A diverse group of dynamic individuals that have been together for more than 15 years forms the partner group at UC. They bring sophisticated analytical rigor, collaborative working style and a reservoir of first-hand knowledge on every engagement. Their pragmatic approach and years of experience helps in providing clients with strategic direction, actionable insights and sustainable results.
Jay P Desai - Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Jay P Desai is the Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Universal Consulting India Pvt Ltd. Jay has more than 22 years of management consulting experience and since 1994, has built Universal Consulting into one of the largest boutique strategy consulting firms in India.
The Firm has a team of more than 60 people, with offices in Mumbai, New Delhi and Chennai. The Firm has conducted 740 cases for 285 clients across the manufacturing and service sectors, in industry verticals as diverse as Life Sciences, Healthcare, Industrial Products, Automotive, Capital Goods, Construction & Building Materials, Consumer Products, Financial Services and Rural Markets.
Prior to founding Universal Consulting with seed capital of just Rs 50,000, Jay worked with Accenture in Mumbai, from 1989 to 1994. He holds the AMP degree from The Harvard Business School, an MBA from Willamette University, an MS in Biology from Purdue University and a BSc in Life Sciences from the University of Mumbai. He has also attended a number of executive education programs at The Wharton School, INSEAD and the Harvard Business School.
Jay recently authored a book titled "Accountability: Angst, Awareness, Action", on India's governance systems, which was published by Pearson and released in March 2012. Based on this book, Harvard University (South Asia Initiative) organised a ‘Best of Harvard in India’ round table discussion on “Accountability & Governance” in July 2012 in New Delhi. Jay is a lecturer at The Wharton School on the Indian Healthcare System for the MBA class and at the University of Cambridge, on Accountability, based on a year-long research project that he directed. He has also spoken at many international conferences like the FICCI Global Indian Business Meeting 2009 in Munich, the Biotechnology Industry Organisation’s BIO 2009 in Atlanta, and Business Week in Kuala Lumpur and New Delhi.
Jay’s research interests are in the application of lessons from evolutionary biology and complexity science, to business strategy. Jay is an active student of Indian Classical Music, and has been playing the Sarod, for more than 20 years. Jay is also the first sarod player to have re-engineered this ancient and traditional Indian classical instrument, to allow it to be played while standing, and not sitting on the ground, in the traditional pose. This new method, allows for greatest sonic resonance, more freedom of movement and higher speed. He lives in Mumbai with his wife, Madhavi and son, Arjun.
Jagat Parikh - Partner, COO & Founding Director
Jagat joined UC in 1995 and has significant experience in the manufacturing and service sectors. Jagat has led and successfully concluded cases in the area of strategy definition, business plans and operations. He has advised clients in diverse sectors like Logistics, Construction, Energy, Industrial Products, Chemicals, Metals, Pharmaceuticals and Retail.
After graduating as a Bachelor of Engineering from DY Patil College, University of Pune, he completed a programme on Innovative Practices in Manufacturing Management at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. Jagat attended an Executive Program on "Stanford University, Graduate School of Business - Innovative Strategies for a Dynamic Economy, Mumbai" He has also attended the Leading Professional Service Firms program at the Harvard Business School.
In addition to being a Partner and Founding Director, Jagat also plays a role of Chief Operating Officer at UC and heads the Industrial Products practice. Jagat has a keen interest in engineering and scientific endeavours, which provide solutions to infrastructure and other development issues challenging India and other developing worlds like water and energy security.
A passionate cricketer, Jagat also loves to play the tabla. He lives in Mumbai with his wife Nehal and son Aarav.
Ryan Albuquerque - Partner & Founding Director
Ryan joined UC in 1994 and has led, and successfully concluded cases in the areas of strategy definition, business plans and operations. He has advised clients in diverse sectors including Telecommunications, Pharmaceuticals, Healthcare, Logistics, Financial services and FMCG sectors.
After graduating as a Bachelor of Arts from Mumbai University, he completed his PGDBM from Xavier's Institute of Management. Ryan then went on to do an MBA from Melbourne Business School, University of Melbourne. He has also attended the Leading Professional Service Firms program at the Harvard Business School.
Ryan is an avid reader of Literature, Economics and History. Ryan is keenly interested in developing out of the box solutions to challenges surrounding traffic, healthcare and education.
Ryan likes golf and soccer and he lives in Mumbai with his wife Iris and son Adam.
Samir Sathe - Partner & Founding Director
Samir joined UC in 1996 and has significant experience in the manufacturing and service sector. Samir heads our New Delhi office. He has led, and successfully concluded cases in the areas of strategy and operations. He has advised clients in diverse sectors including Financial Services, Life Sciences, Private Equity, Automotive, Retail Goods Industry, Industrial Equipments, Rural and Non – Profit organisations.
He is a graduate in Bachelors of Commerce from the Mumbai University. Samir has attended an Executive Program on "Stanford University, Graduate School of Business - Innovative Strategies for a Dynamic Economy, Mumbai" He has also attended the Leading Professional Service Firms program at the Harvard Business School.
A highly talented individual, Samir is an active student of Indian Classical Music. He plays the sitar, tabla and renders vocal performances. Besides, Samir is an active student of art of drawing and painting. Samir represented the Mumbai Under-15 Cricket team and opened the innings with the legendary Sachin Tendulkar in the inter state level professional cricket tournament.
He lives in Delhi with his wife Sanjeevani and daughter Soumya
Shankar Rajesh- Partner & Founding Director
Shankar joined UC in 1994 and has led, and successfully concluded cases in the areas of strategy and operations. He has advised clients in diverse sectors including Pharmaceuticals, Biotech, Healthcare, Agrochemicals, Telecommunications and Paper manufacturing.
After graduating as a Bachelor of Commerce from Mumbai University, he secured a Diploma in Computer Science. Shankar has attended an Executive Program "Stanford University, Graduate School of Business - Innovative Strategies for a Dynamic Economy, Mumbai". He has also attended the Leading Professional Service Firms program at the Harvard Business School.
Shankar is an avid reader of Literature, Economics and History. Shankar is keenly interested in developing insights from world history including the conquests of Alexander and the rise and fall of the Spanish Empire.
A passionate Kanga League cricketer, Shankar often turns out on weekends to represent his club in the local leagues. Shankar has a deep and insightful knowledge of world history. He lives in Mumbai with his wife Prabha and son Krish.
“Our relationship with Universal Consulting has deepened significantly in the last 12 months. The team brings to bear a unique combination of industry knowledge, insightful thinking, ability to go deep on an industry, and capability to deliver actionable recommendations. For this I commend UC.”
Rustom J Desai,
“It has been an immense pleasure working with your extremely professional team; they are the best I have ever seen in my professional life time, believe me I have seen other top strategy consulting firms…but these guys are through, simple and excellent (and no they have not paid me to say so). I will always recommend your good company to anyone who asks me so.”
"We have extensively used Universal Consulting in many strategic assignments and always found their input and their recommendations to be of very high order both in terms of quality as well as in terms of pragmatism."
“Bunge started with a project for an Entry strategy and action plan into a new business segment in India. The work done by Universal Consulting was exhaustive, detailed and most importantly provided insight into where and how to invest as also the required scale to be cost competitive. The team worked as an extended arm of Bunge with a quick response time, 24 x7 and an attitude of “Whatever it takes”. As Bunge, we were delighted with the performance of Universal Consulting and have worked with them for three other projects since. They continue to deliver high quality with commitment and are cost effective.”
“The dedication, devotion, sincerity and diligence displayed by the Universal Consulting team have brought in a spirit of enthusiasm and challenge among the staff.”
“We engaged Universal Consulting for a market landscape and assessment initiative as well as development of an implementation plan. Our expectations of the deliverables were quite high having worked previously with numerous strategy consulting firms. UC more than surpassed our expectations as they provided detailed insights on facets of the market(s) that we had neglected to appreciate.
The firm’s strength resides in their ability to interpret our ideas; develop a thorough project scope; and synthesize complex primary and secondary data. As future projects arise, we will consider working with Universal as our strategy partner.”
“The report covered all the areas, defined scope, and brings out clear recommendations for growth as well as areas where our Company should not venture into, given its core strengths. Kindly convey our appreciation to the members of the team who worked on the report with diligence.”
“Universal Consulting demonstrated very strong analytical work and had solid backup for data presented and techniques used. They had a good understanding of the bottlenecks in our organization and how to manage them. The team made good presentations and had a convincing style.”
“Wolverine World Wide engaged Universal Consulting to assist in developing a growth strategy for India for seven WWW footwear brands. The 5-module approach that UC used to conduct this engagement provided us with excellent customer, competitor, potential partner and retail assessments in a very understandable format. Information provided was based on both ‘desk research’ and ‘in the field research’. UC performance exceeded our expectations."
"Universal's approach to strategic consulting is grounded in reality; they do not talk down to you from a different domain. Their desire to continually engage you as a client helps in making their advice more implementable."