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Saravanan Kesavan

Professor of Operations and Sarah Graham Kenan Scholar


McColl 4713, CB 3490 Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3490


Saravanan Kesavan studies retail operations with an emphasis on responsible business practices to labor management and automation.

His current areas of research include improving labor productivity and worker well-being, using big data to improve forecasting, customer recycling and digitization.

Management Science, M&SOM, POM and Harvard Business Review have published his research. Dr. Kesavan is an associate editor at Management Science, M&SOM and POMS.

The New York Times, The New Yorker, Forbes and other media outlets have featured his research.

Dr. Kesavan teaches retail operations and digital operations for MBA students. He has received the MBA Teaching All Star award nine times between 2010-2019 and the Weatherspoon Award for Teaching Excellence in the Full-Time MBA Program in 2018.

He worked for several years at i2 Technologies, where he helped clients deal with supply chain management issues. He has worked with a number of companies including the Gap, USAA, Lowes, Belk, Texas Instruments and Kroger.

He received his doctorate in technology and operations management from Harvard Business School. He also has master’s and bachelor’s degrees in engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and IIT Madras, India, respectively

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