Nasser Al-Qahtany on the continued growth of Strategic Gears

06 March 2024 5 min. read

Since our previous discussion with the managing partner of Strategic Gears, the Saudi-origin management consulting firm has enjoyed another year of record growth. We sat down with managing partner Nasser Al-Qahtany to discuss the key highlights of this growth – and look ahead into 2024.

Last year, we spoke with Hattan Saaty, then Managing Partner of Strategic Gears. Today, you are the new Managing Partner, can you tell us more about the transition?

I am personally thrilled and proud to have been promoted from within, and I see the role as a big challenge that requires me to perform at my best, keeping the company aligned with its aggressive growth objectives.

I believe that being a “Gear” for years, climbing the career ladder of the company enables me to maintain the same values, rhythm and ambitions the company always had in place.

Nasser Alqahtani, Managing Partner, Strategic Gears

Hattan has become CEO, which is also a reflection of the size the company reached today, which in turn led us to establishing several other C-Level positions during the same period. For prospective, we are now officially a “big company” as per the definition of the Saudi Authority of small & medium entities.

How has the firm developed since the previous discussion one year ago? 

Our gears have never stopped moving, I would say! We set ourselves exceptionally challenging growth targets at the start of the year, and we managed to end the year by overachieving these targets.

At Strategic Gears, every year is a distinct chapter of achievements, challenges, and learning. 2023 was another remarkable year for us, as we maintained an exceptional growth trajectory and advanced excellence in our operations and offerings.

Testimony to the excellence of our work, we were named a top consulting firm by Consultancy Middle East, with double the number of awards we earned the year before and the highest number achieved by any homegrown consulting firm. This momentum of growth, and quality is driven by our ambition to be the leading management consultancy in the region.

Today, Strategic Gears works with hundreds of clients with our portfolio spanning more than 220 projects. We serve clients in the public, private and non-profit sectors.

Some analysts describe Strategic Gears as a ‘hidden jewel’ – competing at the top but with a homegrown profile. What are some of the ‘jewels’ you feel everyone should know about Strategic Gears?

Since year one in Strategic Gears, we have been committed to providing best in class service. Our competition has always been with the top companies in the market. Although we are a homegrown player, we have built over years a solid network of professionals and partners around the globe.

I also believe that a differentiator for Strategic Gears is our belief in the importance of “gearing in” with our clients and co-creating solutions to solve their specific challenges and problems and making sure we have gone all the way to execution and impact measurement with a sense of ownership and responsibility.

Battling for talent against the industry giants, what are in your opinion the strengths of Strategic Gears as an employer for top talent? 

Today we are considered among the top employers in our sectors. We have grown to a team of almost 300 people, and our continued growth is a testament to our strengths as an employer.

Our success in attracting top talents can be attributed to several key factors. There is a profound connection that our team members feel between their personal career trajectories and the overarching goals of the company. We’ve cultivated an organizational culture that champions collaboration, practicality, and a strong sense of ownership.

We value learning across levels and our yearly calendar for learning and development includes top educational institutes globally. On top of that, there is a sense and practice of synergy between individuals and teams within the company that creates endless learning opportunities.

All of which was reflected in our international certification as a ‘Best Place to Work’ that we received last year. Additionally, we also offer highly competitive compensation packages, designed with unique incentives that promote our values and culture. These are all contributors to making Strategic Gears a place that attracts and develops talents. 

Our discussion takes place on the sidelines of LEAP. What can you share on the firm’s participation?

We recognize LEAP as a premier platform that brings together key stakeholders, thought leaders, and innovators in the business world. It provides an exceptional opportunity for us to engage with a diverse range of perspectives and build meaningful connections.

The technology and entrepreneurship landscape in Saudi Arabia is thriving and evident. With a majority of the population comprised of young individuals, the potential for entrepreneurship is substantial. 

Digital transformation has been an area where we helped multiple clients to progress toward their visions and intended strategies and it is an area where we are working on capabilities and partnerships to further enhance the value we create to our clients.

Strategic Gears is also seeking to expand outside of the Saudi market. What highlights can you share? 

Our commitment to being the leading management consulting firm in the region implies natural progression beyond Saudi Arabia. With a strong reputation in the Kingdom – the region’s largest market – we have already engaged with international clients, executing projects beyond Saudi Arabia.

Our dialogue with clients in the GCC promises further expansion and solidifies our path toward regional leadership.

Outlook: Looking into 2024 and beyond, what are among the key ambitions for the firm?

We have over the years set a strong foundation, meaning that we are better prepared than ever to advance towards our vision.

As the largest consulting firm in Saudi Arabia, we are entering our next phase with a robust and resilient backbone. Despite our rapid growth, we’ve maintained an efficient operational structure and made significant advancements in technology adoption.

Looking ahead, we’re eager to continue collaborating with our clients across our various areas of expertise. We are also committed to contribute into shaping a bright and promising future for the region by continuing to be a trusted partner for all of our clients across public, private and third sector.