I am now on the halfway point of my internship and I would like to use this post to share three of the most relevant experiences I have had in the last few weeks at Zalando.

1. Management Board speaks about Diversity

As I mentioned on my previous post, Zalando fosters a very open and transparent culture. There are different avenues where the Management Board sits in front of employees to answer any questions that might concern individuals (e.g., monthly Ask.Us.Anything open Q&A). Today, I would like to highlight the presentation that Robert Gentz (co-CEO) made about Zalando’s Diversity Plan.

As we discussed in a wide range of cases during my first year at HBS, diversity is a key challenge for companies worldwide, especially those which are more tech-oriented. Although Zalando is in a good position compared to other tech companies (it employs people of +100 nations, and almost 50% of the workforce are women) they know that it’s not enough. Zalando wants to maximize diversity across all levels of the organization’s hierarchy and in all business functions. Supported by the highest levels of the organization, a diversity taskforce has been launched to set even higher standards. In mid-June, Robert and the diversity team presented the new plan in front of all employees, with very specific and bold targets, and answered any questions that the crowd might have. It was very interesting to see how Zalando approaches the diversity question. I especially liked the fact-based approach that the taskforce took to deal with the challenge, as diversity discussions can easily become very subjective and opinion-based.

2. Customer Care (CuCa) Experience Training

One of Zalando’s core values is “customer obsession”. All Zalando employees are constantly reminded that any business decision needs to put the customer first. For example, every meeting room has a picture of a customer, describing the reason why they choose Zalando. As part of these customer-oriented culture, Zalando has launched a CuCa training, where employees spend a couple of hours with a CuCa specialist and listen to customers’ requests when they call / send emails. I had the chance to shadow Customer Care specialist covering the Spanish market, who taught me the nitty-gritty of his job. It was striking to learn how Zalando has adapted the CuCa strategy to cater for the local consumer demands of the +15 geographies it covers.

3. Zalando Lounge Campaign and Content Production Tour

Zalando Lounge is Zalando’s shopping club. With +15M registered members, it offers daily sales promotions of fashion and lifestyle products. Once a week, Zalando Lounge opens its doors to Zalando employees so that they spend a couple of hours touring the facilities and getting deep insight into the processes. Last week, I participated in one of these tours where I got to learn about the different departments within the organization: starting with Operations Management and Sample Quality Management, all the way through Photo Studios, Picture Post Production and the Content team. I was surprised by how many stakeholders are involved in the process of launching only a 3 day long campaign!

As for my daily work, I have started supporting another project related to the Platform Ecosystem that Zalando is building. It involves engaging multiple stakeholders within the organization, which gives me a lot of exposure to understand Zalando’s core business model. I’ll write more about it on my next post!