// . //  The Alumni Network //  Philip Bahoshy

Philip Bahoshy spent the bulk of his Oliver Wyman career in our Dubai office, offering local clients a highly personalized approach to the region’s greatest challenges. After completing his MBA at INSEAD, Philip went on to found MAGNiTT — the leading data platform for startups in emerging venture capital markets and trusted data source for many governments and news outlets.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you’ve been doing since you left Oliver Wyman.

I’m Iraqi British and grew up in the UK. I studied economics at the London School of Economics. When it came to starting my career, unlike all my friends who went into banking, I decided to go into consulting. I first started at Mercer Oliver Wyman a few short months before it became Oliver Wyman.

It’s thanks to Oliver Wyman, and a partner at the firm who asked if I'd be interested in relocating to Kuwait, that I got introduced to the Middle East. Despite being Iraqi, I had never been to the region before.

After Oliver Wyman, I went to work at Barclays as chief of staff to the CEO of the Middle East. At the time, the 2008 crisis was happening in Europe and the Americas, but the Middle East was still going through a bright period. Being able to experience that really helped me understand the mindset, ambitions, and challenges of the region.

I pursued my MBA at INSEAD in 2013, spending six months in Fontainebleau and then six months in Singapore. After school, I started MAGNiTT, which originally was a platform connecting entrepreneurs and investors from MBA schools, but has since pivoted into becoming a data platform focused on venture capital research and analytics for emerging markets.

What skills did you acquire at Oliver Wyman that have helped you the most?

Consulting helped me develop my storytelling ability, which has been crucial for visualizing and simplifying complex information in a way that non–experts can easily understand. This skill has been particularly valuable at MAGNiTT, where I have developed reports and dashboards that convey both analytical insights and compelling narratives.

Another skill I acquired at Oliver Wyman is giving persuasive presentations that combine data–driven analysis and storytelling. This has proven essential for pitching ideas to investors, clients, and government officials, since the way we perceive things can shape reality over time.

Moreover, Oliver Wyman taught me how to speak confidently to senior stakeholders, even when I didn’t have all the data at my disposal. As a consultant, I was often expected to provide expert opinions and recommendations, and I learned to trust my judgment and communicate my ideas clearly and convincingly.

Finally, the work ethic required in consulting prepared me to succeed in any challenging role.

What's your advice on building an effective team.

I never claim to get this perfectly right, but we’ve been a very lean organization. Unlike many tech companies, we’ve only done one small round of investment. Therefore, I’ve had to maximize the value of the people on my team. That all starts with being able to articulate a clear vision of what I want to build, bold values, and building a one team culture. Once the message is clear, the next step is getting your people to rally around you and your message.

I was told by the co–founder of Kareem that there is a triangle of excellence. On each point there are people who have skills, those who have experience, and those who have hunger. You can do with all three, but you cannot do without two. If you’re able to create a team, or hire at the individual level, focusing on hitting two out of three of these points, it sets you up for success.

What advice do you have for current consultants at Oliver Wyman?

Join a startup. A lot of people think it’s easy to start a startup, and I have to say that if you’re not ready to commit the next 10 years of your life to possibly making this company successful, don’t bother starting it at all.

It’s proven that some of the most successful founders are either serial entrepreneurs that have failed, or the next best thing economics those who have worked at a high growth tech company. The experience is pivotal to understand what the environment, requirements, pressures, opportunities, and challenges are, so that when you start your own company, you have that knowledge to fall back on. 

This page was originally published on March 24, 2023