Remote working means this startup can use brains in emerging markets to disrupt management consultants
The global management consulting industry is worth billions of dollars but to this day it’s been tough to disrupt with technology. Traditional consulting firms provide high-quality services but the cost a lot and have rigid terms. And while there are plenty of portals offering low-quality freelance consulting services, these are generally unsupervised that would never work for corporates and the public sector.
Plus, countries like India are famous for offering back-office and research work at scale. A YC compp Apollo Group is in this space (although clearly their web site needs work).
Intellia is an up and running startup which has raised $1.5m so far from Fatima Gobi Ventures and angels including Gokul Rajaram (DoorDash board member), Mudassar Sheikha (Careem founder) and the former Global CFO of PepsiCo and two managing partners of large consulting firms.
How it works is by engaging remote talent from emerging markets which can now (because of the acceptance of remote working, post-pandemic) participate in much higher value roles in finance, strategy, and public policy.
Launching out of Dubai in 2020, Intellia looks for strategy and finance consultants in emerging markets where wages are cheap, thows in some AI-powered vetting, to come up with a project delivery platform for finance, strategy and public policy.
It claims its on-demand, remote analysts (from countries such as Colombia, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates) can be deployed within 24 hours, and save companies 80% on recruiting and advisory budgets. It’s now set to launch in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Lagos, Nigeria next month.
Intellia founder and CEO, Saad Raja told me over email: “From a business model perspective, we are closest to what Turing is for software engineering and Superside is for design – in addition to all remote talent vetted and trained from emerging markets. We are addressing the gap in the market between traditional consulting firms and freelance portals.”
Examples of what Intellia analysts are doing right now include advising multinational companies with product launches, or even new market entry projects for Michelin star restaurants in Europe.
“We also have a wider purpose: Intellia’s mission is to build frontier markets as knowledge economies with a diverse workforce (half of our analysts are female) – aligned with ESG principles and social responsibility,” says Raja.