How to Become a Management Consultant in India

With some of the best salaries in the industry and never-ending challenges, management consultancy is an interesting career choice. Here’s your guide on how to become a management consultant in India.

How to Become a Management Consultant in India 1

1. Role of Management Consultants in India

Management consultants help with problem solving and decision making for the way a company runs. As a Management Consultant, my role is to help an organization to improve its performance by solving its problems and finding or suggesting new ways of doing things.

Management consultants are responsible for key areas of a business such as people and profits. They basically have to give advice to the top management for a large corporation, on decisions such as innovation, expansion or instilling organizational structure.

They have to posses analytical skills along with strong communication and presentation skills.

Contents: Jump to Section

1.1 Difference between Management Consultant & Business Consultant
1.2 Is Management 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 Management Consultants
2.9 Governing Bodies
3.1 Specializations/ Sub-Professions
3.2 Companies & Institutions That Employ Management 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 Management Consultant & Business Consultant

There is a slight difference between the terms management consultant and business consultant, although these are used interchangeably by many people.

Business consultants or advisers give professional advice and solve on business related issues, for example, expansion of a company into a new arena, starting a new product, creating business targets or stock market launch. Large corporations often hire third-party business consultants on a temporary basis for this advice. They may also be called upon at the time of a transit or gear-shift within a business.

On the other hand, the role of management consultants is usually exclusively for managing the business or problem-solving related to it.

How to Become a Management Consultant in India

1.2 Is Management Consultancy a Good Career?


If you’re interested in working in large companies, MNCs or working directly with C-suite or top management, management consultancy can be a good career choice. Along with high pay scale, this career is also something in which you’ll never run out of new challenges. For people who enjoy problem-solving, a bit of traveling or team-work, management consultancy can be a good career to consider.

2. How to Become a Management 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.

2.1.2 Courses Taken at College

Here are some of the subjects you can study in college or during master’s degree in business management:

— Strategic Management
— Operational Management
— Marketing and Branding
— Financial Management
— Economics
— Ethics
— Entrepreneurship
— Business Negotiations
— Organizational Structure and Design

1 career options after 12th maths mba commerce management consultancy

2.2 Entrance Exams


Entrance exam for bachelor’s degree will depend on what degree you go for.

  • For engineering, JEE mains for IITs, Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) for others for undergrad college.
  • For BBA or BBM, Management Aptitude Test (MAT) or AIMA Under Graduate Aptitude Test (UGAT) are required by some colleges.
  • Some colleges may also have internal qualifying exams for B.Com, BBA or BBM. Some colleges may also base their admissions on the marks in 12th exams.

Entrance exams for master’s degree are as follows:

  • CAT, CMAT and NMAT for MBA in India.
  • SNAP (for Symbiosis institutes) for MBA in India.
  • GMAT for MBA in the US and some other countries.

2.3.1 Academic Qualifications/ Degree Required

Engineering, MBA, CFA, CA degrees help with easy entry into management consultancy. 

Though a specific degree is not a necessity in this field, most management consultants are from similar academic backgrounds. For bachelor’s, professionals in management consultancy commonly have these degrees:

  • Bachelor of Engineering (B.Tech. or B.E.)
  • Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.)
  • Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com)
  • Bachelor’s in Business Administration (BBA)
  • Bachelor of Business Management (BBM)
  • L.L.B. (for Legal Management Consulting)

Business man Professional Suit Elegant sales professional travelling

2.3.2 Post-Graduate Degree Requirements/ Options


For master’s, MBA is almost the most important requirement. Here are all the common options:

  • Master’s in Business Administration (MBA)
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
  • Chartered Accountant (CA)

M.Com or M.Sc. may also give you an entry in this field, if you have a lot of work experience, but it’s uncommon. It’s more important to get your education from a premier institute, than the exact degree. Employers give a lot of importance to which college or university you have a degree from.

2.4 License Required


A license is not required to practice management consultancy.

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2.5 Internship/ Work Experience Required

Yes, at least 5-7 years.

Management consultants work directly with C-suite, meaning CEOs and CFOs of a company. Their advice pertains to big management decisions. That’s why many years of experience is required in this field. Fresh graduates usually become Research Associates, and then Associate Consultant. Typically 5-7 years of experience is required to become a Management Consultant.

Internship is included or preferred in bachelor’s and master’s degrees in management. A lot of premier MBA institutes also require a work experience of at least two years for admission.

2.6 Cost of Tuition and Training

  • Public/Government Colleges – INR 2 to 4 Lakhs
  • Private Colleges – INR 6 to 40 Lakhs
  • Overseas Colleges – INR 45 to 90 Lakhs

2.7 Competition

Highly competitive.

Both in India and abroad, the entrance exams as well as other criteria for getting admission into MBA in top colleges are extremely competitive. Only a great rank or score can qualify you for interviews in the top ranked colleges.

Other than entrance exams, having a great personality, good communication skills and resume are important factors to qualify interviews and group discussions, which are a part of MBA college admission process.

In the field, management consultancy is moderately competitive.

career options after 12th bcom maths mba commerce management consultancy

2.8 General Age to Start Professional Career for Management Consultants

24 years.

2.9 Governing Bodies


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 Management Consultants

3.1 Specializations/ Sub-Professions

  • Strategy Consulting
  • Operations Consulting
  • Financial Advisory Consulting
  • Risk & Compliance Consulting
  • Business Coach
  • Industry-Specific Consulting like steel, FMCG, supply-chain, public sector, etc.
  • Legal Management Consultancy

Business Woman Professional Suit Elegant Female

3.2 Companies & Institutions that Employ Management Consultants

Private firms, Accounting firms, Boutique management consulting firms.

Management consultants most commonly work for large private firms. These firms are hired by large corporations or Fortune 500 companies as third-party advisors, on pro-rata or temporary basis. Examples of private management consultancy firms include McKinsey, KPMG, Ernst & Young, Deloitte, Bain & Company, Accenture and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), which are multi-national firms.

Large corporations or Fortune 500 companies may also have in-house corporate strategy offices where management consultants work. Good examples include Reliance, Godrej, Murugappa Group, Tata, etc.

Other than that, there are also boutique management consulting firms, which are smaller firms with 100 or less consultants. Management consultants also work with accounting firms in risk management or compliance consultancy.

3.3 Growth Prospects

Growth prospects are tremendous.

Professionals in the consulting industry can go on to become business heads, such as CEO, or partners of companies. Management consultants often rise to join the board of directors of large corporations.

Businesswoman Ceo Manager Women's Power Specialist

Here are the key factors on which corporate growth as a management consultant depends:

1. Diverse experience in managing large and complex projects and teams
2. Revenue growth with optimum margins
3. Project success and impact on organizations (on the client side)
4. Sharp knowledge and strong networking skills
5. Analytical and strong presentation skills
6. Top academic records or graduating from elite universities is required for getting into the top consulting firms. This paves way for future growth.

Hard work, ability to travel frequently, grabbing opportunities as they come, and achieving key targets are, obviously, important factors.

3.4 Entrepreneurship Opportunities


Professionals with long experience can start their own boutique consulting firms. If you’re lucky, good at networking and work hard, it can expand into a large firm over time.

Other entrepreneurship opportunities include becoming a published author or starting a capital investment firm. A professional can also start a business entrepreneur by starting a company in their area of expertise.

Management consultant business professional confident 1

3.5 Salary Range

₹8 to 10 lacs per annum in India for fresh graduates as of 2019; depends on university.

Fresh graduates often start their careers as Research Associates (See Section 2.5). The salary you get will really depend on your experience and academic qualifications. This is because Management Consultants work with clients. Immaculate academic record and resume is a big selling point for clients. Graduates of elite universities from India and abroad can earn up to 20-50% more than average salaries. 

4. Further Resources

4.1 Top Universities in India

  • IIM Ahmedabad
  • IIM Bangalore
  • IIM Calcutta
  • FMS Delhi
  • ISB Hyderabad

4.2 Top Universities in World

  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • Harvard Business School
  • Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
  • London Business School
  • MIT Sloan School of Management

4.3 Famous Personalities

Adil Zainulbhai, Noshir Kaka

4.4 Useful Links

Read next:

Management Consulting Career: Is It Right for You?

Wondering if you should take up management consulting? From pros and cons to understanding life as a management consultant, here is everything you need to know about this profession before you take it up.

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