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Ian

100% Recommendation Rate

266 Meetings

23,103 Q&A Upvotes

USD 289 / Coaching

5

Strategy& Middle East

Hi, I am a recent economic graduate from Europe and I am looking to pursue a consulting career in the Middle East. I have heard a lot of great things about Booz & Co presence in the region, in the past. More lately, I am hearing other controversial things about Strategy& Middle East. For example:

- Nearly everyone there is from the Amercian University of Beirut (AUB, mostly engineers) making the place very homogenious and ironically far from diversified, like you would excpect in this region (ex. Dubai)

- Prominent "Inchallah culture" - lack of professionalism in their way of working.

- Lately, heavily overstaffed (even before Covid crisis) with the highest number of employees in the region compared to their peers with a declining number of projects.

- Highest number of partners in the region (+50) for a strategy consulting firm with other firms having nearly half of that, leading to unhealthy competition among partners of the same firm.

I gathered this information mostly from competitors employees but also from people at Strategy&. Can anyone objectively inlighten me on the accuracy of these insights?

I also wished to understand if there is any reason (other than the PwC acquisition) that led, the previously Booz and Co, or Strategy& at this stage, knowing that in the past we used to talk about the MBBB - McK, BCG, Bain, Booz.

Hi, I am a recent economic graduate from Europe and I am looking to pursue a consulting career in the Middle East. I have heard a lot of great things about Booz & Co presence in the region, in the past. More lately, I am hearing other controversial things about Strategy& Middle East. For example:

- Nearly everyone there is from the Amercian University of Beirut (AUB, mostly engineers) making the place very homogenious and ironically far from diversified, like you would excpect in this region (ex. Dubai)

- Prominent "Inchallah culture" - lack of professionalism in their way of working.

- Lately, heavily overstaffed (even before Covid crisis) with the highest number of employees in the region compared to their peers with a declining number of projects.

- Highest number of partners in the region (+50) for a strategy consulting firm with other firms having nearly half of that, leading to unhealthy competition among partners of the same firm.

I gathered this information mostly from competitors employees but also from people at Strategy&. Can anyone objectively inlighten me on the accuracy of these insights?

I also wished to understand if there is any reason (other than the PwC acquisition) that led, the previously Booz and Co, or Strategy& at this stage, knowing that in the past we used to talk about the MBBB - McK, BCG, Bain, Booz.

(edited)

5 answers

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Book a coaching with Ian

100% Recommendation Rate

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23,103 Q&A Upvotes

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Hi there,

A few things:

1) It seems you have already made up your mind about Strategy& Middle East

2) You make some very very large generalisations, which make me think you've jumped to conclusions (I suspect confirmation bias pre point #1)

3) There are 8 Strategy& offices in the ME. They will be different. Furthermore, each practice will be different, and each Partner will be different. You need to appreciate the nuance here. It's imppossible that "Everyone there is from AUB"

4) The best way to find out? Meeting some of the people in the offices you're interested in!

Outcome 1: You get a gut feeling (or concious view) that it's not the right office and you move on.

Outcome 2: You realize you like the office, and now you have a contact that might be able to refer you. Win-Win!

5) Finally, not sure what you're asking in your last paragraph? Is it why Booz fell from the ranks? Simply, it would be due to the acquisition + name change. A lot of top brass left and their way of doing things was changed....as happens in many acquisitions.

Hi there,

A few things:

1) It seems you have already made up your mind about Strategy& Middle East

2) You make some very very large generalisations, which make me think you've jumped to conclusions (I suspect confirmation bias pre point #1)

3) There are 8 Strategy& offices in the ME. They will be different. Furthermore, each practice will be different, and each Partner will be different. You need to appreciate the nuance here. It's imppossible that "Everyone there is from AUB"

4) The best way to find out? Meeting some of the people in the offices you're interested in!

Outcome 1: You get a gut feeling (or concious view) that it's not the right office and you move on.

Outcome 2: You realize you like the office, and now you have a contact that might be able to refer you. Win-Win!

5) Finally, not sure what you're asking in your last paragraph? Is it why Booz fell from the ranks? Simply, it would be due to the acquisition + name change. A lot of top brass left and their way of doing things was changed....as happens in many acquisitions.

Book a coaching with Clara

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Hello there!

Altough some of the things you mention are right, it seems a bit too negatively biased to me.

Some toughts:

  • The fact that most of the people come from one single uni is nothing new, happens a lot in Europe too. It will diversify with time
  • Competence is somehow true, but this also happens in other firms and offices
  • Lack of professionalism... this one sounds certainly bizarre to me. Based on what? Who sais?
  • Overstaffed for sure, but due to COVID, as most offices of consulting arround the world.

This said, what is for you exactly the VALUE PROPOSITION of this office, firm and region? This is what you should care for.

Hope it helps.

Best,

Clara

Hello there!

Altough some of the things you mention are right, it seems a bit too negatively biased to me.

Some toughts:

  • The fact that most of the people come from one single uni is nothing new, happens a lot in Europe too. It will diversify with time
  • Competence is somehow true, but this also happens in other firms and offices
  • Lack of professionalism... this one sounds certainly bizarre to me. Based on what? Who sais?
  • Overstaffed for sure, but due to COVID, as most offices of consulting arround the world.

This said, what is for you exactly the VALUE PROPOSITION of this office, firm and region? This is what you should care for.

Hope it helps.

Best,

Clara

Book a coaching with Khaled

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Hi there,

Not sure what the question is specifically, but it might seem that you misunderstood what some people have told you. Let's make some few things clear:

  • S& is one of the most reputable companies in Middle-East
  • Yes, they love to recruit from AUB, but everyone else does. It is not a bad thing at all, it is just that compared to other offices, they are less diverse. In absolute terms, they ARE diverse, it's just not at the same level as other competitors in the region. (Please bear in mind that it quite necessary to have Arabic speaking consultants because some clients require all meetings and deliverables to be in Arabic)
  • All companies are feeling the burn from Covid - if anything S& is one of the less impacted ones because of their long term gov. projects in Saudi. Other companies are in deeper holes

Every company has pros and cons - not a single company is perfect. So I recommend that you focus on the big picture here rather than on operational defects.
Reach out to more current S& consultants, try to get the big picture from people actually working there now.

I hope this helps,
Khaled

Hi there,

Not sure what the question is specifically, but it might seem that you misunderstood what some people have told you. Let's make some few things clear:

  • S& is one of the most reputable companies in Middle-East
  • Yes, they love to recruit from AUB, but everyone else does. It is not a bad thing at all, it is just that compared to other offices, they are less diverse. In absolute terms, they ARE diverse, it's just not at the same level as other competitors in the region. (Please bear in mind that it quite necessary to have Arabic speaking consultants because some clients require all meetings and deliverables to be in Arabic)
  • All companies are feeling the burn from Covid - if anything S& is one of the less impacted ones because of their long term gov. projects in Saudi. Other companies are in deeper holes

Every company has pros and cons - not a single company is perfect. So I recommend that you focus on the big picture here rather than on operational defects.
Reach out to more current S& consultants, try to get the big picture from people actually working there now.

I hope this helps,
Khaled

(edited)

Book a coaching with Iman

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Hi, I would recommend a couple of things:

  1. to meet with a couple of people from a couple of Strategy& offices in the Middle East this will allow you to understand the nuances of different offices and also enrich the inputs
  2. There is nothing wrong with a lot of people coming from a specific university. Consulting always wanted the best people as such they will recruit from the best sources. In Indonesia until recently most consulting firm only recruit from one engineering school
  3. I also agree with the other experts that no companies are perfect even the MBBs will have their flaws it just a matter of balance and alignment with your values and goals

Hi, I would recommend a couple of things:

  1. to meet with a couple of people from a couple of Strategy& offices in the Middle East this will allow you to understand the nuances of different offices and also enrich the inputs
  2. There is nothing wrong with a lot of people coming from a specific university. Consulting always wanted the best people as such they will recruit from the best sources. In Indonesia until recently most consulting firm only recruit from one engineering school
  3. I also agree with the other experts that no companies are perfect even the MBBs will have their flaws it just a matter of balance and alignment with your values and goals

Dear A,

I can confirm all your sentiments, since I also had very bad experience with Strategy&, so my interview process with the firm lasted for 11 months, and when I finally got an offer, I simply decided to reject it because of very poorly structured interview process, which left very bad impression on me. And all your points about Lebanese in the firm"Inchallah culture" as well as other statements are true. Nevertheless, it is still one of the biggest consulting employers in Dubai and in the whole region. So, after the crisis will end up, it will also be many opportunities in that firm.

I have already helped multiple offers to get an offer from Strategy& in Dubai.

If you need any help or advice, either to prepare to the interview, or get ready to succeed in this firm, feel free to reach out, and I'm happy to help you.

Best,
André

Dear A,

I can confirm all your sentiments, since I also had very bad experience with Strategy&, so my interview process with the firm lasted for 11 months, and when I finally got an offer, I simply decided to reject it because of very poorly structured interview process, which left very bad impression on me. And all your points about Lebanese in the firm"Inchallah culture" as well as other statements are true. Nevertheless, it is still one of the biggest consulting employers in Dubai and in the whole region. So, after the crisis will end up, it will also be many opportunities in that firm.

I have already helped multiple offers to get an offer from Strategy& in Dubai.

If you need any help or advice, either to prepare to the interview, or get ready to succeed in this firm, feel free to reach out, and I'm happy to help you.

Best,
André

Hello André - can you provide me with your contact. I'd love to get some advice regarding the interview process at s& as I am expecting an interview soon. — George on Nov 25, 2020

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