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12 BCG, Market Entry

Session 12: Market Entry Cases & Strategy Cases

When teaching market entry cases, we keep Bain in mind, since their approach, heavily influenced by their PE work, is the most comprehensive and realistic for acquisitions to enter a new market. The approach we teach here can be used to tackle any strategy decision. It is a comprehensive approach, but needs to be carefully introduced. If understood, and handled well, this technique will easily set apart a candidate.

Moreover, this technique works well for investment decisions as well. However, managed poorly, the approach looks academic and can be regarded as arrogant. This will be a great test for the candidates still developing communication skills to see if they can use this approach elegantly.

That said, strategy cases come in some many different types and levels of complexity, that we will only teach the easier types in this session. From session 20, candidates are exposed to much more complex strategy cases. The failure rate and learning curve tends to be very high in these sessions.

Many candidates tell us they will be ready for anything in any interview, and they are with us, but only when they are expecting it. We want them to be poised no matter how unpredictably an interview will go. In some cases we ask candidates totally random and unstructured questions to see, not their answer, but how they respond. They need to be professional at all times and able to have the conservation the partner will have with them in the final round, which can be about anything.

We usually ask candidates to tell us a joke or discuss a news item. Hmm’ing, Huh’ing or making excuses shows how a candidate ducks an issue. It is ultimately disrespectful not to answer, and childish to make excuses.

What would a candidate do if a client asked this question?

That is what an interviewer is thinking who wants to make sure the candidate does not embarrass the firm in front of a client. A professional response, even one that is not perfect, is always better than no response at all.

We teach candidates how to respond to the questions for which they can never prepare. There is a simple tactic that can be used to show structure, generate time to respond and provide insightful answers without having to memorize information on arcane topics.

In this session, we teach a unique and elegant approach which can be used in most strategy, investment or business model cases.

Data drills/interpretation becomes a significant part of the training from this step. We pick themes in each case and do cases involving graphics from McKinsey, BCG or Bain. Per session, up to 5 graphics may be analysed. The objective is to expose candidates to all types of graphics, teach them to develop hypotheses in any type of case and expose them to sector issues. By the end of the program, candidates would have done data cases from every major sector, which means they would have good understanding of all types of sector issues.

In the session descriptions which follow, we are using one description for 4 different candidates. Yet candidates do not perform the same, and while the descriptions are mostly accurate, there will be some differences as a few cases are brought forward, others moved back or candidates fail to prepare adequately. While these differences are minor, they sometimes occur.

Cases questions taught in the session:

Felix’s cases recorded in the session; what are your views on Greece’s austerity measures, Brainstorm how a telecoms company can be more efficient, Estimate the number of people on Google right now, Facebook wants to enter the Korean market and has come to you for help & BCG Tech/Education Sector data interpretation.

Rafik’s cases recorded in the session; what are your views on the US economy, Brainstorm what drives poverty, Estimate the number of homeless in Chicago, WHO wants to open its first office in Myanmar/Burma and wants your advice & BCG Social sector data interpretation.

Samantha’s cases recorded in the session; what are your views on the Syrian uprising, Brainstorm how the IRS can reduce the tax evasion rate, Estimate the number of Post Offices in Canada, Canada Post Parcel service’s wants to enter the Illinois market and has come to you for help & BCG Public Sector data interpretation.

Sanjeev’s cases recorded in the session; what are your thoughts on Azerbaijan hosting its first Euro Vision song contest, Groupon profitability case & BCG Transportation sector data interpretation.

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