Are Independent Directors Independent?

Thank you everyone for your support of last week’s blog “How Cyrus Mistry was Fired as Tata Chairman”. It received over a million views between my blog, social media, and websites of publications. Besides, it also appeared in the print editions of more than 30 national and regional newspapers. The separation of control from ownership…

How Cyrus Mistry was Fired as Tata Chairman

On 24 October 2016, Cyrus was in his Bombay House 4th floor office examining what seemed like a routine agenda for the Tata Sons board meeting that was scheduled to start in five minutes at 14:00 hours. Through the grapevine, Cyrus had heard that some of the board members had an unscheduled informal meeting earlier…

How Should Business Engage with Sustainability?

Given the weekend read of last week, it is not surprising that some of the largest companies in the world are now producing annual sustainability reports. As an example, the GE sustainability report states: At GE, sustainability means aligning our business strategy to meet societal needs while minimizing environmental impact and advancing social development… Business…

Is Sustainability a Business Challenge?

The Challenge to the Planet The world population is expected to grow from the 7.5 billion currently (5 billion in 1987) to 10 billion by 2050. This increase is driven by a combination of enhanced life expectancy and high birth rates. While the former has been a global phenomenon, the latter is restricted to the…

Brand Mission, Vision or Illusion?

A great brand needs direction. The brand’s mission statement, which in the case of the corporate brand is the company’s mission statement, helps articulate “why the brand exists?” Unfortunately, too many mission statements are too superficial, diffused, or bland to help answer the fundamental question of “why we exist” for its owners, management, and employees….

Do Global Brands Create Value?

My co-author and friend of many years, Professor Jan-Benedict Steenkamp, mailed me a complimentary copy of his latest book, Global Brand Strategy. A month later, I finally got around to reading it this week.

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 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…

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.

Two Biggest Lies in Marketing

There is a common perception that all marketers are liars! I am not going to comment on this. Instead, I will focus on the two biggest lies that I have observed in marketing using an example that was elaborated in my book Value Merchants (co-authored with James Anderson and Jim Narus) targeted to business marketing…

Does Increasing Power Portend War?

For some reason, inexplicable to me, my two favourite research papers, are also my two least successful in terms of citations. Perhaps they were published in the wrong journals. This week I would like to report on one of them. While the empirical analysis was done in a distribution channels context, it has fascinating implications…

Au Revoir 2016

Welcome to the last blog of 2016. Since this weekend blog was set up, I have written 38 posts, which are aimed to be consumed in about 10 minutes. It is now emailed to more than 750 subscribers. But via postings on http://www.scroll.in and http://www.linkedin.com, another 10,000 to 100,000 views a week are garnered. Signing…