‘The New Normal’ Interview Series with Richard Mitcham, Head of APAC
Richard Mitcham, Head of APAC, interviewed by Matt Allen, Head of Legal Services
HOW HAS JDX APAC BEEN COPING DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC?
With Asia being the first hit continent, we have been working on our solutions since February. Being flexible has been key because our clients have reacted at different paces and degrees during this period, predominantly based on where their headquarters sit. We have worked with our clients to support their processes of enabling shift rotations, then to work from home as they, in turn, work with their global counterparts on their organisation’s policies. In addition, being in Asia at the infancy stages of this pandemic, there was initially a large amount of demystifying the real life impact versus what was being published in the plethora of press on the topic.
WHAT CHANGES HAVE YOU, AS A LEADER, PUT IN PLACE?
Internally, the investments we have made in e-learning and global knowledge sharing structures over the last years have made the transition towards working from home relatively smooth for all of our staff, of which 95% are delivering on the client side. Our client partner team have reacted to the variety of new ways of working of their clients to keep them engaged, and thus we’ve seen a healthy new business pipeline. The culture of a consulting firm is paramount; in times where large in person gatherings are not possible, it’s been key to keep our staff engaged with JDX while they work on their client projects. We have managed to come together across the region virtually via running challenges, sharing culinary skills, monthly events with quizzes and games and the customary week-ending Friday night virtual drinks. In addition, all the management team has increased the communication such as one on ones with all levels within the organization.
HOW HAS THE MARKET FOR CONSULTING CHANGED IN YOUR REGION?
We still see strategic projects continuing to press ahead across the region. Drivers such as effectively servicing the ever prominent Chinese market have not changed for many of our clients, along with bringing down costs per trade and cost of compliance. From a location perspective, we have seen some locations in regions struggle far more than the established hubs, with the shift to working from home. This has, in the short term, seen an increased demand coming to JDX for onshore rolls, especially where additional real estate is not an immediate requirement. This couples with an increased willingness of our clients to have work to be performed remotely across all of our locations.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE FOR JDX APAC
I’m very positive about the future of JDX APAC. Every change presents opportunities. COVID-19 will enable a nimble client lead organisation such as ourselves, to continue to prosper. We have real solid base and have great team in Singapore and Hong Kong coupled with great demand and growth in our strategic locations such as Australia in Kuala Lumpur.