Careers FAQ's


 

» Tell me about Cedar

Cedar is an award-winning boutique consulting, research and analytics firm with offices in New York, London, Dubai and Mumbai. For over 30 years, it has served over 1000 clients across the globe. It was formerly part of Renaissance Worldwide, the $1 Billion global consulting firm co-founded by the creators of the Balanced Scorecard, the world’s leading strategy deployment and performance management framework. Known for its thought leadership on the Balanced Scorecard, Cedar is also known for execution excellence, helping clients transform their businesses from a process, people and technology standpoint. 60% of Cedar’s clients belong to the financial services industry, please visit www.cedar-consulting.com

Its group company, IBS Intelligence is a leading UK based financial technology research and consulting firm. For over 20 years, IBS Intelligence has been the definitive source for independent, in-depth news, research and analysis of financial technology markets. For more information, please visit www.ibsintelligence.com

» What is the campus interview process at Cedar?

Cedar goes to a limited number of campuses every year at multiple points, including SPJain (Dubai, Singapore) and NYU (Abu Dhabi, New York). The process involves a presentation by the leadership team about career opportunities at Cedar, followed by a short-listing of candidates for interview. The interview process involves case study analysis, a presentation, based on which offers are made on campus.

» What is the interview process at Cedar, other than campus?

If you write to Cedar, you will get a response indicating that your interest is being reviewed. If there is a position at Cedar that meets your profile, you are likely to be called for a phone or Skype interview. This could be followed up by a second phone or skype interview, ultimately resulting in face-to-face interviews, if all goes well. While Cedar is keen to complete the process on a timely basis, it is highly selective in its selection processes. Also, interviews are conducted by the leadership team in most cases and therefore schedules need to be aligned. The average time taken at Cedar is 60-90 days to complete the process. The focus of the interview could vary depending upon the role. Typically, consultant level positions will be asked to complete case analysis to validate analytical skills, and also make a presentation.

Once an offer is made and accepted, medical tests and reference checks follow. Once those steps are completed, a formal employment contract will be signed. Cedar expects most new employees to join within 30-60 days of accepting the offer.

» What are the key skills that Cedar is looking for in its consultants?

Being a great consultant is a combination of personal and professional attributes. This includes having a good analytical mind, strong academic performance, great communication skills, being self-confident, being excited about solving problems, learning, and taking on challenges, ability to work incredibly hard, ability to work in teams in a multi-cultural environment, and lastly being excited with travel.

» What is the travel intensity at Cedar?

For all consulting firms, travel to clients is mandatory. Since a large number of Cedar’s clients are based across the Middle East, the travel expectation is to be on client site from Sunday – Thursday for most weeks or most programs. This is both for teams based in the Mumbai office or Dubai office. Most/all travel time to client sites is 3 hours or less from Mumbai making this feasible. Hotel and travel arrangements on the ground are of high quality. Those that thrive and succeed in the consulting business are excited with travel and discovering new places.

» Please tell me about Cedar’s induction program.

Professionals choosing a consulting career need to be self-starters or it would be difficult for them to engage with clients on a range of projects on an ongoing basis. Consulting is an apprenticeship profession where most learning is on the job. That being said, Cedar conducts a structured one week induction program when a new consultant joins that includes intense reading and interaction with leadership. Additionally, on an on-going basis, Cedar runs face-to-face monthly CedarKnowledge session for knowledge transfer across the teams, compared to other organizations that may rely only on e-learning.

» How would you describe Cedar’s culture?

Cedar’s culture is entrepreneurial and performance oriented. Though it originates from a large global consulting organization, its leadership has shown strong entrepreneurial traits and with its performance culture, it has been able to successfully compete with some of the world’s largest consulting firms. Cedarites are entrepreneurial, hardworking, client focused, analytical with high levels of integrity and team orientation. They come from some of the worlds’ leading universities and companies, seeking a refreshing environment that provides a high level of empowerment and an opportunity to grow. The environment is intense with hard work and a strong client focus which would be expected in successful client services businesses, as clients always come first.

» How would you describe Cedar’s values?

Cedar’s values include exceeding client expectations, hard-work, integrity, team-work, empowerment, being entrepreneurial, commitment to the firm and a passion to learn!

» Is Cedar a place to grow?

Cedar is committed to providing a career opportunity in one of the world’s best professions to young professionals. It regularly hires deserving undergraduates from some of the worlds well-known colleges, trains them, provides them client facing them, providing a fantastic career foundation before they head to graduate school in about 3 years. It hires MBAs from leading MBA programs, and helps them build a career in consulting. Age is no bar in moving rapidly up the organization at Cedar. Performance, and putting company before self is what matters. Many of the Partner’s at Cedar started at junior levels within the firm, and in their early ’30s were managing major client relationships. Cedar believes in empowerment.

» What are the benefits at Cedar, and how does the firm engage with its team?

Cedar’s benefits of leave, leave travel allowances, medical insurance are consistent with good industry practices. It is sensitive to the needs of working women. Cedar encourages its people to take their leave during the year on a planned basis to recharge and refresh. In addition, Cedar runs a range of employee focused programs that drive employee engagement and well-being. This includes company sponsored meals (CedarGrub) at the end of the week, knowledge sharing sessions called CedarKnowledge to drive knowledge sharing across the enterprise, and CedarFun@Work month end social and sports events for the employees and their families. Additionally, Cedar has recently launched CedarWellness which is focused on employee wellness including company sponsored spa visits and support for participating in sporting events.

» How standardized are Cedar’s consulting processes?

Cedar has well-defined processes for business development, proposal development, deal closure, and project execution and management. Roles are clearly defined, including sales credit recognition for performance management for business development, proposal development and deal closure. For project execution it has well defined objectives and methodology frameworks that include the Balanced Scorecard and proprietary methodologies for IT consulting projects including C-Score. It is for this reason that Cedar has an over 80% repeat client track record and has won multiple awards as a leading advisory firm.

» What is Cedar’s annual review process?

Annual reviews are completed every year. The first review is 6 months after you join, the full annual review at the 12 month point, and then the annual pattern is followed. A probation period of 6 months may also be part of the contract. Annual review process includes review documentation on personal and professional performance by the leaders of the firm who have worked with you on the various projects. The process is transparent, and one can review all the forms completed by each of the reviewers. Performance reviews also include individual billing or projects, management of team billing or business development based on seniority and position. Increments, bonuses and promotions are a combination of industry benchmarks, individual performance and of course value added to the firm from a short, medium and long-term perspective.

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