Ex-McKinsey duo now lead Uber in Asia Pacific region

27 August 2020 Consultancy.asia 3 min. read
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This summer, two former McKinsey & Company men have been installed at the helm of Uber’s Asia Pacific operation. Pradeep Parameswaran now is Uber’s Regional General Manager for Asia Pacific, while Prabhjeet Singh has stepped into his shoes as Uber’s President for India and South Asia.

Parameswaran is an MBA from Vanderbilt University, and joined McKinsey & Company in the US in 2001. He spent seven years in McKinsey’s Atlanta office, eventually making his way up to partner, before relocating to India to lead the McKinsey’s Technology, Media and Telecoms (TMT) practice in India and the rest of Asia.

Before joining Uber in 2017, Parameswaran was CEO at DEN Networks in India for two years. At Uber, Parameswaran joined as Head of Central Operations in India before quickly moving up to President for Uber in India and South Asia. His time at the ride-hailing platform is characterised by diversification and growth.

Among the flagship initiatives launched under his tenure is the Uber Care programme, where the firm spoke to thousands of driver partners across India to understand their needs and expectations from Uber. In response, Uber developed working capital support to manage one-time expenses, provided access to cheaper vehicle servicing, and partnered with NGOs to provide education and healthcare for drivers’ families.

Pradeep Parameswaran, Prabhjeet Singh, Uber

This was in addition to managing diversification, and the sale of Uber Eats to Zomato earlier this year. Parameswaran now heads up Uber Asia Pacific, overseeing operations in nine countries, namely, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Chapan, Australia and New Zealand. As he takes on this substantial mandate, growth and diversification remains very much on the cards.

“There is huge potential to serve more Uber customers and continue innovating across the diverse region, whether that be taxi partnerships in North Asia, new products like Uber Rent in Australia or pushing two and three-wheelers deep into the Indian heartland,” said Parameswaran.

In realising this vision, Parameswaran will be working closely with Prabjheet Singh, consulting firm before joining Uber in 2015.

During his time at McKinsey, Singh worked with more than 30 clients across the private and public sectors, supporting them with business enhancements and transformations. With a focus on the financial services, telecom and consumer tech markets across India and Southeast Asia, Singh has experience developing complex digital models to serve banking, payments and other financial innovations.

His tenure at Uber so far has seen him hold a number of key leadership positions, including Head of Strategy & Planning, General Manager for North India, Head of All Cities in India & South Asia, and now President for India and South Asia.

“I’m confident Prabhjeet will exceed our expectations by leading Uber India on to the path of profitability, further consolidate our partnership with public transport authorities, continue our growth trajectory by expanding auto and moto to the next batch of cities, and build iconic teams,” said Parameswaran.

The two former McKinsey men aim to steer Uber through one of the most challenging periods in the firm’s history, marred by plunging demand due to Covid-19 and the resultant lockdown. Since the crisis started, Uber has cut more than 600 full time jobs in India, making up a quarter of its workforce in the country. The firm has also announced the scaling back of nearly 7,000 jobs worldwide, spelling rough waters for the ride-hailing company.

In May, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi announced that its current Singapore office would be shut down within the next year, giving way to a new Asia Pacific Hub, where Parameswaran will presumably be based. Together with Singh, he will hope to continue scaling the challenging urban mobility and digital platforms landscape.