By Alys Francis
Melbourne University’s Asialink has nabbed Mukund Narayanamurti to head its Business division – steering the centre’s efforts to help Australian businesses build Asia capabilities in their workforce, and improve the country’s engagement with Asia.
“Mukund brings a deep background in working with Asia, extensive commercial experience across a range of industries, a comprehensive understanding of the university sector, and strong leadership skills,” Asialink said in a statement announcing the new appointment.
Asialink itself was founded back in 1990 when Australia’s political class first saw glimmers of potential in engaging with Asia more seriously.
Based out of the University of Melbourne, with funding from the government and the philanthropic Myer Foundation, the centre developed programs in education, the arts, business and community awareness. It conducted research, organised high-level public events, forums, and cultural exchanges, built leadership networks and advocated for the study of Asia and Asian languages in schools.
The centre received government funding to expand its business capabilities in July 2013, and went on to set up its Asialink Business division with Bruce Bayley acting as interim CEO.
Narayanamurti takes over the position on 19 January 2015.
He comes with an impressive CV, graduating from Deakin University with a Bachelor of Commerce with first class honours and multiple academic prizes before walking into a role at KPMG in Melbourne. There, Narayanamurti fast made a name for himself as a top performer, winning firm awards and being selected for an international secondment.
The up-and-coming business leader continued to build on his qualifications, completing a Masters of International Tax from the University of Melbourne, becoming a Chartered Accountant and completing an MBA as a Sloan Fellow from the highly respected Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US.
“Mukund has an extensive background and comprehensive knowledge facilitating strategies for Asia-engagement,” the Asialink release stated.
“He has also been a senior adviser to the Victorian, South Australian and NSW governments on their India strategies and has participated in a range of trade missions. He has also facilitated investments between Australia and Asia in industries including energy and resources, banking, agribusiness and information technology.”
It’s little wonder Narayanamurti has also been recognised for his contributions to his profession and the community at large numerous times; in 2011 he was awarded an Alumnus of the Year Award from Deakin after founding a commerce alumni chapter that now has more than 15,000 members, while in 2012 he received an Australian Leadership Award from the Australian Davos Connection.
With the Australian government’s new focus on boosting trade with India, 2015 promises to be a busy year for Narayanamurti indeed.