Celebrating 15 Years: Journey of a Consulting Boutique
CID’s inception is aligned with this particular market need to develop and reach international standards by capitalizing on local capabilities to take businesses and communities together to new levels of performance and effectiveness. CID built its position as a serious player in both business consutling practice and international development and has been able to extend support to its clients by offering them effective communication programs and adopting a methodology which put clients first. With the aim of providing insightful yet tangible results, CID has accompanied its clients through the entire consulting process, from strategizing to implementation.
Prior to CID, Community development organizations had plateaued in their reach, effectiveness and scale. With a vision of developing this sector, CID was determined to finding ways that would empower local communities through developing partnership with the private, government and non-profit sectors to achieve sustainable development, explains Dr. LailaIskandar, CID Chairperson. This required years of experience with grass roots communities and the private sector. It was this synergy among the different stakeholders that enabled CID to design sustainable, viable business partnerships where people and organizations could learn, grow and communicate better.
It has been a long journey for CID and having been able to find its niche among international players in the consulting world, has led to a sense of pride and belief in the quality of work that Egyptians can offer. “Now with a new dynamic and uncertain era dawning on businesses, the entire market is aligning its course of actions to reach out to Egypt and Egyptians’ best interests. Businesses have a critical role to play in such times and, as such, we are working hard to be proactive towards the market’s arising needs through designing and tailoring our services to meet them. There are also no limits to what the future holds for us” relates CID’s Managing Partner, Dalia Wahba.
CID Consulting was born by a group of professionals who had been engaged in both the business world and the non-profit world. Their individual and collective experiences led them to the same conclusions: in order to effectively compete in a rapidly growing market and global economy, businesses in Egypt needed more than just a good product to reach their goal. Businesses needed a vision and a clear strategy. International firms operating in Egypt were already ahead of the game bringing in their international expertise.
Building Partnerships that Last
A big part of any company’s success lies in the quality of partnerships it makes. Do they add value? Are they reliable? Do we speak the same language? These are all important questions to ask when your business relies on creating good partnerships. In our line of business where proper exposure to the world’s consulting practices is essential, our partners have played a pivotal role in lending their expertise and sharing knowledge.
CID Consulting is engaged with a number of relevant and effective international partners across Europe, the United States and Asia who work together on numerous assignments to offer value to its clients, and ensure the adoption of the best practices for different interventions. CID clients include the Egyptian government, international donors, NGOs and multinational and local private sector companies operating in Egypt.
Recently, we have joined international networks such as ECCO (a global PR and international communications company with offices in 32 countries and PR and marketing support in over 40 countries), to keep us updated on international practices and to give us an online support system enabling us to consistently offer creative solutions to our clients.
Such partnerships have not only helped us learn some of the world’s best practices, but also the worst practices as well. We have gained knowledge about the most advanced business, community-related and communication consulting practices as well as experience in dealing with transitional phases. Since our reach extends across the globe, we have been able to learn from consultants who have resided in countries that went through major transitions.
Our 15 years of partnerships have contributed to the institutionalization of CID, ensuring that the company operates efficiently and brings tangible value to all its stakeholders. It has also enabled many diversified and enriching learning experiences for which we will always be grateful.
Two Heads are better than one – Cross Departmental Services Make CID Consulting a Smart Choice for Clients
When shopping for a consulting firm, many companies are more inclined to partner with one that can provide all their service requirements under one roof without the need for assigning numerous parties. It’s both efficient and convenient. That is why CID Consulting operates three distinct departments that collaborate together on different projects to make a client’s life so much easier. It also boasts extensive experience in managing large scale and often quite complex assignments from planning to implementation.
A good example of this is promoting education for employment in the 4-year long project “Assistance to the Reform of the Technical andVocational Education and Training (TVET) System” which is co-funded by the European Union and the Government of Egypt. Through TVET, CID Consulting is helping put vocational careers in the forefront of the country’s strategy for development. The CID Management team has been doing this through equipping the established Enterprise TVET Partnerships (ETPs) in seven different sectors (namely Building and Construction, Civil Engineering, Printing and Media, Chemical, Leather Goods and Tanning, Hotels and Restaurants and Travel Agencies, Diving Centers and Bazaars) with the knowledge to promote and enhance the quality of technical vocational education training in Egypt.
In a combined effort between its Marketing Communications and Management departments, CID Consulting is capable of both tackling the business requirements of the task at hand as well as raising the necessary public awareness programs.
From a Marketing Communications perspective, CID Consulting has already assisted the ETPs in developing their public awareness strategies to better enable them to reach out to their stakeholders, while its Management Consulting department is currently working with the ETPs to develop their business plans that will enable them to operate beyond project closure. It really does go to show you that two heads are indeed better than one!
How a Career Turn Changed One CIDian’s Life
Graduating from the Faculty of Engineering, I never imagined that I would ever wind up becoming a Management Consultant. It really was not what I had in mind for my career. The way I thought of it was, “I am a Computer Engineer and so programming was my future! That’s what makes sense.” But when I was offered a job in a field that I was not very familiar with, I was both excited at the prospect of becoming a consultant but also a little unsure if this would be the right career move me. Who would have guessed that my first job would pave the way for the professional that I am today. That was how my journey with CID Consulting began.
Today as one of the firm’s senior consultants, I see that my years of studying engineering, as well as getting an MBA, were put to good use. Consulting requires an analytical mind and a problem solving approach to everything which as an Engineer is kind of second nature to you.
But what amazed me working at CID Consulting was the amount of know-how I accumulated in a very short time. Talk about learning on the job, I was tossed into one project after another where the only thing you could do was sink or swim, and luckily for me I could swim. Over the years, I have learned the key practices in strategy development and execution through working with international organizations, private sector SMEs as well as NGOs and governmental bodies.
I have learned that strategic management goes beyond the development of a strategic plan. Strategic management is the deployment and implementation of the strategic plan and measurement and evaluation of the results. It was not about just handing over a bunch of documents to clients. It was about showing them how to implement the documentation. I had learned that it was just not enough to come up with a terrific plan. It was always about adding value and if clients did not sense that value, then we just were not doing our job right! So not only was it the technical learning aspect that I needed to grasp, but the client servicing aspect that entailed no client could be left unhappy. Nowadays, I look forward to the idea of meeting new clients because there is always a different learning opportunity with each new project.
I also discovered the importance of strategic planning and how it determines where an organization is heading over the next few years and how it is going to get there. As simple as it sounds, it really is not.
I have learned that in helping clients build their strategies, I needed to be their best friend and confidant since we would be spending so much time together. It was the secrets that they would share about their business that would ultimately allow us to do our job right.
So now I am looking forward to finding better solutions to help my clients, and to bring more innovation and creativity to the consultancy business in a fast changing world.