Bain, McKinsey and BCG top consulting firms to work for in South Africa

24 January 2018 4 min. read

In the eighth annual Graduate Employer Awards (GEA) from the South African Graduate Employers Association (SAGEA), Bain & Company has emerged as the most popular employer to work for in South Africa's management consulting sector. Fellow strategy consultancy giants McKinsey & Company and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) followed in second and third.

The GEA’s are annual accolades to celebrate the best employers in South Africa, determined by analysing online-survey responses from nearly 2,000 successful job-seeking graduates who have been handed confirmation of employment.

The survey generated results for 24 different sectors, one of which was the domain of management consulting. The segment is one of the most prominent industries in South Africa, currently valued at more than $9 billion, and projected to grow strongly in the near future.

Unprompted by any pre-meditated options, graduates in South Africa looking to build a career in management consulting would ideally like to work for Bain & Company. The consulting firm’s office in Johannesburg operates as a nucleus for its operations across the continent, supplemented by its office in Lagos, Nigeria. Bain has been operational in South Africa since 1994, having worked with more than 60 companies across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) during this period, spanning the public and the private sectors.Bain, McKinsey and BCG top consulting firms to work for in South Africa

Naturally, oil and gas is among the top industries that the firm works with, alongside a specialised expertise in the mining sector, both of which are of prime importance to the South African economy. The Johannesburg office is headed by Vittorio Massone, Managing Partner for SSA at the firm.

Bain's South African scoop comes shortly after the firm was also named the top management consulting employer in both Germany and the Netherlands, two of Bain's key markets in Europe.

In second place on the rankings, despite being shrouded in controversy locally, is McKinsey & Company. The firm established itself in South Africa in 1995, and has since completed more than 1000 projects in the country, and around 1,400 more across the rest of Africa.

Popularity of the firm as an employer may be attributed to its commitment to diversity, employing people from 39 nationalities, and having achieved B-BBEE Level 1 contributor status. The firm operates out of a Johannesburg office, which is headed by Managing Partner Georges Desvaux. Currently, the firm is engaged in damage control amid a stream of lost business due to their alleged involvement in the Gupta Scandal.

McKinsey is followed by management consultancy BCG as the third most desired employer for aspiring management consultants. BCG has been active in South Africa since 2011, when it opened its Johannesburg office, which is its largest presence across the African continent. The firm currently employs 60 consultants in the country, representing 20 nationalities.

The South African outfit is run by Senior Partner and Managing Director Adam Saga Ikdal, who has been with the firm since 1996. The Johannesburg office coordinates operations for the firm across the continent, working with a range of firms, from startups to multinational corporations that wish to enter the South African market.

Meanwhile, in Morocco BCG earlier this month promoted Hamid Maher to partner in its Casablanca office.