5 Questions to our partner Maarten Bakker
Maarten has been at INNOPAY since 2018 and became a partner in 2021. We were lucky enough to get the chance to ask him about his career so far, what it’s like to be a partner at INNOPAY, and his advice for students who are considering a career in consultancy.
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I actually have a background in applied physics. I loved the intellectual challenge of it, but I also learned that the research profession is not for me, so I decided to make a move towards management consultancy. I joined the Accenture Strategy Consulting group in 2006, where I learned the art of consultancy and how to apply those skills in ever-changing and challenging client engagements. I aligned myself to the Financial Services practice and more specifically to Insurance. This also resulted in me acquiring new knowledge about the inner workings of a bank or insurance company from a financial, operational, technology and legal perspective.
When platforms started to emerge and tech companies entered the Financial Services sector, FinTech became an important part of the work I did for my clients. But it also led me to question a lot of efforts by incumbents when pursuing a ‘winner takes all’ platform strategy. INNOPAY’s vision gave me the answer I was looking for and so I decided to join the company.
Did you always want to be a consultant?
No, consultancy was not my end game when I started working. But it grew on me, and now it has become a part of me and I never want to leave this line of work. The combination of new projects and clients, thought leadership, intellectually challenging engagements and highly motivated and skilled colleagues creates a great atmosphere to work in.
Why did you choose to work for INNOPAY?
It was a logical place to continue my management consulting journey as it gave me some answers I was looking for. But, even more importantly, INNOPAY is known and respected by its clients for cutting-edge thought leadership and expertise, entrepreneurship and flawless project execution. And because our people are not ‘one of many’ but are truly treated as our greatest asset, there is a lot more focus on personal personal development. These are all INNOPAY traits that really suit me. And as I know from experience, you don’t find this in the same way at the large integrators – but it’s what makes all the difference in how much fun you have doing your job.
How has becoming a partner at INNOPAY changed things for you, and what are your key goals and ambitions?
Working at INNOPAY means that you have responsibilities towards your clients, for our internal operations and for the personal development of yourself and your colleagues. This applies to people at every level in our organisation, from junior consultants to the partners. So while the focus of my day-to-day job has changed, the core of my responsibilities hasn’t. I am still working on client projects, on new thought leadership and on my own and other people’s development.
My ambition is to grow INNOPAY for our people and our clients. Our Everything Transaction thought capital in combination with our high-end consulting skills is relevant for a large group of international clients. I want us to be big enough to matter while still remaining small enough to care. That will enable us to realise our vision.
What advice do you have for students who are considering a career in consultancy?
Don’t assume that your career prospects will be better at a large integrator like Accenture, Deloitte or Capgemini. At INNOPAY we are proof that this isn’t true. We work on the most challenging projects I have ever experienced; I see tremendous personal and professional growth in our people. And our alumni have gone on to work at many other great companies and have great careers. Choose the right fit for you.