This is a profile image of Akira Sugahara

Akira Sugahara

Senior Partner, Tokyo

Collaborates with clients in consumer-facing industries to improve product-innovation processes as well as sales-force and marketing effectiveness.


Akira serves healthcare and consumer-goods companies and provides expertise in the areas of marketing strategy, new-product and business launches, and organization redesign.

His recent engagements in the pharmaceutical sector included helping design and pilot the sales-force strategy for the Japanese subsidiary of a major European pharmaceutical company. He also supported the integration of sales and marketing operations for two of the largest global pharmaceutical companies that operate in Japan.

In the consumer packaged goods space, Akira recently guided a large-scale market research effort to help a large US beverage company develop and launch a coffee product aimed at meeting the unique tastes of the tea-loving Asian consumer. As a complement to his work in beverages, he also designed a new sales channel for one of Japan’s largest confectionery manufacturers, allowing it to regain its market position after encroachment by national chain retailers.

Akira joins other McKinsey colleagues in ongoing research efforts to help Japan’s government and healthcare providers reform and adequately fund the country’s healthcare services and systems.

Published work

Change in the Japanese pharmaceutical market: Cradle of innovation or grave of corporate profits?,” McKinsey & Company, August 2018


Kyoto University

Kyoto University