Consumer & Retail
Partner, Head Consumer Goods, Retail and Luxury Business Europe
Charles-Etienne Bost currently serves as a Partner and the Head of Consumer Goods, Retail and Luxury Business Europe for Kearney, a leading global management consulting firm with more than 5,300 people working in more than 40 countries. Kearney works with more than three quarters of the Fortune Global 500, as well as with the most influential governmental and nonprofit organizations. Bost was made a Partner at Kearney in March 2021. Previously, he served as Chief Financial Officer of Global Supply for Coty for nearly two years, and as Senior Vice President of Integration and Transformation for Coty for nearly three years. This is not Bost’s first stint with Kearney. From 2004 to 2016, he worked his way up from business analyst to partner at the firm, which was then known as A.T. Kearney. Bost earned a master’s degree in sciences from the École des Ponts ParisTech and a master’s degree in finance from Université Paris Nanterre.
Partner, Leader Americas Retail and Consumer Goods Practice
Frédéric Thomas-Dupuis is a Partner and Head of the Americas Retail and Consumer Goods Practice at Oliver Wyman, a global leader in management consulting and a business unit of Marsh McLennan. In his role, Thomas-Dupuis focuses on large-scale transformations and value creation, both of which are often supported by deploying advanced decision support tools and analytics. Additionally, he manages the firm’s Montreal offices. Founded in 1984, Oliver Wyman is a respected management consulting firm formed by former Booz Allen Hamilton partners Alex Oliver and Bill Wyman. The company employs more than 5,000 professionals, with offices in more than 70 cities across 30 countries. Thomas-Dupuis joined Oliver Wyman in 2004, working as a Recruiting Partner for the firm’s Canada practice before becoming a Partner in the retail practice. In his career, he has led major transformations of retail companies in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. He is fluent in French and English and holds a Master of Engineering and Bachelor of Engineering from McGill University.
Global Solutions VP for Retail
Fulvio Manente currently serves as Global Solutions Vice President for Retail for Softtek, a global leader in next-generation digital solutions. Softtek was the first company to introduce the Nearshore model, and it currently helps Global 2000 organizations build their digital capabilities constantly and seamlessly, from ideation and development to execution and evolution. Its entrepreneurial drive spans 20+ countries and more than 15,000 talented professionals. Manente is an experienced IT professional who has worked for more than 25 years for large companies in Brazil, Mexico, and the U.S. He has solid expertise on strategic planning, innovation road-maps, and national and multinational project and program management, and deep knowledge on mobile development platforms, the best use of cloud services, and the launching of mobile apps and e-commerce platforms. Prior to Softtek, Manente served as Head of Innovation and Market Intelligence for Estapar, Senior Manager for Walmart Latin America, and as a Team Leader for both Sprint and IBM. He earned a master’s degree in artificial intelligence and machine learning from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s degree in finance and financial management services from Faculdade Ítalo Brasileiro, and a bachelor’s degree in information technology from Centro Superior de Formação Tecnológica Carlos Drummond de Andrade.
Lead Partner, Global Consumer Industries & Retail Practice
As Lead Partner for Global Client Growth, Greg Portell’s goal is to help all sectors of Kearney’s practices be in the best position, structurally and in terms of resources, to address the fast-moving changes and disruptions challenging the firm’s clients and the markets in which they operate. “The commercial marketplace is undergoing radical and disruptive change,” says Portell. “Our clients are being asked to respond to issues most of them couldn’t have imagined even a decade or so ago. Complex new problems require bold new solutions and a bold new way of going to market. We don’t want our clients to just keep pace with change. We want them to lead it through growth, innovation, creative solutions, and the new operating models, metrics, and tools we are in position to give them.” Portell’s clients include some of the world’s largest and most influential companies. He is an active speaker, sought-after author, and advisor on emerging topics including rapid earnings expansion, the evolving consumer, global business transformation, and sustainable growth. Using a consumer-first point of view, he has developed solutions for clients on how to address consumer needs with meaningful benefits as well as published materials through the Kearney Consumer Institute, Kearney’s Inside the Mind podcast, and other legacy reports.
Senior Managing Director, Global Lead for Retail
Jill Standish is the Senior Managing Director and Global Lead of Accenture’s Retail Industry Group. In this role, she is responsible for the overall vision, thought leadership, and strategy. Key elements of the role include defining the portfolio of clients, offerings, and strategic alliances with software providers, as well as the makeup of the talent to serve the retail industry globally. Standish has more than 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, and consulting in retail. Prior to joining Accenture, she was Senior Vice President and General Manager for the Retail Business Unit at Oracle, responsible for the full P-and-L and go-to-market for the retail portfolio of solutions. Before that, Standish spent much of her career at IBM in various leadership positions. She was the Vice President and Global Leader for IBM’s Global Business Services retail consulting practice, responsible for its vision, strategy, and financial growth. She was also Vice President, Retail Store Solutions. In 2017, Retail Leader named Standish as one of the industries “Women to Watch in Retail.” She was honored by Women’s Wear Daily as one of the 2017 Women Leaders in Business, and Consulting Magazine included her in its Top 25. Standish regularly publishes thought leadership in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, WWD, USA Today, Chain Store Age, and Forbes. Standish serves on the Board of Directors for the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA). She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of Massachusetts, graduating summa cum laude.
Americas Consumer Sector Leader
Kathy Gramling has more than 25 years’ experience in the consumer goods and retail industry. In her role as the EY Americas Consumer Industry Markets Leader, she leads teams in aligning the right parts of the EY organization to resolve consumer clients’ most pertinent issues. Gramling also serves as the global client service partner at Ernst & Young LLP for several significant consumer clients. It’s Gramling’s view that as a leader, she is in service to not only her clients, but also her peers, her teams, and her EY Consumer community. In this role, it’s important to her to mentor, inspire, and open up opportunities for the next generation, for women, and for minorities both inside and outside of EY. Gramling has deep experience across brand management, consumer and shopper marketing, multichannel, salesforce execution, trade funds management, and marketing mix optimization. Prior to joining the EY organization, she spent 3 years in Paris and 10 years in London leading teams across Europe and Africa. Gramling received her MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and her Bachelor of Arts from the College of William & Mary.
Partner, National Industry Leader, Consumer & Retail
Kostya Polyakov is KPMG Canada’s National Industry Leader for the Consumer and Retail practice. He has more than 20 years of experience advising businesses across Canada and the U.S., primarily those in the retail, hospitality, and restaurant sectors. Polyakov works with both public and private companies and focuses on advising boards, shareholders, and executives on key strategic business decisions, including go-public transactions, mergers and acquisitions, as well as corporate governance and other board-level issues. Polyakov’s clients range in size from large, complex, mature multi-national organizations with more than $3B in revenue, to high-growth small and mid-sized private companies. Polyakov previously led the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) practice for KPMG in the greater Vancouver area and has had significant experience outside of KPMG as an operations and sales leader for one of Canada’s top distribution and manufacturing companies. Polyakov’s blend of retail, technology, and operational experience has led to his advising some of Canada’s fastest growing and most recognizable retailers, as well as some of Canada’s largest and most established restaurant chains. Polyakov was previously recognized by Business in Vancouver as a Top 40 Under 40 award recipient for his achievements both professionally as well as in the community, where he has held numerous Board of Directors positions serving a number of not-for-profit organizations. Polyakov currently serves on the Board of Directors of Vancouver’s iconic Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival.
Managing Partner, Ontario, and Chief Experience Officer
Linda Blair is Deloitte Canada’s Chief Experience Officer and the Regional Managing Partner for the country’s largest region. Deloitte provides audit & assurance, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax and related services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. With over 14,000 employees across the country, Deloitte Canada is the country’s largest professional services firm. Deloitte serves four out of five Fortune Global 500 companies through a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries and territories bringing world-class capabilities, insights and service to address clients' most complex business challenges. Over the course of her 25+ years in management consulting, Linda has helped clients across Canada and the United States navigate complex and needed change. She is well versed in all aspects of large-scale program execution. In her role of Chief Experience Officer, Linda is not only a member of Deloitte’s Executive Leadership team, but has been instrumental in navigating the firm through critical operational initiatives such as its nation-wide pandemic management; real estate optimization; and the rollout of Deloitte Canada’s market-leading “Next Normal” business model which reimagines hybrid work. As Regional Managing Partner for Ontario, Linda leads the marketplace agenda in one of North America’s largest and most sophisticated markets, exercising her strong belief in connection, service, and community to ensure the firm brings the best Deloitte can offer to its clients. In 2018, Linda was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women. Linda holds a BSc in Nursing from Western University and an MBA from the Rotman School at the University of Toronto.
Global Consumer Industry Leader
Leon is the Global Consumer Industry Leader at Deloitte, covering retail, consumer products, automotive as well as travel and hospitality and representing $10.6 billion in global revenue. He is also the Global Sector Leader for Consumer Products, serving C-suite clients around the world, especially in the Food and Beverage and Apparel and Footwear business. Pieters has more than 25 years of experience in complex business and digital transformation projects, supply chain optimization projects and revenue improvement initiatives for large multi-nationals in these sectors. He is leading multi-disciplinary teams across countries and regions, with a focus on “making it happen and making it stick.” Pieters also serves as the Global ESG leader for Clients and Industries at Deloitte. He is passionate about sustainability, reducing carbon emissions, and supporting a resilient global supply chain. In this role, he helps senior executives at major companies accelerate initiatives to address climate change.
Arthur D. Little
Partner, Leader, Healthcare & Life Sciences and Consumer Goods Practices, Japan
Maki Kurosawa is a Partner at Arthur D. Little’s (ADL) Tokyo office, where she heads the Consumer Goods and Retail Practices and leads the Consumer Health Competence Center in Global Healthcare and Life Sciences Practice. ADL has been at the forefront of innovation since 1886. The company has extensive consulting experience within the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), Healthcare, and Life Sciences sector, supporting projects including strategy development and product development. With more than 30 years of consulting experience, Kurosawa covers mid- and long-term corporate and growth strategy development, overseas business expansion, research and development, technology innovation, sustainability management, and commercial due diligence. She has extensive experience supporting leading Japanese and multinational companies in the fields of FMCG, nutraceutical ingredients, and consumer healthcare from B2B to B2C, helping clients to succeed in a changing business environment driven by disruptive technologies. Kurosawa is a well-known expert and author on topics related to FOSHU and nutraceutical strategy development in the Japanese food and healthcare sector. She received a degree from Tohoku University in Japan, majoring in Biochemistry and Plant Biotechnology. As people, organizations and societies embrace change at pace, its leaders must anticipate, innovate and transform ever faster. We help our clients overcome today’s most pressing challenges and seize tomorrow’s most promising opportunities. With a powerful blend of creative thinking and scientific rigor Arthur D. Little links people, technology and strategy to find original and pragmatic ways to accelerate performance, innovate through convergence and digital, and make a positive impact on the world.
Senior Partner & Managing Director
Dr. Mirko Warschun is a Senior Partner and Managing Director with KEARNEY, where he leads the Consumer and Retail Practice in Europe. In more than 25 years of global professional experience (consulting, M&A, VC/PE), Warschun has deep functional expertise in CEO advisory, strategy, growth, corporate governance, and large-scale transformation - with an increased emphasis on digital transformation. In this capacity, he is a trusted advisor to CEOs and boards of several major companies in the consumer goods and retail sector. He is actively facilitating change as a mentor, advisory board member, and investor in startups around the world. Warschun has a passion for consumer industries and digital business models and is frequently interviewed on trends in major business journals and digital media. He is regularly featured as a speaker, panelist, and moderator at leading industry conferences and board meetings. In addition, he is a member of the Strategic Board of CEMS – The Global Alliance in Management Education. Warschun holds a Master in International Management from CEMS for his studies at the Stockholm School of Economics, a Doctor of Philosophy in Management from the University of Oldenburg, and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Cologne. During his career, he attended a senior executive program at the London Business School.
Assistant Vice President, Retail and Consumer Goods
Niraj leads the India Business Consulting team for the Retail and Consumer Goods industry practice for Cognizant. Cognizant is one of the largest IT services firms in the world, known for its deep domain expertise and client centricity while delivering solutions that help modern businesses improve everyday life. Cognizant partners with some of the leading Retail and Consumer Goods organizations, including 24 of the Top 30 Retail and CPG companies in the world. Singh’s team drives key digital transformation engagements across the value chain for these clients, including in areas such as customer experience, revenue growth management, merchandising, store operations and supply chain. Singh brings deep expertise in areas of logistics and fulfillment, which are becoming critical for retailers and CPG companies in today’s world of Q-Commerce and two-hour deliveries. He also served as the Venture Leader for Cognizant’s Control Tower venture, bringing together capabilities on analytics, automation, and process mining to drive customer service orientation in supply chain functions. He has also helped incubate centers of excellence such as RFID and Automation, working with technology partner teams to set up these capability units. With more than 20 years of experience, Singh has worked for leading clients in North America, Japan, Europe, and India. He completed his post-graduate degrees from the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow and his engineering degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.
Global Lead of Consumer Goods & Services
As Accenture’s global Consumer Goods and Services Industry group lead, Oliver Wright helps clients strategize, innovate, and increase agility for a new era of growth. With more than 20 years of experience in this sector (at Accenture, Bain and Company, Ernst and Young, and others), he sees enormous opportunity everywhere—for incumbents and new entrants. Wright is committed to progress and sustainable advancement in this sector. He has co-authored key industry thought leadership for Accenture and contributed to industry discussion in numerous publications. Also, he has led the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Consumer Group for four years (2016 to 2020), addressing issues such as operating models of the future, the future of retail and, most recently, the role of consumer data in creating new models of responsible consumption.
Global Client Service Partner, Consumer Market Segment Leader
Robert Holston is the EY Global Consumer Industries Consulting Leader, advising Fortune 100 consumer-facing companies and pioneering consumer technology startups on using data and analytics to transform retail experiences and define new markets. His expert analysis and points of view on retail marketing and brand strategy have been featured in Brand Week, Fortune, AdAge, and The Financial Times. He is often invited to speak on topics related to application of consumer analytics and insights to drive business performance. Before joining EY, Holston held executive and operating committee roles at leading data, analytics, and digital professional services firms such as Accenture as well as top-50 global consumer brands including The Coca-Cola Company. He has been a board member of the Marketing Sciences Institute and is a Founding Advisory Board Member of Columbia University’s Center for Pricing and Revenue Management. He currently serves on the Presidential Advisory Board for Drexel University. Holston earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Marketing from Drexel University and a Master of Business Administration in Marketing and Operating Science from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.
Senior Managing Director, Americas Head of Consumer & Retail Sector
Rachel Rosenblatt is a managing director in the Strategic Communications segment of FTI Consulting, specializing in reputation management, crisis communications, corporate positioning, and communications training. She was recently named one of PR News’s “Top Women in PR” and is based in New York City. Rosenblatt provides strategic business and communications counsel, media relations, media training, presentation coaching, crisis management, corporate communications, and public relations expertise to her clients. She specializes in providing consulting services to retail and consumer companies that are looking to enhance their reputation, and implementing business and communications strategies on their behalf. She also regularly handles crisis communications and issues management for her clients, including serving as a spokesperson. Rosenblatt is also a founding member of the firm’s communications training team and has designed and implemented media, presentation, and investor relations training programs for multinational companies that have been executed around the world. As one of the firm’s senior trainers, she regularly coaches top executives in advance of media interviews, investor/analyst meetings, IPOs, and major presentations. Prior to joining FTI Consulting, Rosenblatt was a Director at Westhill Partners, a boutique consulting firm specializing in communications strategy. Rosenblatt serves on the Board of Directors for Youth INC, a New York City non-profit that serves local youth organizations. She is also a Director for the Stolen Chair Theatre Company, a not-for-profit laboratory theatre company. Additionally, Rosenblatt serves as a mentor through the Young Professionals Mentoring Program (YPMP), an organization for which she also serves as a Director. She is a part of TARA, a cohort of the Belizean Grove, which focuses on the next generation of global leaders. Rosenblatt graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology.
McKinsey & Company
Senior Partner, Global Retail and Consumer Packaged Goods Practices
Sajal Kohli is based in Chicago and leads McKinsey & Company’s global work in the retail and consumer-goods industries. In more than 25 years of management consulting, Kohli has counseled leading global retail and packaged-goods clients as they set growth strategies and face the challenges of both the changing international landscape and domestic-market shifts because of digitization, consolidation, and new entrants. He has served retail and consumer-goods clients across Asia, Canada, Europe, Latin America, and North America. He serves retail clients across multiple formats, including hypermarkets, pure ecommerce players, grocers, restaurant chains, department stores, and leading consumer-goods companies across food, consumer-electronics, personal-care, beauty, and other categories. Kohli focuses on working with senior leaders and their management teams to drive growth and commercial and operations transformations across both retail and consumer-goods companies. Over the last few years, he has been spending a lot of time with organizations on the potential and implications of tech enablement, including advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, and their implications on the future of work. Kohli has also led numerous private-equity due-diligence efforts, including conducting due diligences and improving business performance of portfolio companies. In addition, he serves leading real-estate investment trusts. Regardless of the scope or size of a project, Kohli makes capability-building a top priority, coaching executives on change management and ensuring that newly embedded solutions and approaches change ways of working and drive business performance. Before joining McKinsey, Kohli was an executive for a retail and consumer-goods company in Asia and Europe. He has had the privilege of keynoting at leading industry forums, such as for APAS Show, Consumer Brands Association (formerly, Grocery Manufacturers Association), The Food Marketing Institute, Google Retail Advisory Council, and National Retail Federation, among others. As a well-published thought leader, he has contributed to the recent McKinsey Global Institute report on the future of work, growth, and renewal in the United States and is leading McKinsey’s proprietary perspectives on the reformation of retail. As a global citizen who has lived and worked across continents, Kohli is also deeply invested in the power of foreign policy and is a trustee of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He earned his MBA from the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management.
National Consumer Markets leader
Bill leads Crowe's firm-wide Consumer Markets group, covering audit, tax, consulting, and advisory services for the firm. He specializes in the market segments of consumer branded products, retail, packaged food, and beverages. He assists organizations with leading-edge expertise and insights to manage change, navigate complexity, and unlock value for thriving in an ever-changing world. Watts has spoken at several national and international conferences on consumer markets, as well as published articles and thought leadership papers. He has worked with businesses of all sizes, from Fortune 500 to middle-market companies and private equity groups. Watts focuses his expertise in the areas of accounting and financial reporting, cybersecurity, merger and acquisitions, and business process outsourcing. He also leads Crowe's Consulting Accounting Advisory practice, and previously served as the firm’s Retail Leader and Partner in Charge of the National Internal Audit practice. Additionally, he has held leadership roles in enterprise risk management, corporate governance, and process optimization. Prior to Crowe, Watts held leadership positions in business risk services and retail at EY, Emerson Electric, and Deloitte.