Jay P. Desai

Advanced Management Program, Harvard Business School; Master of Business Administration, Willamette University; Master of Science in Biology, Purdue University; Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences, University of Mumbai.

Jay has 27 years of management consulting experience in India and since 1994 has built Universal Consulting (UC) with an initial investment of just INR 50,000 into an established Indian strategy consulting firm.  UC has conducted more than 915 strategy and operations consulting projects for 350 clients across Life Sciences, Medical Technology, Agribusiness & Food, Industrial Products and Financial Services.

Prior to founding UC twenty-three years ago, Jay worked with Arthur Andersen & Co (Andersen Consulting) in Mumbai from 1989 to 1994. 

He has completed the Advanced Management Program (AMP) from Harvard Business School, an MBA from Willamette University, an MS in Biology from Purdue University and a B.Sc. in Life Sciences from the University of Mumbai.  He has also attended several executive education programs over the years at Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan School, The Wharton School and INSEAD.

Triggered by the terror attacks in Mumbai in November 2008, Jay authored a book titled “Accountability:  Angst, Awareness, Action” on India's complex governance systems, using a systems-thinking lens.  As a result, Harvard University’s South Asia Initiative organized a ‘Best of Harvard in India’ roundtable series on “Accountability & Governance in 2012”.  Jay also recently spoke about accountability at a TEDx conference in Mumbai.

Jay P. Desai has conducted guest lectures at the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton School), University of Cambridge (Judge School), Vanderbilt University (Owen School) and Ashoka University (New Delhi). He has also spoken at many international conferences.  He was recently empaneled as a Facilitator at Harvard Business Publishing (Corporate Learning), a subsidiary of Harvard Business School.

His research interests centre around developing management insights from the fundamental principles of evolutionary biology and complex adaptive systems, to help inform the process of transformation in the Indian business ecosystem.

The 175 year-old Willamette University in Oregon, USA, recently conferred upon Jay the “Distinguished Alumni Citation Award” for 2017.

Jay is a student of Indian Classical Music and has been playing the Sarod (a string instrument) for more than 25 years and regularly performs at private concerts. He is also the first sarod player to have modified this ancient instrument, to allow it to be played while standing, and not sitting on the ground in the traditional pose. This allows for greatest sonic resonance, more freedom of movement and higher speed.