From crunching with the team to reshaping the market for children's toys

Nigel holding toy bus
Nigel holding toy bus

I left McKinsey to start my own company, Whirli, a toy sharing subscription service. Pick the toys you want, play with them, and, whenever a toy gets unloved, send it back to swap for something else. It’s a great solution for parents' wallets, children's playtime, and our environment. The idea came to me during a dinner with my McKinsey teammates. A partner and an associate on my team started talking about how much they spent and how frustrated they were with buying baby goods that cluttered up their homes, which led me down a path of creating a better service to solve this problem!

What do you miss most about McKinsey?

The people and community. At McKinsey, I had a close knit group of friends amongst the other Business Analysts and it was a joy to work with my Consumer Practice group. I also miss having a whole support infrastructure and knowledge base to tap. I've learned to operate in a low data environment and be even more resourceful in seeking expertise.

Nigel at Whirli warehouse
Nigel at Whirli warehouse

What are some skills you learned at McKinsey that you still use today?

I still use everything I learned, though I haven't built a monster excel model recently. I really cherish the leadership and communication skills I learned. Being an entrepreneur is all about inspiring your team, suppliers, investors, and customers about the mission you are on.

What is your most memorable moment at the firm?

There are so many! I'll share three:

1) Leading a meeting with a national retailer's COO and CFO as a business analyst with nine months under my belt because the partner and engagement manager on the team couldn’t fly in time.
2) Crunching with my team on a project, only to have the partner call to say the work might be cancelled. We stopped what we were doing and went to the pub. In the end, we completed the engagement, and it turned out to be a huge success.
3)Working with all the amazing partners in the UK who focus on consumer topics to help grow and develop the practice further.

What’s the best team bonding experience you recall?

While working in Amsterdam, my teammates and I stayed in the city for the weekend and had our significant others join us. It was King's Day and we got dressed up and joined in the local festivities, celebrating in the streets. It was a fantastic atmosphere and great way to decompress.

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