Boston Consulting Group Company Overview
§ Industry: Management Consulting
§ Revenue: $ 5.6 Billion USD (2016)
§ Number of Offices: 90 offices in 50 Countries
§ Number of Employees: It has 6,200 consultants worldwide out of more than 14,000 total employees.
§ Key Executives:
o CEO and President: Mr. Richard I. Lesser
o Chief Financial Officer: Ms. Debbie Simpson
o CEO of BGC Digital Ventures: Mr. Jeffrey Schumacher
§ Headquarters: Exchange Place, 31st Floor. Boston, MA 02109. United States
§ Contract Information:
o Telephone: 617-973-1200
o Fax: (617) 973-1399
o Website: www.bcg.com
Background and History
The founder Bruce D. Henderson is considered a pioneer in business strategy and development of management consulting. A known alumnus of Vanderbilt University where he took an undergraduate degree in engineering, who started working for Westinghouse Corporation on sales after he dropped out of the prestigious Harvard Business School before graduation where he took his MBA. He went from the bottom through the ranks at Westinghouse to become the company’s Vice-President. After that he went for a consulting career at Arthur D. Little & Co. then later joined a bank which is the Boston Safe Deposit and Trust Co. Starting with one desk and no telephone, Bruce Henderson established the Management Consulting Division of the said bank in 1963. In 1968, Henderson built an employee stock ownership which later brought out all the shares of the Boston Safe and Deposit and Trust Co. in and created the Boston Consulting Group.
Bill Bain who also happens to be a Vanderbilt alumnus thought about establishing a business school and turned to Henderson for advice. Henderson was so impressed with Bain that he offered a job in BCG. Bain started working at BCG and within two years became the vice-president of the company. Bain who is the apparent heir of Henderson was so eager to succeed the latter that he left his post as vice-president and made off with BCG’s consultants and two of its biggest clients – Black & Decker and Texas Instruments to form the separate consulting group Bain and Company.
The said break-off didn’t slowed down BCG. In 1975, a new office was opened in Munich adding revenue to the firm. In 1980, the firm opened another office, in Chicago, and the number of consultants grew to over 200. During the 1980s, the firm hired associates directly out of college who would work for the firm for two to three years before taking their MBA and resuming their careers at BCG. More offices in Los Angeles, Dusseldorf, New York, San Francisco, Milan, Madrid, Stockholm, and Zurich opened. It was also during the said decade when Henderson retired retaining his title as chairman emeritus. Before the end of the 1980s there were already 524 consultants employed by BCG. The 90s were the years of acquisition and growth. Consulting firms like Pappas, Carter, Evans & Koop, Holt Planning Associates, and Canada Consulting Group were acquired expanding their offices in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe, and Canada. Before the end of the decade BCG partnered with Goldman Sachs to created iFormation. The company reached a milestone in 2001 when the number of consultants grew to 2,800 consultants globally.
The early 2000s was the end of the golden age of the consulting industry. The internet bubble burst affecting most consulting companies including BCG which was forced to cut 12% its employees. Critics believe that consulting firms are going to continue to get smaller or merge with Information Technology firms to gain technology expertise and access new markets. However, BCG remained resilient by retaining talent, experience and knowledge in consulting teaching how successful businesses operates. In 2015, it launched a research Institute called the Bruce Henderson Institute which is dedicated to developing new ideas and approaches to solving business challenges. As part of the institute, a Center for Macroeconomics was also established to research and study the impa ct of global macroeconomic developments on business. BCG It is still considered as one of the biggest business strategy consulting firms in the world together with Bain and McKinsey.
Organization and Culture
BCG boasts of its reputation as the pioneer and leader of strategic management. Among the top three consulting firms, it balances both creativity and experience. As a traditional consulting firm, it’s areas of expertise is in corporate development, business growth and innovation. The company at present currently employs more than 14,000 employees with over 6,000 consultants worldwide. Employees thrives in respect, diversity and are strongly anchored in their company values which were kept alive by generations of BCGers and makes BCG a rewarding and inspiring place to work.
In 2017, Bain was ranked third by Fortune 500 in the “100 Best Companies to Work For”. BCG teamed up with Harvard Business School in creating a global program called PTO (predictability, teaming, and open communication). The program is designed to enhance transparency, work predictability, and career sustainability. It provides detailed roadmap on how to manage projects and communicate effectively with team members and clients. The firm focuses on its employees through learning and career development, mentorship, and networking. Employees enjoy flexible work arrangements to accommodate their need for work-life balance. The firm also provides excellent benefit packages, health insurance, retirement account, additional compensation, including sponsored post graduate education.
As an international firm, BCG employees experience work and life in different countries through its Associate Abroad, Ambassador, and Practice Area Ambassador programs for select employees who can enjoy about a year stay in any of its worldwide offices. Short term projects in another country to gain international experience are also possible through Cross-office projects. Secondments gives its employees opportunities to work with BCGs clients located in any part of the globe. BCG’s website provides more information related to working abroad.
BCGers are known for their collaborative approach with client, teamwork and innovation. Consultants collaborate with team members which are represented from all levels of the consulting staff. The project team reports to the partner who provides guidance. The team practice traditional consulting by gathering qualitative and quantitative data to form a hypothesis. After testing their hypothesis, they prepare the solution to enable the client to put it into practice. BCGers are known however to over-deliver to the client and avoids what the client doesn’t want to hear.
Services and Industry
Capabilities include big data and advanced analytics, change management, corporate development and finance, globalization, growth, innovation and product development, lean and manufacturing, marketing and sales, M&A and divestitures, operations, people and organization, post-merger integration, pricing, procurement, smart simplicity, strategy, sustainability, technology and digital, and transformation.
The company serves automotive, biopharmaceutical, consumer products, education, energy and environment, engineered products and infrastructure, healthcare payers and providers, insurance, media and entertainment, medical devices and technology, metals and mining, private equity and principal investment, process industries and building material, public sector, retail, social sector, technology, telecommunication, transportation, and travel and tourism industries, as well as financial institutions.
The company is well known in consulting for its developed concepts such as the growth-share matrix, experience curve, and advantage matrix. The growth-share matrix was created by Henderson himse lf in 1970. It is a chart used to assist large corporations for decision making on how to allocate cash among their business units. The experience curve is a signature BCG concept based on the cost analysis that the company performed for a major semiconductor manufacturer in 1966. It helps firms capitalize on learning and experience as it shows lower costs for tasks that are performed frequently. The advantage matrix was published in 1981. The matrix separates economies of scale and differentiation into two axis. The four quadrants in the matrix groups businesses into four categories. These are volume, stalemated, specialized and fragmented businesses. The matrix is often used for determining the specific requirements for success in each quadrant to be used for strategy development.
Recruitment and Career
Ranked by Glassdoor as the 3rd most difficult company with which to interview, the recruitment process includes a computer-based examination and multiple rounds of case and experience-based interviews. Interviewers also assess the applicant’s ability to respond quickly and come up with a reasonable answers to questions that has nothing to do with the job. The BCG website provides an overview of the interview process and tips and practice case interviews. You may visit My Consulting Coach for more information about case interviews in consulting.
For students, BCG offers 2 to 3 months internship programs to let students experience what it’s like to work at BCG as a consultant while working on client projects and being mentored by BCG consultants. You may visit the My Consulting Coach website to learn more about the coaching and mentoring program.
The firm also actively recruits through campus visits which is a perfect opportunity for students to network with BCG consultants and impress them with their resume. My Consulting Coach provides tips on how to create a skill oriented resume for consulting.
Most of the company’s consultants are from Harvard, Stanford, University of Chicago, Wharton, and top business schools in the United States. However, the list is not exclusive as college graduates from other schools with other types of degrees are also welcome to apply through their general online application. Different roles are also available for experienced professionals. For more information in pursuing a career in BCG, their website provides information on how to apply.
The career path is similar to other consulting firms wherein fresh graduates start as associates where they get the analyze client performance and understand different industries better for two to three years before getting an MBA degree and progressing as a consultant. Those with prior working experience and post docs are hired as consultants to work closely with clients in creating strategies. The career then progresses to project leader, then principal, and finally as partner.
Aside from the prestige of being part of one of the three top consulting companies, a lot of opportunities awaits a BCGer through its wide network of well-connected alumni. BCG alumnus may be recruited for a strategy function or leadership positions in other companies. They may also create a their own business or startup as an entrepreneur, setup a private equity and fund management, or work in the social sector providing significant value to NGO and non-profit organizations.
BCG boasts a network of more than 20,000 former BCG professionals and an online job database and counseling support. This BCG website provides more information about their alumni network.
- Ahmed Fahour - Former CEO of Australia Post and of the Australian operations of the National Australia Bank
- Andrea Orcel - Head of Origination at Merrill Lynch
- Benjamin Netanyahu – Prime Minister of Israel
- Bernie Brookes - Former CEO of Myer and CEO at Edcon
- Bill Bain – Founder of Bain & Co. Bob Kagle - Director at eBay and Partner at Benchmark
- Greg Brenneman - Former CEO of PwC and Burger King and now Chairman of CCMP Capital
- Indra Nooyi – CEO of Pepsi
- Jan Koeppen – COO of News Corporation Europe and Asia
- Jane Mendillo - Former President & CEO of Harvard Management Company
- Jayne Hrdlicka - CEO of Jetstar
- Jeff Immelt – CEO of General Electric
- John Donahoe - Former CEO of eBay
- John Legend – Grammy award winning musician
- Kevin Rollins - Former CEO of Dell Inc
- Meg Whitman - CEO of Hewlett Packard and former CEO of eBay
- Michael Murphy - Former Olympic Diver
- Mitt Romney - Former CEO of Bain & Co, Founder of Bain Capital and 70th Governor of Massachusetts
- Roland Berger – Founder of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants
- Scott Cook - Co-Founder of Intuit
BCG is a top consulting firm which strikes the balance between McKinsey and Bain in terms of culture and strategy. BCG is a traditional, collaborative, and innovative firm that thrives on respect and value. Working at BCG is not just spent on the desk doing analysis, but more often onsite with clients and the client’s employees and customers.
If you want to apply for consulting firm which offers equal opportunity, a flexible work schedule, opportunity to travel, and the freedom to pursue projects you are passionate about with a diverse group of people, then BCG may be the right fit for you.
My Consulting Coach will help you prepare for your application to BCG and other best consulting firms in the world through our comprehensive resource packages. Packages include resume and cover letter services, test materials, consulting math material, consultation with our available ex-BCG, McKinsey, and Bain coaches and mentor, customized training programs based on your needs, and many more. Our program will teach you how to think like a consultant to help you secure job offers from BCG and other top consulting firms around the world.