Which Are The Top Consulting Firms In India?

by Jaineel Aga

This chapter is a free excerpt from The Best Book on Getting Consulting Jobs In India.

Will I be doing a back office role if I apply to Accenture in Bangalore?

What kind of industries will I be exposed to if I work for BCG in Mumbai?

Complete 10-second survey to read full article!
Will I be doing a back office role if I apply to Accenture in Bangalore?

What kind of industries will I be exposed to if I work for BCG in Mumbai?

I think the higher education market is hot in Asia. Does Parthenon have a niche in this industry?

These are some very common questions that many consulting aspirants have before they start their arduous task of shortlisting and applying to various consulting firms in India. It's very important to have a good understanding of the dynamics of this market because like any other industry, it's hit by macroeconomic factors such as the recession, changes in regulation (such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the US) and the general competitive intensity of the industry.

The definition of a "top" consulting firm may be a subjective call and depends on factors like compensation, brand value, international travel, type of projects, location, mentorship models, and firm culture, to name a few.  Each person needs to evaluate his or best fit. I will segment these brands based on objective metrics like billing rates, industry niche, etc.

History of Consulting in India

McKinsey was the first strategy company to enter the Indian market in the early 90's with their office in Delhi. They were slow to scale up with about 100 odd consultants in the first 10 years, but have now scaled up to 400 - 500 consultants in India. Booz Allen Hamilton entered the Indian market in 1997-98 but exited after 2 years when the market was tough to crack. They re-entered the market a couple of years ago as Booz & Co. , the newly formed strategy and operations arm that does work outside government projects.

In terms of pricing, McKinsey generally sits at the top of the scale. If it stands as the benchmark for comparison, then BCG and Bain compete in the same space, but are generally priced at a 5-10% discount. Monitor, AT Kearney and Parthenon are priced at around a 20% discount to McKinsey.  The consulting arms of Ernst & Young, Deloitte and Accenture would typically be priced at 30% of McKinsey. Arthur D. Little provides a 50% discount.

From an applicant's perspective, the billing rates are generally a measure of the compensation he or she can expect, with a few exceptions. Despite premium pricing, McKinsey offers lesser base compensation to undergraduates recruited from campuses compared to Bain and BCG; Parthenon is the market leader. Since McKinsey has a much stronger brand name, other companies tend to provide better compensation to be considered on a level playing field; however, compensation levels drop significantly as we move from Tier 1 to Tier 2 firms.

Examples of Consulting firms with a niche in certain industries in India

Several consulting firms have experience and expertise in specific areas:

Monitor is strong in government projects and social change projects. They have a special arm dedicated to Non-Profit and Social Sectors.

Parthenon has developed a strong practice in education. It has a dedicated practice known as the Education Center of Excellence through which it caters to for-profit and non-profit education-related clients.

IMS Health specializes in healthcare. It started as a database provider of competitive intelligence catered to the healthcare industry, but has moved into consulting services.

Technopak has a strong foothold in the consumer products and retail industry. It actively publishes a number of reports in the FMCG sector.
Price: $25.00 Add to Cart
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • 100% refund
  • Free updates