How can one transcend from Sales to Consulting Organizations?


It is widely believed and accepted that it is difficult to shift roles once you are out of an IIM, and hence B-School students have to do a lot of research and introspection in order to correctly choose the kind of roles they apply to during the campus placements. It is also widely believed that it is very difficult for new IIM grads to break into consulting organizations.

We asked IIM Visakhapatnam alumnus, Abhishek Jain who had a very rare ‘relevant’ profile in Business Development before joining an IIM and how he went on to work for the consulting arm of a renowned IT giant, thereby breaking the stereotypes and myths that new IIM students do not have access to the consulting sector or that one cannot change roles drastically after graduating from an IIM. We also asked him how a normal day is in his role and if the ongoing COVID-19 has affected his normal working routine.


MA: Abhishek, you have worked in various roles and sectors ranging from E-Commerce to Consulting. Can you talk about the necessary skills needed in each of those?

Abhishek Jain: Yes, sure. I started my career with Sales and Business Development and then moved to a thought leadership research and strategy role. While both need good communication skills, you can be a little raw in Sales while consulting organizations would want you to be more polished and structured in your communication. In my experience, while an experience-based conversation helps in closing a sale, a data-backed conversation is very important in consulting.

MA: How is a day in your role? How are you working currently in the COVID-19 world?

Abhishek Jain: I am currently part of the Capgemini Research Institute wherein we solve questions on how organizations can scale digital initiatives across geographies. The role gives me the luxury to interact with CXOs within and outside Capgemini each day. In less than two years, I have worked in sectors ranging from Consumer Products and Retail to Utilities. No two days are the same. Right now, I am working from my hometown, Kishanganj. As a matter of fact, we have started working on more COVID-19 specific projects once the pandemic has set in.

MA: What skills should B-School students develop to grab their dream roles in consulting and sales/marketing?

Abhishek Jain: Sales and marketing organizations look for people who are flexible to work anywhere, are proactive, energetic. Aspirants should get involved with as many committees, B-School competitions and do well in them to stand out. Academics are not that important. Consulting organizations look for a spike in the CV. Academic do play a very important role here. Aspirants should be able to show their interest and expertise in solving complex problems, data analysis.

MA: What message would you like to give to students who are confused between the two roles and may need help deciding?

Abhishek Jain: B-School students should identify what they would like to do for the rest of their lives
instead of going with brand name companies or companies who just offer them higher packages. Also, it is not that one has to stick to the role that one gets out of campus. In my view, summer internships should be taken very seriously and students must experiment with the role that they feel they want to do. That should give them a reality check and even if they don’t land with a PPO, they will land up with the knowledge of what they want to do in their professional life.

About the Author

Abhishek Jain (Management Consultant at Capgemini, IIM Visakhapatnam PGP 2016-18)


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