Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Parthenon Group - Alum Session | 7th September 2008

Viren Periera (Co2008) and Abhinav Mital (Co2008) were present in the morning session on The Parthenon Group. They gave a brief introduction to the firm and addressed questions posed by the audience.

Viren did his bachelors in business from Mumbai University and worked with E&Y for 4 years in financial consulting space.

Abhinav did his engineering from IIT Delhi and worked with a textile company in Bangalore. He helped his company in setting up a textile plant and assisted them in some takeovers.

The Parthenon Group started its operations in 1991 at its Boston office. Currently it has offices in four locations at Boston, London, Mumbai and San Francisco.

Parthenon works in the following practice areas:
- Corporate Advisory
- PE strategic due diligence - Market scan, analyze various players, Post Investment valuations, strategic roadmap
- Education

Verticals include healthcare, retail, financial services, consumer goods, hospitality, industrial products, education, etc. Parthenon does case work for Not-For–Profit organizations as well as pro-bono consulting work. They have worked for organizations such as Gates foundation and Michael and Susan Dell foundation.

Mumbai office was started in Jan 2008 and has around 15 consultants. Mumbai office is the only office in Asia and is in charge of the projects being undertaken in Asia, because of this the case work spans around different countries in the continent.

There are three major rungs in Parthenon Associate, Principals and Partners. Senior principal takes on the mantle of an engagement partner. The career track is around 5-7 years. India office has 1 Partner, 2 Senior Principals, 3 Principals, 2 Senior Associates and 4 Associates.

The firm has around 200 consultants in all the global offices. The benefit of working in a smaller firm is that you get greater responsibilities very early in your career. Learning curve is steeper and accessibility to the senior consultants is easier. The consultants are expected to take on diverse and different roles. Since the Mumbai office was started in Jan ’08, it provides a startup environment, which is very enriching and challenging

MBA graduates come in at Principal level. Usually they work on two cases simultaneously. That means the learning curve is quite steep. Since cases go through crests and troughs on an average the work pressure does not build up because the timelines and the pace of the projects is different and one can do a balancing act between the two. Time management skills and quality management is crucial. Working on two projects does not mean that the quality can be compromised. Principals have associates reporting to them and it is their responsibility to guide them. Apart from that Abhinav and Viren also work on Client development work. Typical team size consists of 2 principals and 2 associates led by a senior principal and a partner. Size can vary depending on the project. Typical project duration is 6- 8 weeks. PE projects last for about 3 weeks whereas strategy projects can go up to 10 weeks.

Abhinav recently worked on a market entry case for a chain of international schools that wanted to enter Vietnam. The team did a competitive analysis of Vietnam’s market. They used primary research to estimate the demand, price points, competitors, availability of resources etc. The regulatory framework in the country was studied as well. The team finally built a demographic model to forecast demand for international school in the country. The client wanted to take the acquisition route so they explored that opportunity as well.

Placement Process: These were the stages in the placement process for Co2008.
1) A Case Analysis on profit improvement strategy of a company.
2) Personal Interview to assess the cultural fit with the company
3) Day 1 had a case which had concepts from different areas. Candidate was expected to explain the approach that he will take to crack the case. It was a strategy case on advising the CEO of the company on how to take up future action. They were given 30 minutes to read the case and present the solution to the interviewer. Abhinav was of the view that structure is very critical while solving the cases.
4) Final Interview (PI) with a Senior Principal.

The Alums stressed upon the fact that Personal Interview is a very critical aspect of the placement process. Students should start the preparation for the PI ASAP. This preparation takes a longer time. Before applying to Parthenon, candidates should prepare the cover letter seriously after reading up about the firm. Cover letter can add a personal touch to the resume and hence should be used wisely. Alums further informed the batch that the Parthenon Group will be visiting the campus regularly. The schedule of their visits will be updated by the Consulting Club.

No comments: