The Consulting and Entrepreneurship Club of IIM Raipur conducted ConCreate 1.0 – a consulting talk series on the topic ‘Career in Consulting’. The guest speaker of the event was Mr. Arjun Vaidyanathan, Partner – KPMG. He is currently the Chief of Staff for Chairman and CEO, KPMG India.
The session started with Mr. Vaidyanathan explaining the importance and benefits of consulting. According to him, a person from the same organization may be prone to a confirmation bias while a consultant provides a fresh, impartial view to the same problem. He also depicted the same through a real-life example of the New York Times and their shift to the digital platform.
He further stressed the need of consultants to identify the problem source and devise novel tactics to solve it. Even if the company identifies the problem source, it may not have the bandwidth, resources, manpower or even knowledge of the policies and regulations.
The speaker accentuated three points to keep in mind to make a career in the New Age Consulting – Domain Knowledge, People Skills and General Management Skills.
He advised the students to read prolifically and choose three or four domains where they should gain in depth knowledge to become assets in consulting. Clients, superiors, subordinates, third parties are all human and becoming a human expert is extremely important for consulting. The students should learn to read people, their needs and wants. They should also understand what kind of manager they want to be and work towards it assiduously.
He then elucidated the significance of work ethics and integrity in all jobs, but especially in consulting.
The speaker ended the lecture by remarking that “One year in consulting is worth three years of industry experience.”
The session turned to a lively discussion as students asked various questions about the consulting field. The guest actively cleared all doubts and the students hung to every word. He briefed the audience about the obstacles and liabilities of consulting. He spoke about the importance of an elevator pitch and the necessity to be able to present massive ideas in a concise manner. He also said that consulting is not immune to the growing technological disruptions like artificial intelligence and bots, and how important reskilling is in this scenario.
Mr. Vaidyanathan concluded the session by saying that the consulting life is not difficult, but it requires a lot of hard work, perseverance and patience.
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