Chhophyel, commenting on my previous post: “OL, I am glad that McKinsey’s proposal to liberalize tourist tariff is finally out the window.”
McKinsey and Company is charging the government 9.1 million dollars in consulting fees. Add to that travel, living, per diem and other expenses, and the final tab, by some estimates, could exceed 14 million dollars! That’s a lot of money.
So it’s amazing that we must feel a sense of relief every time their proposals get shot down. Their first proposal to go was about increasing annual tourist arrivals to 250,000. Then it was tourist tariff liberalization. Now their proposal to mandate all hotels catering to tourists to upgrade to at least a 3 Star category is already coming under attack.
True, McKinsey are only consultants. Their job is to recommend. And it’s up to the government whether or not to accept those recommendations.
But who are these consultants? It turns out that McKinsey’s first consultant for tourism was Namrita Khandelwal, who worked with the TCB for six months. I googled “Namrita Khandelwal”, and the only relevant results I got were Ms Khandelwal’s own entries on Facebook and Linkedln.
Namrita Khandelwal, it turns out, is barely 28 years old. She got a bachelors degree in economics in 2001, completed her MBA in 2003, and studied for an MPA from 2006 to 2008.
So Ms Khandelwal graduated in 2008. And by the next year, in 2009, she was in Bhutan, at the TCB, as a McKinsey consultant, recommending policy.
Now I have nothing against Ms Khandelwal. But I’m left wondering why McKinsey would have allowed a recent college graduate to represent them in Bhutan. And, more importantly, left wondering how our government could have accepted Namrita Khandelwal.