The world’s fastest growing consulting market

What if I told you there’s a market that will grow by 252% between now and 2019? What if I told you that market is in a warm, beautiful country, with unspoilt beaches and a rich culture? And that it’s just a short flight away from other holiday hotspots in some of the most beautiful places in the world?

What if I told you the market I’m describing is Myanmar?

Yes, Myanmar—a market we estimated to be worth $4.6m in 2016—is the market we expect to grow at the most rapid pace between now and 2019. By then, our calculations say it should have reached the dizzying heights of $16m. Much like Rwanda’s endangered consultants, we estimate that there are more wild elephants in Myanmar than management consultants based there, by some distance.

In many respects, Myanmar represents a huge opportunity for clients and consultants alike. For many, it’s an untouched, fresh market in which consumers are rapidly becoming connected with the digital economy. Entire industries don’t yet exist. For consultants, there should be plenty of opportunities to help multinationals with market entry, and indeed, making the market. But it also underlines how, if it wants to take advantage of sky-high growth rates in emerging markets, a consulting firm needs to have a high risk appetite. Myanmar may be beautiful, but its political landscape is often ugly, brutal, and repressive (as recent events have amply served to testify). How can a firm ensure its engagements don’t end up lining the pockets of unscrupulous government officials? How can it ensure it’s always jointly working in the interests of the local population, as well as its mighty multinational clients? How can it ensure the safety of its staff in volatile situations and natural disasters? And can it live with the possibility that growth might just as easily go into reverse?

Such difficulties mean many firms prefer to serve the market from elsewhere, flying in consultants as and when they are needed. It makes sizing the market tricky—we size markets by where the consulting work is done, rather than where consultants are based—and also means demand can fluctuate wildly. One large project alone can create seemingly huge spikes in growth. Nevertheless, if it’s growth you’re after, plain and simple, Myanmar might be worth looking at.

If you’d like to know more about how we size the consulting market in Myanmar and larger, more important markets, you can watch our video here.