ASCENT GROWTH PARTNERS

The Ascent Experience

PLACING SUSTAINABILTY AT THE CENTER,TO FUEL BUSINESS PERFORMANCE BEYOND TODAY

Our client, a listed energy and resources group, is on an ambitious drive, to transition from fossil fuels to powering a clean world. This transition entails divesting of coal assets and establishing a sustainable, clean energy & minerals group.

It was an opportunity to envision their business of the future and create an ecosystem for sustainability and growth, where various stakeholders could contribute towards a bigger vision of a transformed and vibrant energy sector. Our role entailed the development of a Sustainability & Impact strategy, where these shifts were brought into the core business and helped drive new business opportunities as well as new commercial models. We supported this by designing the organisational processes which would empower business units to act with greater speed and agility.

An early outcome of this work was the degree of engagement and confidence shown by the Board, in the new strategic direction and the organisational changes.

INNOVATING WITH ECOSYSTEM
PARTNERS

Our client, a diversified digital services group, operating in 17 African markets, wanted to leverage its financial service offerings through new commercial channels. 

The introduction of these offerings, across non-banking channels, was a challenge and had to be navigated with the Financial Services and Telecommunications regulators, in their largest emerging market.

We helped develop a dynamic view of the ecosystem, within which new offerings could be brought to market. A new framework was developed to engage ecosystem partners and the respective regulators were engaged in future scenario-led discussions.

Following a nine-month process, and for the first time, both regulators approved the new approach and specified financial offerings could be provided via the group’s Telecoms outlets and supported, across channels, by an integrated Customer Services team.

COMMERCIALISING NEW OFFERINGS ACROSS BANKING & TELECOMS

As a leading financial services group in Emerging Markets, our client wanted to accelerate the development of bundled offerings for their customers, bringing together banking, insurance, telecoms and rewards.

The intention – to scale this opportunity across a customer base of app. 500 000, while managing operational and credit risks.

We determined that the current business architecture could not cater for such diverse offerings; The solution we designed utilise ‘best-of-breed’ components which could be deployed rapidly and made available to self-service customers as well as the Bank’s staff and partners.

New offerings could be launched on a frequent (1-2 week) basis, not restricted by the Bank’s release cycle while business intelligence is gathered from various customer interactions, leading to a better, more measurable customer experience.

ACCELERATING STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION BY CHANGING MINDSETS

Recognising that wide-ranging and transformation changes are taking place across industries, our client wanted to accelerate the pace of implementation of its new growth strategy, inc. new business ventures, digitisation and partnerships. Together, we recognised that traditional change management would not support such a transformative change and implemented a unique programme to make leaders more adept at applying new mindsets – helping them become transformative leaders themselves.

Comprising a self-paced digital learning, coaching by mindset experts and access to a global network of transformational leaders, the executive team adopted new way of thinking and mental lenses to see themselves and their environment with a ‘fresh pair of eyes’. It has now extended to the top 200 people in the business and became a blueprint for accelerating transformation across the group.

BUILDING M&A CAPABILITIES TO ACCELERATE THE TRANSITION TO A POSRT-COVID WORLD

Our client, in the midst of transition, was looking to re-shape its business portfolio, divesting of some operations while acquiring new businesses, in fast-growing segments e.g. in services and with new digital capabilities in place

We helped to develop the business strategy, based on their extensive capability set and a range of market opportunities. This was supported by establishing a dedicated M&A capability, as they become an increasingly acquisitive business, as well as repositioning their portfolio of early-stage investments, to support targeted growth in high-growth areas.

One of the most recognised successes of the project was the upskilling of managers in adopting new commercial skills, through blended learning – digital as well as application workshops. It enabled teams to practice new commercial scenarios, for partnering and JV opportunities.

EMBEDDING CUSTOMER FOCUS ACROSS THE ORGANISATION

An international technology and media business was looking to redesign a country operation around the customer, readying the business for significant revenue growth.

Our work involved redefining the way the organisation interacts with internal and external customers around a single customer interface. We catered for more open collaboration with partners, to access new customers as well as specialist capabilities. Back-office functions were assessed and integrated into clear Technology, People and Financial focus areas, from which specialists could support the business

The benefits, while at an early stage, demonstrate greater speed in taking customised solutions, to market.