IMF chief Christine Lagarde recently irked the consultancy firms worldwide as she suggested that the low-income and emerging-market economies should desist from hiring global consultancy firms to build their strategic plans. She recommended the adoption of seven development goals set by the UN, instead.

“I see many, many low-income countries and emerging-market economies spend millions of dollars commissioning consultants to build their strategy plan. I would recommend some saving be made by taking the 17 principles, the actionable items, and start with that. From there, the consultants can actually do their job of putting it into reality. But don’t reinvent it — it’s right there. So much is wasted. That’s part of the inefficient spending that can actually be saved,” the former French government minister commented at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, generally putting the consultancy fraternity at unease.

Can economically struggling nations save big time by cutting their use of global consultancy firms?  Team Intueri tries to find an answer.

Management Consulting Industry and Technology Disruption

From its inception years, management consultants as professionals have sought to differentiate themselves by transcending their assigned scope and embedding themselves deep into their clients’ operations. The usual “Where to play? How to win? What to do next?” pitch, coupled with an ability to think in a structured manner, did succeed in yielding the movers and shakers of consulting sustained profits for more than a century.

It would be prudent to note that most corporate strategy arms extensively poach consultants from the major consulting firms. Further, the concentration of business-oriented MBA hires has impaired their ability to keep up with the curve of the rapidly changing business environment. Thus, these same companies are facing the risk of disruption owing to Big Data becoming an omnipresent reality.

Building a Strategy Consulting Model Tuned to the Emerging Economies

What should our next bet be, and how should we scale up our operations? How can we reskill our employees to keep abreast with the changing realities? What can be the next breakthrough product that we ought to focus our attention upon?

These are some of the pressing, complex questions that keep today’s CEOs awake at night. These warrant the adoption of rich data as  equally (if not more) important business insight as raw intuition and/or allied experience. In this regard, it is imperative that consultants re-think their value propositions and tune themselves to undertaking data-driven decisions. Further, the limited success met by major developing economies in effecting serious reforms and/or structural adjustments does indicate that consultants need to re-evaluate the very precepts of globalization which underpin their very existence. More specifically, today’s global milieu represents an inflexion point wherein advisors can succeed only if they change their modus operandi from trying to force-fit the best operating practices of benchmark institutions to a “glocalized” model, rooted in operating-level realities.

While it is true that global consultancy firms are expensive; it is also true that in many ways, they can make it easy for poorer nations to find a route to prosperity. Above all, to be effective, strategies should be followed by a flawless execution plan. Therefore, eliminating the multinational consultancy firms entirely from the equation will never be a sensible option for struggling economies. Instead, they should focus on the apposite, bias-free execution of the blueprint laid out by these esteemed consultancies.


The annual World Economic Forum (WEF) concluded this past Friday in Davos. From discussing the ways to deal with climate changes to pondering over the future of Venezuela, the world’s High and Mighty have made headlines with their rhetoric amid an atmosphere of unprecedented uncertainty, fragility and controversy. The Team Intueri loved to keep sharing updates on everything that were going on over the past few days at the picturesque ski resort of Davos. As the mega event draws to a close, we make a summary of key themes that we think, would play a role in shaping the global, regional and industry agendas in the coming months.

Structural issues like U.S.-China trade tensions and climate change could trigger a catastrophe which could, in turn, affect the growth of emerging countries like India and China. There is a reason for profound pessimism which we have to adjust to a distinct possibility of a catastrophic outcome due to these structural issues. India is a “bright spot” despite challenges to growth in the U.S. and Europe. India continues to have a growth in excess of 7 percent. She seems to remain immune from this (pressure) and benefited from the low oil prices.

world eco forum 2

1. A Weakening World Economy

Global economic weakness remains a concern although the offing of recession is not much in the radar. Growth looks better than in the previous years. Advanced economies are doing better than anticipated especially Euro Area and Japan. The UK has ended 2016 as the fastest growing of the developed economies but the forecast for 2017 will be lower. International Monetary Fund’s, which expect global economic growth to decelerate to 3.5 percent this year.

2. Brexit Bedlam

Concerns over Brexit are growing, the key challenge remaining the time frame. After Theresa May stated that Brexit would mean the the exit from a single market, the agreement between UK and EU in a mutually beneficial manner to remove uncertainty which may hurt business and economy on both sides. A 2-year time frame looks hard to complete the Brexit process. ‘As to whether Brexit can happen within two years, Hammond is cautiously optimistic’.

3. Crying over Climate Change

The World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report 2019 shows only too clearly, environmental crises – notably a failure to tackle climate change – are among the likeliest and highest-impact risks that the world faces over the next decade. Indeed, 2018 saw record levels of costs due to extreme weather events.  Warnings of a climate change catastrophe have been put forward by scientists unless urgent action is taken to “bend the curve” on rising greenhouse gas emissions.

4. The Geopolitical Recession and a New Global Order

Geopolitical Recession poses a bigger risk than the slowdown in the U.S and China. The playout of domestic factors of any country in terms of growth, jobs and prosperity are of higher concern amidst the geopolitical characteristics of the world is important to note.

5. Getting Into the Era of Globalization 4.0

It is the onset of globalization 4.0, however, the world is vastly unprepared for it. Clinging to an outdated mindset and tinkering with the existing processes and institutions will not do. Rather, redesigning them from the ground up is the need, so that we can capitalize on the new opportunities avoiding the kind of disruptions that are witnessing today. The challenges associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) are coinciding with the rapid emergence of ecological constraints, the advent of an increasingly multipolar international order, and rising inequality. These integrated developments are ushering in a new era of globalization.

6. Two Schools of Thoughts Taking the Center Stage

The WEF theme ‘shaping a global architecture in the age of the fourth industrial revolution enabled many loosely related strands of discussion, to come to one location. Two schools of thought were displayed this year. The ‘incrementalists’ pointed to the fact that AI is not a new phenomenon and has, in fact, been around since the 1950s. This technology is increasingly advanced, but it is useful to think of current breakthroughs, in areas such as deep learning. Then there were the ‘radicals’, who told the gathered crowd that the world is experiencing the fastest adoption of new technology ever – with exciting and scary consequences just around the corner. The radicals also highlighted the fact that a small group of mostly American and Chinese companies completely dominate the field of AI research.

We noted these as the main key areas of discussion in the WEF 2019. Global leaders have been deliberating these issues taking cues from developments in the global economy. India has been a focus, drawing much attention from the trade tensions occurring in the West. Alongside, The WEF also brought leaders together to discuss “key global faultlines” including the western Balkans and Syria. Summing up, the WEF lacked buzz without Donald Trump as unease over Brexit and global recession dominated the summit.