(From Polish News Bulletin)
Poland's consultancy services market was worth some 240 million euro last year, or slightly more than in 2002, when it shrunk by 10 percent to 235 million euro, according to FEACO, the European association of consulting companies. The European consultancy market contracted by 2 percent in 2002 amid a widespread economic slowdown, to 46.5 billion euro, following several years of single-digit growth.
In GDP terms, Poland's consultancy market grew to 0.15 percent of GDP last year from 0.14 percent a year earlier, compared with a European average of 0.42 percent.
An estimated 1,100 consulting companies operated in Poland in 2003, according to FEACO, generating an average revenue per consultant of some 48,000 euro. The revenue per consultant levels are expected to be growing sharply in the coming years.
According to the Association of Business Consultants (SDG), a domestic lobby group, there were about 1,200-1,800 local consulting companies in Poland last year, each employing up to 10 staff. These were accompanied by foreign companies with 10-100 consultants, and by management consulting branches of the Big Four audit companies (excluding Arthur Andersen), with 50-100 consultants each.
SDG is an association of 25 Polish consultancy companies, most of which are owned by the consultants themselves. Efforts aimed at inviting EU or US companies to join have proved futile. The association's goals for the next couple of years include integrating Polish consultancy companies, ensuring Polish consultancies' participation in EU-related activities, and inviting foreign consultancy and IT companies to join the association.
According to Andrzej Glowacki, president of SDG and head of listed consultancy company DGA, the Polish consultancy market faces a "unique opportunity."
"Though the 2001-2002 slowdown saw the Big Four and local consultancy companies slashing jobs, the market has since recovered. I expect several high-profile mergers in the consultancy industry that will enable companies to offer a broader range of services, reduce their fixed costs, and hedge risk by boosting business. This wave of consolidation will give rise to large domestic companies able to offer comprehensive services to their customers," says Glowacki.
Recent mergers include a tie-up between Pro-Invest International and Warsaw Consulting Group (WGK), and DGA's acquisition of Meurs Polska, to be completed this month.
"The consultancy market is set to grow," says Glowacki, "as small and medium-sized companies increasingly use consulting services to optimise their business processes and implement quality and customer relations management systems."
The cost of consulting services range from $2,000-2,5000 per consultant per day at the Big Four companies, to $300-700 per …