Interview: Ties Carbo, Senior Consultant at BCG Platinion Western Europe

15 March 2018

Ties Carbo joined BCG Platinion at the start of 2017. He currently works as Senior Consultant for the firm’s Western Europe practice – and believes that the things he has learned since his arrival have more than justified his move a year ago.

“Somewhere around the middle of 2016 I realised that my job was not giving me the satisfaction anymore. It triggered several considerations which converged into a single contagious thought; ‘I want to pursue a career in IT strategy consulting – touching the wide topics that are on the agenda of any CIO/CTO and known for the challenging environment.’”

Consultant Ties Carbo joined BCG Platinion in Amsterdam from Deloitte at the start of last year. Carbo worked with the Big Four firm for just over two years as a cybersecurity consultant, before the unexpected realisation that his work was leaving him unsatisfied caused him to redirect his career. This train of thought led him to pursue a new challenge in December 2016, leaving the firm, where he had been a Senior Consultant, to take on the of IT Consultant at BCG Platinion a month later.

BCG Platinion is the IT architecture and solutions unit of The Boston Consulting Group, one of the globe’s premier strategy consultancies. BCG Platinion sits alongside several other wings the firm has to broaden its multidisciplinary offering globally. These including BCG Digital Ventures, its digital innovation, incubation and investment arm; and BCG Gamma, an advanced analytics and data science service. BCG Platinion first launched in Germany, and has since expanded to boast a worldwide presence of its own, with offices in Europe, the US and Canada. The firm’s Western European base consist of offices in London, Amsterdam and Paris.

BCG Platinion is the IT architecture and  solutions unit of The Boston Consulting Group

Remembering his first day at a new beginning, Carbo reminisces, “It was a cold Monday morning January 2nd 2017. As I stood in the elevator of the SOM1 building [in Amsterdam], I was both excited, and also a bit nervous, because I was about to start a new chapter in my career.”

Key meeting

Despite being in his current role for a relatively short amount of time, according to Carbo, there have already been many occurrences which have taught him a great deal. One particular meeting has stuck with him during his time at BCG Platinion.

“Later in the year, it was a Friday, and I was on my way to the client office. Today we had our final steering committee with our main customer (the CIO) and several other high-profile stakeholders (i.e. the CTO and the CISO). My nerves returned, as, although I was confident that we delivered high quality work, we were going to ask for budget approval to execute the strategy we had developed.”

“There are two elements that I will never forget from that meeting. First, the CTO mentioned that he never really ‘liked’ consultants, but that we really changed his perspective on this, as our analyses were really deep and our recommendations were actionable, with a clear plan forward. This made me realise how much I love the consulting industry, which at the end of the day, is all about driving changes in behaviours, and enabling the growth of a company.”

“Secondly, the meeting ran over by approximately half an hour. We spent these minutes having an open discussion with the executives on the executing power of the client teams (i.e. if the client teams are ready to execute the plan we developed). This was a real eye opener for me; I had never expected that these discussions would ever take place like this. For me, this was the most open and honest client conversation I had ever had in my career.”

Quote Ties Carbo

Despite the initially frosty reception that the CTO gave the team, then, the consultants’ efforts paid off. He recalls, “After the meeting, everybody walked out of the room with smiles on their faces. Our team presented its plans very clearly, resulting in an approval for the proposals. This was a great compliment for the team as a whole, but it also gave me a personal sense of fulfilment, since I had been the driving force behind those plans. After this very challenging but rewarding day I finally headed home to spend some quality time with my girlfriend over dinner. It was a great week!”

The right choice

According to the man himself, time has flown since Carbo first arrived at BCG Platinion. Having been promoted to the position of Senior IT consultant at the turn of 2018, he suddenly finds that one year has passed since his first day at the office. Mulling over his decision to make the leap of faith, and leave his last job to join the consultancy, he still feels he made the right choice.

“At another Friday later in the year and several additional cases I was standing in the elevators of SOM1 again but this time I was heading home for a (well-deserved) leave. Reflecting on my choice for BCG Platinion I am still super happy. I found the right field, that of IT strategy consulting, and the right challenge (i.e. strategic/complex cases working directly with high-level senior executives). 2017 has been a great year full of cool assignments, great interactions with amazing colleagues and a cherry on the cake (my promotion).”

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Robert Park on the launch of his consultancy RWG Enterprises

18 April 2019

Following a lengthy spell as a General Manager at an international materials corporation, Robert Park was keen to rediscover his inner entrepreneur. With the launch of his new consulting firm, RWG Enterprises, Park spoke with to outline his hopes for the future of the company, and how he believes his boutique will be able to challenge the market.

Robert Park commenced his career in retail, taking up a string of General Store Manager positions with companies – including Poundstretcher and The Gadget Shop – before making the 2005 move that would lead him to a 13-year stay with Morgan Advanced Materials. First taking up a role as Production Supervisor with the organisation, Park quickly worked his way to the upper echelons of the group. By 2013, he held the role of UK Operations Manager for the company’s UK ceramic core business, Certech UK, before seeing out his final four years at the firm as General Manager, leading the senior management team and strategic direction of the business.

Despite his success with the firm, however, Park found himself getting itchy feet. A change of career seemed increasingly appealing, and by February 2019, the time to take a new path had arrived.

Park explained: “I was losing the ability to to use the entrepreneurial flair that I had enjoyed in the past; the organisation was moving more towards a structured and common approach for doing things, and that made me feel restricted. I also really enjoy the troubleshooting, problem solving side of my role. However, having been in my last post for four years, the troubleshooting and firefighting was long behind me. I realised that I am really energised by tackling difficult issues or turning around things that are clearly struggling.”

New consulting firm RWG Enterprises launches

His criteria for a new career seemed to point conclusively in the direction of management consulting, and while his CV has no formal experience in the sector, Park believes his career to date has provided him with a wealth of transferable skills. During his time with Certech at Morgan Advanced Materials, he became a Senior Manager at the age of just 21, and went on to succeed in a harsh factory environment where six former candidates had previously failed to deliver results.

Later, he became the group’s youngest General Manager in its history, and was involved in the turnaround of numerous departments. He also developed vast experience dealing with a wide range of ‘people’ challenges, including re-organisation, talent development, talent acquisition and leadership development. Along the way, Park noted that he learned to deal with large, blue chip organisations such as Rolls Royce, securing major long-term contracts worth upwards of £25 million.

Now, he hopes to take that know-how and apply it to the diverse world of consulting work. Park elaborated: “I really want to be able to help organisations that feel that there is no hope or have lost faith in the business… Having been there myself I know how helpful it would have been to have someone to refer to in times of crisis… The firm will also focus on leadership development, as I spent a lot of time with the global graduate program during my corporate career… and I was really motivated to see these individuals grow and develop… helping them to find their own way through challenging situations.

New enterprise

Park’s new Derby-based consultancy, RWG Enterprises, will focus on five key operational fronts. As stated, leadership development and business rescue will be two of these areas, as well as manufacturing – where the firm will tackle challenges such as new product introduction. RWG will also offer financial advisory services and strategic business planning offerings.

While Park is understandably guarded about the firm’s initial engagements, he revealed that he has been “speaking at length to a well-known university and business school about providing mentoring and coaching support to students.” In the long-term, the aim is for RWG Enterprises to take on engagements from clients across the industrial spectrum. He added that as “the company is very embryonic”, it would be “foolish” to become too focused on target clients at this stage.

When asked how RWG Enterprises intends to differentiate itself from the rest of the pack, in an ever-more-crowded UK consulting sector, Park is undaunted by the task ahead. He stated, “I think the main differentiator is that we are small... I have operated at a very senior level for many years but I have enjoyed a very diverse background having worked in most functions within my last organisation. I also won’t take on any work or clients that I feel I cannot deliver value for, I am honest and ethical and am really motivated by seeing others become successful… The main thing I am focused on is 'can I add value' and 'can I help?'”