Friday, September 16, 2011

Dr. Mohan Aggarwal, IMT Dubai on Global Marketing

Clear headed, candid and creative, Dr. Mohan Lal Aggarwal has recently been awarded the title of Best Professor in Marketing Management in Asia, 2011. He is considered to be one of the most respected Marketing Gurus and is currently nurturing future Marketing Gurus into being at IMT Dubai. We caught him via a virtual interview and discussed the diverse and immensely interesting world of marketing, how it evolved and what its future holds for the current Marketing student.

Dr. Aggarwal introduced teaching Services Marketing in Indian business schools way back in 1988. His goal at the time was to highlight the emergence of marketing challenges in the service sector. “Today, the Service Sector contributes about 55% to the Indian economy and hires 90% of new workforce, especially knowledge workers. India has become a service factory to the world,” he says. Dr. Mohan Aggarwal has worked with leading business schools such XLRI, IIMs, MDI, SP Jain and later institutes in California and Boston. They invited him to teach the Service Marketing courses to their faculty as well as MBA students. Dr. Aggarwal was also responsible for setting up India’s First Center of Service at XLRI Jamshedpur. Conglomerates like the Tatas and Ambanis supported the research for the same.

“I am fascinated by the complexity of human behavior.  How inner forces impact personal buying decisions and its interpretation for marketing advantage,” says Dr. Aggarwal, whose live revolves around making marketing work.

Extensively researching the underlining differences in marketing services products he adapts this knowledge to work with goods manufacturers and encourages them to implement service oriented marketing. “I have tried to createTier-1 and 2 Marketing in India through my research and teaching Services Marketing,” he elaborates.

Lately, Social Media Marketing is getting him more and more interested.  Dr. Aggarwal has chaired a couple of International seminars on Social Media Marketing. One was in Abu Dhabi and the other in Mumbai. Both meets were very well attended. Over a hundred MNC Social Media Marketers attended.

Social Media enriches Customer Relationship Management (CRM) in several important ways.First of all, it is a soft and informal medium. It transforms a customer connection into an emotional connection.

The second is the multiplier impact of Social Media. “When you connect with a single customer, you gain access to their whole list of friends.  The ’Sociometry of Social Media’ is most amazing where friends of customers become available to you and can be made into your friends,” he smiles. Customers become friends and friends become customers. Social Media Marketing is turning into a new instant results arena. Right here, right now kind of situation where the adrenaline flows and speed is a given. “The final impact is the 24/7 connectivity in Social Media CRM. This is never possible in traditional CRM which is run on SAP etc. Even the Business to Business Marketers are increasingly getting drawn to Social Media driven CRM.”

A career in marketing is for all reasons and all seasons and is never out of fashion. A true marketing student will  secure a job anytime and develop career anywhere. New career opportunities include Social Media Marketing, Non Profit Organizations (NGOs), Micro Credit Marketing, Educational Marketing, Commercial Media Marketing, Sports Marketing and Customer Experience Marketing.

The willingness to pay for innovation, physical infrastructure and global presence are the biggest assets in Dubai. “Any marketing student must make time to attend meets and seminars and develop competence based career opportunities. I always encourage my marketing students to accompany me to attend conferences where they meet executives and managers of global marketing companies in Dubai. Several of these meets are free and complimentary but are very enriching,” Dr. Aggarwal shares.

IMT Dubai trains its marketing students in several fresh and innovative ways. The IMT Dubai marketing faculty includes many globally experienced and industry respected consultants. They teach using Middle East Case Studies and Dubai based teaching material. No other B-School in Dubai does it as much as IMT does.  The portfolio of IMT's UAE Marketing Case Studies is growing significantly and has received several Best Case Awards in Europe, USA, India and Dubai. “Our Marketing Meets, Marketing in Fire and Media Meets MBAs are highly popular. They are a huge advantage to our students. Again, these are unique to IMT Dubai. In their fourth year now, these Marketing events attract top industry speakers and test the event organizing and network building capability of our students,” Dr. Aggarwal elaborates. Because these events are so interesting, the Dubai Media has extensively covered them.

“Never apologize for marketing or selling any product assigned to you.  However, always apologize for poor or deceptive marketing and customer negligence. As a student of IMT Dubai, ensure you maximize your time and learning opportunities. IMT Dubai has a well connected campus and the world city that Dubai is. You will never get another shot at this beautiful experience anywhere,” is Dr. Aggarwal’s parting shot. We end our interview much wiser about the latest trends in Marketing - how they work and what are current industry requirements.

Ameeta Agnihotri.

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