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Consulting - An overview

Source: Article Published in Mantrana, School of Business Management, SVKM’S NMIMS
Author: Mahesh VallabhPandey, Transformation Program Management, Tata Consultancy Services, Europe
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1. What is consulting?
Consulting is a term that invokes a sudden gush of feeling of knowing more than the others. It starts from the problem or issue an entity has, along with an urgency to seek a solution and ending at acknowledging the problem or issue not existing anymore.
Consulting can range from being non-professional like suggesting a good restaurant around to professional ones, including Management Consulting, IT Consulting, Business Consulting and others.

2. How is the market appetite for different types of Consultancy?
Big corporations are extremely spirited towards Information Technology, Business and Management Consulting, while being supple for the other types of consulting in terms of the acuteness of the organizations’ wants and needs.
If we review the demand and supply of the Consultants available with the requisite skill sets, associates capable of performing IT Consulting would stand ahead at the ticketing window. Multibillion dollar firms like TCS, Infosys and others have carved a niche while assisting big Corporations with developing and redeveloping their IT Architectural ecosystem.
Changing business models, emergence of new technologies, buyer segments and solutions for emerging markets will help India retain its position as the global sourcing leader and an emerging trustworthy innovation hub.
We expect the IT and BPO industry to clock export revenues of USD 84-87 billion maintaining a growth rate of 12-14 per cent. Domestic revenues will also grow at a rate of 13-15 per cent and are expected to reach INR 1180-1200 billion.

3. Can we know the different players in the market providing the Consultancy services to the various organizations?
From a modest start to now being recognized as the bellwethers, several other firms like Cognizant, Wipro, Tech Mahindra have reached up fast on the growth path (in terms of the revenue, organic and inorganic growth) along with the other players of the milieu.
Not only bigger in size in terms of the global reach, but also in providing the number of services, Consulting firms like the Big Four ones--Ernst & Young, Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG have been  ahead  in  terms  of providing  their Ccustomer with consultancy not only in IT, but in the areas of Tax, Audits, Advisory services as well.

4. How do I choose my prospective employer, industry and area of operation?
Even though it’s bit tricky to choose a firm as your future employer, there are several factors that can be easily analysed to arrive at the decision quickly. One needs to ensure of the basic qualification required for a specific Consultancy firm. It is almost the same, with little variation. This is required because the specialized areas like Tax Consulting, Audits, etc. requires specialized skills that only a multi-year/months course can offer. Aptitude comes second, because on the contrary to basic qualification, aptitude can be developed without going to an institution or investing too much of the time at hand.
Then comes making a choice of the industry the candidate would want to be a part of. Several factors play a vital role in making this choice. Primarily, it is governed by the industry’s planning for growth and secondarily by the number of matured players in the market to implement and execute the planning. Passion for a specific industry can get someone to the echelons of excellence and supremacy.

5. Can I know what all markets, requiring Consultancy, are slated to see a steep rise in the coming years globally?
The global Consulting markets that could see a steep rise, though gradually are Aerospace and Defence; Consumer Products; Healthcare; Life Sciences; Media;
Technology; Travel, Hospitality and Leisure; and Telecommunications.
But above the all, it’s one’s love for the activity called Consulting takes the lead in deciding a stream.

6. How a Consulting Organization is usually structured?
Usually, a Consulting Organization is structured based on the industries it serves. They are termed as Verticals or Industry-specific Units (ISUs). Cutting across these Verticals are support Organizations like Technical ones, CoEs and/or non-Technical ones like HR, Infrastructure services, etc. Since last few years, the organizations have been following the role-based model wherein, specific and several roles are defined in a particular grade of designation. This assists the organization in getting driven to a performance-oriented entity.
Now, if we look at the positions different organizations may have, we would have typical kind of hierarchy in place:

  • Trainee->Information Technology Analyst->Assistant Consultant->Associate Consultant->Consultant->Senior Consultant->Principal Consultant->Vice Presidents->CEO
  • Intern/Trainee->Systems Engineer-> Senior Systems Engineer->Team Lead->Assistant Manager->Manager->Senior Manager->Partners->CEO&MD

Different positions have different roles & responsibilities as they are based on the skill set, years of experience, performance the role holder might have.