Hello, any advice regarding how to come up with more creative or out-of-the-box solutions? Especially in industries you are not familiar with? Also, how to choose to segment, especially when youre stuck? thank you so much in advance!
Advice on cracking the case
Here is how you should answer these questions:
- Ask an interview for a minute to think
- Think of several buckets of ideas (e.g. scope / value proposition). Remember to think as big as possible
- Narrow down to each bucket and generate as many ideas as possible (e.g. scope: vertical growth, horizontal growth, new products. Value proposition: additional services, improved quality, etc.)
- Present the structure (buckets) and then your idea
Creativity is in direct correlation with your business judgment. Business judgement is directly related to industry knowledge. Focus on the most common industries in the following priority (sorted by probability of getting a case): 1-retail and CPG; 2-airlines; 3-Telecom; 4-banking; 5-natural resources; 6-tech
There are several sources of info to develop industry knowledge:
1) Cases - you simply solve 50-70 cases and get a broad knowledge of different industries, common pitfalls and questions. The key here - find good partners who already had case interviews with MBB companies
2) Company reports, equity reports, IB roadshow docs - usually have a good overview of company and industries. Annual company reports are probably the best source of information about the industry
3) HBS cases - quite useful, but not sure if lot's of them available publically. Probably worth buying
4) Books - one good book about airlines with numbers and industry analysis can give you all needed industry knowledge
5) News, Industry blogs
For each industry, you should understand:
- Revenue streams
- Cost structure
- Key performance indicators
- Key revenue drivers
- Industry trends
Also some comments about particular industries:
1) Retail - make sure you understand key retail metrics (P&L lines, same store sales, revenue per square meter and per person, etc) and how distribution works as well as its metrics (share on shelf, etc)
2) Airlines - read about profitability issues, different routing models, cost structure, industry metric s like load factor and make sure you know all possible additional revenue streams
3) Telecom - I would read industry reports and try to understanf how telecom is transforming with internet penetration and tech innovations
4) Banking - you should know the key products in corporate and retail banking and how they earn money (Interest, commision, transactional)
5) PE / M&A - go through available case examples and read about different PE strategies
Hi, first thing I would do is to understand and break down the business process - the whole value chain and what drives the revenue.
I would look at each component individually - from perhaps R&D > manufacturing > delivery > sales, marketing and advertising - to figure out what can be potentially enhanced and augmented.
Would also think about external factors like regulatory and technological trends, as well as customer demands and consider the competitive landscape. Internal factors I'd consider would be from the company's standpoint and how the product/practices differs from that of the competitors.
Hope this helps a little!