BCG hires McKinsey to advise it on how to become number 1


McK will use the BCG matrix to slot BCG consultants as dogs and cows

Strategy consulting major Boston Consulting Group (BCG) announced today that it has hired the services of the world’s number 1 strategy consulting firm McKinsey to advise BCG on how to replace McKinsey as the number 1 strategy consulting firm.

“We are sick of being second best. After a rigorous year long internal analysis session that involved 35 BCG consultants (editor – this translates to roughly over 2.9 lakh manhours assuming each consultant put in 18 hours a day,7 days a week), 45 proprietary BCG frameworks, and over 900 Powerpoint slides, we came to the firm conclusion that the best strategy would be to hire McKinsey to advise us on becoming #1,” said Vijayendra ‘Baba’ Haryal, Global Head, BCG.

McKinsey has readily agreed to serve its new client as professionally as possible. “In normal times, we’d have asked them go climb a tree. But with another looming recession, we can’t afford to be choosy. Hopefully we should be able to retain BCG as an anchor client for at least 5 years,” said Achal Nath, Senior Partner, McKinsey.

Achal pooh-poohed the idea of a potential conflict of interest. “As long as they are paying us, we are happy to advise them. One of the firm’s core values is to place the client’s interest above everything else, so there is no question of  a conflict of interest” said Achal. The Senior Partner however did concede that in theory BCG can replace McKinsey as the number 1 firm at the end of the engagement. “Yeah, in theory they should. But the cool thing about consulting is that we are not required to put our money where our mouths are, so I am not gonna lose sleep over it,” he shrugged.

The McKinsey team deployed for this prestigious assignment has been persuaded by BCG to use the famous BCG Growth-Share Matrix for some of the analysis. “Yeah, we have our own tools but these guys seem quite sentimental about this stuff and insisted that we use it. So in the first phase of the engagement, we are gonna slot BCG consultants into dogs, cows, question marks, and stars so that the dogs can be kicked out and the stars can be promoted. We will then see what to do with the question marks,” said team lead and rising McKinsey star, Raghib Ahmed.

Pundits think BCG’s move is a master-stroke. “If McK indeed helps them become #1, great! If not, BCG can then tell prospective clients that Mck’s advice does not always produce results,” said Li Chin, a Hong Kong based business journalist. “Hmm… that’s an interesting line of thought. To be honest, we just want to get hold of some nice Mck slides, but that will help too,” said ‘Baba’ Haryal, Global Head, BCG to The UnReal Times.

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  • Aditya

    I agree with Victoria…

  • Andrew Afanasiev

    hmm, indeed looks like a good case for some integration advisory :)

    • anna

      Then we would require eg Accenture to integrate them))

  • amr

    a due diligence in disguise?

  • North American

    Why would McK merge with BCG? This will bring the avergae intelligence at McKinsey down by a factor of 2.

    • bainrules

      even by an X factor where you can choose the X value. As every X will give you back your full potential: 0

  • Jenny Sutton

    Interesting – McKinsey is being paid to get the inside scoop on a key competitor and to steer them away from being any really threat. Probably not going to end well!

    But who should consulting firms go to for advice?

  • Naveen

    Seems this is one of the winning strategy of BCG, If Mckency succeed BCG will be No1 if not Mckency will be proven to be failed int his assignement… At end.. BCG will be in Safe place…….. Is it correct ?

    • Charlotte

      Great point!

  • Vaishali Gupta

    BCG may be acting smart :If McK indeed helps them become #1, great! If not, BCG can then tell prospective clients that Mck’s advice does not always produce results!!
    but on the other hand they don’t realize, taking advice from McK is providing them with BCG’s insights and loop holes!!

    • Nik

      on the other side, BCG is telling its client that McK is superior to them. So go and take the services of McK.

  • Joe O’Mahoney

    I love the number of people who think this is real.

    • Casper

      Especially the former McBain consultant (maybe that’s why he’s a “former”). Just goes to show why a lot of people don’t trust consultants. If they’re that gullible then it’s a wonder that they’re even employed…

    • Arvind

      Haha.. Absolutely! :-)

    • Gullible

      Wait…this isn’t real?

  • Ivan

    That only means that BCG will unavoidably go in the direction of AOL telephony and Terra…

  • McBain Consulting


    As a former Bain & Company consultant, I can tell you that this is a clever move by BCG to trim down their partnership by using McKinsey to identify partners who are ‘dogs’. This ‘we want to be #1!” is just a smoke screen at the best. Deep down, BCG realizes they need to rationalize their firm and make the overall firm more profitable, and it is very difficult to tell their own that it’s time to go. McKinsey will deliver the bad news!! Nice work!

    • Ankit Arora

      Good ! sensible comment here !
      Well, this way BCG can use McK to put a question mark (via BCG matrix) on its own employees !!

      No wonder that though this deal sounds ironical, it would be win-win for both BCG and McK

  • Asha

    McKinsey being a very professional and intelligent company would definitely have a reason for every steps they make and every clients they adopt. McK is not in the game of numbers, they will remain the Source to the key ingredients of success, and the clients will consume a certain amount of each and get themselves occupy a number in the numeric game of Ranks!

  • Bernd..

    Yes, Joe, zero is a beautiful number. I love it, too. It’s so round, but usually not a circle …

  • IronM@sk

    I would ‘advice’ UT Correspondent to consult a dictionary.

  • NNNiiiXXX

    This is hilarious… Even more funny is the people who posted serious comments below it… rofl…

  • Geo

    Irony/satire is at its best when it’s not such much of a no-sense.

  • Anna Bataeva

    beautiful way to achieve BCG’s objectives:reorganize its company and get inside of main competitor work… in any case the strategy is winning!

  • FrontRunner


  • MKumar

    Absolutely Hilarious !!

  • Prashanth

    This is too funny…ROFL!! Unreal indeed…

  • Aparna

    This is the perfect example of Paradox. If Mckinsey reveals the secret of being no1, then BCG will grow as no. 1, if this dosent happen then BCG can claim that sub advisorsof Mckinsey didnt work properly!!! hahahaha… Super…

  • Lili

    Ha~BCG is so smart, and Mckinsey is so brave. For Mckinsey, this game seems to be lose-lose. Interesting…


    very good

  • Jay

    I think the “unreal times” should merge with “times of india” since neither of them offers real news of any value. It will be all satire, spoof and parody…

  • Pingback: Celebrities celebrate first birth anniversary of The UnReal Times | The UnReal Times()

  • Misacek

    Interesting conundrum. However, to become the new nr. 1, they’d have to be better than McKinsey. And how can McKinsey advise them to do that? They can make them, theoretically, as good as themselves, but to make them better they’d themselves have to be better than themselves, which is a theoretical impossibility. :-)

  • Mudasir Naik

    Good one!

    Mockery by BCG….The irony is McK using BCG’s model to advise them!


  • Rayees Qurayshi

    What enthralls me the most is that Mck commitment..
    This is wait and watch game if one has to analyse the competitive part of it!!

  • M.Messaoudi

    What an idea !It almost sounds like a joke.

  • temp

    Test comment

  • A consult

    Remarkable things here. I’m very glad to see your post. Thank you so much and I’m taking a look ahead to contact you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  • Dr.sarkar

    While interacting with some of the best mba students in the best business school in India I found they are interested in joining either top class investment banks or top consulting firms like mbb and finally the very best of them join inv.banks like Goldman sacs etc and next group join consulting firms.This is primarily for the much higher pay that these banks offer.If BCG wants to be no .1 it should offer significantly higher salary compared to mackinsey .A slightly higher pay will not make any difference as mackinsey will be favoured for it’s prestige.BCG should match the pay offered by inv. Banks and recruit the best MBA s from the best business schools in each region (USA ,Asia ,Europe etc) for three years in running.And this should be brought to the notice of client organizations .At the end of five years BCG will almost match mackinsey and by seventh year it will become no.1

  • etudedecas

    That’s funny, I love BCG and McKinsey and got offers from boths but we are so far from this situation :)
    Haim from – coaching for getting offers from McKinsey and BCG

  • VK

    Unbelievably well written – more of the same please!