The present industrial and economic scenario mandates that every business and organization leverage the right mix of tools and strategies that will help them stand out in the crowd. One such fundamental tool is Management Consultancy.
Management Consultancy is all about identifying business challenges and utilizing business resources and tools to find innovative solutions for the same. It aims to help businesses improve their overall performance by making optimal usage of both human and financial resources and finding better techniques for conducting routine business operations.
A career in Management Consultancy is ideal for those who wish to specialize in the inner functionings of businesses. The focus of this business specialization includes the structure, management, operations, and the strategies used to make a business successful. Management Consultancy firms provide a host of services that encompass all domains of business, right from HR and marketing to finance and IT.
Read: MBA Salary in India
A career in Management Consultancy offers a broad span of consulting work, including varied projects, national and international clients, and business challenges. Hence, it is both an exciting and attractive career opportunity.
Who is a Management Consultant?
Management Consultants are necessarily expert business advisors who help businesses improve their performance and expand their market reach. To achieve this end, Management Consultants use their business skills and expertise to provide objective advice to solve complex business problems, create business value, and maximize profits.
They are primarily concerned with the strategy, structure, management, and operations of a company/organization. Although Management Consultants often specialize in specific industries or areas of study, their main job is to offer practical, actionable, and financially feasible advice to organizations.
The core specialization domains of Management Consultancy are:
- Human resources
- Business strategy
- Inventory control
- Business restructuring
- Information technology
- Supply chain management
- Financial and management controls
Usually, companies hire Management Consultants to reap business benefits by leveraging their industry insight, problem-solving abilities, and logical objectivity. Management Consultants research and analyze internal business data, interview business stakeholders (staff, managers, vendors, and clients), and prepare and present reports.
The job of a Management Consultant is not a regular 9 to 5 job – they work a minimum of 50 hours every week and spend a significant portion of their time in developing business relationships with clients and other stakeholders.
Responsibilities of a Management Consultant
- Learn about the client’s business challenges and present strategies to understand their specific needs.
- Review internal client company data (for example, financial statements, payroll information, existing computer systems, business technologies, etc.).
- Interview the client’s employees, management team, and other personnel involved in the business.
- Identify issues to form plausible hypotheses and solutions and prepare business proposals and presentations for the client.
- Communicate the strategy and goals (that is, the result) that will be accomplished upon project completion.
- Outline the scope of the work and create detailed logical schedules, milestones, and resources required to meet the newly formed business objectives.
- Conduct regular meetings with the company’s senior stakeholders, company staff, and internal/external project teams to ensure smooth workflow progress.
- Make recommendations to the management through presentations or written reports.
- Conduct training classes and workshops (if required) for company employees to inspire faster adoption of new strategies and higher productivity at the workplace.
Also read: Benefits of Part time MBA in 2022
Skills required to be a Management Consultant
- Dedication and self-motivation – Typically, Management Consultants work at the client’s office independent of the guidance of their seniors. Hence, they must have both self-discipline and motivation to meet the set deadlines in time.
- Creativity – Since a large part of their job requires Management Consultants to find unique solutions and strategies to combat business challenges, they must have a creative bent of mind. Also, they must possess the flexibility and skill to handle any unforeseen situation.
- Organizational skills – Management Consultants must be organized in their approach and implement the correct solutions in a stepwise manner to help businesses reap optimum benefits. Besides, being organized also helps save valuable time.
- Analytical and problem-solving skills – Management Consultants have to conduct extensive research and analyze business data to understand the problems at hand and recommend solutions accordingly.
- Listening, verbal communication, and interpersonal skills – The job of a Management Consultant demands a substantial amount of interaction with people from various backgrounds and skillsets. Thus, Management Consultants must have excellent listening and communication skills to deal with people and situations diplomatically.
- Presentation skills – Since Management Consultants need to communicate their findings and solutions to clients and other stakeholders, they must be able to create apt visual and written presentations for the same.
- Time Management Skills – Management Consultants either charge companies on an hourly basis or under a fixed-fee agreement. Hence, clients always value such consultants who can actively manage their time and get the work done within the stipulated period.
Education and Training
Generally, the entry-level education requirement for the profile of Management Consultant is a Bachelor’s degree. It can be in any area of specialization, such as English, Finance & Accounting, Economics, Political Science, Marketing, Psychology, Business Management, Computer/Information Science, to name a few. However, many companies may demand an advanced degree like a Master’s degree (in any of the specializations mentioned above) or an MBA degree.
Although professional certifications aren’t mandatory, they certainly offer a competitive advantage to a candidate competing for thousands of other applicants for a Management Consultant’s profile.
While entry-level consultancy roles often require no prior work experience, intermediate and senior-level positions require candidates to have industry experience. As for training, most companies Management Consultants receive little to no training. However, some companies may provide two to three weeks of training to entry-level Management Consultants.
Management Consultant Salary
Management Consultants are expert-level business advisors, their salary scale is almost always on the higher-end. According to PayScale, the average annual salary of Management Consultants in India is Rs. 11,28,850. The Management Consultant salary in India depends on company size, location, education qualifications, skill set, and experience.
Usually, entry-level Management Consultants (having no or less that one year of work experience) can earn an average yearly compensation of Rs 6,45,841, whereas a candidate with 1-4 years of work experience can make around Rs. 8,72,252 LPA. Mid-level Management Consultants (with 5-9 years of experience) earn an average annual package of Rs. 13,06,183. On the other hand, senior-level Management Consultants having over 10-15 years of experience make around Rs. 19.5 – 23 LPA.
The location also determines the salary scale of Management Consultants. For instance, Management Consultants in Delhi earn about 21.0% more than the national average. The average annual salaries are also pretty high in Gurgaon (14.5% more) and Bangalore (9.8% more). Pune (24.1% less) and Chennai (12.6% less) record the lowest salary for Management Consultants.
As for skills, a select few skills pay higher than the national average. These include Business Strategy, Business Analysis, and Project Management. Reputed companies like Accenture, Ernst & Young, PwC, Deloitte, KPMG, and Infosys, pay hefty yearly compensation to Management Consultants.
The job profile of a Management Consultant has always been relevant in the industry because businesses need expert advisors who can guide them through the challenges to the path of success. This is the reason why Management Consultants are always in-demand.
If you are keen on upgrading your career, check out Deakin Business School and upGrad’s Global MBA Program. The program has been designed to stand at par with the best on-campus MBA programs across the globe.
How to become a management consultant in India?
In order to become a management consultant in India, it is very important to have at least some years of work experience in a specific domain that is related to your graduation degree. For instance, if you are a commerce graduate, it is important to have relevant industry level work experience in banking, accounting, taxation, financial planning, and so on. Next, it is important to become certified. You can do so by either pursuing specific certification courses for consulting, or by pursuing an MBA degree from a top b-school. After this, you can apply for management consulting jobs.
What does a management consultant do?
In layman’s terms, a management consultant is usually hired by organisations to review their existing strategy, products or processes within a specific function, and then provide suggestions to improve their practices so as to achieve a specific goal – such as cost reduction, efficiency improvement, increase in revenue streams, managing regulatory changes, audits, etc. Management consultants help organisations create value, improve existing practices, and solve problems in the most efficient manner. Day to day tasks for management consultants involve preparing or reviewing business strategy presentations, analysing business performance numbers, and so on.
Is it possible to get into management consulting after an MBA?
Yes, it is possible to enter management consulting after an MBA. However, do note that most consulting firms prefer hiring candidates who have work experience within a specific domain or industry. Very few freshers are given the opportunity right out of b-school – and even so, only freshers from ivy league institutes are chosen. Candidates with 2-3 years of work experience before completing MBA may also be able to get consulting roles only if they graduate from reputed b-schools. It is common practice for recruiters to hire candidates with at least 7-8 years of domain specific experience for plum consulting roles.