Srinath Rengarajan is a Senior Automotive Research Specialist and Research Lead for the Climate & Sustainability Initiative at the Oliver Wyman Forum, based in the firm’s Munich office.
Srinath grew up with a deep passion for automobiles. “I remember cutting out pictures of sport cars from auto magazines, pasting them in scrap books, and filling pages doodling my own amateur designs,” he says. For people who knew him, it was unsurprising that he went on to pursue his master’s degree in automotive engineering. In this time, he was already engaging in various projects on electric vehicles and sustainable urban mobility concepts.
After graduating, Srinath joined the strategy team of a leading multinational automaker. It was during this time that the global automotive industry was rocked by the emission scandal in 2015. Not only were serious questions raised against the prevalent practices of established automakers, but also about the industry’s lack of intent in addressing its carbon footprint and the consequences on climate change. This provided a much-needed impetus to climate and sustainability commitments from automakers, but it wasn’t enough for Srinath. He liked his job, but it was simply limited to one company, one industry segment, and select geographies.
I sought the chance to engage with a much broader range of stakeholders to drive decarbonization and sustainable mobility solutions against a blurring industry landscape.
This desire led him to a role in the research team at Oliver Wyman’s Automotive practice, where he has established himself as one of the leading in-house experts on zero emission vehicles and related topics. Working with the global automotive practice and supporting projects and discussions with various clients globally has re-emphasized his conviction.
For automakers, it's not only about complying with emission regulations and providing lip service to sustainability efforts, Srinath notes. "Society is holding them accountable and they have to fundamentally adapt, or risk being left behind."
There is no looking back. Automotive companies need to act decisively, not only to sell cleaner vehicles, but also rejig their entire business and operating models.
In addition to his work with clients in the automotive sector, Srinath has been actively sharing these views on decarbonizing transport as a speaker at international conferences, authoring articles, and in media publications. When the chance presented itself for him to support the Climate & Sustainability Initiative at the Oliver Wyman Forum, he jumped at it. “Leading and coordinating the research for climate and sustainability topics at the Oliver Wyman Forum broadens my own horizons, and also offers a chance to create breakthrough impact in an industry-agnostic fashion,” he explains.
Beyond his work at Oliver Wyman, Srinath is also an Executive Committee member at the Indo-German Young Leaders Forum, an organization providing a bilateral exchange platform for the brightest young minds from India and Germany, focusing on a variety of topics not limited to climate and sustainability. Further, he is also pursuing a PhD in Strategy and Management.