This is a profile image of Seelan Singham

Seelan Singham

Senior PartnerKuala Lumpur

Advises CEOs and senior leaders on large-scale transformations, leadership development, and major career transitions

Seelan has spent over three decades at McKinsey, working in our offices in North America, Australia, and Southeast Asia. As Chairman of McKinsey Malaysia and McKinsey Sri Lanka, he was responsible for establishing and growing those branches and has significant experience in the Middle East and Africa. He has held key leadership roles, including serving on McKinsey’s Partner Review Committee for seven years.

Seelan advises CEOs on large-scale transformations, leadership development, and major leadership transitions. He has counselled CEOs and public sector managers through major leadership inflection points including onboarding in their new roles, guiding them through extended tenures to ensure they leave an exceptional legacy, and transitions from their final full-time executive roles to the next phase of their lives.

In the public sector, Seelan advises policymakers and government leaders in emerging markets where he brings deep experience in delivering transformation across the public sector, state-owned enterprises, and sovereign wealth funds.

In the private sector, particularly in retail banking and consumer, Seelan has worked with senior leaders across Southeast Asia, Australia, and North America in a range of industries. This includes advising on topics such as organizational transformation, leadership development, and advanced analytics-led transformation.

Seelan is committed to championing and fostering the development of women’s talent in McKinsey Asia. He has provided guidance and sponsorship to over 50 female colleagues, assisting them in navigating their careers both within and beyond their time at the firm. In a personal capacity, he contributes to the advancement of women by supporting the oldest girls’ boarding school in Asia located in Sri Lanka’s conflict-affected Jaffna, having helped over 150 children at the school.

Seelan is also deeply passionate about education as a driver of social and economic progress. He has helped transform education systems, including crafting an education blueprint for 5.5 million children in an emerging market. Since 2009, he has been a core program sponsor of McKinsey Malaysia’s Youth Leadership Academy, contributing to the growth of over 700 high-potential Malaysians to date. Over the past decade, he has dedicated his time to supporting and advising the Dignity School in Malaysia, where he has played a vital role in the education of more than 2,000 refugee children. Driven by the desire to empower the next generation, Seelan actively serves as an advisor and counselor for young individuals globally, offering guidance in navigating life transitions, particularly in the areas of career and wealth.

Published work

The delivery challenge: A systematic approach to achieving breakthrough impact” McKinsey & Company, March 2015

Delivery 2.0: The new challenge for governments,” McKinsey, October 2012 (PDF–323 KB)

Jump-starting Malaysia’s growth: An interview with Idris Jala,” McKinsey Quarterly, October 2011

Improving performance at state-owned enterprises,” McKinsey Quarterly, May 2009

Past experience

ANZ Banking Group
Management consultant

Royal Bank of Canada
Management trainee


University of Melbourne
MBA | Rupert Murdoch Fellowship | 2nd Year at University of Chicago

University of Chicago, Booth School of Business
MBA (Year Abroad) in partnership with University of Melbourne’s MBA program

University of Toronto
BA, commerce & economics