Deloitte appoints Anand Shankar as new Lead for HR Transformation in India

10 April 2018

Global professional services firm Deloitte has bolstered its consulting practice in India with the appointment of Anand Shankar as a Partner and Leader of the firm’s HR Transformation segment. The University of Chicago alumnus has over two decades of experience as a consultant.

Deloitte has been on something of an expansion drive in India with respect to its consulting arm over the last year. The launch of Deloitte Digital in India earlier this year was a highlight in an extended period of increased activity, which included the poaching of more than 20 partners and their teams, comprising a total of over 350 professionals, from fellow Big Four firm KPMG.

The firm aims to establish the largest consulting practice in the country, and the latest cog in the machinery to this end is Anand Shankar, a well-established professional in the consulting industry. Shankar’s specialisation lies in HR strategy, leveraging over two decades of experience to help align organisational goals with individual ones.

Shankar’s story exemplifies a major shift in career path, wherein he began his professional career in hotel management but ended up as a human resources consultant. He obtained an advanced Mastership in hotel management from the Chennai-based Institute of Hotel Management Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition.

Anand Shankar, Lead for HR Transformation - Deloitte

He spent the first seven years of his professional life at the Taj Group of Hotels; the second largest hotel chain in India, and eventually ascended to the position of Food & Beverage Manager. His first step outside of the hospitality industry was into the retail sector, taking up the position of Manager for Retail Store Operations at Littlewoods.

In the consulting space, Shankar has spent two lengthy spells at Aon in different verticals, separated by a two-year stint as Group Director for Corporate Development at Talent2 International. During his first spell at Aon, Shankar worked for more than a decade as a Regional Manager for Client Development in the Asia Pacific region at the firm’s Hewitt Associates arm.

In his second spell at the firm, he began as Chief Commercial officer (CCO) for the Asia Pacific region, and ended up as the Global CCO over his eight years at the firm. Alongside his CCO position, he successively held the positions of CEO for India and Practice Leader for the consulting segment. Shankar also completed the Aon Pinacle Executive Development program from the Booth School of Business, University of Chicago.

Shankar was a self-employed contractor as of September last year, and has now been appointed a Partner at Deloitte and the Leader for the firm’s HR Transformation practice. He will relocate from Singapore (where he was based with Aon) to Bengaluru, where he will report to Partner & Human Capital Leader, Gaurav Lahiri.

Commenting on his new role, Shankar said, “I am super excited to be a part of Deloitte Consulting in India. The firm has a tremendous track record and great talent at all levels in all areas. We are at the cusp of a major digital transformation in India and Deloitte amongst all firms is best positioned to help our clients and their people succeed together.”


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PwC appoints Padmaja Alaganandan as new Chief People Officer in India

19 April 2019

Global professional services firm PwC has appointed a new Chief People Officer (CPO) for its India practice. The firm’s Technology Lead Padmaja Alaganandan, who has been with PwC for a continuous spell of eight years since 2011, will take over from incumbent CPO Jagjit Singh.

Having graduated from the Indian Institute of Management, Alaganandan began her professional career at PwC in 2000. She joined Strategy&’s Change Consulting Practice, where she worked for three years and eventually rose to the rank of Principal Consultant before moving to Mercer in 2005.

At Mercer, she began as a Principal Consultant for Human Capital and made her way up to the position of Business Leader for Human Capital at Mercer Consulting. She rejoined PwC in 2011, and has been a Partner at the firm in addition to leading the firm’s Technology and Advisory segments.

PwC appoints Padmaja Alaganandan as new Chief People Officer in India

Her role as CPO at PwC is informed by her previous experience as a Leader of PwC’s People and Organisation Consulting practice. She takes the helm of PwC’s people management activities at a time when talent management and development is increasingly crucial in firms across India.

As firms across the country begin to digitalise, there is not only the demand to foster an environment and spirit of innovation amongst the country’s business environment, but also to equip professionals with the skills required to work in collaboration with machines and technology.

Major professional services firms such as PwC are under particular pressure to live up to these changes, given their role in facilitating the digital transformation of their clients’ organisation, which extends to the development of skills amongst their workforce.

Alaganandan has expressed the importance of fostering an enabling environment within PwC as well, specifying that “:Building a wellbalanced and inclusive workforce is key to our business. She takes over the role of CPO from Jagjit Singh, who has held the position for nearly five years now.