IIM Indore Students Get Tips on Brand Building, Manufacturing Strategy

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The EPGP iKON CxO Guest Lecture Series at IIM Indore this month saw two former executives of the Tata Group give valuable tips to the students on brand building and manufacturing strategy.

The lecture series, an Executive Post Graduate Programme in Management (EPGP) initiative, provides a platform where corporates from various industries can interact with the students and share their views.

Delna Avari, Former Head, Marketing Communication and Services, in a lecture titled ‘Define Your Brand or Someone Else Will’ on July 8 said while every great product can have various knockoffs, it is difficult to knock off a brand. This is because brands are built subliminally by intangibles.

She illustrated the talk by providing examples of the marketing strategy adopted by Tata Motors, especially in filling up the gaps in their product portfolio and building up a dedicated marketing team.

Understand the mentality of your customers…leave your opinions outside,” she said asking the audience to find out what really matters to the customers. In 2016, Tata Motors ran a very successful campaign with Tiago, owing to its endorsement by well known Argentine professional football player Lionel Messi.

The first thing that Lionel Messi said was ‘Namaste’, and he spoke no words in English, which left everybody in awe of him,” Avari said.

Messi being a popular role model for younger kids, drove sales to new heights since most automobile purchase decisions are influenced by this demographic. This campaign is an example of spectacular selection of a brand ambassador.

The talk was digitally interactive, with the participants having to search for certain numbers on the internet in order to quantify, benchmark and appreciate the role of electricity in the Indian context.

The involvement of virtual reality steered the discussion to the importance of technology in branding activities.

Avari also highlighted the importance of having the right metrics to measure the success of your campaigns, dealing with big data, and coupling CMO and CTO roles into one Chief Marketing Technologist.

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In the lecture on ‘Strategy in Manufacturing’ held on July 3, Chetan Tolia, Former CEO and Executive Director, WREPL (a Tata Power Company) spoke about electricity as a business in India.

He began by discussing the growing importance of solar energy and why it is a great business opportunity in India. Electricity, in fact, is a proxy for measuring the standard of living, he added.

The talk was digitally interactive, with the participants having to search for certain numbers on the internet in order to quantify, benchmark and appreciate the role of electricity in the Indian context.

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Sharing from his rich experience of three decades at the Tata Group, Tolia also highlighted the role played by strategy in this domain, proving that it is a multifarious activity.

He also emphasised on innovation that is paramount for any industry and backed it up with the example of two of his ventures in the field of steel and real estate. He concluded the talk by stating that the Indian economy would witness phenomenal growth in the next 25 years and this provides immense opportunities for entrepreneurs in smart basics namely education, housing, transport, food, electricity and health care.

In the first lecture of the series for the academic year 2017-18 on May 25, Girish Balachandran, Managing Partner, On Purpose Consulting had discussed the ‘Future of Brands’ covering several issues including creative disruption, fake news, information wars and brand building.

Accredited by Association of MBAs (AMBA), the Executive Post Graduate Programme in Management (EPGP) at IIM Indore is an intensive one-year residential program designed to enhance knowledge, skills and capabilities essential for managing and leading organisations.

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