'Middle East expert network industry to see strong growth'

29 May 2024 Consultancy-me.com 3 min. read
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The global expert network industry has grown strongly over the past years, with the Middle East enjoying the status as one of the fastest-growing regions in the years ahead. A discussion with Omar Yamak from Infoquest on the market’s outlook and the opportunities in the region.

Expert networks have been around since the turn of the century, and are in essence networks that connect industry subject matter experts with companies seeking their specialist insights. Companies that engage with experts are typically those that rely heavily on external insights, such as financial institutions, management consulting firms, private equity funds, and strategy divisions at corporations.

“Such networks essentially act as the connection between companies seeking specific insights with the seasoned experts who can deliver this,” explains Omar Yamak, the CEO of Infoquest.

'Middle East expert network industry to see strong growth'

A number of team members from Infoquest 

Infoquest is regarded the first homegrown expert network and one of around 100 active in the landscape worldwide. Combined, they represent an industry that today generates an estimated $2.28 billion in revenues.

Most of the large, global expert networks are active in the Middle East. However, according to Yamak, the region’s specifics mean that homegrown players are naturally inclined to have an edge. Infoquest is an exponent of that claim – launched less than two years ago, the network has already risen to the higher echelons of the league tables of an annual regional benchmark conducted by an analyst firm.

“At Infoquest, we are paving the way for localized, strategic expertise in the GCC region. We position ourselves as a bridge between global insights and local expertise and apply a cutting-edge custom-sourcing approach to accurately match clients with the right experts. This model, along with our quick client-centric service, is the very secret that has enabled us to be widely adopted by management consultants in the region.”

One of Infoquest’s key markets is Saudi Arabia, where massive transformation agendas under the mantle of Saudi Vision 2030 are unleashing a huge appetite for expert insights.

Yamak: “Our expert network connects several governmental agencies and management consulting firms working towards the vision with global subject matter experts for informed decision-making. This helps them benchmark all types of entities to ensure our region’s development exceeds Western standards, which we are seeing first-hand.”

This ‘local flavor,’ combined with a rapidly expanding network of experts, is seeing Infoquest punch above its weight in the region, taking on much larger counterparts, including first-generation industry incumbents such as GLG, Coleman, and Guidepoint.

Looking ahead, Yamak said that the outlook for the sector and Infoquest is rosy. The global expert network sector has grown by an average of 16% per year since 2015; however, over the past two years, the growth rate slowed significantly. “But with key client segments seeing booming growth in the GCC, the expert network industry in the region is expected to ride that wave and similarly enjoy strong expansion,” forecasted Yamak.

At the same time, experts in the region are also becoming more familiar with signing up to such networks. At Infoquest, subject matter experts range from industry veterans and academics to business executives and seasoned consultants. “They all offer granular insights based on their deep domain expertise in their respective industries,” explained Yamak.