Founded in London in 1972, the company originally known as International Marketing and Economic Services was the brainchild of Don Moore, a management consultant with extensive experience in both the private sector and with international agencies.
Throughout the 1970s, the company was involved in a wide range of international projects throughout the world, working for an exceedingly diverse client base including both multinational companies and organisations such as the Commonwealth Secretariat, the United Nations, the European Commission, Cuba-export, and the China External Development Corporation. At that time, the range of services offered embraced economic forecasting, investment promotion and product development in addition to the market research and consultancy which is the company’s core business today.
IMES first Middle East project was a study of the market for mango juice in several countries undertaken in 1975. But as the price of oil rocketed, IMES clients began to focus greater attention on the petro-economies of the Arab world. So while IMES continued to undertake projects worldwide (the firm has worked in 120 countries), the 1980s saw ever more business in the Middle East. To supplement work for private clients, the company also began to produce published syndicated studies: the first study of the soft drinks market in Saudi Arabia was published in 1983, with the first published dairy study following two years later. Now updated every year, these studies are still used throughout these industries today.
By the early 1990s, over half of IMES revenues were related to the Arab countries, but this was severely disrupted by the First Gulf War. IMES diverse international base enabled the company to maintain its growth through major projects in South East Asia, China, the Caribbean and elsewhere, while continuing to work as much as possible in the Middle East. And as stability returned to the region, the decision was taken to open a local office. After a long search for a suitable local partner, an office was opened in September 2001 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in conjunction with Dr. Abdullah Basodan, a leading Saudi businessman.
In the same year, the company’s name was formally changed to IMES Consulting.
In early 2004, the Board of IMES Consulting undertook a major strategic review of operations, which by that time included a head office in London and subsidiary businesses in the USA, Ireland, Russia, Singapore and Saudi Arabia. The Board concluded that given IMES experience and established reputation and client base, the Middle East offered the most exciting long-term prospect for business growth. On this basis, the decision was taken to relocate IMES operational headquarters from London to Dubai Media City. This move was undertaken in October 2004.
In March 2012, IMES Consulting celebrated 40 years in business.