What It Means to be a Digital Company, Svetlana Obruchkova ’17

Harvard Business Review Russia invited key business leaders for a business breakfast to tackle the question, “What does it mean to be a digital company?” IE Brown 2017 Svetlana Obruchkova had much to say on this topic as Royal Canin’s CEO in Russia – one of the company’s top regions in sales and digital excellence.

“At Royal Canin Russia, we’ve developed an omni-channel approach that spans the digital eco-system. Through data collection, segmentation and the creation of unique services, we’re able to customize the sales experience for breeders, veterinarians and online consumers in the same way our products are customized for the unique needs of dogs and cats.”

When asked the value of IE Brown to her success, Obruchkova responded,

“IE Brown played a critical role in honing my leadership skills in technology and innovation strategy. As it turns out, that ability is not about technocratic excellence. It’s about understanding the powerful societal forces on a global scale that can hinder or drive growth, and mastering the empathic communications skills to get critical stakeholders on board and inspired to achieve change.”

This is the mindset that I cultivated at IE Brown and that I apply in every aspect of my work, including this HBR panel. I realized that most of the people in the audience weren’t from pure-play digital companies like Alibaba, also represented on this panel. They were more like Royal Canin – traditional companies that needed to adapt to a digital age without cannibalizing their more profitable brick and mortar revenue streams.

With that in mind, I didn’t focus on our sophisticated digital capacity but on how we got the organization on board to embrace the new digital age without teetering our bread and butter business.”

Obruchkova concluded,

“Survey respondents rated me as the most engaging presenter. Thank you IE Brown.”