Kostis Chlouverakis: “We offer holistic solutions, covering the full range of digital transformation”
The head of Deloitte Digital Greece, in an exclusive interview with STARTUPPER MAG, reveals the goals and plans of the leading company in the industry for Greece, talks about integrated solutions and services for companies, while explaining how it can contribute substantially to the digital transformation of Greek businesses.
S.M.: Last March Deloitte Digital, Deloitte Digital’s new creative digital consulting agency, announced the start of providing its services in Greece. How did you decide to proceed with the operation of Deloitte Digital Greece?
Kostis Chlouverakis: Deloitte Digital, following the global trends, is Deloitte’s new addition of consulting and digital transformation services in Greece. Technological advancements in the post-covid era have created the need for organizations to include customer-centric digital transformation as part of their strategy to remain competitive in an ever-evolving and fluid environment. The main challenges that have made it necessary have to do with changing the consumer behavior of customers today and especially of young people, with the demand for more personalized services based on data analysis and with the need to create a lasting emotional connection with customers. All the above have contributed to the existence of a wide field for these services and especially for those related to front-end digital transformation.
S.M.: What is the purpose of Deloitte Digital’s business activity in Greece, given that our country lags significantly behind in the fields of digital transformation and digital strategy compared to most European countries?
(The so-called “digital gap” is well known from surveys and reports of the last 5 years)
Kostis Chlouverakis: The purpose of Deloitte Digital is simple: To help Greek businesses (small and large) to start their journey of digital transformation always guided by the significant changes that the pandemic has brought. Precisely because the “digital gap” is now a reality, this need is more evident than ever. The “digital gap” is certainly also evident in Greek businesses.On the other hand, there are pioneering multinational companies that have already begun actions towards their customer-centric digital transformation, knowing that organizations that focus on the human experience of their customers, workforce and partners are twice as likely to outperform their competitors in terms of revenue growth in three years. And Deloitte Digital comes just at the right time to fill that gap.
S.M.: What services will Deloitte Digital Greece provide to its customers in Greece? Will they be the same as the agencies of great Britain or other European countries (Digital Transformation, Digital Experience, Digital Core) or will it offer additional services in order to support the digital and business transformation of Greek companies?
Kostis Chlouverakis: Our services will be the same as those provided worldwide by Deloitte Digital. In essence, Deloitte Digital is a one-stop-shop: From strategizing, designing a simple website, to installing a complex CRM system in large organizations. From capturing the customer’s wishes, designing loyalty programs, carrying out customer segmentation with data analysis and designing customer journeys, up to the implementation of an e-commerce site with connections to ERP systems, with SEO in search engines such as Google and so on. Briefly, our services are Customer Strategy, Design, Creativity Brand & Advertising, Experience Management & Marketing, eCommerce, Sales Transformation and Service Excellence. Obviously, as Deloitte Digital Greece we focus on specific pieces that are the most relevant to the Greek reality, such as Customer Strategy, mobile apps and website designs and Salesforce CRM, but we are constantly developing all the skills around all offerings.
S.M.: Is your goal to provide services only to large companies or will you also meet the needs of the country’s small and medium-sized enterprises?
Kostis Chlouverakis: What we expect is to gain a significant share primarily to our large customers, utilizing our end-to-end digital services, and in collaboration with the rest of Deloitte’s teams to offer holistic solutions, such as AI, Cloud migration, ERP, etc, in combination with Deloitte Digital’s services, thus covering the entire range of digital transformation. As far as smaller customers are concerned, we also look forward to an increase in the share, since we can now offer services, competing with niche consulting boutiques in small and larger projects.
S.M.: Internationally, Deloitte Digital offers to groups, businesses and companies a range of services for their upgrade to the level of digital transformation and their development in all areas and in fact from the design of the strategy to its implementation. Do you think that Greek companies are difficult to adapt to international standards and transform themselves in business to meet the new data of the digital economy?
Kostis Chlouverakis: It is certainly difficult for Greek companies to adapt to international standards in terms of their general digital transformation. But it is not impossible. The difficulty lies in the fact that for so many years Greek companies have neglected or put such actions and projects in second priority, and the gap they have to fill is large, but – most importantly – they have to do it in a relatively short time.Developments are running and customer needs have now completely changed, in accordance with international standards. What is needed is for the leaders of each company to give the vision and direction and to create structured digital strategy roadmaps with a three-year horizon, having enough “quick wins” within these plans to have momentum. Also, the teams must be properly staffed and the necessary upskilling / reskilling must be done.Finally, a necessary element of any company transformation is change management. The “resistance” that potentially appears from many executives is enough to lead any transformation project to failure and so the right change management is necessary.
S.M.: What is the vision of Deloitte Digital Greece for Greek businesses?
Kostis Chlouverakis: The dominant trend today and what will determine the next steps is the use of technology in the context of a customer-centric approach – a strategy centered on people and potential customers. Greek businesses need to create brands, products and services that will be able to elevate the human experience and create a lasting emotional connection with their customers. Our vision is for the Greek company today to adopt a digital-first, mobile-first and AI-first strategy, which is already followed by all leading companies worldwide. Certainly this is not done in a short time, but it is the necessary ingredient for Greek companies to remain relevant and competitive in today’s environment.
S.M.: How much can Deloitte Digital Greece contribute to the support and implementation of the national plan “Greece 2.0”, which government officials believe can transform the country within a few years?
Kostis Chlouverakis: Deloitte Digital’s services are completely related to the digital transformation of small and medium-sized enterprises. This national plan is very important as it gives incentives to businesses to transform themselves.For the most part, these incentives concern digital actions that are necessary, especially in small and medium-sized enterprises which have to fill a large gap in relation to the largest domestic companies but also with international benchmarks. Thus, Deloitte Digital’s services can contribute significantly to the improvement of the customer-centricity and strategy of companies, to the creation of new modern websites and mobile apps, new CRM systems, and so on.
S.M.: Finally, which services of Deloitte Digital Greece can help young entrepreneurs and Startups in Greece?
Kostis Chlouverakis: Surely these services have to do with customer strategy and how these companies should approach their customers, with a strategy built around the customer and the user, with the appropriate segmentation of these customers, with the design of a loyalty program and so on.For user experience, comes the Design team that will help in Product roadmap and Product management (at design and development level), that is, to help create, prioritize and manage the digital product / platform.
S.M.: Deloitte Digital is considered one of the world’s leading companies both in the field of the working environment and human resource development. Do you aim to create a new generation of specialized executives in Greece by offering opportunities to young people with academic qualifications, investing in their training and know-how?
Kostis Chlouverakis: As you said, Deloitte and by extension Deloitte Digital invest in their people and this means that they offer them continuous opportunities to train and acquire new skills, so that they not only adapt to the needs of the market but also anticipate them.This was also reflected in Greece, as Deloitte won the 8th place as the best working environment than Great Place to Work, a distinction that is partly due to the opportunities to develop our potential, both on a professional and personal level. Our orientation is also very much towards young people, and this is evidenced by the fact that 52% of our people are under the age of 30.We also invest in their technological training, as 50% of our employees are employed in positions related to technology and its applications in the company’s services. At Deloitte we have a purpose to create a positive impact on society, our customers and our people, and Deloitte Digital shares this purpose 100%.