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‘Other consultants charge too much’ says consultant

‘Other consultants charge too much’ says consultant

A new press release has prompted Kipp to ask: Do we even need management consultants at all? You already know the answer.

September 27, 2010 4:39 by

A local management consultant has accused international competitors of charging up to four times what they should for giving advice to local companies. A press release has landed on Kipp’s desk titled, “International consultants grossly overcharge local clients in the UAE, says management expert.”

The management expert is, as we say, based locally. The release goes on to say, “the key to effectively servicing this region is 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 management guru in question says companies should build stronger relationships with local consultancies that charge less and demonstrate greater dedication. Local consultancies just like his, we’re guessing. “Also, they have more knowledge of the market and they are often sub contracted by international consultancies to implement clients’ strategies.”

In other words, it’s a hire-us-not-them-because-they-smell sort of release. Which would be OK, if it had any figures to back it up, but it doesn’t. Not a single one. It’s one (local) consultancy’s opinion of the local market, and unsurprisingly they think only local consultancy’s should be recruited.

Kipp has an alternative idea, though: Don’t hire a management consultancy at all. Because, according to one alumnus of the industry, the whole thing is a bit of a sham anyway. Matthew Stewart spent a decade working as a management consultant at a successful New York firm. Since leaving the company, and the business, he has written a tell all book about the industry, ‘The Management Myth: Management Consulting Past, Present and Largely Bogus.’

“Wherever I was in the world, at the beginning of every consulting project, one thing was certain: I would know less about the business at hand than the people I was supposed to be advising,” he writes. According to Stewart, he was incredibly unqualified to provide the advice his company charged a fortune for. And that advice was more or less always the same, for every company, no matter what they did or how.

He argued that the senior management of companies use “shareholder money to pay for consultants in order to confer legitimacy on actions that deserve proper scrutiny from truly independent sources. For consultants, the arrangement has all the beauty of writing your own report card.”

So they get paid to do whatever work they like as long as it served the interest of the people at the top.

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  1. Andrew on September 29, 2010 8:35 am

    Some consultants are competency specialists, some are industry specialists – and generally one knows little about the other’s fields. A good has the balance, but certainly consultants going after things they’re not quite qualified for isn’t unknown.

    And when it comes to the UAE, do you want the government getting anything done – yes, or no?

  2. Zoran on September 30, 2010 12:30 pm

    In my opinion, I really think big consulting firms abuse of their names to get first assignments and then charge a lot. The reason why they can do so is that during the sales process, partners and directors go to the meeting with the prospects and really show their knowledge. BUT…what they forget to tell is that fresh graduates underpaid will be delivering. So you do not get your value for money at all. Now, it is part of the game, Nike can always sell tennis shoes at 200 USD even though the shoes are manufactured in Bangladesh or Vietnam…We all pay the advertising and the shareholders.


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