McKinsey & Company on mega-Digital Days tour of Latin America

31 August 2018 3 min. read

The world’s most prestigious consulting firm McKinsey & Company has been expanding its presence in Latin America with a focus on digital. Eyeing the potential of the region as a hub for digital transformation and automation technologies, McKinsey is travelling around the region hosting Digital Day events. 

The roadshow has followed the path of McKinsey offices around Latin America. Starting late last year in São Paulo, the Digital Day event moved on to Mexico City in March, Lima in May, and then Medellín and Bogotá earlier this month. Come October, the firm will have moved onto Santiago de Chile and over 2,500 will have attended the events throughout the region. 

“We’re seeing a lot of innovation initiatives happening in Latin America, especially in Colombia, with an increasing number of investors and venture-capital firms looking to fund start-ups,” says Adriana Vargas, a software architect who joined Digital McKinsey in Bogotá at the end of last year.

Vargas is a new McKinsey recruit having joined the firm’s Digital McKinsey branch earlier this year. She is one of the the ten new hires across the Bogotá office, a pattern that has been replicated across the continent. In Brazil, roughly 30 new people have joined Digital McKinsey in just this past year in the firm’s São Paulo office. Of the notable new hires in Brazil, one standout is Marcelo Tripoli, former chief creative officer of SapientNitro in Latin America who was brought in as VP of Digital as an Associate Partner. 

McKinsey & Company on mega-Digital Days tour of Latin America

“While Latin American economies are not as large as the US or some Asian countries, they offer the demand for and ability to support digital investments,” says Heitor Martins, a senior partner in São Paulo. “So we see many of McKinsey’s most important digital transformations in the world taking place in Latin America.”

An example of this is a recent case study from Peru. McKinsey was brought in to help a client develop an account-opening app that uses facial-recognition software to authenticate users. As a part of the team of 15 specialists, Vargas helped to inspire the client, and as a result the bank ended up opening its own center for excellence in the field of digital and agile thinking. “This model has already been applied successfully to several other clients since that time,” shares Vargas.

In another high impact story from Brazil, the firm has also had a hand in helping an insurance company create an entirely new brand. “Over 12 months, our agile coaches, designers, and developers worked alongside the client to develop an internal set of IT solutions and customer-facing web sites and apps, and to recruit a digital native team of 50+ experts,” stated the firm.

“When clients come to our ‘Digital Day’ events and see what’s possible – and what other companies are already achieving – it’s a big step forward in helping them imagine their own transformations,” explains Martins. 

In an McKinsey article released late last year on the growth in Latin America, the firm concluded by saying that “Latin America’s growth imperative is pressing but the challenges wide-ranging and often difficult. However, broad, concerted leadership from society can shape a new agenda that will enable the region to weather the demographic storm, transform productivity, and bolster growth for the long term.”