UAE firms 'spend four-fold on consultants'
Dubai, September 27, 2010
The companies in the UAE are spending four times more than necessary, because of reasons like absence of executive management and weakness in executing strategies developed by international consultancies, said a management expert.
This forces the companies to extend contracts of the consultancies from one year to over five years, explained Zed Ayesh, managing director, Flagship Consultancy.
According to Ayesh, the global financial crisis has boosted the consultancy business in the Gulf, especially amongst companies that saw a slowdown.
“Consultancy business in the region grew by 10 per cent to reach $1.2 billion, with international companies grabbing more than 95 per cent of the business, the bulk of them based in the UAE, where they are about 35 consultancies,” he noted.
Ayesh pointed out that developing strategies specifically tailored for UAE organizations to provide world class services to customers, makes it imperative for consultancies to know the UAE market thoroughly.
'International companies hire local companies to enhance their knowledge. This is a time-consuming affair, with the clients paying for the familiarization process,' he stated.
According to him, the key to effectively servicing this region was to understand its uniqueness and peculiarities, which makes it difficult for international consultancies to import ready-made strategies and implement them in this market.
'The roles and responsibilities of consultancies should be identified to develop strategies and tactics that can be implemented as per specified timelines by the clients themselves, without the assistance of the consultancies in implementing them,' he opined.
He said the general trend was to hire full time consultants so that they implement the strategies given to them by the consultancies. However, he pointed out that extending the contract with the consultancy or hiring consultants from the consultancies themselves raises the costs by four or five times.
'The companies should build stronger relationships with local consultancies that charge less and demonstrate greater dedication. Also, they have more knowledge of the market and they are often sub contracted by international consultancies to implement clients’ strategies,' Ayesh added.-TradeArabia News Service