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Management consultants help organisations improve their performance, primarily by analysing the existing business problems and helping in the development of plans.

education Updated: Mar 21, 2012 13:41 IST
Hindustan Times

The lowdown
Management consultants help organisations improve their performance, primarily by analysing the existing business problems and helping in the development of plans. Organisations hire management consultants to seek external, objective advice and access to the consultants’ specialised expertise. Consultancies also provide organisational change management assistance, development of coaching skills, technology implementation, strategy development, or operations improvement services. One of the major reasons why MBAs are so keen to take up management consulting is the exposure it offers. Learnings and professional growth aspects are quite extraordinary. Arguably, one year of management consulting is expected to be equal to multiple years in a traditional business environment. The wide scope of a consultant’s work profile makes the job enriching as well as intellectually stimulating. Today, many MBAs and graduates from other fields, including engineering, prefer management consulting jobs

9am: Meeting with team to decide plan of action for the day
10am: Conduct thorough research on the industry vertical
2pm: Study company reports and analyse them
3pm: Share the results with mentor to assess the plan of action
4pm: Resume study and analysis. Try and figure out solutions to solve ‘X’ company’s problem
6pm: Leave for home
7pm: Read books and journals to know more about the changes in the industry vertical

The payoff
Initially one can earn as much as Rs 5 lakh to Rs 8 lakh per annum and take home Rs 10 lakh to 15 lakh per annum in a few years’ time. The salary increases with experience. If you are a high performer in this business and have the zeal to succeed, the sky is the limit. A high performer, within 10 years, can aspire to take on a leadership position

* You need to have an analytical mind as you will be required to study and analyse industry trends and identify company-specific problems
* Stay calm and give 100% to your work because it can be quite strenuous
* Have interest in various fields as you will be made to work on projects belonging to completely different domains. One project could test your knowledge in marketing, while the other might test your skills in operations
* You will require excellent communication skills as you have to be clear in conveying your ideas and thoughts to clients, listen to clients and provide guidance
* Industry experts need to have excellent learning skills as they have to update their knowledge on a regular basis
* Being a patient listener would help

Getting there
A management degree from a premier institute is a sure shot way of bagging a consulting job. You can otherwise take up engineering and join as an analyst. After an MBA, you generally get placed at a senior position, like an associate or a consultant. Recent years have seen a shift in the mindset and consultancies are keen to pick up graduates from good colleges

Institutes and URLs
* Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) - Ahmedabad, Bangalore Calcutta, Lucknow and Indore
* Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi
* Management Development Institute, Gurgaon
* IMI, Delhi
* XLRI, Jamshedpur
* IMT, Ghaziabad

Pros and cons
* Good money makes it one of the most attractive career options for MBAs
* The job teaches you a lot
* Exposure to different domains of business makes consulting an enriching job
* Very demanding. It’s highly result-oriented and you have to perform well consistently. You can’t afford to make mistakes

Research orientation, attention to detail, ability to read and understand complex macro- and micro-economic indicators to outline value drivers are critical in this field Rajeev Ranjan, assistant professor, marketing & entrepreneurship, Indus World School of Business, Gurgaon

First Published: Mar 13, 2012 16:41 IST