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Consulting Club IIM Indore Presents

Summer Placements Casebook 2014

BCG- Summers' Interview Experience


Description of round 4 &
Name Description of round 1 & questions faced Description of round 2 & questions faced Description of round 3 & questions faced
questions faced

Round/Interviewer Number: 1
Round/Interviewer Number: 3 Round/Interviewer Number: 4
Personal/CV Questions: Why did you take Computer
Round/Interviewer Number: 2
Science as an undergrad? Any regrets? Why
Personal/CV Questions: None Personal/CV Questions:Brief ones
consulting? Why switch from banking tech to
Personal/CV Questions Why not investment banking? related to undergrad, resume points
consulting? Why not banking?
Case Question: A corporate hospital chain is seeing
Case Question: A conglomerate wants to rationalize its profitability at its leading hospital in a metropolis Case Question: A paper-cup
Case Question : An automotive parts manufacturer is
portfolio of industries. Construct a framework for which declining. Why? manufacturer operating in a
operating both in the B2B and B2C space. Recently,
industries to enter and which to divest from duopoly sees its market share
its profit margins have dropped 75%. Why?
Case Type: Profitability declining 40% in a few years. Why?
Case Type: Market Entry/Divestiture Strategy
Case Type: Profitability
Narration of the case (very concise, exact Case Type: Resource Management
Narration of the case (very concise, exact discussions were discussions were much more detailed):
Narration of the case (very concise, exact discussions
much more detailed): Questioned around falling bed occupancy rates, lack Narration of the case: Worked
were much more detailed):
Came up with a framework, which identified industries along of available procedures, doctor competency etc. This towards a solution on managing
Starting unraveling the case along the revenue and
three dimensions: 1. Cyclical/counter-cyclical, 2. one wasnt very conclusive, similar to the first inventory better and locking up
cost side drivers. No issues on the revenue side. On
Candidate A the cost-side, after quizzing for nearly 20 minutes,
Leading/Lagging the GDP growth, 3. Relative performance interview. However, I questioned around a number of capital for small vendors, which was
of the conglomerates firm in that industry. health care industry KPIs which may have interested the crux of the solution. Also
finally, the marketing costs were found to be a major
the interviewer focused on the value derived by
issue accounting for a significant portion of the costs,
What do you think went right?: customers from the product
and these were escalating.
Completing the framework convincingly. Also, the post-case What do you think went right?:
questions for the interviewer were highly satisfying for both As stated above, this case was one where I had What do you think went right?:
What do you think went right?:
parties domain/industry knowledge which proved handy Working towards an agreeable
Finally figuring out the reason why profits were
including mix of departments, form of patient solution
declining
What do you think went wrong? - patterns via referrals, word of mouth etc.
What do you think went wrong? -
What do you think went wrong?:
Any tips for the future batch based on the interview: What do you think went wrong?:
Took a lot of questions to figure out the real reason
Be honest and confident about your abilities. Asking not-so- The synthesis could have been better Any tips for the future batch based
behind the falling profitability
easy questions to an interviewer in the post-case section on the interview: Involve your
may work in your favor, but don't be conceited while asking Any tips for the future batch based on the interview: interviewer as much as possible as
Any tips for the future batch based on the interview:
them. They should be genuine. Knowing industries can be of immense help if you it can lead to new data to help you
Try to perform some mental number-work and write it
are stuck on a particular case move towards a solution
down. I asked the same data a couple of times, which
seemed to have annoyed the interviewer

All interviews followed the same pattern.


Beginning with a few HR questions, mostly based on
one's resume, the interviewer would go on to pose a
case problem verbally and ask one to explain how
one would go about solving the problem. They would
then conclude by asking if one had any questions,
and the question asked was also an important part of A very relaxed round. After the initial HR part, I was
the evaluation. given the option of choosing either a case from the
This was a stress round. The interviewer gave me very
fire safety industry or the pharma industry. Chose
complicated calculations and did not get involved in my
The first case I faced was from the automobile the fire safety one.
solution despite my best efforts.
industry, since my interviewer specialized in that This was a healthcare industry
The case involved a manufacturing company which was
sector. It dealt with the expansion plans of a company that case. It was about a chain of
facing unusual losses.
manufactures and installs fire safety system in multi- hospitals. The flagship hospital of
It was a go/no-go decision on whether the storey buildings. They had 2 options for expansion - the chain was facing lower profits
Q. What do you think is the reason for this loss?
manufacturer, who is facing a capacity crunch in the either start selling to other segemens such as than the rest of the chain. I was
A. (Gave an answer based on the framework given in the
gearbox manufacturing unit, should expand his individual homes, or start offering maintenance asked to examine the potential
ISB case book)
current facilities or establish another such unit in support contracts to existing multi-storey bulidings. reason for this.
China. It was basically a market sizing case.
Q. Look at the inventory costs
Candidate B A. (Asked for data and made complicated calculations over
Q. What information do you need to make this After probing through all the costs
Questions decision. and divisions, I came to the
a 3 year period, as asked by the interviewer. Costs came
Q. What information would you need to make this (When asked gave data about number of existing conclusion that the patients who
out to be insignificant - so going after inventory costs was an
decision? buildings with such systems, about the regulations were self referred to the hospital
incorrect decision)
A. Cost benefit comparison of the options mandating that such systems be installed, etc.) were declining in number. At this
point, the interviewer asked some
Q. Look at the other cost heads
Q. What data would you require? Q. What data would you need to examine the size of questions to make me probe this
A. (Named them one by one)
A. Fixed and Variable Costs incurred in expanding the individual hoe market? cause further but I hit a dead end,
the domestic facility as well as in setting up the China A. Asked about the segments with higher income and ran out of time.
Q. Take a look at S,G&A
facility and electronic security systems like Zircon already
Q. Calculate the selling costs
installed.
(This is where the solution lay. )
Q. What costs do you think would be incurred?
Q. Compare the size of the 2 markets
Q. (Gave some data) Calculate the costs

Q. When would you reach breakeven?

I was able to successfully involve the interviewer in


the solution process in this round.

Case -The total sales of the organization went down


and i had been told to devise a method so that the
Case- To devise a strategy for airtel/vodafone so that they
Candidate C organization could fire 20 % sales force . The other
can increase their margins.
thing was to identify the problem faced by the sales
force as in why their productivity failed.
There was just one personal interview question
What were you r three key leanings from your work
experience?
Case question: There is a company which runs a
chain of hospitals but its flagship hospital is making
losses since the last three years.
Since it was a profitability case, looked at two aspects
- revenues and costs.
I analyzed the cost side first. I tried to understand the
different material and operational expenses. Almost For this round, the case was very short and there
all of them were at par with all the other hospitals the were a lot of personal interview questions.
company owned. Except for one component (cannot Case question: There is conglomerate with 25 firms
The one personal interview question was Tell me
recall what it was). And that was the only problem on and you have to do a portfolio analysis. How will you
something about yourself
the costs side go about it?
Case question (Guesstimate): A logistics company wants to
I tried to understand the revenue model, since I didnt I answered with reference to the BCG matrix. Next
start a cool cab service like Meru cabs in Mumbai. It wants t
Candidate D know much about the industry. There were two main questions were what would you do about the
estimate the number of cabs it would need for the same.
types of patients IPD (Indoor patient department) questions marks? I tried to answer that and he
Tried to estimate the number of trips that would be needed
and OPD (Outdoor patient department). When asked asked me a few more questions on the questions
per day and the number of trips each cab could make a day
further he told me the number of patients in IPD had marks like how you would know if they had the
and thus came to answer.
declined and the number in OPD had increased. potential of becoming stars?
Tried to understand the reason behind this w.r.t. the After this he questioned me on almost every line on
doctors, the hospital facilities, hygiene factors etc. But my resume.
all of these were at par with other hospitals. On
further discussion it came to light that while deciding
on a hospital for surgeries/procedures (which
accounts for most IPD patients), patients consulted
their financial advisors and for OPD they made the
decision on their own. It was identified that the
financial advisors were not recommending this
hospital. We couldnt discuss the reasons for this in
details due to time constraints.

There was just one interviewer. It started off with a


brief look at my resume and my interests for about 3-
Everything was exactly the same as in the first round. The
4 minutes. Then almost immediately the interviewer
case presented to me was about an Indian company
started off with the description of the case. It was an
contemplating to set up a manufacturing plant in China. I
actual case about an Indian company which
had to suggest if they should go ahead with the project or
manufactures locks, and has set up a market in the
not.
middle east. After experiencing good sales in the first
Candidate E 4 years, their sales were going down drastically and
A lot of number crunching was involved here. It was
important to ask the right questions and know the different
they needed to find a remedy.
types of expenses that would be incurred by a
The approach which was actually followed by BCG
manufacturing plant and make a comparison with the plant
was a thorough analysis of the product mix, and
in India to see if it would be feasible to o ahead with the
understanding the preferences of the middle eastern
project.
customer better so that this Indian company could
make locks more suitable to their requirements.

Interviewed by Partner started


directly with a case on hospitality
The second round was Principal round. He asked me about sector. Case: A healthcare chain,
The Interview was taken by a Consultant, a lady. She my Work-experience and then moved directly to the case. known for its cardiovascular division
started off with asking me about IIM I as her husband Case: An Indian Locking system Manufacturer wants to is facing losses at one of its major
was from our institute. After sharing few pleasantries expand his operations abroad. As I was from Real Estate hospitals. It took me considerable
about my background- like placecom experience, background, I started off with asking him about the details of Interviewed by Partner he asked about myself, my time and many questions to
dance and work etc, she said she will give a case in the company and he was impressed that I already knew interest towards dancing, and also why consulting? understand the sector, in terms of
my work ex domain i.e. Ops. Case: An automotive about the Industry. After making a flowchart with expansion He gave a guesstimate case- since I was interested its revenue model, promotion
company wants to reduce its delivery time from 20 options, I asked questions about the Company- in terms of in dance, what would do if u were to setup a dance methods, market segment etc.
Candidate F days to seven days. How will you do it? After taking a their product categories, manufacturing, etc. He asked me school in Mumbai? I started with estimating the size Starting from the objective of
two minute time and drawing a flowchart of the to strictly stick on to only expansion especially in Middle and type of market, various locations, and then maximizing revenue- from
process, I made several assumptions and asked East. Then I further asked about the market details in based on my costs, finalized on what the monthly fee framework, I started explaining for
relevant questions- starting from factory location, Middle East. He was extremely satisfied with the solution would be, etc. This round was more of an HR round each of the causes and means to
warehouse locations, order mechanism, no.of trucks, given, and told that I had touched some new points in terms rather than the case. tackle. Initially I struggled a lot in
daily order rate, types of automotive parts, etc. In the of not just sticking to retailers, but also talking about terms of understanding the case
end I could give a solution, in a similar flow and she distribution dealers, and that my solution had institutional clearly, he even helped me with key
was pretty happy with it also. details as well. He ended with a note saying looking hints. Later he said that my final
forward to work with you soon, keep the same spirit. solution and the way I described it
was better than how I approached
the case itself.

Partner - Case only

Partner - Case + HR Principal - Case + HR Case: Hospital chain wanting to


Principal - Case only increase its profitability. Solution
HR: Started with 'run me through your resume' and HR: Shorter HR discussion than the first round. Again came as creating brand pull from
went on to connect to different points in resume and around resume and projects, team contribution, why BCG,
Case: Indian cement manufacturer from south India defining specialties, hiring specialist
the things I had done at work in terms of projects, career choice, experience in MBA so far etc. wanting to grow at an extremely high rate in the next and famous doctors and increasing
Candidate G team roles etc. 1 year. Problem identified through discussion that profitable customers through
Case: Indian bank wanting to grow (at a higher rate) one of neither inorganic can be used, nor the market is tapping network of physicians.
Case: Conceptual case of a conglomerate wanting to its slower growing segments. The real problem identified in growing very fast. All growth has to come from
grow. Main points touched in the case were M&A and organization structure and how the bank can use cross- snatching market share of competitors. Suggestion: If not comfortable with
resource reallocation. selling to capitalize on its other fast growing segments. the industry, get clarity of its
fundamentals before working the
case

Case Based:

1. Some questions about my background.


Case Based: 2. Can you please elaborate on the event "Utsaha" (They
were interested because it was something new for
1. Tell me about yourself them)...follow up questions...
Candidate H 2. What are the things you are most proud of 3. What do you think is your biggest failure in life...personal
achieving in the 2 years that you have worked.. or professional?
3. Case: Can you help chart out the growth strategy 4. Case: I am an Ice cream manufacturer Company A,
for BCG for the next 5 years. operating in Europe. I want to grow by acquiring another
company. I feel that a similar company operating in Europe -
Company B is a good target. Should I go ahead and try to
acquire this company?
Deloitte S&O- Summers' Interview Experience
Name Description of round 1 & questions faced Description of round 2 & questions faced Description of round 3 & questions faced

Round 2 was case-based. A case on insurance sector with


4 exhibits was given. A panel of 2 members conducted the
interview and took turns to ask questions based on the
case.

Round 1 was taken by a team member from Deloitte. The net profit margin of the company had reduced over a 3-
It consisted of HR questions & Guessestimate year period. The exhibits showed that the revenues over the
period had been steady but the operating costs had
HR Questions: increased. Then I was asked to guess which particular cost
Tell me something about yourself could have risen. I replied by reffering the exhibit where a
Why did you decide to do MBA after Engineering trend could be seen. Round 3 involved interaction with a 2-member panel
Questions related to my previous work experience including a Partner. He asked me why i want to go
My roles & responsibilities were in Project Subsequently a faulty system was identified which was used for consulting as a career & why I want to join
Candidate A Management so talked about it for a bit for risk assessment. deloitte.
Nothing related to academics was asked I was asked whether to make improvements to the existing
system or to go for a new system. The costs and benefits of In the end I was asked if I had any questions from
Guessestimate: each option were given.The new system involved a high the panel
Estimate the number of maruti cars in India. Got the initial cost but its cost flattened over the long term whereas
the figure wrong because of taking wrong the benefits over the future periodswere considerably higher
assumptions in the last 2 steps. But overall said all compared to the existing system. So i chose the new
the steps out loud & gave logic for taking whatever system.
figures i took.
They asked for any other recommendation from my end &
herein I mentioned that probably due to the risk assessment
system being faulty, maybe the company was not evaluating
risks properly & was taking lower premium for high risk
loans or maybe even occuring higher defaults.

Round 2 was a complete case-based round. The case was


given to me on a printed page having 4 to 5 exhibits. A
panel of 2 members conducted the interview and took turns
to ask questions based on the case.

The case pertained to an insurance company whose net


profit margin had reduced over a 3-year period.
Round 1 was a personal interview taken by one
The revenues over the period had been steady and this
member from the Deloitte team. The interviewer
meant that the operating costs had increased substantially.
focused more on my technical background. He asked
Round 3 involved interaction with a 2-member panel
the following questions: -
On concluding this, I was asked to guess which particular including the Partner-in-charge. Here again the
cost could have risen. I replied that the major cost would be interview started with questions on what I had
Why did you study LLB after CA?
that of the Claims Paid. studied till now, where did I work, what work did I do,
Why did you choose to study MBA after doing CA?
why I decided to do MBA and why I want to do
What kind of job profile are you looking at?
Next, I was given information that "the company had been Consulting.
Candidate B How would you look to improve the procure-to-pay
facing downtime issues with its legacy I.T. system which
cycle of a client?
used to compute the premium amount to be charged to the In the second part of the interview, the panel asked
customer corresponding to the level of risk assumed by the me to summarize the case given in Round 2 and
company. As a result, policy managers had to use their own how I approached it.
He then dictated to me the accounts payable figure
discretion in granting policies to customers." I correlated this
from a company's Balance Sheet and the credit
information with my earlier observation that the claims paid Finally, they opened the floor to any questions I had.
period given by suppliers and asked me to calculate
were increasing due to downtime issues as human
the net benefit of extending the credit period by 10
judgment (estimates) could not be as accurate as the
days.
numbers calculated by the system.

The last piece of the question was whether to make


improvements to the existing legacy system or to go for a
new I.T. system. The costs and benefits of each option were
given. I answered that although the new system involved a
high initial cost, its benefits over the future periods would be
far higher compared to the existing system.

Round 2 was taken by two business heads and started the


interview with background questions. They said their
objective was to check my logical reasoning abilities and not
my general knowledge or things that I have written in my Round 3 was again with the partner. He didn't ask
resume. This was followed by a 2 page case which was me much since I already met him in the first round. I
Round 1 was taken by the partner. He started the read by them. The case was about identifying the reason for had to summarize the case of round 2 in less than a
interview with questions related to my background downfall in revenues and evaluating various proposals in minute as I would present it infront of the company's
specifically my internships followed by a small terms of cost and benefits. Based on my approach they CEO. The presentation part of the case was also
Candidate C guesstimate. He asked me to guess the number of gave me further data to solve the case. Options like focussed on in round 2 and they had asked me to be
subscribers in a year that Reliance Jio should inflation, increase in competition, change in consumer taste, ready with all the facts and recommendations incase
consider if it plans to start 4G services in 2015 by economic condition, etc. were given and I had to justify why I go to the next round. After this the partner asked
offering unlimited data for Rs. 5000. they could or couldn't be the reason for downfall. In the last me general questions like why I want to join Deloitte,
part of the case two alternatives were given to upgrade the why consulting, why they should select a fresher for
technology used by the business - buying a new software or a consulting role, etc.
in-house up gradation of the existing software. Pros and
cons of both the alternatives had to be given and future
benefits had to be estimated using techniques like NPV etc.

1. Tell me something about yourself


2. You have worked in a consulting environment, why
do you think you want to work in this field?
Candidate D 3. What do you do in your free time?
4. Guesstimation: I am a window pane manufacturer
and I want to know the market size for window panes
in Bangalore in 2014. Please estimate.