C Small Solutions 2016 End of Year Roundup

C Small Solutions is a boutique management and research consultancy. In this article, founder and director Charles Small gives his opinion on the highlights of 2016 for the firm. For a free consultation, email Charles at: charles@csmall.co.uk


2016 was an astounding success for the company, driven by scaling up provision of bespoke political and security risk services. C Small Solutions assessed clients’ global political risk exposure and carried out deep-dive analyses of security threats, allowing clients to reduce the risk to personnel and property.

It was also year for making the most of disruptive technology. The company implemented an enhanced research methodology using a combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and subject matter expertise to mitigate political and security risk for clients. Insights on disruptive technology were also provided by working with business leaders to assess the scope for implementing blockchain technology solutions in the Asia-Pacific region. The company began explaining aspects of emerging technology in the website’s tech section.

Markets covered by C Small Solutions in 2016

Local risk exposure reduced

Deep insights drawn from a global network of risk mitigation experts reduce client risk exposure. Local recommendations include an on-the-pulse assessment of the risk from political instability, complemented by reporting on police operations. If political unrest is likely to occur, our clients need to be aware of the ramifications and potential to disrupt business.

For our EMEA team, the highlight of the year was delivering an on-tempo risk assessment to a client considering their risk exposure during the July 2016 attempted coup in Turkey. In a complex developing situation, the company drew on in-house experience working with the Turkish military to assess the risk exposure of the client. A comprehensive overview of national political developments and the security situation on the ground in Ankara and Istanbul allowed the client to operate safely in the two cities with situational awareness.

The highlight for our Americas team this year was providing local advice to journalists based in Brazil and covering the 2016 Summer Olympics. The event took place in six cities, leading to journalists being exposed to security risks across the country. To mitigate the client’s risk exposure, C Small Solutions security consultants on the ground in Brazil provided local advice on which neighbourhoods to avoid, which gangs control which areas, and common dangers such as traffic and political unrest.

With the client facing regular risk exposure around their head office, in-depth reporting was provided to cover more day-to-day operational risks. The Olympics took place during a time of intense political instability which still plagues Brazil. As protests take place regularly and often end in violence, the client was provided with a full understanding of how to mitigate the tangible risks to staff on the ground from national political instability.

Beyond statistics

Political risk reporting is more than simply aggregating news. It requires deep knowledge of the local situation and source verification to separate fact from hearsay. As well as providing the basis on which recommendations are made, C Small Solutions provides a view on the significance of the latest threats in the context of the overall security situation. This can include detailed mapping of political protests, terrorist attacks and violent crime.

Antigovernment political protests Egypt
Overlaying data on augmented satellite maps helps our clients see which actors are most significant in a market and implement internal risk mitigation strategies.
Disruptive technology can bring stability

2016 was the year when the company implemented AI-enhanced political and security risk exposure assessments. The firm pioneers integration of best-in-class AI technology into political risk analysis by teaching deep learning algorithms to recognise incidents of political significance. Using this machine learning technology allows analysts to scale up projects to levels infeasible for humans to carry out without assistance, maximising effectiveness of risk assessment budgets.

Disruptive technology of course creates unique risks at the macro-level. AI is already leading to technological unemployment, replacing industrial workers in the secondary sector and destabilising the services sector. Education systems vary in capacity to prepare the labour force for this technological revolution, which has the potential to lead to mass unemployment in emerging and frontier markets and associated political and security risks.

Other services

As in 2015, the company continued to provide bespoke translation services to one of the world’s largest publishing firms. In 2016, this included translating Bahraini and Omani Official Gazettes, and translating materials from across the EMEA region. Translation is one area where the company takes a traditional approach, with a focus on manual meticulousness.

Lecture in Indonesia

Last but not least, it was a personal pleasure to deliver a presentation on behalf of the company to alumni and students of Gadjah Mada University (UGM) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The presentation focused on the disruptive effects of AI on the ASEAN labour market, and the role of big data in political and security risk analysis. I was impressed by the eagerness to learn and interest in using the latest technology to reduce risks.

Charles Small presenting on risk at Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Next steps

C Small Solutions provides comprehensive services to our clients, with an emphasis on mitigating the risks of investing in emerging and frontier markets. The consultancy’s rigorous methodology puts emerging technologies and subject matter experts at the heart of risk mitigation strategies. A team of experienced consultants is at hand to manage research and other projects.

The company also provides market entry consultation services for investors, with services including market entry research, industrial zone identification and incorporation strategy services. Clients can benefit from a network of trusted professionals to assist further should an investment decision be made.

Please feel free to drop me an email for a free consultation at: charles@csmall.co.uk

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