Phy-gital Roundtable: Breakfast Roundup from Germany and Netherlands

02 May '15 | Debjyoti Paul

German Shoppers: Meet Them in the Fast Lane to Phy-gital

15 January '15 | Ralf Reich

Shoppers Will Share Personal Information (But They Don’t Want to be “Friends”)

15 January '15 | Anil Venkat

Modernize or Perish: Property and Casualty Insurers and IT Solutions

14 January '15 | Manesh Rajendran

Benelux Reaches the Phy-gital Tipping Point: Omnichannel Readiness is Crucial

13 January '15 | Anil Gandharve

The New Omnichannel Dynamic: Finding Core Principles Across Industries

13 January '15 | Debjyoti Paul

Technology does not disrupt business – CIO day 2014 Roundup

02 December '14 | Anshuman Singh

Apple Pay – The Best Is Yet To Come

02 December '14 | Indy Sawhney

Digital transformation is a business transformation enabled by technology

01 December '14 | Amit Varma

3 Stages of FATCA Testing and Quality Assurance

06 October '14 | Raman Suprajarama

3 Reasons why Apple Pay could dominate the payments space

18 September '14 | Gaurav Johri

Beacon of Hope: Serving Growth and Customer Satisfaction

05 August '14 | Debjyoti Paul

The Dos and Don’ts of Emerging Technologies Like iBeacon

30 July '14 | Debjyoti Paul

What You Sold Us On – eCommerce Award Finalist Selections

17 July '14 | Anshuman Singh

3 Steps to Getting Started with Microsoft Azure Cloud Services

04 June '14 | Koushik Ramani

8 Steps to Building a Successful Self Service Portal

03 June '14 | Giridhar LV

Innovation outsourced – a myth or a mirage or a truth staring at us?

13 January '14 | Ramesh Hosahalli

What does a mobile user want?

03 January '14 | Gopikrishna Aravindan

What is Consulting?

Posted on: 19 June '11

There’s this saying that we should be able to boil any concept down to a level that even a five-year old can understand what’s being spoken of. Easier said than done, right? I don’t know about a five-year old but I must confess that I suffer from the much dreaded mother-in-law syndrome when she asks me to explain what I do for a living. I’ve tried many different ways to explain consulting and software to her, but I must say that I’ve drawn nothing but disparaging looks from her almost saying “what a wasted soul”!  In contrast, my wife has it easy as all she does is pick up a Mac or an iPhone and tell her that she works in the company that makes these products and my mother-in-law gets it immediately – the fact that my wife works in the company that manufactures a product that my mother-in-law can touch, feel and see makes all the difference!

Ok, I did digress, but the point I wanted to touch upon is: how do you define consulting? Or, for that matter, how do you define software in simple terms that your grandma (or, the MIL in my case) can understand and hug you for doing such a great job! Honestly, I could do with some help here because I’ve tried everything in my arsenal and drawn a complete blank in all these years of being married.

In my last post Different Views on Consulting, I’d promised to share some views of students of Kellogg but I’ll defer that to another post – I want to get some thoughts from you before I start polluting your views. I’d also like to thank those of you who spent time reading my post – while I truly appreciate the same, I’d really like this to be an interactive dialog between us. I’m pretty sure that most of you know more than me and have perspectives that are more profound. We are now in an age where collective knowledge is viewed as wisdom – so, let’s all get wise and start sharing.

Looking forward to a more lively discussion…



Amit Varma

Amit Varma is the Vice President and Global Head of Mindtree's Enterprise Solutions and Consulting Business. AV, as he's better known, is an alumnus of the Kellogg School of Management and is based out of Mindtree's California office. In his own words, "I'm passionate about consulting and have been extremely fortunate to have been able to marry my passion and work - little wonder that I love my work".

  • Daniel Pacheco

    Consulting is the advice that creates the hardware. Tell your mother – in – law that the Mac or iPhone your wife shows her has been built on the advice you gave. If you had not given the advice there would be no Mac or iPhone for her to see.

    • Amit Varma

      Thanks Daniel. On a lighter note, Steve will haunt me for the rest of my life for having said that!

  • Kailash

    Well, I work in the consulting business too and I faced the same problem explaining what I do for a living to my prospective in-laws (see in my case it was much tougher because I’d to explain the same unconvincing thing twice). But I picked something from my fiancee’s profession (she is a doctor) which I then applied to my answer – like a doctor analyzes the human body and asks probing questions, analyzes the answers and recommends solutions to overcome the challenge it is facing, I do the same for enterprises. And bingo, they did seem to get it, or atleast havent looked at me with the ‘what a wasted soul’ look since:)

    • Amit Varma

      good for you, Kailash! Personalization always works, doesn’t it? 🙂