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Management Consulting vs. Product Management

Shatakshi Sharma, St Stephens College, University of Delhi Graduate, ISB MBA, strategist to government of India, former BCG management consultant, advisor to tony blair institute, ivy league exchange student, LinkedIn Top Voice and co-founder of Global Governance Initiative

Career insights by GGI is a new series by GGI sharing hacks and tips around management consulting, MBA, product management and public policy.

In this GGI career insight, we will be sharing insights into: all the aspects of product management and management consulting, and what these job profiles consist of.


Have you ever compared management consulting and product management? Or have you ever wondered which of 2 has better job satisfaction and exit opportunities? In this career insight, we will explore all the aspects of management consulting and product management one by one.

  1. Product Management

1.1 Work Profile

It is famously said that the product manager is the CEO of the product. As a product manager, you are the builder of the product. Going back in history, you will realise that humans have always been creators and builders.

Due to this, you have higher work satisfaction as a product manager. The obvious results and impacts give us a lot of validation. In addition to this, you do a lot of inter-departmental influencing without authority.

A classic product manager sits at the intersection of the user interface, technology and business. The worst mistake you can do as a product manager is asking the user for problems and solutions. In this aspect, Steve Jobs was an excellent creator, as he understood the users' needs without them even mentioning them.

With my long history of working as a product manager, I would give it a rating of 2.5/3 in terms of job satisfaction.

1.2 Exit Opportunities

Product managers typically have promising exit opportunities. Taking the example of Sundar Pichai, who used to be the chief product manager and eventually became the CEO.

1.3 Salary

So the range of average CTC packages would be 23-28 Lakhs. Amazon, Flipkart and other leading organisations would be at the higher end of the spectrum and companies like Oyo and Meeshow and the lower end.

Ofcourse these numbers could change based on the designations. Sometimes there are senior product managers or associate managers. I am taking the context of product managers after their MBA or a formal degree.

  1. Management Consulting

2.1 Work Profile

Consultants have a wider sphere of influence. Product management just happens to be one of them.

The skill requirements for both job profiles are quite similar. As a consultant, you have to spend a lot of time influencing your teammates, team leader and client. You are supposed to know about finance, marketing, business acumen, operation, etcetera. In terms of hard skills, you need to be proficient with Microsoft excel and Microsoft presentation.

As a former BCG consultant, I would rate management consulting 2/3 in terms of job satisfaction. The reason behind the lower score is that I like implementing, not just advising.

2.2 Exit Opportunities

Consultants get a wide variety of exit opportunities. The most common include- private equity, venture capitalist, unicorns and impact firms.

2.3 Salaries

Consultants from premium firms typically earn around 28-30 Lakh CTC. It is of course higher than that of a product manager. To gain deeper insights into the hours and salaries of a management consultant, check out my blog here.

In case you wish to compare investment banking to management consulting, you can check my comparison here.

If you need more help getting into management consulting and product management, feel free to check out my education venture- Global Governance Initiative. We invite industry leaders to host Masterclasses and teach our students the hard and soft skills required to excel in their careers.


Author: Shatakshi Sharma, Co-CEO Global Governance Initiative, Ex-BCG Management Consultant, Former Policy Advisor, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change

If you are interested in learning about GGI's MBA Scholar program, you can learn here.

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