What's Wrong With Indian Consulting? An Unbiased Straight-forward Opinion.

It is important to note that the consulting industry in India is diverse and so are their complex set of problems. However, we're here to simplify!


3/28/20235 min read

These industry-specific problems unique to India are already too tough still unfortunately, consulting remains undervalued in India.

Here are a few reasons why:

Lack of awareness: Many businesses in India are not aware of the benefits of consulting. They view it as an unnecessary expense rather than a valuable investment in their future.

Perception of consultants: In India, there is a perception that consultants are expensive and do not provide value for money. This perception is often based on the experiences of a few individuals rather than a broader understanding of the industry.

• Inadequate exposure: There is a lack of exposure for consultants in India. Many businesses are unaware of the existence of this service. Most businesses in India run through traditional means and therefore do not expose themselves to others. For example 70-80% of businesses in India are family owned businesses. Therefore the secrecy, co-dependency, lack of independent thought and judgement, as well as ego are some of the major problems in asking for help from any third person, let alone a consultant or consulting firm.

Unrealistic Expectations: Indian businesses have unrealistic expectations from consulting firms. Most businesses would like to have one-size-fit-all approach and require consultants to wear multiple hats and take greater responsibility than the business itself. Many consultants & consulting firms do not come to light regardless of their potential since the Market is dominated with tier 1 consulting firms' expectations. Let us clarify that expectations aren't the reality.

The industry has either EY, KPMG, Deloitte, McKinsey & company, Bain & company etc. or it has tier 5 consulting firms like Mukesh Consulting and there's nothing in between. (This is the gap that we're trying to bridge at Culturisk. Through rigorous practice, research, and innovative problem solving techniques, we wish to create a hub of world-class consultants right here in India solving local to global business problems.)

Competition from freelancers: Freelancers who offer consulting services at a lower cost are becoming increasingly popular in India. While they may offer lower rates, they often lack the expertise & knowledge therefore resulting in wrong guidance and bad reputation for industry.

Focus on short-term gains: Many businesses in India are focused on short-term gains rather than long-term growth. This approach often leads to a reluctance to invest in consulting services, which are viewed as a long-term investment.

Consulting is a vital component of any successful business strategy, and it's essential that Indian businesses begin to recognize its value. By investing in the right consulting services and working with experienced professionals, businesses in India can achieve sustainable growth and long-term success.

There are several things that Indian consultants can do to improve the consulting industry standards in India. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Focus on developing strong relationships with clients: Building strong relationships with clients is essential in the consulting industry because clients need to trust their consultants and feel confident in their abilities. Indian consultants can develop strong relationships by listening carefully to their clients' needs, providing clear and concise advice, and consistently delivering high-quality work.

  2. Invest in training and development: The consulting industry is constantly evolving, and Indian consultants need to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices. This requires ongoing training and development to improve their skills and knowledge. Indian consultants can attend conferences, participate in training programs, and pursue certifications to stay current.

  3. Maintain high ethical standards: Ethics and integrity are critical in the consulting industry. Indian consultants should avoid conflicts of interest, maintain confidentiality, and be transparent with their clients. By maintaining high ethical standards, Indian consultants can build trust with clients and establish a reputation for integrity and honesty.

  4. Collaborate with other consultants and industry experts: Collaboration with other consultants and industry experts can provide Indian consultants with new insights and ideas, as well as broaden their networks. Indian consultants can participate in industry associations, attend networking events, and work on joint projects with other consultants to gain new perspectives and ideas.

  5. Embrace digital transformation: Technology is transforming the consulting industry, and Indian consultants should embrace these changes to enhance their services, increase efficiency, and deliver better value to clients. This can include using data analytics tools, automation, and other digital tools to streamline processes and provide better insights and recommendations to clients.

Overall, Indian consultants should prioritize delivering high-quality services, maintaining ethical standards, continuously improving their skills and knowledge, collaborating with others in the industry, and embracing technology to drive growth and success in the consulting industry in India.

It is important to note that the consulting industry in India is diverse, with a range of firms and consultants offering various services. While there are many reputable and successful consulting firms and professionals in India, there are also some issues that have been identified within the industry. Here are a few examples:

  1. Lack of regulation: Unlike some other countries, the consulting industry in India is largely unregulated. This can lead to inconsistencies in quality and a lack of standardization across the industry.

  2. Talent retention: Consulting firms in India often struggle to retain top talent due to the intense competition and high demand for skilled professionals. This can lead to a high turnover rate and a shortage of experienced consultants.

  3. Focus on cost-cutting: Some consulting firms in India focus primarily on cost-cutting rather than providing value-added services to clients. This can lead to a lack of focus on long-term strategy and innovation.

  4. Limited industry focus: The consulting industry in India is often focused on a limited number of industries, such as IT and outsourcing. This can result in a lack of diversity in services and a narrow focus on specific areas.

  5. Lack of trust: There have been some instances of unethical practices in the consulting industry in India, such as conflicts of interest and lack of transparency. This can erode trust between consultants and clients.

While some of the issues in the consulting industry in India are similar to those found in other countries, there are also some unique challenges and issues faced by the industry in India. Here are a few examples:

  1. Fragmented market: The consulting industry in India is highly fragmented, with a large number of small and mid-sized firms. This makes it difficult for clients to navigate the market and find the right consulting firm for their needs.

  2. Price sensitivity: Clients in India are often highly price-sensitive and may prioritize cost over quality when selecting a consulting firm. This can lead to a focus on low-cost solutions rather than value-added services.

  3. Limited use of data analytics: While data analytics is becoming increasingly important in the consulting industry worldwide, its adoption in India has been slower. This may be due to a lack of expertise and infrastructure in the country.

  4. Limited focus on innovation: While there are many innovative companies in India, the consulting industry has been criticized for a lack of focus on innovation. Consultants may focus more on delivering traditional solutions rather than exploring new and innovative approaches.

  5. Cultural differences: Cultural differences between India and other countries can create unique challenges for consulting firms working with international clients. Consultants need to be sensitive to these differences and adapt their approach accordingly.