Olga  photo

Olga

Partner, London

What is your background pre-Bain? And what is your current role at Bain and how long have you been here?

I joined Bain in 2001 straight out of Harvard Business School. Before that, I worked in investment banking at Credit Suisse in New York. I have a BSc in Economics from London School of Economics.

How would you describe your role at Bain? What have been your most memorable case experiences? What are the results (client-related as well as internal) of which you are most proud?

My role at Bain is to understand the business challenges my clients face, figure out if we as consultants are the right people to help them, and if we are, scope the type of project or series of projects that will help my clients deliver outstanding results – for their shareholders, for their employees, and for their community. I then work very closely with my clients, leading a Bain team to make sure we are always focusing on what really matters. We come up with practical and realistic recommendations, while building up the capabilities of my client’s employees along the way – setting them up to solve this type of challenge themselves next time around.

My most memorable experience was working with a business unit heading for absolute demise – performance trajectory suggested the business would become bankrupt within three years. We started by helping the business agree a clear strategy. We supported their sales and pricing teams to build key capabilities and worked with them to improve the customer journey experience converting more of their customers from detractors to promoters. As a result, the business turned from declining customer numbers and profit to growth within two years. It was so rewarding to see our clients, who had started to seriously worry about their own future and jobs, rise to the challenge, work side-by-side with us, and change the future of their company so much. They were so proud of their achievements, and we are so honored to have been able to help them along the way. I am very proud of the results we drove for this business unit.

My most memorable results story is preventing a company from losing ~£X billions in CAPEX for shareholders within four weeks. We were asked to do a very quick review of an existing gas storage business case just weeks before the final investment decision. The expectation from the clients was that it was pretty much a done deal and that we would come in and "rubber stamp" their business case to give it more weight with the board of directors. Within days we found a major flaw in the logic of their business case. Over the next few weeks, we worked at a furious pace to develop a realistic and sound economics-based set of scenarios for what the volatility of gas prices in the future could be. The analysis showed that even a more optimistic scenario would not lead to high enough gas price volatility to justify the huge investment the company was about to make. As result of our work, the company decided not to go ahead with the investment. Even more rewarding is a few years on from this, we can now see that our projections were completely correct and gas price volatility has never exceeded the parameters we laid out in our analysis.

Finally, tell us three interesting facts about yourself/ your interests outside of work.

I am a Polish national and my husband is American, so we “met half way” by living in London. We have two children and we spend most of our free time with them.

I enjoy movies and am working through the imdb.com top 250 movies list. I have already seen more than 200 movies from the list – although I have to say it keeps changing every year so I have to work hard to keep up as new releases are added. My personal favourite movie is “Lawrence of Arabia”.

I also love the outdoors and go hiking, camping, kayaking, canoeing, sailing and snorkelling. Basically, I try to enjoy the outdoors every way I can.