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‘A management consultant is like a doctor for businesses’

Vaibhav Dhingra, Senior Associate Consultant at Boston Consulting Group and Apeejay Mahavir Marg alumnus, shares insights into how the discipline of management consulting has transformed since the Covid-19 pandemic

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Working with the world’s largest and most prestigious management consulting firm, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Vaibhav Dhingra’s advice for young aspirants is to ‘carve your own path.’ The dynamic professional is all about ambition, focus and the need to have a balance. In an interview, Mr. Dhingra shares an insight into his motivation, line of work and years at school. Edited excerpts:   

Could you please tell us about your educational journey?  

I did my schooling from Apeejay School, Mahavir Marg in Jalandhar from classes 1 to 12. The school laid the foundation for the upcoming and momentous years of my life and career. I take pride in saying so because the school environment was very congenial for the development of a child. During my years there, I was also fortunate to represent my school in several inter-school competitions, forums and platforms. I led the cohort as the Head Boy in primary as well as senior secondary wings of the school.

Post that, I pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Chandigarh where I built and nurtured my inquisitiveness for science and technology. I worked for about 2 years in a corporate firm and then pursued a degree in Management from the prestigious Indian School of Business, Hyderabad specialising in strategy and operations till 2020.

What does your role as a management consultant entail?

I work every day to solve business-related problems for my clients. In doing so, I am largely in touch with C-suite executives. They seek consultation for issues such as a company’s growth plan, increasing profitability, fixing and transforming businesses to assist them with mergers and acquisitions. In layman terms, you can say that my work is similar to that of a doctor because I provide aid to my clients for their business.

What skills should one possess to thrive in the field of management consulting?

The most fundamental skill that an aspirant should have is the art of data-based problem solving. One needs to have a sharp mind and know how to articulate their thoughts. Soft skills are necessary to excel in this line of work. One has to be superlative with numbers to draw meaningful insights from data and have the ability to convince and manage others. Management firms are keen to hire overall achievers because they often possess the dedication and commitment to achieve desired goals in a short period of time.

Were you aware about your calling in your initial years at school?

No, I wasn’t. However, during my school years with Apeejay, I built essential people skills. By virtue of being a student with a strong academic background, the school boosted my confidence a lot. At that time, I learnt how to tackle difficult situations, a skill that is helping me even today.

What could be the up and coming trends in your field?

Management consulting is rapidly growing and the field is very profitable in India right now. More and more companies are seeking business-centric solutions to keep up with the market. Previously, management consulting was more prevalent in the West and Indian companies only sought financial solutions from consultants. But, this trend is shifting now as the firms are looking at comprehensive aspects of growth operations, digital transformation etc.  

Do you think Covid-19 has changed the game for management consulting?

Yes, since the pandemic, there has been a larger engagement from companies. Covid-19 has been tough for them to be able to manage their costs. Therefore, our line of work has benefitted and it has given us more opportunities to think, strategise and engage with other firms creatively.

Your advice for those wanting to pursue an MBA after graduation?

Before going for a degree in management, it is advisable to work in any firm for about 1-2 years. This would help streamline the domain and specialisation you would want to take as a consultant. 

Mrini Devnani is a Senior Correspondent and Marketing Coordinator at Newsroom. She covers student achievements, interviews and contributions for the website. She was a former Correspondent covering Edutech for the India Today Group, and has passion for Social Media and Digital Marketing. You can reach her at [email protected]

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