Baringa is expanding into the Consumer Products and Retail sectors with the launch of a dedicated practice, focused on supporting clients in the sectors meet market and technology challenges. The new service line is headed by 20+ year Accenture veteran Koen Van Bockstaele, who most recently served as the firm’s Route to Market lead for the Consumer Packaged Goods industry.
The broader retail and consumer packaged goods market is facing a range of major trends that are reshaping its frontiers. Changing consumer behaviour, particularly around e-commerce and omnichannel shopping, are spurring the need for change in the industry, while at the same time competition is heating up, from startups and niche players to large international incumbents seeking consolidation. Digital is emerging to the forefront of operations and innovation, but many companies are struggling with the transition to digital operating models and more agile ways of working, whilst keeping their growing IT costs under control.
Consumer Products and Retail practice
In a bid to support players in the space with their change ambition, Baringa, a UK-headquartered consulting firm with over 500 employees, has decided to launch a dedicated Consumer Products and Retail practice. The privately-held firm, founded in 2000, was already active in the consumer products and retail market, and, after years of building a track record, the firm has bundled its capabilities in the field to provide for a more focused approach. “We are now ready to build a dedicated team specifically focused on servicing this sector”, explains Adrian Bettridge, Managing Partner of the London-based consultancy.
Bettridge adds: “The launch of Baringa’s new practice comes at a time of considerable challenge for the consumer products and retail sector. The industry is facing increasingly complex consumer expectations; greater competition both from existing and new entrants; a slowdown of growth; continuous drive for cost reduction; the new norm of constant volatility and uncertainty and digital disruptors that continue to change the rules."
Koen Van Bockstaele
To lead the new business unit, the firm has tapped industry veteran Koen Van Bockstaele, who, prior to joining Baringa as a Partner, worked at Accenture for more than 22 years – most recently as a Managing Director and Global Lead for Accenture Route to Market Services for the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry. Previously he was Managing Director in Sales and Marketing for CPG, among a host of other roles. His focus lies on delivering transformations in customer, digital, sales & marketing and analytics, through the different stages of journeys, from strategy through planning and piloting to industrialisation and evaluation. Among the clients he engaged with are multinationals such as Unilever, Nestlé, PMI, BAT, Diageo, P&G.
Van Bockstaele, a Belgian origin who has been living and working in London for over two decades, holds a degree in Business Engineering and a Master of Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science from the University of Leuven.
Bettridge says that he is “very excited” to welcome Van Bockstaele to the team, stating, “He has a wealth of hands-on involvement in the consumer products and retail sector, with strong capabilities around customer, digital, analytics, and sales and marketing. And – importantly for us – it became clear through the recruitment process that Koen’s style and personality would make him a perfect cultural fit at Baringa.”
Commenting on his move, the new practice leader says: “I am delighted to be joining Baringa. After more than 20 years at Accenture I knew it would take something special to convince me to leave, and Baringa was it! I am looking forward to building the new Consumer Products and Retail team over the coming year and developing a set of strong business offerings for our clients.”
Under Van Bockstaele’s direction, Baringa will leverage its expertise in technological transformation, operational excellence and customer & consumer experience to build a portfolio of offerings. “We will help companies meet the individual consumer expectations (B2ME) and deliver growth through new markets and omni-channel operating models. Additionally, we will support our clients to drive productivity improvements and cost reductions, enable agile operating models and implement margin protection solutions”, reflects Van Bockstaele.
Baringa’s new practice operates alongside its existing practice areas of Energy & Resources, Financial Services and Telecoms & Media, an unit which it launched early 2015. In May this year Baringa promoted five new Partners to its leadership team: Anya Davis, Ryan Thomson, Andy Singleton, Vanessa Clark and Julius Attwood.