Dimas Gimeno, a passionate and focused advocate of retail transformation. Founder and Chairman of Skintelligence Investments; a retail & tech business platform built to help retailers harness disruptive innovation, adapt, and grow in a rapidly changing economic and social landscape.
From 2014 to 2018, he served as President and CEO of El Corte Ingles, a leading department store group headquartered in Spain. Drawing from his experience as a retail practitioner and the knowledge he has acquired in the last 2 years, he has identified what he believes is the more pressing needs and requirements for the retail industry to gather the storm and grow stronger, better, and more human-centered. They detected that there was an opportunity to fuel positive energy through generating smart investment, building bridges, feeding hungry companies, and the big, stagnating incumbents, and fostering knowledge, innovation, and applied research.
In that vein, he is creating an ecosystem at the intersection of tech and retail where diverse and complementary elements will cooperate in mutually beneficial ventures.
Struggles and successes
Retail is by definition a complex business, as in essence, it boils down to people interacting with people in a marketplace, thus involving economic, social, psychological, and cultural elements. As to the challenges he has faced he would stress resistance to change, fragmentation of the industry, and a somehow understandable mistrust among peers who do not see the opportunities offered by cooperation and silo themselves in a shortsighted competition mindset.
The Covid19 pandemic offers a unique, albeit unwanted, opportunity to remove at least some of those stumbling blocks and move decisively towards swift, deep, and momentous retail transformation without losing sight of the need to place the human being ever more at the center of retail. The retail landscape is in full swing. Although retail transformation has been ongoing for a while, the Covid19 pandemic has accelerated the process exponentially. Changing industry trends, new consumer habits, and innovation will be more visible and consequential than ever. Change is happening and they need to seize the opportunity to surf the wave. Those who opt for idly waiting for the storm to pass are unlikely to survive.
He learnt from experience and he feels very proud about his work at El Corte Ingles, where he was able to put into practice some of the initiatives and innovative badly needed. However, he doesn’t like to dwell in the past. He’s today fully focused on his new ventures and plans for the future with Skintelligence. He hopes that, sooner than later, he would be able to make progress and achieve some of the ambitious goals he has set for himself.
Source of motivation:
The time spent with his uncle, predecessor, and mentor, Isidoro Alvarez, one of the most prominent entrepreneurs in Spain during the last century, left behind an indelible impression and shaped his career. He also draws inspiration and motivation from the intelligence and determination he sees in people from all walks of life as they cope with life challenges. His will to make things happen and curiosity have also been driving forces throughout his life and learning process.
Future goals and advice to the youth
When asked about their future goals, they told The Tycoon Media, that they want to “be a proactive player and shape the conversation about retail.” They “expect their retail ecosystem to be a global reference tool for retailers of all sizes and levels of development and become a leading force in retail transformation in the next decade.”
They “aim to be ready and willing to jump to the next level, approach the challenge with a focus on the solution, not just on the problem to solve. Identify the obstacles and never fear innovation.” His advice to the emerging entrepreneurs is “ I would encourage them to listen carefully to seasoned professionals. Innovative solutions cannot be implemented in a lab, they should be efficient in the real world, and for that practitioners are a unique source of information and valuable knowledge.”