UC Strategy enters strategic alliance with global consulting firm QVARTZ

20 March 2018 Consultancy.in 6 min. read

Scandinavian consulting firm QVARTZ has entered the Indian consulting industry through a partnership with UC Strategy, one of India’s premier strategy consultancies.

The move into India comes shortly after QVARTZ, which was founded in 2002 in Denmark, expanded into the Netherlands, where it launched a consulting joint venture with incumbent player Boer & Croon. “The partnerships with Boer & Croon in the Netherlands and UC Strategy in India are the next logical steps of our global expansion strategy,” remarked Hans Henrik Beck, Managing Partner and CEO of QVARTZ. Today, the firm has more than 330 consultants in eight locations: Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm in Scandinavia, Hamburg New York, Singapore and the two latest additions; Amsterdam and Mumbai.

With a team of around 60 consultants, UC Strategy is one of India’s top home groomed consultancies. The 23-year old Indian consulting firm focuses on strategy development and strategy execution in five main industries: Life Sciences, MedTech, Agribusiness & Food, Industrials and Financial Services. The firm positions itself as a classical strategy consultant, which formed the main driver for the rebranding that it concluded at the start of this year from Universal Consulting to UC Strategy. A new logo was also launched, with the triangle from Minto’s well-known pyramid principle – synonymous with strategic planning work – being chosen to represent UC Strategy’s brand truth and visual identity.

UC Strategy enters strategic alliance with global consulting firm QVARTZ

Commenting on the fresh brand, Jay P Desai, Founder and Managing Director of UC Strategy, said “We didn’t want to highlight the execution part of consulting which is primarily legwork, rather we wanted to take the high ground with strategic consulting, which is our core competency.” The rebranding was supported by an external marketing agency (Hyphen) and also incorporated the feedback of long standing clients. 

Leadership team

UC Strategy’s team is led by four Senior Directors and one Associate Director. Jay P Desai founded the firm in 1994, prior to which he worked with Andersen Consulting (today Accenture) in Mumbai from 1989 to 1994. Shankar Rajesh has been with the consultancy from the start, Samir Sathe joined in 1996 following a period in the capital market industry, while Subramanian Venkatesh came on board in 2002 after completing his Master in Business Administration. Associate Director Kaustubh Nagarkar has been with the firm for twelve years now, contributing to 70+ consulting engagements over this period.

With the partnership with QVARTZ, one of Europe’s top strategy consulting houses – 70% of its Partners have a background with McKinsey, BCG of Bain – UC Strategy’s leadership said the firm is better positioned to serve customers with cross-border demands. “This strategic alliance will help bridge global markets, enabling UC Strategy’s and QVARTZ to jointly serve respective clients across geographies,” highlighted Jay P Desai.

For QVARTZ, the move provides it with access to a professional services industry estimated to be worth $12 billion, of which the strategy and management consulting segment is valued at around $1.9 billion. Although not the largest globally, India is one of the faster growing consultancy markets, and on the back of India’s economic potential (according to PwC, India will become world's 2nd largest economy by 2050) the market is touted to remain a key market to be in for global consultancies. 

Leadership team of UC Strategy

In the higher end of its portfolio, UC Strategy competes with the likes of McKinsey, which booked double digit growth in India last year, as unveiled by the Indian Managing Director Gautam Kumra recently, BCG, which is led by Neeraj Aggarwal, and Bain, which has four offices in the country. The MBB’s, however, operate according to one industry analyst in a league of their own, and focus mainly on top ministry and corporate engagements.

Since founding, UC Strategy has worked with 350 multinational and Indian companies, accomplishing 950+ cases for them. The firm’s track record sees it operate as a serious challenger to the strategic arms of the Big Four, such as EY-Parthenon, Monitor Deloitte, Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company and today part of PwC) and KPMG, which is actively rebuilding its Advisory arm in India after Big Four rival Deloitte raided circa 20 partners and 300 professionals from its ranks.

Commenting on what he believes is the firm’s edge, Jay P Desai stated, “UC Strategy has a broad and deep understanding of India and its complex business environment. Founded at the dawn of India’s economic liberalisation, we has been witness to India’s transformative journey from a mere $330 billion economy in 1994 to a major $2.2 trillion global economy today.” He added that the consultancy is proud of its client success rate, with more than 75% of its work originating from existing clients and their referrals.

QVARTZ CEO Beck said “Following our successful expansion into the US and Germany last year, we investigated ways of further expanding our international presence. UC Strategy closely aligns with the high standards we have in our work and our culture. With more than 20 years of experience, UC Strategy is a strong brand in India and the ideal partner for us.”

As part of the alliance, the two consultancies have already completed a number of projects and are working together on a range of projects. “We look forward to the continuation of our collaboration,” concluded Jay P Desai.