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Kartik Jayaram

Senior PartnerNairobi

Focuses on sustainability and economic development

Kartik is a senior partner with our Nairobi office and leads the firm’s Sustainability Practice in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EEMA). Kartik previously led the Public & Social Sector Practice in EEMA, the North American Education Practice, and was managing partner of McKinsey in East Africa. He started his career at McKinsey in the United States in 2000, working in many countries around the world including the United Kingdom, China, France, and Malaysia, before moving to Kenya.

Kartik focuses on economic development and sustainability topics with countries and social sector organizations. Some recent examples include developing national economic development strategies for multiple countries; supporting foreign direct investment transactions; driving green manufacturing development in multiple sectors; and developing voluntary carbon markets.

He also helps companies drive growth by building new green and digital businesses. Recent examples include developing and launching a digital retail business; supporting a fintech along its growth journey; and setting up a new renewable energy fund.

Kartik has co-authored several acclaimed reports, including the Green Africa series, as well as articles about Africa’s economic growth opportunities, and China’s economic influence in Africa. These have been featured by various top-tier media outlets including BBC, Bloomberg, Economist, Financial Times, and others.

Outside of the firm, Kartik serves on the Advisory Council of the University of Chicago's Graham School. For several years, Kartik also chaired the Board of Generation Kenya, a non-profit dedicated to developing and providing career opportunities for youth.

Kartik earned a master’s in business administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He holds a master’s in operations research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology. He also taught business statistics at the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Published work

Spark & Sustain: How all of the world’s school systems can improve learning at scale,” McKinsey & Company, February 2024

Climate Transition Impact Framework: Essential elements for an equitable and inclusive transition,” McKinsey & Company, December 2023

Companies are broadening their commitments to nature beyond carbon,” McKinsey & Company, December 2023

Solving the climate finance equation for developing countries,” McKinsey & Company, December 2023

Reimagining economic growth in Africa: Turning diversity into opportunity, McKinsey & Company, June 2023

What climate-smart agriculture means for smallholder farmers,” McKinsey & Company, February 2023

Nature in the balance: What companies can do to restore natural capital,” McKinsey & Company, December 2022

Where the world’s largest companies stand on nature,” McKinsey & Company, September 2022

Green Africa: A growth and resilience agenda for the continent,” McKinsey & Company, October 2021

Africa’s green manufacturing crossroads: Choices for a low-carbon industrial future,” McKinsey & Company, September 2021

Safeguarding Africa’s food systems through and beyond the crisis,” McKinsey & Company, June 2020

Reopening and reimagining Africa,” McKinsey & Company, May 2020

The closest look yet at Chinese economic engagement in Africa,” McKinsey & Company, June 2017


University of Chicago

University of North Carolina

Indian Institute of Technology