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Consulting Market Trends 2012-2013
by ASCONCO, Moscow
Consulting Market Trends 2012-2013
per the materials of ASCONCO meeting of March 14, 2013
meetings traditionally begin with
sharing the news, opinions and important events. If they are grouped
generalized, one will get certain slice, or image of what is happening.
So what is
crisis of 2008-2009 remission came
and lasted during 2010-2012. Yes, the number of requests and projects
decreased; yes, the projects became shorter; yes, the working
tougher in terms of both requirements to the results and payment terms.
Nevertheless, certain revival of the market, if not its growth, was
explicitly during those years and many companies managed to reach
the precrisis level. However, proceeds of some companies were reduced
factor of ten as compared with the precrisis indices. In whole,
finished the year of 2012 rather well with the average augmentation by
to the year of 2011. At the same time, everyone agreed that the crisis
over and improvement of the market situation hasn’t become a stable
The first quarter of 2013 bids fair to be not
quite successful for companies dealing with medium Russian private
The situation is somehow alleviated by deferred payments for projects
in the last quarter of 2012 but the number of requests for consulting
decreasing. And while in 2008 the consultants could select the most
projects and turn down the least attractive ones, almost nobody has had
opportunity in the recent years.
It seems like the situation starts to change in
2013. While the first quarter of the latest two years was rather
is observed in the market in the first quarter of this year like in
also concerns new addresses from potential clients and receipt of
the work that had already been performed. In whole, the colleagues feel
decrease of the request for consulting from the direction of business.
Probably, that is due to the cost of consulting projects which is now
their means for some clients and some of them prefer, if necessary, to
employee who, in their opinion, will be able to solve required tasks.
One of the tendencies noted is a bigger amount
of requests from foreign companies. Obviously, that is due to
the economic situation in Europe. Since raw material producing Russia
to overcome the waves of crisis rather smoothly for the time being (in
comparison with other European countries and USA), despite obvious
living standard, Russia is still an attractive market for many Western
businesses. It may be expected that in future they will address a mass
to consulting companies for market researches, build-up of market entry
strategies, assistance in search for partners etc.
Certain changes take place in the training
market, as well. It seems like Moscow companies experience
this kind of service because of high cost and insufficient efficiency.
if the graph is considered, the effect produced by the training carried
looks like a small spike which comes to naught very soon and then
people go on
following the beaten path as if there was no training at all. At the
in the market there is the request for training but with another depth
immersion into the subject and in the form that differs from the
one. Those may be distance education programmes or multistage contest
out among employees, which is a form that presupposes not only the
itself but also motivation of the staff for training as opposed to the
traditional training etc.
Another positive tendency consists in
appearance of requests and start of negotiations with a great number of
young businesses with the turnover of 2-8 mln. dollars. Lots of
businessmen who started their work in the 1990-s have already got tired
Russian realias, on the one hand, and have already proved all they
prove to themselves and to others. Having saved up funds allowing them
in one of the Western countries with this or that degree of comfort,
moving slowly in that direction. And at that moment a new generation of
entrepreneurs appears on the scene. They are active, interested and
work and to develop their business in Russia.
The consultants noted that some tendencies of
the market take us back to the 1990-s. Those are the attempts not to
obligations after the work has been performed and presented and lower
professionalism of the owners and top-managers (and therefore, lower
the requests for consulting). However, there are some differences.
first generation of entrepreneurs studied actively and acquired the
knowledge that was new to them often finding surprising solutions and
unique discoveries, the new generation isn’t interested in getting
knowledge. They need simple clear instructions what to do in this or
situation. They also need constant coaching as the situations are
companies that have no margin of
safety in the form of a regular customer, who carries out changes year
year out and needs consulting support, have a hard time. It's not a
for those who don't have an affiliated foreign partner that throws in
received through his own channels from time to time, either. How can
companies survive these hard times?
Experience of the colleagues shows that for
small and unspoiled companies it is sufficient to get 2-3 good orders
the year not only to break even but to get a profit. That's excellent
is at least 1 (and better 2 or 3) long-term agreement concluded with
companies, which may serve as the basis and the welfare assurance to
extent and to which smaller projects can be added during the year.
Another method that should be tried is to get a
new product, which is either aimed at more prospective clients' niche
matches today's needs of the clients better, enter the market. For
can be such a product that is able to provide the result that is
the client with few expenses and within a short period of time. It is
that if the client is content, such an express-project has the chance
into a more enduring and interesting project for the consultant.
market entry by inexpensive simple 'packaged' products will work for
The colleagues also shared the experience of
changing the target clients' niche: instead of direct sale of the
the customers, they started to work under subcontract with huge
companies performing a portion of work in big projects for those
accordance with their specialization. Such projects are much more
most complicated part of the project that is sale is executed by the
contractor; and if you managed to sell your services to him once and he
content with the results of such cooperation, you may count on joint
him in future.
We are known for our ability to survive in
tough conditions and our ability to find solutions in those situations
seem to be hopeless. Most probably, there are other possibilities and
of overcoming crisis complicacies. We will be happy if you share your
with the colleagues!
version by ASCONCO
Original versions in English and Russian : Copyright ASCONCO, Moscow 2013
French version : Bertrand Villeret, ConsultingNewsLine 2013
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