Business Management/ Admin

How to Become a Strategy & Transformation Consultant

Great pay-scales and lots of growth & learning opportunities make strategy consultancy a great career choice. Here’s your guide on how to become a Strategy & Transformation Consultant in India by Anindya Bhattacharjee, an industry professional with over 15 years of experience.

How to become a become a Strategy & Transformation Consultant

1. Role of Strategy & Transformation Consultants in India

The job of strategy & transformation consultants involves solving a company’s particular business problem or helping the company achieve an objective. The consultants need to invest time to understand the problem and its causes or drivers. Then they come up with recommendations or solutions and present them to the leadership of the client company. They also devise a method on how to implement the recommendations and measure progress.

To fulfill such an important role, a Strategy & Transformation Consultant needs to understand all aspects of a business such as what product or service is being offered, who are the customers, who are the competitors, what are the industry trends, how the business is marketed, how the finances work, etc. They need to ask the right questions and be able to think in the right direction.

A professional in the consulting field is always willing to learn everything about businesses, industries, technologies and people. A consultant uses that understanding to identify the best approach for a given objective. A lot of times, they also have the responsibility to execute their recommendations by working with the people within the client company’s different departments.

Is it hard to become a strategy consultant

Contents: Jump to Section

1.1 Difference between Strategy Consultant & Management Consultant
1.2 Is Strategy Consultancy a Good Career
2.1 Courses Taken
2.2 Entrance Exams
2.3 Academic Qualifications/ Options
2.4 License Required
2.5 Internship/ Work Experience Required
2.6 Cost of Tuition and Training
2.7 Competition
2.8 General Age to Start Professional Career for Strategy Consultants
2.9 Governing Bodies
3.1 Specializations/ Sub-Professions
3.2 Companies & Institutions That Employ Strategy & Transformation Consultants
3.3 Growth Prospects
3.4 Entrepreneurship Opportunities
3.5 Salary Range
4.1 Top Universities in India
4.2 Top Universities in World
4.3 Famous Personalities
4.4 Useful Links

1.1 Difference between a Strategy Consultant & Business Consultant

Strategy consulting is a subset of business consulting where the problem types deal with helping organizations making different choices to reach their goals. Business consulting is an umbrella term where you would find many problem types (digitization of a process, finding/implementing/upgrading the right technology for a given objective and so on).

1.2 Is Strategy & Transformation Consultancy a Good Career?

Yes.

This career path is socially respected, and is also quite high paying. It’s a great idea for someone who likes to have new learning opportunities everyday, and someone who seeks challenges or problems to solve. This profession also gives opportunities to travel to different places, meet new, intellectual people and learn about their work, learn about different types of businesses.

What qualifications do I need to be a strategy consultant

2. How to Become a Strategy & Transformation Consultant

2.1.1 Courses Taken at School

Economics, business strategy, maths, computers + English.

Science stream (non-med) or commerce stream with maths, both are good ideas. Fluency in English is a must.

If you take up the commerce with maths stream, you’ll get a good knowledge of economics and business studies, which will be helpful in this profession.

2.1.2 Subjects Taken in College

Depends on the degree.

The subjects you have at college level will depend on the undergraduate degree you go for. There is no one particular degree that you need to get in order to become a Strategy & Transformation Consultant. You can do an undergraduate in engineering or economics (typically any stream which helps develop analytical skills) followed by an MBA.

If you do a B.A. in Economics, your subjects will include Microeconomics, Macro Economics, Public policy, Monetary economics, Statistics, etc.

strategy transformation consultant career how to become

2.2 Entrance Exams

Depends on you degree & college.

Again, since there’s no particular program required to become a Strategy & Transformation Consultant, the extrance exam will depend on the degree you choose to go for.

If you’re aiming to do a B.Tech or Bachelor’s in Engineering, you’ll have to take the JEE mains and JEE Advanced for IITs. Some other engineering colleges may require you to clear their own entrance tests.

If you’re going for a B.A. in Economics or a similar degree, you’ll want to check with the colleges you’re aiming for, as some of them have their own entrance test or criteria. In most cases, admissions for B.A. Economics or B.Com are on the basis of your 12th percentage.

2.3.1 Academic Qualifications/ Degree Required

As mentioned in Section 2.1.2, you can go on to become a Strategy & Transformation Consultant with various degrees. You can go for an undergraduate in engineering (B.Tech) or economics (B.A. in Economics). I would recommend any stream that helps you develop analytical skills.

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2.3.2 Post-Graduate Degree Requirements/ Options

MBA

Yes, a post-graduate degree will give you a real edge and is almost required by most big companies. MBAs are preferred but there are many PHD scholars in management who also join the field.

If you’re planning to do an MBA, a specialization in Finance or a general MBA are the best options.

How to Become a Strategy consultant in India 1

2.4 License Required

No.

A license is not required to become a Strategy & Transformation Consultant.

2.5 Internship/ Work Experience Required

Not necessary, but helps tremendously.

An internship is not a must. However, during MBA, an internship with a consulting firm helps if you’re planning to become a Strategy & Transformation Consultant.

2.6 Cost of Tuition and Training

  • 15K-65K per semester; depending on the college & degree for bachelor’s
  • MBA costs are upwards of 20L. This could have changed recently

The average fees depends upon the degree and institution you select for your bachelors & masters degree. The cost is much lower in government institutions, whereas in private colleges it’s higher. The fees for international universities are even more, especially for MBA.

The tuition fees for B.A. Honors in Economics program in government colleges typically runs about ₹ 15- 18K per semester. Similarly, for B.Tech & B.E. in government colleges, the typical fees is around ₹ 5 lacs for the complete 4 year program, not including hostel fees.

For private colleges, the fees for the same goes up to around 3 to 3.5 lacs per year for a 4 year course, which makes a total of about 12-15 lacs. The living expenses would be extra.

MBA is a bit more expensive. For MBA, the fees at India’s top colleges runs anywhere between ₹ 5-8 lacs per year excluding hostel. Total spend will be around 10-12 lacs for the 2 year program. If you choose to do your MBA abroad, the fees could go up way higher, especially without scholarships. For example, in the USA, annual fees is around USD 65,000 to 80,000, depending on the university.

2.7 Competition

Highly competitive both for MBA and in jobs.

Your heavy competition starts the moment you apply for an MBA. If you’re aiming for the top-tier colleges, which you should be as the best companies recruit there, the competition will be quite high from entrance exams to GDs (group discussions) to interviews.

The interviews for jobs are also extremely competitive, and cracking them is tough. It is a mix of problem solving, communication skills and general ability to grasp different domains/issues quickly.

2.8 General Age to Start Professional Career for Strategy Consultants

24 years.

Some people prefer to gain some experience, for example 2-3 years, before they pursue the post graduate degree (typically MBA) and then resume the professional career. Some MBA institutes also prefer a bit of experience, especially abroad. However, you can also do your MBA right after your bachelor’s. Either way, somewhere around the age of 24-25 is the time to start a career in this field.

Professional Career for Strategy transformation Consultants

2.9 Governing Bodies

No.

Not a governing body, but All India Management Association (AIMA) is an association that administers Under Graduate Aptitude Test (UGAT) and works with national associations to organize international conferences, executive education programs and training events.

3. Professional Opportunities/ Career Growth for Strategy Consultants

3.1 Specializations/ Sub-Professions

Yes, there are certain specializations that one can get into, especially with experience. You can specialize in an industry (Telecom Expert, or Retail Expert) or in a problem type (Digital Transformation, Process Re-engineering).

3.2 Companies & Institutions that Employ Strategy & Transformation Consultants

There are consulting firms such as McKinsey, Bain, BCG, that are the top recruiters of Strategy & Transformation Consultants. You can also consider joining consulting arms of firms such as EY (Ernst & Young), Deloitte, PwC etc. Many consultants also get hired in the industry in companies that have in house strategy/transformation teams.

mckinsey strategy transformation consultant job

3.3 Growth Prospects

  • Simply put, there are three broad types of roles. New entrants join as Consultants (at this stage they would work on various numerical analyses, conduct interviews with stakeholders, etc.).
  • They grow on to become Engagement Managers (who would get the overall problem statement, design the project or the study to find the solution, divide the work among consultants and review their progress).
  • Finally, one becomes a partner in a firm, who then manages client relationships and overall vision and direction for all engagements.
  • In the industry, strategy and consulting professionals might grow into leading teams of their own or even becoming business owners of specific lines of business.

3.4 Entrepreneurship Opportunities

Yes.

There are a few entrepreneurship opportunities for Strategy & Transformation Consultants, especially after gaining some experience. One can start a boutique consulting firm, specializing in an industry or problem type (for example, using technology to automate processes). One can also launch a business dealing with a specific product/service. The personal network developed in the consulting career proves quite useful if a consultant is planning to take the entrepreneurial route.

What does a strategy transformation consultant do

3.5 Salary Range

Just directional estimates here, there can be huge variations depending on the company:
₹ 20L p.a. for fresh MBA graduates; and ₹ 40 L for mid-career professionals.

4. Further Resources

4.1 Top Universities in India

For your bachelor’s degree, government colleges in India are the top-rankers. If going for B.Tech or B.E., those include the IIT’s. For B.A. in Economics, Delhi School of Economics is one of the top colleges in India.

For master’s degree, companies tend to hire from the top B-Schools in the country, which are:

  • IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management)
  • ISB (Indian School of Business)
  • XLRI (Xavier School of Management)
  • FMS (Faculty of Management Studies – University of Delhi), etc.

4.2 Top Universities in World

London School of Economics is one of the best institutions globally if you wish to take up Economics as your subject. For MBA, the top B-schools include:

  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • Harvard Business School
  • Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
  • London Business School
  • Columbia Business School
  • MIT Sloan School of Management
  • INSEAD

4.3 Famous Personalities

4.4 Useful Links

Read next:

Strategy & Transformation Consulting Career Path: Is It Right for You?

Before you decide to become a Strategy & Transformation Consultant, get to know if this profession is the right one for you! From its pros and cons to life as a Strategy & Transformation Consultant, here’s all you need to know before you decide to take up this career.

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