Business Today

Restless spirit

twitter-logo Anand Adhikari        Print Edition: May 15, 2011

His professors at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi were disappointed when he opted to study management. But Renny Thomas goes where his passion dictates.

In school, his goal was to get into an IIT. At IIT Delhi, he decided that being a plain engineer was not for him. A gold medal later, he headed for the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. "I leaned towards corporate finance and financial services," says Thomas. In 1998, after B-school, he decided to join a consultancy rather than an investment bank or multinational. In fact, he had no clue about McKinsey till his second year.

"McKinsey offered a varied experence," says Thomas, who has worked in steel and chemicals plants, and also been in hospitality and fast-moving consumer goods. "I began to gravitate towards financial services around 2002," says Thomas. In the next four years, he did stints in Australia, and in West and South East Asia. He also led McKinsey's lean banking programme for better efficiency and productivity in the services sector. "The product was a little ahead of its time," he says, referring to its requirement after the 2008 financial meltdown.

Thomas rose to become a partner in 2006. He loves the travel that comes with the job, and has already visited over three dozen countries. "Next could be South America," hints this football lover. This will be a family outing, he promises (his son is just one-anda-half now). Oh, Brazil will host the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Renny Thomas, 37,
Partner, McKinsey & Co.
Been there: Has worked with clients across North America, Europe and Asia. Leads the corporate finance and strategy practice in India
Done that: High point was in 2006 when he became a partner
Anecdote: Once, at a steel plant, he had to interact with employees almost 30 metres under the ground. "It was an unbelievably steep learning curve," recalls Thomas.
Fitness: Loves football, but no treadmills please

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