Saturday, February 8, 2014

Guest Lecture by Mr. Vibhor Gujarati

One of the main reasons for SIMSREE being one of the top B-schools in India is the industry interaction that the students receive. The Business World, Dewang Mehta Awards, etc. are fine examples to prove the point. The aim is to try and interact with stalwarts from almost all industries which will make the institute better prepared to face the corporate world. After all, MBA is more about gaining practical knowledge.
It was yet another highlighting moment for SIMSREE on the 8th February, 2014 when the campus was graced by the presence of Mr. Vibhor Gujarati, the Marketing Head (India) at Edelweiss Financial Services Ltd. (Alternative InvestmentsEAAA). Thereby, adding another star to the list of guest lecturers at SIMSREE.


Mr. Gujarati took the session on marketing in general and in fact, marketing across different industries. He started the session off with a brief on his background. He earned degree of engineering, post which he was associated with a Production Engineering company and then followed it up with an MBA from PUMBA. Now here’s the best part - he has around 14 years of experience in five different industries viz. Engineering, FMCG, Finance, Television and Alternative Investments, holding important portfolios. That set the bells ringing for the batch and questions kept cropping up. Some confused, some inspired, some in awe.

The session began with a small exercise and point was very clear made after the exercise: In marketing, you need to know as a marketer what the end consumer is thinking. Brilliant!! The applause that followed was the batch’s way of appreciating the idea. When you put an idea to the crowd it gets them to think and subsequently the questions that come up are natural. As a result, there were a lot of questions thrown at Mr. Gujarati, which he managed to answer with ease as he could relate all of them to his experiences. They were all backed up by live examples. There was one question which Mr. Gujarati had for the batch, “What is it that a customer looks for when he buys the product”. Replies came in chorus, “Value for money”, “Service”, “Trust”, and so on. But the batch missed out on the most important point that Mr. Gujarati was looking for, “Satisfying the need of the customer”. Getting to know the need of the customer is very important.  Marketing has to be done on the foundation of customer’s need.

There on, he took us to the concept of 'Push-Pull Marketing'. With a simple example of a credit card sale, Mr. Gujarati was able to get the concept of creating need and pull marketing. Selling & marketing becomes difficult if you fail to keep a balance between push & pull. The questions kept pouring in regarding all forms of marketing viz. digital marketing, movie marketing, push-pull marketing, e-commerce, etc. The ease with which the questions were answered and how every answer had a supporting example convinced students the sheer experience and rigor of our guest. 


The discussion later shifted to the different industries that Mr. Gujarati has worked in. The reason cited by Mr. Gujarati for shifting to so many industries was that he wants to taste each and every pie because for the top job, one is required to be someone who has hands on experience of everything. It somewhere made the young-MBAs realize how important taking risks are in one’s career. He spoke at length on to how it was not so difficult changing industries because at the end of the day it all came down to marketing. Answering one of the students, Mr. Gujarati did not rule out entrepreneurship in the near future.

At last the discussion led to the industry he is currently working in i.e. Alternative Investments. The sheer ignorance about just the industry name speaks volumes about what to expect further. Mr. Gujarati spoke at length about the industry and cleared many doubts that students had. He spoke about how Indian investors are still not confident of engaging a specialist wealth advisor to grow their wealth. Mr. Gujarati attributed this to poor sales strategy and high attrition rate among RMs. He also gave his view on Insurance need in India by saying there is still long way for us to catch up with the western world.

We all aspire to be successful in our careers, but few manage to achieve that because it is all depends on our attitude. He requested the batch to keep on doing the work they do. “Enjoy it. Do it with passion and never do anything just to expect anything out of it” were his pearls of advice to SIMSREE students. He also gave a very important piece of advice to the batch to concentrate on their strengths rather than someone else’s strengths and weaknesses. Last but not the least he told that focus is the key to success. For the question, “Having worked in so many industries, which one has been your favorite industry? What did you enjoy doing most?” Mr. Gujarati’s straight reply was “Marketing”. This one word reply sums it up, his dedication for his work and the fact that he thoroughly enjoys what he is doing and importantly how he manages to keep his feet on the ground inspite of holding such an important post is really commendable. Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.

Mr. Gujarati came to deliver the session in spite of a severe cold and bad throat. He kept his date with SIMSREE even though he had nothing to gain out of it. SIMSREE would like to thank Sir for gracing the institute by his presence and enlightening the students on various aspects of Marketing.

5 comments:

It was an excellent learning experience... Looking forward for more such interactions..

A great session covering the practice of marketing in different industries proving that hard work when used along the lines of one's own strength will deliver good performance in any industry. I would like to thank Mr. Gujarati for sharing his personal experiences and taking out his valuable time in spite of bad throat.

What did you enjoy doing most?...marketing...Awesome

A highly engaging session about marketing across various industries. One of the key takeaways from this session was about how any company or individual can play to one's strengths and succeed in the worst of situations. The examples cited by Mr. Gujarati for explaining his ideas made the session very interesting!! Looking forward to more such interactions with Mr. Gujarati

An enthralling session by Mr. Gujarati. He spoke about his journey and answered questions relating his experience . A true connection made.

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