Meet Dimitris Hiotis. Having worked at Simon-Kucher for over a decade he is now one of our three newest board members. Dimitris tells us about what keeps him at Simon-Kucher, why he believes now is the time for him to fulfil his goals for the company on the board, and how his family and nature inspire him in his personal and professional growth.
Hi Dimitris! Thanks so much for talking to us about your time at Simon-Kucher. Before we begin, would you mind briefly introducing yourself?
In simple words, my name is Dimitris, I joined in Simon Kucher & Partners in 2010. I’m the proud father of three kids, four cats, and one dog and I’m based in London – although I grew up in Athens, Greece. I became a member of the board this year and I also lead the Leisure Travel & Transportation practice for Simon Kucher & Partners globally.
Huge congratulations! What attracted you to the board?
Simon-Kucher is at the core and is the rawest of motivations for me to join the board. I have been at the company for a long time, and I feel it’s the right moment to help shape the future of our business.
On top of that, we are at a critical stage of growth. As we near to being a half-a-billion-euro business we need to find the right balance between putting the right organizational structure in place to support our future growth, while maintaining the entrepreneurial and “startup” culture that makes us unique in the industry.
I’m keen to work on behalf of my fellow partners and help steer the company to get this balance right. It’s also an honor to be elected and I want to ensure that I represent the partnership in the best possible way.
What key topics and initiatives would you like to personally champion during your tenure?
First, I want us to do more to support our fantastic teams across the world. We have, and still are going through a pandemic that has impacted everyone’s wellbeing. Although we put some great initiatives to support our team during that time, we clearly have more to do. As a board member, I will champion the integration of a wellbeing program across our offices that provides the right support for the health and happiness of our employees.
I also would like to champion initiatives to increase collaboration between our offices and across our sectors of expertise. I believe that together we win big and fostering collaboration is at the heart of this.
Finally, the consultancy industry is changing, and we need to innovate our go-to-market strategy. We need to extend from pricing and marketing, which is our natural space, to something bigger. So I will work with all our partners to define our future vision as a business and position it at the heart of commercial excellence and customer value management.
What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received? And who are your mentors and role models?
The best career advice I’ve ever received is simple: Be yourself.
As to my role models. On a personal level my wife – she always gives me great advice and stands by me for any key decisions. On a professional level, I would single out Mark Billige, our CEO, who brought me into Simon-Kucher and supported my partnership.
As a role model in the business world, I’m a bit old school and go more for Richard Branson than the Silicon Valley wizard kids. I think building great brands that rely on customer service is a winning strategy and Branson more or less wrote the book on it.
Also, as a Greek, it has to be Aristotle Onassis, purely because he was the epitome of an old-school businessman. His is a classic “rags to riches” story.
What inspires you? Or what strategies do you use to keep motivated?
Nature inspires me in every form and every time I experience it – an autumnal forest or mountain walk, a summer sunset, a great swim in the Aegean are all great motivators for me. Also, simple things like seeing my kids smile, and the realization that they are growing up and acting like adults (and their humor is scarily becoming better than mine).
In terms of motivation strategies, I always believe there is a solution to anything. That belief drives me to keep going to find whatever solution I need at that time.
If you would like to meet our other board members, read Bhavin’s story here, and keep an eye out for Omar’s story.