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Table 1 Missing Information

Bain case: Asian lubricants producer
New answer on Dec 07, 2019
1 Answer
5.0 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Dec 07, 2019

Is table 1 mistakenly or deliberately missing information? The car density for Germany is missing in the table. Is it because the candidate is meant to ask for that data? Additionally it misses the units to the car density and annual lubricant consumption. Is the candidate supposed to know that the car density would be the no. of cars per inhabitant and annual lubricant conumption would be in kg/year or is the candidate supposed to ask the interviewer for these details?


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replied on Dec 07, 2019
McKinsey | BCG | CERN| University of Cambridge

Hello there,

Looking at the case, it does seems that the car density data for Germany is intentionally left out as it is designed to test market sizing capability of the prospective candidate.

This is a very common part of every case interviews. Most of the time, when we inquire to the interviewer on a specific data, they might say that the data is not available and expect us to estimate a number based on logical approximation.

The best course when facing such situation in real interview is to ask if the data is available, and if not, mentioned that since it is crucial to have the data to assess the attractiveness of the market, you will conduct a market sizing estimation.

On your second question, clarifying on unit details and any other unclear information is a common practice within a consultant's work. It is expected out of every candidates to inquire on such items during case interviews. Rest asssured that such actions will never be held against you.

Hope it helps.

Kind regards,

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Anonymous A on Dec 07, 2019

Thanks! I appreciate your explanation!

Mario on Oct 26, 2022

Could you explain what the rationale behind the market sizing is? What I read: - Turkey and Russia have high market growth in general and growth for premium motor vehicles, Germany not - Turkey has higher car density as Russia, and for Germany there is no data What I know / researched: Population of Germany: 84m Population of Turkey: 86m Population of Russia: 144m I would conclude that: - Russia should has the biggest market due to pure size of country - Then Turkey, and finally - Germany is the looser as they are not mentioned as high growth and are the smallest in terms of population And alternative, I could accept would be, that That Turkey is first, then Russia, as the car density is higher The solution says that: Turkey is the loser and therefore has the smallest market size, then comes Germany and russia is the winner But I can not find any data that would bring me to the conclusion that Germany is not the worst in terms of sheer market size Could anyone explain to me?

Anonymous B on Feb 09, 2023

Hi Mario, Since we are talking about the size of the lubricant market, it would not be correct to simply compare the size of the population. The size of the lubricant market should be calculated as the number of cars in one country x the amount of lubricant used for a car. the number of cars can be calculated as density/1000 x population. I personally think it would be helpful to clarify the meaning of density as I assumed it to be the number of cars/km2, which definitely complicated my calculations. Maybe it's just me.

Nathaniel gave the best answer


McKinsey | BCG | CERN| University of Cambridge
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