RedSeer founder Anil Kumar lauded in Fortune India’s 40 Under 40

07 September 2021 3 min. read
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Anil Kumar, the founder of homegrown Indian management consulting firm RedSeer, has been named one of India’s top young entrepreneurs by business magazine Fortune. 

Fortune India’s 40 Under 40 list is an annual listing that presents the country’s top (still relatively young leaders) from all segments of business – entrepreneurs, executives at corporate, scale-up founders and government leaders. The list includes a host of well-known names, with Anil Kumar among those recognised in 2021 and the year’s sole consulting industry representative. 

39-year-old Kumar founded RedSeer in 2009, having previously spend three years at Zinnov Management Consulting. Turning down an offer from offer from a major global consultancy, a dream job of sorts, Kumar believed that he was better off navigating the wilderness than being a caged bird. A bold move at the time, with the economy in a dip against the backdrop of the global financial crisis. 

RedSeer founder Anil Kumar lauded in Fortune India’s 40 Under 40

His aim was clear: to build a homegrown research and consulting rival to the large global consultancies such as the Big Four and the tier-one strategy houses including McKinsey, BCG, Bain and Strategy&. Following a bumpy start to the adventure (“We couldn’t afford to give our employees laptops,” he said in discussion with Forbes), RedSeer has over the past twelve years grown into one of the country’s leading consultancies.

Today RedSeer employs a team of around 200 consultants, researchers and staff, working for some of the country’s major brands. The firm’s sweet spot however is the startups and venture capital space – a landscape which often have too small project sizes for the large powerhouses, enabling RedSeer to command the segment. 

RedSeer offers its client strategic consulting services, backed by actionable insights. “We sit on tomes of data, based on primary research including market size, market share, net promoter score and competitive intelligence,” said Kumar. The firm owes its knowledge database to proprietary research complemented by an elaborate data collection mechanism encompassing tele calling, mystery shopping, web crawling, and more.

“Problems which we have solved for clients and the big management consulting firms is the exact skillset we are leveraging to solve the problems of the startup world. In a data-deficient market, we give hard-to-find insights and competitive intelligence,” explained Kumar. 

On the back of its successful business model, RedSeer last year clocked about Rs 80 crore in revenue, nearly double the fee income generated the year previous (despite the pandemic-induced downturn). Margins hover around 30-40 percent, meaning the consulting firm is profitable. 

A growing share of its revenues is now generated abroad. RedSeer has expanded operations to the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and last September, it entered into a revenue-sharing partnership with OC&C Strategy Consultants, one of the globe’s largest still pure-play strategy houses.

Kumar himself has led engagements in the internet, private equity, retail, consumer goods and healthcare sectors, among others. He has also worked with government and semi-government bodies in drafting policy frameworks across these sectors for various (foreign) officials. He specialises however in the digital economy, helping funds and new age companies with growth strategies and investment decisions. 

Commenting on his recognition, Kumar said, “I am honoured to be part of the list. This one is for team RedSeer.”