Chat with Ingrid Sinon, CEO of Cutting-Edge Consultancy | 18 January 2021
‘If possible stay in your current employment but develop new relevant skills on the side’
In these trying times, most of the small, medium and big businesses have taken a blow. The current pandemic has had severe economic consequences across the globe, and it does not look like any country was unaffected. Seychelles being a small island state has been affected to the core and since April last year, the government has been assisting businesses with a financial aid. And now, the government has stated that there is no money to continue with this financial help. Covid-19 has led to dramatic changes in how businesses act and consumers behave. There have been debates out there stating how Seychelles has to rethink its business model. To know more about this concept, we had a chat with Ingrid Sinon, the chief executive of Cutting-Edge Consultancy.
Seychelles NATION: Tell us more about your company…
Ingrid Sinon: Cutting-Edge Consultancy (CEC) aims at ‘Reinventing Business Success’. CEC was created over the desire, and the need, to create value. Value is the monetary worth of a product or asset. Hence, one might say that the purpose of CEC is, first, to create value for its clients and, second, to appropriate some of that customer value in the form of profit – thereby creating value for the firm. Our mission is to build strong relationships with our clients and partners; we aim to become a need instead of a want and that will be achieved by us adding value and over delivering. Our vision is to be an innovative disruptor in the development of business transformation which is crisis proof and successful from both a national and an international standpoint.
Seychelles NATION: Tell us more about the different packages you offer.
Ingrid Sinon: We are currently proposing eight packages. Package 1 is the ‘Business Model Diagnosis’ and it features – Performance Gaps as a diagnostic tool in which leader(s) of the business shall evaluate the organisation's: (1) ability to perform and produce output; (2) capacity to foster individual learning and satisfaction; and (3) potential to adapt. Testing or Establishing: The Mission Statement; The Statement of Principles or Values; The Vision Statement; and The Strategy Statement. The benefits are GPS Tracking/Compass; Avoid Flying Blind.
Package 2 is the ‘Business Key’ and we test your Business' Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as Profitability, Cash Flow, Balance Sheet, Return on Assets (ROA), Return on Investments (ROI), Payback Period, Net Present Value (NPV), inter alia. The benefits are what gets measured gets done! What gets measured gets repeated!
The third package is the ‘Systems Development’ where we work in the Business Values and Personal Values. Background to Market, Target Audience, Competition Offering Messages, Sales and Buying Processes, Pricing, Understanding Your Ideal Client Competition - SWOT, PESTLE, Balance Scorecard and Expanded 7-S Framework. The business will run consistently and with certainty. The processes that work will be automated along with target setting, tracking and adjustment mechanisms. The business will operate with or without the presence of its leader(s), allowing for opportune time for strategic analyses.
Package 4 is the ‘Business Growth Plan’ and it mainly deals with the strategic intent. Strategic intent creates an extreme misfit between resources and ambitions. Top management then challenges the organisation to close the gap by building new competitive advantages.
Package 5 is the ‘Exit strategy and Plan’ and it consists of describing firm strategy, competing in the present and preparing for the future. Competing for the Present means Strategy as Positioning – Where are we competing? Product market scope, geographical scope, vertical scope. How are we competing? What is the basis for our competitive advantage? Preparing for the future: Strategy as a Direction – What do we want to become?
Package 6 is the AI-Predicted Economic Data where we look at the model one of predicted economic data, exchange rates, inflation, GDP and Real GDP. The benefit it brings is an element of certainty in an uncertain business and economic environment.
Package 7 is the ‘Business Plan’ and consists of having a comprehensive and realistic plan based on actual research and industry data. The benefit for the company is a fact-based and data driven business proposal.
Package 8 and the last package is ‘Consulting Services’ and it is conditional on the expected outcome and result. It is tailor-made to the request of the client.
Furthermore, I am also a shareholder in a real estate development company called Enigma Investment (Pty) Ltd, to provide residential and commercial facilities. The first project called the Louisa Rose Tower at Talbot, Cascade will be ready for rental opportunities in the coming months.
Seychelles NATION: Why did you feel it’s important to leave your job and create such a company?
Ingrid Sinon: Personally, I had reached a point of saturation and stagnation. The pandemic has taught me that life is too short and I do not want to be stuck in a rigid job structure whereby I have to function within fixed parameters and fixed time frame. I am of the opinion that such structure impedes creativity and halt our thinking abilities. Nonetheless, if an excellent opportunity comes my way with a flexible time frame I may consider it. I needed some stimulation and I also wanted to use my experience, skills, abilities, analytical skill, and element of foresight to help existing or new businesses come up with effective and realistic strategies to take them to the next level.
Seychelles NATION: In this time of Covid, how do you intend to help the Seychellois?
Ingrid Sinon: CEC will provide data driven business advice and develop the most effective strategies plus implementation plans. The packages highlighted above should be relevant for businesses’ specific requirements and visions.
Seychelles NATION: Are we getting it right? Do you think as a Nation we are aware that our economy is in dire straits?
Ingrid Sinon: There has certainly been an improvement in the understanding and discussions revolving around our individual livelihood and our future. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs has definitely been activated as each of us attempt to move up the pyramid.
We are more conscious of how we impact the economy via our individual contributions and how the economy impacts our lives through collective engagements. This is perhaps analogous to the invisible hand concept coined by the renowned economist, Adam Smith.
Seychelles NATION: What advice would you give to small entrepreneurs who are about to give up?
Ingrid Sinon: Failure is normal and a good thing as actions or inactions came as a result of the information available at that point in time. But now with experience the entrepreneur has valuable insights on the ‘do’s and don’ts of a business. One may relax or rest but one should not attempt to remain still or stop moving forward. There is a popular saying that ‘change is the only constant’ and therefore the entrepreneur must ride the waves.
Seychelles NATION: What advice would you give to regular workers having little knowledge of how the economy works?
Ingrid Sinon: Ignorance is not an option! Self-education is the key to a successful future. One should leverage the Internet’s powerful information capabilities. If possible stay in your current employment but develop new relevant skills on the side in an attempt to diversify your own personal portfolio and do not remain still.
After talking to Ms Sinon, we definitely get the bigger picture of what is happening in our economy and for sure we cannot say we ‘do not know’ anymore. Better prepare ourselves and get innovative, rather than being sorry. If you want more info about this new business please visit this website www.ceconsult.co