McKinsey launches QuantumBlack in Singapore and Tokyo

24 July 2019 Consultancy.asia

Global strategy giant McKinsey & Company has brought its advanced analytics offering QuantumBlack to Singapore and Tokyo.

Acquired by McKinsey in 2015, QuantumBlack serves as one the global strategy and management firm’s advanced analytics units, described as “expert at turning minute variations in performance into a competitive edge.” Since its pick-up by McKinsey, the company has expanded from its UK foundation to locations around the world, including a launch in Montreal at the end of last year. Now, two Asian bases have been added to the list; Singapore and Tokyo

“Singapore is the hub of Southeast Asia. It has a vibrant mix of international companies and great local names, and a strong commitment to progress and technology,” said QuantumBlack CEO Jeremy Palmer. “And Japan has the third largest economy in the world, a prized engineering history, and a mind-set of continuous improvement, with its Six Sigma and other methodologies. It’s an ideal fit with the way we work – using analytics to continually improve our clients’ performance.”

The new Singapore and Tokyo hubs take QuantumBlack’s number of locations to nine, with further offices in addition to London and Montreal established in Chicago, Boston, São Paulo, Gurgaon and Sydney. According to McKinsey, the expansion of QuantumBlack reflects its “commitment to bringing its expertise to clients across the globe,” with almost 40 percent of the firm’s contemporary business involving some form of digital transformation, including analytics.

The new Singapore and Tokyo offices will be led, in turn, by McKinsey partners Wojtek Krok and Tomoharu Hirayama. The former, Krok, returns to Singapore after having established McKinsey’s Analytics Practice in his native Poland, having previously earned his MBA in the city-state, while the latter, Hirayama, is a leader of McKinsey’s marketing and analytics work, both in Japan and for the Asia Pacific region.

McKinsey launches QuantumBlack in Singapore and Tokyo

“This is exactly the right time to scale analytics for Singaporean and Southeast Asian clients in high growth markets such as Indonesia and Thailand,” said Wojtek, who added that the QuantumBlack protocol allows companies to create both a technical and organisational foundation for applying analytics. “A number of them have done an initial pilot or two and are ready to move quickly beyond that point.”

According to the firm, the QuantumBlack team of data scientists, engineers, machine-learning specialists and technical architects in Singapore work alongside McKinsey strategists, digital experts, and industry specialists, as well as with designers. “We activate the data sources, get the technology in place, and build the skills teams need to create a replicable process to implement again and again,” said Wojtek.

In Japan meanwhile, Tomoharu notes that many of the firm’s clients have already conducted a data-driven proof of concept or a use case or two – “enough for leaders to recognise that analytics now has to be a core competency.” He states; “With the QuantumBlack protocol, we can help businesses advance from one-off use cases and apply analytics to reinvent core processes, such as automotive production lines and pharmaceutical research and development.”

To date, the team in Tokyo has among other examples already helped local retailers and consumer product companies use analytics to fine-tune their pricing and product assortment, as well as having aided financial-services firms in generating leads and reducing risk through the technology. Meanwhile, both offices have been busy cultivating ties with their respective analytics communities, such as through collaborations with local academics and universities.

According to Palmer, who has previously held leadership roles with leading banks in Asia, the new Singapore and Tokyo locations will integrate with the firm’s Sydney office to complete “the QuantumBlack circuit in Asia” – capping the firm’s current phase of expansion. “Our global network is enough now that we can serve clients wherever we are,” said Palmer. “For the time being, this is about right.”