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What BCG looks for in B-school recruits

Vinay Kamath Chennai | Updated on February 11, 2015 Published on February 11, 2015

Suresh Subudhi, Partner and Director, BCG India

Top drawer consulting firm, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), among the largest recruiters from the top B-schools, is very clear on what skill sets it expects from its fresh business school graduates.

Suresh Subudhi, Partner and Director, BCG India, says it wants its young recruits to possess basic skill sets which can be moulded in a form and shape that can provide solutions as clients’ problems evolve.

Says Subudhi, “We look for a few things which are a must. Does he/ she have the ability to challenge the status quo, can they think differently? That is one of the key ingredients for us to challenge a clients’ status quo. The second thing we expect is what leadership qualities do they demonstrate; can they convince logically and emotionally others on their point of view? Thirdly, what we look for is an entrepreneurial spirit; do they have aspirations larger than their capabilities at this point of time. These are the few things we look at in a candidate. If they have these basic skills, then they are the right person for the job.”

Unlike other major recruiters, BCG takes a call on its B-school hires during the summer placement itself and if they are deemed fit are offered a job to be taken up when they graduate. As Subudhi explains, the recruitment planning for BCG is far ahead: candidates who were offered summer internship with the consulting firm in 2013 are now ready to join when they graduate in April this year. “We commit to them long before they join us, or tell them it’s not on,” he says.

BCG has recruited around 100 graduates, 60 of them from the top B schools (majority from the IIMs), while the rest are from the IITs or fresh chartered accountants. BCG is also one of the largest recruiters of CAs in the consulting sphere.

Subudhi says that BCG has been the fastest growing consulting firm globally, registering double digit growth for the past 15 years. In India too it has seen rapid growth and its large scale hiring is an indication of that, he says. “The consulting market in India is maturing, but not everyone grew with the market like us,” he points out. In the consulting space, BCG competes with peers such as McKinsey, AT Kearney, Bain Consulting and Booz.

Despite the hiring of 100 freshers to join the firm in 2015, BCG will fall short of what it planned for and will look to hire more from the final placement rounds at the B-schools, says Subudhi.

Of its fresh hires, in the initial few years they will experiment with multiple topics and industries. In BCG, a team gets constituted for a client through a combination of a set of partners who bring in the key expertise; then there is a project manager and the team members who are the juniors. “They may not bring functional knowledge, but they are expected to bring analytical skills to the table and work with the partners to solve a client’s problems. Depending on project size, there can be three to eight members in the team,” he explains.

Published on February 11, 2015
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