Ville Tolvanen // September 17 2018

One Year CEO

Soon I have served as CEO of Digitalist Group for a one year. It’s time to look back and analyse the results. It’s been the ride of my lifetime.

The idea of Digitalist is to become the CX innovation company and network to create new experiences from ideas to life. In practise that means combining special Insight, Design, Branding, Tech & CRM skills to create tomorrow’s solutions today. I believe in the idea. In my mind it’s what the customers and world needs. It’s something I want to be part of for sure.

I believe in our strategy. The chosen direction demands new special skills, growth and global customers. We are happy to deliver special things to world class companies. It’s challenging and demanding to serve the best in their fields.

What has happened in the transition from Digitalist 1.0 (may 2017) to Digitalist 2.0? (September 2018) We’ve had 2 chairmen, 2 CEO’s, 2 acquisitions, 2 organisational models etc.

We’ve grown, changed, built and become more financially balanced which enables better performance going forward.

The cornerstones of our growth strategy

  1. We’ve defined our values together and operate a Glass Box Branding –model. That means WYSIWYG (=What You See is What You Get) in everything we do. Instead of corporate consultants, we see ourselves as a movement working together with public, partners, customers and our teams to co-create. We hire new people all the time and over 50% of them serve outside Finland. We now have wider and more synergic pool of talent than a year ago.
  2. We serve fantastic brands globally with large, transformational and multidisciplinary projects. That’s what the CX innovation company stands for in practise. We tailor unique set of talent with the challenge of creating something new for the client. We are happy to serve clients e.g. Finning, Unionen, Honda, Savox, Tikkurila, Finnair, Volvo, City Cruises, Google, Nokia and Spotify.
  3. Digitalist delivers and serves customers globally. That means finding the best home location on the planet for the customer challenge. We source from seven co-creative studios in five countries. That’s gives the advantage of truly matching the best in specialties like AI, Machine learning, Salesforce, blockchain etc.

During the last 12 months we’ve grown from a mostly local player to a truly international company with a firm footprint across multiple geographies. During H1/2018 our revenue grew +29% and order intake by +70% fuelled by acquisitions.

I had no plans to become a CEO of a growing international consulting company.

Still the opportunity of being part of the saga was very compelling. When I thought about the challenge of creating high-end design tech company for the new digital era I saw it as an answer to a definition of a dream job. It’s been very challenging and dynamic even for an active person like me. I still think we’re in the beginning and would like thank everyone who’ve participated.

We like to think that “let’s spend the best five years in business together.”

The phase one is behind and now it’s time to step on the pedal. From year now we will be bigger, better and more profitable again.

Digitalist is growing, changing, moving and improving at the same time!



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