Indian MBA students target strategy and management consulting

22 July 2019 3 min. read
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A quarter of all professionals who obtain an MBA at an Indian business school aim to land a job in strategy and management consulting, primarily due to the wide variety of opportunities that come along with a consulting job. This is according to a survey of more than 3,000 MBA students.

India’s management consulting market continues to grow both in size and popularity. The economy is faced with varying challenges from all directions, causing a spike in the demand for strategy and management consulting. Most large international consultancies are aware of this increasing demand and have established significant operations in India.

Talent is at the heart of consultancy services, with competition to tap India’s brightest minds among firms fierce consultancies. Firms are continuously engaged in competition for young graduates who are well versed in contemporary skills, while most graduates also appear to be drawn to these firms.

A LinkedIn survey from earlier this year placed six consulting firms in the 25 best companies to work for in India. The feat that most graduates are looking to work in the strategy or management consulting domain, has now been reaffirmed by a new research from Universum, a graduate employer research agency.

Indian MBA students target strategy and management consulting

The research is based on a survey among 3,100 MBA students from various business schools in India, and reveals that the top students are highly attracted to a career in strategy or management consulting, either at a well-reputed international consultancy or at a rapidly growing domestic practice. Only banking is considered a more attractive sector to kick-start a post-MBA career, however strategy and management consulting is regarded as a better place to work than the likes of consumer goods, energy, accounting and advertising.

Popular firms for strategy consulting include McKinsey & Company, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Bain & Company, Oliver Wyman, Roland Berger and A.T. Kearney, among others. Some of the more popular domestic firms for strategy consulting include Avalon Consulting, which has four offices across India, and the relatively new player Intueri Consulting, which is based in Kolkata.

In the management consulting segment, most graduates gravitate towards the Big Four professional services firms, which include Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC. While these firms have developed strategy consulting practices across their international operations – represented by the Monitor Deloitte (Deloitte), EY-Parthenon (EY) and Strategy& (PwC) brands – their management consulting arm is still the dominant vertical in India.

Aside from the remarkable reputation that these firms hold in the international market, Universum has found a number of other factors that make these popular prospects for graduates in India. For one, the vast variety of projects that these firms undertake throws up a number of leadership opportunities early on in the professional career, which offers valuable experience.

The substantial compensation packages, particularly higher up the ranks, are also an eye-watering prospect for a number of business graduates, as is the consistent market success of the firms. The environment at these firms also appears to be attractive, in that it is largely friendly, creative, innovative and dynamic.

For some, strategy and management consulting firms also represent the ideal stepping stone towards future ambitions, given that working at these firms is an excellent opportunity for training and professional development, and will provide a promising reference for future employment opportunities. International travel and relocation is also a strong incentive for many.