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Inspiring people & disruptive thinking

There is a saying in Retailing – “if you don’t like change, then you’re in the wrong industry”.

More than at any other time in history, modern retailers need to be nimble, engaging and relevant to the constantly changing needs of tomorrow’s customers. Technology is no longer viewed as a constraint, but an enabler and differentiator to better connect brands with customers in a digital age without boundaries.

Launched in 1993 in Chicago, ThoughtWorks is a global software consultancy which has grown from humble origins into a company of over 5000+ passionate people spread across 40 offices in 14 countries. They help old and new brands capture opportunities, using technology to drive business model innovation and growth. They are a committed global group who believe that better business solutions can also bring positive social change.

We were brought on board to leverage the company’s fast-growing presence and success within the retail sector by creating a brand-new strategic business unit – ThoughtWorks Retail.

Our brief was to recruit no less than an entire senior executive leadership and consultancy team, from scratch, with an initial focus upon hiring talent for the UK and Germany. This was envisaged as an entirely new breed, and the antidote to traditional tech consulting – a crack team of senior retailers, peers of their C-suite retailer clients, and equally comfortable in strategic discourse as technical delivery.

But this would be no walk in the park – as a newcomer to the UK & Europe, and virtually unknown within a crowded retail consultancy space, they needed an advocate as much as a recruiter. Our first challenge lay in persuading battle-hardened senior retail executives to leave behind the comfort of the mainstream to join the renegade insurgency at ThoughtWorks.

Thereafter, our next step was zeroing-in on those rare individuals who not only aligned perfectly with the unique corporate ethos, but could also function as a cohesive, integrated collective.

Over the course of a 3-year rolling programme, we brought this complex and challenging project to a successful conclusion having recruited an entire new 40+ senior-level retail consultancy team – not only for the UK and Europe, but subsequently for North America also.

ThoughtWorks now has the expert team in place which has already doubled the original anticipated sales revenues in Europe within three years of formation and is well-positioned to deliver an ambitious future growth pipeline.

Working with ThoughtWorks at the leading edge of modern retail where business strategy, technology and delivery are now inseparable has been one of our greatest accomplishments and proudest success stories.

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“Around 3 years ago we set out to create a new competitive advantage that would give ThoughtWorks, a tech@core company, a new outlook. Our intention was to add to a global reputation for Agile Software delivery, a deep understanding of our clients’ world.

To do so we would have to change our approach and bring in Retail experts. As a team RMC worked with us to understand our culture, way of working so that we could indeed achieve this mission. Over 40 people later across our Global Business, we have a thriving and fast growing Retail Business that is defining Modern Retail. RMC’s industry knowledge, connections and tenacity with our recruitment process and unique culture are the best testaments I could give in defining a true partnership. RMC kick started and saw this through with us. We couldn’t have done it without them.”

Mark Collin
Group Head of Retail | Europe & India, ThoughtWorks