McKinsey & Company Asia has recently announced a promotion within the company, this time naming a new chairman for the entire Asia operation. Guatam Kumra, previously a managing partner in India, is now responsible for heading all of the firm’s offices which include India, Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia and Australia.
The previous chairman, Oliver Tonby, will now lead McKinsey’s Digital Capability Centre in Singapore. Tonby held the role of chairman for nearly 25 years, accumulating and nurturing business relationships throughout the industrial, energy, private equity, and tech fields. Now, Kumra will take over these responsibilities at a time of elevated workload, thanks to the reopening of multiple economies after the decrease in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kumra first started his career at McKinsey in 1993, directly after graduating from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedebad. In his 27 years at McKinsey, he started as partner and eventually worked his way up to the head of the Asia Pacific Organization Practice. In 2017, he was promoted to country managing partner for India, and now reaches a new peak in his career as the resuming chairman of the Asia outfit.
In his time with the company, Kumra founded the McKinsey Leadership Institute in 2013, which specializes in providing leadership tools for developing CEOs. He also founded and led the Bower Forum, a platform for CEOs and business owners to seek counsel with fellow leaders. He sits as a founding board member of the Public Health Foundation of India.
Recently Kumra co-authored and released a MGI report for 2021 entitled India’s Turning Point: An Economic Agenda To Spur Growth And Jobs highlighting the actions required to counteract the created challenges laid out by COVID-19, with a layout for creating a path to re-employ 90 million workers by 2030. Kumra’s expertise in the fields of healthcare and pharmaceuticals make him a prime selection for his newly appointed position, in a time when dedicated leadership is needed to guide McKinsey down a safe path in its post-pandemic proceedings.
The position of India managing partner is still open; the company says it will announce Kumra’s professional successor in the next two weeks with India-based senior partners Alok Kshirsagar, Vivek Pandit, and Rajat Dhawan under consideration.