How does strategy consulting in the Middle East differ from strategy consulting in mature and frontier markets (in terms of nature and quality of work experience)?
Strategy Consulting in the Middle East
Having worked in BCG Dubai, I can summarize the differences as follows:
- Strategic level of projects: More implementation-oriented projects with 10+ consultants
- Duration of projects: Projects that can go up to 2-3 years (and you may be staffed for a year in the same project)
- Sector: Larger share of public sector projects, which involve frequent traveling to key countries e.g. KSA, Qatar, Egypt etc.
All in all, ME offers a great opportunity for you to learn and practice consulting in top tier clients, however, the downside is that you may find yourself working on public sector projects too much which may limit your exposure to the private sector, and thus may limit your exit opportunities.
- Work is more intense in developing countries
- ME has a lot of Public Sector, Metals & Mining
- Quality is similar to other countries
- Projects may be more exciting since you are working directly with the top management.
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engagements are more strategic than in mature markets, where instead many projects are on cost efficiency, operations, and implementation. Hour of work similar, salary bigger.
Based on the feedback I've collected from colleagues and friends who have worked there, this is what I can tell you:
- On average, working hours are as much intense as in mature / frontier markets
- Middle East projects mainly focus on "heavy industries" such as Industrial Goods, Utilities, Oil & Gas and Public Administration
- From a compensation perspective, it is much more convenient to join the local office (e.g. in Dubai) rather than live in Europe and work on a project over there (compensation can be significantly different)
Hope this helps!
Good luck with your preparation