contact Search

Kare Heikkila

Chief Information Officer, IFCO Systems

1Why were you attracted to Berkeley?

I started my career at a large consulting firm which was a great place to develop your consulting skills, but ultimately I ended up being pigeon-holed into an industry for which I did not have a passion. In addition, programme delivery as part of a big consulting team was no longer what I was after. Berkeley offered more autonomy, variety and closer senior client-side consulting which I found appealing. On top of that, Berkeley was not tied into methodologies which I found refreshing. I was happy to know a few ex-colleagues at Berkeley who assured me about the great culture and interesting work!

2What did you get out of your time at Berkeley?

In my time at Berkeley I was exposed to a full life cycle of transformational programmes; all the way from strategy to delivery and assurance. I mostly worked with the senior client people and often ended up directing the work of big consulting companies – so almost becoming a client myself! Berkeley was always supportive in terms providing access to a wider Berkeley brain and challenging my thinking in crafting solutions. Not always accepting easy solutions but really thinking through what an exceptional outcome would look like is a mindset I will always carry with me. The variety of assignments and caring culture provided me with a great springboard for my current role.

3Where did you go after Berkeley?

I had no plans to leave Berkeley as I was content there. However, having delivered an IT strategy to a brand-new client of ours I was given an opportunity I simply could not turn down. So I became the CIO of IFCO – the world’s largest provider of reusable plastic containers for fresh food supply chain. My role as the CIO is to deliver the IT strategy in terms of transforming the capability and exploitation of the technology in the business. This involves modernising the current ERP landscape, implementing a data and analytics platform, transforming our cloud platform, digitising our planning and supply chain tracking solutions, and of course ensuring our cyber security defences are robust. This will enable us to become a smart and highly efficient data-driven operation that customers find attractive to work with. I am being stretched in completely new ways but at the same time even in the most challenging situations I can draw on the experience I gained at Berkeley. I am really enjoying this new phase in my career, and still staying close to my Berkeley ex-colleagues. Once you have spent 10 years at Berkeley - you never actually leave the firm.