records, held since the day they opened.
I was tasked to run the EDMS side of the operations pan bank. I led an amazing team and had the backing of the senior management staff who had the vision for the banks’ RIM. They had complete faith in my ability to deliver.
I was also involved with the design of the infrastructure of the facility, including the fire protection systems and IT infrastructure to facilitate the enterprise rollout.
The challenge was to identify each file, tag it with a barcode and capture their retention dates as it was being re-boxed to RM industry standard archive boxes. It took me 1 year to get this done and it was a very rewarding experience to have completed the project well within budgets.
What do you find the most rewarding thing about being CRM?
At present I am the only CRM certified professional in the UAE and I have my certificates displayed on the ‘wall of fame’ at my place of work. I find it very rewarding to see the certificates each time I go in or come out. I am sure there will be more certified professionals from the UAE in future.
What are your next plans and / or aspirations as a CRM?
I have enrolled for the IGP (Information Governance Professional) certification and am preparing for the same.