Sammy Kumar and Amit Singh appointed to Australia-India centre board

07 June 2023 3 min. read
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Consulting leaders Sammy Kumar and Amit Singh have been appointed to the inaugural board of the Centre for Australia-India Relations.

Appointed as CEO in March, former KPMG partner Tim Thomas will be joined at the Centre for Australia-India Relations (CAIR) by a pair of fellow consultants, with Sayers chief executive Sammy Kumar and Mandala managing partner Amit Singh among those named to its inaugural board.

The appointments coincided with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit, during which it was revealed the centre would be based in Parramatta.

Sammy Kumar and Amit Singh appointed to Australia-India centre board

“The centre will drive greater collaboration between our countries from its new Western Sydney base,” stated Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong in a press release, noting that the city was home to one the nation’s largest Indian communities. “It will work across government, industry, academia and the community to build greater understanding within the Australia-India relationship and support business to seize the opportunities of our economic partnership.”

A two-decade veteran of PwC, Sammy Kumar joined the Big Four firm’s former Australian boss Luke Sayers in co-founding his eponymous consultancy in 2020, taking on the CEO role for Sayers’ advisory and investment division. During his time at PwC, Kumar served as national consulting leader and managing partner for enterprise, strategy and transformation. Kumar is also on the board of the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne and Melbourne & Olympic Parks.

Amit Singh is the managing partner of recently-launched economic and policy strategy consultancy Mandala, which has been established by a team of former AlphaBeta leaders, the boutique advisory having been acquired by Accenture in 2020. Singh, who was in 2021 named among the country’s most influential young Asian-Australians, was with AlphaBeta and Accenture for three years, prior to which he was the global head of economic policy at Uber in the US.

Singh also spent several years serving federal Labor, both in government as a senior economic advisor during the Rudd-Gillard era and then as Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Policy for opposition leader Bill Shorten. While their paths may have diverged, Singh in his board role at CAIR is again set to work closely with former colleague Andrew Charlton, the one-time Rudd advisor and AlphaBeta founder who is now the federal member for Parramatta.

Meanwhile, the other members of the twelve-person advisory board, which is chaired by banking and finance executive Swati Dave, have been drawn from a broad cross-section of the community, including among others Australian cricketing legend Adam Gilchrist, former SA and NSW state opposition leaders Martin Hamilton-Smith and Jodi McKay, Indian-Australian film producer Mitu Bhowmick Lange, and Catriona Jackson, CEO of Universities Australia.

CAIR CEO Tim Thomas, who spent five years at KPMG before commencing his new role this month, said of the centre’s launch, “It feels like a new dawn beckons, underpinned by innovation in many parts of our complementary economies, disrupted global supply chains and services, and a familiarity and trust that comes naturally with deep people to people ties across all facets of life, and amplified through our large and vibrant Indian diaspora.”