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Henrik Berg

Meet Henrik – Founder & CEO of Morjas, Forbes 30 under 30 Class of 2020

Describe your role and what it is that you do overall and on a day-to-day basis

My name is Henrik and I’m the CEO & founder of Morjas: A high-quality shoe brand that circumvents traditional channels and sells only direct to the consumer online.

I run Morjas from our office in Stockholm with a team of 7 full-time employees that all are very digitally focused. My main responsibility is overall performance and to ensure each team member has clear objectives and the necessary tools to reach them. In other words, I mainly focus on how I can support, coach and lead the team in order for us to reach our goals.

We start every day with a quick meeting to run through each team members’ focus to ensure we stick to the plan and maintain the right focus. Currently we are in the middle of building a new website so naturally it is a lot of fun work with that and I am producing all the content for the website (text, image, etc.).

One of my direct responsibilities is the product so a lot of my time is dedicated to close dialogues with our factory in Spain. Both to develop new upcoming models but to also continuously refine and improve the products we currently offer in our permanent collection.

Even if it sounds cliche, each day differs quite a lot from the other in my role. I can start my day working with finance, profit & loss (P&L) and analyze our cash flow, then jump into a marketing meeting about social media performance, then solve a special case with our customer experience (CX) team to later on plan an upcoming launch. And in between all this closely monitor sales and key performance metrics. I start and end each day in the same way: looking at key performance in Google Analytics.

 

What inspired you to start your company? Is there a story there?

When I graduated from SSE I started working as an Export Manager for Swedish haircare brand Maria Nila (of which the management team were all SSE alumni).

I travelled a lot and wore a suit 5 days a week. For me it has always made sense to invest in quality that stands the test of time. But I was getting tired of paying for overpriced quality shoes. I learned that the price was highly driven by the business model ­– the brands I liked (and still do) sell via multiple middlemen such as importers and retailers, and naturally everyone needs their piece of the pie. But the end price becomes illogically high just because an ancient way of operating, and it ends up being the consumer who bears the consequence for this. I started asking around and found out a lot of people were also tired of this situation, so I decided to do something about it!

 

How did your time/education at SSE help guide you to where you are now or the career journey you have embarked on?

Most of all, at SSE you improve, train and develop your mentality. Companies and successful careers don’t just happen, they require a lot of work. The mentality that is shaped during your studies at SSE sticks with you throughout your whole life. I remember clearly when friends from other universities had intense periods, we always had twice as much to do at SSE. It sucked then, but I’m grateful for it now. And I think that’s one of the key success factors for people graduating SSE – the strong mentality you build is the rocket fuel for your success.

So I wouldn’t say that SSE particularly guided me in any direction. It was more how SSE helped shape my thinking and mentality. And I think that’s the key value SSE gives you. If you then decide to create the best food truck in the world, deliver the most sophisticated excels or launch your own company it really doesn’t matter – the common denominator will be what mindset you bring to it.

 

What have you learned over the past few years that you think is the secret to your/your company’s success?

  1. Execution is everything. Really, it’s everything. An idea is completely worthless if you don’t execute. We all know this, but it is the sincere truth. I’ve valued this highly from a young age, but the importance and the value of execution gets magnified when you start working with others.
  2. You should follow through on your vision if you’ve thought it through carefully, because others don’t understand all the things you’ve already processed, thought about and designed solutions to. If you believe in something and you have your vision clearly outlined, you just have to execute and don’t expect others to understand.

 

What advice would you give to students considering applying to SSE?

Apply! And enjoy being around some of the smartest people.

And try your ideas while studying at SSE. You are surrounded by some of the smartest people and the alternative cost of trying is so low. If I were to do it all over again, I would definitely try to start a company during my time at SSE.

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