Umbrex is pleased to welcome Alexander Savchuk. Alexander Savchuk started his career in Bain and subsequently has been running his own Moscow based telecom&IT consulting firm. Alexander developed entry strategy to the CIS markets and/or assisted in business development for a couple of dozens of hightech firms, to name a few: MCI, AT&T, Motorola, Siemens, Telenor, Ericsson, Microsoft, Cisco. All major Russian telecom companies were among clients of Alexander’s firm for strategy development for years.
In 2014 Alexander decided to take a midlife career change, sold his business and devoted his time to his 5 kids. Now he is developing his startup online platform to address the needs of distributed teams for online problem solving&decision making, strategy development and digital transformation programs’ coordination. However, Alexander would be happy to assist in any strategy development project on the territory of the former USSR.
Sugath Warnakulasuriya explains how to take the first step in accessing the digital value in an old-school business model.
For leaders of traditional industrial and business service companies operating in eroding markets, the typical daily experience is one of keeping existing customers from leaving, holding onto already scant revenue and margins, and staying alive. Entertaining thoughts of getting lots more new customers or becoming more profitable is a rare luxury amidst constant fear of new digitally native attackers turning the industry on its head, or existing competitors retooling themselves to take away what little of the market is still up for grabs.
If you are a CXO or senior leader of such a company, you already know that the deep and disciplined operating expertise and relationships you’ve built over time are indeed very valuable, but also wonder how you can turbo-charge that with “Silicon Valley magic” so you can become the cool new digital, data-driven kid on the block. At the same time, you are skeptical of the hype around “digital transformation” and suspicious of consultants and vendors pitching proprietary solutions as the way to unlock digital value. All of this can be confounding!
So, what’s the clear-headed, strategic way to get your arms around all of the potential new digital value you could generate if you were to “reimagine” parts of your business, or simply make better use of existing and new data and insights to make smarter decisions on how you operate? How do you know what the right priorities should be, what the key risks are, and what kind of investment and organizational commitment is needed to take on this challenge?
The very good news is that the first “no regret” step to getting started is actually pretty clear, though surprisingly still a secret for many.
Key points include:
- Value levers
- Digital opportunities
Read the full post, The Very First Step in Unlocking Digital Value in Your Old-School Business, on LinkedIn.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Camila Fernandez with Alux Management. Camila Fernandez spent 4 years at Bain & Company and is setting up her independent consulting practice based out of the Dominican Republic. Her academic background is mostly Economics and International Development (Harvard Kennedy School). She started her career in government, then transitioned to Bain & Company and later joined Mercado Libre (NASDAQ: MELI) to run their fintech division in Mexico.
Camila is happy to collaborate in strategy, digital transformation and private equity projects in Latin America
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Alp Refik. Alp is a seasoned consultant and sales and marketing leader with extensive project implementation and digital transformation experience. Broad industry exposure, from technology to banking to FMCG. Strong commercial and project management skills. Alp has spend last 5 years developing digital marketing solutions for fortune 500 under Google large customers organisation and managed agency networks as well as direct client relationships.
Alp is based in Amsterdam and fluent in English and Turkish.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Mats Hugossonn with EpikOne Sweden AB. Mats has a passion for solving complex industry and business challenges in an international context. He has a background as a management consultant at McKinsey, CEO and business unit manager with a focus on developing new business and generating growth. He is very hands-on and goal-oriented with a strong track record in strategy / business development, sales leadership and creating results. His industry expertise is mostly from business services, IT/telecom/tech and industrial sector. He has special expertise in business and digital transformation.
Mats lives in Stockholm with his wife and two teenaged children and loves boating in the Swedish Archipelago. He is happy to collaborate on projects in Europe involving sales management, strategy development/execution, business and digital transformation within his industry expertise.
Emre graduated from Bilkent University with BS and MS degrees in Industrial Engineering. During his master, he also studied business and economics in Aarhus Business School in Denmark.
He started his professional career as a finance specialist at Unilever. He worked in personal care and hair care categories for Turkey, North Africa, Middle East, and Russia.
Then, Emre joined Bain & Company’s Istanbul office. He worked as a management consultant for five years. He advised many clients in retail, consumer goods, household appliances, airlines, technology, and logistics from Turkey, Europe, and Middle East. His areas of expertise include strategy, digital transformation, operational turnaround, agile way of working, loyalty program redesign, contact center optimization, in-store sales push, and market entry strategy.
Emre has had interest on professional development and adult learning theory and applications. He served as a trainer in many occasions in his academic and professional career. He designed, developed, and delivered trainings on various topics in the companies where he worked and also for his clients based on their needs.
Emre is a professional scrum master with a PSM certificate – he is an expert in agile way of working. He is one of the pioneers in Turkey to apply agile principles and practices to solve problems in business functions – outside of IT domain. He trains and coaches professionals and agile project teams, help them crack business problems leveraging his industry and capability specific expertise.
Barry Horwitz shares a recent post on digital transformation in business, and how it can provide a clearer understanding of business wants and needs — both internally and customer-facing.
In a recent webinar, Harvard Business School professor Joe Fuller (author of Managing the Future of Work) shared this mouthful: More work will be more digital more often… soon.
What does that mean? Well, what it does NOT mean is that companies should simply do remotely or digitally what they have always done before.
“Digitizing” something that was conceived decades ago is not transformation. This is like how the first cars were called “horseless carriages” (and looked exactly like a horse-drawn carriage minus the horse) and the first attempts at “digital newspapers” were simply PDFs of the printed paper attached to an email.
No. What Fuller and others are saying is that it’s time to consider new combinations and envision a novel, better approach. Not only can this protect your business from getting left behind, it has the potential to open doors that might have otherwise remained closed.
Some examples worth chewing on…
Higher Education. Mid-semester (the first full semester under COVID conditions), many schools are still struggling to figure out the best way to proctor remote exams. One option is software that monitors — Big Brother style — a student’s every move during a test; a bad combination of intimidating and creepy. Maybe it’s time to rethink our approach to learning assessment, in ways other than through closed-book exams.
Supported Living for Consumers With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD). Rich Johnson, CEO of Ohio-based ViaQuest, envisions a future for I/DD services that is virtual, hybrid, and home-based, enabling consumers with I/DD to live with families and friends, instead of in 24-hour-staffed group homes.
Key areas of digital transformation include:
- Higher education
- B2B sales
Read the full article, Digital Transformation Is Coming For Your Business, on the Horwitz and Company website.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Bart Sichel with bps Captura. Bart is President of bps Captura, which provides independent advisory and consulting to corporate senior leaders, private equity firms, and boards across multiple consumer facing industries. Bart has hands on experience driving growth, and provides expertise in Marketing, Digital Transformation, Ecommerce, Innovation, Format Renewal, and Customer Loyalty.
Bart was Chief Marketing Officer at Burlington Stores, leading Marketing, Ecommerce, and Corporate Strategy, and he was part of the dedicated executive management team that turned the business around under private equity ownership, took the company public, and increased shareholder value over ten-fold.
Prior to Burlington, Bart was a Principal at McKinsey & Company where he co-led McKinsey’s North American Retail Marketing Practice among other leadership roles. Before McKinsey, Bart was involved in several startups, and was a Vice President at Chemical Bank. Bart also teaches graduate classes on the topic of leadership at NYU, and serves on the National Board of Directors for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Bart holds a B.A. in Economics from Vassar College, and an M.B.A. in Marketing and Finance from Columbia University.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Bernard Borowski with Digital Lean & Data Advantage Group. Bernard is an outcome-driven digital transformation executive for the services industries who led large scale programs and client engagements that unlocked value from digitized processes and data insights.
He most recently acted as Chief Data Officer for the shared services group of Pharma giant Sanofi; was a Principal in the Technology Advantage practice of the Boston Consulting Group focused on Lean in Services; Executive Director at Morgan Stanley (finance strategy, operations & technology) and held Master Black Belt and finance operations roles at GE for 12 years.
His skills and experience include:
Multi-$mm efficiencies in global shared services operations
Design, roadmapping, jump-start & deployment of digital transformation and continuous improvement programs
Value creation and risk mitigation through enhanced data management and governance
Turn around of mission-critical customer-facing operations
Bernard is happy to collaborate at any stage of a digital transformation in need to accelerate value creation.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Sara Zanichelli. Sara has 10+ years of strategy consulting experience, as core member of Financial Services Practice at BCG and previously at Simon-Kucher & Partners (recognized as world leader in pricing consultancy). After BCG, she held managerial roles in ING Bank (innovative digital bank, agile pioneer), being responsible for customer value management (marketing, pricing, customer intelligence, complains) and later serving as tribe leader for lending products.
Sara spent the last 6 months in Qatar, working on digital strategy and transformation projects at Oliver Wyman. She is in the process of relocating to Singapore with her husband.
Sara is happy to collaborate on digital transformation and marketing projects.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Himanshu Sharma with Avolve Group. Himanshu has 15+ years of experience across strategy and operating roles across both in industry (Citi, Capital One) and consulting (4+ years at Monitor Deloitte Strategy), serving medium-large global clients. Himanshu has particular expertise in financial services and insurance, with a functional focus on strategy, new product solution development, partnerships and product marketing / go-to-market. He lives in Jersey City, NJ with his wife and daughter, performs stand-up comedy in his spare time and is patiently waiting for the New York comedy clubs to re-open.
Himanshu would love to collaborate on digital and business transformation growth projects.
As all areas of business move into digital technology, Ramesh Subramanian explains why the digital transformation requires infrastructure engineers to expand their software skills.
Several years ago I started my career as a C++ programmer but to be relevant as a software engineer today would require many more software engineering skills. The same logic holds for Infrastructure engineers.
About 94% of enterprises (and 50% of Governments) use some form of cloud (private/public) today. And as per an estimate from Forbes, 83% of workloads will be in the cloud by the end of this year. These stats imply that infrastructure teams should be ready to:
Meet expectations of faster release cycles, with several releases per day becoming the norm
Provide application access at scale (millions of concurrent sessions, potentially across the globe) with 24×7 availability
However, only 30% of all infrastructure teams are using DevOp. This is even lower at 12% for Financial Services firms.
Points covered in this article include:
- Business enabling applications
- Business critical applications
- Infrastructure team training
Read the full article, Why Infrastructure engineers should start thinking like software developers, on LinkedIn.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Christopher Rischard. Christopher Rischard spent eight years as Digital Leader in the TMT practice at Booz & Company based in Paris and Madrid focused on digitalization, data and tech-enabled growth strategy. After several years as a Principal, he set off as an independent consultant in London in 2014. Prior to Booz and his MBA at INSEAD, Christopher lived in Washington DC where he was raised and he worked for 8 years in enterprise solutions sales at MCI Telecommunications. Christopher would be delighted to collaborate on digital strategy, digital transformation and digital value creation engagements for both corporate and private equity clients.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Rijul Takkar. Rijul Takkar is a Strategy and Operations Consultant specialising in the Metals and Mining sector. He worked with a boutique consulting firm, The Smart Cube, for four years where he led the business transformation programme for the largest steelmaker in the UK. He has extensive experience in setting up transformation offices, driving operations excellence and managing change in large-scale manufacturing organisations. He also worked as a Specialist Consultant with BCG in their Industrial Goods practice, helping drive operations improvement and cost reduction initiatives for the leading steel company in India.
He holds an Engineering degree in Manufacturing and is currently pursuing his MBA from INSEAD. Outside of work, Rijul is a Formula 1 fan and a fitness enthusiast. He is happy to discuss and collaborate on projects involving process and digital transformation, and operations improvement.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Rodney Speering with Primrose Strategy. Rodney Speering spent 3+ years at McKinsey as an Engagement Manager and has been running his own strategy consulting firm since 2019. Prior to McKinsey, he worked for 7 years as a management consultant on a variety of heavy industry strategic and operational improvement projects, and 5 years as a mechanical engineer designing and managing large scale mining and oil & gas projects.
Although originally from Australia, he now lives with his partner in Germany – they are both keen hikers and enjoy the outdoors. Rod is happy to collaborate on strategic projects globally.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome David Uriarte with Horvent. David Uriarte, former BCG consultant, has an outstanding track record of achievement in customer experience, business management, digital transformation and development in travel & leisure and other service industries. Senior international advisor, entrepreneur and executive with more than 20 years of relevant experience. Digital and people passionate, optimistic, flexible, with a strong strategic vision and leadership in high growth business.
Managing Partner in Horvent Advisory Services and Partner of GuestPro (Leading new generation SaaS to manage hotels). He is also an Associate Professor in Service Management at Toulouse Business School and The Valley of Digital, Mentor at Conector Travel Tech, BTS, Startupbootcamp IoT & Big Data and at The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and Strategy Advisor at Hacks/Hackers Barcelona.
He previously held executive positions in PGI Management, Pierre Vacances Center Parcs and Barceló. David holds an MBA at IESE/ Georgetown University, a Business Degree in the University of the Basque Country.
David also paints horizons in his freetime. Do not hesitate to check his instagram page @horizontem.art
David is based in Barcelona Spain and is happy to collaborate on projects in Spain and travel industry worldwide.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Swan Sit. wan Sit is an independent consultant specializing in digital, marketing and strategy. Having spent the past decade of her career accelerating digital into legacy companies, she held two key roles as a Vice President at Nike — overseeing Global Digital Marketing during the Emmy-winning “Dream Crazy” campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick, and running Digital Operations, Product, Supply Chain and Service for a $2B ecommerce business during the Air Jordan 11 Concord launch, the largest in online history. She led digital at Revlon and Elizabeth Arden, using it to pull them out of a turnaround, and ran online strategy for the Esteé Lauder Companies, increasing its digital footprint to 400+ sites across 50 countries in 5 years. From modernizing hundred-year-old brands and partnering with unexpected influencers like Chelsea Handler, Iris Apfel and Gigi Gorgeous, to launching augmented reality makeovers and driving double-digit growth, Swan has demonstrated both the left- and right-brain skills required for a marketer that drives revenue. She was selected as a Brand Innovators 40 under 40 and Marketing Woman to Watch, and took home both Best Social Campaign and Best in Show at the Glossy Awards. You might recognize her as one of the faces in Twitter’s national “She Inspires Me” campaign during the Oscars, or from judging the world’s largest hackathon in Saudi Arabia alongside Steve Wozniak.
Prior to beauty, Swan was a management consultant at Bain, owned an ad agency focused on emotional branding, was a product manager at Newell (she launched a factory in China during SARS) and created infamous marketing campaigns at Trilogy Software during the dotcom boom. Swan graduated with a BA in Economics from Harvard and an MBA from Columbia.
Swan does speaking engagements around the world on Marketing, Digital Transformation and Leadership in the Digital Age. She is a Board Director of a publicly-traded pharmaceuticals company, advises a variety of businesses and sits on the boards of industry and philanthropic organizations including AdWeek’s Diversity and Inclusion Council, L2 Digital Think Tank, Women in Retail, Consumer Goods Technology Council, Impact Network, Foundation Rwanda and Worldview’s space think tank. Having traveled to 85+ countries, her favorites include Antarctica, North Korea, Mongolia, Rwanda, Bhutan, Myanmar and Tanzania for Kilimanjaro. She can often be found smashing a volleyball and chasing restaurant openings, or flying around on skis and horses – her two newest hobbies.
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Richard Cho with Growing Abundance Mindsets. Through his time at Gartner, Bridgewater, and McKinsey Richard developed a set of tools, frameworks and practices that have been adapted from leading business thinkers and applied across multiple Fortune 500 company teams to successfully drive new initiatives.
Often times technology problems are usually business engagement problems, and he has a track record of getting these initiatives on track. Richard is passionate about building world-class cross-functional digital teams that go after big goals by developing a culture of meaningful trust-based relationships and continuous learning.
This in-depth article from Boris Galonske explains how digitization helps improve resilience in commodity trading.
Commodity trading suffers from shrinking margins and in some commodity classes also from low price volatility. At the same time operating environments struggle with manual routines, legacy processes and systems resulting in high cost income ratios (CIR).
How can this challenge be addressed and how can the profitability and the resilience of trading businesses be increased?
Commodity trading exhibits still several manual routines in its workflows, given the physical nature of the business and established processes in the industry. At the same time margin pressure increases as the inherent profitability of several trading businesses decreases. How can this be addressed?
Commodity trading business characteristics
Commodity trading businesses are typically lean by nature. Several years back, high performing businesses exhibited cost-income ratios (CIR) in the range of high 30% – medium 40%. These days these ratios are significantly higher. Large European commercial banks – as a comparison – even exhibit cost income rations in the range of 70 % – 90% +.
In order to tackle the profitability gap, analytics and middle office activities have been scaled down.
However parts of the trading process have remained untouched.
Points covered in this article include:
- How digitization can help
- Reservations about digitization
- How to approach trading digitization
Read the full article or download the PDF, Monetizing Digitization Levers, on the Silverberg Partners website.
C.V. Ramachandran discusses what it takes to institute digital transformation successfully by engaging a holistic approach that provides support for every part of a company’s value chain.
Big data, machine learning, connected vehicles, industry 4.0, robotic process automation, blockchain … No matter what industry you are in, you have surely come across these popular buzzwords in recent years. These are the phrases that define digital transformation, a modern industrial revolution that has the potential to dramatically transform companies and economies all over the world.
A variety of companies are leading the way, with Amazon, Netflix, and Walmart being some of the first to spring to mind. But these are major corporations in information intensive industries, who have been leading the charge in digital disruption. More broadly, according to a recent McKinsey survey, only about 30% of digital transformations actually succeed.
Read the full article, Digital Transformation: It Takes a Village, on LinkedIn.
Stephen Redwood provides a post that addresses a common problem most companies face when shifting to a new system: how to organize all the moving parts to prepare for the transformation.
Not since the world went from moving around by horse and cart to the use of steam engines, has the pace of change accelerated as much as it is now. So, when back in February 2018 Forrester published a paper entitled Digital Rewrites the Rules of Business it quite rightly focused on the need for companies to think transformational, rather than incremental when figuring out how to adapt to the digital world.
Many of my clients are on this journey and have asked me the question: “How should we organize for digital?”
Points covered in this article include:
1: The right reporting line for digital
2: Capabilities within the digital function
3: How to resource digital
4: The readiness of company culture
Read the full article, How Should We Organize for Digital?, on LinkedIn.
Kaihan Krippendorff provides three signposts that can direct your organization towards a successful pivot.
If people try to tell you that pivoting is the new thing, that it’s the fresh Silicon Valley approach to business designed for today’s fast-paced digital world, don’t believe them. Consider Fairfield University, a private school founded just outside of New York in Fairfield, Connecticut, by the Catholic Church – a 2,000-year-old organization.
In 1941, the society that runs the Jesuit school system had acquired two properties and were finishing renovations on them. One would become a university for college students and the other a preparatory school for younger boys, both on the site of what would become Fairfield University. The plan was to open the university first while renovations on the prep school were still underway.
But then, on Dec. 7, just before the university was scheduled to open, Pearl Harbor was bombed, pulling the United States and nearly all of its college-age men into war. Concerned that they would have a school with no students to fill it, the priests engineered a classic, Silicon Valley-style pivot. They moved the prep school (for younger boys) into the finished building and opened it first.
The signposts are:
-Have a purpose