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Management sectors:Which fits you best?

  While preparing for the various management entrance tests, you need to be equipped with information about your career and future. Which is your favourite sector? Which sector can be the right one for you? What opportunities does it offer? Here, we give a broad overview of the various sectors in India.  

In today’s world of businesses and corporates, there are more opportunities to have a successful career than ever before. With the business environment changing and taking on a global outlook, one of the most fundamental requirements for success in this field is to have a firm understanding of the functioning of the various markets and sectors. Well, for making this a reality, acquiring an MBA degree is an almost-guaranteed recipe for success.
However, merely chasing after a management degree is not enough. One of the prerequisites of such a degree is to be highly aware of what’s going on around us, and gather information on the various fields in which one can pursue a career. In this article, let’s take a look at some of the traditional sectors where an MBA will facilitate a rewarding career, as well as some upcoming, not-so-traditional fields.

India’s FMCG industry is expected to grow at 20.6 per cent, reaching the sales figure of US$107.3 billion by 2020.
The fast moving consumer goods, or FMCG industry primarily deals with the production, distribution and marketing of consumer packaged goods, i.e., those categories of products that are consumed at regular intervals, such as food and beverage, personal care, pharmaceuticals, plastic goods, paper and stationery and household products, etc. These can be categorised into three main segments — food and beverages (19% of the sector), healthcare (31%) and household and personal care (50%).
The industry is vast and offers a wide range of job opportunities in functions such as sales, supply chain, finance, marketing, operations, purchasing, human resources, product development and general management.
In India, the FMCG market growth over the past five years has been phenomenal, primarily due to consumers’ growing disposable income, which is directly linked to an increased demand for FMCG and services; case in point is the consumption expenditure is expected to touch nearly US$ 3,600 billion by 2020, up from US$ 1,469 billion in 2015.

The sector that students prefer
The fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) segment is the fourth largest sector in the Indian economy. Growing awareness, easier access, and changing lifestyles have been the key growth drivers for the sector.
With the FMCG growth in the country being driven by consumption, the sector continues to find favour with students who see it as a sector with huge growth potential.

Major FMCG segments in India

Sector Products Major companies
Food and beverages Processed food, health beverages, mineral waters, bread, biscuits, chocolate, confectionary, etc HUL, ITC, Tata Tea, Godrej, Nestle, Amul, etc
Personal care Wash products like soaps and shampoos, oral care products like toothpaste and toothbrush, cosmetics, etc HUL, Dabur, Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive, etc
Household care Detergents, soaps, cleaners, etc HUL, Godrej, Procter & Gamble, Henkel, etc

Interestingly, another large segment of the FMCG sector is the tobacco industry, where the biggest player in the Indian market is ITC.

The Pros and Cons

  • Huge potential given expanding urban boundaries and the as yet largely untapped rural market. The rural market is expected to be the primary growth driver for the segment.
  • The upward trending changing lifestyle of today’s consumers and their increase in income levels mean an enormous opportunity for newer and more varied products to succeed on the market.
  • The opening up of 100% foreign direct investment has seen a lot of excitement in this sector.
  • The retail sector is also a burgeoning one, expected to reach $1.1 trillion by 2020, and since it is intricately linked to the FMCG sector, it means that the relative growth potential of the latter is also very high.
  • There are already well known brands in the sector, both international and domestic, which creates competition and therefore increases investment potential.


  • The world today largely relies on emerging technology. However, in the FMCG sector, there is less scope of investing in this technology and achieving economies of scale.
  • The export potential in this sector is not high.
  • If import restrictions are removed, the domestic brands may face tough competition from international, more securely placed brands.

Despite an economic slowdown, both in India and across the world, the Indian finance sector largely remained resilient. Things are certainly not bleak, especially if you’re looking at a career in the banking, financial and insurance sector. In fact, according to a Central survey, the BFSI sector is currently estimated to employ around 40-45 lakh people and is expected to provide job opportunities for 80-90 lakh people by 2022.

What students prefer
The banking industry is a systemically important industry for the Indian economy in general and financial sector in particular as it comprises nearly 90% of the total financial services sector of the country.
The banking industry in India has undergone significant transformation since the initiation of the financial sector reforms that were part of the structural reforms of early 1990s. The banking sector has steadily evolved from a state-directed banking system into a fairly open competitive one. Banking in India has become service oriented, maturing from the days of ‘walking in business’ to the present situation of 24 hour banking solutions to attract customers.

The Pros and the Cons

  • A variety of roles and responsibilities.
  • Consumer types vary widely due to the wide range of products and services, which gives an excellent mix of relationship, sales, operations, analysis and product management opportunities.
  • Lucrative salaries.
  • Rise of Fintech: Use of newer and more efficient technologies to the fullest, which means working in top-notch settings with state of the art technology.


  • Sector is facing many changes, which means resistance and some conservatism when it comes to adopting, implementing and maintaining these changes.

Today, all companies big and small are driven by technology; some in the core IT field, while others use technology for their day to day transactions. In fact, in a report listing the most valued brands in the world, six out of the top 10 companies are from the IT/ITes sector!
The Indian IT-ITes industry has transformed India’s image on the global platform and fuelled the economic growth of the country, employing almost 10 million Indians. Moreover, both Indian and international firms across sectors largely depend on the IT/ITes providers to make their business processes efficient and streamlined. Growth prospects show the sector’s aspiration to touch $350 billion by 2025.

Students’ point of view
Placement reports of the top-ranked management institutes in the country show that the IT/ITeS is consistently among the top three sectors that are most preferred by MBA graduates.
According to Dinesh Kapoor, Executive Director of Nielsen, “The IT sector seems to have found favour with students, even higher than the popular financial sector and banks. The healthy performance of the IT sector over the last few quarters seems to have had a positive impact on the students who once again are interested in the sector.”

The Pros and Cons

  • Most-sought after in the world, as Indians are more comfortable with English than other countries like Japan, China or Germany.
  • Most opportunities for on-site projects, which means more global exposure than any other sector.
  • Mostly young professionals in the industry, meaning more dynamic workforce and creative thinking.
  • Lucrative salaries.


  • Personal life shrinks, have to be on call most of the time.
  • Depending on who the client is, timing of the job might not be fixed.

What you need to succeed
The first thing that’s needed in a field like the IT/ITeS sector is the ability to handle pressure, given that with the constant advent of technology, the world keeps becoming smaller. A background in IT will also help, certainly, but isn’t a must for an MBA graduate to possess if he wants to specialise in IT.

Business consulting mainly deals with helping restructure companies using subjective and objective views of external consultants. Consultants can be engaged for their expertise in a particular industry or a sector, or as temporary staff members for a one-time project.
The hiring of MBA graduates is pretty robust in the domain even in the time of economic slowdown. The argument here is that during a slowdown, consultants are more in demand, since most companies need advice on how to grow during any recession period. Even information technology companies such as Infosys and Wipro are trying to get into the lucrative field of business consulting, as it commands higher billing rates and also influences key strategies of the companies.

Types of Business Consulting

Name Description
Strategy consulting Offer advice on tackling commercial issues. Use of existing framework to look at business problems and improve business efficiency by re-engineering them. Recommendations to increase profit, entry to markets, tech upgrades, etc.
Domain consulting Specific to domains, involves brining in experienced people for recommendations on best practices and execution.
Technology consulting How best to use IT to meet business objectives. Includes customer relationship management, e-procurement, reverse auctions, web collaboration tools, knowledge and content management, etc.
Corporate finance Helps accomplish financial objectives by assessing financial situation, developing and presenting financial strategies and plans, monitoring changes in financial status, raising funds, mergers and acquisitions.
Accounting Consultation on data necessary for preparing financial statements and reports required by statutory and regulatory authorities as well as internal management. Includes tax advisory work, auditing the firm’s financials, singing off on the balance sheet, etc.
In-house consulting Intra-company departments help quick execution of projects, since they are familiar with the corporate culture. Useful for conglomerates that need independent advice from the central staff.


The Pros and the Cons

  • High levels of income and perks.
  • Large scope for development of analytical, organisational, and communication skills.
  • Direct involvement in functioning and the future of firms, leading to greater job satisfaction.
  • Possibility of garnering a wide network across firms and sectors.


  • Hours are long.
  • Extensive travelling is required in most cases.
  • Stress levels can be high, since consultants often work on tight deadlines and schedules.

Apart from these major sectors, there are also other fields in which the demand for quality MBA graduates is increasing. Moreover, MBA aspirants are now looking beyond the traditional fields of management, and identifying new areas of management in which a career looks promising. This outlook is linked with how the world and its markets and economies are developing.
For instance, the advent of big data and the enormous amount of analysis being required by most major organisations today have given rise to the most lucrative field of Business Analytics. Consider also the growing number of individuals who are becoming, or are on the way to becoming, celebrities. This, in turn, has given rise to Celebrity Management. And of course, with the natural resources in the world being threatened by our very existence, there is a vital need to conserve, preserve and manage them, in order to leave a sustainable world for future generations. This explains why fields like Water Management, Energy Management, Natural Resource Management and Sustainability Management have come up.
It is impossible to list all these various fields in one go, so here are a few upcoming management fields that show the most promise, and which will be covered in greater detail in forthcoming issues of Advanc’edge MBA.

  • Risk Management
  • Infrastructure Management
  • Sports Management
  • Media Management
  • Healthcare Management
  • Hospitality/Hotel Management
  • Intellectual Property Management
  • Energy Management

Be sure to follow the next few issues religiously to gain insights into these fields!