Futureheads: Sebastian Ambaye

Sebastian is Procurement and Supply Chain Manager at leading management consultancy Baringa and for Procurement Heads‘ first Futureheads profile he spoke with James Dobbin, Director and Head of Practice for our Financial & Professional Services offering, about how his procurement journey began.

You were recently recognised in the CIPS Excellence in Procurement Awards for 2022, what was it like to be named as a Young Talent for these prestigious awards?

It was an honour to be a finalist for these awards. 

It feels great to be recognised for my achievements but it’s also a testament to all of those who have supported me over the years; their guidance has been invaluable. 

I always say that my career achievements are the result of hard work, determination and opportunity, and I’m only really able to control the first two.

When did your procurement journey begin and what made you choose it as a career?

My procurement journey began at university. 

I secured a summer internship at Crown Commercial Services in Norwich and I have to admit I did not fully grasp what awaited me at that point. 

It was a turning point for me as I really enjoyed the internship and decided to apply for the Civil Service graduate scheme, which is where I started my professional career.

The majority of your previous roles have been within the public sector, but you recently joined Baringa, what enticed you to the private sector?

I’m always looking to challenge myself and get out of my comfort zone. 

I was enticed by the opportunity to further my development by working across different sectors and applying my knowledge in a different context. 

In joining Baringa, I’m also privileged to work in an organisation that has a really positive culture and a community of professionals that are at the top of their game.

How beneficial has your CIPS Advanced Diploma in Procurement and Supply been to your career?

Studying for my CIPS qualifications provided me with a solid theoretical foundation to understand the myriad concepts, processes and systems that I have come across in my career. 

In addition, being a CIPS member allows me to feel part of a global professional community, which I value immensely.

Why would you encourage people to consider a career in procurement?

Procurement professionals are highly valued by organisations across the globe, perhaps more so now than at any other time. 

A career in procurement offers variety, and technical depth and also puts you in a place to make a real difference in whichever way you see fit. 

What are some of the most interesting procurement projects you’ve been involved with?

Some of my highlights include:

  • Reforming the prison education and probation systems
  • The East-West Rail scheme
  • Sizewell C Power Station
  • The development of a new nuclear radiation monitoring system
  • Procuring generators to support Ukraine

How would you like your procurement career to develop?

My sincere hope is that my career continues its current trajectory and I’m always able to work with great people on interesting projects. 

I enjoy the challenges of leadership and I would like this to become an even larger part of my role as my career progresses.

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