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Khush Nariman

Expert PartnerHouston

Khush Nariman

Expert PartnerHouston

Helps clients in the energy, chemicals, and manufacturing industries as they address operational and organizational challenges, optimize their portfolio, and set new growth strategies

Khush leads our Downstream Operations and Strategy Practice, focusing on advisory support offered to clients in the oil & gas and chemicals sectors. Since joining McKinsey in 2000, he has worked with companies in a broad range of process-intensive industries, including energy, chemicals, and manufacturing.

In his work, Khush focuses on helping executives get the most out of their operations, organization, and portfolio management efforts. For energy companies in particular, he advises on setting successful refining strategies, improving their operational performance, understanding the potential of alternative energy, and making the best use of technology.

Examples of his recent work include:

  • leading operations improvement initiatives for the global refining system of a US oil major; the team improved optimization, throughput, energy management, procurement, maintenance services, and organizational alignment
  • developing a growth strategy for a global engineering, procurement and construction management firm by assessing supply and demand dynamics and growth trends in the refining and petrochemical markets
  • leading operations improvement initiatives for the worldwide assets of an international chemicals company, focusing on performance, capability building, and organizational health
  • improving the supply chain and procurement functions of a specialty chemicals manufacturer
  • developing a 10-year strategic outlook and business plan for the natural gas division of a national oil company
  • diagnosing performance gaps in the worldwide downstream lubricants businesses of a major integrated oil company

In order to better serve manufacturing clients, Khush was a lead author of McKinsey’s operating system design and implementation architecture, which offers a diagnostic and profit improvement methodology for continuous process manufacturing environments.

Before joining McKinsey, Khush spent 8 years at Mobil and ExxonMobil. During this time, he held various positions in technical support and planning across the refining, petrochemicals, lubricants, and catalysis businesses. In his last assignment, he was the planning manager for ExxonMobil’s synthetics division, the group responsible for synthetic lubricants, esters, and additives. Khush holds several refining and petrochemicals patents. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center, Houston.

Published work

Converting refineries to renewable fuels: No simple switch,” McKinsey & Company, June 2023

Past experience

Exxon Mobil
Planning Manager

Mobil Oil
Senior Staff Engineer


University of Delaware
Ph.D., chemical engineering

University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School
Diploma, business management