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How a finance and tech consultancy recorded 93% growth through a ‘recession’

How a finance and tech consultancy recorded 93% growth through a ‘recession’

By Martin Hartley, CCO, emagine Group

We don’t need the European Commission’s financial figures to know that 2022 was a tough year for many businesses across the continent. But I’ll give them to you anyway; growth of only 0.3% in Q3 and 0.1% in Q4. So, technically we avoided a recession. But not by much.

In particular, markets such as Germany – Europe’s largest economy, which shrank by 0.7% in Q4 due to reduced consumer spending – have impacted the broader Eurozone, meaning its economy has not returned to pre-Covid-19 levels of GDP. This despite a surge of growth in 2021 – to 5.2%, the region’s highest rate of expansion in five decades – as we emerged from lockdowns.

Growth is still growth, of course, but for any business to have posted significant successes in the last year is highly commendable. That’s why I am extremely proud that, against the backdrop of a slightly bleak wider business environment, emagine has posted growth of 93% in 2022, passing the DKK 4.5 billion mark (€605 million) for the first time.

So how have we done it?

From small Nordic roots, emagine has grown to be a leading player in the consultancy sector, employing more than 800 full-time staff and more than 4,500 consultants in 26 offices across ten countries. This success is based on a business model that offers scalable, flexible and high-quality consulting services.

The strategy is largely two-fold; the excellent results delivered by our dedicated staff allow us to grow organically, while we have also consolidated and expanded our position in the market through tactical acquisitions.

Services that suit

Let’s talk services first; the quality of our digital, tech and business consulting services, and managed solutions sees us work with some of the world’s biggest organisations. In the UK we focus on the financial services sector, working with clients such as HSBC, Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of America, MUFG and other tier one investment banks, but elsewhere across Europe, and indeed the world, our services extend across all industries and sectors. 

It’s our ability to react quickly to the challenges organisations face in a rapidly-changing business and digital environment that has seen us challenge the traditional consultancy service establishment. Driving change and results is all about having the requisite expertise, at the right time and in the right setup, which is why our unique ‘nearshoring’ and ‘bestshoring’ strategies allow us to set up flexible, scalable, and agile expert IT teams in the locations that best suit our clients from a value and innovation perspective. This means we can deliver a programme of work with the best people from the best location, whilst keeping to an efficiently blended budget, and it has helped drive organic group revenue growth of 25%. It is also a solution to the talent shortage in the tech sector, throwing open the pool to a global market.

Strategic acquisitions

The second pillar of emagine’s successful growth has been carefully selected acquisitions – six in the last three years and two in 2022 – which have strengthened the group’s development in the Nordic region and driven scalable opportunities in wider territories.

Joining forces with international consulting and technology business Aspira has given emagine a presence in Ireland, the Netherlands and Portugal, creating significant and scalable opportunities for the group. Aspira has a strong reputation for its Advisory and Solutions services and this partnership will add a new catalogue of high-end business and IT consultancy services to our offering.

Also, the acquisition of Peak Consulting Group in Denmark has reinforced our strong position in Denmarkand the rest of Europe, and brought new skills to the areas of business transformation, project management, business service management, agile transformation, and training and competence-development. With a similar approach to internal professional knowledge and a business model that allows for flexibility, this brings emagine one step closer to its goal of becoming one of Europe’s largest consulting businesses.

Strong appointments

Meanwhile, key appointments across the business have brought new perspectives and expertise to fuel future growth, since emagine has set ambitious plans for the upcoming year to sustain the company’s recent performance and growth rates.

Marika Fredriksson joined as the new Chair of the Board in early 2022, after a ten-year tenure as CFO of the Danish wind turbine giant, Vestas Wind Systems. She will play a key role in ensuring that we’re on track to build on our record-breaking success in 2022. And in Q3, Jesper Diget, also from Vestas, where he was Senior Vice President, joined as Chief People Officer. As we continue through this period of hypergrowth – we have eyes on new goals, new services and new territories – we will only be as strong as our people and Jesper will spearhead the group’s ESG efforts and enhance emagine’s attractiveness as an employer.

With the right talent, a business model that can respond to market trends and a plan to scale further with strategic partnerships, we are looking ahead to another year of success for our clients with a team stronger than ever before.


About Author:

Martin Hartley is CCO of emagine Group, a leading IT, business & engineering consultancy and a Big Four challenger across Europe. He is also on the Bank of England decision-maker panel.

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