Business Today

A balancing act

For Vivek Pandit, life is a constant balancing act.

Suman Layak | Print Edition: April 4, 2010

For Vivek Pandit, life is a constant balancing act. Born in the US and brought up there till he was 10, Pandit spent his formative years in India (11-17) at Doon School and Jamshedpur. He was off to the US for higher studies, but was back in India in 2005.

Though of Kashmiri lineage, Pandit's family struck roots in Orissa two centuries ago, and he speaks Oriya as well as Urdu and Hindi. His three children always spend a part of their birthdays at the Asha Sadan orphanage. And while he heads two verticals for McKinsey in India, he also advises the St. Jude's Cancer Care Centers, Indian Public Schools Society and the Union Ministry of Human Resources.

"McKinsey grants you the freedom to act as if there's nothing to lose, to practice resurrection. Therein lies the challenge—to take consulting from the realm of the probable to that of the possible; moving from success to significance," says Pandit. What about the top job at McKinsey? He says that the top job at McKinsey means the firm becomes your biggest client. While that is something he would take up someday, he feels he has much more to do in his current role.

Vivek Pandit, 40, Partner, McKinsey & Co.

  • EDUCATION: Dual Master's in Business and Engineering
  • EXPERIENCE: 10 years in McKinsey; Started and sold two technology companies before joining McKinsey. Was a team leader in the scientific staff at Bell Northern Research of Nortel in between.
  • 'AHA' MOMENT: Resurrection within McKinsey: Coming back to India was one such moment.
  • MANAGEMENT STYLE: Very inclusive & collaborative.

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