McKinsey names Rajat Dhawan new managing partner for India

31 July 2021 2 min. read
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Following a heated contest between a number of senior partners, McKinsey & Company has named twenty-four year company veteran Rajat Dhawan as its next Managing Partner for India.

Over the past two weeks, McKinsey’s senior global partners conducted interviews with more than 60 partners of the firm for the top job, late July narrowing down the list to a number of top candidates. According to sources close to the matter, it was a close race between India-based senior partners Alok Kshirsagar, Vivek Pandit and Rajat Dhawan, with the latter now elevated to the top role.

Dhawan succeeds Gautam Kumra, who was promoted to Chairman for Asia last month. He has large shoes to fill – under Kumra’s leadership, McKinsey’s operation in India grew to Rs 2,926 crore in revenues (according to a filing with the ministry of corporate affairs) and cemented its position as India’s leading strategy consulting firm. McKinsey operates with offices in Bengaluru, Chennai, Gurugram and Mumbai.

Kumra also played a key role in diversifying McKinsey’s services portfolio – in line with the firm’s global strategy – into new areas including restructuring, implementation, digital, data science, technology and design thinking.

New Delhi-based Dhawan is an expert in strategy, performance improvement and transformation, serving clients in the automotive, advanced manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, oil & gas, and basic materials sectors. Most recently, he led the Advanced Industries practice in Asia since 2017 and previously co-led the Operations practice in the region.

Commenting on his appointment, Dhawan said: “I am truly excited by the opportunity to take on the role of managing partner for McKinsey in India. I approach it in a tradition of servant-leadership with a focus on supporting our clients to achieve their goals and my colleagues to fulfill their potential,” he said.

“We have a significant role to play as a catalyst to help our clients achieve sustainable and inclusive growth that contributes to progress in India.”

On his main objectives, Dhawan stated, “I am committed to our commitment to redefining our profession by delivering holistic impact, doubling our rate of innovation, recommitting to apprenticeship and setting the standard for professionalism.”

Rajat Dhawan becomes the sixth managing partner to take the McKinsey India corner office since 1992, after Tinu Puri, Ranjit Pandit, Adil Zainulbhai, Noshir Kaka and Gautam Kumra.

Globally, McKinsey & Company has 30,000 employees and is led by Bob Sternfels, who took over from Kevin Sneader earlier this year.