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Leadership video series: Mark Gilbert, Mondottica | Part 2

In our new series of finance leadership interviews, we recently sat down with Mark Gilbert, CFO and COO at Mondottica. Watch part two below.

Mark shares his experience in a leadership role for Mondottica’s global brand, with his advice on:

  • How ethics are influencing today’s market and finance industry
  • The importance of an ethical approach to Mondottica’s growth
  • The role of data in ethical business practices
  • Whether AI will become part of Mondottica’s finance function 

We can see that there’s a growing need from a recruitment and retention perspective, with talented individuals, that’s becoming part of their need, I think, to see what companies’ values and ESGs and ethics are.

So I think, really important from a people and team perspective to be demonstrating that.

 

I think also though, specifically to finance is, I think, the important role that the finance team can play in enabling us to keep investing in our ethics and values, and some of the ESG initiatives. Which do sometimes come with costs and resources for the business.

 

But for me, it’s been about being able to demonstrate the benefits of some of those things back to shareholders and investors. Because it’s important that it has a, you know, a monetary value to it as well, and making sure that we’re sustainable as a business from a financial perspective and attracting new investments and working capital requirements we might have as well.

Yeah, it’s really, really important. We’re on a journey now which is all around, you know, ESG, values, ethics. The values piece that we have actually, one of the… one of the cornerstones of the values that we have is just “do the right thing.”

And we mean that from a… from the people that we have working at Mondottica, partners that we have, so the partnerships and the JV’s, customers, suppliers… I think we just want to live and breathe by that value, which is sort of doing the right thing, which includes ethical behaviours and governance and treating everyone how you’d want to be treated yourself, really.

We’re just about to launch a new data project where we’re going to have a data warehouse with Power BI reporting, which should give everyone a lot more information about the day to day business, decision making, etc. Then that will start playing into, as well, the data gathering that we need to do for ESG reporting.

 

You know, going on the B Corp journey, for example, needs information going into those processes to make sure that we can be accredited and show that we are doing the right things. And so, to be able to get hold of that data really easily and dynamically is really important.

I think we’re in a fast pace of change at the minute with the new technologies coming through, just with data alone, and then you’ve got AI to come on. For me, it’s fundamental first to get our data right, sorted and accurate. Then we can start thinking about layering AI on top of that data to give us insight. You know, help us with decision making, help us mine through the data to give us better decisions.

 

I mean, I don’t know where AI is going to end up. Probably, nobody does really. But I think for me, in the sort of short to medium term, I think it’s around… I don’t think it’s around removing people from processes and decisions. I think it’s working alongside the people. I think it’s empowering people with better information, to then put the… human view on that, and turn that into a decision.

And also I think in the early stages, being able to validate it. Because it’s not – it can’t be trusted from day one that it’s going to give you the right information and there’s examples of that that you see at the moment, which is… it’s not… it’s not always accurate.

 

So it’s important to have the people there. But as we grow and scale as a business, it’s really useful to kind of, give that tool to the people, enable us to grow more efficiently, and use it to maximise all the decisions that we make as a business.

If you missed part one of our finance interview with Mark, you can tune in here.

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