Jay P Desai

Founder & Managing Director

Jay P Desai

Jay Desai has 31 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. Jay has overseen more than 985 strategy and operations consulting projects for 350 clients across Life Sciences, MedTech, Agribusiness & Food, Industrials and Financial Services.

Prior to founding UC twenty-five 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 Desai 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 Desai also spoke about accountability at a TEDx conference in Mumbai.

Jay 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 center 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 Desai the “Distinguished Alumni Citation Award”  The Distinguished Alumni Citation recognizes Willamette graduates who, in professional achievement and service to their communities, represent the university in an exemplary manner by embodying its highest ideals as exemplified in its motto “Not Unto Ourselves Alone Are We Born.

Jay Desai 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.