Monthly Archives: August 2003


Consultancy firm rankings

Vault has brought out its 2004 guide to the top consulting firms ranked by the employees of the consulting industry.

To no one’s surprise the Firm , McKinsey & Co. ranks number one. However in a surprising development Accenture is out of the top 10 at number 12 ! Is that a result of IT services and BPO focus?

The other two in the top 3 are also the true-blue ‘strategy’ firms, BCG and Bain.
In fact there is no change in the top 6 firms.

What is interesting is that a HR consulting firm Mercer comes in at number 13. IBM is in at number 16, having dropped 4 places.

Here are the top 25 firms:

Rank and Name Score Last Year’s Rank HQ
1 McKinsey & Company 8.249 1 New York, NY
2 Boston Consulting Group 7.848 2 Boston, MA
3 Bain & Company 7.371 3 Boston, MA
4 Booz Allen Hamilton 6.432 4 McLean, VA
5 Monitor Group 6.060 5 Cambridge, MA
6 Mercer Management Consulting 5.801 6 New York, NY
7 Gartner 5.552 10 Stamford, CT
8 A.T. Kearney 5.528 11 Plano, TX
9 Mercer Oliver Wyman 5.524 25 New York, NY
10 Roland Berger – Strategy Consultants 5.314 21 New York, NY
11 Deloitte Consulting 5.292 8 New York, NY
12 Accenture 5.180 9 New York, NY
13 Mercer Human Resource Consulting 5.099 17 New York, NY
14 Marakon Associates 5.067 15 New York, NY
15 Parthenon Group, The 5.065 20 Boston, MA
16 IBM BCS 5.009 12 Somers, NY
17 L.E.K. Consulting 4.987 22 Boston, MA
18 Cap Gemini Ernst & Young 4.910 14 New York, NY
19 Towers Perrin 4.580 18 New York, NY
20 BearingPoint 4.550 13 McLean, VA
21 DiamondCluster International 4.266 23 Chicago, IL
22 Charles River Associates 4.211 34 Boston, MA
23 Hewitt Associates 4.205 16 Lincolnshire, IL
24 Stern Stewart 4.203 30 New York, NY
25 NERA Economic Consulting 4.175 NA White Plains, NY



The Ooty trip

Got together with two other couples for a road trip from Friday early morning to Sunday night. We left early in the morning on Independence day and after a lovely breakfast just out of Bangalore. We stopped at the Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary (near Mysore) and caught glimpses of some lovely Night Herons and other exotic birds in the rains.

In the afternoon we took a longish break for lunch and rest at the Bandipur National Park and saw deers, monkeys, and elephants….but alas, no tigers !

We then reached Ooty by evening after passing through the dense madhumalai forests by evening.

Next day we travelled through Ooty and Conoor, especially Sims park and Dolphin Nose in the pouring rain…it was beautiful.

Next say, Sunday was actually a sunny day !We left Ooty early and stopped on the way at Mysore for lunch and landed at Bangalore, again in pouring rain at 9 pm !


Holidaying in Coorg

ekta’s Mom and a cousin had come to Bangalore for 5 days andwe decided to take them to Coorg. Its called the Scotland of India and is 5 hours drive from Bangalore, and boy, is it lovely ! We stayed in a plantation estate that grows coffee (that’s Coorg’s main export) and pepper.

It was lush green and wet and we really had a great time !

Also saw a place called Cauvery Nisargadhama which has a deer park and huuuge bamboo forests…it was rainy and therefore we weren’t allowed to ride the boats ūüė¶

Near Kushalnagar which is a central town in the Coorg area we saw a Tibetan settlement and their huge awe inspiring Ramdoling monastrey with three humongous Buddha and other statues 60 feet in height and plated with gold ! It’s definitely worth a visit !

Rahul Bose Movies

Happened to see two diametrically different Rahul Bose movies …one was Jhankaar Beats and the other was Mr. & Mrs. Iyer. And what powerhouse performances in both of them. I am a convert to Rahul-fandom !


I posted a Guest editorial on !

Here is the link. It might ask for a registration.

Here is the article

As the HR function evolves and complexity creeps in, HR professionals struggle to make sense of this new age, and though they welcome it , find themselves awfully short. The old assumptions hold true and yet, the contexts seem to have changed. The skills that they have built up over the last few decades as Personnel became HR , seem to have lost their potency.
The people who are their raison d’etre, the employees, are getting more demanding. They demand more in less time. They demand better service and without the frills. More importantly, they demand better work and find that there is nothing their HR department can do to influence it.

The people who employ HR departments, want them to contain costs, track metrics regarding employee productivity, morale and come to conclusions as to what they need to change/ do better so that they can control not just the bottom-line but also increase the top-line. They want better people to do the jobs recruited at less ‘total cost of hiring’, they want their best people to stay put and the bottom ones to leave with a minimum of fuss.

And increasingly, the organization’s customers want to know about HR policies and how they impact quality of work, because it is becoming increasingly difficult to choose vendors.

What does HR in such a scenario [and these are getting more and more complex and demanding everyday!] do? What path must it tread, what roles must it play, what skills must it gather to excel all these demands and satisfy them?

In my view, HR needs to structure itself differently, to move from the current functional silos of recruitment, compensation and performance management, training, employee and industrial relations to a new paradigm of focusing on projects which are purposes. HR people no longer can make choices about whether they will be ‘generalists’ or ‘specialists’ in organizations. They have to be BOTH.

HR’s learning curve has to take into account not just today but tomorrow while keeping an eye on what yesterday has left behind. It has to focus on processes, customers, employees and discontinuous change. The question they constantly need to ask themselves is “what if all the knowledge and skills I hold becomes redundant tomorrow? What then?” and build a mindset in their organization where everybody asks this question about themselves.

HR has already been an early adopter of technology but now it has to show how to leverage that technology, not just save time and money.

HR careers will soon become specialized and super specialized. HR vendors will need to offer services like “How to make an FMCG company which is focused on female products a learning organization” These super specialists will offer services that are both niche and yet best practices, what Percy Barvenik of ABB called “Think global, act local” or “How to recruit the best microbiologists who can use technology from across the world”. Specialized HR people will work within organizations and yet will be part-free agents advising competition too, as companies lock into co-opetition against competing nations.

HR departments will lose many of the administrative work, as employees will take it into their hands and the corporate intranet rids them of standardized processes. They will soon be able to draft their own salary heads, leave structure and keep abreast of legal trends [all the work that HR does today!]

It’s going to be an age of change and lots of HR professionals would themselves find the chasm a difficult one to cross.


Consulting News from

Consulting firm Mercer appears to be weathering the storm in the global management consultancy sector quite nicely, according to the latest quarterly announcement by parent company Marsh & McLennan this week.

Mercerís Q2 revenues rose 16% compared with the year ago period, to $690m. In no small part this growth was due to the recent acquisition of Oliver, Wyman & Company. However, even excluding the effect of acquisitions, Mercerís revenues grew 2% on a constant currency basis. At a time when the major consulting brands have reported Q2 consulting revenues down as a result of the war in Iraq, Mercerís continued growth is welcome news indeed.

EDS yesterday reported its latest quarterly results, most notable for a plunge in profits, stagnant revenues and a weak order book. Shares were actually up on the news, reflecting analystsí concerns that the results might have been worse still.

Revenue picture shows mixed fortunes

EDSís quarterly revenues rose 2% to $5.52bn on the previous yearís quarter (though down 3% on a constant currency basis). Overall, modest improvements in IT and business process outsourcing revenues were offset by a continuing decline in GM revenues and the impact of a number of under-performing contracts.

Most worrying going forwards – at a time when consulting and outsourcing competitors have been reporting improving order books – EDS reported it has signed only $3.4bn in contracts in Q2, vs $6.2bn a year ago. EDS blamed the poor order book on a “tepid IT spending environment” but the reality is it has been losing ground to IBM and HP, who are aggressively targeting the market at a time that EDS has been focused on a strategic review and restructuring exercise.

The picture is no prettier when consulting is taken in isolation. Solutions Consulting revenues at EDS decreased 13%, at constant currency, from the year-ago quarter to $1.31bn. In top-end consulting, EDSís consulting business A.T. Kearney saw revenues decrease 27% (constant currency) compared with a year ago to $212m.

check this out

New competitor on UK Consulting Market

A major new competitor is set to enter the UK consulting market this year, bringing together seasoned professionals from the likes of McKinsey, Accenture and WPP.

The new consultancy – called The Ingram Partnership – will advise on branding & communications strategy and looks set to compete both with traditional management consultancies and advertising agencies. The Ingram Partnership is the brainchild of Chris Ingram, former owner of the Tempus advertising agency – sold to Martin Sorrell’s WPP Group back in 2001.

Mr Ingram is understood to be injecting £10m of initial financing, part of which is being used to acquire two companies as building blocks for the new consultancy: Unity, a communications strategy agency, and The Gathering, a brand-building agency. Through these acquisitions The Ingram Partnership will inherit an impressive client list including Bosch, B&Q, Cadbury Schweppes, the Carphone Warehouse, Guardian Media Group and Lucas Film. Further acquisitions to broaden the partnership’s service line are not being ruled out.

Founding partners of the new business include Ditlev Schwanenslugel (ex-McKinsey), and Alastair Rhymer (ex-WPP). Richard Eyre, former chief executive of ITV and Terry Neill, former chairman of the worldwide board of Accenture will also join the advisory board. Consultancies and ad agencies alike will be closely watching the inroads that The Ingram Partnership is able to make into their markets.