Category Archives: Industry Interaction Cell

‘Contemporary topics in Marketing’ by Mr. Sunder Madakhshira – VP, SAP Labs India

“Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with your marketing“

–          Mike Volpe (CMO, Hubspot)

We live in an era where almost all products and services are tailor made to suit the needs and aspirations of the consumers. ‘Caveat Venditor’ or ‘Let the producer/supplier beware’ is what aptly defines the markets today. In such a scenario, it becomes imperative for every manager irrespective of his or her discipline and stature in the organization to be aware of the nitty-gritties of marketing.

In collaboration with SAP, the Industry Interaction Cell (IIC) at IIM Kozhikode had invited Mr. Sunder Madakshira – VP, Marketing and Communications, SAP Labs India to enlighten the students about the ‘Contemporary Topics in Marketing’.

Busting myths, Mr. Madakshira talked about how the work undertaken by most of the CMOs of leading companies is not as rosy as it appears. In fact, they are one of those few people who are constantly under the pressure to live up to the expectations of not only their CEOs but are also responsible for meeting brand new targets almost every day. According to one of the reports related to a leading organization of the country shown by him, in reality, CMOs have very less control over the 4Ps of marketing. Most of them suffer from various diseases like inertia, paralysis of analysis etc. While sitting in their AC cabins, they more often than not, lose touch with customers – a situation that adversely affects the organization.

The talk was full of present-day, highly relevant examples ranging from the FMCG industry to the consumer durables industry. He explained how when LG, originally a consumer electronics company, tried to venture into the FMCG industry in order to take advantage of their highly extensive and powerful distribution channels, they faced a lot of teething troubles as competing with the already established giants like HUL etc. was not a cakewalk at all.

He also explained how there is a constant need for infusing innovations into the marketing tactics in order sustain in the market. One has to be aware of the markets, customers, distribution channels and competitors inside-out. During the 90s, it was because of an astute marketing plan adopted by HUL that it was able to pitch Wheel against the extremely popular and low cost Nirma washing powder. He also highlighted the fact that one has to transform adversities to opportunities and use them to one’s advantage. He gave the example of a very famous ice-cream company based out of a highly cold region of the US where the temperatures used to be extremely low for almost all the seasons of the year except four days. The company used these four days to realize and cover their ice-cream sales for the entire year.

Mr. Madakshira on 'Contemporary Topics in Marketing'

On a concluding note, he advised the students to make the most of the summer internship opportunity by not just contributing to the project assigned to them but instead, analysing the strategic bent of the company in order to benefit in the longer run.

Talks like these not only help students gain insights into the genuine aspects related to the professional world but are also responsible for inspiring them to become responsible and successful managers of tomorrow.

Industry Deep Dive 2.0 – Day 1

Industry Deep Dive 2.0, an initiative by the Industry Interaction Cell, IIM Kozhikode kicked off on 26th October, 2013. With a focus on the most celebrated business vertical in the country, the media and entertainment sector, the event highlighted on the different perspectives of its evolution, commercialization and managerial perspectives.


The event has attracted some of the best speakers in the past and continued to do so this year.  The first speaker at the event was Mr. Sorav Jain, the thinker-in-chief at Echo-VME and former marketing program specialist at CMO Axis. An expert and trainer in the field of Social Media Marketing and Event Branding, Mr. Jain has trained more than 2000 professionals on the Social Media Thinker. He began by explaining the huge reach of social media in the present global world – with over 90 million people on Facebook, 140 million on Google and the like, it is bound to have a huge sphere of influence in the country. He also went on to discuss the ways through which there has been an increase in communication, fostering of brand awareness and improvement in customer service. To end with, Mr. Jain discussed case studies to bring forth the impact of social media on personal branding, online reputation management and Public Relations.

Next speaker was Mr. Tamal Bandyopadhyay, the author of ‘A Bank for the Buck’, story of the new bank movement and the success of India’s most valued HDFC Bank Ltd. He is a leading financial journalist and currently the Deputy Managing Editor, Mint. He talked about the New Bank Licensing story and discussed whether corporations should be allowed to float banks or not. He dwelled upon the positive and negative implications of allowing the entry of corporates into the banking sector.  Throwing light on how the new generation of banks have transformed India’s banking landscape, he highlighted the shortcomings of the present system – how these banks have not been able to spread banking across the country as their focus has all along been on urban India.  He also suggested promoting financial inclusion i.e. extending the formal banking system among less privileged in urban & rural India.

The third speaker for the day, Mr. Mahesh Murthy, has over 26 years of marketing and communications experience and was involved in the launch of first commercial version of Yahoo and the biggest bookstore campaign for In his session, he presented the world of marketing from an innovative, non-Kotler angle by elaborating on how important in the actual world were the well known 4Ps and 7Cs. He spoke about the fragility of brands, and how claims of perfection could easily backfire in the world of today. Hence, it is more difficult to maintain its reputation, than to create a brand in the market. He went on to explain how companies with lower media spending grew to be market leaders, and the way of becoming popular is none else, but word-of-mouth. Following this with an explanation of the irrelevance of standard ad processes, Mr. Murthy encouraged his budding audience to keep in mind when creating brand elements, that they should be responsive, dynamic and elegant. He ended by telling us that consumers today want editorials that are unbiased, and not print media, but only a brand itself can be the best provider for these.

This session was followed by the last speaker of the day – Mr. Bhaskar Das. The Group CEO at Zee News, Mr. Das has worked at Bennett Coleman and Co. Ltd, which publishes the Times of India and Economic Times. He started the session by talking of the future of news being to ‘upgrade’ and not simply ‘update’, and hence a journalist could simply be anyone with relevant content. He said that the world of media did not have a perfectly competitive setup anymore, but follows an oligopoly of trust – wherein only a few provide relevant, unbiased content. Further, it is views that are preferred over mere news. Facts stated can be found anywhere, he said, however, it is the different perspectives that the people of today seek. He elucidated on these points giving various instances from his own life, and ended by telling his audience that all answers of the future lie in the questions of today.

Overall, it was an enriching day with speakers who had not only their experiences to share with the students, but also ideas and points of view that were a valuable take away.

Beginning Tomorrow – Industry Deep Dive 2.0

Industry Deep Dive is an initiative by Industry Interaction Cell of IIM Kozhikode that promises to keep the student community abreast of the emerging trends and latest developments in specific sectors on an annual basis. In 2012, IIM Kozhikode witnessed a successful e-Commerce conclave with eminent speakers such as Dr. Naveen Amblee, (Professor, Marketing Management, IIMK), Mr. Praveen Sinha (MD and Co-founder of Jabong), Mr. Alok Goel (Chief Products Officer, Redbus), and Mr. Rajesh Iyer (Chief Marketing Officer,, giving us detailed insights into the booming e-commerce industry.

 This year, Industry Deep Dive will focus on the most celebrated business vertical in the country, the media and entertainment sector. This industry surpasses its own explosive growth each year and presents a huge opportunity for learning from the angle of business. The event aims to highlight the evolution, consumerism, commercialization and managerial persUntitledpectives of an industry which a majority of the population directly relates to.

 Speakers for the two-day event are:

 (1)                TAMAL BANDYOPADHYAY

Mr. Tamal is the author of the book “A Bank for the Buck,” story of the new bank movement and the success of India’s most valued bank — HDFC Bank Ltd. He is a leading financial journalist and is currently the Deputy Managing Editor, Mint.

 (2)                MAHESH MURTHY

Mahesh, with over 26 years of marketing and communications experience was involved in the launch of first commercial version of Yahoo and Earth’s biggest bookstore campaign for He was involved in running Channel V till 2000 and has spoken at Internet World Chicago, CNET(LA) and also writes a column for The Wall Street Journal.

 (3)                SORAV JAIN

An Expert and trainer in the field of Social Media Marketing, Event Branding, Sorav Jain was the former Marketing program specialist at CMO Axis. He has Trained 2000+ professionals on Social Media Thinker. He is also the thinker in chief at Echo-VME.

 (4)                BHASKAR DAS

Mr. Das worked for 32 years at Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd, which publishes The Times of India and Economic Times newspapers and runs Times Now and ET Now news channels, among other businesses. Presently he has joined Zee News as the group CEO

(5)                BHARAT BALA

Bharat Bala is the Director of Tamil film, Maryan, starring Dhanush and Producer of the acclaimed Vande Mataram, Incredible India and Jana Gana Mana videos. He was also the Director, opening ceremony & official video, Commonwealth Games 2012.

(6)                TARUN TRIPATHI

Tarun Tripathi is the former, Head of  Marketing Yash Raj Films, Consultant ‘Only Much Louder’ and Founder, CEO of Collectivity. Earlier he was a faculty at MICA.