My AFG Experience – Justice
My AFG Experience – Justice
After spending 32 months as an investment banker, I moved into management consulting by joining AFG in 2018, when the firm was only 16 months old. This decision could be described in one breadth as a risky one. However, in another breadth, the vision, energy, and excitement I saw when I interacted with the AFG team were too infectious to resist. This was also a time I had no prior experience whatsoever in consulting and had to adapt to the fast-paced world of a growing start-up business. Fast forward to 2021 and I would say the decision I made in February 2018 has been justified as I have become a project manager within 2 years of joining the firm as an analyst.
When I was told at the interview in January 2018 that AFG rewards high performers with a fast-tracked career development pathway, I was immediately motivated and determined to be a high performer at the firm. However, I did not expect to be leading my own projects 24 months into the job, which epitomises AFG – a place where top talent thrives. I have benefited enormously from the training and development culture at AFG. Given the fantastic resources I have enjoyed from the AFG network, my goal is to apply many things I have learnt to the benefit of clients.
I think the question around getting talent right is critical for many African businesses. Having worked on 20+ engagements at AFG, I believe that the role of consulting talent in Africa is unique in five ways from the talent perspective. First and foremost, there is a great need for world-class advisory services that can be delivered by world-class talent who understand the nuances of working in Africa. Secondly, there is the need for passion and drive on any consulting or advisory project. Additionally, bold and pragmatic advice is required to improve the business paradigm for the efficiency and effectiveness of operations. This is because of the traditional nature of large-scale African businesses.
Moreover, management consulting in Africa requires flexibility and adaptability to generate relevant traction. Flexibility and adaptability are essential due to the infrastructure deficit associated with working in Africa. The need for flexibility and adaptability is also at the heart of the solution-seeking process for African clients. For instance, a consultant needs to quickly learn interpersonal skills and cultural norms and know how to communicate findings and recommendations to clients. Finally, willingness to build client capacity is another crucial factor for success. With the lag and uncertainty around follow-through implementation on the part of clients, it is always imperative for consulting teams to try as much as possible to build client capacity in big and small ways through collaborative work on projects and building valuable toolkits that are easily understandable by clients.
On skill and ability, I believe that AFG has prepared me with relevant expertise across multiple business sectors to add value to client projects across Africa. Concerning passion for change in Africa, I am an advocate for skill development, leadership, impact, and inclusive growth in Africa. I am excited to work on new projects in new markets with new team members because of this passion. I believe we can guide the private sector’s efforts in Africa to achieve giant social and economic strides. I am happy my experience at AFG has helped me achieve these goals as well. On bold and pragmatic advice and recommendations, I am a proponent of communicating to clients the actual outcome of any situation. My experience has introduced what I call the silver lining effect where irrespective of the findings of any engagement, whether positive or negative, there are clear takeaways that can better shape clients’ business. This could be either be a proactive decision to make something happen or a reactive decision to mitigate the effect of any phenomenon. Transitioning from investment banking to consulting has helped me cope well with the flexibility and adaptability needs of working across Africa, be it on-ground or remote. I have been introduced to resources that have helped me generate client buy-in with ideas I put across and content I churn out.
Overall, I am excited about the future with AFG. It is refreshing to see the team grow and expand into new territories