Expert Details

Expert in Strategy, International Expansion, Competitive Advantage, FMCG, Telecoms, Europe (West and East)

Expert ID: 728669 United Kingdom

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Expert is a results-driven operator dedicated to delivering sustainable profitable growth.

He brings an informed and independent insight based on many years of experience. He has international and cross-cultural expertise across a range of industries and sectors, working for some of the world's largest companies as well as start-ups, investment institutions and government agencies.

Expert delivers real practical help as well as the thinking, planning and consulting services. He can support you in implementing change in your business or can lead the change programme for you – the depth of his involvement is up to you. You may want him involved in the detail – attending outside meetings with you, representing you, negotiating on your behalf – or working on critical projects such as profit or cash improvement, increasing sales, raising efficiency, or future planning, to name but a few. Or you may want a one-to-one relationship with him as business mentor – someone you can call on as a sounding board. Or, like most of his clients, you may be looking for a mix of all of this. He can structure a solution that is tailor made for your individual needs.

What sets him apart is his ability to integrate seamlessly into clients’ day-to-day activities and become highly effective member of the team. He brings challenge to his clients while seeking to understand their unique obstacles to change. He customizes his approach to his clients’ needs and provides unbiased advice with world-class execution leading to measurable results.

Expert combines the ability to work both with the board to develop the strategy and with the line management to deliver it. This enables him to reconcile strategic objectives with real-world constraints to produce implementation plans that are both commercially-astute and achievable. His aim is to deliver not recommendations but bottom-line results.

Foreign Direct Investment into Poland by a British International Company.

The client was a manufacturer and distributor of innovative high temperature heating, insulating, and electronic control systems solutions for the major appliance industry and whose customers included GE, Electrolux, Whirlpool and LG. The client’s strategy included expansion into Central Eastern Europe (CEE) and they were aware that if they did this in an EU country there would be the possibility of lower costs, grants and subsidies. The client required a clearer idea of the various alternatives and consequent advantages. The first task was to work with the client on the selection criteria on the potential location for the new manufacturing facility in CEE, which included Growth in the country, Foreign direct investment criteria, Interest rates, Exchange rates and their relative stability, Wage rates and inflation, RPI, Political risks /exposures, FDI government agencies to understand availability of grants or subsidies available from European Union and country. Following presentation of the report the next steps were to visit countries with the MD, check the laws on FDI in each country, hold meetings with local Chambers of Commerce, hold meetings with other similar UK companies and their MD / CEO in each country, report on the suitability of each location. After review the final recommendation on the country was Poland. The next step was to review locations in Poland and set up meetings with local government agencies to understand local issues and grants.

The selection criteria were:Unemployment rates, Ability to recruit bi lingual senior and mid management, Attractiveness of area to ex-pats, Total cost of employment- operatives/supervisors/managers, Local building/employment/training grants, Proximity to key customers, Proximity to airport with direct flights UK, Road communications, Universities with relevant research capabilities, Trucking routes, Local packaging, Environmental risks relating to site, Provision of utilities, Expansion of potential (including site and utilities), Local area and site security.

The next step was to concentrate on the legal, financial and operational aspects of setting up the company in Poland. The construction of the factory followed and included negotiation of terms with the constructors for the building with MD, technical conditions of infrastructure connection, various reports on the impact on the environment, construction design with client, consultations with other authorities and institutions, public announcements on the planned decision, decision regarding site development given, application for construction permit, monitoring the construction. Within 18 months from the initial briefing the company was established and operational in Poland with a lower cost base and customers who saw this move as a demonstration of their commitment to the business relationship.From crisis to recovery: turning around a detergents and adhesives manufacturer.

When the value of the Russian rouble plummeted by 300 per cent, our St Petersburg client suffered an economic crisis. Sales had virtually come to a halt and many of their customers had gone bankrupt. The task was to minimise losses and then create a stable platform for sustainable, profitable growth. First, the financial stability and debt situation of our client’s top five customers, who accounted for around 70 per cent of the business, was checked. They were then offered three-year partnership contracts as a clear signal that the client valued them and wanted a long-term business relationship. This made the creation and implementation of debt repayment plans possible. Next, a major cost cutting drive was put in place. We first identified the major cost drivers in the business and then dealt with them systematically. We then looked at substituting imported goods with locally available, lower cost materials. This had the added benefit of avoiding import duty and lower transportation costs. Finally, a team of marketing, key account and business development professionals were hired to help drive forward a business development programme. By the end of the first year the business had fully recovered: sales had increased to 140 per cent of pre-crisis levels and profits by 160 per cent.In 2001 the Swiss/German Metro Group opened its first two stores in Moscow. It led the way among several other store groups that were planning to expand into Russia and Eastern Europe, such as Auchan from France, OBI and Marktkauf from Germany and Wal-Mart from the USA.

Working with the client, an international trade and distribution specialist in the retail sector, the expert identified that these groups would eventually take a major share of business within key East European cities. By gaining an early foothold, they would boost their sales and market share.
The key task was to set up a structure for the client to service such accounts and to secure 100 per cent listing in all new stores in Russia and throughout Eastern Europe.
A key account management system was set up using experience and know-how gained at the client’s HQ in Germany. A local sales manager was then assigned the KAM responsibility and sent for on-the-job training in Germany and Austria.

Contact was made with the head offices of all the store groups who planned to set up in Russia and other Eastern European countries and a series of joint presentations between the client’s local and head office KAM teams made. The presentations made clear that the client was already present in Eastern Europe and keen to cooperate with the store groups’ plans for expansion into that area.

When the store groups opened, deals were negotiated to secure exclusivity and promotional support during the first 12 months, helping to demonstrate the client’s support and commitment to working with the groups.

The client achieved 100 per cent penetration into all new outlets that opened in Russia during the next three years and established an ongoing dialogue with the store groups for other planned expansion in Eastern Europe which still exists today.The client, an innovative financial services provider, had a reputation for action and delivery. Unfortunately, the drive for action often led to the wrong things being delivered and to corners being cut. This created functionality that staff didn’t need, and reliability issues that caused problems in downstream service and support.

The focus on big projects also meant that smaller changes with high positive business impact were never implemented, making the downstream service and support issues progressively worse. This was a fundamental problem with the way the business handled change management. The business also perceived that it was being impeded by IT.
The expert had to get the business to define its key drivers, so that its business projects could be prioritised objectively. This prioritisation could then be used to drive project assessment and delivery.
First, the expert aligned the stakeholders. Through critical interviews, he identified the business pains and expectations of key line staff and executives.

He tested the possible. He identified the critical pain points within the business and socialised the findings to get feedback and avoid surprising anyone with our recommendations.

Before setting out the options, he established where the energy was to take action and how far the organisation was prepared to go to implement his findings.

He simplified the process. Based on feedback, he removed many (best practice) recommendations on what could be done as being too much for the organisation to assimilate.

He added energy and communicated. The process helped to give staff a voice but also prevented random feedback by focusing on the organisational and business pain. To avoid de-commitment he reminded people of what they had agreed to.

He created a new organisational model. He was responsible for the organisational design and new role definitions for new programme management and consulting staff. Critical people offering greater experience and capability were hired in or transferred from elsewhere in the business.
The new process moved IT from the defensive to a stronger position within the business and strengthened the organisation’s ability to innovate and manage its business programme. It identified critical gaps in business planning around business driver setting and staff objectives.

The process established that the business was a bottleneck for IT delivery rather than the other way around: it lacked capacity to build new product propositions quickly enough.

A side benefit of expert's approach was that they were able to remove “underground” ways to get pet projects done.
The client, an international FMCG company operating in The Russian Federation, was losing sales and seeing profits drop due to an inability to effectively manage stock. Stock levels were unacceptably high, partly because customs clearance was taking up to 14 days. Meanwhile, unhappy customers were switching to competitor products to fill the gaps.
The lack of robust systems and professionalism within the existing purchasing department showed a clear need for change.
For the first time, the business recruited a professional supply chain manager to run the reorganised department.

Next, a supply chain management department was created combining purchasing, customer service, logistics and stock keeping. New software tools were introduced to better manage the information flow.

Weekly meetings were set up to co-ordinate all sales forecasts, purchasing, stock and production plans, and a system for monitoring forecast accuracy put in place.

Finally, a professional customs clearance expert was appointed and the customs department reorganised.
During the first six months inventory levels were reduced by over €1m and customs clearance was reduced from 14 days to just two.


Year Degree Subject Institution
Year: 1977 Degree: MBA Subject: International Business Institution: London Business School
Year: 1975 Degree: BSc Subject: Economics Institution: Bristol University

Work History

Years Employer Title Department Responsibilities
Years: 2000 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: CEO Department: Responsibilities: Leading and managing the business and key assignments.
Years: 1994 to 1999 Employer: Henkel KGaA Title: Director and Country Manager - Russia Department: Responsibilities: Lead and managed the Russian based business of the Henkel Group.
Years: 1994 to 1999 Employer: Henkel KGaA Title: Managing Director S. E. Asia Department: Responsibilities: Lead and managed the S.E. Asian businesses of the Henkel Group.
Years: 2006 to 2008 Employer: Vistage Title: Group Chairman - London Department: Responsibilities: Ran a London based Vistage CEO Group.
Years: 1992 to 1994 Employer: Morgan Crucible / Holt LLoyd Title: Non-Executive Director Department: Responsibilities: Worked with the management board during a rapid growth period up to and including a management buy out from the Morgan Crucible comapny.

International Experience

Years Country / Region Summary
Years: 1989 to 1990 Country / Region: Germany Summary: Based at the Duesseldorf head office of the Henkel Group in Germany resposible for developing and implimenting business development strategy including M&A's.
Years: 1990 to 1991 Country / Region: Malaysia - KL Summary: First base f's role as Regioal MD for Henkel's S. E. Asian busineses.
Years: 1991 to 1992 Country / Region: Indonesia - Jakarta Summary: Second base f's role as Regioal MD for Henkel's S. E. Asian busineses.
Years: 1993 to 1994 Country / Region: Thailand Summary: Third base f's role as Regioal MD for Henkel's S. E. Asian busineses.
Years: 1994 to 1999 Country / Region: Russia Summary: Director and Country manager for Henkel's operations in the Russian Federation.

Career Accomplishments

Associations / Societies
Institue of Directors, Vistage, British American Business Inc.
Professional Appointments
He has held Executive and Non-Executive Board Director positions for the last 15 years.
Publications and Patents Summary
Expert has published over 100 white papers on best business pratice, many of which have also been delivered as keynote speeches, workshops or seminars.

Additional Experience

Training / Seminars
Expert regularly delivers best business practice training seminars on workshops with a particular focus on the development and implementation of business growth strategies including M&A and post acquisition integration. For smaller businesses he also presents on developing and implimenting exit strategy.
Marketing Experience
Expert's international network and broad client base enables him to deliver deep market intelligence on organisations and key players globally.
Other Relevant Experience
In addition to consulting assignments, Expert also delivers one-on-one Mentoring to a small group of CEO's in Europe, the US, Asia and the Russian Federation.

Language Skills

Language Proficiency
German He can communicate effectively in German.
Russia He can speak basic Russian.

Fields of Expertise

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