Get to know the people and the passion behind Tivian

The next guest in our ‘5 minutes with’ series, where we introduce you to some of the incredible people who power Tivian, is Kartik Shah, Implementation team lead.

Join us as he shares his insights on industry trends and challenges, his background, expertise, and the driving force behind his unwavering commitment to Tivian’s transformative mission.


Hi Kartik, Thanks for chatting with us. Before we dive in, please could you share a few things about yourself, including the values you hold most dear to you.

What or who has inspired you most in your life, and why?

It may sound like a cliché, but my parents. They were part of the migration wave from East Africa to the UK in the 1970s and had to navigate many challenges to establish their new lives in the UK. When you’re younger, you don’t always fully appreciate the challenges and sacrifices that your parents make for you. Now that I am older, I am so grateful for what they did to give my sister and me the opportunities we have.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

It’s another cliché, but don’t be scared to make mistakes. Failure isn’t the end; it’s an opportunity to learn and grow. Don’t be afraid to take risks and make mistakes along the way.

What is/are the values you hold most dear to you?

Loyalty is the value that I hold dearest. I am fiercely loyal to those who are close to me.

If you could be anyone else, who would you be and why?

If I don’t say, Homer Simpson, I think anyone who knows me would be disappointed! As a 90s child, I grew up with the Simpsons, so watching Homer have the adventures he did, well, how many people have been to space, met multiple presidents, and had their own cartoon for 762 episodes and counting…

You can invite 1-4 people to dinner (dead or alive). Who would they be, and why?

Ayrton Senna – My Childhood sporting hero. I got into Formula 1 at a young age, and Senna was my favourite driver; one of his famous quotes, “If you no longer go for a gap that exists, you are no longer a racing driver.” And it’s this passion and mentality that I’d love to get to know more about.

Keanu Reeves — Given the snippets of information I’ve read about Keanu, his compassion, and his challenges, he seems one of the most down to earth Hollywood individuals. If I could learn anything from his journey, I have no doubt I’d be a better person.

Dolly Parton — I didn’t know much about Dolly until the last few years when I discovered what a superhuman she is. What’s even more impressive is that she does this all under the radar, and her motivation is to make the world a better place.

My Mum — Unfortunately, my mum is no longer with us, and I would love the chance to have one more conversation with her. Tell her we’re doing well and thank her for everything she has done for us.

What is your go-to song when you would like to feel happy or special?

Happy by Pharrell Williams (from the first Despicable Me movie) is a great song and a great movie, and yes, I am singing it in my head as I type this…

Moving on to your career: Tell us about your background before joining Tivian.

Before joining Tivian, I spent 17.5 years working for the John Lewis Partnership in the UK. They have two retail brands, Waitrose (Supermarket) and John Lewis (Department Store). I started as a shop assistant while studying for my A levels at college. After finishing my economics degree and moving out of London, I began to climb the retail management ladder at Waitrose, working on their expansion and new retail formats. In 2013, I moved into the head office functions, in a unique part of the John Lewis Partnership, and this is where I got to understand the true purpose of the Partnership. Finally, I held roles in finance, employee experience, and John Lewis Finance (retail finance, credit cards, insurance, etc).

What does your role entail? 

The great thing about my role is that I help customers gather insight using technology. I’ve always been an early adopter of technology and how we can better use it to enhance our lives, and the employee experience is no different.

We are always dealing with People, how they feel, and what motivates them. Being able to gather data and supplement this with data we already have, gain insight, and turning this into foresight to improve employee experiences and business performances is always at the heart of what we do.

What prompted you to move into Professional Services?

Working in Professional Services has always offered me a great balance between doing the things I enjoy, working with our customers, both current and future, and working with data. Many of my colleagues will tell you I have a spreadsheet for almost anything. My role means I get to work with most teams within Tivian to share knowledge and develop new solutions.

What does an average day at Tivian look like?

It’s quite varied, between being a project manager, a people manager, and a subject matter expert. The days I enjoy the most involve interactions with my customers and my team, even when things aren’t going to plan because I know we’ll find a solution. I often speak with my sales colleagues about upcoming opportunities or a challenge a client has and how best we can solve this, and it’s always great when clients stretch our thinking.

What are the challenges you see for EX/CX in 2024?

Businesses face continued uncertainty, including elections in major Western countries, ongoing conflicts, and a shortage of skilled labour. This means clients will be looking for even more value from their solutions. I think this offers Tivian a unique advantage with our Communicate XI and Discover XI platforms, as they can add value to customers, employees, and business processes.

Automation, AI, and Data have been around for many years and are some of the first questions clients ask us. As technology leaders, we have a role in helping clients understand what these words mean in practice and how they can help achieve their goals.

How has the role of technology/importance in EX changed in the last five years?

With the events in the world in the last five years, technology has become an enabler for processes and insight, and it has become even more valuable than before. Using technology to allow HR teams to focus on the elements of their roles that add the most value will continue to be of the upmost importance.

What trends can you see happening in the industry this year?

Further integration with AI: As much as this can feel like a buzz phrase, AI is here and changing our lives. We need to embrace it and use it to supplement our existing skills.

How does Tivian help businesses?

Our focus is on providing technology solutions to support our clients’ gathering insight and turning this into foresight, making business decisions and improving their customer and employee journeys.

One more thing before you go. Can you share one interesting fact about you (outside of work).

I am a bit of a sports fan, and one of the sports I’m most passionate about is American football. I’ve been to almost every game that has been hosted in London, and we’ve been lucky enough to see all 32 NFL teams. I’ve also been out to the USA to watch some games, and I hope to do this a bit more in the coming seasons.

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