The Boston Consulting Group – InsideIIM Internship Inventory

BCG – Who they are, What they do, Why they do it

The Boston Consulting Group is a management consulting firm based out of Boston, Massachusetts in the United States. The firm has over 100 offices in over 50 countries with 16,000 employees across the globe, and is the second oldest of the MBB* firms (established in 1963), with the oldest being McKinsey & Company. It has over 800 Partners and over 300 Senior Partners working across the firm’s global offices. Out of these, 12 Senior Partners and 31 Partners are in India.

While the client names are not revealed in public domain, BCG has worked with various Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and not-for-profit organisations, and their consultants have worked across a gamut of sectors in various parts of the world.

According to The Boston Consulting Group official website,
“The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world’s leading adviser on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customised approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organisation. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organisations, and secure lasting results.” 

In 2017, the firm recorded total global sales of $6.3 Billion and increased its employee count by 15% from 2016. In 2016, it recorded a total revenue of $5.60 Billion.

 

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Top Management

BCG India – The firm’s India-business is led by Mr. Neeraj Aggarwal, who was appointed as BCG India’s Managing Director in 2015; a position he took over from Mr. Arindam Bhattacharya. Mr. Aggarwal is an IIT-Delhi and IIM-Ahmedabad graduate, and joined BCG in 1999. 

Asia-Pacific – Mr. Janmejaya Sinha is the Chairman of BCG Asia-Pacific, and is a St. Stephen’s and Cambridge University graduate. He also holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University, and joined The Boston Consulting Group in 1998, where he was the Managing Director of the India-business till 2009, before taking over as Chairman.

BCG Global – Mr. Rich Lesser is BCG’s President and Global Chief Executive Officer, and attended the University of Michigan and Harvard Business School. He joined BCG in 1988 and took over from Mr. Hans-Paul Bürkner as the CEO in 2013.


Brand Recognition

Unlike an FMCG company or a bank, BCG does not have any products/services to market and advertise to the general public, and any proprietary information is never revealed. Furthermore, the firm cannot market itself based on its previous work, as they cannot reveal the names of their clients due to a mutual-NDA* with them.

Therefore, the firm relies on research-publications and thought leadership to market itself. For instance, the BCG website consists of a thought leadership section titled “Ideas & Inspiration”, where the firm’s Partners, Senior Partners and BCG Fellows** share their ideas and analyse business trends. Research publications are also based on the findings of Strategy Lab, which is a part of the BCG Henderson Institute.

BCG also has a “hands-on learning tool” called  Your Strategy Needs A Strategy, which is a mobile application that gamifies the process of strategic thinking. It allows business executives and students to experience strategic environments.

Considering The Boston Consulting Group is one of the oldest consulting firms in the world, certain business concepts have been coined by them, making them the pioneers of strategic problem-solving. For instance, the most famous contribution of BCG to the world of business strategy has been the BCG Growth-Share Matrix. The well-known method of mapping the strengths and weaknesses of an organisation has been adopted by various companies in the past (and has also faced its fair-share of criticism). Such kind of pioneer-work also enhances the brand value and recognition of the firm.

Growth Share Matrix - InsideIIM

According to the InsideIIM Recruitment Survey, BCG has been in the top-3 most desirable consulting recruiters for the past 5 years, both for MBA Alumni and students; a feat even McKinsey has not achieved. Historical data points towards a strong faith in BCG as one of top firms to work at.

Post-MBA Professionals:

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

Boston Consulting Group

2nd

3rd

2nd

2nd

1st

1st

McKinsey & Company

1st

1st

1st

1st

1st

4th

Bain & Company

3rd

2nd

3rd

3rd

2nd

3rd

Current Students:

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

Boston Consulting Group

3rd

1st

3rd

2nd

2nd

1st

McKinsey & Company

1st

2nd

1st

1st

1st

2nd

Bain & Company

2nd

3rd

2nd

3rd

3rd

3rd

Non-Disclosure Agreement
**BCG Fellows


Careers With The Boston Consulting Group

An MBA graduate joins The Boston Consulting Group at the Senior Associate level, and takes approximately 18 months to get promoted to the Consultant level.

BCG offers two career tracks for its employees:

  1. Traditional Track – This career track allows you to be a generalist when you join the firm. Here, one is not bound by their area of expertise and can work across all companies in all industries.
  2. Expert Track – As an expert in a particular field or industry, one can utilise their specialization to solve specific client challenges.

Much like its counterparts, BCG is looking for candidates with an analytical approach, superior communication and problem-solving skills, leadership qualities, and an ability to crunch numbers.

Campus Selection Procedure

The MBB firms hire only from the premier B-Schools of the country, which include the old IIMs, XLRI, FMS and ISB. Furthermore, within these B-Schools BCG requires individuals with a stellar academic background, proven leadership qualities and positions of responsibility, extra-curricular achievements and good work experience/internship experience. These are the prerequisites to have your CV shortlisted for an interview.

The interview process will consist of 2-3 rounds which will include (and begin with) the HR “fit” questions and Case interview questions. The first round will be with the junior team members, such as Consultants or Project Leaders, while the second round would be with Principals and Partners of the firm.

After clearing the initial rounds, the Final Round takes place either on campus or at the BCG office the candidate is interviewing for.

Work Culture

Considering that BCG hires the crème de la crème, you are bound to be solving CEO-level business problems with some of the smartest, most innovative and highly motivated minds in the country. As a consultant, you will also be staying at lavish hotels/company guesthouses, and will be travelling business-class for work. You will also get an opportunity to interact with C-suite management of some of the largest MNCs.

“After leaving consulting, it took me a few months to gain a “normal” perspective on life again, and to realise that I can meet friends or family after work, participate in hobbies on a weekday and get a normal amount of sleep.”
– 
Former consultant, Mckinsey (Berlin/London)

The management consulting industry is notorious for the lack of work-life balance, and The Boston Consulting Group is no exception to this. BCG consultants work anywhere between 60-80 hours per week (depending on type and length of the project), and will have to travel for most days of the month for work. At work, there is immense level of competition, and the Up-or-Out phenomenon is vastly prevalent. These factors contribute to the high attrition rate in the industry, similar to that of investment banking or law.

However, BCG, in collaboration with Harvard Business School, came out with the Predictability, Teaming, Open Communications (PTO) Program to prevent this “burn and churn” trend in the industry. After a meticulous experiment in the BCG offices, the firm rolled out the PTO in almost all its offices across the globe.
The programme allows consultants to take a few hours off from work every week for their personal time. In these hours, the professional need not be at work and shall not be contacted by any other team member or client. Similarly, BCG also has the Time For You/FlexLeave program for its employees, where one can take two-months off from work.

Additionally, BCG also has a mobility program called the Ambassador Programme, which is a 12-month cross-office programme for early-career consultants.

The average tenure duration for Senior Associates at BCG (based on LinkedIn data) ranges from 2-3 years (including any experience with BCG as an Associate after under graduation).

Given below are the Glassdoor reviews for The Boston Consulting Group’s India offices:

Given below are the Glassdoor reviews for The Boston Consulting Group’s US offices:

It is clearly visible that the firm’s reputation abroad, especially at their country of origin, is significantly better as compared to its India business, although work-life balance tends to be marginally better in India. The culture and values remain more-or-less consistent across the firm’s worldwide practices, which explains its top-5 position in Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies To Work For” for 8 consecutive years.


Further Viewing/Reading

 

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