When anyone looks at a consulting firm, they look at the experience, of consultants having actually solved a similar challenge in a different situation, people you are interacting with say consultants across the world. Subhendu Roy, Partner at global management consulting firm ATKearney says clients are very clinical about the value that they seek from consultants “You don’t want to go to a doctor who tells you hey, I am so happy to have you as my first heart patient. You would like to better be treated by a doctor who has done a couple of surgeries before,” Roy says. Here are the top consultancy trends that will dominate in the coming year. Value For Money Gone are the days when consultants can say I am bringing a lot of knowledge, use it to your discretion. No, clients are saying we will only engage with a consultant when we see the value, whether we talk about the return of interest of the consulting investment or actual improvement on the ground over the 6, 12 or 24 months or whether it is articulating a strategy the senior management has brought in says Roy. Getting The Right Consultant The second trend I see is that because the industry has matured over the years in India, clients are actually talking about the people we put on the engagement. Now it is fifty percent the consulting firm and fifty percent the people a consulting firm engages with the client says Roy. Roy believes some of the mature clients in India are very similar to clients overseas. The more Asian trait is that clients feel their situation is very different from anyone else. In terms of the asks, the maturity of engaging with the consultant, most clients are similar. Multi-talent Collaboration Dr Som Singh of Unspun Consulting says gone are the days when you would leverage one consultant or firm for all your work. Today technology is becoming an enabler through which talents with varied expertise and knowledge are collaborating to provide customised solutions to clients. This will be also called as open-source collaboration consulting. She says she coined this term to imply that when multiple heads work on cracking a problem together the chances are the solution is long term applicable and full proof. Uberization Consultancy will become a more commoditised / transactions form of engagement than long term. This is due to the constant evolution in customer buying and engagement patterns and advent of new technology and buying medium. Now, one can pick and choose a consultant requirements like as per need and time. Dr Som called this the A-la carte model. Human – Robotics Interwar Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for better solutions will rule. With the involvements of these two technologies, time on primary research and data analytics can be substantially reduced. Not decision making can be quicker and more fine-tuned based on the clients customers behaviour. Behaviour patterns can be well drawn out and quick actions can be implemented. However, as you know consultants are a balance of EQ and IQ so AI and robotics can’t replace the EQ and sensibility part says Dr Som. The fun will be to strike the balance based on industry vertical, customer buying behaviour and spending patterns.