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What are the best recommendation books for business foundation in order to improve fast my business concept knowdledges?

Ben asked on Sep 11, 2018 - 3 answers
Looking for case partner in all levels to improve my case interview skill regularly. Available in afternoon or night (GMT+7).

I really need to improve this because I am not came from business school and I am still not familiar with the terms of business concept. I learn the business concept through Preplounge because it provides me a lot of information on it. But I wonder if there are books that really useful to learn more about business concept. Any recommendations would be appreciated.

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Vlad updated his answer on Sep 11, 2018
McKinsey / Accenture / Got all BIG3 offers / More than 300 real MBB cases / Harvard Business School
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Hi,

I recommend selecting the top industries and downloading the annual company reports of the biggest public companies in each industry. Start going trhough the reports and googling all the concepts that you do not understand. It's good to make a mindmap for each industry / function

Focus on the most common industries in the following priority (sorted by probability of geting a case): 1-retail and CPG; 2-airlines; 3-Telecom; 4-banking; 5-natural resources; 6-tech

For each industry, you should understand:

  • Revenue streams
  • Cost structure
  • Margins
  • Key performance indicators
  • Key revenue drivers
  • Industry trends

I strongly recommend drawing the typical structures for each industry - profitability, value chain, etc

In terms of functional knowledge it is:

  • Marketing (Brand and trade marketing tools, etc)
  • Supply chain (Ops metrics like cycle time and throughput time, distribution and delivery specifics, etc)
  • Operations (Process optimization basics)
  • Finance (Very basic Finance and Valuation)

Good Luck

Best!

(edited)

Guennael
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replied on Sep 11, 2018
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If you are not a business person, consultancies will not expect you to be a business expert -> most of your prep should be focused on the mechanics of the case, leaving comparatively little time to read tons of books and learning complex frameworks that may not speak to you (because, again, you are not a business major).

Ok, so you are time constrained but still want to learn a little bit about business. Good. PrepLounge is a good resource, economics newspapers (WSJ, Economist...) are good resources. You may also want to read one of these "business concepts for dummies" or "MBA in 21 hours" books: they will not make you an expect, but will give you a high level understanding of what is going on. After that, just practicing cases will help tremendously.

Remember - consultancies want the best minds; if you qualify, they will train you.

Good luck!

Egor
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replied on Sep 11, 2018
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Hi Ben,

It is good that you use Preplounge, it is helpful. To boost your business accumen you can use the following resources:

  1. Wharton casebook 2010- you can check how all industries work there (airlines,

    retail etc)

  2. Case-in-point – you can check what frameworks exist, try to practice and learn

    them (product launch, M&A etc.) - pages 36-38

  3. Web-sites of consulting companies: BCG, McKinsey and Bain - check them to gain some industry insights and deep dive into specific industry

Those resources would be sufficeient to be well-prepared for your interviews.

Kind regards,

Egor