Sonny Iqbal

New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore

consultant name

Sonny Iqbal Egon Zehnder, New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore


Sonny Iqbal began his career at Egon Zehnder’s London office in 1998 and subsequently relocated to India. He is a member of the team that has built a very successful practice in India, with offices in New Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai. Sonny has accumulated extensive experience working with senior level executives and board members in companies ranging in size from venture-capital-backed startups to multinational corporations operating across multiple continents and markets. He focuses on senior-level executive search and talent management work across industry sectors, in addition to conducting portfolio, company CEO and board searches for private equity firms.


Sonny is the coleader of Egon Zehnder’s Global Family Business Advisory; as such, he counsels family businesses on succession, founder transition, governance and family charter development. He also coaches senior executives and members of family businesses. While working across multiple sectors, Sonny has remained anchored in Egon Zehnder’s Life Sciences, Consumer and Assessment & Development Practices. He frequently speaks and writes on topics related to family businesses and the dynamics within owner families. Prior to joining Egon Zehnder, Sonny gained extensive experience in operations and marketing at The Oberoi Group in the United Kingdom, India and the Middle East. After that he managed the financial and travel services business of American Express in India.

Sonny earned a BA (Honors) from St. Stephen’s College at Delhi University, an MBA from the University of Surrey in the U.K., and a Postgraduate Diploma in Hospitality from The Oberoi Centre for Learning and Development (OCLD) in Delhi.

News and Publications

Emerging Markets Business – A Family Affair

In Emerging Markets Business, Egon Zehnder’s Sonny Iqbal and Richard Stark offered their perspective on one family business, Paraíso Verde, which was founded in Chile in 1911 and later fell into crisis following the loss of the founders.

Family Businesses - Relationships at Work

Managing family relationships at work is one of the thorniest issues in family-owned businesses, particularly when relationships cross generations, such as parent-child or uncle/aunt-nephew/niece. Many family members are committed to professionalism and strive to separate “work” and “family” in their dealings with each other.

Comfort with Paradox

Most CEOs and boards name succession, both for the CEO and for business unit leaders, as their biggest strategic challenge. While this leadership challenge exists for every industry, it is particularly acute in the consumer sector, where many of the successive waves of disruption first hit.

The Neglected Art of Giving and Receiving Feedback

The ability to give and receive feedback is a fundamental leadership skill. Feedback improves outcomes and results, motivates performance, brings groups together, clarifies goals and objectives, clears outstanding issues and inspires development.

Adding Independent Directors to the Board of a Family Business

As family businesses evolve from small enterprises to large, complex operations, many of them intuitively understand that they must add non-family members to the management team along the way.

See all

The Overlooked Document That Every Family Business Must Have

Perpetuity is a central objective of every family business. In today’s ever-changing world, it is critical for owner families to proactively mitigate risks to achieve that longevity.

Family Businesses are Facing a Skeptical Next Generation

Whenever a family business looks to its next generation on matters of succession, it can encounter four types of responses. The next generation family member could be eager and ready.

livemint – Family-led Firms Face Challenge of Integrating Outsiders

Family-led firms are resilient, long-lasting and offer some of the finest examples of corporate leadership in the world, reports livemint.

How Chairmen Enhance Board Effectiveness

For independent board chairmen of global companies, challenges continue to grow while room for error continues to shrink. Shareholders demand more rapid returns. Increasing regulation around the world demands exemplary corporate governance and rigorous compliance. Controversy about executive compensation has taken on new life in the context of rising income inequality.

Harvard Business Review - Asian Family Businesses: Time to Face Up to Succession

Family businesses account for over 50 percent of large corporations in the Asia-Pacific region and many will soon be facing leadership successions for the first time. Managing these transitions effectively constitutes a major challenge, write Sonny Iqbal and Jörg Ritter, co-leaders of Egon Zehnder’s global family-business advisory, and Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, a senior adviser at Egon Zehnder, in a blog entry for the Harvard Business Review.

“Family Gravity” and Structured CEO Succession Key Drivers to Long-Term Success of Family Businesses - Image

“Family Gravity” and Structured CEO Succession Key Drivers to Long-Term Success of Family Businesses

In a recent study, Egon Zehnder and Family Business Network International interviewed executives at 50 of the world’s top family firms - mostly in the third or fourth generation - to discover how they unlock great leadership.

Family Business Advisory Practice Profile

Egon Zehnder’s Family Business Advisory expertly helps clients navigate the challenges of leadership, succession, and governance across generations.

consultant name

Sonny Iqbal Egon Zehnder, New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore