Professional services firms across Asia named among best employers

24 April 2018 Consultancy.asia

The human capital analysis firm Great Place To Work has released its 2018 list of the best companies to work for in Asia, with the list featuring several professional services firms among the top rankings.

With research based on data representing over 10 million employees across 50 countries, Great Place to Work seeks to help organisations understand what makes for a satisfying workplace, zooming in on the single most important defining factor; trust. Trust is in turn garnered through management credibility, respect, and fairness, and not ‘just a checklist of programmes and benefits.’

With that in mind, it’s clear that the firms featured among the 2018 best companies to work for in Asia list – including a number of representatives from the professional services sector – have deliberately set out to shape their cultures in order to be considered desirable and enjoyable workplaces from a morale perspective. In no particular order, the following firms are some of those commended by Best Place to Work.

Nous Group

The Nous Group, featuring among the best small-to-medium enterprises with an employee-base of around 275, has according to the firm grown to become the largest Australian-founded management consulting enterprise since its 1999 inception. With five offices in Australia and one in the UK, Nous is proud of its open, collaborative environment, adopting a brand metaphor based on ‘murmuration’ – the phenomenon of large flocks of starlings flying together in a dynamic, fluid motion – and has recently launched the innovative co-working space Nous House.

On the firm’s previous listing by Great Places to Work, former McKinsey consultant and Nous founder and Managing Director Tim Orton said, “What a buzz for Nousers! While culture is not a competition, we are delighted to realise that our thought and effort has created a unique work culture. Moreover, our rapid growth suggests that our culture is valuable to our clients as well as highly valued by our people."

BlueRock

BlueRock is another collaborative outfit out of Australia, and if its imaginative website alone is anything to go on, a most dynamic and creative workplace. Founded in 2008, the firm has expanded to now feature a community of 170 professionals, with expertise covering every aspect of business and wealth including specialisations in law, finance, accounting, insurance, digital and data intelligence among others.

Like the other advisory firms among the rankings, BlueRock commonly features on employee satisfaction lists, including Great Place to Work’s 2016 and 2017 compilations for Australia. The firm said on the occasion of its latter award; “At BlueRock we live by our culture, and firmly believe that having fun whilst being engaged in the work we do is the rule, not the exception. We want our clients to be part of our world. We are creating a community of innovators; a broad team of entrepreneurial thinkers where successes are recognised and celebrated and where innovation is key on the path towards excellence.”

The Blue Rock, The Nous Group, Altis, Cambridge Technology Partners, Omnicom, Zinc, The Works and Cactus Communications

Altis Consulting

Closing in on 100 employees across five offices in Australia, New Zealand and the UK, Altis, has from its founding in 1998 operated with the management ethos that a happy and engaged team would equate to happy and loyal clients – such as those in the utilities, education, healthcare, transport, finance and property sectors among others for which the firm provides data and analytics solutions.

Turning a deliberate focus to employee satisfaction since 2007, the professional services firm can now state that its average staff stint has grown to beyond five years, with its annual internal employee survey revealing that over 80% of the firm’s workforce is satisfied and engaged with their role. Meanwhile, Altis still serves its very first client from over twenty years ago.

Cambridge Technology Partners

The Japanese arm of US-origin Cambridge Technology Partners was founded in 1997, and, retaining its name, became an independent operating company under the management of local IT services firm Nihon Unisys in 2006. As of last year, Cambridge Technology Partners of Japan had a headcount of 100 employees, providing IT strategy and solutions for corporate transformations.

Marketing & Communications

Also featuring on the list were a selection of regional and global players in the marketing and communications professional services realm, including Zinc, a marketing outfit with seven country locations stretching from Australia and Asia to the US; award-winning creative agency The Works out of Sydney; the Indian-founded Cactus, a full service medical communications agency, and; marketing communications players Omnicom Group with 70,000 happy employees serving over 5,000 clients around the world.

South Korea the global 5G leader on Arthur D. Little maturity index

29 March 2019 Consultancy.asia

South Korea has been identified as the clear global leader in the deployment of 5G in an analysis conducted by management consultancy Arthur D. Little.

“5G will soon become widely available – and first movers have a significant lead.” So begins Arthur D. Little’s Global 5G Leadership Index report, with South Korea not just identified as a first mover, but a clear runaway leader – ahead of other strong performers the US, Australia and Qatar. From a regional perspective, the Asia Pacific was also considered the most advanced.

Benchmarking more than 40 countries across the globe, the analysis considered the maturity of each country’s 5G deployment against two dimensions – the development of infrastructure and levels of commercialisation – with South Korea leading in both, its 5G spectrum already allocated and its large mobile operators having since rolled out their networks across considerable areas.

South Korea was in a group of only eight 5G ‘leaders’ worldwide, joined by Switzerland, Finland, Spain and the UAE together with the US, Australia and Qatar, while Japan and Singapore lead the ‘followers’ group – with both countries assessed as very advanced in terms of technology adoption, 5G trials and infrastructure availability, but hampered by their lack of 5G spectrum allocation.South Korea the global 5G leader on Arthur D. Little maturity index“All leading countries have in common that they have already allocated 5G spectrum,” state the authors of the report. “These countries have enabled operators to roll out 5G networks quickly, many commercially, in 2018, and to trial use cases successfully. Markets with high-performance backhaul infrastructure rate higher, as this capability allows them to roll out 5G faster.”

“Additionally, the leading markets demonstrate high willingness to adopt new services supported by high 4G usage and fiber take-up, as well as several competitors to foster fast 5G roll-out. Overall, they do not face any major limitations, be these in terms of infrastructure, regulation, market demand for 5G applications, economic strength, or competitive dynamics.”

Elsewhere in Asia, China and Hong Kong were also among the ‘followers’ – respectively scoring a 6.4 and 6.1 rating on the index (compared to 8.8 out of 10 for South Korea), while the Philippines was assessed as a ‘5G laggard’, ranking last overall of the 43 countries analysed with a rating of just 3.4. Other table dwellers included Greece, Cyprus, Croatia and Bulgaria.

“5G is the first mobile network generation which promises the data throughput, latency, and flexibility to enable the next level of digitisation across consumer types,” said Karim Taga, Arthur D. Little’s global Telecommunications, Information Technology, Media & Electronics (TIME) practice leader. “Future business competitiveness will rely on 5G networks, making their fast deployment essential.”

5G skeptics

Meanwhile, the global leader of Accenture’s network practice, George Nazi, has been moved to respond to the lingering skepticism from the business community toward 5G network technology – with a survey of 1,800 executives finding that more than half thought it would be of little advantage over 4G. “The reality is that 5G will bring a major wave of connectivity that opens new dimensions for innovation and commercial and economic development,” Nazi said.

Nazi pointed to breakthroughs in three-dimensional video, smart-city infrastructure, autonomous cars and immersive television as examples which will unleash transformative opportunities that are still difficult to imagine today, noting that if companies fail to plan for 5G now they could well miss out on such opportunities. "Telecommunications companies will play a pivotal role in bringing these prospects to light."