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Olaf Rotax

Managing Director at dgroup

Special Focus: Disruptive strategy, Business Innovation

„Digital will change everything. It is our obligation to build the future we want to live in. “


Can you please tell us your personal background?

Typical T-Shaper, I am always confident that average is not enough for excellence. I studied Business, Engineering and IT in Germany and UK. I worked 10 years in the retail industry from trainee to MD, from private owned company to stock listed corporations, from strategy and M&A to operational responsibility of digital. Currently, I’m working for almost 10 years at dgroup now, which I co-founded and currently manage as Managing Partner. Still eager to learn and develop myself to the next level.

What was your main decision to dedicate your life to dgroup?

After 10 years mostly being responsible for digital within companies, five key learnings drove my decision to start my own company:

  • Digital will be the new normal and all business models will be affected by digital transformation needs
  • Success factors of digital transformation are neutral to industry and business model and learnings from transformation leading retail can be applied to other industries
  • Digital transformation as an innovation dilemma needs external disruption to start und accelerate internal transformation
  • To transform business models you need tools of consulting and restructuring as well as digital vision and expertise aligned in integrated teams
  • Neither traditional management consulting companies nor digital geek agencies had understanding and talent to deliver successful digital transformation

It was therefore logical to co-found a company disrupting traditional consultancy and agency. We call the next generation business modelling and follow a clear vision to establish the global premium boutique to understand, deliver, develop and innovate our clients.

As with my other three children I enjoy to see dgroup growing up :-)

Can you please tell us your personal view on digital today?

Digital is currently heavily misunderstood. Too many people see digital only as another channel or media in traditional technological development. The short-term impact of digital is over-estimated – there are no easy quick wins in digital. Long-term impact is under-estimated – digital will be the new normal and change everything!

The most common danger of misunderstanding is to neglect investment in people who understand and have the experience to drive digital transformation. That’s somehow good for dgroup as a company, but has to change if we want to be in active control of digital transformation rather than a passive element in an ever-changing environment.

​ Digitalization is changing our lives, can you please tell us your personal vision of our digital future?

Digital will be the new normal. Like electricity we will no longer talk about it as we do today in the future. However, as any industrial revolution, digital will change everything. New opportunities change behavior and expectations. Disruptive players take advantage of opportunities and changing expectations without legacy restrictions.

Virtualizing value chains increases productivity dramatically and by rearranging the value chain many of current intermediaries will be replaced by new ones.

New data driven opportunities on decoupled, virtualized value chains will establish new business models with superior end-user-benefits that will change current markets totally. On all of that I see digital as THE CHANCE to be active participant to explore and form our future environment.

With smart, talented people it is fun and obligation at the same time to secure what we want to survive and to alter what we want to change.

Please tell us three things you would like people to remember about you?

I would be happy to get three comments as personal feedback:

  • That guy challenged us to understand and define what is necessary and is authentically dedicated to help us to take advantage of the opportunities of digital and to mitigate risks of digital transformation
  • That guy does not focus on short term personal benefit or wants to be the easy small talker – dgroup is a neutral market-oriented partner, focused on making digital successful by USP and operational excellence
  • That guy believes and trusts in people and collaboration where everybody in the t-shaped team contributes specialized expertise strengths and values and knows that at the end it’s the team not him who delivered success


Alibaba and Chinese Retailers start to attack Amazon, Zalando and Otto.

The Chinese retail giants are currently building up logistics infrastructure for a market launch in Europe. "A market entry for Alibaba and in Germany would only work through a major acquisition. An online retailer such as Zalando or Otto or a logistics company like DHL could be an option" – dgroup MD Olaf Rotax  in Handelsblatt (article is in German)

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New Retail or Amazon Supplier

Our Managing Director Olaf Rotax explains why stationary retailers now must decide on their own future. (in German)

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Baidu/Alibaba/Tencent vs. Google/Amazon/Facebook/Apple

dgroup Managing Director Olaf Rotax on Google's entry into Chinese retail giant

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