DUBAI: YGroup was founded in 2013 in the Netherlands, and has since been on a steep growth trajectory. Shortly after launch, the consultancy pushed into the Spanish market, where it has offices in Madrid and Barcelona. Since then, offices have been opened in Zurich (Switzerland), Copenhagen (Denmark), Porto (Portugal), Gurgaon (India) and London (the UK), and headcount has grown to almost 400 partners and professionals.
The firm’s latest venture into the Middle East is according to Yogen Singh, CEO of YGroup, motivated by the broad scaleof opportunities facing the region. “We are delighted to launch in a region undergoing rapid change and facing critical challenges,” he said.
According to data by an analyst firm, the GCC management consulting market is worth some $3 billion in fees, up from $2 billion six years ago. The region’s two largest markets, Saudi Arabia (which accounts for half of all GCC consulting spend) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), have both been growing faster than the global consulting market for six consecutive years now. Massive public sector reform projects, risk and regulatory work and digital transformation are the main drivers of growth.
In its approach to build a presence in the Middle East, YGroup has opted to combinewith Vecta Strategy, an established local consultancy. As part of the integration, Vecta Strategy and its teams and associateswill rebrand as YGroup.
Vecta Strategy was founded in 2015 by the Dutchman Paul Klinkhamer and the Lebanese Walid Boustany and others. Klinkhamer had previously worked for consulting firms Accenture and Huron, where he led Huron’s Middle East operations. He relocated to the region based in Abu Dhabi in 2010, having spent twelve years with Big Four firm KPMG and insurance company Atradius in the Netherlands.
After graduating from Columbia Business School, Boustany enjoyed a 30-year career in financial services and strategy consulting on three continents. In banking, he held leadership roles at National Bank of Kuwait and HSBC Holdings plcbasedin London, and HSBC Bank Middle East Ltd in Dubai. While in consulting, he worked for close to two decades for Booz & Company as well as several of his own independent firms.His focus on the financial services industry as a practitioner and consultant spanned clients and offices across Europe, Latin America, as well as the Middle East, where most recently he led the financial services industry practice for Booz & Company.
Commenting on the joining of forces, Boustany said: “Through YGroup we will be able to deploy a global perspective on regional and local issues and challenges.” The move will allow the firm to tap into YGroup’s international footprint, and deep capabilities in strategy consulting, execution and data science.
According to Singh, YGroup prides itself on distinctive capabilities in strategy and execution, powered by analytics, artificial intelligence and digital transformation. The firm serves clients across industries, notably in financial services, retail, fast moving consumer goods, healthcare, transportation and technology. “YGroup’s analytics-driven strategy and digital transformation capabilities will be key to our success in the Middle East.”
Asked about how he believes YGroup will be able to differentiate itself in a competitive market, Klinkhamer said, “YGroup’s approach stands in stark contrast to the traditional framework of most tier-one consultancies. We share in performance results with our clients through lower fixed fees and by participating in the upside as webelieve in meaningful long-term client partnerships.” News Desk