Simon-Kucher enters Egypt and Mexico and expands in China and US

22 June 2018 5 min. read
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Simon-Kucher has announced that 2018 will see the firm expand into two new countries: Mexico, its third Latin American presence, and Egypt, its first office on the African continent. The global strategy and pricing consultancy has also recently extended its presence in the US with a sixth office in Chicago and will soon bolster its Chinese footprint with a Shanghai location, its second in the nation following Beijing.

Over the past decade, Simon-Kucher & Partners has consistently grown (way) ahead of the average in the consulting industry. In 2005, the German-origin consultancy specialised in (digital) strategy, marketing and sales, had global revenues of €53 million, generated by a team of approximately 250 employees.

By 2017, this had grown to more than a quarter of €1 billion in revenue, and over 1,100 employees across offices in 23 countries.

According to Georg Tacke, the consultancy’s CEO, this year the firm is aiming to continue its meteoric growth trajectory. Commenting in February, he said, “For 2018, we expect strong growth. Order volume is up by over 20% from this time last year.”

The firm’s continued development is built on the back of a sustained drive for global expansion. Earlier in 2018, an announcement was made that Simon-Kucher would push for further growth via the opening of new offices in Chicago, Shanghai, Mexico City, and Cairo, with the latter marking the first on-the-ground presence in the African market, ramping up the global strategy firm’s international presence and expanding its network to 36 offices in 24 countries.

Egypt and the US

Taking its initial steps onto the continent, the opening of Simon-Kucher’s new office in Cairo has established the consultancy's first presence in Africa. Remarking on the new development, Tacke said, “We’ll be one of the few international strategy consultancies in Egypt. The market offers enormous potential. Egypt is one of the two strongest industrialised nations in Africa. Strong economic growth and excellently trained local specialists make the market particularly attractive to us.”

He added, that geographically speaking, Egypt offers up an ideal starting point to enter the African market, offering trade routes to both the rest of Africa and a number of key economies in the Gulf region. In the beginning, however, the Cairo office overseen by Martin Janzen, Senior Director, and Sara Shenouda, Manager, will focus on Egyptian business first and foremost. Tacke added; “We’ll offer our services locally to all industries with an initial focus on financial services and the service industry.”

The American consulting market is the largest and most mature in the world for management consultants. According to the latest estimates, the continent of North America hosts a consultancy market which reaps just under $100 billion in fee income, representing around 40% of the global consulting industry, while in 2017 fee income was forecast to break through the $100 billion mark. Understandably, Simon-Kucher has the growth of its US operations high on its list of priorities.

The newly opened Chicago office joins Atlanta, Boston, Mountain View, New York, and San Francisco as Simon-Kucher’s sixth location in the US, with work in recent years having shown the firm’s services are in high demand in the country.

Stephen Dunbar, Director, will oversee the firm’s latest American locale, which is situated in the heart of ‘The Loop’, the central business district area of Chicago, offering the firm’s services to enterprises throughout the greater metropolitan area and across the Midwest. The new location at 30 South Wacker Drive will commence trading with an initial focus on life sciences, consumer goods, information technology, and industrial products.

Dunbar said; “As home to over 400 major corporate headquarters, including 34 in the Fortune 500, Chicago brings us closer to firms within industries that can benefit most from our expertise. Biotechnology, chemicals, energy, health services, IT, manufacturing, medical technology and other industries are all well-represented here. We look forward to strengthening our existing relationships and building new ones with Chicago-based clients.”

Mark Billige, Board Member of Simon-Kucher & Partners and UK Managing Partner, added; “Expanding our African and US presence means we can offer our clients both global and local expertise, wherever they may be based.”

China and Mexico

Later this year, further international expansion is in the pipeline, with plans to open offices in Shanghai and Mexico. The consulting firm already commands a presence in China, with Shanghai creating a second presence on the economic super power’s mainland. Simon-Kucher also has a location based in Hong-Kong, and further Asian offices in Singapore and Tokyo.

Speaking at the time of the firm’s launch in Hong Kong, Georg Tacke had previously anticipated a growth-spurt in demand across the Asia-Pacific region.

“Our new Hong Kong office fills a white spot on the map, and we are thinking about further expanding in the region. Shanghai, for example, would be an attractive location,” he added. Now those earlier ambitions look to be coming to fruition.

On top of this, the firm will also add to its significant Latin American presence. Simon-Kucher already boasts offices in Santiago de Chile, Chile, and São Paulo, Brazil. Now it is heading for the Mexican capital, Mexico City, the firm’s first location in the country.