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1

BCG Associate interview

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AnonymousExperiencedSelected
Application
I Applied for job through Personal Contacts for Associate role at BCG
Interview Process
HR Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview
Round 1

HR Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Tell me something about yourself
  • Question 2: How was your ISB experience?
  • Question 3: Why consulting?
Interview Experience
These were typical ice breaking questions. She didn’t dwell into too many details of any of my responses. We immediately started discussing my ELP on increasing internet penetration in India.
Round 2

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: “We did some consulting project for our telecom client some time ago. The client was serving broadband internet to corporate clients with high speed connections, VPN services and P2P network arrangements. Now they have asked us to evaluate whether they should enter the retail market. Can you walk me through how would we go about suggesting them?”
Interview Experience
I: As I am aware the value chain of providing the broadband service includes a. IXP b. Backbone rings and bandwidth c. Backbone routers/equipments d. Last mile connections Is this understanding correct? Seema: Yes I: And is our client present in all the bits of these value chain? Seema: Currently they are present in all the parts of the value chain. I: However you mentioned that they are serving corporate clients alone, so I assume their backbone might not be spread a lot? Can you give me some more details on what is their current spread at two levels? a. In what cities are they currently present? b. In each of the cities how is their backbone scaled up? Seema: They are present in 12 cities. (tier-1 cities). They have several backbone rings present in each of these cities to serve the corporate clients. (She scribbles and explains a bit more about the clients backbone) I: Ok. Are we looking for any time frame in mind or any financial constraints? Also, is client a conglomerate – I am trying to figure out the capabilities of the client. Also does the client have any minimum required rate of return from the project? Seema: No for all the questions. Lets not get into details of the numbers of required rate etc. Let us just discuss on what are things you are going to consider in helping the client. I: Because we are talking about broadband connections, we must focus on the number of internet connection market in India. There are 150 internet users in India. However there are only 50million PCs in India. Now because each PC will have only one connection 50 million is true market size. 30-70 rural-urban (tier-1) spit and 60-40 corporate-retail split leaves about 14mn as a potential retail market. The will like to consider the following: Customer Reach Company - PC Users -> Laying backbone -> Financing, structuring,etc Awareness -> Last mile -> Operations -- Content Language -> Pockets with in city -> capabilities -- Availability of content -- Ease of use Willingness --Price --Use/Need --Perception External factors included: Regulations: Getting licenses Competition: Internet penetration in the 14mn is presently low. I used some pointers from my ELP findings like Chinese perceive that using computer is very easy vs Indian perception that only skilled ones can use the computers. Some major points of discussion were: a innovative revenue model which we recommended as part of our ELP, and option of bundling services, expanding market by creating a resale market of 2nd hand PCs. After a discussion on the customer part, we talked about how to reach customers. There are two broad ways of doing the network bit. Organic and inorganic. Issues like network sharing, BVNO, cable TV like models for last mile connections were discussed but it was arrived at that scope of doing these was either limited or not possible. Organic was the only possibility of doing this. The retail market is sparse, requires lot of investment, especially in last mile connections. Also some profitable pockets are already occupied by the competition like BSNL, Bharti etc. Given the sparse market, high setup costs and unpredictable returns it doesn’t make sense in entering the market.
Interview Tips
Connect your thoughts with the interviewer.
Round 3

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: “Our client is a cement manufacturer and wants to increase profitability per ton. Lets solve the clients problem
Interview Experience
I:Why profitability per ton? Why would CEO bother about profitability per ton. Shouldn’t he be focusing on total profits or share price? R: We are talking about making changes in a year and therefore only profitability per ton can be changed. We cannot do much with quantity itself. I: Right. Could you please tell me where does client manufacture and where does it sell? R: It is a pan India producer with 14-15 plants and sells through out India. I: So how are the customers classified. I would divide them into Retail and Industrial customers. Is that how company does it? R: Yes. Let us focus only on retail clients. Bulk of the business happens through them. I: ok. How do we reach our customers? R: There are distributors who sell it to the customers. I: In terms of geography, are the profits homogenous? R: No. South there is excess supply and up north there is excess deman. I: Ok. Competition? R: 3-4 regional players around every plant and 3-4 other large national players I: How are we doing visavis industry in terms of profits? Any targets in mind? R: We are on par with the industry. Lets aim for 5-10% increase in 1 year. I: Profitability per ton = Unit price – Variable cost – unitized Fixed cost Increasing profitability will mean increasing prices or reducing costs. At this time he led the conversation into increasing price part, although I had written appropriate drivers for cost like DM, DL, Transportation, IM, IL, etc) I: To increase the price: I guess cement is a undifferentiated product and therefore commodity. R: Right. So how can you increase prices? Prices are different in each region. I: Can we look at differentiating the cement (on product dimension) or on relationship dimension and therefore command high prices? R: No. Cannot do that, its commodity. I: I draw 1 plant, some distributors around it and large circles around each distributor. These circles are their markets and each market has different prices) Price is decided by D-S curves. We need to maximize the profit/ton for each region or the following: Max(ΣPi-VCi) (i for all markets) R: Ok so what are the constraints? I: Plant capacity (cannot change this in 1 year), competition, market demand (cannot change that) R: Ok. I: @ Each plant to maximize the profit/ton, I will just sell it to the market with the highest profit. But this will reduce total profits ☺R: Smiles....right! I: So instead of maximizing profit/ton, we must look at cutting out non-profitable markets. That is instead of absolute maximum, just eliminate markets where profits are below acceptable levels. R: Ok. But do we not want to look at what can be done here in low profit markets? I: Right. Take some time Ultimately prices must increase. We cannot change demand. But we can play with our mix in the supply (which is also constant for the next 1 year). I: Draw a 2x2 matrix: Us (strong, weak) vs Competition(Strong, weak) Where we are strong and the competition is weak, we can drive them out easily and play with prices Where we are weak and competition is strong, we either exit or consolidate with other players to drive 3rd player out. Where both are weak, we need to send credible signal to competition to drive them away or collude with them,Then I blabber some stuff on what kind of credible signals can be given to the competition When both are strong, it is pretty straight forward anyways. Then I make a few recommendations on preventing volume/price fluctuation by long term contracts, on vertical integration etc.
Interview Tips
Know the interviewer well and connect with the interviewer well. Ask him about what he did in the case, how he did, etc.
Round 4

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: “A cement company looking to reduce costs. How will we do it?”
Interview Experience
I am not describing this case in detail because we simply did some value chain analysis. Nothing right/wrong happened during the interview, barring her 6-8 calls and emails After the interview I was thinking that BCG is a history for me, given the level of disinterest she showed throughout the interview.
Round 5

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: “I hope you must have read the news on Tata’s successful foray in to the 1L car. It has been talked about a lot and has got lot of CEOS world wide thinking about it. Now if you are the CEO of Renault what will you do?”
Interview Experience
This was a very opened case. Also I don’t think I really had any idea of what he wanted me to discuss/solve. I tried to scope down the problem.> I: So tata has come up with this 1L car, and as the CEO of ReVA (I was thinking about the battery operated car, popular in Del/Bangalore) what should I do??? (I was like ok....a game theory case!)A: Nope, we are talking about Renault – the European car manufacture. I: Ok. Could you give me a little head’s up on Renault and its operations ? A: It is a Global player, has presence in all the parts of the value chain, makes cars in various segments. (I have just summarized his description) I: Have we started working towards a similar 1L Car? A: Reva has announced working on a $250 car. It has done little R&D and will take 5 years to launch. I: Alright. Tata has created a new market for cars. The CEO of Renault must be thinking about this in two ways – opportunity and threat. And what CEO must act taking in mind short term and long term. Do we consider all the four possibilities? A: Right way of looking at it. Lets look at all the four options. My structure: (I took like a minute for this as I wasn’t sure if that’s what he wanted) Customer Distribution Company Segments -> Distribution capabilities -> Financing, structuring,etc Needs -> Last mile -> R&D Perception -> Suppliers Preferences Capabilities Price Product External factors included: Regulations: Getting licenses, Pollution aspects Competition: A: Jitesh, why don’t you discuss as you come up with your structure. I: A: That’s alright. But this is gonna happen one the R&D of the car is over. Let us say this is long term. Now what can Renault do? I: Ok we can look at ways of speeding up R&D or pairing with others in the market to co-R&D? A: R&D will take 5 years...cannt play with that. I: Tata has created a new market. Let us treat this thing an opportunity first. Now because we can come into the market only after 5 years, we must look at ways of slowing down the growth of the market so that we can tap into this opportunity at the right time. (I drew 2 S curves with different kurtosis.) We can slow the growth by providing them alternate modes of conveyance @ same or less price! A: That’s good. Alright lets see how can we do that! I: .o0(Finally the first step in right direction ☺ ) Ppl generally use the cars to commute. 1L car users are likely to use it for local commuting. If we can provide substitutes to them, it will be good to slow down the market. The modes of public transportation are Buses, Cars, Trains, 2W (in the same price range) A: Good. So? A: Reva is also into 4W (high end buses). I: Right so, if Reva can help local tier 1/2 municipalities/govt. by establishing the public bus transport system, it will do the trick. I am not sure if we can play any role in Rail transports. We can rope in other players too (who are looking to play role in this market, but have capabilities in this area – Rail and 2W). A: What else can be done here? : 2nd hand market? A: Right! I: Some thing along the lines of true value of maruti. We must ease creation of resale markets for cars. A: Why do you think if may work? I: This business is largely unorganized. Price and credibility will come with Renault brand. But Renault is a small player in the Indian market. (Presence wise) so it must rope in other global players along with it. Also, it must look at getting 2nd hand cars from international markets, if the cost works out, coz I am aware that most of the used cars are dumped in the likes of USA. A: The import duties are likely to be very high. I: But as a lobby of the MNCs, both in India and outside, we can influence Govt Decisions. A: Thik hai. What else? I: We have looked at how do we impact their timing. However these kind of steps might be irreversible and therefore CEO must carefully weigh options. The market may permanently shrink by providing them a substitute where in getting out is not possible. (Like public transport service) One needs to be at the right time at right place with right product. We need to look at how can we block their distribution. They already have a right product (given that their production is underway) A: Right. I: I assume that in India they have their own outlets (single brand). Yes. So I am not sure if much can be done on the distribution front. However in the global markets, we need to erect barriers for Tata’s entry. This can be done at two levels. a. Get higher tarrifs/taxes by lobbying in the government. b. We are already large players globally. We need to prevent Tata from entering the market by blocking the distribution networks (They don’t have their own shops, and we can get others to block their alliances) A: Ok. Good so far, what else? I: We checked the time, distribution?...We need to see if we can control their volumes! (Right product to right customers @ right place in right quantity) A: Good...how will you do it? I: They are sourcing their raw materials from some global vendor. Renault is a large player and will have larger partners eyeing similar opportunity. We can get together and erect barriers for souring of components/raw materials to Tata. A: Ok. This was the opportunity part, how do we analyze this as threat? I : So Tata has created a new market. The threat are as follows: a. Tata dominates new market 5 years down the line b. Customer from our segment moves into tata’s segment A: What else? I: c. Tata can protect the technology with patents, which hampers our R&D d. Uses its technology to launch high end low cost products in our segments and erode our profits!! (d. was the biggest threat and the answer that he was looking for) .
Skills

Skills Tested

  • Case Solving Ability
  • Case Analysis
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2

BCG Na interview

11k views
AnonymousFresherSelected
Application
I was interviewed on-campus at Indian School of Business (ISB) for Na role at BCG
Interview Process
Case Study Interview personal interview and case study personal interview Case Study Interview
Round 1

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: Case statement: If you have to merge two companies what will you look at?( Case Type: M&A)
  • Question 2: Tell me about yourself
  • Question 3: Why consulting?
  • Question 4: What are your strength
Interview Experience
Case Details:
Wrote the formula as Company A’s value + Revenue synergy + Cost synergy – Loss in Shareholder’s value. He was impressed by the detailed formula and then we discussed about all of the points we had written. I further broke down revenue and cost synergy into financial and operation synergies and mentioned about how these synergies can be realized.
Interview Tips
Take your electives seriously. Call a few alums in case you need help. Please do take CCMA (Term 6) and MGSP (Term 6). These courses will make all the M&A cases a walk in the park for you. Other than this I found LSCM (Term 6), ECSG (Term 7) and ATAM (Term 7) very useful. Term 5 for me was a disaster because I didn’t consult with any alum and ended up taking most of the irrelevant courses.
Round 2

personal interview and case study

Interview Experience
Personal Interview:
This was by far the best interview I had. The interviewer was a lot of fun to talk to and we immediately connected with each other. He said that we will do a case first and then the PI. Once the cases were over we started with PI.
1) Tell me one reason why you will not join BCG?
I told him that people are great and that is why BCG was my top priority but BCG did not have as big a brand as one of its competitors. Then he went on to explain how BCG has the same brand value in the eyes of senior management of most of the top firms in the world.
2) Tell me three reasons why we should not hire you?
He was smiling when asking this question and told me he knows the question is not fair. It’s very important to reciprocate the way the interviewer is behaving. I also smiled back and said I do not have any consulting experience. If you find people with that experience you should hire him. Both of us laughed at the answer and then he asked me about a genuine weakness. I said procrastination and how I had to go and work in the SantaCruz office during Mumbai terrorist attacks because of this habit and what I was doing to overcome this problem.

Case Statement:
A conglomerate is trying to open another company in IT sector. Tell me what are the things the conglomerate should give to this company and what are the things it should not give? He also asked to tell him how should the firm ramp up its operations? (Case Type:Expansion Strategy )

Case Details:
I asked him what was the aim behind the decision to open an IT arm and he revealed that it was the company believes IT sector will be profitable in the future. He also told me that the conglomerate is aiming to reach a turnover of $400mn by the end of the five years. I asked him about the size of the conglomerate and he said I can assume somewhere close to $40bn. I decided to solve the case using the profitability framework and told him that I will look at what contribution can the conglomerate make on increasing the revenues and decreasing the cost of the IT firm.
He (interviewer) was fine with this structure. Thereafter I started by talking about revenues and wrote revenue = num of projects * avg hrs per project * price/hr. For increasing the number of projects we should do the following:
1. Internal projects. Since the firm is valued at $40bn I assumed that it will have about $400mn worth of IT projects internally and
hence the target can be achieved by giving only the internal projects. However I also said that the conglomerate should not give all the internal projects to the new IT firm and should continue outsourcing some of the critical projects for the next few
years at least. He then asked me should all the internal projects eventually be given to the new company. I told him that different projects require different expertise and hence a new expertise should be developed only if we can get more projects on that particular expertise. He was visibly impressed with this answer.
2. Brand name. I said that the biggest advantage which the conglomerate had over other new IT firms was the brand name associated. I made the assumption that since it’s a big conglomerate it has a good reputation in the market and it can leverage it to get a lot of internal as well as external projects.
3. Relationship. I also told him that the conglomerate will have good relations with number of other big players in India as well as
internationally. We can leverage these relationships to get more projects. I made an assumption that we cannot make an impact on avg hrs per project. However we can charge a premium on price/hr since we have a strong brand associated with us. On the cost front I told him that the primary spending in cost will be
1. Direct Labor (S/W engineers, Project Managers): I told him that brand should help in this recruitment as well since brand is one of the biggest non monetary motivators for employees. Besides the firm should already have some IT engineers in their current firms. They can transfer them to this firm. This will give the IT engineers higher satisfaction as it will give them an opportunity to work on different projects.
2. Sales: Since the firm is an IT Conglomerate it should have a brilliant sales team. The firm can transfer some of their best sales guys to the new firm initially to rope in more customers.
3. Administrative (Finance/HR): In this case I told him that the firm should not give the new IT firm its HR/admin team but hire a new team. This was the case since IT is very different from conventional sectors and hence the culture is different and hence
HR and management team should be radically different from other firms.
4. Power: Probably some subsidy can be obtained from the government.
5. Infrastructure (Rent, Laptops, Computers etc.): The conglomerate might have some land available and can lease out the land to the new firm at a cheaper rate. After this he asked me to tell him how should the sales look like in the next few years and how will that impact their hiring plans. He asked me to predict sales in 6, 12, 24, 36 and 60 months. I wrote a GP series and said that sales would keep increasing exponentially. Hence if the firm wants $400mn in 60 months they should get $200M in 36, $100M in 24 and $50M in 1 year. He smiled and told me what’s wrong with this. I immediately corrected my mistake and told him that it will be $200M in 4 yrs, $100 in 3 yrs and so on. Then he asked me what might go wrong with these projections. I told him that what may be wrong is the growth of 100% at the end of 60 months. Hence may be the growth will slow down and hence the growth in sales might be 100% in first two years, 50% in the next two years and 25% in the final year. He was fine with this answer and then we went forward with PI.
Interview Tips
Do not neglect PI. I was asked why we should not hire you in my DB interview in November. I screwed it up badly because I never expected that question. But during my consulting interviews I was ready for this question and it helped. Make a list of at least 50 questions which can be asked in PI interviews and write brief bullet points for each question. Do not mug up the answer but practice each question at least 3 times in front of the mirror.
Round 3

personal interview

Interview Experience
This was my 13th interview of the day but looking at the interviewer I was sure it was his 13th or 14th as well. However I had got an offer from Booz and hence was upbeat and confident. There was no case in this round which was a bit strange. However we talked for more than 15 minutes. I do not remember all the questions but they varied from mugged up questions like why consulting to questions about my family. He even asked me that since I plan to get married as soon as I join consulting how is my wife going to take it. On this I replied that she has told me that I can work as much as I want on weekdays but weekends are for her. Hearing this
he smiled for the first time in the interview and said good that she already understands this . After this we had some discussion on
telecom sector since I decided to talk to him as to where does he think the price war in the sector is heading towards.
Interview Tips
During the entire interview the interviewer looked disinterested. He was looking down, at my CV, wasn’t maintaining eye contact and asking random questions. However I decided to remain upbeat and kept answering with confidence and a smile on my face. This helped me in maintaining the pace of the interview and he did smile back eventually at one of my answers. In spite of this being the 13th interview I was able to achieve this because I had got into the habit of solving 4-5 cases in a day. Hence start practicing cases on a stretch and do take mockathons organized by consulting club very seriously. Besides remember to keep the mood
upbeat at all the time no matter how your previous interviews have gone and no matter how tired you are.
Round 4

Case Study Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: There is a cement company which is interested in increasing their profit/kg. How should they go about doing this?(Case Type: Profitability)
Interview Experience
Case Details:
Asked him why they are interested in profit/kg and he told me to think what might be the reason. Told him that the amount they can produce is limited and hence might their profits are maximized if their profit/kg is
maximized. After this I wrote profit/kg = Price – VC – FC/kg. Since cement is a commodity we cannot affect the price a lot. At this he told me that is it impossible to increase the average price for the company. On hearing this I asked him about the markets we serve and does each market have different price. He also told me that was indeed the case and the prices were higher in certain regions of India and lower in other regions. I asked him why and he told me to think. I could not come up with an answer so he asked me to look at the cost. I broke VC to Direct Material, Direct Labor and transportation cost. It then struck me that transportation cost will be different for different regions and hence prices in those regions will be different. On hearing this he smiled and told me how we can then help our firm optimize. After this I wrote the standard DMOP supply demand optimization
problem and he was happy with the answer. But then he asked me to think if we change supply in a region what will happen. I drew the supply demand curve and told him that price will go down. He told me how I can represent the graph in the optimization equation. I could not think of anything and then he replied back telling me that we will include the price elasticity for cement in each region in the equation as well. After this he told me to think of competitive response. I told him that we can solve the optimization equation for the entire industry and try optimize for the entire industry. He liked the solution but asked me what else we can do if we do not know about the exact cost of all our competitors. Then I drew up a 2 X 2 with one axis being our variable cost in a region vs. our competitors’ variable cost.
He told me to think in terms of strength of competitors as well and I told him we should increase supply in regions where strong regional players are not there since the regional players cannot reduce the supply in a region but the national player can reduce supply in this region and increase supply elsewhere. He then asked me what may go wrong. I told him that if we do not communicate our strategy well than we may get into a price war in the entire country with the national player and this might lead to a bigger problem. On hearing this he was satisfied and told me if I had some questions for him.
Interview Tips
Read all the core term courses well. I never thought a DMOP problem might be asked in the case study and it was and hence you should have good control of all the core term courses. Also revise Economics properly since a large number of cases can be solved if you can think in terms of demand and supply properly. Besides in the interview do not try to judge yourself. In this interview I was not able to answer about the elasticity bit but I did not lose my confidence and excelled later in analyzing the competitive response.
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3

BCG Associate consultant interview

10.8k views
AnonymousFresherSelected
Application
I was interviewed on-campus at IIT Kanpur for Associate consultant role at BCG
Interview Process
Interview Interview Interview Interview Interview Interview
Round 1

Interview

Interview Questions
  • Question 1: At what time did you wake up? What did you do after that?
  • Question 2: Roughly how many students in IIT K end up working in non-core sectors? Do you think it is a problem for the society that a lot of students don’t contribute to their core areas of engineering?
  • Question 3: Did you want to be a consultant from the very beginning?
  • Question 4: Tell me something about your life in IITK.
Interview Experience
The interviewer was Rohit Vohra, Partner and Director.
Round 2

Interview

Interview Questions
    Interview Experience
    The Case Study was a ‘Market Entry’ problem. An office-furniture company wanted to enter into home-furniture business. I had to evaluate whether it should do so or not. I asked for some time to structure my answer. He was very helpful during the entire case study and guided me whenever I went in a direction where I wasn’t supposed to go. I also asked a lot of questions. The entire interview lasted for about 40-45 minutes. The interviewer was very pleasant in his manner and the interview went off quite well. After about 10-15 minutes, I was sent for my second interview.
    Round 3

    Interview

    Interview Questions
    • Question 1: Tell me something about yourself.
    • Question 2: Of the various positions of responsibility that you held, which one did you enjoy the most and which one the least?
    Interview Experience
    This interview was taken by Shweta Bajpai, Project Leader who was also the Recruitment Head. She was an IIT K alumnus. This interview took around 35-40 minutes.
    Round 4

    Interview

    Interview Questions
      Interview Experience
      The Case Study was a ‘Growth Strategy’ question.
      A metal casing manufacturer wants to double her revenues over the next 5 years. What should she do? I began by asking a few pertinent questions about the company’s product and customers. I then listed out a few growth strategies. She pointed out that she wanted more possible approaches. I pointed out a few but the general nature of our exchange was that the moment I would sum up a strategy, she would drop a hint for another. I would latch on to it and this process went on for about 2 or 3 times. She then asked me that in light of the initial question, which strategy would be best-suited for our client. I answered the same. I came out of the room thinking that I had messed up really badly because she had practically solved the entire case herself. I had a very strong inkling that that interview was my last with BCG. By this time, BCG people had started asking some of us to go if we had interviews with any other company which was a kind way of saying that you are not selected in BCG. I politely inquired one of the consultants whether I was supposed to stay or go. He checked with his colleagues and replied with a very warm smile that I was supposed to stay on.
      Round 5

      Interview

      Interview Questions
      • Question 1: Why did you give up debating after 2007? (Probably the most intelligent question that could have been asked from my resume)
      • Question 2: Why didn't you go for a company or university internship? Didn't you feel that this would reflect badly on your profile?
      • Question 3: Since you have done a lot of modelling in one of your projects, don’t you think you are more suited for a career in finance?
      • Question 4: What are your long-term career plans?
      • Question 5: How long are you prepared to work for BCG?
      Interview Experience
      This interview was taken by Saurabh Tripathi, Partner and Director. He was also an IIT K alumnus, the President Gold Medalist of his batch. He was the one who had given us the PPT at Taj. Moreover, I also had the opportunity of having a long conversation with him because we were seated at the same table during dinner. He began the interview by pointing out the same. He then asked some very tricky and pointed PI questions:
      Round 6

      Interview

      Interview Questions
        Interview Experience
        The Case Study that followed was again one of its kind, to say the least. It involved a hypothetical bank that had just 6 products: 3 kinds of fixed deposits (maturity period of 1 year, 2 years and 3 years) and 3 kinds of loans (again 1, 2 and 3 year maturity period). The rates of interests on the fixed deposits were 3, 4 and 5 % p.a. respectively and on loans were 5, 6 and 7 % p.a. respectively. The owner wanted to increase the bank’s profitability. What should she do?
        I would be paltering with the truth if I don’t admit that I was a little taken aback by the question. I took some time and then asked him some questions to which he gave a very brief (though not curt at all) ‘yes’ or ‘no’ as an answer. In fact, during the entire case, he was busy on his Blackberry paying no attention to what I was doing. One of the first things that I asked was whether the objective was to increase ‘profits’ or ‘profitability’ because the technical definition of the two was different. He smiled (I think in appreciation) and replied that he wanted me to focus on ‘profits’. After that, I gave a few recommendations. He complicated the case further by saying that the principal amount of 1-year products was same. This constraint was applicable for 2-year and 3-year products as well. That is, the principal amount of fixed deposit and loan of 1-year was same, and so on.

        Again, I gave a few recommendations. After a while, he said that he was in a bit of a hurry and that that was all as far as the interview was concerned. I felt as if nothing concrete had come out as the solution to the case. I asked him how I had done in the case. As was his wont, he answered with a very brief - ‘‘Given the time available, you did fine’’.
        I was a little confused after this interview. I had no idea about the last case study. However, I knew that the PI part went off well. After about 10 minutes, I was asked to go and meet Saurabh Tripathi again. I went into his interview room and he gave me a job offer!
        Skills

        Skills Tested

          General Tips
          Between July 2007 (when I joined the institute) and May 2011, I had considered and pursued IAS, MBA and research as potential career options at various points of time. But in May ‘11, I decided that the safer thing to do would be to take up a job and think about the various existential questions later. As far as my personal preferences go, I liked what I read about consulting. But being from a department where core companies are non-existent for all practical purposes; I was aiming for most of the non-core companies. I

          was conscious of one thing though, viz. I did not want to work for a company that was catering to overseas

          clients or to its own overseas office. The idea was that I did not want to join a company which was employing me just because I was cheaper than the Westerners. So, although after BCG, the second best choice for me in the first slot was Opera, I was not excited about it at all.

          My entire preparation, especially the part related to resume and interview was done under the guidance of

          Ashwini Dikshit (career counsellor, IITK). I think what worked for me was that I was quite organized in my

          preparation. At no stage was I hurried into mistakes. By September, I had prepared the final draft of my 1-page resume. If you think you have a good profile and you can get a shortlist, then you should devote a lot of time to your resume. I would suggest that resume preparation should be started in summers itself. It is also very important to take help and guidance because there is a certain way to make a resume which does not come naturally to most of us. I prepared for aptitude tests by solving the CAT previous years’ question papers. If you are preparing for non core companies, one of the things which you should do is preparing for CAT. Most companies other than consulting firms and core companies, take an aptitude test (including the analytics-consulting firms) and contrary to the common notion, most of them ask English questions as well. Moreover, a good score in CAT will only open up options. I did not prepare for GD because out of all the companies that I was aiming for, very few had GD as a part of their process.

          For case study preparation, I was a part of the Case Study Club of SPO which met around thrice in September October period. Apart from that, I practised with my friends. Some good casebooks in decreasing order of their usefulness are Case in Point, Indian School of Business’s casebook and Kellogg’s casebook. It is highly advisable to get hold of various IIMs’ casebooks if you can. While practising a case, the emphasis should be on what new you learn from that particular case. So, more than the mock case study sessions themselves, the analysis that you do afterwards is important.

          For the Personal Interview preparation, I had prepared the answers for most of the commonly asked questions and more importantly had given around 5 mock interviews before December. One should sit and right down the answers of the various commonly-asked questions and go through these answers again and again to hone them. If possible, get these answers checked by someone experienced in interview preparation. The idea is not to memorize the answers, but to have a fairly good idea about what points you are going to cover. As a thumb rule, all companies are looking for ‘high energy’ and ‘low maintenance’ guys. Make sure, you sound like one!

          Apart from the above mentioned preparation, I read ‘The Indian Express’ and ‘Economic Times’ regularly

          (wasn't able to do it daily though) to get a feel of current and business affairs. One final pointer as far as placement preparation is concerned, DO NOT WORRY and do not indulge in useless placement-related gossips. They only eat away your time and energy.

          I think what worked well for me in all the interviews was that I was listening very attentively to what theinterviewers were saying or asking. That meant that I was always answering the right questions and was also responding to the hints and clues which the interviewers were giving. In all the interviews, I had a good discussion with the interviewer. A lot of people say that a good interview is the one which is more of adiscussion rather than a question-answer session. By that definition, my interviews went off well. As I hadmentioned earlier, some people claim that the case study workshop which was held on November 16th wasevaluative. If it was so, then I would have got some extra points since I was able to do well in the case that I was asked.
          Read Full post...
          4

          BCG Consultant interview

          4k views
          AnonymousExperiencedSelected
          Application
          I Applied for job through Walk-in for Consultant role at BCG
          Interview Process
          HR Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview
          Round 1

          HR Interview

          Interview Questions
          • Question 1: Girls on the manufacturing floor”
          • Question 2: Manufacturing as a career
          • Question 3: Why MBA?
          • Question 4: Why ISB?
          Round 2

          Case Study Interview

          Interview Questions
          • Question 1: “there is a company in the telecom sector and has a product “X” – this X is a necessity in telecom and the company has been making good profits for the last 4 years – like 40% gross margin.. and now suddenly the revenue and profits are stagnant – the market has has slowed down and that’s why this has happened – what do you think that the CEO should do in the medium and long term”
          Interview Experience
          I asked him about the product X? and how important it is for the telecom service providers? is it a big part of their costs ? – he said some arbit stuff – this was a hint that it was a bigger overall strategy case and not into details – so I defined the case as – the CEO wants to know, what to do to increase the profits both in short and long term – he said yes - I immediately moved to the standard profit loss framework and started looking at revenue first - he said OK – I said profit = Price* Quantity and went to pricing... he had said that the telecom service providers were not very sensitive to pricing in the business.. so I dint come to reducing the pricing... I asked about the competitive landscape – our client is 35% business... it went on and on an on ..... could not reach anywhere.. so we went to costs... discussed everything.. excess capacity.. joint ventures.. MnA,..still nothing..so he said.(the discussion was a very intelligent substance discussion.. not general profit loss cases.). – we had a great discussion on both prices and quantity,, why don’t u see decreasing the price – I said.. “ooooooo I thot of it, but then u said that the players are insensitive to price “ - he said “ they WERE, the whole industry as I told u is seeing some problems” – PICK UP THE HINTS... -- once he said this I went to the cost structure of the firm again – I said that our client can play price war only if a) his variable costs are lower than competitors variable costs and he is playing on high investment low variable cost model (reliance model) – he said YES it is exactly this way – I said OK , then let him price X above his variable cost but below the others variable costs and drive the competition away. – I also said, to speeden this up he should in fact price it lower than his variable costs also (extremely low and he can afford it because he has cash with him as he has been on 40% profits for the last 4 – 5 years.. so there should not be an issue on the working capital side – he sair “great” .. he wanted to stop and asked me to summarize the case.. – I summarized the case, and also gave some more ideas like .. seeing the cost and benefit of doing away with excess capacity rite now and adding again when the market is doing good, buying high fixed cost players in the sector.. etcc etc.. a lot more.. – he patiently listened to everything Then he asked me if I had anything to ask him? I asked similar question as I asked in Mck – “ has India become a net contributor to the knowledge base..- he told me about low cost Indian manufacturing.. I said cool... and he said super cool!
          Interview Tips
          a) work on your resume b) Make the resume in such a way that irrespective of whatever – the you are able to guide the interviewer to THE thing you want to talk about – link all answers to that DO NOT OVERPREPARE – DON’T LOOSE YOUR NATURAL SELF
          Round 3

          Case Study Interview

          Interview Questions
          • Question 1: “”Our client is in telecom, profitability is at 10% and they want 25%.. what should they do? ”
          Interview Experience
          Upfront questions – where in the value chain? – ans.. they make towers and maintain them .. and into providing services too.—so I asked details on the portfolio of services and portfolio of work of tower etc. – he gave me everything including margins.. so margins in tower making etc were low – I asked him if he is sure that its not just an accounting issue.—he appreciated the point and said .. no, they do ABC and might be small accounting issues but not really one—I said ok.. and moved on to profitability framework .. revenue – costs --- so I said we will look at the tower making etc.. (pareto) – he said perfect.. – went to revenue... he hinted therez nothing there , I said great! Jumped to costs (didn’t waste time at all) - asked him costs heads .. he gave the following .. – a) Tower making, b) people c) administration (I don’t remember the terminology correctly but the remember the discussion) Discussion on tower making – I said “ so Navneet, what does it include” – he said making and servicing and maintaining and some back office work – so I said following can be wrong (BE CREATIVE, I started throwing solutions/ideas) (i) are the people skilled? Know how much material are they using (extra material = extra cost) (ii) is the quality of material too high (more than required quality increases the costs) (iii) is there rework happening? – are people good?(iv) What kind of designs are there – he said there are various different types of designs – I asked why? – he said no one knows – I said .. are they required? – he said , no – I said then standardize the design! He looked happy – so I started throwing more ! – he said no, lets move on to other ones Discussion on people – people cost = wage * numbera) are outsourced people expensive – yes they are – are they doing some specialized job? – not really, they can be replaced – then replace them b) can we multiskill people – yeah we can – then do that! c) Can we move our service centers to low cost destinations – yes we can d) Can we reallocate people to reduce number of people – yes we can – but can we fire them? – are they unionized? – yes they are and he appreciated the point that I touched upon the fact that the unions are tough to handle ( learning : know your industry, small things can make you win the case Discussion on administration a) planning happening ok? – no – so scheduling, audits have to be done again and again (I did not come up with this point alone. It was a result of a thorough discussion .
          Round 4

          Case Study Interview

          Interview Questions
          • Question 1: “Tata is coming with nano, what do you think it’s a threat or an opportunity for other players in the market..”
          Interview Experience
          i said – its an opportunity (no structure , we were taking a walk after all) because it opens up a full market – he said ‘ what shud the competitors do” – I kept on saying a lot of things... - they should lobby with government to stop this .. bla bla bla bla – the discussion was round and round and round.. I was tired with my high heels—then suddenly I said – Arvind can you tell me if I am on the right track ? , am little tired – he smiled and said, ok I again ask you “ what can they do to stop the nano or get ready for the market” – this statement gave me clarity and I said “ ok we can stop nano from coming, or do some other stuff” – he said great , so lets discuss both one by one – (remember that once you asked for clarity then you have to crack the rest of the case, else you are dead) –so I picked up stopping nano to hit the market discussion on stopping Nano to hit the market –
          (i) demand side hit – lobby with the activists and say that the infrastructure isn’t ready and hence nano should not be allowed ( he liked it)
          (ii) demand side hit -Increase the advertisements on how “Indians have to be sensitive about infrastructure” ( he liked it)
          (iii) supply side hit – can we buy out the suppliers? – can we promise them some other meat? – like get them under long term agreements etc
          (iv) Supply side hit – can we buy out the low cost suppliers to tatas ( I told them, that my thinking was to stop providing necessary materil that gets into nana
          (v) Supply side – can we buy their engineers
          (vi) And some more discussion, I don’t quite remember .but ya on similar lines What else they can do till they develop their own low cost (i) can they give fire to second hand car market ( as this is the immediate competition to nano) (ii) he kept on probing me on public transport till I said – why cant they collaborate with the government and make the public transport so easy and good and safe that people don’t need nano! BINGO.. ( he loved it- tho he only got that in my head – amazing guide he is) he still looked dissatisfied and asked me there is something else that is missing.. – something that is a real threat to the competitors of tatas. – we kept on discussing, till I suddenly remembered the team that made the engine is of 30 years average age (READ THE CURRENT ISSUES, IT HELPS BUILD PERSPECTIVE) – so I said “ they have the engineering skills, which can be used to enter other segments (like they can make cheaper engines for indigo .. or come up with new car in ford Ikon category etc).. and this resource is just too good! – BINGO
          Interview Tips
          a) Be genuine b) Be grounded c) Be yourself d) Be confident e) Be transparent f) Be blunt (but carry it ) g) Connect with the interviewer – genuinely h) Be aware of the current issues
          Skills

          Skills Tested

          • Case Solving Ability
          • Case Analysis
          Read Full post...
          5

          BCG Consultant interview

          3.9k views
          AnonymousExperiencedSelected
          Application
          I Applied for job through Walk-in for Consultant role at BCG
          Interview Process
          HR Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview
          Round 1

          HR Interview

          Interview Questions
            Interview Experience
            The usual PI questions, I’d say be prepared with a list of them. The PI would give you on opportunity to strike the right vibes with the interviewer. So when you get down to doing a case, you’ll feel a lot more comfortable and confident.
            Round 2

            Case Study Interview

            Interview Questions
            • Question 1: A Widgets manufacturer, who’s been in the business for a few years now, had been seeing phenomenal growth over the last couple of years, and has recently added capacity to cater to expected future demand. However, the market has stayed flat, and your client doesn’t know what to do.
            Interview Experience
            I asked a few clarifying questions. The information that I got was as follows – 1. The trend was temporary, and the market was expected to start growing again after a few years. 2. Need not worry about what widgets are; just consider them to be a part of machine equipment. 3. The manufacturer is a global company headquartered in US 4. The market had been growing over the last 2-3 years at 30 – 40 % and has now flattened. I then defined the problem statement. From here on I took a pretty unconventional first principles approach in structuring my though process. I decided to look at 2 aspects – a. Means to enhance Capacity Utilization through an understanding of the business based on b. Market Analysis Under capacity utilization I had intended to focus on Altering the product mix, increase sales geographically, rationalize my asset base, and providing value added services. The first one wasn’t possible and on the geographical front we were already selling globally. Then I switched to market analysis where I looked at # of players, respective market shares, competitive landscape, drivers of purchase and price points. On questioning, it turned out that we were the largest player with a 35% market share, two other major players had a 20% share each, and the rest of the market was fragmented amongst small players. Everyone sold at the same price. In past, the purchase decision had not been based on price, but on being highest in quality, and we were perceived to be amongst the highest in quality. We were also the cost leaders in this business, and this was the catch point. It also turned out that in being more cautious about their purchase of widgets, our potential customers had now become more price conscious, and the market was price elastic. From here on I started shaping recommendations – I put them as short term and long term. In the short term I suggested that we play on price points. Since we are the cost leaders and the market was price elastic, we can bring down our prices till a point where our profits increase with decrease in prices. Also, our competitors won’t be able to cut prices to the extent that we can, and in this way we can squeeze their margins beyond tolerable limits, force them to exit, and thus increase our share of the pie. In the long run, we needed to work around rationalizing our asset base, and building a value added service layer to our business. That’s where the case concluded.
            Interview Tips
            I’d suggest that encase you too reach your solution pretty soon in the interview, spend some time to look at other strategic aspects, at points in your structure that might have been left untouched, but don’t panic if there’s nothing more to add from your end. You can close the case as and when you feel you’ve done what you wanted to, and need not wait to have spent a pre-decided amount of time on it. Yes I made it to the next round.
            Round 3

            Case Study Interview

            Interview Questions
            • Question 1: A Telecom Infrastructure Company - Provider of Telecom Equipment and Related Services, is facing profitability issues inspite of good growth in their business. I was to identify the key levers that could help overcome the problem.
            Interview Experience
            I asked a few clarifying questions. The information I got was a follows – 1. The client was a $10 billion + company with 50000 + employees. 2. It was a Europe based company with operations all over the world, and their business was expected to grow at 10 – 15 % 3. The lines of business were divided into 2: A. Selling Equipment and S/W in 2G and 3G space. B. Providing Services, which was further subdivided into 4 categories.(i) Turnkey i.e. developing new networks (ii) Managed Services i.e. run the network on behalf of the service provider (iii) Maintenance (H/W and S/W) (iv) Consulting Solutions then defined the problem statement. From here on I structured by approach to do a Revenues & Cost analysis after having done a thorough Market Analysis. Under Market Analysis, I looked at 1. No. of Players – there were 6 -7 players, we were no. 2 with a mkt. share of 20%. The mkt. leader had a 30% share. 2. I looked at Growth in each of the businesses, Selling Equipment and S/W in 2G and 3G space each growing at 15 % and 25% respectively and overall this line of business was growing at 20% In Providing Services, the above 4 were expected to grow at 0%, less than 10%, 15% and less than 10% respectively (in the order mentioned above). 3. The drivers of purchase were driven by Cap Ex and Op Ex incurred by the customers, i.e. Price was the key driver of purchase once you were a part of the consideration set. However, to be considered for a contract by a potential customer, high standards of quality were a must. Before starting to look at the revenues and costs in trying to address profitability, I asked for the revenue break up of for our client. It was as follows – 55% from 2G(30%) & 3G(25%). 24% from turnkey. 9% from maintenance. 6% from managed services and the rest from consulting. I then asked for how this picture would look 3-4 years from now. Selling Equipment and S/W in 2G and 3G space would together constitute 40%, with 70% of this 40 from 3G and rest from 2G. Services would constitute 60% of the revenues, and in comparing to their current contributions, Turnkey would stagnate, Maintenance business would grow at 10 – 15%, and Consulting and Managed Services would grow disproportionately. This unfortunately is all that I remember of the case in terms of data, but from here on it was pretty standard. I prioritized my probing of the cost structures for each of the businesses based on their current and future contributions to the revenue pie. I then explored the cost structures for each line of business, identified the cost levers, and further prioritized my recommendations for each cost lever on the basis of where we could achieve most impact. On the revenue side, my recommendations were around building capabilities around consulting and managed services based on how the business was expected to shape up in the future. There was a lot to talk about under each of the above – off shoring, consolidation of suppliers and subcontractors etc., managing over runs, acquisition to build capabilities, and I did touch upon all of these. I'm sure based on your own judgement, you can add more to it. All the best!
            Round 4

            Case Study Interview

            Interview Questions
            • Question 1: An Indian Garments Company, a 3rd party manufacturer for clients in US & Europe wants to enter the Indian Market with their own label. Recommend a go/ no go decision and a suitable branding strategy for your client.
            Interview Experience
            I asked a few clarifying questions. The information I got was a follows – 1. The client manufactured broadly two kinds of products A. Textiles (of different counts, pure yarns, viscose mix etc.) B. Garments (semi formal / informal in cotton, for both men and women) I structured my approach as follows: As part of Market Entry evaluation, I wanted to look at the following: 1. Market Attractiveness – size of the mkt., growth expected, penetration levels and margins. 2. Competition – in each of the segments. Further look at unbranded retailing, branded retailing and pvt. label retailing. 3. Strategic Fit and Capabilities as far as this proposed line of business was concerned. 4. How to enter – Organic v/s Inorganic At this point, I was asked to move onto the branding strategy that I would recommend. One key factor that I considered was a single brand v/s a multi brand strategy. And through discussions with the interviewer, I decided to pursue a multi-brand approach for different segments, different qualities etc. (just as Arvind Mills, Madura Garments etc. do). I then proposed that in developing a brand strategy for each of the brands I chose to pursue, I would look at the following: 1. Position the brand 2. Pricing 3. Distribution 4. Promotion. In positioning the brand (each of the brands that we will roll out), I would look at drivers of purchase and then position myself accordingly through parity and distinction. At this point, we got into a more general conversation around how to position, what other factors to consider, and then wrapped up the case.
            Interview Tips
            As you step in for the interview, make sure that you leave all the excess baggage outside. It’s a big deterrent in one’s performance. I had one more interview that I’m unable to document, after which I was made an offer.
            Skills

            Skills Tested

            • Case Analysis
            Read Full post...
            6

            BCG Consultant internship interview

            4.1k views
            AnonymousFresherNot Selected
            Application
            I was interviewed on-campus at IIM Lucknow for Consultant role at BCG
            Interview Process
            Case Study Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview
            Round 1

            Case Study Interview

            Interview Questions
            • Question 1: Are you clear about your decision between IB and Consulting?
            • Question 2: Why consulting
            • Question 3: Why BCG?
            Interview Experience
            Case: The client is a company that manufactures an interactive educational tool. It is basically something as big as a blackboard fitted in the classroom and has touch screen interactivity. What do you think is the scope of this product and what are the other things that the company can do in the field of education to increase its revenues (to 1000 Cr)?
            Analysis: I first tried to understand the product properly.
            Q. Does the company make any other products?
            Ans. No
            Q. What is this particular product used for majorly? To teach what?
            Ans: English language
            I was trying to build a structure at this point when he interrupted me by asking me if I had understood the question. I felt he was trying to put a bit of stress. He then asked me to explore what all are the options that an educational tech company in India could explore.
            Q. Are we looking at only classroom services or online as well?
            Ans: Up to you what you want to look at
            I built a structure which split into Classroom learning and online learning. Then further split classroom learning into providing education material and products (like the one the client makes). In online I split it into videos and material.
            He was happy with this basic structure. He then asked me that the client was focusing on language needs of people. So he asked me to estimate the demand of the English language learners. He then asked me to estimate how many such are those who already have a source to learn and how many are wanting to but do not have a source and what should I target?
            I started with the metro population in India. Roughly 14mX4 = 56m. Then divided it by the age group. I dint plug in any figures. I just made the initial tree. I told him that I would plug in the figures later. Age group of 16 and less who are going to schools.
            He then asked me why I have not considered adults who want to learn English. Then I considered that as well.
            He then asked me why I have not taken into consideration those who do not know that they want to learn English. I didn't understand what he meant, so I asked him to explain. He told me that a domestic maid is latent demand because she doesn't know that she want to learn English (got kind of philosophical at this point).
            So he asked me to factor that in as well. He asked me how we can make them use an online medium when they do not have basic education in the first place.
            Summary:
            He helped me a lot with the case. In fact he gave me the 2 most important points of adult demand and latent demand. Overall I found the case to be very tough and ambiguous. He kept on asking me if I understood the question which made me lose confidence many times.
            Interview Tips
            Please make sure of what you say in the initial HR questions. I had mentioned that I liked teaching. That was the reason why picked out this case for me. So please make sure you can show the passion for a particular interest that you have mentioned.
            Be calm during the case.
            Round 2

            Case Study Interview

            Interview Questions
            • Question 1: Are you convinced about consulting vs. IB?
            • Question 2: Why do you want to do consulting and not IB?
            • Question 3: Tell me something different/interesting about yourself.
            • Question 4: Have you worked on live projects? If so tell me one in which you used a completely different approach.
            Interview Experience
            Case: A financial services company (NBFC) that has entered India few years ago wants to know whether it should continue in India or not?
            Analysis:
            Q. I asked him the relative position of the business visa-viz its peers.
            Ans: It is not very high. Somewhere around 6th.
            Q. What are the different businesses?
            Ans: Mutual funds – debt and equity, Asset
            management, etc. Equity fund is not performing as well as its competitors. Debt is on par.
            Q. What is its target market?
            Ans: HNIs with income of INR 5Cr +
            I had made a brief structure earlier in which I had said that I would like to explore 3 things. The historical performance of the fund, Its competition, and the third thing was future growth in India.
            He gave me some details on the historic performance and all.
            He also told me about the competition.
            I was then asked to make a decision of whether to continue in India.
            I told him based on the future growth story they should remain in India. He wanted me to ask the growth rate of HNIs in India. He then gave me those figures.
            Q: He then asked me what all problems they could face.
            Ans: Very volatile equity markets, major source of HNI money is black so we can‟t capture the entire growth in HNI. Competition could outdo us. If interest rates fall, investors would want to invest abroad. I gave a few more options that I can‟t recall right now.
            Summary:
            The case was very straight forward. Basic questions needed to be asked. I had expressed an interest in finance so I was given this case.


            Interview Tips
            Prepare HR answers really well.
            Round 3

            Case Study Interview

            Interview Questions
            • Question 1: Tell me about yourself
            • Question 2: Why does consulting excite you?
            Interview Experience
            was given two cases for this round.
            case 1: A taxi driver (black and yellow taxi) asked me if he should move to a radio cab in Delhi.
            Analysis: It was a simple case of cost-benefit. Split into revenues and cost. Cost split into fixed (maintenance and insurance) and variable (fuel). I asked him the km each car run in a day, the mileage, the cost per liter of diesel. Charge/km. Made the comparison and gave him the answer. He asked me what else I should consider. I told him that
            the taxi driver had more freedom owning his own cab. But in the radio cab he won‟t have to worry about depreciation of the vehicle. I also told him that owning his taxi may be a matter of prestige for the driver.
            Case 2:Should a PE fund buyout Infosys?
            Analysis:
            Q. I asked him what the private equity fund was looking at: Stake purchase or complete buyout.
            Ans. Complete buyout.
            He asked me how a PE can gain out of buying Infosys. I told him that the PE would have board members and would provide guidance and expertise along with the funding support.
            Q. How long is the PE looking to invest in Infy?
            Ans. 5 years
            Q. what is rate of return that infy will give in 5 years ?
            Ans: 20%
            At this point he asked me will the PE be able to increase the profits of infy?
            I told him that we could better management and expertise from the PE end. He said that the PE would not be able to manage Infosys better that what it already was.
            Q. Will the PE be able to bring in new outside business?
            Ans: no
            Q. Will the PE be able to generate more than the expected 20% revenue for Infy?
            Ans. No
            At this point he told me think of it from an IB
            perspective. He told me that if infy can be bought for say Rs 100 and would be worth Rs 120 after 5 years, it‟s not a big deal. The PE would not be interested in something like this. So why would a PE look to invest?
            I luckily had some prior knowledge of Infy (0 debt on its balance sheet and a hell lot of cash) So I told him that the entire source of funds was only equity. So the PE could buy the equity and then pay off dividends to it (since INFY was cash rich) or else raise debt for leverage.
            Q. Will the growth remain 20% even if I raise debt?
            Ans: yes
            So I told him that if INFY raises debt of Rs 100, Firm value would be roughly Rs 200 and growth would be 20% -> Rs 240. Therefore the PE would make 40 on its initial Rs 100 -> 40%. He was looking for a solution like: Buy it for Rs 100. Replace Rs 50 of equity by raising debt. And then sell it for Rs120 5 years later. So effective gain would be Rs 20 on Rs 50 which is still 40%
            Q. What is this mechanism called?
            Ans. Leveraging

            He spoke a bit about LBOs then.
            Interview Tips
            Be confident and be persistent. Keep on going at the case even if you are stuck.
            General Tips
            Be persistent in case analysis.

            Be cool and focused while answering questions.

            Prepare well for HR questions.
            Read Full post...
            7

            BCG Associate consultant interview

            9.1k views
            Vishesh SharmaFresherSelected
            Application
            I was interviewed on-campus at IIT Bombay for Associate consultant role at BCG
            Interview Process
            Resume Shortlist Case Study Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview
            Round 1

            Resume Shortlist

            Interview Experience
            This part is frustrating; especially while getting reviews after you've made a draft. However, after heavy editing based on advice from seniors, it gave me a good head-start and confidence to move on to future preparation towards placements.
            Interview Tips
            Management consulting shortlist is very strongly resume based. Hence the resume is the most crucial asset for getting a shortlist in the first place. When you know the success rate for getting shortlisted is less than 10%, you better make sure your resume makes the cut.

            Detailed instructions and tips on how to make a good consulting resume can be found in many books(I referred to 'Killer Consulting Resumes' by Wetfeet which is good to get your basics); It is too extensive for me to elaborate here hence I will avoid the commonly available knowledge about peaks, focus, etc. 

            Summarizing the most important aspect which according to me is - Make sure every bullet-ed point has three things - 'WHAT you did, WHY/HOW you did, and the RESULTS'. All 3 should be included in one single line of text in the most robust use of words making sure you convey these. Another extremely important step in making a resume is getting reviews from seniors and alumni in firms where you are applying. This part is irritating and frustrating at times because you will need multiple iterations till the resume is refined. The key is not to get affected while getting reviews from different people and stay as objective as possible - trust me, this is not that easy as it sounds, it gets demotivating when people are critiquing on what you did in your life and how should it be portrayed on paper. This process of getting comments will never stop even after multiple iterations because of difference in opinions among the reviewers; you need to stop when you have knowingly turned down several comments keeping your own perspective in mind till you are content with your resume.

            Finally make sure you complete your resume well before deadlines to avoid blunders and dissatisfaction and make sure a printed copy looks aesthetically appealing.
            Round 2

            Case Study Interview

            Interview Questions
            • Question 1: Case: Our client is a leading cement manufacturing firm in India looking to enter the international markets. How will you formulate a plan of action to prioritize which geography should they enter?
            Interview Experience
            General format for all the case study rounds was: (1) Tell me about yourself : I had prepared a list of what I wanted to speak about and memorized the key points to present a 2 minute monologue. However, I very keenly made sure to strike a conversation on any part where the interviewer interrupted me out of interest to ensure it sounded more like a conversation between two colleagues rather than a speech by a candidate to an interviewer. (2) Case: Coming back to the case mentioned in the question above:I considered 3 factors:(1) Market size for each geography and their growth rates(2) Market capture from competition(3) Profit per unitInterviewer: Using 1 graph each and nothing else, represent all of the 3 factors mentionedI drew the 3 most relevant graphs that came to my mind for each of the 3 factors mentioned. (3) Questions for the interviewer: I used to generally ask the guys outside the interview room to give me a brief introduction of the interviewer before the interview started. I used to use that information to ask a question to the interviewer in this part of the interview hoping to strike a chord with him before leaving.
            Round 3

            Case Study Interview

            Interview Questions
            • Question 1: My driver has been given an offer by Meru cabs to become a driver for them. What suggestion should I give him?
            Interview Experience
            Ask objective of driver? – Higher returns

            ·        
            Calc returns (profits) for each case as your driver and as a Meru cabs driverSalary 15000 per month + bonus of 1 month salary annually.

            ·        
            Meru cabs: Aggregator (no cabs of their own)
            Driver need to get his own car and register on Meru cabs.

            ·        
            Cost on EMI: new car – 30000 p.m. Old car –
            15000 p.m.

            ·        
            Cost of maintainence of old car: Rs 1.5/km

            ·        
            Meru promises 15 pickups of 20 km each day at Rs
            30/km. There is an additional 50% driving distance which is not paid by client

            ·        
            Cost of fuel = Rs 72/L. Mileage 12 kmpl
            Round 4

            Case Study Interview

            Interview Questions
            • Question 1: Your client is Tata Sons and their hierarchy is such that all their other businesses are present below the CEO. In 2012, Mistry was appointed as the chairman of Tata Sons. In addition, he is also chairman of all major Tata companies including Tata Industries, Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Power, Tata Teleservices, Indian Hotels, Tata Global Beverages and Tata Chemicals. He wants to decide how to manage the different businesses, shut any of them down, purchase new businesses, enter a new market etc.
            Interview Experience
            I typically had never expected a case of this sort as it was too broad and undefined to give in an interview. However, it clearly looked like a case of organisational reconstruction and portfolio management. In the little time I had, I decided to give an idea of how I would proceed to solve such a case rather than really solve the case by using the BCG matrix. I clearly explained the matrix making sure I had conveyed that I knew what is actually was rather than just throwing jargon around.

            I don't really know how the interviewer took my approach(as it was too text-bookish);he could neither object since it was an established case solving technique nor appreciate it as there was nothing creative in it.
            Round 5

            Case Study Interview

            Interview Questions
            • Question 1: Our client is a gear manufacturer who has expanded his father’s business from 1000 cr to 4000 cr however his profitability has dropped from 10% to 5%. Probe why has this happened?
            Interview Experience
            Use costs and discuss – final problem was increased R&D costs for customization of various gears while adding new clients
            Skills

            Skills Tested

            • Problem Solving
            • Pressure Handling
            • Communication
            • Logical Thinking
            • Hardwork
            • Presentation skills
            Resources

            Preparation materials

            Books
            • Killer Consulting Resumes (2nd Edition) - Wetfeet,
            • Case In Point (4th,
            • 7th and 8th Edition) - Marc Cosentino,
            • Case Interview Secrets - Victor Cheng,
            • Case Interviews Cracked - www.caseinterviewscracked.com,
            • Several University Casebooks,
            Videos
            • https://www.youtube.com/user/caseinterview/videos [All 12 videos],
            Read Full post...
            8

            BCG Summer intern internship interview

            3.6k views
            AnonymousFresherSelected
            Application
            I was interviewed on-campus at IIM Lucknow for Summer intern role at BCG
            Interview Process
            Case Study Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview
            Round 1

            Case Study Interview

            Interview Questions
            • Question 1: Tell me something about yourself.
            Interview Experience
            There is a finance department with a car dealer. The other executives in the office question the use of finance department. Discuss.
            Me: What are the current functions of finance department?
            Interviewer: Normal operations of finance desks at a care dealer.
            Me: So, they provide loan to customers
            Interviewer: yes.
            Me:Does other banks also have desks at the car dealer's showroom.
            Interviewer: Yes, 5-6 other banks also sit there.
            <e: What percentage of customers get loan from our finance department?
            Interviewer: Around 10% or less than that.
            Me: What are our loan rates like?
            Interviewer: They are a little higher than other banks.
            ME: Summarized the findings till now and stated the question that we need to explore.

            Me: I would like to explore the fact that why would even 10% of people get their loans from the fin.Dept.
            Interviewer: Ya, what can be the possible reasons?
            Me: Maybe, they are not getting loans from other banks i.e. they are not that creditworthy.
            Interviewer: yes, but why in that case a finance dept. bear the risk that a bank doesn't want to.
            Me: Because, the finance dept. is internal to the car dealer, so they can charge higher rates and higher down payments. this can help finance dept. in reducing the risk of non-payment.
            Interviewer: Ok, and what can be the other way in which an internal finance dept help the car dealer.
            Me: The finance dept. can offer the customers to sell back their old car and buy new car again after 2-3 years and the finance dept will renew the loan.
            Interviewer:Ok, why wouldn't a bank do that?
            Me:Because banks lose their interest on the remaining loan. But an internal finance dept. can afford to lose some interest on the context of selling a new car and making profit on it.
            interviewer: Fine.
            Me: I would like to summarize the case once.
            <summary of the case>
            Interview Tips
            1. Listening is very important component of the case interview. Listen to clues well.
            2. Summarizing the case, and data once or twice in between the case at times help, when you have lots of data and you feel that you may have lost your focus.
            3. Summarizing at the end of case interview in very important.
            Round 2

            Case Study Interview

            Interview Questions
            • Question 1: Tell me about some problems you faced working in a team in your previous company.
            Interview Experience
            A car service company is planning to open a huge service station which will service cars from all/major car companies.
            Discuss the aspects that he should consider before opening such a station.
            I started with one or two enquiries about the service station to gauge the scope of the case.
            I came to know that we need to find out what cars will the station service, what are the services that we will offer etc.
            I suggested that i will focus on one particular city and then start with the discussion. Interviewer was fine with it.
            Key aspects that came out of the case:
            1. Station should focus on few brands only which could help the station capture a hogh percentage of market
            2.Station can offer three kind of services:
            - Regular repair services: High volume, low profit
            -Periodic car service : Mid volume, mid profit, regular customers
            -Accidental services: low volume, high profit
            I offered to provide last two services and forgo the first service.
            Few more points were discussed related to a station in Delhi, where I talked about purchasing and driving patterns particular to Delhi and how few specialized services can help in generating more profit there.
            Interview Tips
            Take some time and explore all possible options. A free and open mind is very important in a case interview.
            Round 3

            Case Study Interview

            Interview Questions
              Interview Experience
              A manufacturer produces 3 products A,B and C. He currently concentrates more on A. But, his financial manager says that he should concentrate on C. The revenue, profit, units sold, time taken to produce a unit A, B and C
              Interview Tips
              Do not get bogged down by too much data. See what is important for you.
              Round 4

              Case Study Interview

              Interview Questions
                Interview Experience
                A telecom service operator incurs huge cost in communicating one-2-one with its customers. Help the firm in reducing its cost.
                The firm may be communicating with its customers using three possible mediums:
                -postal
                -SMS
                -Service calls
                <It looked obvious that costliest medium was Postal medium, because SMS and service calls are internal to the company, and it may not be incurring huge costs in communicating using it sown network. I decided to focus on postal first>

                Focusing on Postal:
                Postal billing is affected by few factors, such as:
                -Distance of communication
                -Frequency of communication
                -Number of customers to communicate with
                Distance of communication
                After few questions, we came to know that the company sends all letters from a central hub. So distance can be reduced by sending the bills from each city office. A printing setup can be established in each city office and bills can be dispatched locally.
                Frequency of communication
                We can explore the option of not sending the bills each month. But, in that case customers won't be paying their bills also each month.
                Suppose cost of a post in Rs 10.
                @12% annual interest rate, for a bill of amount less than 500 Rs, interest lost for two months will be less than rs 10.
                Therefore, for bills less than 500 amount, bills can be sent once in two months.
                Number of customers
                Customers can be asked for an option if they actually want paper bill or not.
                But this option was rejected by interviewer on account that ideally all customers will want a paper bill.
                The interviewer also agreed about the assumption that cost of sms or calls won't be that significant.
                Interview Tips
                I didn't come up with interest rate and loss of interest rate and loss of interest concept on my own.
                I thought about it but rejected it thinking that it may be out of scope of the case. But then the interviewer had to give me direct hints about this. Do not reject any idea on your own. Discuss it with interviewer and give him the option of rejecting or exploring it further. They would like to see the breadth of your thinking. So, any 'out of the box' idea can actually help during the interview.
                Read Full post...
                9

                BCG Consultant interview

                3.8k views
                AnonymousExperiencedSelected
                Application
                I Applied for job through Walk-in for Consultant role at BCG
                Interview Process
                Case Study Interview Case Study Interview Case Study Interview
                Round 1

                Case Study Interview

                Interview Questions
                • Question 1: How should you go about picking up a stock?
                • Question 2: Issues on profitability of a cement company.
                Interview Experience
                In first case interviewer asked me how should one go about selecting a stock. I proposed two approaches one in terms of finding out a DCF based valuation. He was trying to test deepness of my thought and he made me explain the entire process. Then second approach was by comparing EPS. Then he picked me asking all information is available in public domain so what makes you feel that you know this information which nobody else knows – here I was a bit puzzled by I explained him about management profile, investor profile etc. There was some more discussion which I do not remember. Post this long discussion on first case we moved on second case, which was totally unexpected for me. Anyway, after getting the problem statement. I tried to dig deeper by gathering more facts like:
                o Industry was in a reasonably stable state
                o Products were fairly comparable
                o Company was in existence for last 30-40 years Interestingly I did not made the structure upfront rather went on picking each step and going in depth. So I picked on pricing part first – Ravi asked me what will be the factors affecting it, I could think of:
                o Type of product
                o Customer segments
                o Distribution
                o Value Added For product as expected answer was nothing, distribution and value added services he said no scope. Now we went on to customer segment – here I figured out the type of segments which one can supply to and problem became a problem of targeting different market areas. Thereafter we went on to discuss how can this firm go on to establish its presence in new market areas – critical issue which came out was establishing dealerships.
                Interview Tips
                Just treat interview as a professional discussion – so neither you are nervous nor you are so aggressive that you make the interviewer uncomfortable.
                Round 2

                Case Study Interview

                Interview Questions
                • Question 1: Situation of the company wanting to launch broad band services across India.
                Interview Experience
                I started of with first assessing whether the market is attractive enough for India. Next logical step was to assess market size. I did it by breaking the market in to households, cyber cafes, and small shops / offices (corporates were already out as they were assumed to be running on their VPNs). This was pretty simple. Next step was to estimate yearly sales – here I used Bass model from Marketing Term 2. Seema was visibly impressed with this. But just to test depth of my thought she asked me to tell what factors should be considered for applying this model (v/s the proxy country which we are going to take). I immediately listed down four factors viz. Needs, Income, Globalisation, and Prices of computers. Seema was very happy with this. But to my surprise, she asked me to move on to second phase as to how client should go about launching it. Client had a limited budget and they wanted to launch services across all metros. This was a seemingly difficult question but I listed out three or four ways, e.g. outsourcing infrastructure, launching services in limited area. Later on Seema told me that they took the limited area option. Post this we had a good discussion on how did costs in this industry move. I must admit this discussion seemed like with a colleague and I could sense the positive vibe from the interview.
                Interview Tips
                Being open to any kind of discussion. Have fundas of core term eco, marketing, operations, dmop ready – they come very handy.
                Round 3

                Case Study Interview

                Interview Questions
                • Question 1: Builder company planning to open up a green buildings in India. Assess the NPV.
                Interview Experience
                I deciphered the problem in to revenue and cost and the factors affecting them. Primarily the structure was: (it was built around on incremental basis vis-à-vis a normal building) Revenue:
                o Built up area (how it was different from a normal building)
                o Lease rentals
                o Carbon credits Cost:
                o Upfront costs
                o Operational costs
                o Any grants/ subsidy from government / other agencies Any difference in cost of capital being a more stable project. Then the discussion moved on to putting in numbers and finding out NPV of the project. It came out that NPV was not positive. Now Sachin asked me as to how this can be turned in to NPV positive. I tried to dvelve on each and every factor, but he said that more of less everything is fixed. From here on somehow Sachin took charge of the case and he started discussion about what kind of clients will they target - I told him corporates. He asked what kind of I told him three kinds, viz. Image conscious, Large corporates (for whom differential rent is miniscule), and firms which otherwise are known to be polluters / damager to environment). Next he suddenly came back to some number crunching again as to how can we incentives corporates to take it up which was done with some number crunching. At this point it seemed Sachin was done with the case, but suddenly an idea came up in my mind (which was never discussed in the case) and I told him how DLF built various residential areas coupled with a big corporate building and how this can be used by this builder to make one big project. Though Sachin appeared to be convinced about the case, with this idea he was very impressed. This is why probably he immediately asked me the question how serious are you about BCG!
                Again being friendly with the interviewer and being honest. I knew that Ravi has experience in consulting industry and he would be familiar with interviewing styles of all firms, so honestly told him my opinion and did not hide any fact. This helped me in case solving as well wherein I did not do any mistake in number crunching (because of low pressure).
                Interview Tips
                Be friendly and professional. Don’t be nervous. Even if this your 12th or 15th interview in the day, show energy and enthusiasm.
                Skills

                Skills Tested

                • Ability To Cope Up With Stress
                • Case Analysis
                Read Full post...
                10

                BCG Consultant interview

                3.8k views
                AnonymousExperiencedSelected
                Application
                I Applied for job through Walk-in for Consultant role at BCG
                Interview Process
                Case Study Interview Case Study Interview
                Round 1

                Case Study Interview

                Interview Questions
                • Question 1: A real estate developer is trying to evaluate a project to construct an environment friendly building and he wants to seek your opinion of whether to take the project or not. An environment friendly building is a recent phenomenon and till date no company has done that. Client is in business of constructing buildings and giving them on rent.
                Interview Experience
                Basic clarification: How are environment friendly building different from normal construction. Basically all the raw materials used to construct will have lesser footprint. These raw materials are readily available at slightly higher price and hence there is no issue with them.What are the objectives of the client from this project? He said what do you think? I mentioned the impacts of such projects are both financial as well as from strategic. I took some time and laid down the following structure Financial: Compared the NPV of this project with the regular project Laid down the entire cash flow statement from boththe projects. Strategic Measure: Impact on brand of the client, impact on the customer base that the client will attract, extension of this environment friendly project to other parts of client’s business, kind of government support that client can gather. Risk associated with this project Once I discussed this structure with Sachin, he started giving me some numbers to calculate the NPV of both the projects (Sorry I do not remember numbers but cash flows from environment friendly building were coming better). I calculated the cash flow for both the projects. Then I told Sachin that cost of capital for both these projects would be different. He mentioned it is true and then we had a long discussion on why environmental building will be more risky. He said right now we might not be able to estimate the risks, so in absence of risk how can we find if we can take the project or not. During our discussion on the risk involved with the project, we found various components of risk. I mentioned we can take base case of normal projects for all those components (basically calculate sensitivity of cash flows on project specific risk) and we did that and found that still environmental project was better. Then we had discussion on the strategic implication of these projects, primarily the one which I had already listed on my initial structure.
                Round 2

                Case Study Interview

                Interview Questions
                • Question 1: Our client is an auto manufacture and is looking for entering into car financing option. We need to help our client with first whether he should enter into this business or not and how he should enter
                Interview Experience
                This interview had some graphs, I might not be able to reproduce them. But will try my best to give inferences of those graphs. Felix started with showing me the value chain of entire automobile industry. And told in which part of the value chain our client operates: R&D, Manufacturing, After sales.. Client was not in Dealers, insurance and car financing. He asked me to calculate the potential car financing market. I told him we will first calculate the total cars that are needed by US markets and then find out average price of cars sold in US and then see what percentage of people take car financing and also up to what percentage of total car price. He was happy that I mentioned percentage part as most of the times customers make certain payments from their savings. We followed standard method of calculating number of cars, started with number of households and then dissected it across income group which can afford cars. He told me that approximately 90% household in US can afford cars and on average there are 2 cars per households. We came up with some number, but I told him that this number is the stock of car in US. Annual sale of new cars would be dependent on average life of the car and percentage of old car market in US. He asked me to ignore old car market, and told average age of a car is 12 years. He gave me some numbers of the price of the car and % upfront payment. I mentioned that this is the total size of the car financing market, but actual profit that our client will make from this business is dependent on clients market share and the spread of the loans (mainly his cost of borrowing and his rate of borrowing). This was the point where he mentioned I am doing extremely well with numbers, now lets move on to the strategy part. He showed me few graphs which compared the spread of our clients car financing and spread of other loans available in market ( house loans and others.. I am currently forgetting rest). But the spread of car financing was about 0.2% and total profit that the client will make per by using car financing was somewhere around 38$ per car. I mentioned to Felix that this on the face of this looks very small profit, but car financing business can help us in acquiring new customers and the client can make money through that. Then based on the graphs and the discussion till now, he asked me to make 3 recommendations. I told him a) Client can get into joint venture with some banks and decrease its cost of borrowing as banks balance sheet might be stronger than our client. b) Cross sell various other loans like house loans c) I am forgetting third one. Then Felix clicked next on his power point presentation and showed these were the exact recommendations he made to his client. Then we again chatted for sometime about his experience with India and then he mentioned to me that I have cracked the case, he just need to check with my previous interviewer.
                Interview Tips
                Make sure interview flow like a logical discussion, and try to interact with the partners when they come to campus. Familiarity with the interviewer helps a lot.
                Skills

                Skills Tested

                • Case Solving Ability
                • Case Analysis
                Read Full post...
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