Interview with Nish Kotak, Director at Comotion

23 May 2019

Comotion is one of the oldest residents at Innovation Warehouse. Tell us more about yourselves!

There are two sides to our business – consulting and talent – and as a director I look after the talent side of the business.

Our consulting business is based around helping organisations become customer-led, which involves lots of CEO talk about Customer Centricity, putting customers at the heart of the business, and what requires a fundamental change in the way businesses are structured. Quite often that also means bringing new people in and rethinking the strategy of how businesses are organised.

We help organisations on three levels with consulting: the first is strategy – how do you put a customer lens on your corporate strategy; how do you understand your customer needs; and how do you drive new product service innovation through understanding those needs. You need to have a degree of financial rigour behind that (which means it will make money for you), and operational efficiency, which means you can transform yourself to meet those needs in a way that is beneficial to the organisation as well as the customers.

The second part is purely operational – looking at everything from data to design and innovation functions, delivery and how you measure all those things once you have your product out to market. So a customer function is an amalgam of a number of previous functions that were siloed, and we help organisations figure out what the best structure is for them as an organisation.

Thirdly, we assist with transformation, which is moving from a product-led business, where you create a product and take it to market, to a customer-led one where you do the research, understand what products and services are needed, and create them. It’s a fundamental move for most large corporates that have been product-led previously: moving away from silos; new ways of working; new organisational structures; new measures internally; remuneration packages – all those things tied up together.

Our talent business, meanwhile, is effectively a Search business and contract recruitment business that focuses on executive search for Chief Customer Officer, Customer Director and Customer Success roles. The customer space is an area we identified over the last three years as a huge growth area globally, and we’re the only company producing a report on this market and focussing on this space. We also help organisations with putting in specialists and teams to help them through transformations. We’re placing our stake in the ground to be the global leaders in that space, and also have a growing training business within the Talent business.

How long have you been based at Innovation Warehouse?

We’ve been here for almost six years now, we were one of the early birds in the space. We started off with two desks and have since moved to an office with 13 desks – and some overspill sometimes as well.

It’s been a mutually beneficial relationship. We’ve worked with [Innovation Warehouse founder] Ami Shpiro on various smaller projects and companies, and as a collective, we’ve certainly got a good relationship. It’s easy for us to refer people to here; it’s a gritty, down-to-earth environment that’s well suited to innovation and change.

Being here gives us great flexibility. It’s the perfect location for transport links to the rest of London and is very cost effective. It offers startups great potential to grow! Also, the environment of having Princess (the Innovation Warehouse Startup Cat) and people’s pet dogs in the space makes it a more friendly and open place to be.

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