Leadership Team

Ashan Ponnusamy


Born in Nigeria and later moving all around the world, Ashan Ponnusamy understands the meaning of embracing new cultures. He’s lived in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia. With the ability to quickly transition to a new environment, Ashan is comfortable exploring all parts of the world for work and on holiday.

While it’s obvious that he’s a keen global traveller, what may not be as apparent is Ashan’s love for outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing and beach going. He can be found doing all three with his wife and three adult children.

As a medical doctor, Ashan leads our Travel and Health Practices. His experience working for The Boston Consulting Group for six years and running his own consulting business for over ten years means Ashan has been exposed to it all. He’s best known for assisting clients in operational and business improvement, specifically in the air transportation, financial services, healthcare and manufacturing sectors.

Ashan’s entrepreneurial spirit also led him to start a limousine service business that still operates today.

Career snapshot

  • Airline: validated and improved an ideas pipeline of $150m (3.5%) in-year cost reduction initiatives. Highlighted key improvement levers of competitive advantage. Wired and coached fuel, labour and aircraft utilisation improvements worth $20m p.a. in four months.
  • Airline: operational turnaround of $250m (3%) in six months. Increased the achievement of preventative and reactive maintenance by more than 100%, reducing lost revenue and incremental cost.
  • Airline: increased customer coverage by 40%, while reducing costs by 15%. Designed new sales regions and structure, increased sales support and aligned channel costs with channel margins.
  • Airline: reduced budgeted cost of new airline reservations system by 40%, by outsourcing a $100m airline reservations system for a major international airline. Disaggregated value drivers to select an optimally efficient and functional provider in six months.
  • Airline: determined lowest TCO fleet unit for operator based on network design.
  • Airline: identified 10% cost reduction opportunities in airline maintenance. Reduced rework, improved warranty claims, and identified outsourcing opportunities.
  • Airport operations: identified 150 performance improvements in six months, with a forecast impact on EBITDA of 8%.
  • Banking and Finance: identified $200m of head office operational improvement initiatives for a regional Australian financial services provider.
  • Banking and Finance: designed and planned $200m p.a. of head office cost reduction initiatives for a major Australian bank.
  • Banking and Finance: developed a marketing plan (service, market and brand) for a $100m Asian market entry strategy for a major Australian retail bank.
  • Banking and Finance: built a Concept Development plan for a new $100m retail Australian financial services entrant.
  • Healthcare: designed and planned major operational improvement initiatives in a tertiary healthcare institution, identifying 10% in cost reduction opportunities.
  • Oil and Gas: delivered validation, delivery and sustainability of a $600m pipeline of ideas for a major Australian CSG producer, including embedding performance disciplines across the operating organisation. This included pipeline target setting and delivery acceleration (250% increase), cascading KPIs, modified processes, and improved performance reviews.
  • Oil and Gas: developed client training and programme framework for an operational improvement programme, targeting $500m for an Asian national oil company. The programme identified 20-30 areas of major change, working with a client team of 60 members.
  • Mining: developed strategy for an Australian metal miner, including evaluation of new ore deposits valued at $500m-$1bn revenue and smelter capacity expansion of $200m capital cost based on shareholder value-add. Included building forecast supply curve for commodity product, identifying competitive cost dynamics for incumbents, coupled with highly competitive price-setting by marginal producers.
  • Mining: designed and planned a cost reduction programme for mineral sands operator to achieve $60m EBIT improvement over two years.
  • Liquor Distribution: identified improved store segmentation, logistics inventory reduction, and $100m of cost reduction for a retail liquor company
  • Food and Beverage: conducted a beverage acquisition strategic due diligence of $150m for a Global Tier 1 FMCG brand.
  • Media: facilitated the transition planning for a $2bn Australian media company merger.
  • Manufacturing: designed and deployed a business improvement programme for a large Australian manufacturer, targeting 15% cost reduction.
  • Manufacturing: designed and planned 17% improved sales and operations departments for a major industrial building products manufacturer.
  • Manufacturing: developed a plan to reduce overhead cost by 15% in a US brick producer.


MBA from the University of New South Wales (Australian Graduate School of Management) and Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (M.B, B.S) from the University of Sydney.