Insiders and Outsiders in Organizations

A learning from my corporate experience has been the fascinating differences between “insiders” and “outsiders”. Insiders are those who have been with the organization for a long time, often their entire career has been with a single firm. Outsiders are those who have been hired to bring fresh ideas, competences, and blood into the organization.

Myths of Big Data

Following up on the last two blogs (link 1 & 2), this one is dedicated to big data. With statements like “data is the new oil”, we may be at the peak of inflated expectations in the hype cycle before the sober reality sets in. Big data has now become a large industry, touted as…

Why Marketers Fail with Analytics?

Last week’s blog, Why CMOs Rarely Become CEOs, was one of my more popular posts on LinkedIn. Over 15,000 visits and 125 comments. The comments were interesting. Most marketers were supportive with, “accurate though depressing”, probably being the summary.

Why CMOs Rarely Become CEOs?

Last week I was with a marketing professor who lamented that in his interactions with public policy makers, he observed that they did not respect marketing. In my book, Marketing as Strategy, I presented data to demonstrate that executives who had grown up in the marketing function rarely made it to the CEO position. For…

Discovering the Second World: Mexico, Peru & Thailand

As a schoolboy, the terms first, second, and third world were in frequent use. The developed countries and Japan were then considered “first world” because of their political and economic dominance, while Africa, Asia, and Latin America were dubbed as “third world”. This categorization was never academically defensible, but it captured popular imagination. Since I…

Can You “Manufacture” Customer Service? Oh United!

Many of you must have seen the video of the United Airlines customer service fiasco, where a passenger was forcibly removed by the Chicago Police from the aircraft after being boarded. At the last moment, United required four seats for their own pilots who needed to get to the destination. So much for “flying the…

Can B2B Companies Evolve into B2C Companies?

The Financial Times recently featured the Chinese giant Huawei and its success in becoming the world’s third largest smartphone company. This is truly a remarkable achievement for Huawei. As articulated in the Brand Breakout book (co-authored with J-B Steenkamp), evolving from a B2B company into a consumer company is not easy, especially for a company…

Is everyone trying to be someone they are not?

Two weeks ago, I concluded my blog with “everyone is trying to be someone they are not”. Some of you must have realized by now that I often take deliberately provocative positions. This helps unfreeze others as they feel compelled to stake an opposing view. It’s good to stir up the pot. So, as expected,…

In India, nothing is too much trouble

One of the remarkable things that strikes visitors, especially foreigners, about India is the warmth of the people one encounters. Individuals think nothing about dropping everything and going out of their way to help you without any expectation of reciprocity. They even get embarrassed if you so much as thank them for their generosity.

The Art of Seduction

Someone once told me that Machiavelli said the art of seduction is telling good looking people they are intelligent, and intelligent people they are good looking. I have no idea if Machiavelli expounded on this subject, but the advice is truly Machiavellian.

India: Demographic Dividend or Demographic Bomb?

This week, I closed my time in India as a resident and moved back to London. Those who know me well are aware of my deep love for my country of birth. I can never really leave India. My apartment in Calcutta will always be there as my home. Yet, as an academic I must…

Learning from Executives’ War Stories

In my previous blog, I had argued for why faculty at the leading business schools in the world tend to be researchers with PhDs rather than executives. Some of the responses that I received made me realize that a segment of readers had misunderstood my point on two fronts.