Tech giant Apple enters Romania as a management consultant

12 October 2018

A subsidiary of global tech giant Apple has entered the management consulting space of Romania according to local reports, with Apple Sales Romania registering in the country as a ‘business and management consultancy’.

Perhaps motivated by its decline at the expense of McKinsey and the Big Four as one of the world’s most attractive employers, the global tech behemoth Apple looks keen to spread its wings and capitalise on Romania’s growing management consulting market, with Apple Sales Romania registering for business in the country as a ‘business and management consultancy’, rather than as a sales agent as its name might otherwise suggest.

According to the Romanian daily financial newspaper Ziarul Financiar, Apple Sales Romania is owned by the Ireland-registered Apple subsidiaries Apple Distribution International and Apple Sales International, with parent Apple having previously come under fire in the wake of the Paradise Papers revelations for having registered these subsidiaries in European off-shore tax havens for the alleged sake of billions of euros in tax ‘minimisation’.

Tech giant Apple enters Romania as a management consultant

There is, however, no current suggestion of tax impropriety being leveled at Apple Sales Romania for registering in the country (according to Romanian media outlet Business Review), under the activity description code 7022 – ‘business and management consultancy’ – as, when considering the ongoing growth of the local management consulting scene, with Romania now holding an almost one fifth share of Eastern Europe’s €1.4 billion market, it would appear in fact a rather shrewd market entry.

On the other hand, the move would pit Apple Sales Romania – which under the terms of its registration would be unable to open a retail Apple Shop or Apple Store in the country (instead selling its products locally just as it has done to date) – against stiff competition from global strategy and management leaders such as Roland Berger and McKinsey, which would both have a decent jump on Apple with respective permanent presences in Romania since 1992 and 2006.

Still, with the organisation yet to give an indication of its business intentions since its late August registration, and Apple HQ in California not responding to Business Review’s requests for information, the true nature of Apple Sales Romania business strategy can be only left to speculation – but, in having some crafty strategy of sorts to circumvent pesky regulations, the firm may have already perhaps demonstrated its genuine management consulting wares.

And, as the mega-giants of the tech realm fight among themselves for ultimate global supremacy and dominion over all of humanity, it’s naturally wise to keep at least one eye on the competition, with Facebook having indeed already launched an apparent management consulting operation in Indonesia – which, although skirting certain local licensing stipulations concerning foreign internet operators, would in fact come with greater tax obligations.

BCG launches BrightHouse and Digital Ventures in France

15 April 2019

Global management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has launched two of its subsidiaries in France.

Launched in 1973, BCG’s Paris office is with 400 consultants one of the firm’s largest in its footprint of 90+ offices globally. The hub, led by company veteran Guillaume Charlin, plays an instrumental role in developing BCG in Western Europe, francophone Northern Africa, and Israel and Lebanon, which have close economic ties with France.

Having focused mainly on strategy consulting services over the past decades, Boston Consulting Group’s French arm is branching out to other services areas. BCG Platinion – BCG’s IT solution wing – and BCG Gamma – BCG’s advanced analytics arm – have been active in Paris for a while, and now two of the firm’s other subsidiaries – BCG Digital Ventures and BrightHouse – have landed in the French capital city. 

BrightHouse is a creative consultancy that support clients with the development of purpose-driven branding strategies. The firm has helped companies like Procter & Gamble, McDonald’s, KPMG and American Express discover and articulate their purpose, and then helped them activate and embed their purposes within their organisations. BCG acquired BrightHouse in June 2015, and since then the consultancy has been operating as an independent business division of the US-consulting giant. BCG launches BrightHouse and Digital Ventures in FranceFollowing the opening of a new office in Berlin last year, Paris becomes the firm’s third hub internationally (the firm is headquartered in Atlanta) and second in Europe. BrightHouse France will be managed by Mathieu Menegaux, a senior partner who has been with the firm since 2001. The HEC graduate focuses mainly on clients in the energy & utilities and industrial goods sectors.

BCG Digital Ventures is BCG’s corporate investment and incubation firm. The division invents, builds, scales and invests in startups, often in collaboration with the world’s most influential companies. Founded in 2014, when a large team of digital experts transitioned from Booz & Company (now Strategy&) to Boston Consulting Group, BCG Digital Ventures currently has offices in the US, (Los Angeles, New York, Seattle), Europe (Berlin, London, Paris) and Asia (Sydney, Shanghai and Tokyo). Since inception, the unit has (co-)founded over 60 ventures.

Among the projects BCG Digital Ventures has delivered include the development of a new blockchain-powered platform for transparency in the food chain for fish (together with the WWF in Australia) and the launch of Hey.Car, a platform for the used car segment (together with German automotive giant Volkswagen).

In France, BCG Digital Ventures will be led by Caroline Vion, who joined BCG in 2014 as part of the founding team that joined from Booz & Company. Earlier in her career, she worked for companies in the media and luxury retail sectors. Vion has relocated from Los Angeles to head the new venture in France. 

Last year, BCG was named one of France’s top strategy consulting firms to work for.