The case that, for me, epitomizes the challenges that BCG offers was helping a large airline establish its own low-cost carrier—something other airlines had attempted before, but never successfully. We were involved from the inception, helping the client write the business case and board paper. I was then seconded into the business as acting CFO through the build and launch phase. It was an extraordinary experience helping a client go from problem (eroding market share) to solution (building a new business)—and all in an accelerated timeframe.
The result was an unmatched opportunity for me to think strategically in order to make real change happen for our clients.
While on secondment at Cricket Australia (CA) I was contacted by a BCG partner who was struck by the fact that Test Cricket operates today under the same construct as it did in the 19th Century. The lack of a championship structure prevents matches from having a contextual relevance which would improve financial returns and the competitive nature of the sport.
Over the next six months, what began as the night time plaything of three to four BCGers developed into a high profile restructure of global relevance. We met with CEOs and chairmen of the 10 test-playing nations and are now implementing the World Test Championship—a concept that will forever change the commercial and competitive structure of the world's second most popular sport.
For me, strategy consulting is about working with the client to change that client's future. It is not only about generating insights but also about creating practical solutions that bring tangible results.
One of the clients I worked with was a large telecommunications operator in Indonesia. At the beginning of the project, the overall market was relatively stagnant despite the fact that the industry enjoyed the highest tariffs in the world. We challenged the conventional wisdom of the client's senior management and convinced them that the market should change—with their firm leading that change. Our recommendation was bold, as it required them to adopt an approach that had never before been tested in the market. The execution of the new strategy came quickly, and we witnessed a significant impact to the client. Revenue went up by approximately 50 percent, and the client became the trend-setter in the market.
At BCG, we show how to play a better game—and change the rules! In another project, we helped a client develop a strategy for entering Indonesia's microfinance market. There were only a handful of successful microfinance institutions in the market at that time, so we had to come in with a "blank sheet" approach. We analyzed the feasibility of entering the market, concluded that it was an attractive opportunity, and developed an entry plan. We also acted as the extra pair of hands to help execute that plan, and created a detailed operating model to keep the business running. At the project's end, the new institution was operating successfully and the results exceeded the client's expectations.
Partner & Managing Director