Ideo sets its sights on France and Germany

Product design group Ideo is planning to open offices in Germany and France to boost its European activity. – Ideo director for Europe Tim Brown wants to up the group’s business on the Continent from 15 per cent to between 30 and 40 per cent in the next f

Product design group Ideo is planning to open offices in Germany and France to boost its European activity.

Ideo director for Europe Tim Brown wants to up the group’s business on the Continent from 15 per cent to between 30 and 40 per cent in the next five years.

The 340-strong consultancy, whose main presence is in the US, currently has 45 people in London. Its first permanent European office in Milan opened earlier this year (DW 30 January).

The offices would be opened to better service clients or to act as a springboard off a client relationship, says Ideo director Alan South. “We have a particular client in France and Germany which could provide that spring board,” he adds.

One or both of the offices could open within this year or in the next 12 months. “We usually try to find someone internally to lead such an office,” says South.

Any new base will employ only a few people. “Our aim has never been to grow,” says South. He has no intention to create an Ideo franchise, but to “behave as one company worldwide”.

The strategy for Europe is to create a network even tighter than for the rest of the world, with London as the hub.

Diefenbach Elkins is looking to buy two design groups on the Continent.

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