Damien Duhamel

asia b2b growth & innovation strategy

ABOUT  ME

Asia Growth Strategy Advisory

Damien Duhamel is the CEO and Managing Partner of Solidiance, an Asia-focused corporate strategy firm with offices in Singapore, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, UAE and Vietnam. Solidiance works with Fortune 500s and large pan-Asia conglomerates to find new avenues of growth and profits through organic and M&A means.

In 1990, at 20 years old he was the first French student admitted to the Hanoi University in Vietnam since the country’s independence in 1954. Damien stayed a year to learn Vietnamese and to understand the Vietnamese culture. He then went to Australia to complete his Bachelor Degree in Business. After university, he rushed back to Vietnam to set up a boutique business-consulting firm helping foreign companies to enter Vietnam. The company was sold early 2000.

In 2000, Damien Duhamel joined the consulting arm of London-listed Aegis Plc. In 2002 he was first promoted to lead the largest office in Singapore and then became Managing Director Asia Pacific in 2004. Damien is credited for quadrupling revenues and profits in three years as well as expanding geographic imprint from 5 offices to 15 across Asia.

Since 2006 Damien Duhamel is the CEO and Managing Partner of Solidiance. Solidiance has grown from two staff and one office to about 100 full-time staff in ten Asian offices. Solidiance works exclusively with Multinational Corporations and has a client repeat rate averaging 90%. Our above-industry client repeat rate is a clear testimony of the Solid Alliance we are able to establish with our clients.

Solidiance supports clients' Asia growth in the manufacturing, industrial, technology, cleantech and healthcare sectors. Some of Solidiance clients include Siemens, BASF, Caterpillar, Rockwell, Shell, Toyota, Petronas, ExxonMobil, Panasonic, Microsoft, IBM, etc.

Damien Duhamel has worked on hundreds of strategy engagements mostly across ASEAN. He is a recognized Innovation and Competitive Strategy expert and has been numerously interviewed on the subject. In 2006 Damien was listed in the International Who’s Who. Recently Damien has been working on the old Silk Road revival, helping large Arabic groups in the Middle East to understand East Asia and to grow in Asia.

Damien Duhamel holds a Business Bachelor Degree from the Victoria University, an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and is completing a Master at Harvard University in Sustainability and Environmental Management. He speaks English, French, Vietnamese and 'survival Japanese.

His articles on Asia corporate strategy have been published by CNN, BBC, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Fast Companies, New York Times, Times Magazine, Les Echos, Bloomberg, and many more local / regional publications in Asia Pacific.

Damien Duhamel is also often invited to be a speaker at key Asia Pacific foreign investment, innovation, and growth strategy conferences.

Key Indicators

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Born

Paris - France

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Grew up

Africa, New Caledonia and Southeast Asia

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Studied

BA Victoria University, MBA The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, MA Harvard

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Asia

Worked in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and the UAE

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Lives

Singapore since 2000

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Projects

Over 300 Asia growth strategy assignments

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Children

One adorable boy

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Fun

Keen Collector of Pre-WWI Singapore Post Cards

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Interests

Innovation theory, Asian cities urban development

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CSR

Active member of
Youth Business Singapore

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IN THE PRESS

The Most Innovative Cities in Asia Pacific

The Movie

Damien Duhamel initiated the ranking of The Most Innovative Cities in Asia Pacific, which aims to identify the optimal cities in the region with ample factors to potentially yield innovation, attracting industry players to plant and grow their businesses. Damien is also the Executive Producer of the above short documentary movie aimed to complement and better capture the idea behind the main factors driving 'innovation' according to the world's business leaders. This ranking has been featured globally by some of the most renowned media publications.

 

Asia Marketing and Innovation Strategy


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Who will win in the Iranian automotive market?

Date: June 2018

The US President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and the country's long history of international sanctions could lead to turmoil in the automotive industry. Damien Duhamel, CEO and Managing Partner at Solidiance, notes that French automotive players who once led the way in car sales may now lose to new domestic rival and Chinese car firms – many of whom already have a presence in Iran – as they try and capture a larger share of the market.


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A new era of management consulting in Asia

Date: April 2018

In this exclusive interview with Mirror Review, Solidiance’s CEO Damien Duhamel highlights two major trends going through the consulting industry and the story behind Solidiance’s success in Asia. According to Damien, it is time for consulting firms to jump on the digital bandwagon in order to remain relevant to future client needs. As a result of the tremendous changes in digital, the industry will encounter more integration, mergers, and acquisitions - bringing significant impact to the industry. For Solidiance, being present in Asia, in the emerging world, means they are at the forefront of change and to help companies take the first step towards their digital transformation journey in Asia.


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Bringing digitization to the lubricant industry

Date: December 2017

Players in the lubricant industry are currently undergoing a disruptive shift by technology. Digitisation has become the key driver behind these changes, from automation of processes to integrating mobility platforms to the changes in the entire business models. According to Damien Duhamel, CEO and Co-Founder at Solidiance, incorporating elements of digital into existing business models will soon become a must for all lubricant manufacturers if they want to stay ahead of competition. By having a digital strategy in place, it helps manage stakeholders more efficiently, deepen engagement with end-users via increased marketing channels, and help companies make smarter decisions by utilizing data that is actionable.


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Asia strategy consultancy Solidiance enters US market

Date: October 2017

Solidiance, a corporate strategy consulting firm in Asia, has entered the US market with the opening of a new office in San Diego. According to Damien Duhamel, CEO and Co-Founder at Solidiance, the expansion into the Western world was to help US companies looking to expand into Asia’s growing economies. Pilar Dieter, a Senior Partner at the consultancy, has been put forward to head Solidiance’s US operations.


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Damien Duhamel on advising with resilience and humility

Date: March 2016

In this exclusive interview with The Jakarta Post, Damien Duhamel, CEO of Solidiance, shares his personal advice and insights surrounding the company’s growth factors. According to Damien, staying resilient and humble are keys to having a strong foothold in the industry. Solidiance is a fast growing management consulting firm with focus in Asia. Since its inception 10 years ago, the firm now has 12 offices across different countries in almost all major key Asian markets. Although Indonesia is new to the consulting industry, admits Damien, a consulting company with strong integrity and professionalism will always have its advice asked for.


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The race to capitalize on Iran's market revival

Date: March 2016

With sanctions removed in Iran, global and regional CEOs of some of the largest companies in Europe and Asia have been in the race to quickly enter or re-enter the market; countering that excitement are many Chief Executives from U.S. and Chinese companies. Over the past decade, China capitalized on Iran’s estrangement to the global economy by securing primary positions in both oil and non-oil sectors of Iran’s economy. The end of sanctions means the Chinese must now compete with international players. In this exclusive interview, Damien Duhamel, the CEO and Managing Partner of Solidiance, highlights business opportunities in an emerging Iran's economy post-sanctions and how foreign companies are required to act fast to capitalize on these opportunities.


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Recognizing Singapore's design sector

Date: December 2015

In recent years, Singapore's reputation in the design realm has grown exponentially. Three reasons why Singapore may become Asia's next design capital were highlighted, citing also its ability to spur innovation as an ecosystem, which refers to Solidiance's The Most Innovative Cities ranking. Damien Duhamel, the CEO and Managing Director at Solidiance, confirmed the city-state as the most attractive ecosystem for companies to innovate in Asia Pacific. On top of its thriving economy, Singapore constantly strives for leapfrog improvements and show visible changes.


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Singapore's secret to its success

Date: October 2015

Singapore continues to experience significant economic rise. The city-state stands out for having built a promising ecosystem and proves to be an innovation hub which attracts investors from around the world. In this video, Damien Duhamel, the CEO and Managing Partner at Solidiance, was featured by France 2 TV channel as a French man doing business in Singapore - where Solidiance HQ is located. Being a globetrotter businessman who flies across countries in a regular basis, he keeps himself up-to-date on Asia's economy, including Singapore. News is always good in Singapore as businesses continue to grow and develop in the country, especially in the construction sector with the 4% growth this year. This video is in French language. Please skip the video to minute 2:50.


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Singapore in the year 50: a region leader, still

Date: August 2015

From a sleepy backwater in Southeast Asia with no natural resources, Singapore is now a thriving modern metropolis and one of the world's most dynamic economies, thanks to one man’s vision, Lee Kuan Yew. However, questions arise upon his passing, such as can the economic momentum be maintained, and what will be the challenges going forward. Referring to Solidiance's study in 2013 which ranked Singapore as the most innovative city in Asia Pacific, Damien Duhamel, the CEO of the firm states that the city-state’s innovation capacity has enabled it to rebound faster from crisis and reinvent itself quicker than any other Asian city. Singapore’s future rests in its ability to think ahead - it will have to go niche where innovation, research and development, human talent, creativity and IP (intellectual property) make all the difference.


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The history and future of Solidiance

Date: July 2015

Damien Duhamel, the Managing Partner and CEO of Solidiance, shared with Consultant-news.com exclusively about how the business formed and grew. Damien shared the type of clients Solidiance works with, their sectoral focus, as well as growth which explains how the company has grown from two staff and one office to 100 full time staff in ten Asian offices today. The firm is technically the largest independent corporate strategy consulting firm focused on Asia at the moment, and it is still rapidly growing with future plan to expand across Asia at a controlled pace. According to clients' testimonials, Solidiance has been acknowledged to be able to listen, show flexibility, provide a fresh perspective, and help them to cut through the fog.


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The role of France and French companies in Singapore

Date: May 2015

On May 18th 2015, Singapore's President Tony Tan arrives in Paris for state visit. Damien Duhamel, CEO at Solidiance, a leading corporate advisory firm in Asia, is interviewed by Radio Classique on the role of France and French companies in Singapore. This is in French. En Francais.


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Entrepreneur on Doing Business in Singapore: Damien Duhamel, CEO at Solidiance

Date: January 2015

In this exclusive interview with Focus Magazine in Singapore, Damien Duhamel, the CEO and Managing Partner at Solidiance shares his experiences in establishing and doing business in Singapore. Solidiance was born in Singapore and self-funded. Yet, according to Damien, the key issue was less on cash-flow but on finding the right human talent to complement the firm's fast Asian growth. Solidiance opened new offices across different Asian countries almost every year by thriving over countless difficult challenges and being the only Asia-focused management consulting firm. Damien thinks that ultimately, an entrepreneur needs to be fast and resourceful, needs to have a clear vision of targeted goals and needs to anticipate market's needs.


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Innovation is Singapore's key success factor

Date: October 2014

Singapore has been ranked as one of the most innovative cities in Asia Pacific, according to a survey done by Solidiance. The city-state offers a vibrantly diverse center for innovation, with a strong foothold in manufacturing, medical technology, energy, IT, sustainable resource development, as well as international culture and art sectors. Damien Duhamel, Solidiance's Managing Director and CEO, remarks that innovation has been the key to Singapore's success. He added that Singapore has built an attractive ecosystem for companies. Development in the city-state requires focus on high-value-added, technology-intensive industries. Singapore has invested heavily in their educated workforce and is becoming the regional center for R&D in diverse areas e.g. petrochemicals, biotechnology, aviation and nanotechnology.


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More companies eye on Singapore as Hong Kong grows more unstable

Date: September 2014

China's decision on to limit free elections on the island has spurred greater unrest in Hong Kong as locals resist the policy. Despite being the global financial center and business gateway to China, Hong Kong is considered to be less preferred by many companies due to its growing instability. On the other hand, more firms are eyeing on Singapore with increasing trust growing towards this city-state to expand their outlook to the broader Pan-Asian market. According to Damien Duhamel, the CEO of Solidiance, as Hong Kong strengthens its connection to the economic powerhouse of mainland China, the island is likely to benefit in some way from the relationship. Hong Kong is not likely to become more Chinese as an (obstacle) to its future growth. Singapore has yet to succeed in China.


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Singapore attracts MNCs from Hong Kong / China for business

Date: September 2014

Multinational firms in Hong Kong have started to eye on Singapore to do business as political instability builds up in Hong Kong. Although its pressure to conform with Beijing's wishes does not necessarily affect Hong Kong's status as a financial center, the unease over the political situation has been at the back of people's minds. Several big companies have even recently moved their regional headquarters from China to Singapore, signifying a shift in market strategy. However, Hong Kong was one of the cities regarded as the most innovative in Asia Pacific according to Solidiance's analysis. The firm's CEO and Managing Director, Damien Duhamel, confirmed that as Hong Kong strengthens its connection to the economic powerhouse of mainland China, the island is likely to benefit in some way from the relationship. It is unlikely that Hong Kong is becoming more Chinese as an obstacle to its future growth.


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Indonesia's Mining Sector under Impacts of Presidential Election 2014

Date: June 2014

BBC interviews Damien Duhamel to discuss about the Indonesia's presidential elections circa 2014 and the potential impact on the Indonesian mining industry. Both presidential candidates aim to push domestic development of Indonesia's mineral and energy resources, which is believed to bring more stability in the sector. Damien further explains that the industry players are to be required to build smelters for their domestic mining development as stated in the latest regulation. Challenges ensued as the power plant would require access to the chemicals and human capital, meanwhile the opportunities rose for the potential investment in the mining automation.


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Damien Duhamel Gives His Advice to Executives in Asia

Date: February 2014

In this exclusive interview with Journal Du Net, Damien Duhamel shares his experience as a French entrepreneur working in Singapore. Damien was one of the pioneers in 1990 to set up a business in Vietnam and then moved to Singapore where he founded the consulting firm Solidiance. As the sector is very competitive, Damien chose to advise Fortune 500 companies and Asian conglomerates in defining strategic priorities, instill innovation, and to transform across Asia.


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Factories in Asia are Going Green to Embrace Sustainability

Date: January 2014

Environmentally-friendly factories are being built in developing countries over the last five years as western multinational companies along with some of their Asian suppliers have started to embrace sustainability measures, experts say. While estimating the actual number of saved energy in green factories is admittedly quite difficult, the certification trend is potentially significant in Asia. According to CEO and Co-Founder of management consulting firm Solidiance, Damien Duhamel, it is believed that the next competition would be of corporate environmental standards or policies.


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Reasons why entrepreneurs in Asia are holding back

Date: April 2013

Regardless of Asia's burgeoning market and stable economic growth, entrepreneurs in the region are held back. Admittedly, there is a prohibitive lack of failure in them that separates them from the Western business crowd. What is needed is thus a mentality shift, as remarked by Damien Duhamel, CEO and co-founder of Solidiance - a B2B management consulting firm focused on Asia. However, there are signs of change as the younger Asian generation now seems less reluctant to stick their neck out.


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Damien Duhamel: Frenchman Who Scrutinizes Asia's Consulting Market

Date: April 2013

LesEchos exclusively interviewed French businessman Damien Duhamel on how he started a management consulting firm Solidiance and what were the challenges to compete in the business of consulting in Asia.


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16 Most Innovative Cities in Asia Pacific

Date: April 2013

Damien Duhamel spoke to Financial Post about the 16 innovative cities in Asia Pacific which were ranked according to six categories: human talent, knowledge creation, technology, society, government, and global integration. He explored the reasons behind the ranking as well as the current development in those cities.


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Why is Singapore named Asia's Most Innovative City?

Date: March 2013

Solidiance's CEO Damien Duhamel spoke on BBC to discuss why Singapore has been labeled the most innovative city in Asia in a survey published by Asia-focused management consulting Solidiance. The survey was conducted across 16 A urban centers in the region and ranked the cities according to human talent, knowledge creation, technology, government and global integration.


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Singapore, the Most Innovative Cities in Asia Pacific

Date: March 2013

In an interview with CNBC, Damien Duhamel explained why Singapore was named as the most innovative city in the Asia Pacific region. He said Singapore is still a young city, and things are not always perfect but it has built the most attractive ecosystem for companies to innovate in Asia Pacific as it constantly strives to leapfrog improvements and visible changes.


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Ways to Boost Innovation in Asia

Date: April 2012

Damien Duhamel, CEO and Co-Founder of management consulting firm Solidiance, provides ten easy rules for executives to adopt when instilling innovation at the core of the company in Singapore or the rest of Asia. These easy-to-implement rules are broken down into a series of 10 short essays and are said to be bold and will surely contravene inherited teachings and convictions.


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CEO of Solidiance, Damien Duhamel, Comments on China and Myanmar Differences

Date: May 2008

Damien Duhamel, CEO and CO-Founder at Solidiance, offers his view on France 24 on the clear media approach differences after two natural disasters had occurred about the same time in Asia: The Sichuan earthquake in China and the floods in Myanmar. In China, the government chose to be more open and transparent with its tragedy, marking a change from the usual blackout. However, Myanmar's leadership was still blocking media and international help despite its terrible needs.

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Asean B2B Marketing & Expansion Strategy

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Damien Duhamel

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Solidiance Asia Pacific
Suite 07-05
High Street Center
1, North Bridge Road
Singapore 179094