American pattern: a ‘swarm’ of consultants

“It is better to do a bad planning than no planning at all. The opportunity costs are too high”, said Eusediu Margasoiu (photo), founder of The Network. In April 2008, Margasoiu stepped down as marketing manager from Pepsi Americas Romania, after nine years. Later on, he decided to tap the consultancy industry, as apart from his marketing tasks, he was also drafting the strategic plan for Pepsi together with American advisors. “At a moment, I saw by mistake, the bills for the consultants. I liked the way they looked”.

Cristina Gheorghe, former manager at Procter&Gamble Romania joined him shortly after. Together, they prepared the groundwork of a company and a new brand, The Network.

Three top managers ‘signed up’ for the newly-born project recently: Mihai Ghyka, former managing director at InBev Romania, Paul Markovits, former Senior Brand & Communication Director at Vodafone Romania and Dragos Dinu, former CEO of A&D Pharma. Partners of The Network form a “consultant swarm” - an American informal pattern that started to compete with the large consultancy companies, such as McKinsey, Roland Berger, Accenture or Boston Consulting.

“There are people with extensive experience, who left their top positions and started to consult here and there, by recommending one to another. This led to a fierce fight in the American market between the structure and the man,” said Margasoiu. “Large consultancy firms are well-positioned organization, with well-developed tools and know-how. You are practically on the verge of becoming a cell of the structure. On the other side you see people who challenge the structure and bring their own point of views; they are more flexible and have a different tariff policy”.

Three-year business plan, with focus on consumers

The structure of the network is one of the reasons why Paul Markovits decided to join it, while the other reason was the people with the Network. “It is an informal structure that gathers, from each one of us, over 100 years of experience in multinational companies. It brings expertise and makes it accessible in a business pattern freed by additional costs”, said Markovits.

While Romanian branches of Roland Berger, McKinsey and Accenture choose their clients from around very large companies, The Network targets middle segment – companies with seven/eight-digit turnover. Agricover, Agricola International and Prodal with Stalinskaya and Wembley brands are only a few of the brands who decided to use the Network’s services.