WHO GOT THAT JOB? - COO, Shop IQ
JOB: Chief operating officer, Shop IQ
WHO GOT IT? Rob Berman
What was your last role, and where?
I’ve been General Manager of Fatso since I founded it in 2004.
Guiding Fatso from a start up through to its merger with Sky TV and Movieshack was a challenge but a lot of fun and I learnt a hell of a lot. Nine years since launching, I departed happy to have grown it into the household home entertainment brand it is today - and to be leaving it in the capable hands of such an awesome team.
Where were you before that?
I was contracting in various software development roles including a period with Chrisco where I first saw the power of subscription type business models.
Prior to that I started my career in commercial property management which was a great platform for learning many of the business skills I have today - budgeting, tendering, negotiation and marketing.
But I had a real yearning to start my own business.
Fatso allowed me to combine the skill set I’d developed in these two very different industries - plus gave me the creative and entrepreneurial outlet I needed.
What attracted you to your new job?
This was a great opportunity to work with Shane Bradley who I’ve known since 2004.
I’ve always admired Shane’s determination, and his keen eye to spot an opportunity and ability to get there first.
He’d spotted a gap in the market for a quality online pet products site and launched Pet.co.nz in March this year.
I could see the incredible potential in what Shane was doing - for example, scheduled pet food deliveries have taken off hugely in the States and elsewhere and given my experience with subscriptions it seemed like a great fit. Our AutoShip service is proving to be very popular with more than half of our customers using the service already.
What do you do, day to day?
I’m working across most parts of the business including product, customer service, marketing and partnerships.
My main focus right now is building our AutoShip service which is growing rapidly. We have plans to launch into new verticals soon so things are pretty busy.
Now that the Warehouse owns 50% of Shop HQ, do they get half your focus?
We are part of The Warehouse Group's multi channel business along with the likes of Torpedo 7. They support us to grow our business and keep a close eye on how things are tracking, but they leave us to run the business as we need to.
How you juggle yourself between pure-play Shop HQ projects and the Warehouse? Is there much of a difference in style/company culture that you have to negotiate?
The Warehouse do leverage the expertise we have in-house and particularly Shane’s time where appropriate but we operate very much as separate businesses.
Sure there’s a big difference between a large public listed company culture and a nimble e-commerce company like ours, but really it comes down to the people you’re working with.
We work with the senior management at WHG who are a great team, and this helps us to navigate through or work around some of that inevitable corporate red tape.