Malin Hultqvist, CEO Kid's Concept
Stories 2023.07.03

The digital approach and the importance of its integration

At Network of Design, we think that digitalization and knowledge sharing is critical to international success and our ambition is to accelerate and facilitate the digitalization journey together with all our companies through pooled investments, expertise- and experience sharing. 


Malin Claesson Hultqvist joined Network of Design, as CEO of Kid’s Concept in February 2023 and she has had all her career with digital companies (MTG, Rum21, Ellos Group) and now, 4 months in with NOD, she shares her view on the importance, but also the challenges that comes with today’s need to truly stay on top of things within the rapid changing digitalization area and how we as a group tackle some of the most common challenges design brands face in these digital times.


Why is scale so important when it comes to digitalization?

”Digitalization is a prerequisite for scale – however digitalization requires not only up-front investments and knowledge but also, to not fall behind, an adequate amount in ‘continuous investments’ in next level digital infrastructure, people, features, tools etc. The unfair part of that story is that the size of the investment doesn’t scale proportionally with the size of the company, especially not up front. Naturally, the bigger muscles the better prerequisites to grow even faster. Thus, the gap increases and the smaller fall behind. NOD Group’s pooled investment strategy let our companies ‘tag along’ our digitalization progress as required investments ‘scale’ when done as a group instead of a one-by-one company investment. This enables our companies, no matter size, to stay on top of their digital journey and get the prerequisite to meet market- and customer demand.”


What is your view on buzz words such as ’best practise’ and ’knowledge sharing’?

”There are as many approaches of doing business as there are companies…? Nae, not quite true. A strong successful brand is surely one that, over time, has managed to stay relevant within its market and niche and has built a robust and strong brand platform with a substantial ‘brand equity’. NOD’s prerequisite when acquiring a company is that the Brand has/do manage exactly that. However, global expansion approach, best practices within a design process, supply chain management, warehouse operations etc are often similar and there are better practices than others to apply. This is something that I, after just a few weeks within NOD Group, realized was such a superpower of this group. Together, our companies and people are sitting on hundreds of years of accumulated experience within our field of Scandinavian design – which by itself is quite unique. But it is the willingness to open up, to share this knowledge and to help each other with best practices and advice, that has really struck me. And now, after a couple of months in, this is something I truly already value and believe in – to share insights and knowledge to help each other grow – what a great recipe to future growth.”


How has the view of digitalization shifted since you started working with digital companies?

”I have had my whole working life (i.e. 14 years) within digital companies – companies whose whole existence, reason for being and core business rest in the ‘digital hemisphere’. Some years ago, when the digitalization journey of many of the ‘more physical’ companies was not close as far advanced as it is today, I could get the question to advice companies in their ‘digital strategy’ approach. I always found the question fascinating, as if the digital strategy was a strategy of its own, an isolated island separated from the ‘real’ business strategy and the company in large. Today, luckily that view has shifted, and the ‘digital strategy’ is today much more often at the core of THE strategy. The digital approach and all its possibilities and challenges should sit exactly where it sits today sits for our companies within NOD Group – highly integrated in the middle, inseparable from all ‘other strategies’ and core business.”









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