Former McKinsey consultant Zoher Karu joins Citi Bank in Asia Pacific

18 December 2017 Authored by Consultancy.asia

Citi Bank has appointed eBay’s former chief data officer and McKinsey alumnus Zoher Karu as Head of Data and Analytics for Asia Pacific, in a move which reflects the bank's growing focus on retail banking in the region.  

Outside of North America, the consumer banking arm in Asia is Citi Bank’s largest profit centre, while it also is the company’s fastest growing consumer business globally – for the third quarter of 2017, the division reported a 5% increase in revenue year-on-year to $1.87 billion.

To bolster its service offerings in Asia, Citi Bank has brought Indian national Zoher Karu (born in India, raised in Alabama, US) on board to lead its data and analytics and customer insights capabilities, as the bank is seeking new ways to better understand consumer behaviour in the region in a bid to enhance its monetisation of commercial opportunities. Karu joins from eBay where he most recently was chief data officer. He joined the e-commerce corporation in April 2013 as a member of the firm's executive team and was the firm’s first Vice President of Customer Optimisation and Data, tasked with leveraging the company’s wealth of customer data to drive a more personal and relevant experience across its properties.Zoher KaruPrior to that, Karu was Vice President of Marketing Analytics and Insight at Sears. At the US retailer, his efforts in organising customer data, extracting analytical insights and integrating those insights into customer channels powered Sears’ digital strategy and enabled significant incremental revenue and profits.

Earlier in his career, Karu held several positions in business operations, product management and management consulting at Mattersight, Zyman Group, Brickstream and McKinsey & Company, where he worked for four years in the firm’s Atlanta office.

At Citi Bank, Karu, who holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, will be responsible for driving the use of data to deliver customer value and business growth. Examples include customising merchant offers based on the banking behaviour or location of customers, or tailoring the proposition mix offered to clients based on changes in wealth status. He will report directly to Anand Selva, Head of Asia Pacific Consumer Banking.

Commenting on appointment, Anand Selva said, “Zoher’s appointment to this role is a key part of our digital transformation and overall strategy. To be Asia’s best digital bank, we need to offer remarkable client experiences that set us apart and that are locally relevant to our target customers. Data and technology are critical enablers to build these capabilities and create and offer real-time experiences that are hyper-personalised, contextual and highly relevant to our customers.”

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