Management consulting is one of the most sought after career by MBA graduates. Management consultants help companies improve their overall performance through a variety of measures.
The role of management consultants include analysing the problems of the organisation, accordingly develop plans to solve them, maximise growth, generate revenue and profit, cut costs and improve the overall business. Consultants and consulting firms use their business acumen to provide focused advice and help firms come out of the red.
Mainly, management consultants are hired to advise companies. Consultant services are not only required in private sector but also in government departments and public sector organisations.
To be management consultants, candidates need to have an aptitude for business development, strategic planning, client handling and working in a team among various others.
Here are some points on why management consulting is a rewarding career choice for an MBA aspirant:
Broad area of expertise
Management consultants have a broad area of expertise. This broad horizon is one of the factors that makes this career attractive and rewarding. They can advise every department of the organisation – marketing, operations, Human Resource, Information Technology and so on. They consult large firms, top multinational clients and so on. Issues could range from improving company profits to assessing problems in current order of work.
Another factor that makes management consulting an attractive career is innovation. Consultants have to work on a variety of projects from a variety of industries. In each scenario, consultants have to think of innovative solutions to manage the business successfully. Solutions can range from getting the right team players, or putting the correct strategy in place or setting up a new technology.
Management consultants meet new clients, new problems and new industries on a daily basis. This them an immense opportunity to enhance their own profile / CV and develop critical interpersonal skills such as listening, negotiating, team-building, training and so on. Also, consultants constantly travel, thereby exploring a lot in the process.
A management consultant can opt to specialise across a wide range of domains such as sales and marketing, finance, business strategy, operations, human resources, e-commerce, supply-chain, information technology, and so on. Candidates can also choose not to specialise in any category and be general business consultants. However, top management consulting firms tend to hire domain specialists.
Research and development
A lot of research and data analysis goes behind each decision taken by management consultants. Typically, consultants conduct detailed analysis, conduct meetings with clients and client’s employees and prepare business proposals. All these require detailed analysis and innovative thinking.
After graduating from top business schools in India, a management consultant earn anywhere in the range Rs 10 lakh to 20 lakhs. The pay scale and other benefits only gets better with experience.
These are just six of many reasons on why management consulting is a lucrative career. Now let’s take a look at the daily activities of a consultant.
It is very difficult to describe the average day of a management consultant. It depends on client and the project. It could involve individual effort or working with a large team. Some of the typical responsibilities include research, data collection, data analysis, client meetings, developing business proposals and so on. Experienced and senior consultants spend more time in formulating solutions, recommendations, managing projects and so on.
The ability to multi-task is extremely crucial in this profile. Candidates should be able to manage a million tasks at one go. Developing a strong network base is also crucial in this profile. Consultants also need to know excel sheet and PowerPoint well. They should be able to make presentations in front of a crowd which can include your team members or unknown clients. Projects can take anywhere from a few weeks to few years.
Here’s a list of top consultancy firms in India (not ranked in any specific order):
The Boston Consulting Group
Bain & Company
McKinsey & Company
Booz & Company
Ernst & Young
Tata Strategic Management Group
In future, management consulting will further evolve with changing times. As the world of business evolves, so will consultants. Currently, the industry is focusing on industry-relevant specialisations. Eventually, consultants will need to have expertise over a wide range of domains and be constantly updated with the market trends.
However, there’s a flip side to everything. Management consultants are constantly travelling and are always meeting with clients. There’s no particular office hours. Candidates must be flexible with timings and willing to sacrifice. Consultant’s job also means meeting tough deadlines on time, going through immense stress, pressure to perform well and so on.