Biography

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Arun M Kumar is a seasoned business leader who serves as Chairman & CEO of KPMG in India. In this capacity he leads a large organization of thousands of talented professionals constituting the second largest firm, in terms of employee strength, within KPMG globally.

Arun serves on KPMG’s Global Board. KPMG in India is engaged in serving the country’s largest companies and global corporations and funds who operate in India. Significantly, KPMG in India is engaged in every one of the Government of India’s priority development programmes and works with a number of Indian states in many areas of economic development, especially in enhancing investment and supporting urbanization.

Arun previously served in President Obama’s Administration as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service. As one of the United States’ senior commercial diplomats, leading a team of 1700 professionals in 78 countries and all the 50 states, he worked to promote U.S. exports, inward foreign direct investment and enhanced market access around the world. He was a key architect of the U.S.-India Strategic & Commercial Dialogue launched in 2015. Under his direction, the Commercial Diplomacy Institute was founded, housed in the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Prior to his nomination by President Obama, he served in KPMG LLP. Based in Silicon Valley, he served on the firm’s Board of Directors and led the firm’s Management Consulting practice in the West, serving high technology corporations globally. He also founded the firm’s U.S.-India practice.

Arun was born in Mavelikkara, Kerala. His parents were the late Mr B. Madhavan Nair, who retired from the India Meteorological Department, and Mrs Kamala Pandalai. They lived in Jawahar Nagar where Mr Nair was the founding father of Prathibha Poshini, a school for underprivileged students in Trivandrum. Arun lives with Poornima, his wife of almost 40 years, in Mumbai. They have two sons: Ashvin and Vikram. Ashvin is married to Melisa Shah and they have a son, Amartya Zaran.

After his schooling at Lawrence School, Lovedale, he graduated in Physics from University College, Trivandrum of the University of Kerala.

After working for 5 years with TAS (then known as the Tata Administrative Service), when he worked directly for Mr Ratan Tata, Arun went to MIT’s Sloan School of Management to earn a master’s in management in 1980.

Pursuing his interests in the advancement of his home state of Kerala, Arun co-edited “Kerala’s Economy: Crouching Tiger, Sacred Cows,” published in 2007.

He is the author of a book of poetry, “Plain Truths”, published in 2010.

Arun has served on advisory councils at Stanford University and the University of California, Santa Cruz. He was an early charter member of TiE, Silicon Valley and has served on its Board.