US law firm Akerman has announced the appointment of Denise Gavica Perez as chair of the firm’s immigration planning and compliance practice.
Niji: Next-gen consultancy
Totally dedicated to helping companies make a successful digital transition, Niji’s strong-suits are consulting, design and new technologies. The Rennes-based firm has begun to make its mark in cybersecurity and responsible digitalization too.
“From idea to reality.” This is the creed which has guided Niji, ever since its creation in 2001. Initially a modestly sized regional outfit, the group is now home to over 1,000 professionals, including 130 creatives and 550 developers, and is present in six French cities in addition to Singapore.
With a hybrid business model, Niji proposes digital advisory, engineering and technological expertise, service design and software development. So successful has the Niji approach been, that turnover has increased fifteen-fold in the past decade and a half.
While other consultancies are reliant on external acquisitions to expand their repertoire, Niji had the foresight to build advisory, design and technology into its business model from the get-go. “We have never bought another company or participated in a fundraising, but have grown all the same, in our own way and at our own pace. As a company, we are in the “Goldilocks zone” – neither too big nor too small, which allows us to maintain a level of proximity to the client, while retaining the ability to carry out major projects on their behalf,” stipulates Hugues Meili, the founder and CEO of a company that counts EDF, Alstom and SNCF and Orange among its clients.
This organic approach to growth ensures that each part of its expertise compliments the whole, and Niji’s added value resides in an ability to provide comprehensive services to clients, that range from implementing strategic plans to putting into operation technology in testing environments. Since 2019, the company also provides agency expertise in order to assist its clientele, which consists of major multinationals and national champions, as well as SMEs the length and breadth of France.
To attract the best recruits, the Breton consultancy has put the accent on authenticity, leading a variety of missions from its French offices, each of which is located near the center of a major city, and thus easily accessible without the need for a car. “We are big fans of mobility. It oils the engine of the company machine. While many of our consultants begin their careers in our Paris office, a lot of them, at one point or another, find themselves keen to move away from the capital in search of a better quality of life,” remarked Meili. The company has also proven to be progressive in how it approaches remote work.
Niji had the foresight to build advisory, design and technology into its business model from the get-go
Concerning Niji’s CSR strategy, the CEO doesn’t mince his words, “CSR is not bullshit!” explaining that the firm’s approach has always been to build its strategy from the ground up, hand-in-hand with staff members so that they can fully feel part of the adventure. Niji’s approach to CSR is summed up by Meili as, “Contributing to the development of companies, talent and regions through useful tools.”
To live up to clients’ expectations, Niji has invested in a number of domains, notably cybersecurity. Launched last year, Niji’s Imineti service is designed to enhance the company’s value proposition by taking a comprehensive and pragmatic approach to servicing the cybersecurity needs of major multinationals and regional SMEs alike. A novel brand in the cybersecurity sphere, Imineti means trust in Telugu, a language spoken in the southeast of India.
Some of the services available through Imineti include cybersecurity infrastructure and processes (ISO 27001 internal audit and cyber-defense stress-test), crisis management (cyber-attack role-playing, rapid-response plan), governance (risk prevention and management), certification and qualification. Niji aims to provide practical solutions capable of being smoothly integrated into the operational workings of a company.
Steering this division of Niji is Hervé Troalic, a renowned expert in the field, who joined the Britany based group in 2021. He heads a 30-strong team of cybersecurity experts spread across France and a team that continues to welcome new recruits, as the firm attracts ever more clients.
“Twenty years after arriving on the scene, we are still guided by an entrepreneurial ethos, and this speaks to our unshakable commitment to developing the company in a sustainable manner, providing services that meet clients’ evolving expectations, and creating lasting employment opportunities in each of the locations where we are based,” stressed Mieli during Imineti’s launch.
“The pandemic and its considerable economic impact upended the way companies function, and that in turn led to a myriad of cybersecurity headaches for firms. Imineti’s complementary service, on top of our traditional offer, allows us to differentiate ourselves from other consultancies in the market.”
Other avenues of diversification for Niji include responsible digitalization (Green IT, sustainable design, eco-conception), data (governance and security), cloud services (cloudification and infrastructure), Salesforce (maintaining a high level of expertise, boosting the relationship with the provider) and certification of its experts (180 certifications earned to date).
The latest major challenge for the company: expanding its role providing consultancy services to members of the industrial sector, which are relative newcomers to concepts such as advanced customer service.
“As Niji has a high degree of understanding of the customer-service world, we are in a unique position to be able to bridge the gap between end users and companies in the industrial sector,” explained Mieli, adding, “the digital revolution is taking place at street level and has been going on for years. This revolution has now reached the industrial sector, which needs to adapt, in order to understand the changing requirements of the modern end-user.”
Establishing a leading position in the burgeoning industrial consultancy market should rubber stamp Niji’s position in the big leagues.
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