Platform for consultants XpertiseNow launches in Asia

09 December 2020 Consultancy.asia
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Two professionals with decades of consulting experience between them have launched XpertiseNow – a Singapore-based digital platform aimed at connecting businesses with the right advisory services.

With a strong digital focus, XpertiseNow is aimed at disrupting the consulting sector in its current form – dominated by a handful of large firms. The goal is to connect businesses with all the digital expertise they need, via a platform that hosts an expansive network of specialist and boutique consultancies.

This is in addition to the XpertiseNow’s own consulting resources – spanning services such as digital telecom, customer experience design, digital procurement, among others, as well as a range of digital products and Augmented Intelligence solutions. The offerings are all geared towards quick and efficient digital transformation.

The two-fold objective is to give specialist and boutique consultancies a voice, while saving businesses from the exhorbitant fees and “lack of real business familiarity and expertise” at large consultancies, according to co-founder & CEO at the firm Fraser Ross.

Fraser Ross and Sundi Balu, XpertiseNow

Ross speaks from experience, having himself worked at some of the biggest names in consulting over a career that spans nearly three decades. He began at PwC, where he spent ten years – four as partner – before joining IBM as an Executive Director. Four years at IBM were followed by a move to Deloitte, where he spent the next decade as a Senior Partner. 

Based on his own experience, Ross explained how “traditional big players are weighed down by hierarchical and unproductive structures; top consultants are trapped in the administrative tasks rather than advising clients directly and are driven by the need to keep armies of juniors busy to survive.”

This dynamic is increasingly visible in the quality of service delivered by large consultancies, which according to Ross is “driving companies to search for alternative smaller specialist and asset or product based consultancies.” This is where XpertiseNow steps in, as an expert consultant and facilitator.

Bringing a wealth of digital expertise to the table is co-founder & chief technology officer (CTO) Sundi Balu. With a background in banking – ANZ bank and NAB – Balu has held a number of senior technology roles, including Chief Information Officer at Reach and Chief Information Officer at Telstra. He has also been a Senior External Advisor on digital transformation for consulting giant Bain & Company in Singapore.

“For me, digital transformation is about the optimum use of technology to fundamentally transform the business model, that drives greater exceptional outcomes to customers,” reads Balu’s LinkedIn page.

Big ambitions

With this combination of digital expertise and consulting industry knowledge, the pair are hoping to usher in the advisory model of the future, starting with XpertiseNow’s home market – Asia Pacific (APAC). Conservative estimates place APAC’s consulting market at $25 billion in annual revenues – one sixth of the global industry. 

With its base in Singapore – home to a vibrant tech landscape – XpretiseNow will be well positioned to serve the thriving APAC Consulting landscape. Reports suggest that the firm has imminent plans to expand into Indonesia and Australia, with longer term sights on all of Southeast Asia and even the UK in the future.