As managing director, part of Jaideep Bajaj’s job is confronting formidable challenges. ZS Associates, one of the world’s largest international consulting firms helps clients face enormous and complex problems and Bajaj understands that ZS Associates’ survival depends on how well the company identifies and solves client issues.
His first job was with ZS, and he grew up in the company culture. By age 31, he opened the company’s office in Princeton. The firm counts among its clients some of the world’s largest companies in transportation, financial services and technology. In health care, ZS works with 49 of the 50 largest drug-makers and 17 of the 20 largest medical device makers.
Since Bajaj took over his role in 2003, he has expanded the firm’s practice areas from eight to 20 and has grown its offices from 10 to 19. He has tripled revenue and stretched the company’s comfort zones, transforming ZS from a small firm focused on pharmaceutical sales force sizing and territory alignment into a global leader in business-to-business sales, marketing, operations and capability building.
Along the way, Bajaj maintained ZS Associates’ culture of academic rigor, principal freedom, collegiality and humility. He earned principal consensus for a vision of the future, organized and inspired everyone in the company around that vision, then formalized rigorous processes and measures to make that vision come true.
In taking ZS to levels the founders never thought possible, Bajaj displayed laser-like focus in overcoming many obstacles. Among them was motivating all of the principals and associates to invest a meaningful amount of their time in research and development.
To establish a way to improve continuously, he formalized research and development. To overcome resistance to nonclient work, he introduced a company initiative called “2X in 3.” The program has formal reviews with deadlines, management reviews and revenue credit and motivated consultants to invest 15 to 20 percent of their time to innovation. The initiative acts to solve client problems while doubling related revenue in three years.
HOW TO REACH: ZS Associates, (847) 492-3600 or www.zsassociates.com