51. Issoria

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Founder: Ibi Thomson
Founded: October 2016
Website: issoriachange.com

Founded by Ibi Thomson, Issoria is rapidly on its way to disrupting the management consulting industry.

Having left school at 16, Ibi built a successful career helping businesses to implement transformative growth strategies.

During this time however, he and his business partner Matthew Chalk realised there were faults in the system. Too often, clients would pay hefty fees to large firms and receive poor results. Businesses were looking for a better, more cost-effective way to manage transformation.

So, Thomson founded Issoria – a network which now connects 6,000 independent management consultants across 100 countries.

Issoria provides teams of consultants, in a managed service model, that bridges the gap between management consulting and contract resourcing. Clients benefit from having “one hand to shake” and a coherent managed solution, in addition to receiving elite consultants at 30% to 50% less cost than the pyramid staffing models of the established major consulting firms.

Thomson says the business “provides the scale and resources of a major global firm but, due to our networked business model, retains the speed, agility and low fixed-cost base of a small business.”

It’s a unique approach that has attracted high-profile, multi-billion-pound clients including Jaguar Land Rover, Cargill Inc, G4S, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Land Securities and more.

But success hasn’t come without challenges. Determined to self-fund the company, Thomson invested his life savings in the business, turning down offers from venture capitalists. Unable to afford employees at the start, he says he would typically spend 80 to 100 hours a week working.

Now, though, his commitment has paid off, with the start-up projecting £3m turnover in for 2018.

Looking ahead, Issoria’s “big hairy audacious goal” is to have served half of the world’s biggest companies by 2030. Considering the start-up’s current success, it looks well within reach.

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