CEO Mally Bitzur-Parnes on Tefen’s 40 years in business

02 March 2022 3 min. read

This year, Israeli management consulting firm Tefen is celebrating 40 years in business. Owner and chief executive officer Mally Bitzur-Parnes reflects on the firm’s development during the pandemic and its ambitions going forward.

Founded in Tel Aviv in 1982, Tefen today has 200 employees, 150 of which are based in Israel and 50 based outside the country (including a team in the UAE). The consulting firm provides consulting and optimisation services to a myriad of major companies in the region across sectors, including aviation, healthcare, energy, infrastructure and high-tech.

Tefen is also the parent of the Advanced Production Institute, a group which works with clients to implement advanced manufacturing processes. The institute supports ‘Industry 4.0’, which combines physical production with digital technology, machine learning, and big data.

CEO Mally Bitzur-Parnes on Tefen’s 40 years in business

“Our main customers,” says Bitzur-Parnes, “are mostly large and mid-sized companies. While some of the firm’s clients did not survive the crisis (“in most cases they weren’t doing well before the pandemic”), the large majority of its clients “did not suffer major damage during corona.”

In the past year and a half of the corona pandemic, Bitzur-Parnes has seen first-hand how successful companies and individuals have adapted to the challenges presented by the pandemic. “One who doesn’t learn from a crisis is not wise.”

For Tefen and the Advanced Production Institute, the road to adapting to the new normal was one of continuous learning. “In the beginning, we stopped our consulting activities completely,” she explains. “Our first challenge was to come up with creative ways to accompany our clients, either remotely, or in some other way that did not present a safety risk.”

Tefen needed to develop remote solutions to stay in touch and provide services to its clients. The same applied for Advanced Production Institute. Ultimately, says Bitzur-Parnes with a smile, the two companies can look back at a successful and profitable period.

“Due to our strong partnerships with our companies, we doubled our activities in Israel during corona,” says Bitzur-Parnes. In addition, Tefen opened branch offices in Abu Dhabi and Bahrain to manage infrastructure projects. “The Advanced Production Institute performed 240 analyses over the past year and a half, far more than the previous period.”

Digital’s human gap

Despite the ease and conveniences of remote meetings, Bitzur-Parnes says there is still no substitute for physical interaction. She does not negate technology, though, and says that the combination of human plus digital connection makes for a winning combination. “I always want to see a thinking person,” says Bitzur-Parnes.

“I am happy to get information from data and technology, but I also need the human perspective of the analysis – to look in the eye of the person making the decision. In the final analysis, we need to see the person making the decision, and our workers as well.”

Bitzur-Parnes says that many lessons can be learned from the pandemic period regarding how companies treat their employees. “Frequently,” she says, “there is a boomerang effect when workers have left the company and want to return in times of crisis. We need to be open to receiving them back.” Bitzur-Parnes adds that employers need to exhibit trust in their workers and provide them with a sense of security.

Looking ahead

Having consulted and advised more than 10,000 companies in the 40 years since its inception, Bitzur-Parnes says that Tefen and Advanced Production Institute want to continue to expand their legacy, ultimately “doing work that brings many smiles and success.”

In the coming year, Tefen hopes to continue the rapid growth that it experienced in the past year and a half and initiate additional projects, especially in the field of infrastructure, transportation and technology. At the side of the Advanced Production Institute, the chief executive expects more work to come from government and public sector entities.

This article was previously posted in the Executive Magazine of The Jerusalem Post.