Knowledge Hub / Introducing Harriet Berwick

Introducing Harriet Berwick

The author: Isabella Hales

19/12/2023

Written by Isabella Hales

At SilverRail, we’re not just about trains and tech- we’re all about our people. We’re a key player in the rail industry, not only leading the way in transforming the way people move but also placing a strong emphasis on the happiness and the growth of our employees. In a field where innovation is paramount, we stand out not just for our advancements but also for our commitments to building a vibrant and inclusive company culture. We are dedicated to empowering and championing our workforce, employees are not merely contributors but integral members of a tight-knit community.

We are thrilled to highlight the wonderful individuals we have at SilverRail. Each team member brings unique skills, dedication, and perspectives to the table, contributing to the overall success of our organisation. In this blog, we will shine a light on Harriet Berwick, Director of Retail Products at SilverRail. Harriet has worked at SilverRail for over 5 years and has a keen interest in travelling and geography.

What is your role at SilverRail?

I am the Director of Retail Products at SilverRail, primarily working in the UK Rail Market. I provide strategic input into all our teams who build products for our UK Train Operators partners, Third party retailers and Agencies. The teams work on everything from journey planning, to purchasing through SilverCore, our Ticket Issuing System, our Agent products and our White Label web and apps. My more recent venture has been working alongside Google to implement a solution to allow the public to purchase UK rail tickets via Google searches. My main objective is to see our products being used to allow Train Operating Companies to be truly omni-channel and provide the best retail experience– whether online, in a corner shop or in a station.

What are you most excited about in your role?

I love the diversity, the required versatility and the problem solving. It can be equal parts exciting and frustrating, but hugely rewarding when you see customers benefiting from something you and your team have put hours of time and energy into. Product management is also arguably the most cross-functional role within a business, which I enjoy.

What’s the biggest challenge?

Working in Product can be really challenging as you need to be able to juggle a lot of moving plates. From stakeholder management, to prioritising features on roadmaps, hitting deadlines, handling competing priorities, understanding the product market fit and keeping up to date with the industry you work in - your job is never finished.

Where do you see the future of rail?

The UK Rail market is complex, fragmented but it also has huge potential. Innovation and true change can be really slow, with lots of hoops to jump through and too many parties involved. GBR will offer the industry one voice who will help to drive reform and focus; benefiting the end passengers. At the moment, the industry is not willing to take risks, and with that it misses out on what could be great improvements for the passengers. Rail is the green way to travel, and in the future we’ll see companies investing in strategies to get their employees on train, especially with domestic air travel being banned. However, customers will demand improvements if they are to travel the greener way. The UK Rail industry and it's technology needs to keep up with people’s expectations, enhancing the whole passenger experience - especially with the cost of travel.

What is the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

Years ago, I used to get paid to help trial new products. The best event for sure was being paid to taste different Cornish ice creams!

Describe what you were like at age 10.

I asked my mother about this, and her response was ‘Harriet would talk to anyone and everyone and would ask adults endless questions’. If you were to ask my older brother and sister, I am sure they would have a very different response!

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time I love to travel and have been lucky enough to travel the world on several occasions. I am a real geography nerd. I am also about to start studying for my WSET qualifications. Learning about wine how it is produced encompasses my interests - climate, travel, geography, chemistry, and enjoying wine!

Do you have any interesting facts about yourself?

From the age of 6 I have been part of an amateur dramatics group and played every part from Aladdin to Cinderella in Panto, Irish danced (badly!), played the deceased in a ‘whodunit’ and knew all the words to classic war time songs at the age of 14! I even performed a pantomime on stage in India, holding up cards so that the audience knew when to boo and shout ‘He’s behind you…’

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