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Interview with the Founder: Foresight’s Yesterday and Tomorrow

Date: February 21, 2024

The Foresight Team sat down with Vittorio Raimondi to ask him about how the company started back in 2011, asked him to reminisce about the early days, recount some landmark moments, some challenges he faced throughout the years, and what the future holds for the company. Read his answers below!

What gave you the idea of starting Foresight?

Vittorio: My true passion has always been helping brands make better decisions today by creating (vs. predicting) their future. My background in System Dynamics and my holistic understanding of problems (and several other things) led me to build a business entity dedicated to offering forward-looking analytics (i.e., foresight) and enabling brands to make the right business choices. I also must say that I didn’t want to build a company with “faceless corporate vibes” that was disconnected from its people – I wanted to make sure we have a solid culture where everyone could flourish and realize their potential.

How do you remember the early days?

Vittorio: Quite fondly. As it happens with most small businesses at the start of their journeys, our office was just a small room with two desks in a shared office space. But as the years passed, new desks were added, and we had to keep moving to bigger office spaces to make room for new colleagues. We’re in office #4 today. Fun fact: in the early days, as part of the onboarding process, new employees were tasked to assemble their own IKEA desk. And if you’re wondering, no, we didn’t keep this practice.

Can you remember some milestones and big moments over the years?

Vittorio: The company’s first big milestone was hiring someone for an operational/administrative role when I couldn’t handle it myself anymore. The second significant milestone was establishing other long-term relationships with bigger client accounts like Johnson & Johnson as it really meant that important brands are buying what we are offering. Moving into the company’s current offices was also a day to remember. Another landmark moment that I remember was when senior leadership decided to buy shares in the company and put skin into the game.

Not so much a milestone but I also must mention that a crucial element to the company’s evolution were some of our trademarked frameworks (STRAP™ and Pachinko™), all inspired and evolved by ongoing client projects infused with classical economic concepts like the 3Cs (Consumer, Company, Category) and 3As (Affordability, Availability, Affinity).

What lessons did you learn as a founder over the years?

Vittorio: Be prepared for everything. Luckily, Foresight’s clients’ categories did well during the pandemic, so our business was almost unaffected. Implementing remote work was a difficult adjustment as the team was used to doing lots of in-person whiteboarding and brainstorming. The change was more of a technical and less of a performance challenge – but like many other organizations, we are still evolving the way we collaborate in this new hybrid environment.

A significant threat was when one bigger client’s internal structure was drastically reorganized and we lost lots of contacts (and business) because of it, prompting a change in the way we do business: we realized we had to make an active effort to reach out so that we could diversify our client portfolio; that is when we started our newsletter and presented a global insight conferences with clients such as Coke and Johnson & Johnson, putting the Foresight name out there online.

What is Foresight’s future vision and goals?

Vittorio: I always say that Foresight’s vision is to play a significant role in supporting growth in the “Foresight way”. What’s that you might ask? It’s our core values:

Fearless in pushing new analytical boundaries – we exist to enable growth for anyone who works with us – from employees to clients to community partners.

Curious in search of answers – we don’t settle for ‘off-the-shelf’ solutions and don’t shy away from challenging old approaches. We tackle problems in new ways, which often pushes us to break new ground.

Human in our interactions and relationships – we are serious about our work, but not about ourselves. We understand that individual output rarely surpasses team efforts, and we place a high value on co-creation, cross-functionality, and teamwork.

Relentless in solving problems – we actively seek ways to ‘over-deliver’ for our clients. At the end of the day, we stake our reputation on the work we deliver.

Of course growth is part of our agenda. But neither I nor my Partners lose sleep over revenue targets. We continue to prioritize quality over quantity, ensure that we continue to deliver the best value to our clients, and having fun on the way.

If you’d like to be part of the journey, have a look at our open positions or read more about what it’s like to work at a strategic consultancy.