“Nirmalya is passionate about marketing and willing to espouse controversial positions.”
writer and speaker
professor of marketing and co-director of Aditya Birla India Centre at the London Business School, who is slated to join the Tata group
an outlier among marketing professors
8,000 citations on Google Scholar
“definitive list of thinkers’
at No 26
BCom from Calcutta University, his MBA from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a perfect 5.0 grade point average, and his PhD in marketing from Kellogg Graduate School of Management
he was actually a very smart cookie and would go far if only he put his mind to it
Kumar has seven books on marketing and management to his credit that include Marketing as Strategy (2004), Private Label Strategy (2007), Value Merchants (2007), India’s Global Powerhouses (2009), India Inside (2012) and Brand Breakout (2013) and some oft-quoted articles such as "Have You Restructured for Global Success?" (with P Puranam; Harvard Business Review, 2011), "How Emerging Giants are Rewriting the Rules of M&A" (Harvard Business Review, 2009) and "Kill a Brand, Keep a Customer"
As a consultant, coach, and conference speaker, Nirmalya has worked with more than 50 Fortune 500 companies in 60 different countries.
He has served on several boards of directors, including billion dollar plus companies and companies included in India’s stock indices.
Nirmalya received his B.Com. from Calcutta University (graduating first in a class of 5,251 students), his MBA from the University of Illinois at Chicago (scoring a perfect 5.0 grade point average), and his PhD in marketing from Kellogg Graduate School of Management (winning the Marketing Science Institute's Alden G. Clayton Award for his PhD dissertation).
All of the above has led to 500 press appearances, six European case (ECCH) adoption awards, as well as several teaching, research, and lifetime achievement honors. In 2010, Speaking.com voted Nirmalya amongst the top 5 marketing speakers worldwide; the Economic Times placed him 6th on the list of Global Indian Thought Leaders; whilst the Economist referred to him as a “rising superstar” in their cover story “The New Masters of Management.”
In 2011, he was included in Thinkers50 (the biannual listing of the top 50 management thinkers in the world) and received their “Global Village Award” (for the person who contributed most to the business community's understanding of globalization and the new frontiers established by the emerging markets).
In his personal life, Nirmalya is a passionate supporter of the arts. He is the custodian of amongst the largest known private collection of paintings by Jamini Roy (1887-1972; the father of Indian modern art) and Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941; the first Asian to win a Nobel Prize). In recognition of his patronage and promotion of South Asian Art, SOAS (the School of Oriental and African Studies of University of London) awarded him an Honorary Fellowship in 2012.
“Marketing is in a crisis”
we cannot measure the effectiveness of marketing as cleanly as other things, that is why people are not able to get money for marketing in tough times as easily. As we say, marketing is like a charity in many companies. It is well-funded in good times, but the first to be cut in poor times.
the most sophisticated marketing is done by packaged goods companies. Because they need to reach out to a large set of people, they also have a huge heritage in marketing. So they understand marketing more, their CEOs are sensitized to marketing because they are in an industry where people don’t have to buy your product and there are several choices available.
But in India, we do know historically, people like to build up the system.
First they build up the system, till that time they like to be protected. Once the system is built up, they pressure the government to allow FDI so that they can sell out. It happened in telecom, it happens in every industry in India. So why would retail be different?