It's not India’s decade; it's India’s century, according to McKinsey's Bob Sternfels

According to Bob Sternfels (CEO of McKinsey & Co.), India will be the future talent factory because it will have 20% or more of the global working population by 2047. According to the firm’s 13th global chief, it will be India’s decade and India’s century. India has all the key elements: a large working population; multinational companies reimagining global supply chain networks; and a country that leapfrogs at a digital scale in order to make something unique not only for its economy but for other countries.

McKinsey intends to make a “disproportionate” commitment to India, Sternfels stated. The firm’s global board will also be visiting the country in December. McKinsey currently employs 5,000 Indian workers, which he hopes to increase to 10,000. Sternfels speaks exclusively to ET’s Vinod Mahata about India, recent scandals at McKinsey and the state of the global economic, inflation woes and the threat from deglobalization. Here are edited excerpts


Despite some rough patches over the past two years, the Indian economy appears to have survived the pandemic quite well. What do you think India’s growth story will look like in the context of global economic activity slowing down?

Many have claimed that India’s decade is over. When we look at the raw ingredients, I think it’s India’s century. India is the future talent factory of the world. India will have 20% of the global working population by 2047. It has huge potential to be a manufacturing hub with its supply chain reimagined. The third is digitization. India has jumpedfrogbed on the digital scale. These are the raw materials needed to create something unique for not o.

Our global board is coming to India in December. We are making a significant commitment to India. There are currently about 5,000 Indians in India, both in India practice and in global centers. It’s my goal to reach 10,000. We have 40% of the population being women, but I would like to see that drop to 50%. In 2026, we will be 100 years old. My question is: What can India look like in 2026?


What was the performance of McKinsey India during the pandemic years


These great client references have supported our growth in India in double digits. When we look at our Indian partners’ performance globally, it is clear that our people processes are global. They are extremely successful. There’s an opportunity for India to not only be India’s decade, but also India’s century. How can McKinsey become a beacon for the rest? In terms of o., I believe client relationships are a great way to lead.

What are CEOs saying about the state and future of their companies?

I spoke to more than 500 CEOs over the last year, which was one of my favorite things I did in the past year. These CEOs want to be both offensive and defensive at the same time. Defensive measures… strengthen the balance sheet, increase efficiency and make sure the company is able to withstand shocks. They also said that my balance sheet is stronger than it was in any of the previous downs.



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