About The Book
Management Consulting industry is growing rapidly in India. There is a strong need among consulting professionals for sharing cross-functional and emerging-sector experience. Case studies from business schools fulfil this need partly, but small and individual consultants need more access to experiential learning. This book is designed to fulfil this need as well as to service as a core reading in the curriculum of business schools.
Leading consultants from India share their experience in these areas of Management Consulting:
. Strategic Marketing,
. International Marketing,
. Brand Management,
. Human Resource Development,
. Executive Search,
. Mergers and Acquisition,
. Project Finance,
. Institution Building, and more,
This book would also be useful as training material for individual and small consultants who come from varied backgrounds. Larger Indian as well as international corporations would also find these experiences helpful in getting assignments and in their actual implementation in the local Indian conditions.
U.K. Srivastava is the Chairman of P.S. Software Service Private Limited, Ahmedabad. India.
Pramila Srivastava is the Chief Executive Officer of P.S. Management Consultnts, Ahmedabad, and the Executive Director of P.S. Software Services Private Limited, Ahmedabad.
Management consulting is, by far, not the world's newest profession, and certainly not in the Indian context. From the time when Lord Krishna provided a mentoring- consulting asistance to the Pandavas in the Mahabharata; Chanakya, an academician, advised Chandragupta Maurya and provided inputs on management processes and political science to build on his lead- ership qualities; and later when Emperor Akbar sought the advice of thought leader Birbal, we have seen the role of" external experts" in the building and shaping of empires and kingdoms. Today's corporate maharajas are equally keen to seek inputs from consultants in the management and strategy of their business corporations-and that human need has not changed. Management consulting is one of the most ancient and enduring professions indeed!
However, in evolutionary terms, the management consulting profession has yet to reach the levels of content development, standardization, awareness, certifications, training, etc., that have been reached by many other professions, such as medicine, accountancy, and law. The growth of "professionalization" of management consulting has been slow in the passing of the industrial era to the dawn of the technology era, where we stand today. But this is set to change, as the tipping point to exponential evolution is here.
The last few years have seen the emergence of content and knowledge in the realms of management consulting worldwide, and the trend has now been ushered into India with this book edited by Dr U. K. Srivastava and Ms Prarnila Srivastava. It is densely packed with the experiences and perspectives of some of the thought leaders in the consulting business who have shared their learning from the consulting journey.
In India, we have seen a fast pace of growth in the quality and quantity of consulting services being deployed. We are poised on the threshold of global leadership and will soon stand tall among some of the most advanced nations of the world. The partnership of corporate leaders with management consultants will play the role of a catalyst in taking this leap forward. This will be achieved through the availability of trained and certified consultants. The role of this book will be in clearing the path for more content creation that facilitates the development of consulting skills, and it will create an irreversible trend for the profession in our country.
The International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI) has been at the forefront of the newly evolving profession globally. Represented in over 48 countries, the member institutes of ICMCI have taken initiatives to build bodies of knowledge, experiential content, and training modules; develop professional standards; and disseminate codes of ethics that would assist in the training and certification of consultants the world over. In India, the Institute of Management Consultants of India (IMCI) has pioneered the certification of consultants, leading to the globally recognized CMC (Certified Management Consultant) certification, and has been conducting training programs that help in the development of consulting skills. The creation of content and publication of such books are highly supported by both these professional associations in their endeavor to enhance the professionalization of the management consulting profession. The efforts of the editors and publishers in bringing together the experience and of a vast array of leading professional management consultants from across the country are to be appreciated.
Consulting is defined as "any form of providing help on the content, process, or structure of a task or series of tasks, where the consultant is not actually responsible for doing the task itself but is helping those who are" (Steele, 1 975: 3). The consultants are expected to have relevant expertise to help and enable the organization to solve the problems faced by it (Drucker, 1 981). Management consulting is defined as:
An advisory service contracted for and provided to organizations by specially trained and qualified persons who assist, in an objective and independent manner, the client organization to identify management problems, analyze such problems, recommend solutions to their problems, and help, when required, in the implementation of solutions. (Greiner and Metzger, 1983: 7)
The historical perspective on the management consulting scenario in India has been presented by Sharu Rangneker in this volume. The consultancy profession essentially started with individual professionals who collected associates as their businesses grew. Over a period of time, the profession has been institutionalized, and today, large national and multinational consulting companies are consulted due to their institutional image. After liberalization and globalization (since 1991-92), there has been a marked shift from individual to institutional consultants. There has been a great inflow of international consulting companies into India, and there have even been several cases where Indian consulting firms have been acquired. Reputed business schools (like the Indian Institutes of Management [HMS]) have also started to play a role in management consultancy. What clients are often really looking for is the help to re-architecture their models, and they prefer institutional consultants over individual consultants.
An organization requires advice on two basic aspects. One is technology, and the second includes structures, systems, and relation- ships. The organization collects periodically the best advice available on technology and updates its technology. Once the technology is updated, it is looked at again after several years.
Structures, systems, and relationships have to be looked at more often-almost continuously-to ensure that they are in tune with the requirements of the environment inside and outside the organization. This is the area where management consultancy plays its role. This role can be examined in three different situations:
• Newly formed organizations
• Growing organizations
• Changing organizations
• A newly formed organization starts with production and/or marketing technology. However, these technologies cannot function effectively without supporting structures and systems in purchasing, finance, personnel, administration, etc. Heads of these functions coming from different backgrounds install their own familiar structures and systems, which conflict in the overlap areas, and a management consultant is often called in to streamline and integrate the total system.
In an expanding organization, the structures and systems remain a couple of steps behind the growth in production/ sales, and a management consultant may be brought in to bring in coordination.
The greatest need for management consultancy is in organizations which are "changing." In a way, starting or expanding are also changes, but the problems faced by organizations because of changes like contraction, sickness, or takeover are significantly different. In these changes, the existing structures and systems have lost their credibility and are often considered the cause of the malady. It is difficult to modify the situation internally since the structures and systems cannot be installed without the foundation of credibility. A reputed management consultant can provide the credibility.
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