World class advice

McKinsey's client

McKinsey's client

Jack recently posted a comment in “Double vision” asking for my “…opinion regarding the government paying USD 9.1m to a global management consultancy firm, McKinsey and company”.

I’m afraid that I know very little about “Accelerating Bhutan’s Economic Development”, the project that McKinsey will implement. And, the little I know comes from what Kuensel had reported a few days ago. The project must be interesting. And exciting. So, I’m already looking forward to learning more about it.

But let’s look at what we know. In “Really hard business”, we talked about how difficult it was to do business in our country. The World Bank’s Doing Business report 2008 ranked Bhutan a dismal 119 out of the 178 countries studied for ease of doing business.

In “Doing business isn’t easy anywhere” we noted that doing business in Bhutan got more difficult during the previous year. The World Bank’s Doing Business report 2009 put Bhutan at 124 of the 181 countries. We inferred that rules and regulations needed to be reviewed to make them business friendly.

In “Getting down to business” we looked at the ten dimensions of doing business that were covered in Doing Business report 2009. Six of the ten areas needed drastic improvements if doing business in Bhutan were to be made easier.

And, in “Official business” I suggested that, to make doing business easier, we would first need to change the mindset and the attitudes of our officials.

Why do I mention these previous entries? Because, let’s face it, all of us, in the private sector and in the government, know, more or less, what must be done to make doing business easier in Bhutan. Now, if McKinsey is needed to get the job done, so be it. But, be warned, don’t expect any magic. Ultimately, it’s up to us.


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  1. McKinsey or not, consultants’ advice remains nothing more than just that — consultants’ advice.

    My own business experience tells me that it leads to real results on the ground when and only when it is matched by a sense of urgency, passionate conviction, and genuine ownership of those whose job it is to make the change happen.

    If it takes US$9.1 million to change “the mindset and the attitudes of our officials”, so be it.

    But, if I am faced with similar needs to change my company and boost its business outcomes, would I pay $9.1 million to solve a problem, which I know what the answers, how to do it, and who is responsible (myself as the CEO)? If and only if I am faced with strong opposition within my company. Otherwise, no.

  2. The 9.1 million dollars may best spend on drug rehab centre, education loan for poor family, rehabilitation of key infrastructures like hospital, irrigation channel, farm road etc. Also, part of 9.1 million $ could be used to train some unemployed youth on specific skills like plumbing, motor mechanics, electricians, carpenters etc. No amounty of external intervention can change deep rooted laziness of Bhutanese.


  3. looking forward says

    It is absolutely good move and I have read some thing about this firm from the website. And as mentioned the company has vast experiences in this regard.

    However, we must be careful and be focused to our needs. Our object must be clear and scope should always advance.

    I am optimistic that this project will be unlike any other projects. We have enough of information and thick documents on our shelves but, certainly for a document (system) that is tangible, easy to understand and simple to implement so that we can reap the benefits.

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