Whyte's Souman Mukherjee on its post-merger integration offering

03 February 2021 Consultancy.in 3 min. read

Last year, Whyte was named one of India's fastest growing management consulting firms. Consultancy.org spoke with Souman Mukherjee, Co-Founder and Strategy Director at Whyte, about one of the firm’s key offerings: post-merger integration.

Consulting firms of all degrees play a major role in the success of mergers and acquisitions. In the early stages strategy consultants help clients define M&A strategies, while corporate finance consultants support with the identification of targets, scanning the market and preparing key documents such as the memorandum of understanding. 

Throughout the deal process, consultants specialised in M&A advisory, valuation, transaction support, due diligence and other fields of expertise join the bandwagon – all with the aim of closing the ‘best deal’ possible. Once a deal is announced and subsequently closed, transactions roll over into the execution or post-merger integration phase.

Souman Mukherjee, Strategy Director, Whyte

For Whyte, a consultancy based in Gurgaon, this is where the real work starts. “Our strong forte in the integration space, along with a larger capability suite, has been one of the driving factors of the success of our journey so far,” said Souman Mukherjee, who co-founded the consulting firm early 2018.

“While deal making and closure is often seen as a turning point for the merging or acquiring company, a flawless integration is what affirms success in a long run,” he said.

Successfully delivering a merger integration done is however easier said than done. “It is a complex process, as it brings two organisations together, each with their own processes, people, culture, and technology. As management consultants, creating synergy between the combined NewCo becomes critical to drive value, without disrupting the parent momentum.”

Whyte’s consultants work on the foundation and value drivers of both companies to carve a fruitful path for the NewCo, while navigating through a complex change course. “With people, process, technology and assets being the focal point, financial controls and time-critical execution cutting across each of those, the aspect of future proofing should be given utmost importance in every change.”

Mukherjee added that effective deal integration is critical for realising business benefits. Getting this right requires expertise and excellence in program delivery and change management, which oversee and complement the functional workstreams.

Based on its experience, which includes facilitating several international integrations in Asia, Europe and the America’s, Whyte has developed an own proprietary methodology for post-merger integration. “These guiding principles help our management consultants stitch business value and business continuity.”

Define integration value – Assess what will bring value to NewCo and elements that need to be retained from merging entities, taking a que from their senior leadership.

Derive operational cost benefits – Keep an eye on restructuring and efficiencies that can be monetarily realised.

Do not lose momentum – Work speedily towards process, people and technical amalgamation and eliminate roadblocks at the beginning. Never lose steam as change is evolving and it can get piled up.

Work rigorously on the ground – Understand key processes at a bird-eye level, manage each touchpoint as individual and assess stakeholder influence early 

Manage risks – Pre-empt what can go wrong and assess impact holistically. Keep risk documentation handy and visible to workout mitigations.

Communicate the change – It’s not just about managing change but communicating it at every level so that it drives action. 

“We take pride in our track record. While glitches can always occur in such a complex process, spotting and clearing hurdles at an early stage paves the way for a smooth transition. That is in fact one of our USP’s – successfully managing change that evolves as the journey unfolds,” concluded Mukherjee.