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Chandra Gnanasambandam

Senior Partner, Silicon Valley
Helps high-tech companies transform performance by setting business, product, and go-to-market strategies that create sustainable value

About Chandra

Chandra leads Fuel, a group dedicated to helping start-ups, their investors, and corporate innovators lead the next wave of disruptive innovation in their industries. He serves a broad range of technology clients across software and hardware, with a primary focus on software companies. He previously led the firm’s software work in North America and was a founding partner of McKinsey’s Bangalore office.

Chandra assists some of the world’s leading technology companies with large-scale transformations and has a record of helping his clients achieve significant growth in their market capitalization. He brings deep expertise in product management and engineering.

Examples of his recent client work include the following:

  • helping a leading software company transform its product architecture and engineering practices from on premise to public cloud
  • leading one of the world’s largest B2B go-to-market transformations for a leading cloud company, resulting in market-beating bookings growth
  • crafting a leading hardware company’s strategy to enter and win in the edge-computing market


In addition to his client work, Chandra is deeply interested in the impact of technology trends on global business practices and speaks frequently on the topic at conferences and panels across North America.


TiEcon 2014: Cloud infrastructure: Leading technological trends in cloud orchestration,” panel discussion about the standards and technologies emerging to address the paradigm shift in cloud infrastructure, June 2014

McKinsey & Company's Chandra Gnanasambandam on retail and the new consumer experience,” speech delivered at the TN Retail Conference of the Confederation of Indian Industry, August 2012

Published work

Hardware’s business-model shift: Finding a new path forward,” McKinsey & Company, March 2021

Transforming infrastructure operations for a hybrid-cloud world,” McKinsey & Company, October 2019

The product management talent dilemma,” McKinsey & Company, November 2018

New demand, new markets: What edge computing means for hardware companies,” McKinsey & Company, November 2018

Reimagining software services for the cloud and the digital world,” McKinsey & Company, February 2018

Grow fast or die slow: The role of profitability in sustainable growth,” McKinsey & Company, October 2017

Innovation Is as Much About Finding Partners as Building Products,” Harvard Business Review, July 2017

A machine-learning approach to venture capital,” McKinsey Quarterly, June 2017

An executive’s guide to software development,” McKinsey & Company, February 2017

The perils of ignoring software development,” McKinsey Quarterly, February 2015

From box to cloud: An approach for software development executives,” McKinsey & Company, January 2015 (PDF–690 KB)

Next-generation IT infrastructure,” McKinsey & Company, April 2014

Online and upcoming: the Internet's impact on India,” McKinsey & Company, December 2012 (PDF–2.52 MB)

Past experience

BEA Systems
Senior director, global accounts

Sun Microsystems
Java architect


Georgia Institute of Technology
MS, engineering

University of Saskatchewan
MS, engineering