Our story begins one fine Monday morning as Victor and Bernice, two Managing Directors at a reputable boutique consulting firm, are going through their emails…
“Victor, did you see John’s email from Goliath Corp.?”
“Yes, what about it, Bernice?”
“Well, what do you think about it? It’s an enormous opportunity - a project worth USD two million! We would be remiss not to take this project!”
“Gosh darn it, Bernice, you know we don’t have the capacity to take on a project of that size! We don’t have a research team big enough to manage that much work. Who do you think we are, Big Consulting Group??”
“I understand what you’re saying, Victor, and I admit that, normally, this would be too much for us to handle, but that was before the “Elves”, remember?”
“Umm...the Elves? What are you talking about, Bernice?”
“Have you never heard the legend of the Elves and the Boutique Consulting Firm, Victor?”
“Uhh...no....? Don’t you mean the story of the Elves and the Shoemaker?”
“No... I mean the Elves and the Boutique Consulting Firm. Here, let me tell you….
Once there was a boutique consulting firm named Small Consulting Group (SCG). The firm was the best in its business, but it was very, very small. When they worked on projects small enough for them to handle, they shined like no one else could. However, they were unable to take on bigger, more profitable projects because of the research requirements of such engagements. Due to the cyclical nature of their work, it would not have made sense for them to hire a full-time team of researchers or to subscribe to expensive databases, as their overheads would have skyrocketed.
Nevertheless, Small Consulting Group would aspire to take on large, high-margin projects for massive companies like Goliath Corp. One day, an opportunity for the firm to take on a huge project presented itself. Most of the team members were against taking on the client, for the predictable reasons… “we are not big enough for this project!”, “we don’t have the resources for something of this scale!”, etc.
However, one hopeful member of the team, Vishwas, spoke up defiantly.
“Come on guys! We can do this. Let’s take on this project. I am absolutely sure we will find a way to get this done.”
The rest of the team was incredulous. “Are you out of your mind, Vishwas, how on earth could we handle this? We are way too small!”
Vishwas responded prophetically, “Do not worry yourselves. It shall be done.”
The team apprehensively took on the project, emboldened by Vishwas’ confidence, yet worried about how they would keep up with the enormous research requirements that the project demanded.
They went to work but were quickly overwhelmed by the massive amounts of research they would need to be able to provide useful insight to their client. They needed a full industry report, competitive analysis, consumer research, supplier/buyer research, data mining, full-stack financial analysis, and much more. The whole team was enraged at Vishwas.
“Vishwas!! LOOK AT WHAT YOU HAVE DONE! Not only are we unable to do the work required for this project, but now we will also look like fools when we have to back out of this engagement!”
Unperturbed, Vishwas responded prophetically once again, “Do not worry yourselves. It shall be done.”
None too pleased with Vishwas, the team decided to call it a day and get back to work the following morning. Some team members could be overheard grumbling something about “firing Vishwas”.
The next morning, the team came back to the office, prepared for a mountainous day of research. To their absolute astonishment, however, when they opened their emails, they found that all the research they needed for the day was already complete. The industry report, the competitive analysis, the consumer research, the supplier/buyer research, the data mining, the financial analysis, all of it was already done and waiting to be used by the team for drawing out truly valuable insights.
“What on earth! How?! What?! How is this possible! Vishwas, what happened?! There’s no way you did this on your own!”
Vishwas smiled knowingly and simply said, “I told you not to worry,” and kept silent.
The teammates were thrilled, but they thought maybe this was some sort of a freak accident, a coincidence. They still needed more research to be done, based on the insights they would draw from the reports they had received. By the time evening came, they were still not confident that they could fulfil the requirements of the project.
Sensing their doubt, Vishwas called out again, “It shall be done!”
They rolled their eyes and dispersed.
The next morning, they were once again shocked to find that all the information they needed was ready for them in their inboxes when they came in to work. All the reports, analyses, and intelligence they needed were all ready for use.
This time the team began to get suspicious. “Vishwas! There is no way you could be doing this on your own! You better own up to what you are doing!”
Vishwas laughed uproariously. “My friends! I hired the Elves of Konsälidön to do this work for us, that is all!”
“Who are the Elves of Konsälidön?” the team questioned.
Vishwas began to explain…
“The Elves of Konsälidön believed in the Power of Together. They knew that boutique consulting firms could deliver some of the best advice and support to business leaders around the world because the expertise that boutique consulting firms have is second to none. However, they understood that boutiques were extremely constrained by the lack of scale economies that larger, global consulting firms enjoyed. They created an ecosystem that would connect boutique firms with one another and give them the resources to compete at the same scale as the big players in the market. One of the aspects of this ecosystem is the “Knowledge Center.”
Most large consulting firms have centralized, dedicated research teams that work year-round. Due to their small size and the cyclical nature of consulting work, small firms like us simply could not afford to make this kind of investment and have a dedicated research team. The overhead costs would be too high.
To give you a better idea, consider that, according to Hoovers, in the USA there are more than 733,000 boutique consulting firms in contrast to 589 large firms. Not even 1% of management consulting firms have over 500 employees. The median annual wage for management analysts was $81,330 in May 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hiring a sufficiently staffed research team would have been tremendously expensive.
On the other hand, without a research team, we also could not manage to handle projects that created an unexpected demand for research. We were stuck between a rock and an Excel sheet - er… I mean a hard place.
Konsälidön’s Knowledge Center is a cost-effective, global research ecosystem that can provide consulting firms with business research of all kinds, at all depths, and across all industries. It is a one-stop shop for all our research requirements and it is fully scalable. Whether we need to use it for 5 hours, or 5 months, Konsälidön’s Knowledge Center will work with us to support us in project delivery.”
The team was amazed by Vishwas’ explanation. They no longer questioned the source of their research, nor their ability to deliver such an enormous project. They got back to work enthusiastically and, over the next few months, finished the project, to the delight of their client, and moved on to more and more high-value projects.”
Victor was amazed by Bernice’s story.
“Bernice, you have made this Victor into a real victor today. As your name implies, you really are a bringer of victory! Let’s take this project from Goliath Corp. and move forward with the same vishwas (faith) that Vishwas had! WE CAN DO THIS!”