Small, efficient and practical are words that you might use to
describe London-based consultancy Candesic. The privately
owned company is a boutique practice in every sense of the word,
anchored around just fifteen experienced consultants. This
number doesn't limit its expertise, however, as the firm is able to
draw on the experience of a pool of around 150 independent experts
and consultants from affiliate companies across 21 different cities
in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.
Not a bad way to cut down on your overhead, especially when times
are tough economically. Candesic only pays these additional
consultants when it needs them, either on a part-time or full-time
basis, and tries to optimize the use of its office space.
With a decade of experience, the firm specialises in health
care, aerospace, defence and security, technology and telecoms and
private equity. It also provides its services in education,
financial services, food, and fine and specialty chemicals
Punching above its weight
Candesic came into being in 2002 after the dot-com bubble had well
and truly burst. Seeing the financial bleed that was
occurring throughout the markets, Dr Leonid Shapiro realized, while
working for McKinsey, that consultancies that could provide their
services at a lower cost would ultimately benefit from the
instability in the economy. Along with a crew of other
McKinsey defectors, Shapiro set about the task of creating a firm
that would provide services more economically than conventional top
consultancies, thus appealing to smaller companies that might not
have previously considered using the services of an outside
party. Today, Candesic has two partners who worked previously
for McKinsey: Shapiro, who is both a medical doctor as well as a
management consultant with experience in health care and
technology; and Marc Kitten who leads the firm's continental
development. Candesic works with a range of companies, from
small independents to the bigger hitters in the Fortune 500.
The company quickly picked up an impressive array of
international clients, and after two years of operation, it
expanded its services further. The first stage of this
expansion was the opening of a branch in Paris to meet the demands
of Candesic's increasingly large European client base, while the
second stage saw the creation of a health care due diligence unit
in London, aimed at companies involved in the medical sector.
By 2007, business was doing so well that it was time once again to
expand Candesic's foothold in Europe, with the firm opening its
third office, this time in Madrid.
A healthy dose of consultancy
Since opening its health care due diligence unit, Candesic has
become an expert in the field. The partners work alongside
several medical doctors. The consultancy looks at investments
of between €10 million and €15 billion-typically in healthcare
services medical technologies, later-stage biotech, and
pharmaceutical spinoffs-and gives advice on acquisition strategy,
European and US market entry strategy, research strategy and
marketing to physicians.
Candesic's knowledge of the aerospace & defence industry isn't
to be sniffed, at either, with its consultants in this area
boasting a combined working experience with half of the top-10
world players. In addition, it works with a number of smaller
private companies with international reach.
Candesic keeps costs down for its clients through its
performance-based remuneration structure for consultants, in
addition to only paying its affiliate experts if and when they
work. This not only benefits Candesic, but frees consultants
to pick and choose jobs as they like, leading to a completely
flexible working structure. Plus, if clients aren't completely
satisfied with a job, the consultants simply don't get paid. This
explains the firm's eagerness to evaluate the extent to which it
feels it can help a client before agreeing to take on a project.
Candesic's partners and practice leaders oversee every potential
engagement, along with a team of consultants from the relevant
sectors, (both in-house and affiliate) and talk through the
possible scenarios with the client. If it is felt that the
consultancy can benefit the client, then Candesic will press ahead
with a proposed plan. If not, the consultancy makes sure the
process continues no further.