Client Showcase - Arete

 Thinking about growth strategy? Or need an efficient business plan? Or do you want to increase your revenue while growing your profitability? 
Arete has all the answers to your questions! 
Arete is a homegrown boutique management and impact advisory firm that helps clients solve some of their most pressing business and organizational problems. And they work across multiple sectors including Healthcare, Education and Skills, Food and Agri and Consumer/Retail to name a few! 
Arete was founded in 2013 by Monika Sood and Shradha Vaid along with Mukesh Khandelwal (who exited the firm in March 2020). Monika and Shradha have 35+ years of consulting experience, with expertise in formulating winning strategies for growth in competitive markets, conducting due diligence on companies, and designing business transformation programs to deal with changing market dynamics. 
As Shradha puts it, ‘I hope to spend the next 30 years of my career bringing all my skills and passion for solving some of India’s most wicked developmental problems.’
Arete is one of our clients at FlexiBees, having hired a part-time and remote-working Management Consultant to help them with their growing business. 
So we recently caught up with Shradha Vaid, Co-founder of Arete to understand their business and to know what worked well for them and why they choose to hire flexible talent. 
Some excerpts from our conversation:
Can you tell us a bit about what Arete does? What problems are you trying to solve?
We help clients solve some of their most pressing business and organizational problems. Sometimes, these are hidden in plain sight. And the business needs a fresh perspective. Here are some of the things we do:
Growth & Diversification, including go-to-market planning, diversification, growth strategy, business planning etc.
Improving performance to drive revenue and profitability growth; improving processes 
Transaction advisory, including Commercial Due diligence on Target companies on behalf of private equity investors as well as strategic players
How did it all start? How did you think of this need?
We started in 2013 with a cohort of 14 people. The idea was to work with good people (read friends more than colleagues!) and do great work (read solve client problems)! 
Today we’ve grown into a team of 30+ people.  The most important thing that gets us out of bed in the morning and our biggest motivator has always been helping people achieve their potential; be it a client grappling with a new investment decision, growth acceleration or improving the bottom line. Even in our impact consulting work, the focus has always been on creating sustainable impact!
Who are the founders? Can you tell us more about them?
Monika and I started Arete in 2013 along with our ex-colleague Mukesh Khandelwal. Monika Sood is the founding and managing partner and leads the healthcare practice. She has over 20 years of consulting experience. She has worked with many leading Indian and MNC corporates, private equity funds and government departments. She has extensive expertise in formulating winning strategies for growth in competitive markets for both new entrants and incumbent players, designing business transformation to deal with changing market dynamics and advising on M&A and investment transactions (Identification/Screening, Diligence and Integration/Turnaround). Monika’s verticals of interest include Healthcare and Consumer/Retail. Prior to joining Areté, Monika was CEO of the Corporate Advisory Division of Feedback Infra. She is a management graduate from IIM Ahmedabad and a post-graduate in Physics from Delhi University.
I lead the firm’s Impact practice. I have close to 15 years of consulting experience with corporates, non-profits, governments and philanthropy. My consulting experience spans across a spectrum of functions and sectors (particularly Education, Livelihoods, Nutrition and Health, and Infrastructure), and across a variety of geographies within India. My experience in the Impact space has given me a deep understanding of different stakeholders and their key challenges, enabling the successful execution of high-impact engagements for our clients, many of whom have forged long-lasting multi-engagement relationships with Arete. I hold a PGDBM from IIM Ahmedabad and a B. Tech from NIT Jalandhar.
What makes Arete different from others?
Our team comprises some of India’s best and brightest - we have hand-picked them and great pride in the team we have built. And the rigour, knowledge, diverse skills and innovative thinking we bring to solving our clients’ problems. 
Can you share one of your success stories? 
We would like to highlight two very interesting engagements we have completed in the recent past:
We were recently involved in developing a 10-year strategy for growth for one of India’s largest healthcare delivery chains. We identified emerging changes in the business environment and defined the shifts needed both in the business and operating models as well as how the client was organized as a business. We helped prioritize their service lines, target segments and geographic footprint. We also helped them define their value proposition for consumers and clinicians. 
The second project we were involved in - was in conducting an end-to-end diagnosis of the public-school education system in an Indian state to identify key levers of change for improving learning outcomes for children. This engagement was undertaken at the behest of one of India’s leading philanthropic organisations and also a lead partner to the State government. 
What are the future plans for Arete?
We want to strengthen our impact advisory and consumer/retail practices. 
What made you opt for remote talent and FlexiBees and how has been your experience?
FlexiBees has helped us manage peak staffing requirements really well! We were able to identify and engage talent in a relatively short period of time. The management consultant that has been provided has been an asset to the team and a great fit for us at Arete. We will definitely be incorporating part-time/flexible talent as a key element of our resourcing strategy!
If you are looking for business solutions like management and impact advise, do check out their website: