SPJIMR Consulting Casebook 2014

July 26, 2017 | Author: Sandra Cooper | Category: Strategic Management, Change Management, Design, Consultant, Thought
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Consulting Casebook 2014

A compilation of sample cases from the top B B-schools and consulting case interview experiences at SPJIMR

Consulting Committee 2013

ACKNOWLEDGEMNT The Consulting Committee is extremely thankful to all those who contributed to the casebook sebook by sharing their case interview experiences. Without your support & help, this publication would not have been possible. All contributions to this document are by students of the batch 2012 2012-2014 who appeared for interviews rviews of consulting firms on campus during their final placements. We would also like to acknowledge Kellogg Business School, Johnson School Consulting Club, Columbia Business school, IIM A, IIMB , XLRI and ISB for their contribution through their casebo casebook. We hope casebook helps all those aspiring for prized and successful consulting careers. All the very best! Reference Sources for the sample cases cases: [1] Kellogg Consulting Club Casepack asepack 2001 [2] Casebook IIMA 2011 [3] Vault Case Interview Practice racticeGuide 2008

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CONTENTS Topic 1. Introduction 1.1 How to use these cases 1.2 Job Functions 1.3 Skills & Requirements 1.4 What to prepare 1.5 How to approach a case 1.6 How to answer questions

Page No. 5-15 5 6 7 7 8 10

2. Frameworks 2.1 Pestel Framework 2.2 Marketing Mix 2.3 Porter’s Five forces 2.4 Market entry strategies 2.5 BCG matrix 2.6 McKinsey 7S framework 2.7 Porter’s Generic Strategies 2.8 Market based view 2.9 Resource based view 2.10 Profitability framework 2.11 Blue Ocean Strategy 2.12 Balanced Scorecard 2.13 Total Quality Manage Management

15-45 15 18 21 24 25 28 30 34 35 36 37 39 42

3. Brainteasers


4. Types of cases 4.1 Profitability/Operations Case 1 : Chilled Beverages 1 Case 2: Snack Food Company 2 Case 3: Taxi Driver in Mumbai 2 Case 4: Global Retail Bank 2 4.2 Industrial Analysis/ Growth

46-90 46 46 48 50 51 55

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Case1: Frozen Food 2 Case2: Saturated Telecom Market 2 Case3: Aluminium Can manufacturer 1 4.3 Market Entry / Expansion/Investment Case1: Retail Bank in India 2 Case2: Tyre Manufacturer 2 Case3: Gas Manufacturer 3 4.4 New Product Offering Case1: Minibar in hotel rooms 2 Case2: Third party automobile gas service station 2 4.5 Miscellaneous Case1:US Telecom 3 Case2: Canada Co 3 Case3: Online Gambling Business 3 5. SPJIMR Interview Experiences Deloitte S&O Interview Experience #1 Interview Experience #2 Interview Experience #3 Deloitte TS&A Interview Experience #1 TSMG Interview Experience #1 PRTM Interview Experience #1 KPMG Interview Exper Experience #1 EY Interview Experience #1 Deloitte Malaysia Interview Experience ##1 Interview Experience #2

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1.INTRODUCTION This document has been prepared by the Consulting Committee of SPJIMR Mumbai. The purpose of this document iiss to assist the students of SPJIMR in their preparation for case interviews conducted by consulting firms during placements. This case book documents preparation techniques and pre requisites / frameworks for analyses, types of cases, sample cases with po possible ssible solutions. It documents the interview experiences of students across various consulting firms. The aim of sharing these experiences is to inform students about the case caseinterview experiences of past batches, and to accordingly help them prepare for their placements. The experiences listed below are not necessarily the best way in to handle case interviews. They only serve to give students an idea as to what to expect when they walk into a case interview. Every individual could have his / her own unique que way of tackling consulting interviews, each of which could be correct. So you want to be a consultant. And you know that case interviews are an important tool consulting firms use to gauge how candidates might perform on the job. Don’t worry. These pr practice actice cases, a partner, and lots of practice, are all you need. Doing well in a case interview is a matter of practice and preparation. Case interview skills are something you learn, not something you’re born with. This book will help you review key conce concepts pts and expose you to an array of business issues. By practicing these cases, you will learn to present a clear, concise, focussed, and organized flow of logical thoughts while analyzing a business problem. Remember that the field is growing and firms are starved for good candidates. All they need is a reason to hire you. 1.1 How to use these cases These practice cases are designed to simulate the case interview experience for you and a partner. You should proceed as you would in an actual interview. This is 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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your opportunity to sharpen your presentation, analytical and other critical skills while under fire. You should have a pen and a pad of paper on which to take notes, and a natural but professional disposition. Read the question, but only read the recommended mmended solutions when you have first explored and exhausted all possible answers. 1.2 Job Functions Strategy While most problem-solving solving involves some sort of strategy, there are companies, groups, and assignments that are particularly focused on high high-le level strategy development. Interpreted broadly, strategy includes the development of an overall approach to improving a company’s competitive position across multiple areas. Operations/Process Improvement A subset of strategy, operations focuses on improvi improving ng the product or serviceservice generating part of the enterprise. MBA students tend to overlook the strategic aspects of this function and its importance to the client organization. Their perception is that operations is not as glamorous as strategy, when in re reality operations can be quite strategic and is usually the key to a successful organization. Change Management/Organizational Design Another subset of strategy, change management relates specifically to human resource issues within organizations - emphasizing zing alignment of culture, people, and structure with strategy, products, processes, and technology technology. Implementation/Information Technology This takes the strategy development one step further by executing the approach. For many consulting firms, this happens happ to be the “bread-and-butter” butter” part of the 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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business, with a significant amount of revenue coming from information technology integration. 1.3 Skills & Requirements - Analytical and problem-solving solving ability - Teamwork - Customer focus - Intellectual curiosity - Listening skills/communication skills - Leadership 1.4 What to prepare A typical interview for a consulting firm is a mix of “case” and “fit”. Case Preparation – Cases are arguably the most important aspect of any consulting interview. A good perf performance ormance in a case puts you in a very favorable position with the firm; an excellent one virtually guarantees an offer. A typical case is a business situation, requiring strategy formulation in order to fix a problem or enhance efficiency (optimization). It can vary from a detailed problem statement, supported by several facts to a one‐liner liner conceptual statement with a very broad problem description along with few, if any, facts available. Case interviews are designed to help the interviewer assess the candidate on the following parameters · Thinking process – The interviewer constantl constantlyy evaluates the candidate as the latter thinks through the problem · Structuring – This involves breaking down the problem into simple, logical components and structuring a broad approach framework. 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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· Analytical and Quantitative skills – A typical case problem requires application of basic quantitative concepts, achieved through an analytical approach to the problem in hand · Demeanor – In addition to the above, interviewer also judges the candidate on his poise and maturity · Finally, cases also provide the candid candidate ate a flavor of the consulting world in terms of kind of work they can expect in the industry. Fit Questions – The objective of these questions is to determine the degree of fit between the candidate and the firm. This part of the interview serves the fol following purposes · Helps interviewer know more about the candidate, his life life‐story and ambitions · Explore candidate’s interests, and how they “fit” with those of firms · Assess how coherently the candidate can present himself in a conversation · In parallel to the above aspects, the candidate is continuously assessed on his communications skills as well. Typically, a very good performance in both parts, i.e. case and fit, is essential for a final offer. Very strong performance in one section can compensate for average performance in the other to a certain extent; but a minimum decent sh show in both aspects of the interview is mandatory to be considered for the next round/final offer. 1.5 How to approach a case Most successful case interviews follow a basic four four-part part structure – clarify, structure, analyze and conclude.

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Clarify: When n you are given the case, listen closely, take notes, and make sure you understand what you are being asked for. Does the interviewer want a set of recommendations, a simple yes/no answer, a number or a process description? Make sure you answer the questio question you are asked! If something is unclear, ask a clarifying question. And before you move forward, paraphrase the question back to the interviewer to confirm the problem statement (ex. ““So So the client has decided to enter this market and wants to know how be best to do it?”) Structure:: Now, tell the interviewer you would like to take a moment to develop an approach to the problem. Your interviewer expects you to do this and you should not worry about taking a silent minute or two to think before you begin speaking. king. Use this time to choose an appropriate framework for analyzing the case and to develop a set of questions based on your framework (frameworks are discussed in the next section.) Analyze:: Once you have a framework, walk your interviewer through it, p pointing out key questions you will ask and stating any initial hypotheses or assumptions. After you do this, your interviewer may give you additional information. Otherwise, begin asking your questions and working through your framework. Start broad and try ry to work through a range of issues methodically. When you have worked through an issue, briefly state your findings and move on to the next point. Don’t focus on a single point and forget the big picture. As you work, note any key findings so you remembe remember to mention them in your wrap-up. up. 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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Use new information you gather to form new hypotheses and ask additional questions. Listen carefully to everything the interviewer says. Interviewers will often give you hints and attempt to help you if you appear to be getting off-track. off While it is important to use your framework, don’t allow it to constrain you. If the facts of the case take you in unexpected directions, be willing to explore new issues. If you get to a point where you feel stuck, feel free to ask for a moment to gather your thoughts. Sometimes it helps to summarize what you have found so far back to the interviewer. Finally, it is very important that you describe your thought process as your work. This can seem uncomfortable and artificial, but reme remember mber that describing your thought process is the only way the interviewer can know what (and if) you are thinking. Conclude:: Sometimes it can be hard to know when to conclude a case. Some cases have natural endpoints and some interviewers will tell you w when hen to wrap wrapup. But with others, you will need to look for signs from the interviewer, pay attention to the time and choose a point when you have enough findings to make useful recommendations. When you conclude, summarize your key findings and synthesize them into one or more overall recommendations. Depending on the case, you may also want to discuss any trade-offs offs or implications of your recommendation or explain why you ruled out other possible solutions. The purpose here is not to use up time – it is to show that you have a big picture view of the case and your analysis. And above all, relate your conclusion back to the original problem statement and make sure your have answered the question that was asked. 1.6 How to answer questions

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There are some basic rules about how consultants think. Using the following intellectual structures to frame your answers to their questions in a familiar style will make it easier for them to evaluate you in a positive manner and could engender a feeling of intellectual rapport. 1. Keep the answers concise and full of content. This means that long and flowery sentences that add little of substance to your answer are not advisable. Nor are long, irrelevant anecdotes from university or prior working life. 2. Make an assertion and nd support it with fact or example. So in answers to questions like “are you a good leader,” don’t be too modest. Rather, objectify it with something like, “When I was elected President, the newspapers used me as their example of perfect leadership.” (Well, that might be a bit much, but you get the idea). 3. Consultants thrive on intellectual structure in their thought processes. You will need to build a logical structure to your thoughts and arguments and make it clear that that is what you are doing. (If you are concerned about this, read Barbara Minto’s book on pyramid thinking, which is one of the industry’s bibles). For example, if you have three ideas on the subject, say so and then enumerate them carefully. Never forget to talk about all of them, give them em equal time weighting, and don’t be distracted from finishing your reasoning, even if you are distracted by something on the way. One interviewing trick is to interrupt a flow of an argument, purposefully distract the student from his chain of thought, aand nd see if the interviewee finds his or her way back to it. 4. Don’t underestimate the interviewer’s ability: You do not need to explain everything in immense detail, and if they are unable to follow your reasoning they will ask you about it - either because they hey don’t understand or they think you are talking nonsense. Either way, they will wish to confirm their opinion. For example, I used to do a case study on the introduction of digital cordless telephones into the U.K. market. One well qualified – but 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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overconfident - engineering student expounded at length on the concept and application of ergonomics in this product. Since I had played a major role in developing the ergonomics of the specific product he cited, I think it is fair to say that I had already for forgotten more about it than he would ever know. Despite my none-too-subtle none subtle signs of boredom, he refused to be distracted and made a fair fool of himself by using several unsupported and erroneous assertions. 5. The “so what,” or “key take take-aways” are crucial. Consultants nsultants learn that analysis is nice, but without a resulting message it is useless. So remember that when you finish a discussion or analysis, the resulting message must be clear and useful. Ideally, it leads to a new understanding of the issue you have discussed. 6. Don’t respond to a question with a question, but if you really don’t understand what they meant, ask. Consultants are constantly faced with learning about new companies and industries. They know that you will have to ask questions; sometimes the they are setting tasks on purpose to see what questions you will ask. The basic rule of “there are no stupid questions,” however, does not apply. There are stupid questions, in fact, there are very stupid questions – and you should not ask them. Stupid questi questions can contain three major errors. The first is asking for information you should already have, or will not need. The second is to frame or structure the question badly. A badly structured question is ambiguous, unclear, or imprecise. Such questions also have an answer that only adds irrelevant facts to the issue under discussion. The third is not really a question, but more an unstructured monologue of the person’s thoughts. 7. A consultant knows where he is heading: the consultant has a critical path in mind for solving the case. If he is leading you, trust him to know what he is saying. He will have run through the case several times before and knows what you need to solve it. In the same way, you will be able to detect when you are going the wrong way in a case, because he will become bored with your approach to the problem. He may decide to play “Yes, No, or 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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Irrelevant” game with you. This technique means he will not give you any other answers than these words. Don’t be disturbed by this, but rather go with h the flow and lead the discussion while explaining where you are going. 8. The professional service company. Don’t forget that consultants are client driven. Answers should focus on what this means for the client and what is helpful advice. For the unenlightened, ened, helpful = increasing shareholder value. 9. We are in it for the money. Though MBAs should know this anyway, don’t forget that all businesses are in it for only one of two objectives: either to make money or serve the community. So keep simple concepts like l Profit = Revenue – Costs in your head. They can be the key to a well-structured well answer. 10.Choose your examples. Interviewers may ask you to cite specific examples – Make sure you are up to date on these examples - questions on share price, newest strategy,, or press release releasess are not uncommon. In the same way, support your argument using relevant examples. Make sure you are up to date and can back the example up with specific supporting evidence. I can’t help thinking about the Dilbert example of a successfull company, which was advised by their consultants to develop further by emulating another company. Preliminary research by skeptical employees showed that this model company had just failed and filed for bankruptcy. 11.Support your argument. Consultants hate little more than, “I don’t know why, I just feel that way.” Professionally, consultants live by rationalizing everything, so you must be prepared to explain any decision you have made about your life, any views you have had or any statements you make with clear and coherent argumentation. 12.MECE - Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive. This acronym means you are expected to argue using evidence and argumentation that covers every angle, but with clearly separate chains of thought. Your arguments must nott overlap but, as a group, be completely conclusive.

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13.Prioritize what is relevant. Most cases have sidetrack ideas that, though important, are only marginally relevant to the decision. Be conscious of not devoting too much time to such issues. This I have found ound is especially dangerous when that marginal issue is one you know a lot about. For example, if you are asked to discuss Gap’s sales strategy, and on on-line sales are your primary area of interest or knowledge, but at present they are probably less than 1% % of sales, beware overemphasizing the importance of that single sales channel. Explain to the interviewer how you are prioritizing and why. So, for example, if he wants you to speak mainly about the on-line on sales, then he has the chance to tell you, other otherwise concentrate on the other 99%. Pareto Rules! 14.Break down the problem into bite sized chunks: Large and complex problems may not be solvable as a whole, but once broken down into small parts, they usually are. 15.Draw charts and diagrams: Consultants work byy producing charts. These are usually a mixture of words and pictures, and are a very effective method of communication. If you are given a complex issue, try mapping out a decision tree, block chart or just a list of issues and sub sub-issues you think need to o be talked about. If you feel confident enough, you may consider using some economist’s graphs – but make absolutely sure you get them right. 16.State assumptions: Many problems have no absolute right answer. Basing your thought process on assumptions is an obvious and neat way of solving these problems and is well accepted business practice. More importantly, clearly articulating and sometimes defending assumptions in case interviews can win you major points with an interviewer. It is a common fault of brightt people to make assumptions and not tell anyone else they have made them. What appears completely coherent to you fails miserably to convince anyone else who cannot follow your secret thought processes. 17.Conclude well: when you finish, summarize what you h have ave said succinctly. Consultants are going to push you in the interview because they want to 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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see how far you can go. This means two things. First, be worried if they are not pushing you and second – more usefully – they are going to push you to the boundaries. ies. By definition, that means that there will be a point when you are out of your depth. They are not doing this to be mean, nor do they expect you to be able to know everything. They are just trying to see just how much you do know , or are able to cope with.

2.FRAMEWORKS 2.1 PESTEL Framework There are many factors in the macro macro-environment environment that will affect the decisions of the managers of any organization. To help analyze these factors managers can categorize them using the PESTEL model which is a fram framework ework of macro macroenvironmental factors used in the environmental scanning component of strategic management. It is a part of the external analysis when conducting a strategic analysis or doing market research, and gives an overview of the different macro-environmental ironmental factors that the company has to take into consideration.

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Typical PESTEL factors to consider include: Factor Could include: Political e.g. EU enlargement, UN, NATO, SAARC, ASEAN, international trade, taxation policy Economic e.g. interest est rates, exchange rates, national income, inflation, unemployment, Stock Market Social e.g. ageing population, attitudes to work, income distribution Technological e.g. innovation, new product development, rate of technological obsolescence Environmental e.g. global warming, environmental issues Legal e.g. competition law, health and safety, employment law Political factors These refer to government policy such as the degree of intervention in the economy. What goods and services does a go government vernment want to provide? To what extent does it believe in subsidizing firms? What are its priorities in terms of business support? Political decisions can impact on many vital areas for business such as the education of the workforce, the health of the n nation ation and the quality of the infrastructure of the economy such as the road and rail system. Economic factors These include interest rates, taxation changes, economic growth, inflation and exchange rates. For example: – Higher interest rates may deter in investment vestment because it costs more to borrow 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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– A strong currency may make exporting more difficult because it may raise the price in Terms of foreign currency – Inflation may provoke higher wage demands from employees and raise costs – Higher national income me growth may boost demand for a firm’s products Social factors Changes in social trends can impact on the demand for a firm’s products and the availability and willingness of individuals to work. In certain developed countries of the world, the population ion has been ageing. This has increased the costs for firms who are committed to pension payments for their employees because their staff is living longer. It also means some firms have started to recruit older employees to tap into this growing labor pool pool. Technological factors New technologies create new products and new processes. MP3 players, computer games, online gambling and high definition TVs are all new markets created by technological advances. Technology can reduce costs, improve quality and lead to innovation. These developments can benefit consumers as well as the organizations providing the products. Environmental factors Environmental factors include the weather and climate change. Changes in temperature can impact on many industries in including cluding farming, tourism and insurance. With major climate changes occurring due to global warming and with greater environmental awareness this external factor is becoming a significant issue for firms to consider. Legal factors

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These are related to thee legal environment in which firms operate. In recent years there have been many significant legal changes that have affected firms’ behaviour. The introduction of age discrimination and disability discrimination legislation, an increase in the minimum wag wagee and greater requirements for firms to recycle are examples of relatively recent laws that affect an organization’s actions. 2.2 Marketing Mix / The 4P’s Marketing Mix While marketing a product, a firm needs to balance an appropriate mix of several key elements to create a successful marketing campaign. Each of these elements is required to be mixed in the right proportion. For example, a brilliant product might be unsuccessful if it is not properly priced. The 4Ps

The marketing mix has been traditionally tradi defined by the 4 Ps – 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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· Product/Service – The product or the service that the firm develops should be able to satisfy the customer needs, as determined by market research. This would involve decisions regarding the brand name, functionality, styling, g, quality, support service, warranty, accessories etc. · Price – The pricing strategy of the firm determines the profitability of the company. The pricing strategy followed by the firm could be market skimming, market penetration or neutral pricing. The kkey ey decision points for pricing are - the value of the product or service to the buyer, pre preestablished price points for the products or services, price sensitivity of the customer, discounts to be offered pricing strategy of the competitors, etc. · Promotion - This represents the methods of communication that a firm may use to provide information about the product. Promotion comprises elements such as advertising, public relations, personal selling and sales promotion. The promotional strategy could be a pu push sh strategy or a pull strategy. A “push” strategy makes use of a company's sales force and trade promotion activities to create consumer demand for a product. A “pull” selling strategy requires high spending on advertising and consumer promotion to build up p consumer demand for a product. · Place – This involves providing access to markets for the products. It is about creating distribution channels for products. A firm could follow Market coverage strategies such as intensive distribution, selective distribution, ution, exclusive distribution, franchising etc. The 8Ps In the modern context, in a services dominated world, 4 additional Ps have been added to the marketing mix framework.

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These additional Ps are – · Process – This means the process by which the fir firm m delivers product elements. The firm needs to determine between the standardization and customization of processes. It also needs to determine processes that are aligned to its organizational strategy. · Physical Environment - The appearance of the place where the services are delivered may have a significant impact upon whether the service was satisfactory. This forms perceptions about the product or service to be provided. · People – Getting the right talent mix is extremely essential for a firm, especially lly in the services sector. The front line staff is the point of contact with the customer and is responsible for providing a favourable customer experience. Hence, it is critical to recruit the right talent pool and train and develop people. It is also cr critical itical to develop a leadership pipeline for easy succession planning. 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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· Packaging:: This is the most recently added P of marketing. The role of packaging is critical as it attracts the customer to purchase the product. Packaging involves using the appropria appropriate te colours, look and feel o match with the identity of the product as well as differentiate the product in a retail outlet. For the services sector, packaging could involve certain tangible features such as uniforms of the service agents or the look and feel el of the service package. 2.3 Porter’s Five Forces Origin Porter’s five forces analysis was developed in 1979 by Michael Porter. It is a framework analysing the macro environment of an industry. It is widely used to evaluate the attractiveness of a b business usiness based on the expected profitability, qualitatively, that the business has to offer. Any business is said to experience the impact of the five forces that determine profitability. The Structure Bargaining power of Suppliers · A high level of supplier er bargaining power is not good for profitability as it has the potential to impact the COGS if suppliers demand greater prices, to affect production schedule if they negotiate delivery terms more convenient to them etc. · Firms can have significant bargain bargaining ing power if they produce or have access to resources that are rare or if they have considerable size and reputation in the market · For example, Boeing and Airbus are the only makers of large aircraft and can hence impose their will on the customers Bargaining aining power of Customers 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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· A high level of customer bargaining power is bad because a company may have to invest significantly in product differentiation or customer acquisition to serve the markets. These extra costs will have a direct impact on the bottom-line · Markets in which supply exceeds demand or in which customers are large players with significant market shares can tilt the power in the favour of customers. · For example Tata group on account of its sheer size can dictate terms to suppliers like ABB. Threat of New entrants · Ease of entry of new entrants would mean greater competition , loss of market share and can easily lead to excess supply scenario thereby reducing profitability for all firms in that industry. · Industries that require high init initial ial investment or that are highly regulated by the government are said to have created barriers to entry for new entrants. · Consider the relative ease with regards to investment, regulatory approval and the required infrastructure with which a local Kirana shop can be setup as opposed to a new entrant in Telecom services that requires significant infrastructure and spectrum investments. Threat of Substitutes · Industries where products can be easily substituted are also not considered very attractive. It iss difficult to prevent customers from switching in such a market. Furthermore such markets are also highly sensitive to price and supply fluctuations · For example natural gas may be considered as a substitute to petrol Competitive Rivalry 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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· Every industry would prefer to operate in an environment of minimum competition · The number of competitors, the degree of innovation and kind of competitive strategies employed may significantly influence the intensity of competition. The greater the intensity of compe competition tition the more is the pressure on margins and profits. Consider the mobile handset segment in which there are numerous competitors and new products are frequently introduced. Hence companies are under immense pressure to respond to new offerings of comp competitors. The model assumes that buyers, suppliers and competitors cannot collude and that there is symmetric information flow within the market about competitor actions. Extensions Complementors are widely considered to be the sixth force. This force aaccounts for firms entering into strategic alliances in the form of Joint Ventures, partnerships etc.

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2.4 Market Entry Strategy Market entry strategies are generally used by companies entering their operations/sales in new countries or new markets of the same location. Recently these strategies have become very popular on account of companies started looking for diversifying into emerging countries. The broad framework for entering into any market is given below Step 1: Understanding Market Dynamics

Step 2: Understanding Risks Involved & Timing of Entry Analyze the different types of risks involved in entering a new market · No knowledge of market · Weather risk · Systematic risk · Sovereign risk · Foreign exchange risk · Liquidity risk

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Also, the company pany has to take into account the timing of entry i.e. first mover or late entrant and depending on that redefine the value proposition and market entry strategy. Step 3: Types of Market Entry Options 1. Licensing is defined as “the method of foreign o operation peration whereby a firm in one country agrees to permit a company in another country to use the manufacturing, processing, trademark, know-how how or some other skill provided by the licensor”. It is quite similar to the “franchise” operation. Coca Cola is an excellent example of licensing. In Zimbabwe, United Bottlers have the licensee to make Coke. 2. Joint ventures can be defined as “an enterprise in which two or more investors share ownership and control over property rights and operation”. Joint ventures are a more extensive form of participation than either exporting or licensing. In Zimbabwe, Olivine industries have a joint venture agreement with HJ Heinz in food processing. 3. Ownership:: The most extensive form of participation is 100% ownership and this his involves the greatest commitment in capital and managerial effort. The ability to communicate and control 100% may outweigh any of the disadvantages of joint ventures and licensing. However, as mentioned earlier, repatriation of earnings and capital hass to be carefully monitored. The more unstable the environment the less likely is the ownership pathway an option. 4. Export processing zones (EPZ): Whilst not strictly speaking an entry entry-strategy, EPZs serve as an “entry” into a market. They are primarily an investment incentive for would be investors but can also provide employment for the host country and the transfer of skills as well as provide a base for the flow of goods in and out of the country. 2.5 The BCG Matrix

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The BCG matrix (Boston Box, Bos Boston ton Matrix, portfolio diagram) was created by the Bruce Henderson for the Boston Consulting Group in 1968 to help corporations with analyzing their business units or product lines. The matrix is used as a tool by companies to allocate its resources among iits ts various product lines. It is also a useful tool to classify, understand and possibly predict the performance of its products.

The model is a 2X2 matrix that classifies products based on their Relative market share and Market growth rate into four ccategories. Rationale for Classification Market Growth rate – A growing market is always a good sign because it implies greater demand and more opportunities for business to earn revenues. But it also means that to tap the market, businesses will have to invest in expanding capacity, generating awareness and building efficient distribution channels etc. A growth rate of over 10% is considered to be desirable in any market. Relative Market share – Relative market share is used as an indicator to assess ability ility to generate cash flows. If the largest competitor has a 60% share and if your company has a 20% share then the ratio works out to be 3:1. This indicates 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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that your brand is in a relatively weaker position. But consider the case where the ratio is reverse rse (i.e. you own 60% share and your largest competitor 20%) then you are in a relatively stronger position. The latter scenario is believed to yield greater profits. Classification in the life cycle of a Product Question marks (High growth, Low Market share) – Also known as the problem child they require a lot of cash since they are placed in high growth markets. But since they have smaller market shares they do not yield a lot of cash in return. They have the potential to become Stars but only after heavy eavy investment but may also turn into Dogs. The BCG model suggests that except for a few question marks that show true potential to yield profits the remainder must be divested. Stars (High growth, High market share) – They require a lot of investment b but ut at the same time they generate a lot of cash. Holding on to Stars may eventually be very beneficial once they turn into Cash Cows. Cash cows (Low growth, High market share) share)Cash cows are the ideal product category for a company. They signify minimal investment but excess returns. The strategy is to milk them for all they are worth to invest the money in products that are Stars. Once the market matures further and market share or size drops then they will turn to dogs. Dogs (Low growth. Low market sha share)These units may break even but other than ensuring synergies and providing the social benefit of jobs to a few people; these products are worthless because they barely generate any profits. The suggested strategy is to liquidate them. Limitations · High igh growth and high market share are not the only determinants of market attractiveness and profitability 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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· Sometime dogs may generate more cash than cash cows when market sizes are different Criticisms The model promotes the idea of having a portfolio w with ith products spread in all four quadrants as an ideal strategy. It is also not wise to “Milk “your best brand just for the sake of infusing liquidity into an upcoming brand. The focus should always be on the performance of the leading brand. 2.6 McKinsey 7S Framework Introduction The frameworks studied until now primarily focused on the external environment in order to determine an organization’s strategy. 7S is one of the early management frameworks that speak about aligning strategy to the factors internal to an organization. Origin In the late seventies, Bruce Henderson’s BCG was gaining ground quickly owing to its battery of new ideas. Determined to respond strongly, McKinsey started a major research project on business strategy in 1977. At the sa same me time, a relatively smaller study on organizational effectiveness began under the leadership of Tom Peters, then a Partner at McKinsey. His study of 43 organizations culminated in the book “In Search of Excellence”, which spoke about aligning organizatio organization’s strategy to its structure and systems. Soon after, Tom Peters conceptualized his findings in a model, along with Bob Waterman and Richard Pascale of McKinsey. Anthony Athos added the seventh S to the framework, and thus it took the name 7S. Structure of the framework 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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The 7S framework believes that organizational effectiveness was a function of following seven inter-linked linked factors: · Strategy:: the plan devised to maintain and build competitive advantage over the competition. · Structure:: the way the org organization anization is structured and who reports to whom. · Systems:: the daily activities & procedures that staff members engage in to get the job done. · Shared Values:: called “superordinate goals” when the model was first developed, these are the core values of th thee company that are evidenced in the corporate culture and the general work ethic. · Style:: the style of leadership adopted. · Staff:: the employees and their general capabilities. · Skills:: the actual skills and competencies of the employees working for the company.

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The first three form the ‘Hard Hard Elements Elements’’ while the remaining four form the ‘Soft ‘ Elements’.’. If the hard elements and soft elements are mutually aligned and reinforce each other, the organization is more likely to succeed. Impact The model has widely been used as a tool to assess and monitor changes in the internal situation of an organization, like restructuring, new processes, organizational merger, new systems and change of leadership. Limitation Little empirical evidence: Some of the orga organizations nizations initially a part of 43 organizations studied actually went bust. 2.7 Porter’s Generic Strategies Imagine that you have to travel from Delhi to Goa for a pleasure trip with your family. You do a search on yatra.com and now you have to choose th the airline. Which one would you choose – Spicejet, which provides you with the cheapest fare or Kingfisher, which provides a 55-star star treatment to your family? Or, would you prefer IndiGo, which is priced similar to Spicejet, but has an impeccable record of being eing on time and providing great service? Who do these companies offer different services? It is because these follow different competitive strategies. These different strategies were first explained by Michael Porter and are known as Porter’s Generic Strategies. Porter represents the ‘Competitive Competitive Position School of Thought Thought’.’. This school of thought believes that a firm’s success depends on how it positions itself with respect to its competitors in the market. This school of thought is different from the ‘Resource Resource Based Approach Approach’,’, which talks about building the company’s core competency based on the resources and capabilities available with the company, to create value. 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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Competitive Advantage It is the ability of an organization to add more value to its ccustomers ustomers than its rivals and therefore attain a position of relative advantage. It gives the firm an edge over its rivals. Competitive Strategy It is the means by which an organization seeks to achieve and sustain its competitive advantage. The competit competitive ive strategies fall along two dimensions – Strategic scope – This is a demand demand-side side dimension and looks at the size and composition of the market the player intends to target. For example, Dell’s scope is mainly limited to laptops, whereas Apple’s scope is far more broader, ranging from laptops, phones, music players etc. Strategic strength – This is a supply supply-side side dimension and looks at the strength or core competency of the firm. The strategic strength could be classified into two – Cost and Product Differentiation. rentiation. For example, McDonalds focuses on cost of its product, whereas a high-end end hotel such as The Taj differentiates through its products. The 3 Generic Strategies Based on the two dimensions of scope and strength, Porter came up with three strategies, egies, called the Generic Strategies because they can be applied to products or services in all industries, and to organizations of all sizes. These are – The Cost Leadership Strategy This strategy is all about gaining competitive advantage over competi competitors by reducing costs. There are two main ways of achieving this within a Cost Leadership strategy: ♦ Increasing profits by reducing costs considerably, while charging industry industryaverage prices 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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♦ Volumes – Increasing market share through charging lower pr prices, ices, while still making a reasonable profit on each sale because you’ve reduced costs Companies that are successful in achieving Cost Leadership usually have: ♦ Economies of scale ♦ Access to the capital ♦ Very efficient supply chain ♦ Superior management ♦ Use of technology ♦ A low cost base (labor, materials, facilities) For example, low cost airlines such as Spice Jet offer lowest fares to the customers and earn profits through the high volume of customers from the middle class who can afford tthese hese airlines. Micromax provides mobile phones at the cheapest prices. The Differentiation Strategy Differentiation involves making your products or services different from and more attractive those of your competitors. This differentiation could be bro brought about by features, functionality, durability, support and also brand image that that customers value. To make a success of a Differentiation strategy, organizations need ♦ Innovation in products ♦ R&D ♦ High Quality products and services ♦ Creation of a superior brand ♦ Effective sales and marketing ♦ High service levels For example, Kingfisher airlines offer luxury airlines and cater to those who want a 5-star experience ience during their flights. It charges a higher premium and works on

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margins earned, even if the flights do not get full. Apple offers an iPhone with distinct features and offers a premium price to its customers. The Focus Strategy Companies that use Focus cus strategies concentrate on particular niche markets and, by understanding the dynamics of that market and the unique needs of customers within it, develop uniquely low cost or well well-specified specified products for the market. Companies following this strategy ar aree experts in the niche markets in which they operate and are hence are able to build a very strong brand loyalty from their customers. This makes the particular market less attractive to its competitors. However, Focus alone is not enough. The company need needss to decide of the competitive advantage – whether the company would be a cost leader or a differentiator. For example, Indigo follows a Focused Strategy as it runs its flights only on the main routes, which have high volumes. It does not operate in the rroutes outes between the smaller cities. In this segment, IndiGo differentiates itself from the other low cost airlines by its impeccable record of being on time and providing excellent service.

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Criticism Many critics say that the Generic Strategies lack spec specificity, ificity, lack flexibility, and are limiting. Stuck in the middle – Companies that apply more than one strategy, run the risk of being stuck in the middle, with no competitive advantage. Competitors with a clear strategy tend to outperform those with an un unclear clear strategy or multiple strategies. It is difficult to simultaneously provide a differentiated product and attain low costs (something similar to Heisenberg’s Uncertainity Principle!). 2.8 Market Based View Until the nineties, the predominant thought in strategic management was shaped by the writings of Bain and Porter, which linked a firm’s success to its ability to manage the external environment. Such a view requires a clear demarcation of external environment or ‘market’ and hence is called market -based based view. When Market based View fails: Chrysler vs. Honda Consider the example of Chrysler and Honda. Chrysler saw itself as an automaker competing with other differentiated, yet similar automakers in the market for cars. In order to build competitive competitive products to gain the market, it sought ways to increase performance and reduce prices. One such way was outsourcing the production and subsequently the design of its engines so as to reduce costs. Chrysler was a big established player and naturally woul would d enjoy enough bargaining power while sourcing these components. However, over the years, in spite of following this conventional strategic wisdom, Chrysler was outpaced as an organization by Honda. In the paper “The core competencies of organization”, Pr Prahalad ahalad and Hamel explained why Honda would never outsource its engines. Honda built its strategy around the firm’s strength in building petrol based engines. Honda started with small clip clip-on on engines for bicycles, moved to motorbikes, marine engines, genera generators, tors, and cars. Each of these products competes in quite different product markets, but leverages a common resource in the ability to build quality petrol based engines. 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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2.9 Resource Based View A resource based view conceptualizes the firm as a bundle o off resources. It is these resources, and the way that they are combined, that make firms different from one another and in turn allow a firm to deliver products and services in the market. Identifying Key Resources A firm’s resources could be of three ty types: ♦ Tangible Resources: e.g. Plant, equipment, financial reserves ♦ Intangible Resources: e.g. Brand, patents, technology, reputation ♦ Personnel Resources: e.g. Culture, expertise, commitment Not all the resources are strategically important. Barne Barneyy (1991) provides an effective checklist to identify key resources. According to the model, the resource is strategically important if it is: ♦ Valuable: It must enable a firm to employ a value value-creating strategy ♦ Rare: To be of value, a resource must be rare by definition ♦ In-imitable: imitable: If a valuable resource is controlled by only one firm it could be a source of a competitive advantage ♦ Non-substitutable: substitutable: There must be no strategically equivalent valuable resources that are themselves neither rare no nor inimitable. RBV & Sustained Above Average Returns

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While it is important to recognize that firms are different, and have different resources, this is not to say that the market is not also important. The challenge is to identify opportunities in the m market arket that are relevant to the resource base of the firm. Conversely, resources need to fit with their environment to deliver competitive advantage. When such resources are built internally and are low in mobility such that they cannot be imitated, the com competitive petitive advantage translates into sustained above average returns. 2.10 The Profitability Framework Many of the cases presented during the interview may deal with issues of declining profitability. This is a very helpful framework in laying out your th thoughts in an organized fashion and systematically tackling the issues. The Profitability Framework starts off by stating that profit is simply a function of revenue and costs. When a company is facing declining profitability, either revenue has decreased, costs have increased, or both. The idea here is to understand which side of the equation is pulling profitability down and how to go about rectifying the problem. On the revenue side,, a number of factors have been listed that can have an impact on revenue. e. This list can be three times as large, depending on the case. However, do not provide a laundry list of issues that you think might impact revenue. Whatever you write down must be of significance. Having said that, you should try to list a few more fac factors tors under revenue than you are willing to cover. The reason being is that interviewers would like to see you acknowledge that although these factors can have an impact, you have the ability to prioritize as to the most important!! On the cost side, you need to see if costs have increased, causing profitability to go down. It is always a good idea to understand what type of cost has increased. 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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Your interviewer will expect you to provide specific ways on improving costs for the company.

When you use thee Profitability Framework, make sure that you walk through it first with your interviewer before you begin the analysis. Explain why you are using this framework and the structure of it. Provide the road map before you start driving. 2.11 The Blue Ocean Strategy trategy What is Blue Ocean Strategy (BOS)? In 2005, W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne introduced this concept in their book by the same title. Blue Ocean Strategy is creating new demand in an uncontested market space, or a “Blue Ocean”, than by competing head-to-head head with other suppliers for known customers in an existing industry. What is Red Ocean Strategy (ROS)? It is exploiting existing demand or competing in existing market to beat the competitors to gain market share or profit. Characteristics of BOS 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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· Innovation: Instead of focusing on beating the competition, focus on making the competition irrelevant by creating a leap & value for buyers, thereby opening up uncontested market space. · Focus on neither cutting edge technology, nor on timing for mar market entrybut rather on aligning innovation with utility, price and cost positions. · Focus on complementary products and service offerings. · Consumers for BOS Let’s take an example to explain types of consumer for Gillette readymade razors when they introduced roduced there product: Regular Consumers:: Men who uses regularly uses replaceable shaving razor Potential Consumers:: Barbers, men who don’t use razor by themselves due to lack of time or safety issues regarding old shaving razors Non Existent Consumers: Readymade razors for removing hair for women Blue Ocean Strategy focuses on creating these types of non non-existent existent consumers into regular consumers. This not only increases the size of the market but also increases the innovation (sometimes disruptive inno innovation) vation) aspect in any industry Strategic Framework for BOS (e.g. iPhone Apps)

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The goal in adding these factors of competition is that you will be defining a new value curve—but but this one will be for iPhone app. For that to occur, you will leverage the Four ur Actions Framework, which includes four key questions (edited to be iPhone app-focused): · Which features taken for granted in the app landscape should be eliminated? · Which features should be reduced well below other features in the app landscape standard? · Which features should be raised well above other features in the app landscape standard? · Which features should be created that the app landscape has never offered? 2.12 Balanced Scorecard The need Traditionally, companies measured their performanc performancee through financial measures such as ROI, Revenue Growth etc. Some companies look at the operational measures, such as efficiency, turnover etc. However, to have a holistic idea about the company performance and to focus attention on critical areas, it is essential to have both the financial indicators as well as the operational indicators together. Lead and Lag Indicators Lag indicators help evaluate a process after an event has occurred. Lag indicators are what the company really wants. The lag indicat indicators ors are short term focused and are mostly financial in nature. For example, financial success (ROI, market share, revenue) Lead indicators give an early warning, or forecast, of what’s likely to happen in the future. Lead indicators represent the actions a company must take to get what it wants. These are long term focused and are non non-financial financial and intangible in 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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nature. For example, training and development, customer service, employee engagement, BPR (Business Process Reengineering) Balanced Scorecard – combining the lead and lag indicators “Balanced Scorecard (BS) is a strategic performance management tool that helps organizations translate strategy into operational objectives.”

The BS forces the companies to look at the lead and the lag indicators together and hence determine whether improvement in one of the indicators is at the expense of the other. Strategic Performance Management Tool BS is not merely a performance scorecard; it is a performance management tool. It looks at an organization fro from m four different perspectives, develops KPIs, measure performance and take initiatives to manage performance. The Customer Perspective: How customers see us? 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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Businesses today are strongly emphasizing on customer focus and customer satisfaction. These aree leading indicators: if customers are not satisfied, they will eventually find other suppliers that will meet their needs. Poor performance from this perspective is thus a leading indicator of future decline. Some of the examples of measures for the Cust Customer omer Perspective are – delivery performance to customer, quality performance for customer, customer satisfaction rate, customer retention rate, number of repeat customers etc. The Internal Business Perspective: What must we excel at? Metrics based on thee internal business perspective allow the managers to know how well their business is running, and whether the products and services conform to customer requirements (the mission). The measures of internal process of the company should be those that affect the core competencies of the company the most. Some examples of measures of this perspective are – number of activities per function, duplicate activities across functions, service quality, accreditations/certifications, process bottlenecks etc. The Learning arning & Growth Perspective: Can we continue to improve and create value? This perspective talks about the company’s ability to innovate, learn and respond to the fast changing environment in the long long-term. term. This includes building internal capability through gh employee training and corporate cultural attitudes related to both individual and corporate self self-improvement. Some examples of measures for this indicator are employee turnover rate, training/learning budget per employee, employee satisfaction percent (through survey), number of training hours per employee etc. The Financial Perspective: How do we look to shareholders? The Financial Perspective shows whether the company strategy and internal processing are actually contributing to the bottom line imp improvement. rovement. This 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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indicator typically looks at the profitability of the company, market share and the shareholder value created by the company. Some examples of measures for this indicator are return on investment, cash flow, return on capital employed, mark market share etc. Translate Strategy into Organizational Objectives The BS helps in linking the short short-term actions taken by the company with the long-term term strategic objectives. It helps in the alignment of the vision and mission of the company with the stra strategic tegic objectives (financial, customer, internal business, learning and development) and defines the Key Performance Indicators for the objectives. 2.13 Total Quality Management TQM (Total Quality Management) is a structured system for managing the qualit quality of products, processes, and resources of an organization in order to satisfy its customers (internal or external), as well as its suppliers. Its main objective is continual (if not progressive) customer satisfaction through continuous improvement; this iss accomplished by systematic methods for problem solving, breakthrough achievement, and sustenance of good results. The concept of Total Quality Management can also be expressed as “Achieving success by delighting our customers”. TQM is not a departmental tal project or quality campaign, it is a philosophy that the organization adapts and implements throughout the company for both a benefit to the customers and the company. Some examples of development in companies using TQM are: Increase in process ownership ship and employee involvement & empowerment through the installation of an employee suggestion system.

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Improved internal customer – supplier relationships through a series of ‘voice of the customer’ exercises, clarifying mutual expectations in measurable terms. A focused, systematic and structured approach to enhancing customer’s satisfaction through the application of process improvement methods that eliminate / reduce quality problems. Procedure of TQM model: There is no standard formula for implemen implementing ting TQM. Every company can exercise TQM in a manner it sees best for its organization. However, a company’s TQM program be structured and internally standardized, i.e., everyone within an organization must practice TQM in the same manner set forth by mana management. A very simple model of TQM consists of the following steps:

Step 1) The company reviews the needs of its customers and if these are being delivered by the company or not. Activities in this step are often extended to understand competitor’s customers. stomers. Development of an intimate understanding of customer needs allows TQM organizations to predict future customer behavior. 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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Step 2) The company plans the activities needed (both day day-to-day day and long-term long activities) to meet these customer needs. Step ep 3) TQM organizations use the methods of process management to develop cost-controlled controlled processes that are stable and capable of meeting customer expectations. Step 4) TQM organizations also understand that exceptional performance today may be unacceptable ble performance in the future so they use the concepts of process improvement to achieve both breakthrough gains and incremental continuous improvement Step 5) The final element of the TQM model is total participation. Organizations that use TQM understand nd that all work is performed through people. This has to begin with leadership. In TQM organizations, top management takes personal responsibility for implementing, nurturing, and refining all TQM activities. Management and employees work together to crea create te an empowered environment where people are valued. Note that Steps 1-5 5 above constitute a cycle, and may be iterated indefinitely for continuous improvement. TQM & Six Sigma In comparison, Six Sigma is more than just a process improvement program as it is based on concepts that focus on continuous quality improvements for achieving near perfection by restricting the number of possible defects to less than 3.4 defects per million. It is complementary to Statistical Process Control (SPC), which uses statistical tistical methods for monitoring and controlling business processes. Although both SPC and TQM help in improving quality, they often reach a stage after which no further quality improvements can be made. The basic difference between Six Sigma and TQM is th thee approach. While TQM views quality as conformance to internal requirements, Six Sigma focuses on 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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improving quality by reducing the number of defects. The end result may be the same in both the concepts (i.e. producing better quality products). Six Sigma helps organizations in reducing operational costs by focusing on defect reduction, cycle time reduction, and cost savings. It focuses on identifying and eliminating costs that provide no value to customers such as costs incurred due to waste. TQM initiatives ives focus on improving individual operations within unrelated business processes whereas Six Sigma programs focus on improving all the operations within a single business process. Six Sigma projects require the skills of professionals that are certified as ‘black belts’ whereas TQM initiatives are usually a part part-time time activity that can be managed by non-dedicated dedicated managers.

3. BRAINTEASERS First, Two Brain Teasers…a …a little something to get you in the mood! BRAIN TEASER #1 PHILOSOPHERS’ CHILDREN A conversation sation took place between two friends, a philosopher and a mathematician, who had not seen each or heard from each other in years. The mathematician, who had an exceedingly good memory, asked the philosopher how many children he had. The philosopher replie replied d that he had three. The mathematician then asked how old the children were. His friend, who knew how much most mathematicians enjoy puzzles, said that he would give him a number of clues to the children's ages. The philosopher's first clue: "The product o of the children's ages is 36." The mathematician immediately replied that this was insufficient information. The philosopher's second clue: "All of the children's ages are integers; none are fractional ages, such as 1 and ¼ years old." Still, the 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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mathematician ian could not deduce the correct answer. The philosopher's third clue: "The sum of the three children's ages is identical to the address of the house where we played chess together often, years ago." The mathematician still required more information (but aassume the mathematician remembered the street number). The philosopher then gave his fourth clue: "The oldest child looks like me." At this point, the mathematician was able to determine the ages of the three children. Here is your problem: What are the ag ages es of the three children? BRAIN TEASER #2 9 MARBLES You have nine marbles that are identical in every respect, except exactly one marble is a slightly different weight than the others. The others are identical in weight. The weight difference is very smal small.l. You have a balancing scale, but you are limited to two or less measurements. In two or less measurements, determine exactly which marble is different in weight from the rest.

4. TYPES OF CASES 4.1 Profitability /operations CASE 1: CHILLED BEVERAGES Question uestion (posed by interviewer): You are consulting for the manager of a division of a large consumer products company. Her division produces fruit juices in three forms, all marketed under the same name: chilled (found in the milk section of the supermarket, usually), juice boxes, and frozen concentrate. This division has sales of $600 million per year. The entire company has sales of over $20 billion. The chilled segment represents $120 million in sales per year. While juice boxes and frozen concentrate aree profitable, chilled juices are only breaking even in good quarters and losing money in bad quarters. She has received a proposal from upper management to sell the chilled juices business. What would you advise that she do? Information to be given if aske asked: 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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Market/Competitors __ Chilled beverages are a $5 billion dollar industry nationwide. __ The two largest players that have 40% and 25% of the market, respectively. __ Your client’s market share, 12%, makes her third in the industry. __ The best available information indicates that the two market leaders are profitable. __ The two market leaders are able to fund more advertising and more promotion, trade and couponing that your client. Product __ The market leaders produce pure orange juice and blends that are based on citrus juices. __ Your product uses more elaborate blends of juices, usually with a base of pear or peach juice (95% of the inputs) and flavored with cranberries, bananas, mangoes, etc. (the other 5% of the inputs). Pear and peach juice are about bout the same price as orange juice, but the other flavorings cost about twice as much. Consumers __ The market for chilled juices is essentially mothers with school age children. This is a highly price sensitive market that loves coupons, promotions, etc. __ Brand name is important in this market, as in juice boxes and frozen concentrate, as mothers tend to prefer highly reliable products for their children. However, the brand premium must be in line with other branded products. Therefore, all branded juic juices es tend to sell in the same price range. Operations __ One plant in California produces all of the products; chilled, juice boxes and frozen. It would be difficult to find another use for the plant without a major conversion. Solution: 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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There are three choices: 1) Sell the chilled juice business. This would, however, affect the juice and frozen concentrate businesses, as there are both advertising and manufacturing synergies. 2) Sell all of the juice business. This may be more feasible, as the buyer could capture apture the synergies, but would not be too likely to turn the business around. The selling price is likely to be low. 3) Keep the chilled juice business and rework the ingredients and costs. This turns out to be the most feasible option, as evidenced by thee success of the competitors. CASE 2:: SNACK FOOD COMPANY Question (posed by interviewer): A large salted snack food company has steadily been losing market share over that past two years, from a high of 20% to the current level of 18%. Profits as a percent percent of sales, however, have been growing. What could be causing this? Information to be given if asked: Market __ The size of the total salted snack food market has grown from $15 billion to $17 billion during these two years; (the interviewee’s conclusion should be that the client’s total dollar sales have actually grown, but not kept pace with the market.) __ The largest competitors are two multinational consumer products companies that feature complete lines of snack foods. Together, these two companies have 55% of the market. Product __ The product line of the client has not changed over this period. Costs 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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__ The costs for the client have changed over this period: (% of selling price)

Raw ingredients Conversion Costs Distribution Marketing Sales Force Pre- tax profit

Current 28% 24% 8% 16% 7% 17%

Two Years ago 26% 24% 9% 18% 9% 14%

__ The sales force was cut to reduce costs, though the same number of outlets are still covered by this sales force. __ The changes in the marketing budget come from reduced trade promotions. Sales Force/Distribution __ The products are mostly sold through large grocery store chains and convenience stores. __ The sales force generally visits each customer at least once per quarter. __ Promotions usually occur at the en end d of each quarter. Grocery stores and convenience stores require some type of promotion to grant valuable end of aisle displays or advertising space. __ Competitors’ sales forces are regarded as the best in the industry. Solution: The data show that the greatest reatest change is in the sales force numbers. It turns out that the company went on a costcutting spree over the past two years. The sales force was drastically cut and the commission scheme was reworked. The marketing expenditure was also decreased. Most of the reduction came from trade promotions. The product is sold through the same channels as previously: large grocery chains and convenience stores. These channels are traditionally 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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driven by periodic trade promotions. The reduction in trade promotions b brought about a loss of shelf space, which has directly led to the decrease in market share. Also, the product line has not changed in the past two years in a product category where new products and line extensions are routine. In addition, the market has been growing, indicating a missed opportunity for new products in the market. Lastly, the increase in profitability has resulted from the lower costs, but may not be sustainable. CASE 3:: TAXI DRIVER IN MUMBAI (BCG) A taxi driver in Mumbai wants to increa increase se his revenue and profits. The driver is the owner of the taxi and operates during the day time. The driver starts his day at the railway station and works for 10 10-12 hours daily. Case Discussion Candidate:: Hi. I would like to clarify a few things befo before re I start analyzing the case. Interviewer: Sure. Candidate:: What is the current state of the operations of the taxi driver? Has there been any recent change in fare policy? I am assuming that fuel, parking fee and maintenance to be the major cost heads. Is there any other cost that I am overlooking? Interviewer:: Currently, the taxi driver is able to earn enough to make ends meet but is keen to increase his income. The fare policy is state determined and is unlikely to change in next 2-33 years. Apart fro from m the cost mentioned by you, there isn’t any other hidden cost. Candidate:: Okay. Now since this issue involves increasing income, I would try to look at increasing revenues and decreasing costs. On the revenue side, is the taxi driver operating on a fixed route or is he moving from point to point? The reason I am asking this is if he is operating at a single fixed stand, he might be returning

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empty to that stand; on the other hand, moving point to point would increase his waiting time. Interviewer: Good that hat you brought it up. The driver has a spot at the railway station which is considered a profitable spot but often returns to the station empty as he doesn’t often find people traveling towards the station. Candidate:: Hmm. Is the driver able to find a cu customer stomer easily at the station? Is there a lean phase? Interviewer : Yes for the first question. This is the reason of the station being a profitable spot. The trains regularly bring passengers all day long. Candidate:: So, to reduce coming back empty toward towardss the station, the driver should focus on routes with more potential passengers such as bus stands. He should try to focus on customers going to bus stand from the station and vice versa. Interviewer:: That’s a fair suggestion but do you think that it woul would make a significant difference to the revenues of the driver? Candidate:: I think on the revenues side, we should also try to explore the options of revenue-sharing of taxi-fare fare by letting some other driver drive the taxi in the night. Interviewer: What would be potential issues with such a system? Candidate:: First issue would be obviously finding such a person on whom the driver can place the trust. Revenue sharing model and accountability and proper maintenance would be another issue which needs to be looked into. Interviewer:: Is there anything else to increase the revenues? Candidate:: The driver might offer advertisement space on his taxi. He can rely on references by tying up informally with academic institutions, hotels and such institutions. Interviewer:: What are the other options available to the driver? Candidate:: I would now focus on the cost side of the operations. Is the taxi currently operated on LPG/CNG or petrol/diesel? If petrol, what are the switching cost and variable cost?

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Interviewer:: The taxi is currently diesel based. Switching to CNG would require large one time investment but the funds can be arranged by any public sector banks which are encouraging such practices. Also, it is cheaper to use CNG over diesel. Candidate: And is there ere any negative effect of CNG on the performance of car? Interviewer: Not significant. Candidate : In that case , the driver should switch to CNG. Also, he should focus on proper maintenance of the vehicle as this would increase fuel efficiency and reduce ce loss of revenue due to downtime. Interviewer:: Can you come up with any radical solution to increase his income? Candidate:: The driver might collude with other taxi driver to raise the prices. He can collaborate with drivers from same locality, stand or hometown to do this. The driver can also ask gatekeepers and support staffs of offices and educational institutes to call him in case anyone wants a means of conveyance. Interviewer:: Sounds good to me. I think we shall move to the next rounds now. Thanks for your time.

CASE 4:: GLOBAL RETAIL BANK (MCKINSEY) A global retail bank is in the process of expansion. However it is facing declining profits. The CEO wants you to analyze the issue and advise what the bank should do. Case Discussion Candidate: Hi. I would like to clarify a few things before I start analyzing the case. Interviewer: Sure. Candidate:: Can I assume that the global retail bank is operating in India where it is facing the aforesaid issues? Interviewer:: Yes. You can assume India.

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Candidate: I follow that the bank is in the process of expansion. Have the revenues of the bank also been decreasing? Interviewer: The revenues have been increasing but the profits have been declining. Candidate:: What is the state of banking industry when this is taking place, normal or is it changing? Is the industry facing some issues? Interviewer:: You can assume that it is same as before. Candidate:: Ok. Is it fine if I analyze the revenue first and then the costs? Interviewer: Fine, go ahead. Candidate:: Retail banks have three principle sources of revenue – net interest income (the value of the balances), debit card interchange, and fees that the bank charges on various services. I am assuming that the major source of revenue is loans. Interviewer: Fine. ine. I would like you to look at loans. Candidate:: A bank generates a profit from the differential between the level of interest it pays for deposits and other sources of funds, and the level of interest it charges in its lending activities. Profitability from lending activities has been dependent on the needs and strengths of loan customer. Are there any changes in the loan structure or the type of customers to whom loans are given out? Is the bank giving loans to high credit rating customers with low cre credit dit rating? Interviewer:: The bank has been giving out more loans to the low income customers. Candidate:: Giving out more loans to low income customers might have increased the bad debts. Has this been the case? Interviewer:: Yes, these customers do have a higher percentage of not paying back. Candidate:: Now let’s look at the cost structure. There are fixed charges as well as variable charges. The fixed charges will more or less be constant while the variable costs might be increasing. Interviewer: Go on.

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Candidate:: With the increasing number of low income or customers with poor credit rating, there are increasing charges as variable costs will increase. Moreover with the high percentage of bad debts, the bank is also facing non repayment of loans. This iss leading to declining profits. Interviewer:: Good. Now let’s go in some numbers. Candidate: Sure. Interviewer:: Suppose the bank is currently giving loans to 10 million customers and charging interest at the rate of 10 %. Calculate the profit of the bank from loans. The percentage of bad debt from high income and low income customers is 2% and 4% respectively. Candidate:: Can I assume that the number of high income customers and low income customers is equal, i.e. 5 million each? Interviewer: Ok. Candidate:: I am assuming that the average loan amount given to the high income and the low income customers is Rs. 10000 and Rs. 2000 respectively. High Income customers Interest Received 10000*0.1 = 1000 Interest for all customers 5000 mn

Low income customers 2000*0.1 = 200 1000 mn

Costs Fixed costs (assume) Variable costs Bad debts Profit before tax

Low income customers 100 mn 500 mn 400 mn 0

High Income customers 100 mn 500 mn 1000 mn 3400 mn

Interviewer: Good Candidate:: According to the ass assumed umed figures, the bank is not making any profit on the loans credited to low income customers. Moreover there will be extra charges as well as we have accounted for only minimal heads. 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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Interviewer:: So what would you suggest to the bank? Candidate: The bank, nk, in trying to expand, is lending to the low income customers irrationally. The bank has to focus more on the high income customers. It would reap more interest and lesser variable costs. The bank could increase its minimum loan amount to filter low credit it rating customers. The collection mechanism in the bank should be improved to reduce the bad debts. Interviewer:: Sounds good to me. We shall move to the next rounds now. Thanks for your time. 4.2 Industry analysis/ growth CASE 1:: FROZEN FOODS (BCG) Ourr client, a supermarket in Australia has a problem with their chilled foods division. The chilled food division is divided into two parts: ‘meat, grocery and juices’ form the first part and milk forms the second part. For the non non-milk chilled foods, there is a centralized warehouse and the products are then delivered to about 200 supply outlets across Australia. For milk, the suppliers directly deliver to the stores. What will happen if they switch their distribution system frequency to daily? Case Discussion Candidate: Okay Sir, let me take a look at it for a moment. Interviewer: Sure. Candidate: Okay, so we have a system where the goods are delivered daily either by our warehouse or by other suppliers, right? Interviewer: Well, the warehouse deliver deliverss to the store only once in three days. Milk products are delivered daily from the supplier. Candidate: So we are evaluating the option of either getting all our goods delivered to the supermarket on a daily basis, or once in three days, right? Interviewer: Yes. Carry on! 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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Candidate: Okay, I would first look at the costs involved and then find out the potential benefits for both the options. I would like to know how we are getting the delivery done for milk. Interviewer: For milk we use 8 trucks that do the delivery for 200 stores. Candidate: Okay. So given that a truck can cater to the demand of 25 outlets, we can work out the cost. Interviewer: Done look into numbers . Let’s just look at the pros and cons of each method. Candidate: Ok sir, In case we have a central warehouse and do daily delivery, the inventory carrying cost is higher but we reduce the chances of lost opportunity (that is demand unmet in case of a demand spike due to lack of sufficient stock). This effectively reduces our risks. We wil willl have to order in lower lots and we can also cuts down our administration costs, given lesser number of transactions with the warehouse. Interviewer: Good. What else do you think is important given the nature of your goods? Candidate: Well, if we remove the warehouse and deliver ourselves then we will have to send our trucks to every store, every day. Interviewer: So? Candidate: So our chilled goods, fruits and juices will be much fresher at the stores. Interviewer: Good. What about the stores? Candidate: Stores will carry fewer inventories and hence would need to order more frequently (respond faster to changing demand patterns). Interviewer: That is a neat analysis. Thank you.


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Let us discuss a case which ich we recently did at Accenture. The client is a telecom operator in India and wants to increase his revenues and grow in this saturated market. What would you advise? Candidate: I would like to start by understanding the telecom market in India, looking at the revenue drivers and advise the client on which ones he could use. I understand that the telecom sector works by hiring its services from tower operators and then use their own brand name and services to generate revenues. Interviewer: True. Our client ient too hires such service at market rates. Candidate: Okay. Then I shall explore the meaning of saturated market. Has the client explored all geographies? Like the whole of rural market? I recently read that we have about 680 million telecom connections connections.. So, I believe there is still some untapped market to explore. Interviewer: Right. There is an untapped market. Let us go on and say the rural market has been penetrated to the extent possible and they have probably done what they could in that respect. Candidate: Okay. So assuming a saturated market, we should look at increasing revenue from existing consumers. We could analyse the existing calls being done and could think of schemes like STD call rate packages, local call packages, local and STD SMS packages ckages that suit to the area to increase per user usage. The idea would be to have lower rates more than compensated by higher usage. Interviewer: Good, what else? Candidate: We could look at various value value-added added services like revenues through internet services rvices on mobiles. Having different plans and offering better speeds, we can get more consumers to use internet on their mobiles. Also, with 3G technology, mobile internet will surely be a huge source of revenues. Interviewer: Good. Anything else Candidate : Also from games and applications .There are many businesses coming up in the area of mobile gaming and product development of applications. We could buy them and use them as sources of additional revenue.

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Interviewer: Okay, thanks for the inputs. We w will ill now move to the next interview. Thanks for your time. CASE 2: ALUMINUM CAN MANUFACTURER Question (posed by interviewer) interviewer): An aluminum can manufacturer has discovered a way to improve its manufacturing process. As a result, its manufacturing cost has been een reduced from $0.89 to $0.79 cents. How can the manufacturer best exploit this cost advantage? Information to be given if asked: Market __ The client is the leader in its market with a 40% share and supplies directly to major beverage manufacturers. __ The number two player in the market has about 30% of the market and many small competitors share the rest. Substitutes __ Aluminum cans have a lower priced substitute, steel cans, which have inferior printing and stamping characteristics. __ Steel cans are used by customers who do not want to pay the premium for aluminum cans. Suggested frameworks: Remember basic economics. The firm can either use a penetration strategy or price skimming strategy. Consider the impact of either strategy on the company and itss competitors. Also, don’t forget to think about any substitutes for aluminum cans. Solution: Clearly, the client should either drop price or reap additional profits. If the client drops prices, other competitors will have to follow since this is a commodity ity market and not following would mean a quick demise. The lowering 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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of prices might increase the client’s market share marginally, but some smaller competitors will have to start exiting the industry and larger competitors will have to start investing to discover the client’s cost advantage. At the same time, steel can users sill start switching to aluminum cans, thus hurting manufacturers in that market. The resulting growth in the aluminum can market will attract steel can manufacturers to enter it. Sinc Sincee some steel can manufacturers have deep pockets and a strong backing, these new entrants could pose a future threat to our client. In conclusion, it is best to retain prices and generate extra profits for now. The cost advantage may help another day during a price war. 4.3 Market entry / Expansion/Investment CASE 1:: RETAIL BANK IN INDIA (MCKINSEY) A UK based banking giant wants to enter the Indian market. They have hired you as a consultant to guide them with this decision and advise them on various aspects of this move. Case Discussion Candidate: Foremost, I’d like to know more about the client to evaluate their entry into the Indian market. Is the client an investment bank or a retail bank? Interviewer: The client is into Universal banking i.e. th they ey have both investment and retail banking arms. Candidate:: Can you tell me more about the core strong business areas of the client? Interviewer: The client has a strong presence in the retail banking business. It is the market leader in retail banking iin n UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany and Austria. Personal loans and business loans for small and medium enterprises has been a big driver of its growth globally. 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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Candidate: Alright, in that case, I believe that the client should probably enter the Indian market with an initial focus on retail banking. The client clearly has a lot of expertise in this segment and can efficiently leverage on its strengths to make an impact in the Indian market. However, I’d also like to look at the Indian market before making this recommendation and first gauge whether entering the Indian market in itself makes good business sense. Interviewer: Okay, that sounds reasonable. How would you ascertain the attractiveness of the market? Candidate: Foremost, the market should have attractive growth prospects in the near future. Can you help with an estimate of the growth projections in the Indian retail banking industry? Interviewer : The retail banking industry is booming ever since the liberalization of the economy was as initiated. The industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 28% to touch a figure of INR 9,700 billion by 2010 Candidate: The industry shows quite promising growth prospects and definitely looks attractive for the client to enter. Can you tell me something about the degree of competition in the industry? Interviewer: The industry is characterized by significant competition from numerous public sector banks, domestic private banks and other international banks like the client; besides the numerous smaller sscheduled cheduled and co-operative co banks throughout India. Candidate: That’s not very encouraging for the client as it might significant barriers in penetrating the market. However, this does not necessarily mean that the competition is fierce in all services. As I understand, most of the business in the retail banking industry is currently generated out of corporate and consumer loans where banks primarily cater to the larger corporate and the upper classes of the society. Would you agree with me? Interviewer: That’s at’s right but I am not quite sure where this is leading. Please make your point. Candidate: Sure. I was trying to explore was the presence of untapped opportunities for the client in the market. As you had mentioned earlier, the 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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client has a strong presence nce in the personal and business loans business for small and medium enterprises. However, the other banks in the Indian banking industry focus primarily on the larger enterprises. This means that the client can strongly leverage its core expertise in the Indian market and tap into the huge market of SME enterprises. Interviewer: Okay, I follow your arguments now. Do you see any other roadblocks besides competition for the client’s growth prospects? Candidate: I believe the existing regulations in the ban banking king sector significantly restrict the number of branches foreign banks can operate and it is very difficult for them to get the authorization for every new branch. This would pose a serious bottleneck to the client’s growth. Interviewer : So would you recommend commend the client to enter India? Candidate: Yes, I believe the Indian retail banking business holds immense potential and based on this discussion about the market, the competition and the clients existing core businesses and strengths, I’d make a favora favorable recommendation. The regulatory restrictions exist but the presence of numerous other international banks like HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Citibank; I believe the opportunities surpass the threats. Also, I might sound too pragmatic but given the pace of India’s liberalization and development, I would definitely expect the regulatory restrictions to get relaxed in the near future. CASE 2:: TYRE MANUFACTURER (BAIN) The client is a tyre manufacturing giant, but currently has no presence in India. Can you u help them find out market potential in India and decide on their strategy for market entry? Case Discussion: Candidate: Can I have a minute to think about it?

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Interviewer:: Sure, give me the structure, how you would go about it. Then we can discuss numbers. Candidate:: I will estimate the market demand first. Then I will look at external factors in the market such as existing players, distribution channels, value chains, customer segments, regulatory framework, entry barriers, etc. After assessing the external environment, I will look at core competencies of the company and depending on that, suggest if they should enter as a standalone player, do a JV or through M&A. Interviewer:: Looks good. Let’s suppose that our client manufactures tyres for passenger ger cars. Can you now estimate the demand for the tyres in the market for next 5 years? Candidate:: The demand is composed of two parts: demand for new tyres and demand for replacing old tyres. India’s population is 1.2 billion. About 33% of this populati population on has an annual income of INR 300000 or more. Given ease of finance and increasing middle class size, I consider this segment to be the total market potential which comes out to be 400 million. A household has on average 4 members. So, number of householdss is close to 100 million. Assuming current penetration to be 40%, there should be about 40 millions cars plying on the road. So, the stock of cars is 40 million. Assuming average life of a car to be 10 years, 4 million new cars would be required every year. Demand of tyres: For new cars: 4 million x 4 = 16 million For old cars: Assuming 1 tyre is rreplaced every year = 40 million So, total demand for passenger car types = 40 +16 = 56 million per year. Interviewer:: That looks great. Can you also help th them em figure out what all factors would affect average life of a tyre in India? Candidate:: Some of the important factors would be condition of the road, driving skills of the driver. 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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Interviewer:: Sounds great to me, let’s move to the next round. CASE 3: GASS MANUFACTURER Question (posed by the interviewer): Your client is a gas manufacturer. Currently the client owns and operates its gas plants nationwide. They have hired McKinsey to investigate whether they should enter into the business of running 3rd par party gas plants. How will you structure the analysis of this case? Should the client enter or not enter into this business? Information to be given if asked: Customer Information __ The client manufactures hydrogen, oxygen etc. __ The customers are other ind industrial ustrial goods companies which use gas for producing steel, waste treatment etc. __ Some of the steel mills and waste treatment agencies own their own gas plants. For instance, a steel mill can have its own gas plant, which is located right next to the steell mill. These are the gas plants that the client wants to operate (not buy them, just provide operations service!!) __ The client has highest market share in the market (about 30%). __ The market grows pretty much along with the GDP (1 (1-3%). __ The cost of the gas for the customers is a small % of their total direct production costs. It is extremely important for the customers to have an uninterrupted supply of gas, since their steel plant shutdown is extremely expensive for them. Firm’s current economics __ The product is a commodity, so the firm is a price taker. The firm’s revenues grow with GDP. __ Client’s cost structure is the lowest in the industry. __ Think about how the gas plant’s cost structure will change if the client operates it: 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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· Direct Material (DM) – raw material is air, which is free · Direct Labor (DL) – very lean operation. One gas plant can be run by 11-2 persons. There will be no n change. · SG&A – Some reduction due to client’s scale · O/H – Some reduction by centralized monitoring and repair crew crew. Possible due to client’s large scale of operations. Client’s resources/capabilities __ They have perfected the technique of monitoring the gas plants (using remote monitoring) and have the minimum average plant downtime/breakdown in the industry. __ By being eing the largest producer of gas, the client has achieved the highest economies of scale. Competitive landscape and current issues __ There are 3 other national firms that manufacture and provide gas. Their market shares are smaller than that of our client. Solution #1: The client can create value by operating 3rd party gas plants by lowering the operational cost somewhat. More importantly by minimizing the downtime of the gas plants they can add more significant value. Therefore, based on the value proposition, ition, the client should enter into this business. The client then needs to consider barriers to entry for other firms and implementation strategy. Barriers to Entry __ The client’s capabilities are unique in the industry. They can sign exclusive long term contracts with 3rd party clients to operate the gas plants. __ The client also needs to consider their pricing very carefully. Implementation __ Evaluate the capital investment of this market entry. 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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__ Since the client’s infrastructure is well established established,, the capital cost will be minimal. __ The client could offer to operate 3rd party gas plants which are located reasonably close to their own plants. This would allow the client to go up the learning curve while ensuring uninterrupted gas supply to the customers. Summary __ The client should enter this market since there is value to be captured and the capital investment is low.

4.4 New Product Offering CASE 1:: MINIBAR IN HOTEL ROOMS (VALUE PARTNERS) Our client owns a hotel. He is considering providing min mini-bars bars in the hotel rooms. A mini-bar bar is a small refrigerator placed in each hotel room that provides both hard and soft drinks. Case Discussion Candidate: Before going any further could you please tell me the location of our hotel. Interviewer: Assumee that it is in Mumbai with a constant inflow of customers. Candidate: I would like to analyse the case by looking at the revenue and cost drivers of such a business. I will start with the revenue side. The main revenue drivers are going to be the number of customers who would be willing to utilize this service and the premium they are willing to pay for it. Will you like me to estimate the number of potential customers? Interviewer: Sure. Go ahead. Ask us for any data you might need.

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Candidate: Thanks. Could you please tell me the number of rooms available in the hotel and the occupancy rate on an average? Also, does the hotel face any major seasonality in the same? Interviewer: Assume hotel has around 200 rooms with 75% occupancy. There is seasonality but we can keep it out of our discussion. Candidate: That gives us a total of 150 targets on average. I will like to know about the customers now. I perceive if the customers are families they will not be interested in ordering liquor. However, profession professionals als will be more interested in having beverages. Interviewer: Most of the customers are business people. You can take them to be 75% of the total. Candidate: The next thing to analyze should be how many customers will prefer a mini-bar over either ordering ng liquor or going to the bar. The primary advantage of mini-bar bar is that customers need not wait for drinks to be served. I believe if customers have come in a group, they will not prefer mini mini-bar bar as compared to going to the bar. That being said, a lot dep depends ends on the kind of products that are being offered in the mini-bar. bar. Interviewer : That’s reasonable .Okay, let us keep the number of potential customers per day to 100 . How will you find out what should be the appropriate product mix to be offered. Candidate: The hotel should have the logs of which beverages are usually ordered together through past bills. If the hotel goes for advance booking, the product mix can be decided or asked at the time of booking. Interviewer: Do you think there is any other ssource ource of earning revenues while offering a mini-bar? Candidate: Yes. Drinks are never had alone. Customers will usually order some snacks like peanuts, wafers etc. when they order drinks. Such stuff need to be offered along with drinks otherwise the whole purpose of not waiting for your drink will not be served. In addition to this, hotel might be able to sell these snacks to customers who otherwise are non non-drinkers.

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Interviewer: Let us look at the costs of the added service. In the interest of time, I do not want you to consider costs of machinery like refrigerator. I am interested to know any cost which might be very significant for the hotel. Candidate: Significant efforts need to be put in monitoring the product mix in the mini-bars in all the occupied d rooms. The beverages that have been consumed need to be kept again in the refrigerators and the right product mix needs to be offered at all times. People need to be employed to keep track of items that have been consumed for billing purposes and making sure that the mini-bars mini are always full. Interviewer: One last question I want to ask you. If I say that after all the analysis (Revenue – cost), the marginal revenue comes out to be Rs. 20,000 per month, does that mean the hotels total revenue will go up by Rs. 20,000? Candidate: No sir. This is actually a typical case of cannibalization. The extra revenue that hotel earns is at the expense of the existing bar/room service that was offered. This needs to be subtracted from the expected revenue to make a better judgement. Interviewer: That’s right. That will be all. Thank you.

CASE 2:: THIRD PARTY AUTOMOBILE SERVICE STATIONS (BCG) You are having tea with Mr. Ratan Tata. He has just returned from Germany where he saw third party car service stations which were doing very well. So, he is thinking of opening a chain of such stations in India. You need to give him your thoughts and make a pitch from BCG’s side for helping him with the project. Case Discussion: Candidate: I’m not very sure of what you mean by third party service stations. Can you explain a little? Interviewer: To service a car there are service stations. They can be authorised stations like the chain that Maruti has or they can be local garages. The third type, 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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which is currently missing in India, is an independent chain of service stations which will service any brand. These are third party service stations. Candidate: Ok. This is a new business that Tata would want to enter. I’d like to look at a few things while considering the new ventu venture : Tata’s final aim - do they have a target profit /market share/return on assets as their target from the venture Market scenario – growth & size, competition Tata’s capabilities – financial capability, expertise in area, synergies with other businesses Interviewer: Tata is a big & profitable company, they want as high profits as possible from the venture. Also, they have no constraints with regards to finances. They build automobiles as you know and have authorised service stations for their automobiles. mobiles. Candidate: So, the aim of Tata is high profits and they have sufficient finances and expertise in the automobile area. I’ll go on to look at the automobile maintenance market. Currently in India there are 2 kinds of garages – the local ones and authorised uthorised service stations. So, when we enter the market, would we be servicing all kinds of brands and providing a full range of services? Interviewer : Yes. All the brands and a full range of services. Candidate: We would need to differentiate ourselves from the 2 kinds of competitors that we have in order to get customers. Interviewer: Ok. How would you do that? Candidate: I’ll look at why a customer goes to a service station and why he chooses a particular station to go to. A car would be taken to a service station for · Regular check-ups/services ups/services · In case of an accident · Maintenance when it breaks down Interviewer: Ok 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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Candidate: Now when an owner chooses a service station he would want Quality – In terms of genuine parts if replacements are done, ttrained rained mechanics, the car being treated properly, delivery on time Cost – He would want the service to be as cheap as possible Convenience – The service station should be close or should have a pick & drop service. There would be a segment of customers who would lay a lot of emphasis on cost while another segment would lay emphasis on quality. In case of an accident or break-down down convenience would play a big role. Local garages will have low quality and low cost while authorized service stations will hav havee high quality and high cost. Also, local garages are generally more in number so would be more convenient to reach in most cases. Interviewer: Ok. Now I want you to make a grid of the dimensions that you’ve mentioned and figure out where our competitors lie and where we should go. Candidate: (Starts drawing a 2X2 matrix) Interviewer : Let us club convenience with quality . We will just analyse the situation based on two parameters. Candidate : QUALITY


Authorised stations


Service Tata would need to be somewhere here to compete Local Garages




Now, Tata wants to start a third party chain of service stations which will serve all brands. If Tata targets low quality, local garages will beat them since these garages can service all brands and charge ve very ry low unbeatable prices. Also, they 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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would be built at strategic locations which Tata may not be able to acquire, coming late into the market. On comparing Tata stations with authorised service stations, Tata could stand a chance. They could ensure quality by sourcing parts from manufacturing companies and employing well trained mechanics. Since such a service station will service all brands it will be a convenient place to come to for high quality services. However, the price charged will be high. Interviewer: Do you think anyone will come to such a service station when they can go to a Maruti or Hyundai authorised service station? Candidate: In India a majority of cars are Maruti and Maruti has a very good chain of service stations which are convenient tto o reach and high quality. Hence, Maruti cars will definitely not come to Tata’s stations. Other brands like Hyundai would come since their service stations are few and far apart. If Tata offers the same quality at the same price, it might be cheaper & more convenient for consumers if Tata’s chain has numerous stations at strategic locations. Interviewer : Maruti has almost 50% of India’s car market share . Now do you think it is beneficial to set up Tat’s third party service chain? Candidate: Owners of other ther brands will prefer to go to their authorised service stations as they would be more trusted. And given such a lopsided market in favour of Maruti, it will be difficult for us to compete with Maruti directly. So, the number of cars coming to Tata’s sta stations tions might be too low for the venture to be viable. But, if there are expectations that many new brands will enter India as some already have, then Tata’s venture could be viable given that these firms would not want to open a service chain of their own d due ue to small numbers and newer vehicles could mean that the local garages might not be well well--equipped to deal with all kinds of problems with the vehicle. Interviewer: What would your final recommendation be? Candidate: My final recommendation would be to not start such a venture currently since Tata would not be able to beat competitors on any dimension -

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cost or quality. However, in the near future this could turn sustainable so an eye should be kept on this market. Interviewer: Ok. Thanks. 4.5 Miscellaneous CASE 1li:: Our client is a major U.S. television networkkWe We have been retained by a television network that is trying to decide how much to bid for the rights to broadcast the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in British Columbia, Canada · · · ·

The Winter Olympics lasts sts for 16 days The first day, a Friday, is taken up with the Opening Ceremonies hours of broadcasting) from 88-11 PM The games themselves are the held during the next fourteen days (10 hours of broadcasting per day) o Our client will broadcast Olympics weekd weekday ay coverage from 9 a.m. to noon, 2-5 5 p.m., and 7 7-11 p.m. o Our client will broadcast Olympics weekend coverage from 11 AM to 9 PM · The final day, a Saturday, is taken up with the Closing Ceremonies (3 hours of broadcasting) from 8--11 PM Revenue for this project ect is entirely based on advertising · Our client is a broadcast television network that receives no subscription revenue · It will, however, be able to keep 100% of its advertising revenue, without sharing any with its affiliates · Advertising rates are estimat estimated to be $400,000 per 30- second ad for prime-time time programming and $200,000 per 30-second second ad for non non-primetime programming o Slot. = 30 seconds of advertising time o Prime Time = M-FF from 7 PM . 11 PM; Sat Sat-Sun all day 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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o Non Prime Time = M-F M all other times · Market et research has shown that consumers / watchers can take no more than 10 minutes of advertising tim time per hour of television; they will stop watching if there is more advertising than that There are other potential issues to explore as well · Tangible Costs:: These are estimated to total $428,000,000 · Opportunity Cost: How profitable would the other programming that would be airing on our network be? · Time Value of Money: We can assume a six six-year lag time between payments of our rights fees in early 2004 and thee receipt of revenues in early 2010 Finally, there are also some intangible factors · This might give us access tto viewers that we would otherwise not have · There is prestige associated with this event · We can use some of the air time to promote our other programming gramming Winter Olympics Bidding Case - Solutions and De-Brief Origins This case was adopted by the editorial team for this book from a case that was given to Chris Dupre from the Kellogg Class of 2003 at a Kellogg "Super Saturday Case Workshop" by a Kellogg ogg alum at A.T. Kearney Kearney. General Comments This case combines public math with the need to come up with some key qualitative insights. This is a high high-level level case that is more likely to be given by a partner in a second-round case interview than by a manage managerr or consultant in a first-round round case interview. But, regardless of the setting, the successful candidate needs both to nail the math and also to come up with the important questions to 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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ask to value the project. This is not a slide slide-heavy heavy case, but the pros prospect really needs to identify the relevant issues to do well here. Solutions Calculate alculate the total revenue for this project, which are $928 million. The revenue math calculations are as follows: · Prime Time Revenues: Weekday (M (M-F): F): 10 weekdays x 4 hrs/week hrs/weekday x 10 min/hr x 2 slots/min x $400,000/slot = $320 Million · Weekend (Sat-Sun): 4 weekend days x 10 hrs/weekend day x 10 min/hr x 2 slots/min x $400,000/slot = $320 Million · Opening Ceremony:: 3 hrs x 10 min/hr x 2 slots/min x $400,000/slot = $24 Million · Closing Ceremony:: 3 hrs x 10 min/hr x 2 slots/min x $400,000/slot = $24 Million · Non-Prime Prime Time Revenues Revenues: Weekday (M-F): 10 weekdays x 6 hrs/weekday x 10 min/hr x 2 slots/min x $200,000/slot = $240 million Total Revenue = $320M + $320M + $24M + $24M + $240M = $928 million It may take the candidate up to 33-55 minutes to do these calculations. A good candidate will work slowly and steadily rather than rushing and risking a mistake. And, as with many public math problems, the candidate should set the problem up correctly rrectly which is as important as, if not more important than, doing the calculations correctly. The next element that needs to be calculated is cost. Successful prospects will identify that there are three main areas of cost before being : actual production costs, opportunity costs, and the time value of money.

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Candidates should ask the interviewer to provide data on each of the three cost categories. If the candidate asks, which (s)he should, the interviewer can also say that the opportunity cost is $1 million/hour of displaced programming and that the weighted average cost of capital (WACC) for this project is 12%/year. In calculating the time value of money, the candidate will be helped by knowing the rule of 72,. which says that the number of years that it takes money to double is equal to 72 divided by the rate of return. In other words, money invested at a 9% annual rate will double in 8 years, money invested at a 12% annual rate will double in 6 years, etc. Since there is a six six-year lag between expenses xpenses (buying the rights in early 2004) and revenues (getting money in early 2010), and since the cost of capital is 12%, it therefore follows that all 2010 cash flows can be halved to find their 2004 equivalents. So, the relevant profitability analysis is: Revenues + $928,000,000 in 2010 Actual Costs - $428,000,000 in 2010 Opportunity Costs - $146,000,000 in 2010 ---------------------------Total = $346,000,000 in 2010 divided by 2 = $177,000,000 in 2004 The candidate can come up with some insights . While there is no correct answer for this case, the $177 million net present value (NPV) of this project, coupled with the intangible benefits, would argue for a bid in the $200 million range. Any candidate who comes up with a number that is not in that ballpark will have to provide an in-depth depth justification as to why that is right.

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CASE 2: CANADA CO Step 1: Actively listen to the case Your client is the largest discount retailer in Canada, with 500 stores spread throughout the country. Let's call it C CanadaCo. anadaCo. For several years running, CanadaCo has surpassed the second second-largest largest Canadian retailer (300 stores) in both relative market share and profitability. However, the largest discount retailer in the United States, USCo, has just bought out CanadaCo's competition and is planning to convert all 300 stores to USCo stores. The CEO of CanadaCo is quite perturbed by this turn of events, and asks you the following questions: Should I be worried? How should I react? How would you advise the CEO? Step 2: Establish lish understanding of the case So, the client, CanadaCo, is facing competition in Canada from a U.S. competitor. Our task is to evaluate the extent of the threat and advise the client on a strategy. Before I can advise the CEO I need some more information about the situation. First of all, I'm not sure I understand what a discount retailer is! A discount retailer sells a large variety of consumer goods at discounted prices, generally carrying everything from housewares and appliances to clothing. Kmart, Woolworth, and Wal-Mart Mart are prime examples in the U.S. Step 3: Set up the framework Oh, I see. Then I think it makes sense to structure the problem this way: First, let's understand the competition in the Canadian market and how CanadaCo has become the market et leader. Then let's look at the U.S. to understand how USCo has achieved its position. At the end, we can merge the two discussions to understand whether USCo's strength in the U.S. is transferable to the Canadian market.

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That sounds fine. Let's start, then, with the Canadian discount retail market. What would you like to know? Step 4: Evaluate the case using the framework Are CanadaCo's 500 stores close to the competition's 300 stores, or do they serve different geographic areas? The stores are located in similar geographic regions. In fact, you might even see a CanadaCo store on one corner, and the competition on the very next corner. Do CanadaCo and the competition sell a similar product mix? Yes. CanadaCo's stores tend to have a wider variety of bra brand nd names, but by and large, the product mix is similar. Are CanadaCo's prices significantly lower than the competition's? No. For certain items CanadaCo is less expensive, and for others the competition is less expensive, but the average price level is si similar. Is CanadaCo more profitable just because it has more stores, or does it have higher profits per store? It actually has higher profits than the competition on a per per-store store basis. Well, higher profits could be the result of lower costs or higher reve revenues. Are the higher per-store store profits due to lower costs than the competition's or the result of higher perstore sales? CanadaCo's cost structure isn't any lower than the competition's. Its higher per perstore profits are due to higher per per-store sales. Is that hat because it has bigger stores? No. CanadaCo's average store size is approx approximately imately the same as that of the competition.

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If they're selling similar products at similar prices in similarly similarly-sized sized stores in similar locations, why are CanadaCo's per per-store sales les higher than the competition's? It's your job to figure that out! Is CanadaCo better managed than the competition? I don't know that CanadaCo as a company is necessarily better managed, but I can tell you that its management model for individual stores is significantly different. How so? The competitor's stores are centrally owned by the company, while CanadaCo uses a franchise model in which each individual store is owned and managed by a franchisee who has invested in the store and retains part of th thee profit. In that case, I would guess that the CanadaCo stores are probably better managed, since the individual storeowners have a greater incentive to maximize profit. You are exactly right. It turns out that CanadaCo's higher sales are due primarily to a significantly higher level of customer service. The stores are cleaner, more attractive, better stocked, and so on. The company discovered this through a series of customer surveys last year. I think you've sufficiently covered the Canadian market-let's move now to a discussion of the U.S. market. How many stores does USCo own in the U.S., and how many does the second secondlargest discount retailer own? USCo owns 4,000 stores and the second second-largest largest competitor owns approximately 1,000 stores. Are USCo storess bigger than those of the typical discount retailer in the U.S.? Yes. USCo stores average 200,000 square feet, whereas the typical discount retail store is approximately 100,000 square feet. 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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Those numbers suggest that USCo should be selling roughly eight times the volume of the nearest U.S. competitor! Close. USCo's sales are approximately $5 billion, whereas the nearest competitor sells about $1 billion worth of merchandise. I would think that sales of that size give USCo significant clout with supplier suppliers. Does it have a lower cost of goods than the competition? In fact, its cost of goods is approximately 15 percent less than that of the competition. So it probably has lower prices. Right again. Its prices are on average about ten percent lower than thos those of the competition. So it seems that USCo has been so successful primarily because it has lower prices than its competitors. That's partly right. Its success probably also has something to do with a larger selection of products, given the larger average store size. How did USCo get so much bigger than the competition? It started by building superstores in rural markets served mainly by mom mom-and-pop stores and small discount retailers. USCo bet that people would be willing to buy from it, and it was right.. As it grew and developed more clout with suppliers, it began to buy out other discount retailers and convert their stores to the USCo format. So whenever USCo buys out a competing store, it also physically expands it? Not necessarily. Sometimes it does, but when I said it converts it to the USCo format, I meant that it carries the same brands at prices that are on average ten percent lower than the competition's. 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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What criteria does USCo use in deciding whether it should physically expand a store it's just bought out? It depends on a lot of factors, such as the size of the existing store, local market competition, local real estate costs, and so on, but I don't think we need to go into that here. Well, I thought it might be relevant in terms of predicting what it will do with the 300 stores that it bought in Canada. Let's just assume that it doesn't plan to expand the Canadian stores beyond their current size. OK. I think I've learned enough about USCo. I'd like to ask a few questions about USCo's ability to succeed in the Canadian market. Does USCo have a strong brand name in Canada? No. Although members of the Canadian business community are certainly familiar with the company because of its U.S. success, the Canadian consumer is basically unaware of USCo's existence. Does CanadaCo carry products similar to USCo's, or does the Canadian consumer expect different products and brands than the U.S. discount retail consumer? The two companies carry similar products, although the CanadaCo stores lean more heavily toward Canadian suppliers. How much volume does CanadaCo actually sell? About $750 million worth of goods annually. Is there any reason to think that the costs of doing business for USCo will be higher in the Canadian market? Can you be more specific? I mean, for example, are labor or leasing costs higher in Canada than in the U.S.? 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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Canada does have significantly higher labor costs, and I'm not sure about the costs of leasing space. What are you driving at? I was thinking that if there were a higher cost of doing business in Canada, perhaps USCo would have to charge higher prices than it does in the U.S. to cover its costs. That's probably true, but remember, Canada CanadaCo Co must also cope with the same high labor costs. Can you think of additional costs inc incurred urred by USCo's Canadian operations that would not be incurred by CanadaCo? USCo might incur higher distribution costs than CanadaCo because it will have to ship product from its U.S. warehouses up to Canada. You are partially right. CanadaCo has the advan advantage tage in distribution costs, since its network spans less geographic area and it gets more products from Canadian suppliers. However, since CanadaCo continues to get a good deal of product from the U.S., the actual advantage to CanadaCo is not great great-only about out two percent of overall costs. All this suggests that USCo will be able to retain a significant price advantage over CanadaCo's stores: if not ten percent, then at least seven to eight percent. I would agree with that conclusion. Step 5: Summarize and make recommendations I would tell the CEO the following: In the near term, you might be safe. Your stores have a much stronger brand name in Canada than USCo's, and they seem to be well managed. However, as consumers get used to seeing prices that are consistently seven to eight percent less at USCo, they will realize that shopping at USCo means significant savings over the course of the year. Although some consumers will remain loyal out of habit or because of your high level of service, it is reasonable to expect the discount shopper to shop where prices are lowest. Moreover, over time your brand-name brand advantage will erode as USCo becomes more familiar to Canadian consumers. You certainly have to worry about losing 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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significant share to USCo stores in the llong ong term. You should probably do something about it now, before it's too late. Can you suggest possible strategies for CanadaCo? Maybe it can find ways to cut costs and make the organization more efficient, so it can keep prices low even if its cost of go goods is higher. Anything else? It might consider instituting something like a frequent shopper program, where consumers accumulate points that entitle them to future discounts on merchandise. What might be a potential problem with that? Well, it might not be that cost cost-effective, effective, since it would be rewarding a significant number of shoppers who would have continued to shop there anyway. Any other suggestions? CanadaCo might want to prepare a marketing or advertising campaign that highlights its high level of service. It might even institute a CanadaCo Service Guarantee that surpasses any guarantees offered by USCo. Assuming the only way to keep customers is through competitive pricing, is there anything CanadaCo can do to appear competitive to the consumer? It might want to consider offering fewer product lines, so that it can consolidate its buying power and negotiate prices with supp suppliers liers that are competitive with USCo's. It might lose some customers who want the variety of products that USCo has, but it may be able to retain the customer who is buying a limited array of items and is just looking for the best price. All of your suggestions are interesting, and you would want to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of each in more detail before making any recommendations to the CEO. 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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CASE 3: Online Gambling Case A large, global gambling company is the client. The executives have noticed the explosion in the growth of online gambling and have hired us to help them evaluate and create their market entry stra strategy. tegy. How would you structure that? Additional information provided during questioning • The client is a large gambling company. They have operations in 40 countries worldwide and are considering the online gambling market worldwide in this endeavor. The firm is also a U.S. U.S.-based company. • The client runs several types of gaming operations. First, it facilitates lotteries for governments globally—it it develops the games, runs the transaction network and handles the operations of the lottery. Second, it ru runs ns a chain of casinos with operations in both the U.S. and overseas. Third, it owns and operates slot machines that are placed in off off-gaming gaming sites; this business is purely international, but growing. • The online gambling market has experienced tremendous growth in the last decade. In 1996, bets for the online gambling industry totaled approximately $17 million. In 2007, the online gambling industry is expected to total $18 billion. Suggested high-level level overview of solution The framework that an intervie interviewee wee should be aware of is the decision tree for market entry (see framework included). Once the interviewee has shown that he or she can structure the case well, he or she should just use the data provided effectively to answer the secondary case questions and summarize the findings at the end. Numbers do not drive this case. There’s a quick quantitative question in the beginning of the case to get the interviewee thinking. There is also a short 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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quantitative exercise thrown in at the end to help the intervi interviewer ewer test the interviewee’s comfort with numbers, but it does not drive the case answer. Also, the quantitative exercise is literally tacked on to the end of the case case—it may surprise the interviewee that it is even there. This is also meant to test the interviewee terviewee to see how he or she reacts to surprises in the case format. Breakdown of solution (including quantitative analyses and qualitative evaluations) Interviewee: I’d like to make sure that I understand the case. Firm: Go right ahead. What question questions do you have for me? Interviewee: Our client is a large, global but U.S. U.S.-based based gambling company, and is interested in entering the online gambling market. We’ve been hired to help determine its strategy for doing that. I’m assuming that it doesn’t curren currently have any online gambling operations. Is that correct? Firm: Yes, that’s correct. The client is a large gambling company. It has operations in 40 countries worldwide and is considering the online gambling market worldwide in this endeavor. The client rruns uns several types of gaming operations. First, it facilitates lotteries for governments globally globally—it it develops the games, runs the transaction network and handles the operations of the lottery. Second, it runs a chain of casinos with operations in both the U U.S. .S. and overseas. Third, it owns and operates slot machines that are placed in off off-gaming gaming sites; this business is purely an international business, but a growing one. And no, currently, it has no online gambling operations, but it has now hired us to help with how to get into that market. Interviewee: OK, and can I assume that it’s a pretty attractive market to get 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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into, or should I evaluate that, too? Firm: No, no need to evaluate that, too. Actually, before we even get into the case, let’s talk about what at we know about the market first. (This is not a “standard” case flow, but an interviewee should be prepared for anything to happen here. A case interviewer might want to discuss case data before getting into the structured case case—and and he or she also might be b testing an interviewee’s abilities to “roll with the punches.” So, a good interviewee will be able to shift gears and participate in whatever discussion an interviewer initiates.) Interviewee: Okay, that’d be great. What do we know about the market so ffar? Firm: We’ve done some quick due diligence already, and it’s a pretty attractive, fast-growing growing market. The online gambling market has experienced tremendous growth in the last 10 years. In 1996, bets for the online gambling industry totaled approximately ly $17 million. This year, the online gambling industry is expected to total $18 billion. Just quickly, what kind of a growth rate are we talking about there? (Here, the interviewer is testing an interviewee’s quant skills) Interviewee: Well, if it started d at $17 million, and it’s now over $17 billion, that’s a grow rate of over 1,000 percent. (Here, the interviewee has used 17 billion, instead of 18 billion, in order to make the math easier, which in this case is probably fine. But interviewees should prepare pare themselves to do more exact math in case an interviewer is a stickler for the numbers!) Firm: Yes, that’s right. What do you think about that growth? (Here, the interviewer is trying to test the interviewee’s judgment/intuition.)

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Interviewee: In general, it looks great, but growth like that really isn’t sustainable. I imagine that the online gambling industry is pretty new and in its startup phase and that industry growth rates will decline as the industry matures. I also wonder how accurate the industry metrics are in such a new industry/market. Oftentimes, in a new industry, the metrics for that industry aren’t that reliable, as standard measures and reporting mechanisms haven’t become stable. Firm: That’s great—and and that’s right. The sheer industry sizing numbers that we got from third-party party research helped us understand a bit about this new market. But we wanted to know more about it. Let me show you some other data that we collected. What does that tell you about the online gambling indus industry? ONLINE GAMBLING INDUSTRY GROWTH

Interviewee: Well, it tells me a couple of things. First, it reinforces the fact that this market is still in startup and high high-growth growth mode. Second, it shows me that the industry is highly fragmented fragmented—the number of online nline gambling companies continues to grow rapidly. My guess is that there aren’t real barriers to entry entry— any company can come in and customers aren’t necessarily loyal to any single 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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company, product or brand. Third, it looks like online gambling is somewha somewhat recession-proof. I mean, the Internet boom kind of went bust in 2000/2001, and yet the number of online gambling companies and customers continued to grow in this online market. Finally, it looks like there’s still room for the industry to grow—new customers mers are still coming; so, this market will likely get bigger. (If the interviewee gets two or three of these observations, he or she has done a good job. In fact, he or she should make at least two observations. If not, the interviewer should press the in interviewee to come up with more.) Firm: That’s great. Now that you know a bit more about the industry, you’re where we and the client were at the beginning of this case. How would you structure how to enter this market? Interviewee: May I have a few minut minutes to collect my thoughts? Firm: Of course. Take your time. (Few minutes go by ...) Interviewee: Well, with any new market entry, I think a firm has three options: 1) create a new business organically from existing lines of business and divisions, 2) get into that market by making a significant acquisition already in that market—or or a series of acquisitions in that market, or 3) create that business by a mix of both organic growth and acquisitions. (The three hree options are illustrated below) · Create online gambling mbling business organically. • Create an online gambling division within the company using its existing resources, products, services or brands. • Create online gambling business through acquisition. • Buy an online gambling company (or companies) to ente enterr the market through an existing player with existing brands and customers. 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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• Create an online gambling business through a mixture of organic growth and acquisition. • Make targeted, small acquisitions that will quickly mesh with existing businesses to cre create online gambling business. Firm: That’s right. Now, knowing what you know about this client and this market, which would you suggest this client do? (This is the key question for this case. Because there is little data that would drive an answer here, it doesn’t matter so much which option an interviewee chooses chooses— but he or she should make a recommendation with some data supporting it. The following is an example of an answer for each.) • Create online gambling business organically. • Use the consumer-foc focused divisions of the company and create online divisions that mirror existing consumer brands. For example, the client could create slot machine games online that mirror their existing slot machines in overseas markets. • Create online gambling business tthrough acquisition. • There are so many online gambling companies out there already; it might be easier to buy small companies in all of the geographic markets that the client wants to exist in. That would ensure quick market entry. • Create an online gambling ling business through a mixture of organic growth and acquisition. • The client could make targeted acquisitions in markets where its existing consumer-focused focused businesses are not that developed. • The client could grow its existing consumer consumer-focused businesses ses in markets where its brands might translate easily online. Entry Strategy Interviewee: If the client has hired us, my guess is that it’s pretty invested in entering this market. But it sounds like it also wants to do it in a low low-risk risk fashion fashion— if it’s paying aying us to evaluate the market and create a strategy, it probably doesn’t want to take huge risks. Because the market is still so fragmented fragmented—thousands thousands of 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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companies— it doesn’t seem like there’s one significant acquisition that the client could make to enter er the market in a big way. But because there are so many companies out there, I bet it could pick up some acquisitions in key markets where the client might not have significant current assets that it can leverage. So, I would recommend a mix strategy: enter enter the online gambling market organically where the client has significant consumer-focused focused business that it can use as springboards to the online world and make select acquisitions of online gambling companies in geographic markets where it still needs ssome help. Firm: That’s great. And it’s pretty close to what we actually recommended. Interviewee: Great. Firm: But this case actually led to another case for the firm. The client ended up hiring us to evaluate an acquisition target in the Japanese marke market, t, where it didn’t have many current lines of business. The client wanted to buy this existing company because it thought that its product development capabilities would help bring more products to market, and faster. In fact, the client is hoping that thiss new company will allow it to bring an average of three new products to the Japanese market each year. We’ve done a bit of research to determine its R&D processes, which are summarized in the following. Game Development Cycle

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The company currently has about 100 products each year enter at the “Developer’s Roundtable” stage. Given this data, do you think that the client should make this acquisition? Interviewee: Well, let me make sure that I understand this data first. These are the five stages of the development evelopment with the time it takes at each stage, and new games must pass these five screens before being brought to market? Firm: That’s right. So, should the client acquire this company? Interviewee: Well, if the client has 100 products enter at the Dev Developer’s eloper’s Roundtable, and only 80 percent make it through that, then it has 80 products at the R&D board screen. If only 60 percent of the 80 make it beyond there, then only 48 enter the finance screen. From there, only 50 percent percent—or or 24— 24 make it to the next screen, which halves the number of products again to 12 and again on the last screen to six. So, at the end of the development process, which takes two years exactly, the client has six new products ready to take to market. If you average that out over th the two years—that that means this company can bring an average of three new products to market each year, which is what the 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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client wants for the Japanese market. So, yes, if all else about the company is what the client is looking for, then yes, they should make the acquisition. Firm: That’s great. That’s what we recommended, too.


Akshay Sharda


Deloitte Strategy & Operations

Number of Interview Rounds


Round 1: PI Duration

20 minutes

Narration of the Interview as descriptively as possible

Started the interview on a very informal note. Since I come from a Marwari background, the interviewer asked questions about my background. After a very brief introduction, he asked me my internship experience. Explained both the projects concentrating more on 2 aspects: a) The business impact it created for HCL b) The various interactions and data analysis that had to be

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performed. Finally ended wi with th the overall experience as a summary. Interviewer: Tell me something about yourself in 5 minutes. Interviewer: This is one question which has become as thorough as remembering my own name (Every interviewer asked this earlier). And when I completed it with my Lawn te tennis Experience, he dwelled into it. Finally gave me 2 guesstimates. a) Number of tennis balls in the room. – Which was just a game of Volume. Made a minor calculation mistake here to which the interviewer did comment, “such an easy estimate and you are committing mmitting mathematical calculation mistake in the same”. I just gave a smile and accepted the fact that I missed out a single digit but did not show any signs of nervousness. b) Number of Medium size industries in Mumbai. – Asked him for 30 secs and started off with certain assumptions to which he responded fairly well. Then with my first line of solving the guestimate – Geographical method of solving the problem, he stopped me and said, that would be enough, you have taken the right step and that is what I wanted to check. The most peculiar thing that struck me was that the conversation commenced in Hindi and continued for majority of time. The interviewer, I guess was looking for confidence while speaking and the way interviewee responds under pressure.

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Round ound 2 Details: Case based Round Narration of the Interview as descriptively as possible

A Telecommunication giant has been mandated by the Indonesia government to provide internet services to all the residents of the country. The company is already a pl player in the market, providing other services like. You as a Deloitte consultant are hired by the company. How will you proceed? Narration of the case S&O The moment I entered the hall, was surprised to see that the panel had 3 members. Anyways, they gave ttheir brief introductions and made me feel comfortable for they had already knew that I had just returned from my TSA case round. Interviewer: Please tell us something about yourself in 10 minutes. Sure sir, and started with the same mugged up paragraph tha that I had prepared, but the way of delivery was what mattered. SO presented with lots of confidence and enthusiasm. Interviewer (After almost 7-8 8 mins): You have a good profile. And then he gave me a brief of the round. Case Round commencement a) He read the entire case and told me to take down the notes. b) After this, he gave me 10 secs and asked me to proceed, for which I responded – Ï would like to conform the facts that I have taken down and reiterated the entire case in different headings to show my und understanding erstanding of the case”. Interviewer: Yes you are right, and now that you have Interviewer:

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summarized it well, here you go with the case. – So here I think, they were judging with the initial approach we make when given with a case. I went through the case once again thoroughly and asked the interviewer for 2 mins to structure my thought. After 2 mins, I started with my approach, stating that – Since the company already has a presence and wants to further penetrate the market/ mandate to expand in the market, I would like ike to give it a market penetration structure to it. Interviewer Interesting, go on! Interviewer: So, I then classified the various heads under which I will looked: a) Market Size b) Market competitor – Here he asked me why, would you look at competitor since you have already been mandated by the govt. For which I replied – This has to be done in order to gauge the services that have to be provided. And also if there can be any sharing of infrastructure with them. The customers will demand either equal or better servic services es than the present one. Interviewer Ok, I understand, please continue. Interviewer: c) Legal issues: Here again, he said since it has been mandated, do you think this is something you should look into. I said, yes that may be a fair point, but still we ought to look at it because, looking at the Indian analogy, where there are licensing issues, circle sharing issues issued by the government. So assuming similar issues, may be there in Indonesia too, it 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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should not be ignored. Interviewer Good point, what else will you look at? Interviewer: I continued with further heads: d) Technology/infrastructure: e) Geographical contours of Indonesia. Interviewer:: Ok that would be enough, now I would like you to Interviewer concentrate upon the last 2 issues that you mentioned. Sure sir, can you give me a minute to collect my thoughts. (After a min): As given in the case that these are the basic services already provided, I would first like to know how is the infrastructure laid down already in the country. Can you provide me some details for the same? Interviewer rviewer: Sure, here you go! – He handed over 6 data sheets to me. At the initial looks of it I was a bit awestruck and did not know where to start from. It had various different sheets – Geographical/ Consumer preference/ Cost sheets for various technologies (3G, Fiber, and Satellite)/ Frequency Bandwidth technologies distributions/ Density population of various regions in Indonesia. I asked him for 5 mins to analyze all the data sheets. (After 5 mins): So I would like to look at this case under 2 heads, from a customer customer’s ’s point of view and company’s point of view.

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Interviewer: What do you mean by customer’s point of view? Interviewer: Looking at what the customers are being provided, their satisfaction level and what is it that they are demanding. Interviewer: Well, I don’t think I need Interviewer eed to go into that, as the adoption of the services is not an issue but only adaptability of the technology. So that helped me focus my thoughts on certain specific sheets and could ignore 2 out of the 6 sheets. Ok, so in that case, I would like to concen concentrate trate upon 3 specific sheets – Geographical/ Technology and Density population. Interviewer That is good, please go on! Interviewer: First based on the geographical contours of Indonesia there are some regions which are Volcanic eruptions prone, and which are not I wo would uld like to divide them into rural and urban. Interviewer:: What is your basis of dividing them into rural and Interviewer urban? Based on the income levels at specific regions and the population density. Interviewer: That sounds a fair assumption, please continue. Interviewer: So the regions which are prone to volcanic eruptions, we would like to set up Satellite connection for there is no way of setting up of 3G and Fiber in those locations. And in the locations which are highly urbanized, I am assuming that there is huge populati population on density of offices and hence they will require good connection for business continuity and 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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reliable services. Interviewer Yes, you can assume that. Interviewer: So, for the same I would provide fiber services. Interviewer: But the cost of setting it up is high there. Interviewer: ther Yes it is high, but since the revenue generated out of it is also high, depending on the density population (number of households – given) this will be the set up cost and hence will be able to break even by x years (I calculated this – based on the info o given in the case). Interviewer:: That’s good, please continue, what will you do at Interviewer rural locations? For rural locations, since they require only bare minimum connection services, we will provide them 3G services. Interviewer Is that the only basis of your Interviewer: ur decision? I sked the interviewer for another 2 minutes to come up with other decision factors to decide. (After 2 mins): Sir, for rural locations, we have 2 options either setting up satellite connections or 3G services. Looking at the cost aspect of it it,, we can divide into 2 headings – Capex and Opex cost. Capex vertical – Setting up Satellite connection sounds more beneficial. Opex Cost – Considering a year’s time line, the cost of acquisition and maintenance charges are more for satellite 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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connection wh when compared to 3G services. So for the overall cost, even though the initial investment for Satellite services is less, on a long term 3G services comes out to be more beneficial. Interviewer:: That would be all. Thank you very much. Do you Interviewer have any questio questions for us?

Round 3 : Partner Round Narration of the Interview as descriptively as possible

Partner Round Unlike earlier years, this time, we had to pitch the solution we presented in the case round. So for the presentation structured it under 3 headings headings: Context/ Problems and Solution. In the 5 minute presentation they (Interviewer 1: Played the role of the company CEO, Interviewer 2: Played the role of Deloitte CEO) asked several questions and the basis for it. Here they were being too strict (purposefu – as mentioned by themselves) and were just (purposefully trying to judge your witty reactions to certain situations they put one it (happened during the interview) and also the confidence one shows when under pressure. Interviewer: That was good, do you have any qu questions for us?

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test, what different perspective one can bring to arrive at the same solution. · Sometimes the answer lies in common sense and not what is mentioned in the case.


Siddhant Masson




Deloitte S&O

Selection Process : Finals PPO/PPIPPO/Finals Role offered


Work Experience

23 Months

Number of 3 Interview Rounds

Round 1 Details Interviewer Name

Kamesh Mullapudi

Interviewer Designation




: Personal Interview

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Case Based/Personal Interview/GD Duration of the Process 20 Mins Narration of the Interview/GD, as descriptively as possible

Started off with Kamesh asking me to walk through my profile. I clarified whether he wanted to know about only those things mentioned on my resume. He said whatever makes this whole thing interesting. I spoke about all those things which weren’t there on my resume, things like background, hobbies and about what made me opt for MBA.

He then asked me about my work – the two companies I worked with. It revolved around what were my responsibilities and what was my lear learning ning at each stint. Why I switched from Consulting to a PMO etc. It then went to my Autumns Project and Foreign internship; which was again discussed for almost 10 10-15 15 min.

Prior to me some of the students were asked to solve a guesstimate. He asked me whe whether ther I attended the Case Workshop by Deloitte. I said I could not attend it. (Actually my shortlist came only at late night; before the interview day – but I didn’t explicitly mention this). He asked about how I went about guesstimate and case preparation. I saw this as an opportunity to take this interview towards something I really wanted highlight and which could be a differentiator. I mentioned that apart from doing the regular guesstimates, cases etc. and forming Consulting 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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Interest Groups – as I lacked d any industry background – I decided to study an industry – “Telecom” – right from how it works, value chain, players, competition, M&As, regulations etc. and this recently culminated in a research paper that I co co-authored.

Kamesh got interested here (b (being eing from TMT background) – and this gave me a chance to describe the research paper in detail. I think this was a real differentiator. And I probably got away from solving a guesstimate.

He noticed the Corporate competitions I had won – just asked about the experience but didn’t probe further on details. It ended with me asking a good question, which I feel impressed Kamesh as it made him reveal an internal statistic to answer it.

What worked for me: My speaking skills, confidence, and being articulate aand nd crisp about my work experience and projects. What didn’t: Nothing as such. This round went great. Kamesh was very supportive and makes the interviewee feel at ease.

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Round 2 Details Interviewer Name

Sushant Jadhav and Vikas Thiruvalluru (VT)

Interviewer Designation

Senior Managers

Round Type : Case Based Case Based/Perso nal Interview/G D Duration of 35 Min the Process Narration of I think this straight away started with the case. the Case Question: Interview/G D, as descriptively 1. Handed over sheet 1; which had only the problem statement: as possible Our client is a U.S Healthcare Insurance company providing innovative solutions for individuals, employees and corporate. It has a 20% market share. The Healthcare insurance market has top 4-5 5 players controlling 80% of the market (including our client). As the market is stagnating in US, What should they do? I first looked at exploring all opportunities within US. I visualized the Ansoff matrix (again did not explicitly mention I was using sing a framework; as I don’t think it’s a good idea to state 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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frameworks during interviews unless asked to do so) 1) Market Penetration à Ruled out because market was saturated 2) Market Development à Possible 3) Product Development àSushant Sushant mentioned the client is not keen on going outside healthcare insurance 4) Diversification à As new product development was ruled out; it was only going to be market development I then asked; whether the client has pan US presence, they said “Yes”. Now it was clear they had to go ou outside US. They asked me what would be the considerations for the client to go abroad: My response: 1) Country’s insurance sector – a. Operating Model and Value Chain Chain:: Whether it is developed or not. As in, India till some time was still relying on the agent mod model el where the agent commission was a significant cost head. Since US is a developed country, it was more likely for them to have very high reliance on the online model (which has come to India only recently, with the likes of Policy Bazaar and company websi websites). tes). Does it sync well with the client’s model. If the companies in host country own or outsource distribution, and how is it different from the client’s current presence in insurance value chain. b. Healthcare expenditure: Spend on healthcare and insurance as % of total expenditure c. Market Size and Growth of sector d. Competition e. Regulations – (extent of FDI allowed, modes of entry 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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allowed etc.) 2) Target country’s development metrics a. Per capita income b. Ease of Doing Business 2. After having a small discussion about some of the headers above, they seemed satisfied with the response and handed over the second data sheet: This sheet had 4 tables; comparing 6 countries on various parameters. They gave me 2 minutes to go through the table and make decision which country w would ould I choose and Why? The below table is a consolidated version of 4 tables; I cannot recall the exact values and hence I’m putting high/low values to the best of my memory (red bold ones are the ones I’m sure about): Coun Per capi try ta Inco me

Exp. Mar Gro On ket wth health Size Rate care

Health care penetr ation

Compe Profita titive bility Intensit y


V. Low

V. Low V. Low

V. Low High



Chin a

V. Low


V. Low

V. Low High





Austr High High alia

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High V. High

High V. Low





High High

High High High


Low (ve)

Mexi co






High Low

Clearly, a choice was among the developed countries (Aus, UK and Italy), not only because of the data in the table but also because the client targets premium segment with innovative products which are more likely to be successful in similar countries, where apart from spending power, market size even the regulations are more friendly as compared to India or China which still don’t allow 100% FDI in insurance. Based on the above table, I told that I would go with Australia. Reasons – (Big market size, reasonable growth, and very high penetration of healthcare insurance products which is a sign of a developed market where innovative products of our client are more likely to work) Without probing further, they asked me what would be my second choice. I wasn’t prepared for this, and since they wanted an immediate response – I shot the gun and said Italy (without giving too much thought). They asked why Italy Italy,, I said most metrics were more or less same – what stood out was its very low competitive intensity, which would make it easier for our client to enter and grab decent market share as compared to some of the other countries. 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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Sushant/VT asked, whether it’s a good idea to enter a country where the companies are bleeding ((-ve ve profitability). I was stuck but countered this by saying that this might be just one year’s data, and doesn’t mean that it’s a norm. Sushant said, assume its 5 year average given. I said in that case I’ll have to revise my decision for the second choice of country. I mentioned UK and they seemed alright. Sushant asked among developing countries which one would you choose; I spoke about why most metrics favored China and that would be my choice. hoice. Now they asked me to look at some of the entry modes and the considerations for each entry mode. My response: Entry Modes à As it was a service (Insurance); I obviously ruled out exports. Licensing and franchisee modes were also ruled out with due reasoning easoning considering client’s business model. We were left with JV, Brownfield or Greenfield. I laid out the following considerations for the mode of entry: Initial Investment and Returns, Time to market, Risk Appetite, Regulatory barriers, Impact on brand and Complexity involved I asked them that which was the most important aspect for our client – and they said time to market was key. This made me recommend brownfield (acquisition of an existing player in Australia). They then handed me over the 3rd data sheet. Which had data on companies in Australia. This gave me some confidence, as my first decision was right to go with Australia. 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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I vaguely remember the table; so again using indicators where needed Company


Net Profit P/E Margin

Penetratio n in ma market




V. High











MediumMedium High




V. Low







It was now a mini M&A case. But Sushant/VT asked me to be quick and tell which company and why. After giving reas reason on that the biggest player ‘ABC’ would not be interested in getting acquired as it already has good market share and profitability; it was only the remaining players who might be keen. I mentioned to Sushant/VT that here I’m assuming that all other players are open to getting acquired; and that we need to select the best target company. I also stated my assumption that the capital structure of all the companies would be within a similar range – so that we can use the P/E more confidently. Even though PQR wa wass most profitable yet highly undervalued (low P/E) and could have been acquired at much lower cost (or low 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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premium) I said it could be because of some market sentiment against that firm that we might be unaware of. This added with its relatively smaller ssize ize made me eliminate this. I chose MNO for its medium-high high penetration in market and a decent NPM and modest valuation as compared to other target companies. As closing remarks – I added that the client would have to work on post integration issues like cculture ulture and explore synergies which were not available as part of data provided. What worked for me: The analysis given the time frame was quite comprehensive. I guess my preparation – Consulting Interest Group (4 members including me) – where we practiced more than 20 20-25 different case types, over 30 guesstimates and sector study helped big time. The case practice helped me state most of the considerations/headers without much effort. What didn’t: I was being quite verbose – and was constantly cut/interrupted ed by the interviewers to move forward. I took too much time to explain and give background/rationale behind each decision. Interviewers are smarter and they get it without you having to give out each and every detail.

Round 3 Details Interviewer Name

Sivakumar ivakumar Mullapudi

Interviewer Designation

Senior Managers and Director

Round Type :


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Case Based/Personal Interview/GD Duration of the Process 15 Min Narration of the Interview/GD, as descriptively as possible

This was just a presentation of the case in the 2nd round. Was pretty straight forward – it was about stating the client’s problem statement, scope of work, assumptions, and logical steps towards the entry strategy (and a mini M&A) backed by rationale. The usual structure that we follow for Corporate competition presentations like TBLA, TSMG. I had prepared slides on a piece of paper as I had got close to 45 minutes before this round. But while presenting I was told not use the whit whiteboard eboard and not to refer notes. So it was more of a 10 min presentation where the panel continuously interrupted and even started discussions on random topics. But I tried to bring back the discussion on the entry strategy case each time. What worked for me me: It was more of a round where they wanted to test your patience and focus. As long as you remain calm its fine. What didn’t: I could have perhaps used more numbers during the presentation. Final Outcome: Made it.


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1) Well rounded CV – be thorough with every point – at least 5 levels deep (i.e. prepared to face 5 levels of follow up questions) 2) Case/Guesstimate Preparation – Form a consult 3 or 4 Key tips to crack group – (4-66 members), 2 months of effort including the interview 30+ different cases and d ~40 guesstimates 3) Don’t be verbose – be articulate and crisp. 4) Ask intelligent questions to the interviewer. Well researched. Go through your interviewer’s profile if possible. What went in my favor was that the Autumns company Autumns Specific: PPI interview was luckily scheduled 4 days after the If PPO/PPI was offered, Deloitte S&O process – So I didn’t have to appear for it! what went in your favor?


Deeksha Sahni




Deloitte US India

Selection Process PPO/PPI-PPO/Finals

: Finals

Role offered

Consultant, Strategy and Operations

Work Experience

23 months with AT Kearney India

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Number of Interview 3 Rounds

Round 1 Details Interviewer Name

Kamesh Mullapud, Jatin

Interviewer Designation

Director, Strategy and Operations and Industry Lead for TMT Practice; Don’t remember for the second panelist

Round Type : Case Based/Personal Interview/GD

CV Based

Duration of the Process ~40 mins Narration of the Interview/GD, as descriptively as possible

- Walk us through your resume. Three key highlights of your CV! - Details on work experience at AT Kearney – roles and responsibilities, learning - Why MBA? What skills have you acquired to become a successful consultant? - A 2 minu minute te talk on the ‘Consulting Minor’ – what was it and what did you do? - Some questions on team work - Why consulting? Why not IB? (Had interned with JP Morgan during autumns) - What’s your passion? What drives you?

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- Long term goal? Where do you see yoursel yourself 10-15 years down the line? -Questions Questions for us?

Round 2 Details Interviewer Name

Vikas Thiruvalluru, Sushant Jadhav

Interviewer Designation

Manager (TMT Practice), Senior Manager (TMT Practice)

Round Type : Case Based/Personal Interview/GD

CV + Case Based

Duration of the Process ~45 mins Narration of the CV / PI Interview/GD, as - Tell us about yourself, family background etc descriptively as possible - How good is your finance knowledge? - Role and responsibilities at prior workpl workplace ace – how much client interaction, process of work etc - Details on autumn project (was related to proposing a stake sale deal and preparing a pitch book). Related questions on valuation, merger and acquisition financial concepts Business Case 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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Market entr entryy for a US private health insurance player – list down considerations, analyze data and select two priority markets, out of a list of six countries Focused both on first listing down micro and macro factors to consider while entering a new market. Case facts ts were not too tough to analyze…required basic calculation. (The panel, however, did not allow me to use pen and paper a lot and asked me to mentally calculate the numbers, if at all!!) Market Sizing Estimate the quantity of dal consumed in Delhi in a mon month I first listed down the various places where dal would be consumed – household, restaurants and hotels, other cafeterias in offices/hospitals etc. Was asked to estimate only household consumption. Started using the following approach – Total Population of Delhi> Number of households> Average number of people in a household > Average consumption per person in a day/month (used reference from personal example – 4 people at my house...consume dal during atleast one meal in a day...1 kg dal used in 20 days… days…so per day consumption ~ 50 gms) Total consumption = Users x Usage The panel seemed convinced but asked if there was any other approach I could use – gave an alternate approach of estimating the total consumption by age group, 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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excluding toddlers from the ccount.

Round 3 Details Interviewer Name

Kamesh Mullapud ; Sivakumar Paramasivam

Interviewer Designation

Director, S&O and Industry Lead for TMT Practice; Manager, S&O

Round Type : Case Based/Personal Interview/GD

Presentation of Rec Recommendations

Duration of the Process ~10 mins Narration of the Interview/GD, as descriptively as possible

5 minute quick presentation of recommendations made for the case given in Round 2

Follow up questions for the remaining time

Summary - Be thorough with everything on your resume – build a 3 or 4 Key tips to crack story and be ready with incidents/examples to support your points the interview - Prepare for Case Interviews well – putting a structure in

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place is important - Be confident – important nt to carry conversation with ease and hold the panel’s attention – Deloitte people are easy going and fun loving – want to see if you are a fit!

Autumns Specific:


If PPO/PPI was offered, what went in your favor?

DELOITTE TS&A INTERVIEW EXPERIENCE #1 Name of the candidate Company Name Interview Role Interview number Personal Interview question

Amit Otta Deloitte Consultant - Technology Strategy & Architecture First round (25 mins), Case round(55 round(55-60 60 mins), No partner round After the initial exchange exchange of pleasantries the senior manager Mr. Vikram Latawa gave me a mini case which was based on ITIL (I have a foundation certification in ITIL and also was a R&D engineer for ITSM in BMC Software, hence this choice of case. It was pinned to my CV). Plea Please se see below for the case question and discussion. After the case discussion was over he asked me 1. Tell me about one of your hobbies which has helped you

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Case Question

Case Pointers

in your professional life as well? I spoke about theatre. 2. Why Deloitte? 3. Why did you leave BMC Software when you were doing so well there? 4. In which Consulting Division of TS&A (There are 5 verticals) do you want to advance, if selected? 5. Do you have any questions for me? A heavy equipment manufacturer has 15 different units which rely on diffe different rent IT applications. Currently all the 12 IT teams work independently and hence there is redundancy and inefficient usage of resources. You have been consulted to provide the steering committee with a blue print for the revamp. It was not mentioned mentioned that this is an ITSM case and you need to proceed accordingly. Frameworks and models need to be mentally used and not mentioned during the interview. Summarize the case in your words before jumping to the solution. Clarify all the business object objectives/problems ives/problems which need to be addressed. The interviewer may have additional points which are not covered in the text of the case. Ask relevant questions and engage the interviewer throughout the interview.

Narration of the Me: Summarised the case touching upon current scenario , case problems and the objectives of the whole exercise Interviewer: Good summary. Please proceed Me: Any other objective I shall be aware off? Interviewer: None 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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Me: I will start by designing a portfolio of all services Interviewer: viewer: Why will you start with this? Me: I need to know which IT services can be unified and which need to be maintained as stand alone. Interviewer: Give me an example Me: Maybe all 15 teams are using similar applications for procurement registering but one team is using a specific application for gauging freezing conditions in production. So we need not unify that Interviewer: Good stuff. Interviewer: Amit lets do one thing. Just focus on broad areas you will look at. Just tell me areas. Don’t go deep into each point for now as this is the first round Me: Ok. Once I have mapped the IT services to the business functions they enable, and have chalked out the unification strategy I will look at the level of outsourcing Interviewer: Ok next point Me: Next will w be IT staff. Inhouse or vendor? Interviewer: Good . Next point. Me: I will then look at size of business functions and redraw the size of the IT staff Me: I will look at cost reductions which are possible by removing redundant IT infra and staff. Interviewer: viewer: Ok. Next point Me: I will look at SLAs and OLAs which need to be maintained Interviewer: Why cost reductions? What do you mean by SLAs and OLAs? Why will OLAs be needed here? Me: The client has not spelled this as a need but because cost reduction is possible , the client will be able to achieve the objective at a lesser budget. Explained him why OLAs will have 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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to be introduced as we are now making a centralized IT service centre with internal teams working together to support a SLA.

Round 2: Case Interview ( Interviewed by Specialist Master – Mr. Kiran Gaikwad)

Case Pointers

Interviewer: That will be all for now on the case front. DairyMart is one of the largest dairy companies in the world. They have 4 business units in Australia and 2 in New Zealand. They have ve acquired 3 units in Africa. The COO is unhappy with the different warehousing practice present in Africa. You as a consultant have to advise on the following 1. Work with COO’s team to design a warehousing solution as that present in New Zealand ( There we were 2 pages of exhibits on NZ and African warehousing processes) 2. Identify measures to better utilize IT resources – infra and staff 3. 3 vendors have pitched to the COO. Help the COO identify the best vendor( A 2 page exhibit was provided , when I asked for da data points) 4. The COO has a budget of 20 million dollars for this initiative. The shelf shelf-cost cost of the IT product is 7 million dollars. Sum total of Cost of Deloitte’s consulting charges and System Integrators service charges is 18 million dollars. So total cost is 25 million dollars. How will you convince the COO to go ahead with this initiative? The case was bulky to say the least. As it was 5+ pages including exhibits I am only sticking to highlights 1. I decided to focus on part 1 and summarized tthat portion first. 2. Gave a broad overview of the procedure I will be following. 3. The exhibit on New Zealand’s warehousing solution was provided only after I asked for benchmarking data.

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4. The exhibits on warehousing processes and solutions had the following p points · Teams involved · Storage nomenclature preferred · Cost per unit stored · RFID enabled - yes/no? · ERP consolidated? · Legacy systems present in African warehouses · Vendor teams in African warehouse · African warehouse used Data centre which was outsourced · Skill levels of IT teams · Operational Metrics being captured. Operational metrics desired · Maintenance costs and problems 5. Point 2 was basically unified capacity management and used my ITIL experience to spell out measures 6. Asked the interviewer about the IT process processes in Africa – vendors, cloud, licenses, team skills, training needed , Can we have a shared service centre and do away with most of the teams for common processes? This was the Bingo moment for me as the interviewer smiled and told me you have got the cat catch ch in the question. 7. For the vendors I said I will look at factors before deciding. I mentioned 55-66 factors. He seemed pleased. He then handed me an exhibit. 8. For the vendors I made a balanced score card which allows the COO to decide based on parameters whi which are of high priority for him. 9. The exhibit on vendors had the following factors and 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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data points · Vendor’s rating in the market · Vendor’s history in dairy business · Cost of maintenance · Difficulty of adoption · Team size needed to maintain · Total Cost Reduction promised by vendor · License costs · Supported provided by Vendor · Strength of Call centre facility · Difficulty in Integration · Product roadmap in terms of upgrades · Need for customization 10.I assumed weight age for all the factors and designed a model which provide provided d a cumulative score for each vendor. There was cross cross-questioning questioning at this. 11.The Interviewer looked happy at the end of the round and told me that I had handled a difficult case well. 12.I then came to the last part of the case. I told that I will make cost pro projections jections with current processes and with the new program instilled for a period of say 3 years. The cost reductions will be evident and this will convince the COO to spend more than the currently allocated budget 13.The interviewer told me that this is the ri right approach and that ended the interview. Tips for the future batch

· Be thorough with the JD and also the division you are applying to. This will help you to modify your answers and speak relevant examples · Always try to get closure in your answers. Answe Answer to the

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· ·


point It may sound clichéd but maintain your composure at all times. In case interviews the atmosphere gets quite tensed J Ask relevant questions during case interviews and note down the responses. Asking a question the second time will not go dow down well. Maintain eye contact while solving the case. Do not look at your notepad all the time If you are making assumptions , make it clear to the interviewer and also spell out the basis for that assumption Do not use jargons or high high-flown flown words unless you yo truly understand what they mean.

TSMG : Tata Strategic Management G Group INTERVIEW EXPERIENCE #1 Name

Rajesh P


Operations Management


TSMG ( Tata Strategic Management Group)

Selection Process : Finals PPO/PPIPPO/Finals

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Role offered

Associate Consultant

Work Experience

32 months

Number of 1 (on campus) Interview Rounds

Round 1 Details: Technical Interview Interviewer Name 1. Raman K Linkedin : http://www.linkedin.com/pub/raman--k/4/847/428 2. Siddharth Paradkar Linkedin http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=20298450&authTyp e=name&authToken=9a5 e=name&authToken=9a5N&trk=prof-sb-browse_map browse_map-name Interviewer Designation

1.Practice Head - Infocomm, Media & Education 2.Principal (Logistics & SCM)

Round Type : Personal Interview ( A mix of everything) Case Based/Personal Interview/GD Duration of the ~ 1 hr 15 min Process

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Narration of the 1. Brief about yourself, and family background Interview as Answered descriptively as possible 2. As you have lived most of your life in Coimbatore (place I was brought up) do you think you can survive in Mumbai (my posting location)? I explained that I had already spent 2 years in Mumbai and it had treated me well so far. I pointed him out my DOCC location which was Himachal Pradesh. I expressed my desire to travel and visit places. I also mentioned I can adapt mys myself to places very soon. Here the interview took a deviation to my DOCC project 3. How did you end up in this project? As I did not get an opportunity to live in North India, I wanted to encash on this opportunity. More over I was interested in the scope of of the project as it involved the construction of a dam by Himachal Pradesh government. 4. What was the project about? Explained with Context Action and more on Results and Recommendations 5. How did you get the idea to develop the model in the project? Explained lained 6.Have Have the government recommendations?



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NGO and they were in talks with the government. 7. Was the problem defined / how was the problem framed? Answered that there was no de definition finition of the problem by the NGO and it was the team which identified, framed and defined the scope of the problem Summary: Frame it as a consulting experience for a client (NGO). Stationed in a place for 2 months, understanding the problem, framing it, developing implementable solutions and execution is what was expected from the DOCC interaction in the interview. Autumns Internship – Texas Instruments, WPL 8. Describe you Internship with the project scope Elaborated on the scope of the project followed by CAR (Context, Action and Result). In this case I had developed a 3 x 3 framework. Hence I left a hook for him to ask me about the same. 9. Can you elaborate on the framework that you have mentioned about? Explained it on the board so that both the panel members would have a better idea. It also served the purpose of demonstrating my presentation skills. 10. Where all can this framework be applied and what is the limitation? Explained 11. Was this implemented in the duration of the project? 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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No. However my mentor requested me to present my work in front of the Global Director of Worldwide Procurement and Logistics. I honored this by flying down to Bangalore a week later. The Director personally appreciated my work and commented that the framework could be h horizontally deployed across Texas Instruments. 12. Did you get a PPO from Texas? If not then why? No PPO offered. The reason being that there was no requirement in the team. (Do not dwell into details of reasons why there was no PPO. It’s a cliché). Summary: y: They were interested in what value I had added to the project apart from the analysis. Developing a framework, advising as to how to go about certain problems, developing a strategy is the work of a consultant. I tried to project this part of my project and it worked in my favor. Guestimate 13. Let us work on a different question. Can you give me the number of cars that pass through the Bandra Worli ceiling on a typical Monday? (S- Self) (I – Interviewer) S. Can I consider only the peak hours? I. Yes. Assume ssume between 8 a.m to 10.30 a.m S. Is 5km an approximate assumption for the ceiling? I. Go ahead S. Am considering 4 lanes for the traffic 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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I. Perfect S. Should I consider the length of the car? I. That is irrelevant to this calculation S. The average spee speed d of the car is taken as 60km/hr I. Alright S. The waiting time at the toll gate is assumed to be 15 seconds. This is just like a production line with the first item taking the time to cover the entire stretch and the next would be every 15 seconds. I. That’s at’s correct S. So the first car would take 5 min to reach the other end. Following that every 15 seconds there is another car coming out of the ceiling. So Total time = 2 hrs 30min = 150 min First car takes 5 min , Balance 145 min or 8700 seconds No of cars rs = 8700/15 = 580 Total No = 580+1 = 581 No of lanes = 4 , Hence total = 581*4= 2325 approximately I. Ok Summary: He was mainly interested in me identifying the throughput concept, where the first item takes the entire time and the second follows with the time delay between the two.

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Let’s look that some Finances 14. Can you tell me the different types of profitability ratios? Operating profit and Net Profit ( Refer the basic FSA book for the ratios and its interpretation) 15. When are these ratios used? To o measure the health of operations during a merger or a takeover, operating margin is looked upon. The reason being that the interest and depreciation is not accounted. Hence it gives the actual picture of the operations of a company. Shareholders are more interested in the net profit as the dividends are calculated as a percentage of the net profits. (Elaborated in detail) 16. If there are two projects namely A and B, how will you select which project to go ahead with? Look at the NPV of both the projects. We would consider a project only if the NPV is positive. Among the projects, the one with a greater NPV would be selected. ( NPV is calculated by discounting the free cash flow for the duration of the project) (Elaborated in detail) 17. Is there any other aspect which has to be looked upon in selecting a project? Internal rate of return. This would show how much could be expected from a project. (Elaborated in detail) 18. Is there a possibility that the NPV of Proj A > Proj B but the IRR of Proj A < Proj B. If so when can this situation be encountered? 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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I was not sure of the answer. I said it is possible. But am not able to think of a situation now. 19. Is there anything else that you would look at in selecting this project? (S- Self) (I – Interviewer) S. Yes. The opportunity cost of the amount deployed. I. Is there a term for this? S. Are you looking for WACC, the cost of capital? I. That’s right S. Explained the concept of WACC and that’s the minimum expected rate of return below which the project would be discarded. Summary: Understand the fundamentals of finance. It is more of the application which they are concerned. Just ratios don’t make any sense. Strategy (S- Self) (I – Interviewer) 20. Can you explain a framework? S. What would you like to hear? I. Alright. Can you give a framework for developing growth strategy? S. Ansoff matrix would be the best to decide on the growth strategy. 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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I. Explain S. Explained the concept of each of the 4 situations in the matrix (Market penetration, Market development development, Product development, and diversification. Each one was explained with a situation where it would be applicable) Summary: Understanding the framework is most important. It is not necessary to apply a framework to every single problem. Do not force-fit force it. It is also essential to understand the limitations of each of the framework. Case based (S- Self) (I – Interviewer) 21. Consider a sector you are comfortable with. S. Construction Equipment Manufacturing I. Now a company in this sector would like to ent enter into auto sector. Mention 4 parameters would you consider for evaluation of the options? S. Synergy, Profitability, Customers, Growth of the segment within the industry and the future potential. I. Can you give options for the segments to look into in tthe auto sector? S. 2-wheelers, wheelers, 44-wheelers… wheelers… Do you think am on the right path? I. The classification is very broad. Can you narrow it down? S. How about bikes, cars and buses ( Light, Medium and Heavy) I. Perfect. Now use the parameters that you had mention mentioned 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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and evaluate these segments. Which of these segments should we do a deep dive for the client? S. Made a table with parameters and sectors. Asked for the growth figures and trend. Came up with rational for every combination and rated a segment to do a de deep ep dive. I. OK Summary: It’s the approach that matters. There might be certain other parameters more important. There could be other lucrative segments. However in the selected segments and parameters, how best can you evaluate?


3 or 4 Key tips to crack the interview

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· Be confident. It is ok to screw up once. Make sure that does not affect the rest of your interview performance · Resume should be known in and out. There is no excuse not to know any part of your resume. · Drive the interview leaving hooks oks as to where you would be comfortable · Prepare case base questions as more you practice, more confident you would be on D-day day · Do not over prepare HR questions. It is not a recitation competition · Learn basics of finance for consulting. It really helped my case

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Autumns Specific: If PPO/PPI was There was no PPI or PPO as there was no requirement in offered, what went in the department your favor?


Mansi Bhargava


Information Management


PRTM PWC Co Consulting

Selection Process : Finals PPO/PPIPPO/Finals Role offered

Management Consulting

Work Experience

35 months

Number of 3 Interview Rounds

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Management Consulting Interviewer Name


Interviewer Designation


Round Type Based/Personal Interview/GD


Case Case + CV Based

Duration of the Process

1 hour



Narration of the Started with CV discussion. Interview/GD, as About the work done at my previous company in descriptively as possible details. Discussed various achievements. hievements. Then discussed Flipkart internship in detail. Covered aspects of extra-curricular curricular activities and POR’s. Why consulting? What do you bring to the table? Examples related to POR’s Case: Avaya approached you for increasing profitability. Their operating rating and gross margin is below the competitor’s level. What will you advise them? Format: The same question was carried on for an hour with further cross questioning. It was entirely to judge candidate’s business sense.

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Me: So, the main objective is to increase ncrease profitability? Interviewer: yes Me: As the problem directly states that the industry is doing well, I would directly like to move onto looking at the company. Revenues and costs are the main drivers of profitability. Let’s look at the revenues fir first. What are the different revenue streams? I think other than sale of products, services will be a huge revenue source. Interviewer: yes Me: Are the products priced at par with the competitors? Interviewer: more or less yes, not an issue of concern Me: How about the no. of products offered by Avaya compared to competitors cisco, juniper & others Interviewer: avaya certainly has smaller no of products but it keeps innovating. Not an issue of concern. Me: You mentioned that Avaya keeps innovating? We should d look at R&D costs to see the return on investments being made. Interviewer: Yes we can, what else? Me: We need to also look at the employee headcount vs productivity in terms of industry wide efficiency per employee in this sector 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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Interviewer: What else? Me: Looking at the margins, I would like to consider various suppliers and manufacturer’s for Avaya? How many suppliers do we have? Interviewer: Around manufacturers





Me: With so many suppliers, I would definitely like to look at a possibility sibility of negotiation as well as consolidation of the suppliers. Also, only 2 manufacturers might result in a holdup. I would like to work on these 2 factors in detail Then I was asked to summarize the major factors you will look in details to figure out the issue.

Management Consulting Interviewer Name


Interviewer Designation


Round Type : PI + Case Based Case Based/Personal Interview/GD Duration of the Process 1 hour Outcome


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Narration of the Interview/GD, as descriptively as possible

Interviewer: Tell me about yourself? Me: covered all aspects from engg college to work ex and mgmt. education with examples. Kept it short upto 1 min Then I was grilled on every aspect of my CV with examples followed by Why cconsulting onsulting and what do you bring to the table Case: Your client is into hardware&software, industrial design and mfg design. They are looking forward to outsourcing some part of it? 1) What will they look for while outsourcing? 2) What part of prod development sshould they outsource and how? Me: Major factors to consider while outsourcing will be: Skillset available, reliability, scalability, infrastructure, SLA’s, opportunity cost Interviewer: How will you go about outsourcing? Me: I think testing is the component nt which can be outsourced as it is a step by step process which can be done easily without much complication. We can look for sites which can provide us low labour costs, geographical and political stability. Gave an example of a similar situation faced aatt work and how it was resolved. Interviewer: This is exactly what we did..:) Discussed about POR’s with examples

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Interviewer: What ould you want me to remember about you? Me: my versatility- gave a reason why

Management consulting Interviewer Name

Raje Rajesh

Interviewer Designation


Round Type : PI + Guesstimate Case Based/Personal Interview/GD Duration of the Process 1 hour Outcome



Asked for a brief introduction Discussed about my previous company Moved to projects section and asked about an outsourcing project I had done with Zenesys consulting. Questioned on that. Asked what sector are you confortable with Telecom: Will Reliance jio be successful with data only? What can it do?

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Estimate its market size in India? ARPU I concentrated only on missing voice and tried to club it with some voice channel. Estimated a data+ non non-data usage in India. But, he wanted me to look at fileds where only data will be used. So, moved on to corporate channels, wireless backha backhaul. Next guesstimate was on estimating the no. of tyres sold in India each year. Helped me in the process. It is important to follow the interviewer if he is trying to guide you.


3 or 4 Key tips to crack the interview

2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

1. Understand the Job description ion and try to align your “tell me about yourself” as per that. Also quote in examples of yours to cover the areas needed for the job 2. Show enthusiasm in the interview. Show that you are interested. 3. Don’t get tensed. Keep that smile(It is really important) 4. Be well versed with your work-ex ex sector and general happenings 5. Practice cases: really helps….Case in Point

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Narendra Mani Ganesh



Selection Process : Finals PPO/PPIPPO/Finals Number of 4 Interview Rounds

Round 1 Details: Group Discussion (Eliminative) Panelists

Harpreet Arora (Associate Director), Aarti (HR)

Round Type : GD, 13 candidates Case Topic : Cricket is overrated Based/Personal Interview/GD Duration of the 12 minutes utes Process Narration of the The topic was very generic and the focus of the panelists was Interview as on the group dynamics rather than the content. Out of the 13 descriptively as candidates in the GD, 33-4 4 were selected to go to the HR round. (There was another GD from which another 33-4 candidates possible were selected making a total of 7 candidates for round 2) Result: Moved to HR round 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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What worked for What worked for me: Despite entering the GD late (after 33-4 minutes) I made sure that I spoke 44-5 timess and got the me maximum air time. I was also seated centrally and made full use of my location to capture the attention of the entire group. Round 2 Details: HR( Non Eliminative) Interviewer

Arti (HR)

Round Type : HR Case Based/Personal Interview/GD Duration of the 5-10 10 minutes Process Narration of the I was asked about my work experience and why I wanted to do Interview as consulting. The interviewer then asked basic questions about descriptively as my family background, p previous revious salary and other factual information. The interviewer was continuously noting possible everything down in a form. This round was more of a checklist than anything else. Result: Moved to case round

Round 3 Case/Technical ( Eliminative) Interviewer

Harpreet et Arora (Associate Director)

Round Type : Case based Case Based/Personal 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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Interview/GD Duration of the 50 minutes Process Narration of the I had the second last interview of the day and it was nearly Interview as 10pm by the time I entered the room. The interviewer asked if descriptively as she could have her dinner during the interview. I told her I had no problem with that and added that she must be starving possible being so late. She smiled and asked me to settle down. Personal Interview questions: · Why do you want to do consulting? I spoke candidly about how my interest in consulting was formed during my first year and SPJIMR after which I joined the consulting cohort. There were some cross questions which I handled well. (Tip: p: Have a good and genuine reason for you interest in consulting) · You have a work experience of 46 months in the power industry. Don’t you think it would be difficult for you to shift? Here I gave a few instances from my work experience about how I had handled clients and how that would be useful for KPMG. I aalso lso mentioned that the interviewer herself had 3 years of experience in power at PWC consulting and moved here and is doing well  The interviewer smiled and commented that LinkedIn has exposed interviewers as well. Case 1: There is a company which operat operates es on the BOT (Build 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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operate transfer) model and is building a state highway. How should it manage its finances? She also added that she does not want me to calculate anything but just run me through my approach. I divided the problem into two parts.  Sources ources of revenue (Toll money)  Building and operating costs o material, machine, labor, power etc. costs for building the road o Interest paid to the banks for finances, Insurance etc. o Running costs of the toll (employee, technology, security, power) I also brought in the concept of time value of money as the BOT contracts are usually 10 10-20 20 years long. I also brought in the effect that the expected change in the payment structure of the BOT companies to the NHAI would have on the project. (This wass a news item from the same day) I said I could calculate the payback period for her if she wanted but she was satisfied with the analysis. Case 2: Suppose you are company which builds the toll booths for L&T which is the BOT contractor. Give me 2 top recommendations ommendations to increase your revenue. You have 30 secs. · Increase the client base beyond L&T · Increase your portfolio beyond the toll booths to build other similar structures After this she asked me if I had some questions with her. I asked her about he herr views of the latest electricity norms changed by CERC. Since both of us had similar backgrounds we 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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had a good discussion on the topic. It also gave me a chance to showcase that I was well read in my domain. Result: Moved to Director round What worked for I hit it off with the interviewer even before we started the cases. She was impressed that I had done research on her. Also me I could bring in the latest happenings in my case solving which helped me. Lastly, I was lucky that we were from the same domain in and could have a healthy discussion. Round 4 : Director Round ( Eliminative) Interviewer

Kaustav Ganguli (Director)

Duration of the 1 hr 30 minutes Process Narration of the The Director round was held at the K KPMG PMG office the next day. Interview as The HR escorted me the room and asked me to wait for 10 descriptively as minutes. I moved out to get some water and met the interviewer there (I recognized him through his photo on possible LinkedIn). I walked up to him and introduced myself. He asked me if I wanted to join him in the cafeteria for some coffee to which I replied yes. Over coffee he asked me about my interest in consulting and whether I had attended the KPMG pre placement talk. I told him yes and we discussed about the consulting cohort at SP SPJIMR. JIMR. By this time we finished our coffees and went to the interview room. We had a short discussion about my work experience after which he gave me a case. Case: There is a company which manufactures glucometers. 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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Estimate the market and the revenues tha thatt the company can earn.  I started off with different age groups and the possibility of people having diabetes in those age groups. I kept on discussing the various assumptions I was taking in calculating the figure and my reasons behind it. We arrived at a figure which he was ssatisfied with. that she does not want me to calculate anything but just run me through my approach. I divided the problem into two parts. · Sources of revenue (Toll money) · Building and operating costs · material, machine, labor, power etc. costs for build building the road · Interest paid to the banks for finances, Insurance etc. · Running costs of the toll (employee, technology, security, power) I then asked him the cost of a glucometer and the cost of strips on which they were tested. (He smiled that I brought up the costs of the strips as well) Based on the values I calculated the people who could afford the glucometers · Having arrived at the people who could afford the glucometers I was told to assume that this is the current number of glucometers in the mark market, et, calculate the revenue for the next year. I told that glucometers would be bought by people who were new users and the replacement market depending on the life of the glucometers. He gave me those values in terms of percentage of the current market and I calculated the 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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revenue. Then I added the revenue earned through the strips which would be used by all existing and new users. All in all the case was very calculation intensive and I was asked to give reasons for each step. The case lasted for nearly 40 minutes. He appreciated me for the detailed analysis but I wasn’t sure if he was serious or being sarcastic hinting at the time I had taken. I was next asked to state 5 major problems being faced by India which I replied giving my reasons. I was then ask asked to give pin pointed solutions to each of these problems. I tried to be as detailed as possible and tried to show that I was well read and had been following the news regularly. He asked a lot of questions and kept on probing me to give more implementabl implementable solutions. (He probably wanted to see how I would react under pressure so I tried to keep my calm). The discussion moved to oil and gold imports of India and my views on them. The discussion carried on for half hour and despite doing my best I did not fe feel too confident at the end. Result: Offer made

What worked for me

· The start of the interview in the cafeteria broke the ice initially · The case was very detailed and I managed to cover all aspects of the case · I believe the discussion in the last half hour went better than I initially thought

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Summary CV preparationpreparation This is the first and foremost step that you need to work on. Spend time on your CV and get it reviewed by 22-3 seniors and 2-3 3 peers. Study the CVs CV of the seniors who got shortlisted for consulting companies. The CV dump would be shared by your placement committee. After preparing the CV expand the CV writing one paragraph for each point on your CV. The idea is to be able to speak for at least 5 mi minutes nutes on each point if required. · Case preparation- Form groups of 3--4 and prepare for cases. One month preparation is good enough if you are regular. Solve one case and one guesstimate per day 3 or 4 Key tips to crack the interview · Read Newspaper regularly: The quality of discussion goes up if you are well read · Prepare HR questions- These are more difficult than you think. It will take time to think about them and I suggest that you start this at the earliest to be ready and comfortable at the time of your interviews · Be clear on your finance concepts- Spend one week and revise 1st year finance. It is not as daunting as it appears to be. · Have a plan B if you don’t get through consulting. 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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Prepare the basics of your specialization well.

Amritha also got placed with KPMG and her case was on Guesstimate on the market size of matrimonial sites in India, Risks for business and revenue estimates. There was also a case of working capital management with ratio calculations. For the Director round detailed scores of HR and case round are used


Sanuj Dagga



Selection Process : Finals PPO/PPIPPO/Finals Number of 4 Interview Rounds

Round 1 Details: Group Discussion Panelists

Harpreet Arora (Associate Director), Aarti (HR)

Round Type : GD Case Based/Personal

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Interview/GD Duration of the 12 minutes Process Narration of the For the GD we were given a case base topic about a mutual Interview as fund company whose AUM (market share) had been falling descriptively as rapidly over ver the last few years. We had to devise an approach to stop the fall in its AUM and bring it back to its original possible position. Before the GD actually started we were expected to ask questions based on our understanding of the problem. What worked for What hat worked for me was the fact that i knew the basics about me mutual funds, how they operate, the various types etc. so I brought in a lot of detailing to the GD which is what probably worked in my favour Round 2 Details: PI Round Type : HR Case Based/Personal Interview/GD Narration of the The PI started first with general questions like my family Interview as business, why consulting and why consulting after CA. After descriptively as that the interviewer went into my CV. I had a project on HDFC Bank and since HDFC is a client of EY, the interviewer asked me possible to explain the current strategy of HDFC and what should do in future. A second case was about a NBFC who had gotten its banking 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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licence. The interviewer asked me to fram framee a strategy for them to establish its presence in the current market including topics such as number of branches, number of ATM's, their locations etc. Lastly he asked me an accounting question on the effect of writing back a provision for bad debt in the P/L, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Statements of the company.

Round 3 : HR Narration of the The HR Round was a mere formality. Education and family Interview as business were the topics of discussion. The HR just wanted to descriptively as know whether I was open to travelling. possible

Round 4 : Partner Round Narration of the The Partner Round was a little tricky, since it was kind of a Interview as stress interview. I was again asked questions as to why i was descriptively as leaving a set b business usiness for a career in consulting. I was also asked to justify my MBA since i already ha a professional possible degree. He then asked me a few more HR questions which included why SPJIMR, why consulting etc. Then he asked me 5 areas of improvement based on the HD HDFC bank project. Toward the end he asked me if i had any questions for him. What worked for me here was my confidence and my ability to speak cause that is what he was primarily tying to judge. The fact that i did not wilt under pressure also helped my cas case. 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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Pallavi Gurtoo



Selection Process : Finals PPO/PPIPPO/Finals Number of 4 Interview Rounds

Round 1: Case Study GD Narration of the Case was about the Micro finance in industry- a very sparse Interview as skeleton of the industry was given given- we were required to ask descriptively as pointed questions and understand where the Industry was head and if the current mode of funding and operation was possible sustainable given profitability For my group, every Finance Spec person cleared to the consultant round round- questions and responses were generic and common sense although basic concepts like Net Interest Margin and Bad Debts should have been clear. Round 2 Details: Consultant Round Narration of the No guesstimates. Interview as Interview centered around my CV CV- Prior Work Experience ( descriptively as Development Sector Consulting)

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>Tell me About yourself [Tried to include in answer how I've consistently occupied leadership positions or sought to be involved ved in dynamic teams] >Why Consulting? [Prior experience, enjoyed it, enjoy peak and troughs, enjoy Finance and liked this profile] >What did you do in your Exchange program? [It was a marketing plan development, led to caselet] >What bank do you bank with with?? Develop an Internet Marketing Plan for **** Bank based on your experience. Enquired about Aim of Campaign, Metrics used to measure success- awareness of bank, number of visits to website, new accounts etc. Limited it to Tier I & II cities, and divided p population opulation by Age Group Gave Examples of how Companies have used surveys and Facebook interaction to shape products Roughly, 15-21- Tie up with products that target these youth youth- Xbox, Levis for EMIs and schemes, get them to bank with HDFC early [drew fro from personal experience] 21-30- Given these are young earners earners- show them how to invest- engage through surveys to develop products that suit them 30+- Product/ investment advice via live platform platform- drew from Old Spice campaign where customers would post ques questions on social media and receive a personalized response with X hours.

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>What did you do in X Project? [Be very clear about personal contribution to team] >Where do you see Gold Prices heading? [Based on Academic Project] > Do you have any questions for me? Prepare several questions

Round 3 : HR Narration of the Very candid round. Interview as descriptively as possible > Tell me about yourself > Do you have issues relocating to Bombay? > Are you prepared to travel? > Do you have any questions?

As I understood it, the purpose was to see whether you truly understand the lifestyle and work you are signing up for. Given my background was consulting, we had a candid discussion on the nature of travel I had done previously and how much I would be willing to travel now. Would recommend honesty for this round.

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Round 4 : Partner Round Narration of the Mostly CV based Interview as Although the Partner tried to introduce an element of stress by descriptively as randomly introducing tangential areas areas,, presumably to test your reactions to uncertainty possible >Tell me about yourself >What does your father do? >Tell me about Exchange, how much work did You do? how much did your co-intern co do? >What subjects psyched you out in Finance? [ Tried to deflect. Said I enjoyed most. Some more than others and naturally found some challenging. Then said my choice of subjects was best reflected by those I didn't take like FRM/ Portfolio. This way he couldn't ask me about them because I obviously had not opted for them. Also leads to obvious question of - Why did you not opt for them and I told him how I was not interested in a market facing finance role role- strengthened case for Consult.] > Do you have any questions for me? Prepare several questions As I've mentioned, there was an element of stress where he tried to rattle me. E.g after discussion on exchange he said, 'Doesn't look like you did much work' [replied saying I got results results-... ... stated impact of my work]

Summary What worked for you

Approached placements somewhat differently.

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Selected 4 4-55 co.s at the outset that I wanted and told myself I would be indifferent between them. Consequently there was a lot less pressure, and I was able to approach each round as an interaction not an ordeal Background also helped, bec because ause I had to spend less time convincing them that I could be in the industry and perform Special preparation tips for Consulting Companies I was not a member of the Consulting Cohort, so I am not the best person to guide you on consult specific preparat preparation- I just about skimmed through the Michigan Casebook and sat with someone for a half an hour case study/ guesstimate crash course the night before the process.


Aunkur De


Deloitte South East As Asia


Operations Management

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Selection Process : Finals PPO/PPIPPO/Finals Number of 3 Interview Rounds

Round 1: Partner Round Interviewer

Mr Sachin

Narration of the a) With such a good core operations experience why do you Interview as want to come into consulting instead of going back to descriptively as you earlier company, why did you leave the company in first place and came to do an MBA and why you not possible going back to the same company in a different role where you can leverage yo your ur past experience. Ans – To answer this question I picked from the point he ended i.e. my prior experience and then explained the highlights of my experience like my prior experience was in Project management of power projects where I was fortunate enough to have worked since inception to completion of an entire Gas based power project. I covered mentioned all the aspects I learnt in my earlier company and then talked about the similarity of work in all the projects then narrowed down to the point of flatt flattening ening of learning curve, repetition and saturation. Then I made it clear that after that I was interested in taking up the business development or corporate strategy role which is usually given to MBA graduates and how the growth is accelerated 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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post MBA. Why consulting: I took an EDII approach to answer this question where I talked about - Exposure: how you get to interact with the best in business. - Depth: How your thought process is challenged on regular basis. - Impact: Recommendations creating an impact on the topline and bottomline of the client company. - Internal: How consulting job excites me, in this you have to link life experiences to the attributes of a consultant to show how you can be a good fit for consulting. b) Then I was asked to explain my work eexperience. xperience. Ans- This answer in my opinion should be prepared beforehand consisting of your highlights from experience. The fact that you have worked on diverse problems and understood or worked on various aspects of the business should come out clearly fr from om the answer. Rather than going much into technicalities of your experience, you should simplify your answer so that even a layman or a person without any knowledge of your sector could understand it easily. The answer should also bring out your attribute attributes of willingness to learn and ability to grasp things quickly. c) He asked me to explain my Autumns project from the work I did to the recommendations I made. Ans - This answer should usually be answered following a CAR (Context Analyse and Result) framework framework.. First of all 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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define the problem statement clearly post which put forth your approach to the problem as in how you went about solving the issue then come to the recommendations part of it. While citing the recommendations you should focus more on framing the answers to show the feasibility of the solutions and more time should be on recommendations which already got implemented or considered for implementation. After explaining this entire then move to the impact/result it had on the process improvement, ttopline or bottomline of the organization. d) I was asked about my extra –curricular curricular activities : About the events/competitions I have done Ans- To answer question like this the best way is to prepare a description on all the projects mentioned on CV from the academic to extra curricular projects. It’s better if you can prepare one para answer explaining the project with more focus on recommendations and impact. I was asked to explain my competition work in KPMG, GSK and Miebach. More questions were on Miebach’ Miebach’ss cold supply chain project. e) Having never worked outside country, will it be possible to adjust in new environment and how will your family respond to that Ans- I cited examples from my work life regarding how I was relocated to different parts of the coun country try and during my autumns I was based out of Baddi, Himachal. How I got accustomed to those places quickly even after having a language barrier in places like Rajahmundry. The point is to show how resilient you are to whatever conditions you are 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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being expo exposed to. f) The power sector vertical is not that big, will you be able to work on different sectors as well Ans- I answered this by bringing in examples from my Ans work life, autumns project, academic projects and competitions. I tried to show them the set of di diverse sectors I have worked on through all this. Though I wasn’t asked to ask a question to the interviewer but others were. So, this should be prepared beforehand as in which question to be asked to the interviewer. This should be well thought because som sometimes etimes these minor things become crucial and could act as a decider for hiring. Round 2 Details: HR Round Narration of the It was not grilling. It had questions like where did you work, Interview as how was your growth there, what was the last CTC, what is descriptively as your expected CTC, how comfortable you are being relocated possible to Malaysia, tentative joining date.

Round 3 : Director Round Narration of the This interview was with Director (Mr. Pankaj Rathi) and Interview as Partner (Mr. Sachin). It was again a CV based interview. descriptively as Technical question on how the process of procurement works in a company. They also tried to understand my prior possible knowledge of working on platforms like SAP and PRIMAVERA. Then they explaine explained d the role to me. 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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About the role

The role for which I have been hired is a Sourcing to Procurement role – This is a new role as they have recently started getting project in this area. The role includes initially some part of strategy and opera operations then deciding on sourcing and procurement strategy for clients, vendor categorization, supplier management, contracts management, recommending ERP solutions for them, as told to me apart from the strategy part this role also includes system implement implementation ation for these processes and in case client is interested in implementation and execution then in such cases the project shall be from strategy to execution.

Preparation Tips

Form a small group of consulting enthusiast and practice cases regularly; it is better if you follow an interviewer and interviewee format. Each one giving a question to other person and then evaluating his/her solutions with respect to actual solution given in casebooks. Working on competition cases from different sectors also helps you to streamline your approach and broaden your thinking perspective. - First and foremost work on CV so that the relevant consulting part of your experience should clearly come out of that

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- Being abreast with current affairs by reading Economic times regul regularly. - Referring to books likes Simchi Levi for Operations specialization helps you to know many supply chain related case studies related to various companies and understand what went right for them and where did they lost - Books for few line cases / genera general cases – Case in point and Ace the case - Detailed and technical cases – Goizueta Case book - Approach to consulting cases – Subscribe to Videos and articles of Victor Cheng - Subjects to be revised – Business policy and strategy (BP&S); Advance competitive st strategy (elective in second year helps you to revise concepts and applications in a short period of time) - Before each interview, refer to the company website to understand the kind of work they do in each of the sectors and who are the clients. This will he help lp you to put your experience in accordance with their business - Read the linkedin profiles of the interview panel - Prepare relevant questions to be asked to the interviewer. This can be done by understanding their future undertakings and client engagement; recent developments in the sectors they are focussing in; consolidation of the company; can be related to your apprehensions related to consulting like how a new consultant is being assimilated into the organization or how a project 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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team in a consulting te team is formed etc


Mohit Tiwari


Operations Management


Deloitte Consulting, Malaysia

Selection Process : Finals PPO/PPIPPO/Finals Role offered

Consultant, Strategy & Operations

Work Experience

23 months nths

Number of 2 (1 Partner + 1 Director) Interview Rounds

Round 1 Details: Technical Interview Interviewer Name

Sachin Shah

Interviewer Designation


Round Type : Personal Interview Case Based/Personal Interview/GD

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Duration of the Process 25 minutes Narration of Interview descriptively possible

the “CV Scan & detailed Interview” as Partner had done a very extensive analysis of all the as CV and the highlighter marks were easily visible on CV hard copies. He introduced himse himself lf and started the conversation. Surprise: Partner stammered, I was shocked.

Ø Partner: I am very impressed by your academics and special mention to the award by Pratibha Patil. Ø Me: I explained by schooling, details about the %s, and described the award details Ø Partner: He enquired further about my school and cities I lived in Ø Me: I described about having done my schooling from Rajasthan, Graduation from Punjab, Work at Uttarakhand (Tata Motors) etc Ø Partner: Give me details of your work at Tata Motors, your Autumns at Philips India and your summer project with Non-profit profit CORD (docc ngo) you may choose any order you like to start with. Ø Me: I started with the most recent one i.e. Autumns project of 8 weeks. I gave the context, the 50,000 feet view and then spe specifics of the work I did and the results. I also explained in great detail the essence of the project to the firm Ø Partner: I have also worked with Philips on 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

certain assignments. I like the way you explained starting from the management’s view (High level project rationale) to the execution level view of the problem. This assignment of your looks to me somewhat like a small consulting engagement. Me: I then went to explain the project with the Non-Profit Profit (DOCC) which I did in collaboration with students from m Kelley school of business. I followed the same method of explaining the case and the intervention I did during 6 weeks. Partner: He asked in details about the background of the project, was it a continuing project or you started from zero. Also he appreciated iated the collaborative approach. Me: Next I described the partner about my role of Program Management (New Product Introduction) at Tata Motors, the projects I handled. The work environment and challenges faced in job and the achievement and recognition I got in 2 years. Partner: He asked a few situational leadership questions discussed on my opinion and action which I would take to settle conflicts. Me: I defended the questions well Partner: What is your career goal … I mean to be a Generalist working across oss sectors/Industries? Or you would prefer working as a consultant in the Automotive and manufacturing practice. He explained that both are equally good and it’s a matter of individual preference, what one likes. Page 161

Ø Me: I was just waiting for such I questions question and opened up my sharing my inclination for the generalist approach. Ø Partner: Where do you see yourself in short term and long term Ø Me: I explained in details together with rationale, my current capabilities and competence which I will acquire in future. Ø Partner: I can look in your extracurricular interest that you like mountaineering and have climbed a few peaks in Himalayas. I would like to inform that in Malaysia the max peak you could find is only 4000 m (Slight smile on his face) Ø Me: I described the origin of my mountaineering interest and also explained about my interest in Photography, travelling etc and justified that why Malaysia as a location has lot of opportunities for me to continue my interest and hobbies. Ø Partner: (He moved the CV away) as you are young and ambitious, what are your family obligations and how willing you will be to relocate to South East Asia. Do you know any people/ friends/ relatives Ø Me: I explained about my family. I also explained that South East Asia is not ot much different in India in culture and added that I do have some friend/acquaintances (Some of my friends work at Tata Motors Indonesia, I have friends studying in National University of Singapore etc) Ø Partner: I don’t have any further questions to you. Please ask if you have any questions for me. 2014 SPJIMR Consulting Casebook

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Ø Me: I asked 2 questions Ø Partner: He explained in great detail to me. Also spoke about the general career track and opportunities for switching firms and also the exit options. He spoke about a general cycle of 3 years; i.e. post 3 years of work a consultant must look back and rethink about his career. Also he explained that on average it takes around 14 years to reach Partner level. Ø Partner: It was nice talking to you, please wait and we will inform you about the he results in some time. Ø Me: I thanked him for the wonderful interaction. Round 2 Details: Interaction with both Director & Partner Interviewer Name

Sachin Shah & Pankaj Rathee (SP Alum)

Interviewer Designation

Partner & Director

Round Type : Personal Interview Case Based/Personal Interview/GD Duration of the Process ~ 8 minutes

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Narration of Interview descriptively possible

the Partner called Me & Siddharth Jeeven 10 minutes as before our interview. He spoke to us in another as conference nference hall (Different from one in which interviews were going on). Partner: I have already talked to both of you in great detail. I want you to interact with my colleague Pankaj in a short while. Partner: Prepare a short pitch of 5 minutes describing allll the high points of the previous interview with me and explaining in short about why you want to work with Deloitte Consulting, Strategy & Operations practice, South East Asia. Me: We could see positivity on Partners face and agreed on what all he said [Partner Partner left us in the conference room and asked us to think & prepare the pitch] Me: We waited and thought about the pitch. Also we discussed that weather they will take only 1 of us and both. Me: Relaxed for a while but anxiety was high as two of us wait waited in that conference hall. HR: HR asked me to go first Partner: He explained patiently what all they would like to listen (Abt work ex, projects, autumns etc) [Before Before I could start my pitch pitch] Director: Looking at my CV, so you worked with Tata

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Motors. He sstarted tarted telling the Partner about Garish Wagh (An SP Alum & project manager for Tata Nano). Me: I took control of the conversation by explaining about my role at Tata Motors and then started my prepared pitch. My voice was filled with passion and I could see see the Director lean forward on his chain and listen to each of my words patiently. Director: Good, Are you willing to relocate to Malaysia Me: I answered well explaining my rationale…. [By this time the Partner had already left the room] Director: It was good talking to you. Me:: I thanked him and went out of the room [The The Partner was standing outside, he asked me “How my interview went” and Shook hands with me me] [II went to the green room thinking that there is a high chance but let’s not put hopes and start started ed checking the upcoming processes] processes Results came out in next 20 minutes. I was Thru!!!!

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From L to R Front row : Garima Singh, Neha Khullar, Shreya Jha, Kashica Bhagat Back row : Roopanjali Jasrotia, Tan Tanvi vi Kapoor, Prof. Prem Chandrani, Naman Rastogi Rastogi, Sushri Kundu Basu

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