Noufal Basheer was part of the Civil Engineering class which graduated in 2010. He worked at BCG, and is currently part  of the CEO’s financial strategy team in a Kuwait-based conglomerate.

 

Noufal1. Why did you choose this area of work? 

During my IIM days, I was clear that I wanted an intellectually stimulating job. In the corporate world, consulting is one of the most intellectually challenging jobs as it is out and out problem solving.
Also, I was not ready to commit myself to a particular sector or functional role without knowing more. Consulting gave me the opportunity to explore industries without committing myself as a specialist in any.
So I chose this job

2. Simply put, what does your work involve doing?

‘Simply put’, the job involves solving business problems. But the problem could vary widely with different industries and different functional areas. To make it easier, I will give examples of some projects that I worked on

a) Risk management for a financial service firm – This was an out and out mathematical problem as I was involved in quantifying risks of the bank and developing a mathematical model that will help the bank measure the risk of potential borrowers.
b) Portfolio strategy of a conglomerate – This was a pure strategy piece where I looked at multiple companies in a large group and identified the performance of each of the companies and identified what should be the ideal course of action (sell/maintain/invest more etc) for each business.
c) Market entry of an American hospital in India – This involved sizing the potential of the Indian market, identifying levers that will help the hospital to set up in India – availability of doctors, nurses, equipment, land etc.
As you can see, the projects are of varying nature and it is difficult to write a few generic sentences about this job

3. What has your experience at BCG been like? (as potential guidelines to current students)  

It has been a great learning experience. You get the opportunity to explore a lot of new areas, learn a lot of new things. You get to travel around quite a bit in this job if you like that. Work is sometimes hectic. It could also get stressful when you have a tough problem and are not able to come to a solution. This is definitely not a job for people uncomfortable with ambiguity.

4. How has Insti helped you in coping with work? 

I think my BTP experience has helped me a lot with my current job. My BTP was very data-intensive and involved solving a very ambiguous problem. So I had to systematically collect data, document it, analyze each data for the solution to each of the smaller problems I was facing, which is very very similar to what I do in consulting.

5. Any last words of advice to juniors (on sitting for placements, on work and life etc.)? 

There is this unfortunate trend on campus that some things to do out of campus are “cool” and some are not. Apping to certain universities or getting jobs above an X package- there is a lot of pressure, especially in the final year, to do these “cool” things. It is very very important to choose what you think is right for you instead of succumbing to this pressure. And it is perfectly alright to not know what you want to do when you are 21 or 22 (most people don’t know that when they are 50). You could take up a job or app to explore and find out what you like. But please do not do anything because others expect you to do it.

And always reach out to people to learn and understand more about different opportunities. Unfortunately, there is a lot of information asymmetry on campus about the options you have in front of you. The world is much bigger with lot more opportunities than you think.