Baringa Partners - A stepping stone: Culture diluted by too-fast growth and lack of infrastructure | Glassdoor.co.in
  1. Helpful (25)

    "A stepping stone: Culture diluted by too-fast growth and lack of infrastructure"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Baringa Partners full-time

    Pros

    Many reviews here are criticised for being fake, one-sided or posted by very disgruntled former employees. I am a former employee, but I am not disgruntled. Overall I enjoyed my time at Baringa but I have come to the conclusion that this was not a place to build a career. I have included in my review below an honest account and examples of what it did not work for me in the hope that these insights may help... potential employees with their own decisions. - Baringa is a nice place to work, the firm is "people-focused" and an effort is made to make you feel part of the Baringa family. - Hours while I was there were very reasonable, especially for consulting. They are flexible employers, and seem to make more effort to look out for individual needs more than other firms. - They have quite open access to their leadership team, who are in-large proactive to engage with those they lead. - Many people here are hired from well-respected big-name firms, and bring with them a finesse and polish that you will not find in the industry hires – these are great people to learn from if you are new to consulting. - There is a large emphasis on growth, and this comes with the opportunity for autonomy and trust in your ability to contribute to the growth of the company. Everyone is very ambitious to continue this growth, whether it is to recruit people in, connect with your contacts or sell-on more work in clients. The spirit and ambition is there but the capability, strategic-thinking and basics of business are overlooked. - The structure is flat, and they are open to ideas and execution of them from any level of the organisation. - This is a good place for a career stepping stone or as a taste of consulting but not a place to build a career unless you are going in as a Partner. It’s a nice Partner role in comparison to other consulting firms, and their Partnership model is unique in that it encourages Partners to focus on their “legacy” to the firm even past retirement.

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    Cons

    Where Baringa falls down is in the business basics: - The office space is not engaging or set up for collaborative working. It is not fit for the size of the firm so many people don't come into the office at all as there are no desks for them. This impacts on team morale, inclusiveness and creates barriers within teams. I understand there was an opportunity to address this recently when their current office space... contract was up for negotiation, but nothing came to fruition so this will remain an ever-increasing issue for the coming years. - The internal corporate team, the engine of any business, has had little to no investment or growth in comparison to the consulting side - with the exception of the recruitment team. This leaves a lot of the basics of running a consulting business to the consultants - such as invoicing, following up on contracts, resourcing etc. I believe they are looking into this now, and have appointed new leadership, but it will not be a quick fix. - Business expenses fall to the employee personally. The only credit card they will support is American Express which is not accepted in many of the cities and towns outside of London where the majority of their work is based. Large business expenses therefore are often left for the individual to pay on their personal credit card. Expenses are only paid once a month and the finance approvers are hit-and-miss, so there has been a few times where I have had to foot the bill for large client delivery expenses and been left out of pocket for 2 months. The same scrutiny is not applied to Partners and Directors, and some of the stories relayed from EA's of their behaviour charging expenses out of policy is a real kick in the teeth for junior levels who will not even be entitled to a breakfast at 5:30am while travelling to work with clients. - Benefits are not reflective of a 10 year old consulting company with their client list. This can be frustrating for junior ranks, who are paid less than competitors and without their benefits. A simple example is that no mobile phone is provided or no offer to supplement your phone-bill / internet is included. Even when you are out working remotely with a client you have to foot the bill yourself. - The growth strategy is a self-fulfilling prophecy. They are growing, and fast. However, this has impacted the quality of their consultants and has brought about “bad fits” that impact the culture. Culture is their main differentiator, and it is being beaten down the more they grow. Increased hiring is not the only area that is growing too fast, their attempt to break into several different markets in the same financial year is a worrying thought, and non-organic growth targets only fuels the increased recruitment drive, and so on… - The commercial aspect of the consulting business is a taboo. At Baringa, there is no talk of “sales” or any commercial aspects of what it takes to run a consulting business. This originated from their drive to be “people-focused” rather than “sales-driven”, but now at the scale they are this seems very odd and you can see people moving to leadership positions who have no concept of their role to win interesting work for their team. - Brand awareness is null. This is surprising when you become privy to their client list. Perhaps this is reflective of the lack of investment in the marketing team, or more likely an over-reliance on an events-manager who appears to prioritises site-visits abroad for an annual internal event over expanding brand awareness with external events in London. The branding aspect is an easy fix, but one that is not addressed. It is certainly not helped by a culture of “brand-bashing” of other consulting firms, or (embarrassingly) comparing themselves to being better than the world’s top consulting firms. This narrative is starting to breed an unwarranted sense of superiority into a firm that no-one has heard of. - Culture can become controlling at times. I have seen a new-joiners probation review take into account a lack of social time with her team, not going to informal after-work drinks with co-workers, and instead spending Friday evenings with their own friends. When pressed on this, they said “that’s just not our culture, we are all friends here”. Forced fun, a lack of regard for use of personal time in the evenings and weekend, and willingness to arrive to work before 8am on Friday morning in the hope you manage to find a desk space should not play such a big role in probation considerations. You should be able get on well with your colleagues at work and perform well without buying a round at happy-hour. This is further heightened by the established of “cliques”, the firm is actively trying to break down their “cliques” within teams – which seems odd for a company who prides themselves on their culture. - This is a London based firm, with a very small presence in New York and Germany. The website can be quite misleading by listing several office locations. Some of these are “post-boxes” (Dublin), others only have 2 people (Australia), but overall any office outside of London is under-performing and minimally staffed. Keep in mind that you will be based out of London, and there is little opportunity for moving between offices unless you are willing to take a pay cut and put your career trajectory at risk. Take the above Cons into consideration for your decision to work with Baringa, and go in with an open mind to the reality of the firm beyond the aspect of “culture”. This could be a great place to learn, but do consider the above if you are looking beyond that for somewhere you want to stay and grow a career.

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    Advice to Management

    Take a step back and focus on fixing what you have before growing beyond control. Almost everything listed in the Cons section can be made actionable. They may appear as small things individually, but when you add them all up they really do weigh upon your employees. Senior leaders need a little dose of reality, and to walk in the junior ranks shoes asking if they truly believe they are providing a "great place to... work" at this salary point, without many benefits and little opportunity for training. Act before your differentiator (culture) dissolves completely, because you are on track to being just like the “big 4s” that you are so desperate to avoid….. only without the benefit of the market presence and recognition.

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    Baringa Partners2019-04-29
  1. "Great company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Baringa Partners full-time

    Pros

    Culture, Client Base, Variety, Opportunity

    Cons

    Occasional out of town projects

    Baringa Partners2018-08-14
  2. "An amazing company and a great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Baringa Partners full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - The opportunities you get to develop yourself are excellent. Senior staff take a lot of time to give you feedback and help you improve your ways of working. The people you work with are very good at what they do and there are plenty of opportunities to learn from them. I find that I have developed rapidly since joining Baringa. - It's a great environment to develop your career. There are continuous... opportunities to take on greater challenges and increase your responsibility within the firm. You can also get excellent career mentors at Baringa, who will challenge you and help you to push your career in the direction that you want to go. There are also four promotion rounds a year. - The social network and the support network you get at Baringa is incredible. We have an excellent work social life, with plenty of opportunities for fun. The teams that you work with also provide a lot of support to you make sure that you are getting the help you need to work well both off and on client site. - You can really shape the company with your own ideas and initiatives. Baringa is always on the look out for new opportunities, and if you have an area that you are passionate about or interested in Baringa is a great environment to pursue this.

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    Cons

    - Baringa has been a bit slow to think 'global' as an organisation, despite now having offices in several countries (and continents!). Baringa is making progress in this area, but it should continue to think globally, in order to work effectively from an operational point of view and best serve its clients.

    Advice to Management

    Think globaly; operationally, as well as commercially.

    Baringa Partners2017-12-30

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