Top consulting firms helping government with covid-19 plans

22 July 2020

India’s government is very busy making Covid-19 response plans, helped along by a cohort of leading strategy consulting firms and the consulting divisions of the Big Four groups. While most work is paid, consultancies are also providing pro bono support. 

In the past month and a half, central and state governments have sought help from leading consulting firms to study Covid-19’s economic impact, and help with resource planning, economic modeling. Firms are drawing up exit strategies, stimulus packages, and suggesting sector-specific and macroeconomic revival schemes that might accelerate economic recovery. A roundup:

McKinsey & Company

McKinsey has been working closely with the central government since the start of the crisis. India’s central planning body NITI Aayog and the Ministry of Finance have both been consulting McKinsey for advice on resource & economy planning and forecasts. Similar support is being given to the Maharashtra government at the state level.

No doubt, the firm has offered global economic expertise, while also offering tech support at the state and regional level. McKinsey has developed a digital dashboard that enables coordination between several databases in various formats – a critical tool for crisis management. Most of this work is pro bono.

Boston Consulting Group (BCG)

BCG has been in the mix at the Central Health Ministry’s war room, while also supporting the state health ministry in Maharashtra. A spokesperson from the firm described the project as a “privilege,” stating, “we consider our responsibility towards society and nation-building as a core element of our purpose.”

Consulting firms help government with Covid-19 response

BCG was recently appointed to help the Karnataka government rearrange its regulatory and monetary framework to attract investors that are shifting away from China in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.


Kearney – formerly A.T. Kearney has been involved in the infrastructure development process in response to the crisis, although the firm declined to share details of their efforts due to “confidential nature of the information.”

Big Four

Consulting arms of the Big Four are stretching to offer support where they can.

EY, for instance, has repurposed its staff for crisis management, with teams spread across central bodies, state governments, and 210 districts across India. More than 15 central ministries are currently consulting EY teams, alongside 19 state governments.

National Leader for Government & Public Sector services at EY India Gaurav Taneja offered the Economic Times insight on the type of functions that EY staff is serving. “We are working with states on pandemic preparedness, central command centres, public distribution systems, police department deployments, health services related procurements, and in some cases like Haryana, even creating health related mobile apps and supporting decision making with data analytics.”

“We are working with state governments in ensuring the build out of logistics and supply chains, formulating strategies for a phased opening of industries and enabling the government in making decisions on an economic stimulus for businesses and industries,” he said.

KPMG is involved with nine state governments and a handful of central ministries for crisis management as well, with a specific focus on healthcare management and logistics. “Our teams are working tirelessly alongside government officials, practically around the clock, to manage the crisis,” said Elias George, partner & head of Infrastructure, Government & Healthcare at KPMG India.

Leveraging its strengths, Deloitte has been supporting five cities across India with digital and analytics support. Offering insights, partner at Deloitte India Arindam Guha said, “we have been supporting them in implementation of technology solutions, deployed for identifying high incidence areas on a real time basis, tracking people under quarantine and isolation, real time tracking of delivery of essential supplies in containment zones etc.”

All together

In May, a cohort of seven consultancies including PwC, KPMG, EY, Bain & Company, Primus Partners and Mirae Asset Management were brought on board by public-private partnership industry body Invest India to "create a strategy and ‘ready to implement’ plan of action for India’s economic revival by analysing quantitative and qualitative metrics across states, districts and sectors.”