McKinsey & Company names Gautam Kumra as Chairman for Asia

15 July 2021 2 min. read
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McKinsey & Company Asia has a new chairman: India managing partner Gautam Kumra will now head up the firm’s offices across Asia – spanning Australia, India, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia. He replaces Oliver Tonby – who now leads McKinsey’s Singapore-based Digital Capability Centre.

McKinsey man through and through: Kumra has worked at the firm’s India practice since graduating from IIM Ahmedabad in 1993. He has since made his way through partner; senior partner and head of the Asia Pacific Organization Practice; and most recently country managing partner of a booming India outfit.

He now takes on the Asia chairman role – a step that he is “honoured and humbled” to make according to a LinkedIn post. “I am thrilled to be able to bring to a regional stage my passions for developing CEO leadership and helping institutions – both in India and across Asia – become global and world-class organizations,” he said.

Gautam Kumra, McKinsey Asia Chairman

There is much to draw on: Kumra’s near three-decade stint at McKinsey has seen him help clients with growth strategy, business transformation, leadership development and governance. This is across sectors: from his core specialty areas in healthcare and pharma to a range of industrial, financial and technological projects.

And there are large shoes to fill: outgoing McKinsey Asia chairman Oliver Tonby has also been at the firm for roughly 25 years – having headed the Southeast Asia practice before taking over the Asia chair in 2018. His organizational expertise has brought value to scores of businesses in the energy, industrials, private equity and tech sectors – among others. 

Tonby is currently a core leader at McKinsey’s Singapore Digital Capability Center – an innovation hub that allows clients and experts to collaboratively test and scale new solutions. He will now focus on these responsibilities, leaving Kumra to take charge of an Asia practice that will likely be busy through the near future.

A recently open economy that is more competitive than ever has left business transformation and organizational capacity at the top of most corporate agendas – and McKinsey is among the best in the business to help achieve these goals.

India replacement

Kumra leaves behind a vaccum himself. McKinsey’s India office needs a new managing partner, and a number of top candidates are being considered. According to local media reports, India-based senior partners Alok Kshirsagar, Vivek Pandit and Rajat Dhawan are all in consideration for the top job – now subject to interviews with Tonby and recently appointed global CEO Bob Sternfels. 

“We will announce our new India leader in due course,” said Kumra, with a decision to come within the next two weeks.