Are you a grinder, minder or finder?

PATHFINDER

Are you a grinder, minder or finder?

“The interesting thing about consulting is that you learn everything there is to know about varied businesses,” says Varun Nagpal, a process-consultant with Bangalore- based KVP Business Solutions. He strongly believes that in the business of consulting
the verticals of learning  are not limited and the exposure to new businesses is ever-growing.

Strategy consulting falls under the sphere of management consulting. Management consulting involves helping organisations improve their performance primarily through an analysis of existing business problems and developing suitable plans and initiatives to improve performance.
A management consulting career can be different and exciting at the same time. As companies and their internal problems differ from each other, every project needs a different approach or strategy.

When does one require strategy?
BIZ PLAY Globalisation and outsourcing have created an abundance of job opportunities in strategy consulting.  GETTY IMAGESOver the last 18 months, strategic advice and related services in business have become much sought after because of the downturn and its repercussions on businesses worldwide.

In such an atmosphere, there is a need to rethink the existing business model while for some others it is about sticking to their ‘knitting’ (strategic choices) despite short-term deterrents.

The current scenario provides strategy consultants with an opportunity to work closely with clients, right from formulating strategy to implementation. When the economy improves, this close level of engagement in turbulent times could translate into a competitive advantage.

Dimensions and services
Large management consulting specialists offer strategy consultation and a full range of allied professional services but are not specialised in any specific industry. Boutique firms have focused areas of expertise that are specific to industry.
The industry is dominated by large, diversified organisations which are capable of complete turnover packages too. They include:
 Consulting
Technology and outsourcing services

Most MBA programmes offer a specialisation in Strategic Management as an  elective. Courses such as Strategic Marketing, Strategic HRM and Strategic Finance are other options. A combination of an MBA with a short-term specialisation comes highly recommended.

Another option would be to acquire two-three years of industry experience after an Engineering, Finance or Accounting degree.
Where can this take you?
You can either join a consultancy firm as a trainee and work your way up, or list yourself as an independent consultant.
The average salary for freshers can ranges between Rs 4.5 lakh and Rs 7.5 lakh a year.  
“In order to make a success of your career as a strategy consultant, you need to think on your feet. An excellent problem-solving ability and analytical thinking will work to your advantage. Be sure of your skills before you make a foray into this industry,” advises Varun.

Roles and responsibilities
“In a strategic consulting firm, there are three broad roles for professionals — grinders, minders and finders,” explains Premchand Chandrashekaran, vice-president of Chennai-based Avalon Consulting. At the base of the pyramid are ‘grinders’. They focus on analysis, research, diagnostics and execution. ‘Minders’ or project managers handle quality of deliverables, time and cost while managing employee and client satisfaction. ‘Finders’, concentrate on building client relationships, leading competency development in relevant areas.

“The field is intellectually stimulating. As a consultant, one gets to work with different organisational challenges and risks,” says Ranganath Iyengar, director of Strategic Interventions India. Strategy development challenges an individual to be creative with decisions on products, services, costs, markets, customers and operations.
Globalisation and outsourcing have opened new windows of opportunity in this field.

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