7 questions for 7 consultants: Marc Rafanell
Given the uncertainty generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, including potential adjustments to the way the industry is going to operate, we wanted to find out how our team fared through the COVID-19 situation and how they see the world evolving in the coming months. We’ve asked 7 questions to 7 of our consultants from all around the globe. Today, we interview Marc Rafanell who is a Senior Consultant in our Barcelona office.
What has your experience been like during the COVID-19 outbreak?
This pandemic caught many of us (specially me) off-guard. I was in Venice when the virus landed in Europe, I “escaped” back to my project location. But few weeks after, all Europe entered into lock-down situations and I did not even have a proper work-station at home. Adapting to WFH was smoother than expected and I was lucky to spend all this time in my family house with a nice garden and my dog.
In a nutshell, since we started the lock-down in Spain, about 3 months ago, I have supported clients in the North of Africa and the US, I have participated in multiple trainings and virtual gatherings (sports and happy hours) with Deltas all over the World, and I have been able to spend more quality time with my family than probably in the last 5 years combined.
How do you think Delta Partners has handled the situation? What would you highlight?
The work of all of us drastically changed in matter of weeks. At first, we focused on how could we continue bringing added value to our clients from remote. Which, thanks to our on-the-go DNA combined with an extra push to always give visibility, we managed to do in record time, stressing our role in a pivotal moment for our clients.
With happy clients, Delta focused on maintaining the companies culture of a family. To do so, multiple virtual team gatherings and activities were organized across offices. To me, the most important one is the weekly All Hands On, where all the company comes together to understand how we are performing, present new engagements and even do quick meditation sessions. It is great to have Senior Management take the time to make us all continue feeling like ONE.
What are you most looking forward to when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted?
Honestly, I cannot wait to fly with the teams, meet clients in their offices and brainstorm together. Despite the advancements in “Smart working”, I must confess that I am a very social animal and working hand-in-hand with my teammates is hardly replaceable (maybe in a near future thanks to VR). Furthermore, at Delta we are very lucky to fill our day-to-day with new experiences travelling all over the world, meeting colleagues across different offices and discovering cultures and learning tons every day. I cannot wait to safely start our journey again.
Are there any skills you have learnt or habits you have developed during the pandemic that will benefit you in the post-COVID-19 work environment?
Learning to adapt to the new ways of working was partly innate in our nomad-way of working but with COVID we brought it to another level. I believe the most important lesson will be that overcommunication with the client is almost never bad as long as it is well structured and relevant. In our relations with clients, in our internal teams and in the relation with the Delta´s Senior Management, transparency and communication have been a common denominator for success.
How much of a change do you expect in the way mgmt. consultants operate in the post-COVID-19 world? If you expect there will be change, in what way(s)?
This period of change showcased increase in productivity reducing both traveling time and expenses, while maintaining similar levels of effectiveness. I believe in the “new normal” we might see a reduced need to have all the team travel from Monday until Thursday. This change may materialize in fewer resources traveling or all traveling less number of days/weeks. This new operating model, if well balanced, has the potential to both reduce the cost for clients and increase the work-life balance for consultants.
What kind of priorities do you think will be important for telecom, media and/ or tech players in this post-COVID-19 context?
TMT players has proved to be the glue that holds society together. Can you imagine a lock down without connectivity or content? The reiteration of the relevance still needs to translate in a revenue increase, especially on the telco side, but I believe clients’ price elasticity for reliable and quality connectivity will increase. At the same time, governments and regulators have understood that an underdeveloped infrastructure is not an option anymore. All in all, I believe TMT players face a unique opportunity to help societies in the new normal while reaffirming their strategic position.
Any advice or recommendation you would give to new Delta Partners joiners, in this new context?
I remember when I joined Delta, first week I was send to Dubai together with other colleagues and we spend a great week to get “introduced” to the firm. This today might not be possible, but luckily the essence of our company remains intact and new entrants should still feel part of a global platform. My advice to new entrants is to do an extra effort to meet people. In this context, it might be easier to do your work and only meet your direct team. Nonetheless, the only way to get the full Delta experience is to over-expose yourself. Participate in virtual trainings and activities, pay attention to who is in each office, the projects they do, look them up online and beat shyness to reach to them for help. This is central to grow in the company and to become one more of the family.
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