As part of Women’s History Month, we interview Florence Wang, Senior Manager in our Shanghai office. She tells us about her journey into consulting and discusses some of the most memorable accomplishments of her career so far!
Florence, how did you find your way to Simon-Kucher and a career in consulting?
I was one of the first colleagues to join the Shanghai office when it opened almost four years ago. During that time, my role has changed from Senior Consultant to Senior Manager, and I have gained experience working on projects in a wide range of industries, from consumer goods to industrials.
Before joining Simon-Kucher, I worked at PwC and then Amazon, with a two-year gap in between to complete my MBA at the National University of Singapore. When I decided to go into consulting, the first thing I did was look at the Vault rankings for consulting firms. I found Simon-Kucher was strong in the Asia-Pacific region, so I checked my network and found that one of my MBA classmates, Chetan Prakash, was working in the Singapore office. I connected with Chetan, and he highly recommended Simon-Kucher, offering to give me an internal referral. That’s where this exciting journey began.
Which projects or accomplishments stand out over the course of your career so far?
Every project is unique and I'm proud of the solutions we deliver. One memorable achievement is a dynamic pricing project we conducted for a chemicals company. Our solution was new to the client, and we received feedback that it delivered much more value than they originally expected. In addition, the solution had an impact within Simon-Kucher internally. Our methodology and tool were very innovative, with several useful findings that could be applied to other projects. Even today, colleagues are still reaching out to our team to learn about how we supported our client and the solutions we developed.
Another accomplishment that stands out is a consumer goods project where we optimized the prices for a popular shoe brand. Everybody I know owns a pair of these shoes. One day, I was in a store with my friend, and I recognized the price point we recommended in our project. It’s a proud moment to see your recommendations go live in the real world and to be able to tell someone that “this comes from Simon-Kucher.”
What advice would you give to someone just starting their career in consulting?
I would tell them to join Simon-Kucher! We have a fantastic culture where people are closely connected, especially in the Shanghai office. Everyone knows each other, and everyone is a friend. The consulting industry has a reputation for being pushy, but that’s not my experience here. We are all approachable and eager to share what we know. This gives us a great advantage.
Another advantage is our area of expertise. We are a consultancy specializing in TopLine Power®, and we are very strong in pricing. It's niche, but it's also important, especially in emerging markets like China where pricing excellence is in its early stages. There is so much that can be done. The firm has great growth potential, especially in Shanghai, and I am very confident when I recommend Simon-Kucher to others.
Tell us a bit about your personal life. What do you like to do in your free time?
I love to travel and do exhilarating things around the world, such as a road trip or a skydive. The last trip I had was to Australia. However, since the pandemic outbreak, I have spent a lot more time in Shanghai, regularly visiting the gym and doing sports. I am quite small in stature, so I enjoy building up my physical strength in the same way I have built up my mental strength.
Finally, can you share a bit about what Women’s History Month means to you?
Being a woman can sometimes feel like mission impossible. You can be successful in your career, and you can be successful in your family life. The challenge lies in finding the right balance. That is of course a very individual thing, but I am lucky to be surrounded by many successful women who I can learn from. There is no one specific person – inspiration is everywhere. I will see a colleague, friend, or family member achieving their goals and their determination motivates me to find my own path.