Alok Ajmera has an impressive job title: President and Chief Operating Officer at Prophix Software. As head of the Toronto-based software company, he’s also chief problem solver.
“There is never a dull day,” says Ajmera, who graduated from McMaster’s Engineering Physics and Management program in 2003“ I am responsible for ensuring that every customer, prospective customer, partner, employee and shareholder around the globe has a memorable and positive experience with the company and its products.”
“For the most part, I’m a professional problem solver.”
His role has him working with everyone from software engineers to marketing teams, from finance experts to human resources staff.
While he doesn’t frequently rely on the technical knowledge he learned studying engineering – “I can tell you that I have never had to solve a quadratic equation since graduating,” he jokes – his engineering degree has still been “amazingly valuable” throughout his career.
In particular, Ajmera says, it provided him with crucial skills in analytical and critical thinking, problem-solving, and organizational and time management.
In the top job at Prophix since 2016, Ajmera has been in a series of increasingly responsible roles since joining the company in 2004. In recent years he’s overseen tremendous growth in the company, with a doubling of both revenues and employees. When he considers his career highlights, the bottom line isn’t the only way measurement that makes him proud.
“We started a program a few years ago, where we donate a portion of our cash flows to socially responsible programs around the world,” says Ajmera. “We’ve built a school in Nicaragua, an orphanage in India, a water filtration plant in Kenya and more.”
He also loves the opportunity to mentor and nurture the next generation.
“Each year for the last five or so years, we’ve had a handful of interns from the McMaster program,” he says. “It’s incredibly humbling to witness the amazing transformation, as young students develop into bonafide professionals and leaders.”