Cisco Systems' new Hong Kong and Macau general manager Errol Chan hopes to instil in others his enthusiasm for the information technology (IT) field. A 17-year veteran of Hong Kong's IT sector, Mr Chan said he hoped 'to mobilise the company to provide some training sponsorships' to encourage young people to join the industry. His interest in IT began while he was studying science at Hong Kong University during the 1970s. 'I took some computer studies classes as well,' he said. 'At that time, it was very traditional data-processing training.' 'We had mainframe computers. People typed up their program and printed out the card. It took one hour to print the card', which was submitted to the mainframe, he said. 'People today are able to do a lot more things with computers,' he said. Today's youth might be aghast at how cumbersome and limited computers were two decades ago, but Mr Chan said he never found the industry boring. He started his IT career in 1981, working for Burroughs Machines (now Unisys) as a salesman in the banking and finance sector. Later, he worked for companies such as mainframe vendor ICL, Tandem Computers (now Compaq Computer) and systems integrator Anixter. He entered the networking industry because it was one of IT's fastest-growing sectors and joined Cisco 'because I wanted to go with the company that had the highest growth in the industry'. Mr Chan foresees rapid industry growth despite the economic downturn but believes a shortage of skilled labour could pose a problem. This had fuelled his ambition to foster IT skills in young people so 'I may be able to contribute back to society', he said.