BCG vs McKinsey in the Middle East

MBB McKinsey vs BCG Multiple offers
New answer on May 19, 2021
4 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on May 17, 2021

I would really appreciate some thoughts on McKinsey vs BCG specficially in the Middle East (Dubai)?

I realize culture and fit is subjective, and that compensation is comparable (maybe BCG is a bit more). I also realize the differences between the firms are probably small, but in making my decision I really would like to be as informed as possible. It would be great to get some insights on:

1) Exit ops - Although McKinsey might be marginally more prestigious on the global level, to my understanding BCG has a stronger presence in the region. I'd like to know whether the slight differences in "prestige" actually translate to any tangible difference in exit ops? Also, are most of the exit ops likely limited to the middle east, or is one firm better at helping land a future opportunity in a different region.

2) Mobility - Is it easier at one of the firms to internally transfer out of the middle east after some time? For example, with McKinsey's global staffing would it be easier to transfer to London?

3) Other trends - Would love to hear other region specific insights that should also be considered in this decision, such as differences in time to promotion, type of engagements, work life balance etc.

Thank you all so much :)

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Content Creator
replied on May 18, 2021
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


Congrats on your two offers, not an easy achievement!

Honestly, it´s impossible to make a bad decision at this point, both companies offer very similar value propositions.

My thoughts on your points:

  • Exit ops go in line with the industry/clients each company covers most, so investigate to see which one fits better with your goals
  • I would say they are the same in this regard: you need a good network and the people from the "receiving office" supporting you

Hope it helps!



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Anonymous B replied on May 17, 2021

my 2 cents as a PL in BCG:

[exit opps]: here it depends on what you are considering as exit opps - industry, PE, finance etc. Personally I'd say that McK has a stronger brand globally - so you can leverage to find opportunities across the globe. Within the region, I'd say MB places equally well in most of the roles, and Bain has a better positioning in PE. But honestly, if you have both offers I would stress too much about this

[mobility]: here I think McK has a clearer advantage... not only the global staffing policy, but also in exit opps as mentioned above. If your goal is to relocate to Europe, then McK is a stronger contender. IMO BCG is always under the water in Dubai, internally recruiting consultants from Europe and South America. If you want to relocate to Europe, you must have a strong rationale behind it if you're in BCG

[other trends] IMO nothing major to highlight here... maybe McK have more travel cases in KSA than BCG, which means if youre in BCG you'll have a higher chance of spending more time in Dubai/Doha.... but it is marginal.

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Content Creator
replied on May 19, 2021
McKinsey | NASA | top 10 FT MBA professor for consulting interviews | 6+ years of coaching

Hi, congrats on the offers! I would like only to add that also your feeling about the people is important, both in your experience during the interviews and with all interactions you have had with consultants/friends in the 2 firms


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Content Creator
replied on May 18, 2021
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

Some great answers so far!

I agree with Clara, in that, the differences between the two across these categories is a bit hard to comment on generally - your specific situation affects all of this much more!

That said, Anonymous B is exactly right, in that BCG tends to transfer into the Middle East (we had lots of projects staffing people there from our office, but never had transfers into our office from the Middle East).

Ultimately, I really do think you should compare these two based on what you value. I highly highly recommend that you talk to multiple people at the firm. Try and see where YOU fit. Can you see yourself becoming friends with the other consultants? Do the Principals/Partners inspire you and are you excited by the idea of working under and learning from them?

Optimizing your performance is the route to success here. To do so you need to be in the right place/fit for you personally. This matters much more than the nuances between the two top firms!

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Clara gave the best answer


Content Creator
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut
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