Leader Talks: Martin Crawford & Debby Davidson on Streamlining Premier-Level Corporate Services Across Cambodia & Asia-Pacific

Harrison White

Founder & CEO, Martin Crawford & Co-Founder & COO Debby Davidson of Acclime, a leading high-level, tech-enabled professional services across Asia-Pacific spoke with CIR Leader Talks on how the firm is looking to offer a blend of high-quality traditional services with tech-driven innovation to both local and international businesses, the current and future trends impacting the sector and an ambitious goal to double revenue to over $200 million a year by 2025.

Read more: Acclime Officially Opens Cambodian Office in Urban Village: Growing & Nurturing Local Talent

In the bustling corridors of Acclime’s recently inaugurated office in Urban Village Phnom Penh, one can feel a palpable sense of both achievement and anticipation. Since its M&A entry into the Cambodian market in 2020, Acclime has grown from a 65-person team to a workforce of around 90 professionals, reflecting the company’s ambitious drive. But to merely summarize Acclime’s journey as ‘rapid growth’ would be an understatement. With operations in 15 territories across the Asia-Pacific, over 25 offices, and a workforce exceeding 1,250, Acclime is not just another corporate services firm; it is setting out to redefine the category altogether.

Martin Crawford, Co-Founder & CEO of Acclime.

Martin Crawford, the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, shed light to CIR Leader Talks on Acclime’s transformation. “We are consciously moving from being a provider of vanilla corporate services to becoming the premier hub for high-quality outsourcing and consulting in Asia. Our tagline ‘Asia’s premier tech-enabled professional services’ encapsulates our vision. What was once the dominion of the big four accounting firms—like consulting, tax planning, and so forth—is also where we see our future,” Crawford explained.

Technology Is Just One Part of The Evolving Trends in Corporate Services

According to Crawford, this evolution is less a matter of choice than it is a necessity. “With technologies like AI potentially disrupting the bottom end of the market, more conventional services could become obsolete. We’ve made a deliberate pivot toward higher-value services, and this decision is fortified by the competitive edge we offer: a seamless experience across all our offices delivered by senior professionals who engage with our clients. CFOs relish the luxury of dealing with just one firm, one point of contact, even one bill, across multiple markets.”

Debby Davidson, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, dives deeper into the technological aspect of Acclime’s offerings. The firm deploys a client portal dubbed Agility, which Davidson describes as a “game-changer” for corporate management. “Agility allows effortless collaboration and administrative efficiency, fully aligned with the needs of our clients. We’re not just offering services; we’re offering a robust, tech-driven platform that manages the complexities of corporate governance across Asia,” she emphasized.

Debby Davidson, Co-Founder & COO of Acclime.

But technology is just one part of the evolving trends in corporate services, Davidson explains. “The market is undergoing significant consolidation. CFOs are increasingly opting to reduce the multiplicity of service providers they deal with. Our broad spectrum of services naturally appeals to this trend. We’re not just a payroll processor for example; we’re a consultant, an advisor, and a partner. If you’re a CFO in America, a single contract with us can cover services in 10 different countries. We’ve essentially become a one-stop solution for multinational corporations, and our growing team in Phnom Penh is a testament to that.”

A Company to Watch, Not Just in Cambodia But Across The Asia-Pacific Region

As for the roadmap ahead, Crawford is explicit about Acclime’s multi-pronged strategy. “Firstly, the constant upskilling of our team in the latest technologies is non-negotiable. While AI is currently helpful in textual analysis, its future application in numerical data is an exciting frontier. Secondly, we’ll augment our growth through strategic mergers and acquisitions, targeting firms that can benefit from being part of a larger platform. And thirdly, we’re extending our reach into untapped market segments. We’re aggressively courting U.S. clients seeking Asian expansion and are equally focused on outbound Chinese firms.”

Wrapping up the conversation, Crawford shared an ambitious financial milestone. “As of now, we are turning over $100 million annually. Our aim is to double this figure to $200 million by the time we speak again, at the end of 2025.”

Acclime Cambodia Officially Inaugurates Office in Urban Village, Phnom Penh on September 12, 2023.

At a time when businesses are grappling with dynamic shifts and even more market fragmentation, Acclime is proving to be both a mirror and a catalyst for change. The firm’s unique positioning—a blend of specialized, tech-enabled services—makes it an entity to watch, not just in Cambodia but across the Asia-Pacific region. As it maps out its future, Acclime is clearly poised to play a transformative role in the corporate services sector, offering an intricate blend of technological innovation and expert consultancy.

Telegram Channel

Cambodia's best investment news & views direct into your Telegram account.


Related Posts