A Berger joint
From its humble beginning as a small, one-man consulting firm,
Roland Berger Strategy Consultants has grown into an international
giant. Ranked among the top-10 in global strategy consulting,
it is the largest consulting firm to have emerged from Europe,
where it still does the bulk of its business; 26 of the firm's 51
offices worldwide are located in Europe. Within Asia,
the firm has eleven offices, including five in Greater China, plus
locations in India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and South
Korea. A further four offices are in the United States, with the
locations across Africa, the Middle East and Brazil completing its
global footprint. All told, the company employs around
2,700 people worldwide, and provides strategy consulting to many of
the world's largest corporations in a variety of industries.
Those include automotive, consumer goods, construction, chemicals,
energy, environmental technology, financial services, machinery,
medical devices, pharmaceuticals, public services, rail,
telecommunications, and travel and tourism.
One man, one vision
Roland Berger founded the firm in Munich in 1967, growing it
into a major player in its field and employing 100 staff within a
decade of its founding. The consultancy has passed many
landmarks in its journey to its present state; in 1980, for
example, it became the first European firm to gain acceptance into
the U.S. Association of Management Consulting Firms (formerly
ACME). That acceptance was an early indicator of the firm's
international reach, and especially impressive given that it didn't
arrive in the U.S. in a permanent way until 1995.
Roland Berger was an early mover into some of the Asian-Pacific
countries, especially China. Since its first project in China
in the early 1980s, the firm's story in the region has been one of
growth. Opening offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo in the early
1990s, the firm has adapted to local market conditions in each
area, helping its clients to address business issues in strategy,
operations and corporate performance, and to achieve sustainable
performance. That pattern of growth has continued in recent years,
both in Greater China-where the firm's consulting headcount has
been steadily expanding-and further into other Asian markets. Since
2010, the firm has opened five new offices in the region, four of
which were in new countries for the firm. First up was
Singapore in 2010, followed by Kuala Lumpur in 2011, and
Seoul, Mumbai and Guangzhou in 2012.
A literate bunch
Roland Berger has no shortage of publications available to the
public and its clients. Published three times a year in
German, English and Chinese, the firm's THINK ACTmagazine discusses
perspectives and opinions on top issues relevant to business
decision makers. The firm also publishes THINK ACT
booklet-which presents "cutting edge research and analysis" on a
specific topic each issue.
In addition, the firm has two "well-established" academic
imprints, which together have put out more than 75 books since
their inception: The Roland Berger School of Strategy &
Economics, which aims to make the firm's research available to the
general public; and The Management Series, which features the PhD
dissertations of Roland Berger's professionals.
In the spotlight
In 2007, the firm committed to a three-year partnership-which
has since been renewed through 2012-with the World Economic Forum,
a nonprofit organization that serves as a platform for discussion
about global issues. Through the partnership, Roland Berger
helps to shape the content for the Forum's summits, panels and
debates, and develops new ideas for its educational sessions.
Roland Berger's particular area of interest is the Forum's Young
Global Leaders program, which helps bring together some of the
world's brightest young minds to work on global issues.
In March 2008, Roland Berger used some €50 million of his own
private resources to set up the Roland Berger Foundation, an
organization that promotes human rights and dignity throughout the
world. The Foundation gives a yearly award of €1 million to
an individual or institution that helps to promote dignity and
education. Furthermore with the scholarships, it supports
gifted, motivated and productive children and young people from
socially disadvantaged families. Currently more than 600 primary
and secondary school students are supported.
In addition to the good works of Roland Berger the man, Roland
Berger the firm plays its part in giving back to the community,
especially through pro bono initiatives. For example, Roland
Berger supports Japan Platform (JPF)-an NPO providing efficient and
quick emergency relief to the victims of the Japanese Earthquake in
2011. The consultancy formulated a strategic target for recovery
support and participated in preparing a mid-term plan. Roland
Berger employees went to the disaster area to lend a hand and are
still involved in the NPO's management advisory committee.
IN THE NEWS
At their regular meeting in Frankfurt am Main, the Partners of
Roland Berger Strategy Consultants elected Charles-Edouard Bouée
(45) new CEO. Former CEO Burkhard Schwenker (56) was elected to the
Supervisory Board. Charles-Edouard joined Roland Berger in 2001,
having studied at the Ecole Centrale in Paris (Master of Science),
graduated from Harvard (MBA) and earned a law degree. He has lived
in four countries and was Chairman of the regions France, Belgium
and North Africa, head of Roland Berger's Asian business and he was
also President & Managing Partner for Greater China. He is a
winner of the Shanghai Magnolia Gold Award and has authored
numerous books about management principles, combining his
experience in Asia, the US and Europe.
Top 100 Most Influential Asian Companies
Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, Boao Review and
FTChinese.com developed and published the 100 Most Influential
Asian Companies ranking and report. The ranking is designed to
reflect Asian companies' performance by showing key indicators of
influence and encouraging them to break free from the sole pursuit
of revenue. The ultimate objective is thereby to unleash new
engines of growth and create a system of sustainable, long-term
influence that will ultimately push the overall transformation of
the Asian economy.
MBA Case Competition
Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and IESE Business School
organized the 19th International Case Competition in Barcelona.
Teams from prestigious MBA schools in North America, Asia and
Europe competed to come up with the best strategy. This year, the
team from Chicago Booth convinced the jury of their concept.
The overwhelming majority of the Partners agreed to support the
joint recommendation by the Global Executive Committee and the
Supervisory Board to remain independent. The decision ends a series
of talks following requests by several international companies to
buy the consultancy or enter into a strategic partnership.
During the negotiations, the firm's management team explored some
very promising options but "we weighed up all the possibilities and
obstacles, such as regulatory issues, and in the end we can
honestly say: There's no better way for us to support our clients,
maintain our corporate identity and reach our common goals than by
remaining independent," says Prof. Dr. Burkhard Schwenker, CEO of
Roland Berger Strategy Consultants (today Chairman of the
Roland Berger employee honored as "Best Young
Roland Berger Project Manager Han Zongjia was elected "Jiang'an
Best Young Talent" honoree and will participate in a
specifically-tailored youth excellence development program. The
honorees are all younger than 35, leaders in their areas of
expertise and have displayed outstanding performance in promoting
the district's development.
Roland Berger celebrates 30 years in China
Roland Berger's growth has closely paralleled China's economic
development. Since the company entered the Chinese market as one of
the first consultancies in 1983, its revenues have increased at a
compound annual growth rate four times that of the industry's
average. Roland Berger now has offices in five cities in Greater
China (Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taipei) and has
served over 2,000 clients.
Pro bono project for "Malaria No More"
As part of the company's pro bono activities and leveraging its
consulting expertise, Roland Berger has supported the establishment
of a mid-term action plan for the non-profit organization "Malaria
No More Japan". The organization undertakes worldwide efforts to
eradicate malaria in developing countries through numerous
prevention activities and health education.