MBB Firms Dominate, Smaller Firms Pipped By The Big Guns | Most Desirable Consulting Recruiters

The InsideIIM Recruitment Survey series takes a look at the most desirable recruiters across various industries and hiring for various roles, the career expectations and preferences of current MBA students and post-MBA professionals, and the thought process of MBA aspirants around B-school selection and what drives them to pursue an MBA. 

Consulting is a highly sought-after domain at a business school, come placements season. For instance, at top B-schools such as IIMs, MDI Gurgaon, and SPJIMR Mumbai, Consulting has been one of the most, if not the most preferred domain for the Class of 2019. Management Consulting has huge monetary rewards and has the glamour-factor attached to it; especially if you manage to land a job with one of the MBB (McKinsey, BCG, and Bain & Co.) firms.

For the purpose of determining the most desirable or popular recruiters within Consulting, we asked our respondents from different categories (Aspirants, Students and Alumni) to score these companies on a scale of 1-10 based on their perception of the firm. We then generated an average score per firm and ranked them on this basis.

Here are the results.

Highlights Of The Survey

Top consulting firms in India 2018 | Likeliness of Consulting Firms by MBA/CAT Aspirants, MBA Students and MBA Graduates (Alumni)

The dominant firms in this report continue to be McKinsey & Co., the Boston Consulting Group and Bain & Co., a trend that has been followed ever since the inception of the InsideIIM Recruitment Survey. IBM has made a come-back to this report after not making the cut for 4 consecutive years. Accenture Strategy and Deloitte Consulting feature in the Top-5 list of the most desirable consulting recruiters, edging out American firm A.T. Kearney. For MBA students, the big names such as MBB, the Big 4 of accounting, Accenture, and A.T. Kearney take precedence over smaller, relatively younger firms such as Alvarez & Marsal and Oliver Wyman. Post-MBA professionals are more interested in the offerings of smaller firms. TSMG, the TATA Group’s management consulting arm, has also re-surfaced to the Top-10 for MBA Alumni.

Top Consulting Firms in India – Current MBA Students

Top consulting firms in India 2018 vs 2017| Likeliness of Consulting Firms by MBA Students

For this segment of respondents, we find multiple new entrants as compared to last year – 2 of the Big Four (KPMG and PwC), along with those who missed the mark – Alvarez & Marsal and Oliver Wyman. The biggest gainer in the list of 2018 has been Accenture, rising up the ranks to find a place in the Top-5, from the 7th position in 2017. At the top of the value chain, the Boston Consulting Group edged out Bain & Co. for the 2nd position, making a come-back from last year. As has been the case since 2012, MBB firms dominated these rankings of the most desirable Consulting firms for B-school students.

For current MBA students, management consulting is highly sought after. For instance, 35% of the Class of 2019 at SPJIMR, 33% of the Class of 2019 at IIM Bangalore, and 30% of the Class of 2019 at IIM Kozhikode opted for Consulting roles, making it the most sought after domain on their respective campuses. Historical data also corroborates this trend not just in India, but at foreign business schools as well.

One reason is simply the pay package offered by Consulting firms, which is generally much higher than the average. Another is the steep learning curve and rapid career growth that management consulting offers. Yet another is the ability to work with C-suite executives early on in your Consulting career, and the opportunity to travel frequently. Another significant reason that has been observed is that management consulting offers generalist exposure to various industries and does not limit your scope of exposure to just one specific industry that your organisation is a part of, which can be a great learning experience and a sparkling CV point.

What is important for current MBA students is the next set of results, i.e., what post-MBA professionals think of these firms.

Also read – How Campus Recruiters Can Make The Hiring Process Better: MBA Students Speak

Top Consulting Companies in India For Current MBA Students
Rank Top-10 Consulting Firms Desirability Score (Out of 10)
1 Mckinsey & Co. 9.69
2 Boston Consulting Group 9.51
3 Bain & Co. 9.47
4 A.T.Kearney 7.89
5 Accenture/Accenture Management Consulting 7.83
6 Deloitte /Deloitte Consulting 7.60
7 Strategy& (Booz & Co.) 7.58
8 KPMG US/KPMG Advisory 7.47
9 PwC/PwC Consulting 7.36
10 Arthur D.Little 7.35

Top Consulting Firms – MBA Alumni

Top consulting firms in India 2018 vs 2017 | Likeliness of Consulting Firms by MBA Graduates (Alumni)

The biggest gainers in this list of the most desirable consulting recruiters for MBA Alumni has been the Parthenon Group, going up from 10th place in 2017 to sharing the 7th place spot with Accenture and Roland Berger, although its parent company, EY, has not made it to the Top-10 since 2016, when it made just about made it to the 10th position. Contrary to what MBA students feel, MBA Alumni believe that relatively younger and smaller firms such as Oliver Wyman, Alvarez & Marsal, and Roland Berger are more lucrative as compared to the biggies like A.T. Kearney, which has seen the biggest fall in ranks ever – from 4th place in 2017 to sharing the 10th place with the Tata Strategic Management Group.

TSMG has been seeing a gradual decline in rankings since 2016 but has made a comeback in 2018. In 2018, the TATA Group’s management consulting subsidiary poached many consultants from top firms across the globe (including most firms mentioned in this report) and also hired internally from TAS. Most of the respondents in the segment are likely to be consultants themselves, and perhaps believe that working with a dream team of Consultants from the top firms in the world with one of India’s biggest conglomerates is a dream worth chasing.

Top Consulting Firms/Recruiters For MBA Alumni
InsideIIM Recruitment Survey – 2018
Rank Top-10 Consulting Firms Desirability Score (Out of 10)
1 Mckinsey & Co. 9.13
2 Boston Consulting Group 9.00
3 Bain & Co. 8.65
4 Strategy& (Booz & Co.) 7.78
5 Deloitte /Deloitte Consulting 7.52
6 Oliver Wyman 7.48
7 Roland Berger ; Parthenon Group ; Accenture/Accenture Management Consulting 7.43
8 Alvarez & Marsal 7.09
9 PwC/PwC Consulting 7.00
10 A.T.Kearney ; Tata Strategic Management Group 6.87

Best Consulting Firms – MBA Aspirants

Top consulting firms in India 2018 vs 2017 | Likeliness of Consulting Firms by MBA/CAT Aspirants

Strategy&, a subsidiary of PwC and a regular feature in the list for MBA aspirants, has been edged out of the Top-10 for the first time ever, while its parent company has done much better, rising up the ranks to the 6th position from last year’s 10th position. A.T. Kearney has seen the biggest fall in rankings, dropping out of the Top-5 and sharing the 9th position with Oliver Wyman, a debutant to this list of desirable consulting recruiters for MBA Aspirants. This could be a hint towards the fact that MBA aspirants have begun researching post-MBA career opportunities and recruiters and taking cognizance of relatively lesser-known firms as well.

Taking A.T. Kearney’s place is KPMG, a first-time entrant to the Top-5 since 2012. Once again, all of the Big 4 of accounting are present in this list for the 3rd consecutive year. 2 of those, Deloitte and KPMG, feature in the Top-5. Accenture, one of the largest recruiters at B-school campuses, has seen a jump of 2 places to the 7th position compared to last year.

A new entrant to the list is IBM, after a hiatus of 4 consecutive years from the list of the most desirable consulting recruiters. The company, which is over a century old, is said to be a declining business but has recently attempted to revitalize itself and make headlines by acquiring multi-national software company Red Hat for $34 billion. It is appreciable that the organisation has made it to the Top-10 this year, but don’t hold your breath! It may be a case of a once in a blue moon appearance for IBM in this list. As has been the case since the very beginning, MBB firms are the most desirable management consulting firms in 2018.

At InsideIIM, we receive numerous queries and high engagement around the topic of Management Consulting, which has, over a period, generated for itself an enigmatic aura.

As we will observe in data for other sectors and functional areas, brand perception (and consequent ratings) of corporate brands among MBA aspirants are most likely based on hearsay and popularity in the news. For instance, Jet Airways hired McKinsey & Company in the latter part of 2018 to come up with a turnaround plan for the airline that finds itself in huge debts, and this was quite popular in the news. Additionally, these firms create brand awareness through thought leadership content on their websites and via social media channels such as LinkedIn (where they regularly share insights and/or content related to their employees).

Of course, awareness also increases via platforms like InsideIIM, where aspirants can read content around management consulting and placement statistics at business schools.

Top Consulting Recruiters For MBA Aspirants – 2018
Rank Top-10 Consulting Firms Desirability Score (Out of 10)
1 Mckinsey & Co. 9.65
2 Boston Consulting Group 9.27
3 Bain & Co. 9.04
4 KPMG US/KPMG Advisory 8.27
5 Deloitte /Deloitte Consulting 8.12
6 PwC/PwC Consulting 8.04
7 Accenture/Accenture Management Consulting 7.96
8 Ernst & Young 7.73
9 A.T.Kearney ; Oliver Wyman 7.42
10 IBM 7.35

Overall Rankings

Top consulting firms in India 2018 - Overall Rankings

The overall rankings are an average of the desirability scores across all three segments of respondents to give an overview of which companies make up the MBA community’s list of the Top-10 most desirable consulting firms.

Please feel free to let us know your views, queries and suggestions around this report in the comments below. 

You may also be interested in reading the InsideIIM Alumni Report 2018 – Consulting, which gives an in-depth idea of which Consulting firms the Alumni of top Indian business schools have been working in (As of June 2018).

Team InsideIIM

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No surprises here. Here are the 7 Indian MBB campuses where all three MBB firms recruit for their regular consulting track roles – https://insideiim.com/the-elite-mbb-league-expands-to-7-elite-indian-business-schools/
Correction to my article – FMS apparently did get an offer from McKinsey but multiple sources have confirmed that no FMS student cleared the interviews for the Junior Associate role, that McKinsey made offers for, at the 7 MBB campuses mentioned in the article. The FMS Placement Committee has not revealed what role McKinsey made an offer for, despite multiple requests

Team InsideIIM

Hi Pranav! Glad you liked this report.
Our report on Banking & Finance will be out soon. Stay tuned!

In the meanwhile, do check out other reports in the InsideIIM Recruitment Survey 2018 – https://bit.ly/2TMRqJ7