Consulting market. Development Tendencies and Opportunities
Within the framework of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) “Small Business Support in Armenia” a 5-day training on “Basics of Management Consulting” will be held on November 12-14 and 17-18. We talked about the importance of organizing the trainings for the formation of a consulting market with the directors of “Avenue Consulting Group”
“The advisor is a very broad concept and we talk about management consultants. This profession has been implemented since the late 1990s when different organizations started to actively operate in Armenia, “said Karen Martirosyan, Partner, Head of Strategic Management Advisory Services of Avenue Consulting Group. In his words, quite a serious foundation has been laid over these years and international structures have begun to implement serious projects and new companies have been formed as a result of these programs. Then, the trainers involved in the trainings began to establish their own organizations that already have a great reputation in Armenia.
Speaking about the formation of a consulting market, Karen Martirosyan underlined: “The advisory market was also formed because at that time private businesses were built at a very fast pace, which was a new market for consultants, and also state reform programs were added to it, where both foreign companies and local consultants had a great role.” According to him, the involvement of representatives of foreign organizations, as well as local consultants in these reforms, has resulted in a rather serious exchange of experiences and companies, individuals, who started to play a role in the market. “However, as the sector is not regulated, development is rather difficult.”
In Karen Martirosyan’s words, as a result of the non-regulation of the advisory market, there were such consultants who did poor quality services and shaded the entire consulting market. “In order to overcome this chaotic situation, there was a regulation that helped the EBRD’s Small Business Support Program, one of the goals of which was to promote the development of consulting services. And the culmination of the regulation was that the EBRD organized a training on “Basics of Advising Skills and Professional Ethics” in Tbilisi in 2010, as a result of which the Armenian Institute of Management Consulting (IMC Armenia) was established, which now has 40 members. I am one of the founders of this structure, “added Karen Martirosyan.
Not only the knowledge is necessary for a consultant’s profession but also the skills that a specialist obtains during such training. Tigran Grigoryan, executive director, shareholder, director of Operational Management Consulting Services, believes that being a good professional does not mean that you are a good consultant. “Then you can become a good expert, but in order to become an advisor you must have the ability to communicate, ability to understand the psychology of people, and of course you must have negotiation skills. it is not always what they teach in educational institutions. It is therefore important for a person to be able to participate in the necessary training, to appear in the right place where the skills are used, and, if he/she has the potential and some skills, he will be able to become a good consultant, “said Tigran Grigoryan in a conversation with Banks.am.
According to him, the advisor during his professional activity meets different people in different situations. It can be a meeting with the Embassy or with a serious businessman in the office, and the consultant must clearly know who he talks and communicates with. And trainings are very important for all this. “Our organization encourages these trainings and, in many cases, we also hold training courses for our consultants,” said Tigran Grigoryan.
According to Tigran Grigoryan, the development of the advisory market is very slow, but there is a reason for that, the demand is not great. “The role of the consultant is also to ensure that he / she must create his / her demand by companies, organizations, businessmen. Companies should explain why they need the consulting service and what they can do if they cooperate with consulting firms or individual consultants. That’s why a consultant makes a market for him for a long time. ”
Nevertheless, according to Tigran Grigoryan, there is a positive shift. “A few years ago, if a company had to get a loan from a bank, he simply had to attract the consultant to write a business plan.
Over the past few years, the consulting market has been developing and some businessmen have begun to realize that the consultant’s need exists and the consultant need is not just to write a business plan but to seriously grasp their financial management system to manage their financial flows, because without this service they lose money, “added Tigran Grigoryan.
Touching upon the impact of the training on the formation of a consulting market, our interlocutor noted that the trainings on his professional success had a serious impact. “I participated in trainings organized by the EBRD and received a certificate which is acceptable all over the world. In addition, during the training, I get not only knowledge, but also sources of information, new connections that I can use later. And this is very important to me, “concluded Tigran Grigoryan.