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Avalon Consulting

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Vault’s Verdict

As a pure-play strategy shop focused almost exclusively on the Indian market, Avalon is something of a unicorn, making it an attractive opportunity for anyone seeking to build a leadership career in the country.

Insiders point to a culture of entrepreneurship and early responsibility as key drivers of satisfaction, especially set against the backdrop of a flat organizational structure. Additionally, Avalon fosters an environment that values work-life balance and offers a variety of projects that ensure continuous learning.

However, while the firm champions a flexible working location and a collegial atmosphere, it faces challenges in compensation growth and work-hour demands. These issues, coupled with the need for better recognition in the industry, suggest room for refinement to match its peers. That said, the firm has weathered the recent ups and downs of the global economic cycle with aplomb, ensuring that it remains a promising choice for those seeking varied experiences and growth opportunities in the consulting realm.

 

Employee Reviews

Firm Culture

  • “A place where I learnt and made use of my intellectual abilities.”
  • “A solid organization where you will be given early responsibility and create value for the client and Avalon.”
  • “Exciting projects that are challenging at first but very fulfilling at the end, unwavering support from peers and seniors.”
  • “Pay is very fair, exposure is great but make sure you take the initiative to reach out to the leadership often to remain relevant. Sometimes, you can get forgotten if you don’t take the effort to reach out to the leadership.”
  • “Projects are challenging and exciting, exposure to international clients, healthy work environment, learning opportunities, open and friendly relationship with peers and seniors.”

Quality of Life

  • “Best: Hybrid model for working from office.”
  • “Company is really understanding when it comes to working from home.”
  • “Given the nature of the industry, Avalon does have long work hours, but with supportive team members and managers, a certain flexibility is provided. Further the firm has taken several initiatives to promote collaborative culture at the workplace.”
  • “We have a flexi work policy so consultants are free to work from any office across the country.”
  • “We have a very transparent culture. Our relationships with peers and seniors are very easy-going and informal. There is no shame in asking questions and nobody really guards information here.
    We can work from home for as many days a week as we like. Working hours can vary from project to project. Usually projects with short deadlines require us to work extra and work over the weekend as well. However, since they are short projects, this only lasts for 2 to 4 weeks.”

Career Development

  • “Avalon has a fair and transparent appraisal and promotions system, the expectations from consultant are well defined.”
  • “Best Aspects: - Transparent and Fair Process - Merit-based - Fast tracking possible for high performers.”
  • “High focus on internal sessions, but these sessions can get monotonous. There is no tie-up with any learning platform, nor is there any initiative to send consultants for short courses to some institutes.”
  • “Rotation among different projects. Too much dependency on the PIC, as people are bound to make biased evaluations.”
  • “We have a transparent appraisal process. Promotion policies are very good. Accelerated growth is provided to top performers.”

Compensation

  • “Avalon has very fair compensation policy, one example that made me trust the firm in this regard: Just two months after I joined the firm, I was given a 10% increment.”
  • “Best: No hidden agendas - what is told to you, is what is paid. The in-hand compensation is higher for the same cost to company when compared to peers. Worst: Some benefits selected in lieu of salary (for tax benefits) are paid out haphazardly and are not predictable.”
  • “It’s competitive as compared to other industries but lower than other consulting firms.”
  • “Salaries are at par with MNC consulting firms. Salary progression is fast.”
  • “Salary progression is fair but still not par with consulting industry.”

Community Engagement

  • “Avalon has truly been a multi ethnicity organization (in context of India), The firm truly has consultants representing all ethnicities in India, any team at Avalon will have people from all regions of India and cumulatively speak at least a dozen languages. W.r.t gender equality the firm has taken several successful steps in the past 2 years to promote higher no of female consultants. With respect to LGBTQ and Individuals with Disabilities, although I’m sure Avalon as firm would be respective to having employees from these communities and there has been frequent sensitization trainings, we never had many consultants from these communities.”
  • “Equal opportunity. Even the POSH training we had was inclusive of all genders and not just women. We have had sessions with guest speakers to increase awareness about gender equality and what it feels like to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community in today’s world.”
  • “No complaints at all and they do a great job of sensitising everyone.”
  • “We have a no-bias hiring and promotion policy. Consultants are rotated across projects from different practices, and industries to give them a 360-degree exposure and groom them.”
  • “Working very hard on gender and ethnicity diversity and making a lot of progress. Not very focused on specific initiatives on LGBTQ+ and disabilities despite being open to the same.”

Business Outlook

  • “Best: High y-o-y growth in booking in last 3 years. Leadership pipeline is encouraging. Worst: Not having funds to invest in development of new practices.”
  • “Best: Quality of work delivered is so good, that there is a constant stream of work from repeat clients Worst: We play too hard in the realm of strategy and management consulting, resulting in us lacking tech strategy skills which seems to be the order of the day in the client universe. This also means that we lose out on some projects because we do not have a tech offering.”
  • “In the past year, all MNC consulting firms have slowed down hiring, reduced and delayed bonus payouts, some divisions even having rounds of layoffs but none of that has happened at Avalon.”
  • “The past year has been pretty gloomy for Consulting across the world, this has reflected on Avalon too in terms of billing per client/ project with higher competition. but overall Avalon has achieved its ambitious growth targets it set for the year.”
  • “There is no tech backing. We are engaged in pure play strategy and management consulting but have no offering that some of the other tech consulting firms can offer.”

Hiring Process

  • “A typical recruitment process has a group discussion as the first round of elimination. Post which a data analysis question is asked where we are asked to analyse a graph and answer questions regarding it. After that a guestimate/case question is asked. I was asked to calculate the number of swimming pools in India. Once this round is over, an interview round with the VP or Partner of the firm is next in order where our soft skills and past experience is analysed. Ideal candidate is one who asks the right questions, is curious, eager to learn and does not shy away from stepping out of their comfort zone.”
  • “Extremely efficient. The firm does not leave anyone hanging. Even if it is a ‘no’, the candidate is informed as soon as possible and is wished the very best for their endeavours. Ideal candidate has to be very ethical. There is absolutely no compromise on ethics at the firm. Another good thing about the recruitment [process] is that they encourage profiles who are not the typical pre-MBA engineer types. People with different educational backgrounds (pre-MBA only, MBA is a must) are encouraged to apply and join.”
  • “Overall interview process was smooth and the HR staff is friendly. there is a lot of emphasis on the culture fit.”
  • “Process is fairly quick. There is usually a technical round followed by a case study submission and a ED/partner round. Overall process may take 1-2 weeks based on schedules.”
  • “We have a rigorous filter for candidates (academic scores, university, area of study, industry and company worked at, etc.). We seek consultants who can think analytically, yet out of the box and can independently lead conversations with clients.”

Interview Questions

  • “Business case lets, guesstimates, case interviews, data interpretation, personal interviews.”
  • “Combination of GDs/presentations, stress interviews, functional and behavioral competencies check via role play situations.”
  • “Market size estimation of commonly used products such as milk, bread, tyres etc.”
  • “No. of washing machines sold in Delhi.”
  • “Provided a detailed explanation of a company launching a new product with financials, distribution, product description etc. We had to solve for the company wherein the growth was not as expected. Had to analyze the potential issues across and provide a solution while also factoring in the ROI cost and feasibility.”

 

Avalon Consulting

13th Floor, Bus Stop, 247 Park
Lal Bahadur Shastri Rd, Gandhi Nagar
Hindustan C, Mumbai 400079
Phone: +91-22-6619 1100

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Private
Chairman: Raj Nair
CEO: Sridhar Venkiteswaran

Major Office Locations

Mumbai
Delhi
Chennai
Bangalore
Singapore

Major Departments & Practices

  • Strategy
  • Performance Improvement
  • Transformation
  • Transactions
  • Agribusiness
  • Automotives
  • Chemicals
  • Engineering and Capital Goods
  • Building Materials
  • Metals