Global management consultancy A.T. Kearney has opened a new office in Doha, Qatar, reconfirming the firm’s commitment to the Middle East. With the latest addition, A.T. Kearney’s footprint spans 60 offices in more than 40 countries.
Established in 1926 by former McKinsey & Company partner Tom Kearney, A.T. Kearney has over the past eight+ decades grown into one of the leading international management consulting firms. From its headquarters in Chicago, United States, and 60 offices across the globe, the firm helps clients with strategic issues, with a focus on strategy, management and operations.
Although A.T. Kearney to date has not had an on-the-ground presence in Qatar, the firm has been active in the market for several years through its offices in among others Abu Dhabi, Manama, Riyadh and Dubai, all of which were established between 2006 and 2007. Based on the growing demand for local services, the firm has now decided to open a Qatar location, based on the 25th Floor of the Al Fardan Office Tower. "With the opening our new office in Doha, we will be even closer to our clients when supporting the development and implementation of their strategies and the realisation of their ambitions," says Marc Biosca, the Managing Partner of the local office. Spanish-origin Biosca joined the American consultancy in 2007 from Oliver Wyman, and currently also serves as the Head of A.T. Kearney’s Communications, Media & Technology (CMT) Practice in the Middle East.
Supporting local companies
One of the main objectives of the Qatar office will be supporting public institutions and government-owned corporations with realising key objectives from the so-called ‘Qatar National Vision 2030’, a strategy drafted by the country’s policy makers aimed at transforming major local companies and industries into leading global players. The deployment has to date been successful, yet for the coming years there is still much work to be done, of which a lucrative share will likely be outsourced to external specialists such as consulting firms.
In addition, A.T. Kearney will also serve private sector corporations, that on the back of the strong economy are boosting their demand for consulting services. According to a recent research from analyst firm Source, the Qatar market is behind Saudi Arabia the most exciting in the region*. The local consultancy market is valued at $232 million, and is forecasted to maintain double-digit growth in the coming years. “Qatar will be a huge market for consulting given the confidence in the economy and their bold planned developments,” states Julian Hawkins, the Partner In Charge of Deloitte Consulting for the Middle East.
Dan Starta, Managing Director of A.T. Kearney Middle East, comments on the opportunities he sees for the firm in Qatar: "As a country Qatar is undergoing accelerated growth in a compressed timeframe, something we call 'hyper speed evolution'. This kind of rapid growth and maturity calls for strong leadership, strategic foresight and flawless implementation - something A.T. Kearney enables by providing our strong deployment approaches and forward looking insights to our clients."
The Qatar office has been staffed with several senior consultants that have relocated to Doha from other locations, yet in the coming months the consultancy will bolster its team, says Johan Aurik, the Dutchman that leads the firm globally. “We plan to recruit Qatari and non-Qatari workforce,” he says, adding that the firm will establish partnerships with various local universities to “recruit the best young local talent.”
The Doha office represents the firm’s 60th across the globe. The consultancy began its international expansion in 1964 with an office in Düsseldorf, and in the next decades offices followed in practically all major business centres. Its most recent new offices were opened in Istanbul, Houston, and Calgary (2011), Bogotá (2013) and Palo Alto (2014), its second in California. With a footprint of 60, A.T. Kearney has one of the largest footprints in the strategy & operations space, trailing market leader McKinsey & Company (107 offices) and Boston Consulting Group (87 offices), yet ahead of for instance the larger Bain & Company and Roland Berger, who both have 51 offices.
For the coming years, A.T. Kearney has set a bold growth agenda. Known internally as ‘Vision 2020’, launched last year by Aurik and the roughly 310-man strong partner team, the strategy aims at growing the firm’s revenue to more than $2 billion and its employee base to 6,000 by 2020.
* Saudi Arabia is the largest consulting market in the Middle East ($791 million), followed by the UAE ($553 million).