BASF Management Consulting – strategic, effective advice
BASF products are used in practically every industry. In our role as consultants, we gain insight into the various industries where our clients work. Through our shared projects, we drive processes of change within BASF effectively. Our success is founded on our knowledge of the BASF Group’s structures and our highly developed understanding of the challenges our clients face.
We provide effective, efficient advice with a pronounced focus on strategy development – and often with high visibility to the top management. The BASF Group operates at more than 350 sites worldwide. To work as closely as possible with our clients, we work not only at our headquarters in Ludwigshafen, Germany, but at one other site in Germany (Monheim, near Düsseldorf) and four other locations worldwide: Florham Park, New Jersey, U.S.A.; São Paulo, Brazil; Hong Kong and Singapore. Our international teams work together to resolve the challenges that arise in the business units or at the company level. When questions that are highly specific to a certain area arise, these teams receive added support from experts known as Subject Matter Experts.
“The desire to discover new things, overcome challenges and experience adventures is what drives me, both personally and professionally. My goal is to move and shape things myself. That being the case, extensive expertise and hard work are a must. And that’s how I’ve gotten to where I am today: a consultant for BASF Management Consulting.”
Born in a village in northern India, Aswani grew up in Kolkata, in the east of the country, as one of three siblings. Starting in childhood, he was an enthusiastic player of team sports, with a special passion for cricket. He was so enthusiastic, in fact, that right up until secondary school he was planning to become a professional player – until his brother, an engineer himself, showed him a different possibility.
And so Aswani started a program toward a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at National Institute of Technology in Warangal, India. Although he enjoyed his studies, they still weren’t enough to slake his thirst for knowledge. He always wanted to discover more, and he knew he definitely wanted to gain international experience. He applied for a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) fellowship, which took him first to the University of Rostock for a research internship in electrical and electronics engineering. During that time, Aswani traveled as much as possible throughout Europe, both on his own and for work. The experience brought him back to Germany a few years later.
After he earned his bachelor’s degree, Aswani went to work for a Japanese-Indian joint venture. A short time later, he took on his first management role there, as head of production planning and production control. “It was a formative period,” Aswani recalls today: “I assumed a lot of responsibility there. I often had to make decisions that would have a big impact on the company’s success. I really liked that.”
“Independence and mental flexibility are highly important to me, on and off the job, and they motivate me to discover new things. I try to take new approaches when the opportunity arises. Over the years, I’ve gotten more pragmatic in all areas of my life. I try to bring that into my personal life and my work on projects alike, and to serve as an example of that pragmatism for my teams as well.”
Setting out to visit a client at half past five Monday morning and not getting back home until Friday evening: For years, that was Jens’s day-to-day life. He spent an intense, exciting, but also stressful nine years working as a consultant for a leading management consulting firm, working on many different projects in the process. “The work was challenging, and I learned a lot, but I always pursued my personal interests along the way, too.”
About every two years, Jens took the time for something personal, whether to earn a doctorate or take parental leave after the births of his two children. For another project, he spent several months on sabbatical in Rwanda to carry out various aid projects there. Together with the local community, he coordinated the construction of restroom facilities for children’s homes, established a support program for widows, and arranged for instructional materials for local schools, for example. “Thanks to my many experiences working on projects and my time abroad, especially in Rwanda, I have learned to reflect on things and adopt a bird’s-eye perspective. I always try to understand the context in which my customers, teams, and friends are operating,” he says. “Having a better overall understanding means I can gear my own actions better toward the goal, and I generally operate with a calmer approach.”
When his children were born, Jens started a new phase of his life. Being with a client every day instead of with the family was now out of the question, but he didn't want to give up challenging work on projects or career opportunities, either.
BASF Management Consulting gives him a way to balance the two. Jens has worked here in the position of Senior Project Manager for more than two years now. “The projects are similar to those I used to work on at the external consulting firm in terms of being challenging and diverse. But I have more contact with the top management now, and more freedom to shape things. Besides that, the fact that I work mainly locally means I have more time to spend with family, even as I keep all my doors open, professionally speaking. From subject-specific further development to an international career, there are all kinds of options, but no pressure to take them.”
“I was looking for a multifaceted job with international visibility and good development prospects – and that’s just what I found. Still having flexibility in terms of content, even as a project manager, and not having to specialize in a particular subject area is important to me.”
Structured, strategic consulting and free, boundless discovery, sober analysis and collegial personal relationships within the team, constancy and flux – to Yalda, none of that is mutually exclusive.
She did various internships in industry and consulting, in Germany and other countries, even before finishing her program in business administration in Cologne. “Thanks to the range of insight I gained, I had a good basis for choosing a career after my studies,” she says today. BASF was one of the employers she was considering back then, but she wanted to stay in the Rhineland area, where she felt settled, so she decided to join a management consulting firm first.
Long workdays and spending a lot of time with clients became her daily routine. “With working hours at the consulting firm so long, I spent most of my time with colleagues. That meant it was even more important to have a good fit in personal terms, too. We often did things together on the spur of the moment after work or on weekends,” she recalls. During one of her projects, in Seattle, the team ended up having a couple of days off on short notice. So why not rent a car and drive down Highway 1, all the way to the end, in Los Angeles, and then go on to Tijuana from there?
After several years in industry and consulting, she rediscovered BASF, joining the global management consulting team two years ago. In her position in the Organizational Excellence group, she combines her previous experience in industry and consulting. “Even though I am assigned to a specific group, I have the opportunity to cover a broad spectrum of topics. Cross-staffing is normal. That way, I can advance my expertise without specializing too much in one subject. I really appreciate that.” She also has the feeling of having more influence through her work: “Our clients are in the same boat with us. That means I work on subjects that have a visible influence on our company. That’s a professional challenge, and it also brings more appreciation. I’m a colleague here, not a resource.”
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