Global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company has opened a new office in Serbia. The new hub in Belgrade marks the firm's ninth location in the Central and Eastern Europe region.
The new office was formally opened this summer, when Dominic Barton, global Managing Partner of McKinsey & Company, flew over to Serbia to celebrate McKinsey's latest office, taking the total tally of its footprint to 110+ offices across the globe. In Central and Eastern Europe – a consulting market estimated to be worth more than €1.1 billion – the privately held US firm now has nine offices: Bratislava, Bucharest, Budapest, Kiev, Moscow, Prague, Warsaw and Zagreb, alongside Belgrade.
The arm is led by three experienced McKinsey consultants: Boris Dragovic and Dusan Komar, both born in Serbia, and the Croatian Jurica Novak. All three were educated partly overseas. Dragovic and Novak have PhDs from Cambridge University (in computer science and nanoscale physics, respectively). Dragovic has been with McKinsey & Company since 2011, joining after a spell working as an independent consultant (serving Bain & Company among others), while Novak joined the consultancy after graduating in 2006.
Dusan received his master's degree from the London School of Economics. He started his career with the National Bank of Serbia, after which he joined the consulting industry in April 2012, as an Associate with McKinsey, where he has been since.
With the new office, McKinsey aims to grow its mark in an economy which is seeing its fortunes take a turn for the better. The country is well positioned in the region, and is enjoying strong growth in several sectors, such as agriculture and food and IT services, which are predicted to see further growth over the coming decades. Serbia is in addition moving toward membership in the European Union, which is set to provide the country's business landscape with a new window of opportunities.
Dragovic, Komar and Novak have over the past months already expanded the practice. A number of Serbian nationals have transferred to the new office, such as Luka Prelevic (from McKinsey's Bucharest office) and Ivan Radojicic (he has been with McKinsey since early 2015), and several new consultants have been recruited, including Marko Mijatovic (a former professional water polo player), and Isidora Mitic and Milica Socanac, both graduates from UK-based universities.
Work for clients is well under way, with engagements spanning the financial services, oil & gas, telecommunications, and basic materials sectors. Dragovic, Komar and Novak highlight however that many of the firm's private-sector clients in Serbia are somewhat smaller than is typically the case in Western Europe. "This calls for flexibility on our part. Belgrade-based consultants work in teams on projects large and small, helping local companies navigate increased competition in their home markets while taking advantage of growth opportunities in international markets", comments Novak, who splits his time among Belgrade and the offices in neighbouring Bucharest and Zagreb.
Looking ahead, the office leaders state that besides attracting clients to its portfolio, hiring and developing Serbian talent is a big priority.
New McKinsey offices
Last year the global strategy and management consultancy opened a new office in Vancouver – a region where the Canadian origin Barton grew up – and earlier this year McKinsey extended its presence in Canada with the opening of an Experience Studio in Toronto. In 2014 the firm added its seventh office in Africa to its footprint, with a location in Nairobi, Kenya.