"We need to offer the best digital experience: that's our goal!"

Robert Němec

Solution Architecture Manager

Solution Architecture Manager

“Did I solve a problem or dilemma today?” “Did I make somebody’s day easier or happier?” If both of these questions can be answered with a “yes,” Robert Nemec has had a good day at work. He joined Albert – Ahold Delhaize’s brand in the Czech Republic – as their Solution Architecture Manager in September 2021. “It has been amazing to be part of Albert’s digital journey. It’s exciting to witness the company’s digital transformation upfront. What’s even more exciting is knowing that I can personally contribute to its success.”  

When there’s a challenge or a complex dilemma, Robert Nemec lights up. It’s one of the reasons he enjoys working in the digital domain, which constantly presents new puzzles to solve. “I am faced with new challenges every day. It’s what makes my work as fulfilling as it is.  Without those challenges, I’d be bored. Not only do they keep me on my toes and feed my never-ending curiosity, but they also offer me plenty of opportunities to learn. The solution to a problem often isn’t evident immediately, but ultimately, we always find an answer.”  

Rewind to the summer of 2021 when Robert first applied for a job at Albert. “In all honesty, I didn’t originally know that Albert is part of the international Ahold Delhaize brand. I knew Ahold Delhaize from my travels in Europe and was very interested to find out that Albert fell under it. That made the role even more appealing – I was very keen on the idea of working for this large, top global retailer. I was particularly eager to find out more about Albert’s digital status. ‘Where does it stand in terms of its digital transformation?’ ‘What kind of digital ecosystem is it working towards?’ Those were the most important questions on my mind when I walked into the office for my interview.”  

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The answers he got during his interview piqued his interest even more. “Albert is still somewhat in the early stages of its digital transformation journey. What I love about that is that it gives me the opportunity to really add value and make a difference. Taking a transformation from its beginning stages to the next level is far more challenging and complex than trying to shape a transformation that is already well on its way. Those first steps are often the hardest, as you need to figure out exactly what the best course of action is and which strategic route to take.” 

The fact that there’s a lot of complexity in the job is right up Robert’s alley. “We’re looking to create synergy with other brands and countries. I work closely with the global digital team and the local product owners, who I can always reach out to if I want to pick their brains. I learn a lot by being exposed to their knowledge, experiences and best practices. I love finding out how all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place, enabling us to build the perfect digital ecosystem for our Czech customers.”  

To solve a puzzle, you need analytical skills and technical knowledge. Robert’s past experience at other companies has given him that, and much more. “My technical expertise and past business experience are obviously crucial, but I wouldn’t be able to achieve much if I didn’t have the company’s support. My manager and colleagues trust me unconditionally and give me the room and confidence to make decisions. The combination of having the know-how, trust and support, as well as access to help and guidance, is key to success in my work.”  

When does he consider his work a success? “When our customers navigate our digital ecosystem with smiles on their faces; when every digital experience is a pleasant and fulfilling one. That’s what we set out to achieve every day. Our customers are ready for it: Czech people are pretty tech-savvy, and the pandemic only raised the level of our customers’ technical understanding even more. We need to offer them the best digital experience – that’s our ultimate goal!” 

In a job where there’s so much going on, switching off can be tough. Having a good work-life balance is vital. “That’s another aspect of my job that I love: my work-life balance is close to perfect. I have the freedom to organize my workday in such a way that I can drop my kids off at school in the morning, and if needed, drive them to soccer training, other kids’ birthday parties or dancing lessons later in the day. I love that Albert trusts us to do our work in our own time, and in doing so, ensures a healthy work-life balance for us.”  
 
With two young children, Ela and Filip, there’s never a dull moment for Robert at home. “There’s always a question to be answered, a game to be played or a fight to be resolved. I wouldn’t want it any other way, though. I absolutely love spending time with my family. The best days are those spent hiking in the mountains – a two-hour drive from our home in Prague – together: me; the kids; my wife, Gabriella; and our dog, Ripley. Whether we go there for a weekend, a day or just a few hours, we always come back feeling completely re-energized.”   

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Name: Robert Nemec (1977) 

Started working at Albert: September 2021 

Studied: BA Machines and Equipment for Chemical and Food Industries Economics (Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, 2002) 

Living with: My wife, Gabriella, and our two kids, Filip (8) and Ela (4)  

Hobbies: Cooking and playing soccer  

Wake me up in the middle of the night for: A barbecue or late-night dinner with friends and family, ideally in the Austrian Alps 

Favorite holiday destination: The Austrian Alps (in any season) 

Life-changing event: The birth of my children and the time I spent working in Ireland (where I saw the difference between companies evolving digitally in the Western world and those in the Czech Republic that emerged under the Communist regime. This was such an amazing, eye-opening experience and a real game-changer for me) 

Biggest source of inspiration:  There are so many people who inspire me – it’s almost impossible to choose one. But if I had to pick, I’d go with my grandfather because of everything he’s shared with me: all his experiences, views and positive attitude 

Best advice I’ve ever received: It sounds cliché, but it’s valuable advice: “Try to see the good side of people and don’t judge them based on their faults or mistakes” 

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