Saturday, August 26, 2006

Why I don't want to consult

Consulting is touted as the hot place to get in during campus placements. I didn't know much about it, until today, when some people from BCG visited IIT Bombay, and pitched their line about why people must join management consulting and that too at BCG, etc etc. Though it was aimed at under-grads, the session was enlightening in that for the first time ever, I sort of understood what a consultant does. And I still don't like it.

One of the guys was boasting about how he was advising the CEO, the board; how he was advising the in-charge of the entire western sector of a leading cement manufacturer. The overwhelming feeling I got was that these people enjoyed having a sense of power, since they were close to the people of such high positions of respected and reputed companies. I don't subscribe to that philosophy.

I understood the IT sector from the "production" aka development perspective. I'm now learning the other aspects of the business. Would it be moral if I start advising CEOs of banks about how to run their business, without experiencing and appreciating the business at their lowest level ?

I like, and indeed, my strength is to get things done, to drive things. I'm good at selling my ideas to people. I'm good at innovating and thinking laterally. I want to take ownership of what I do, and I want to do it. I want to get in at the bottom, work my way to the top. I want to get my hands dirty. I want to screw up. I want to fail, and understand the value of success.

I don't think consulting can offer that.

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