People and Culture

Inside Zühlke’s Digital Consulting Team in Asia

Discover how our digital consulting team shapes the ambitious projects that take our clients and their businesses to the next level. 

DiCo
5 minutes to read

  • Explore how digital consulting works at Zühlke

  • Find out what our consultants ask before they start a new project

  • See where our team’s heading in the next few years

When Tim Gugov and Abhishek Majumdar embarked on their careers in the early 2000s, the realm of digital consulting was far from the intricate and multifaceted domain it has evolved into today.

Tim, who now leads Digital Strategy at Zühlke in Asia, started his career in consulting at Bain & Company. His early focus was on the technology sector — an area that’s morphed into what we know as the digital sector today. Abhishek, now heading Strategic Transformation & Innovation for Zühlke in Asia, began his career in technology too and soon pivoted to the world of consulting with KPMG.

Since then, they’ve accumulated a wealth of experience, expanding their knowledge of how digital and business transformation can help businesses along the way. Over the last two years, they’ve tackled some ambitious projects including creating a strategic product-centred model for a smart building technology in Hong Kong and establishing a robust innovation framework.

“Singapore is a melting pot. There’s a lot of desire to change, to borrow new ways of doing things and adapt it to a different ecosystem,” Tim says. In addition to having an appetite for change, the Singapore office is also at the forefront of something new. “We have all the flexibility to do what we want to do and to chart our own path,” Abhishek adds.

In this blog, we take a sneak peek at how our digital consulting team is developing – how it works, its ongoing projects, and the leaders at the helm of an exciting new mission.

Ready? Let’s dive in.

A day in the life of the digital consulting team

Every day brings its own sets of challenges and opportunities. In the evolving landscape of Singapore, Hong Kong, and the wider South East Asia region, Abhishek and Tim’s team is honed in on harnessing cutting-edge digital technologies.

“We help clients anticipate and navigate change seamlessly, whether that’s navigating artificial intelligence, quantum computing, or blockchain taking centre stage. Digital transformation is not just about tech integration. It's about fostering a culture of adaptability,” Abhishek says.

Zühlke’s work in the consulting space touches multiple industries around the world. But one thing remains the same: interdisciplinary collaboration.

No matter what the day is or what project’s in process, the digital consulting team works closely with experts across the company. “We don’t do anything in isolation. We pull expertise between different groups — like our Data & AI (ADA) or Cybersecurity teams — to deliver meaningful insights,” Tim says.

Collaboration is vital to the work that happens at Zühlke. Because so many projects cross geographical boundaries and cover multiple industries, our consultants have to be ready to plug-and-play.

“Some days we’re working on a new business strategy or creating a new product or creating a new organisation structure. We don't expect people to be masters of one particular trade. Versatility and adaptability are a lot more important,” Abhishek says.

Becoming a trusted partner

As consultants, it can be very hard to challenge clients. But at Zühlke, asking “why?” at the start of a project is the norm.

Why are we building this solution? Why is this the right answer to the business challenge at hand? Why are the capabilities of this solution we’re proposing relevant?

“This might require more difficult conversations at the beginning. But the outcome is always more valuable and future-proof,” Tim says. “Our clients see that enormous amount of investment and time is saved by “starting with ‘why?’”

One example of this is when banks began feverishly adopting chatbots to process transactions more efficiently or answer common questions about balance inquiries or transaction histories. “Our digital consulting team constructively challenged banking clients that wanted to hop on the bandwagon,” Tim says. The counterargument was simple: chatbots were still in its infancy and they came with no guaranteed cost savings or business benefits. The risks were too high.

So what did they do instead? “We achieved similar cost savings and productivity targets by optimising their current call centre processes, routing calls in smarter ways, and retraining their customer services reps. Fancy new technology is not always a silver bullet,” Tim adds.

In the realm of digital consulting at Zuhlke, the guiding principle is clear: do the right thing before doing things right. “We take a moment to pause, reflect, and ensure they're on the right trajectory. This isn't about merely addressing the immediate challenge. It's about foreseeing potential pitfalls and opportunities, ensuring that the strategy is both resilient and adaptive,” Abhishek says.

Pushing the boundaries of innovation

You’ve heard it from other consulting firms before: “We’ll give you the freedom to experiment.” But at Zühlke, “experimentation” isn’t just a buzzword. 

“The freedom to experiment at Zühlke is unparalleled,” Abhishek says — and he’s speaking from experience.

When Abhishek interviewed for his position at Zühlke, he was asked what he would do to push the company forward. He presented an impact driven initiative: creating a technology layer for climate change initiatives. A year into the role, he became the main point of contact for all sustainability related work in Zühlke for Asia.

“Experimentation is at the centre of how we innovate for our clients. It’s created a culture where failure is just a stepping stone to innovation.” Whether it's exploring new technologies, unconventional solutions, or pushing the boundaries of what's possible, Zühlke empowers its consultants to push the limits of innovation.

Charting a new path

We asked Tim and Abhishek: What’s next for the digital consulting team they’re heading?

Abhishek says that the digital consulting team is focused on recognising Asia's potential for innovation. “AI, data, the move to become more sustainable — it’s all causing pivotal shifts across every industry. Our role will be to continue helping organisations use modern innovation to grow their top-line growth and support their bottom-line,” he says.

Tim adds “It’s not just about bringing tangible business results to our clients. We’re also focused on fundamental change — bringing a new digital mindset to their organisations. Digital will be better only if we can surgically analyse and rigorously prove the tangible benefits it brings consumers.”

Employees in this article

  • abhishek majumdar zuhlke profile

    Abhishek Majumdar

    Principal Business Consultant

    CV

    Abhishek's interest in the blockchain industry was sparked during his time as a director of a token-centered platform. With more than 14 years of consulting and management experience across Global clients/markets, Abhishek has a successful track record of managing effective cross-functional teams, executing go-to-market strategies and aligning operating platforms to support business. Working as a Lead Consultant in the Digital Consulting Team at Zühlke Asia, Abhishek harnesses his knowledge about leading change management initiatives to support business leaders with digital transformation imperatives.

  • Tihomir Gugov

    Tihomir Gugov

    Former Principal Business Consultant