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Corporate Leadership

Aditya Sharma

(PGP 2011)

Partner at McKinsey

  • Aditya Sharma is currently leading the Asia Banking Analytics practice. He previously led India’s Financial Services and Strategy & Corporate Finance practices.
  • He was nominated for Forbes 30 under 30 from India in 2018.
  • He is one of the Youngest Partners across leading Professional Services Firms and among the first awardees in professional services in India. He has 8+ publications, including McKinsey’s seminal three-volume report on Indian banking and Op-Ed articles.
  • He has helped Indian financial institutions to develop a model that simplified access to credit, strengthened financial inclusion, and supported growth in small businesses, in Tier 2, 3 & 4 locations and industrialised analytics across more than 100 use cases at a leading Asian bank.
  • He was a core part of the ACT Grants initiative supporting multiple COVID-relief initiatives across India in 2021 and collaborated with a large Indian bank to launch at-scale nationwide digital servicing journeys during the pandemic to support customers in getting remote service without going to the branches.
  • He collaborated with IIM-A faculty and alums to develop a 5-year vision and blueprint to enhance institutes’ pre-eminence in management education and support developing the next generation of talent.
  • He always followed his passion for learning and exploring, even against conventional wisdom. Explored 10+ sectors/functions in consulting – each time learning and unlearning and evolving professionally. He continues to follow his hobbies and interests while focusing on excelling in his professional aspirations.


What does this award mean to you?


It means a lot. It’s a real privilege and honour to get this award from IIMA. I was delighted when I heard the news. Being recognized by the illustrious pool of IIMA alumni is truly very special.


You did your summer internships with McKinsey. It’s been 12 years; why do you think you’ve stuck around so long in the same organisation?


You can say it’s unusual. We recently met up as a batch and we were just counting how many are still in the organisation and we can only count a handful. I don’t think I thought so far ahead. When you are sitting in the summer process, or when you sort of accept the offer as you pass out. You just sort of are excited to kickstart your career and the institute provides a great launch pad. Over the last 12 years honestly, I stayed at McKinsey because it’s a truly special unique place. Something that I found that I belong in. Over the years, I have had the opportunities to learn and deliver impact to clients and communities, I have had exposure to multiple sectors and geographies and worked with incredible people. I would say I had the opportunity to chart my path, what we call ‘make your own McKinsey’. I think that it’s this combination, which has just kept me at the firm.


Your growth in the firm has been dizzying, you are a Partner at McKinsey and leading their banking analytics practice. You were named in the Forbes India, 30 under 30. What do you think that you did right?


You can’t plan these things. I wish I had a clear answer there, A led to B and B led to C. Some of it involves being in the right place at the right time, a lot of good fortune, and a lot of support and help from others. I think what you can do is just always do the best because your reputation and your relationships compound over time. You can never be like, this is just so small, how will this make a difference? When you excel at something it opens new doors.


Secondly, it is to back yourself–don’t not to hesitate to take chances. For example, sometimes against conventional wisdom, you take a few big bets and that sort of puts you on an accelerated trajectory. For me, that was moving geography. So very early on, I spent a year in Southeast Asia as an associate. As the engagement manager, I moved to the US in the New York office where, being the banking practice, the safer route would have been to get those promotions but I moved when I was in the running for some of those because it was exciting to do, I did it. I jumped onto the analytics bandwagon in 2016-17, when it was still nascent, and sort of shaping the firm’s approach towards it working with some of our global leaders. And those were bets, I could not have seen how it would play out. But those were exciting. And so that’s why I’m just glad it worked out. I did what I liked, and it fortunately worked out.


You contributed to the seminal report on Indian Banking. What are the 2-3 areas that Indian banking needs to focus on according to you?


If I just take a holistic view, the Indian banking sector’s fundamentals are quite strong. Over the last few years, it’s delivered high shareholder value, high profits, high ROIs on the back of increasing credit demand and sort of relatively controlled credit costs, as well as increased digitisation. However, there are challenges around the effectiveness of financial inclusion as a sector. I think the challenge is now around margins. So the margins are getting squeezed a bit. Banks are wondering how to maintain the next phase of growth. I think, to your question on what do they need to do? I think there were some urgent fixes which are in place from a sectoral perspective. You have the overall NPS under much better control and so on. Banks have to balance two things– one is to maintain performance, which needs to also be inclusive and sustainable. The foundation layer for banks is data and technology. A few hours of outage and a data leak in cybersecurity can just throw the bank’s operations or the trust of customers.


What are your aspirations or goals, in your personal or professional life?


It’s such a tough one to answer because there are so many things one would want to do. If I think of it, to me, it revolves around friends, family, and health. To me, the people around me are very important– loved ones, family and friends– to spend time with them and experience new things. The aspiration is to do more and more of it, and I am now a father. So we are looking forward to the journey, as a young family. I like a lot of outdoor activities, sports, and travelling. It’s self-serving to try and aspire to be healthy. Professionally, there could be many paths, who has a crystal ball to look to in the future? But if I had to step back and think, at a holistic level, I aspire to be an impact multiplier. What I mean by that is to be able to build something or to be able to deliver or drive change at a scale which is much beyond myself, much beyond my capacity, and something that outlasts me.

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