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Eloy Sasot, group chief data and analytics officer, Richemont

Eloy Sasot, group chief data and analytics officer, Richemont

How is your organisation using data and analytics to support the corporate vision and purpose?

 

Luxury is experiencing an exciting evolution towards what we can call “new retail”. Data is a key enabler of that business transformation, allowing us to enhance client experience and operations efficiency.

 

2020 was a year like no other - how did it impact on your planned activities and what unplanned ones did you have to introduce?

 

Personally, I experienced different phases in different companies as I changed industries during the year. For the companies entering the crisis, it was about ensuring continuity of the fundamentals of data strategy and operations, while adapting to new reality – that included reviewing the portfolio of use cases that were impacted depending on both business opportunity and algorithm resilience to change in world behaviour. For the companies now exiting the crisis, it is about accelerating how data enables the new normal, building on an enhanced executive support.

 

Looking forward to 2021, what are your expectations for data and analytics within your organisation?

 

Richemont is pursuing its strong development into the digitisation of its commerce value chain, relying for instance on the recent acquisition of YNAP, Watchfinder, and the strategic partnerships with Alibaba Group and Farfetch. Building on the creation of a group data office, 2021 will accelerate the reinforcement of the data and analytics capabilities.

 

Is data for good part of your personal or business agenda for 2021? If so, what form will it take?

 

As data practitioner, I personally feel a duty to deliver data and AI transformation responsibly. This can take several forms, such as recruiting and training responsible data talent, developing unbiased AI solutions, and contributing to enhanced sustainability in luxury industry, in line with Richemont’s commitments.

 

What has been your path to power?

 

My curiosity brought me to live diverse experiences in eight industries (B2C, B2B, government) and multi-cultural environments in Europe, Asia and America. The first steps were at the European Space Agency, publishing scientific papers on space weather and then becoming a spacecraft orbit coder. I then complemented my Master’s in Mathematical Engineering with an MBA, allowing me to move into the “business world”, evolving in change transformation in wind energy and as global pricer in financial services for American Express.

 

Following that, I moved into a data science for business leadership role in the media conglomerate News Corp, creating a data-driven function from scratch to ultimately lead it globally. Then, I launched a data and AI transformation in leading global consumer facilities and food services conglomerate Sodexo, on data strategy, delivery and capability building coordination.

 

I recently joined the Richemont Group to spearhead how data and AI facilitate business optimisation at scale, to conquer the next frontier in luxury new retail.

 

What is the proudest achievement of your career to date?

 

Seeing the seeds of talent and successes developing and scaling further. I consider myself lucky to have recruited and worked with great professionals who created amazing cross-functional teams, in various industries. Beyond the successes delivered together, I am proudest of seeing them grow further and deliver more positive impact. They made me grow too, so big thanks to them.

 

Tell us about a career goal or a purpose for your organisation that you are pursuing?

 

A career goal is to contribute to the data and AI revolution in a responsible way.

 

How closely aligned to the business are data and analytics both within your own organisation and at an industry level? What helps to bring the two closer together?

 

While discovering the luxury industry, I can appreciate the massive opportunity around data from two perspectives. Firstly, by combining the “traditional” craftmanship that translates into exceptional products and experiences, with business optimisation with data, one can maximise and personalise those magical outcomes further. Secondly, the exciting digital and “new retail” industry evolution has data as a fundamental enabler.

 

What is your view on how to develop a data culture in an organisation, building out data literacy and creating a data-first mindset?

 

For me this is a fundamental pillar of a data strategy. As data is a change exercise to empower people and organisations to make better decisions, one must mobilise and bring people as main actors of the journey. Often one can see data culture initiatives limited to awareness programmes. Even if at scale, I believe this misses on the need of tailoring the approach to each type of “data population”. For instance, an executive will not need to evolve her/his role in the same way as an end-user of an algorithmic solution.

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