Global consulting firm ZS appoints Pratap Khedkar as CEO

02 August 2021 2 min. read
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Global consulting and technology firm ZS has named two-decade company veteran Pratap Khedkar as its new Chief Executive Officer. 

Pratap Khedkar has been with the consulting firm for twenty-one years, prior to the appointment serving as head of its global biopharmaceuticals and healthcare practices. Before that, he held several leadership positions, including heading the firm’s advanced data science group. 

A member of ZS’s board since 2012, Khedkar has advised numerous companies in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries on a wide range of sales and marketing issues, including market access and managed care, using AI for multichannel marketing, marketing mix, sales force strategy and incentive compensation. More recently, his work has focused on developing effective strategies and analytics for healthcare clients. 

Pratap Khedkar, Chief Executive Officer, ZS

The Indian-origin executive becomes the third CEO in ZS’ nearly 40-year history. Initially led by ZS founders Andris Zoltners and Prabhakant Sinha (two PhD classmates at the University of Massachusetts), the consultancy was most recently led by the American Chris Wright, who led ZS through a remarkable growth phase.

When Wright joined the firm in 1989, ZS was five years old with only 50 staff. Fast forward to today, and ZS has over 9,000 employees working from 28 offices globally. Having completed the maximum number of terms in the office, Wright is passing on the baton on a high, having led ZS to 30% growth in pandemic-stricken 2020. 

“Pratap is assuming this role at ZS during an exciting period of development and change,” said Wright. “The organisations we work with are increasingly turning to us to help them adapt and transform to the next significant upheavals in their industries. I’m optimistic that, with Pratap’s guidance, the finest days at ZS are yet ahead of us.”

As principal emeritus, Wright will be linked with ZS for the next five years, focusing on the initiatives he is most passionate about. “Chris has done a tremendous job during his tenure as CEO, and I’ll be leaning on his knowledge and guidance in the months and years ahead,” Khedkar said, who prior to ZS started his career at NASA.

Pratap Khedkar holds a PhD in artificial intelligence from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Technology degree in computer science from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.