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Interview with Kamales Lardi

In the interview with Kamales Lardi, A-Speakers learns about her profesion as a digital strategist and the challenges of digitalization, which businesses have to face in the future. Read more in the interview below.

Why, in your opinion, is it important to consider the impact of digital technologies on the current business landscape?


Digital technologies have permanently disrupted the entire business landscape. Basically, now our customers, products, business operations, and even competitors are fundamentally digital. The rapid development of technology, increased connectivity and accessibility, as well as intuitive and easy to use devices have all contributed to this disruption. These factors have also impacted consumer behaviour – they are connected, knowledgeable and have adopted technology use in almost every aspect of their lives. Consumers expect to interact with businesses on a similar digital level.

In addition, there is a growing threat across almost every industry of digital businesses built purely to accommodate the digital economy, for example, über, AirBnB, Netflix, Amazon, Alibaba. Companies with traditional business models are struggling to keep up with these developments and will fade over time.


What do you do as a digital transformation strategist?


I work with companies to assess the impact of digital technologies on their business, define the developing needs of their customers based in the new digital economy and develop new products, services or ways of working to compete in the digital world. This may include the use of digital platforms to interact with customers (e.g., social media, apps, mobile devices, wearable technologies), but may also involve redesigning business models or reinventing operations. This type of work requires knowledge and practical experience in business strategy development, business model and process optimization, as well as technology implementation. I have been fortunate to gather experiences in these areas across various industries over the last 16 years in management consulting. This positions me well to support companies in the journey to achieve a business that is able to compete in the digital world. Since starting my own company in 2012, I have consulted for a myriad of companies ranging from large international corporations to small businesses and start-ups. Each companies has offered significant learnings and experiences for me. Over the last three years, I have been privileged to work with some amazing corporations, among others UBS, SBB, Victorinox as well as non-profits, associations and start-ups. I have also authored a book in collaboration with the Zurich University of Applied Science (ZHAW), where I am a guest lecturer.


Can you provide 3 tips for successful digitization of traditional business models?


The most important thing to remember about digital business transformation is it is centred on the customers, and not technology. Starting point to explore how the various digital platforms and technologies could be used for sustainable business benefits. We are already seeing this with companies using social media, apps and industry specific new technologies. But there comes a point when these initiatives will not be enough for long term benefits. Companies will need to dive deeper and review the business at its core, this could include rethinking customer experiences, business processes and operating models.

The three tips I would highlight are:

  • Develop a good understanding about your customers and their needs – Develop a customer journey that considers the online and offline touch points of your customers, focusing on the products, services and experiences they are looking for.
  • Reviewing overall business operations – Transformation may start with external touch points (e.g., customer communication channels) but will eventually need to be considered at deeper levels within the company for sustainable returns.
  • Initiating change in phases – Digital business transformation is a marathon, not a sprint. Companies will need to lay out a plan for change over a reasonable time frame, taking into consideration the resources and capabilities available. However, the journey should start NOW.

What are you personally gaining from your public speaking engagements?


I had not planned to go into public speaking, but am very happy and excited to be active in this area. I initially started public speaking because it was a good way to share knowledge, insights and experiences. When I started my own company, I wanted to create credibility in the market and demonstrate my knowledge as a strategist. Public speaking provided a great forum to do this. As I discovered, I have a flare for it and really enjoy speaking. Now, I am regularly invited to speak at conferences, industry and corporate events as an expert on digital transformation, social media and enterprise collaboration, as well as entrepreneurship and women in tech. Speaking as an expert on digital strategy requires extensive cross-industry experience in developing corporate strategy, designing business process optimization and implementing new technologies. This trifecta is hard to come by and gives me a unique angle as a speaker. I try to tailor my speeches to the needs of the audiences, sharing knowledge, lessons learnt and insights through real stories and experiences. One thing I enjoy most is the interaction and engagement that I get from the audience.

Connect with Kamales directly via her website, LinkedInTwitterFacebook or Instagram


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