Nirmalya Kumar is one who is transforming the view of the role that marketing is playing worldwide. He is considered one of the world’s leading thinkers on strategy and marketing and has worked with over 50 Fortune 500 companies in 60 different countries as a coach, conference speaker and consultant. Besides this, Kumar also has a great passion for art; he has the biggest known private assemblage of paintings by Jamini Roy, Hemendranath Mazumdar and Rabindranath Tagore.
Kumar did his PhD in marketing from Kellogg Graduate School of Management in Northwestern University. In 1995, he became Professor of Marketing at International Institute for Management Development in Switzerland. Soon, he became Professor of Marketing & Director of Aditya Birla India Centre at London Business School and later in 2013, member-group executive council and head of strategy at Tata Group. It wasn’t until 2017, that he became the Lee Kong Chian Professor of Marketing at Singapore Management University and distinguished fellow at INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute.
Kumar has imparted immense knowledge, especially leading to leadership, through the methods of teaching to consulting, and by writing some substantial books – some of the most prominent ones being Marketing As Strategy: Understanding the CEO’s Agenda for Driving Growth and Innovation and India Inside: The Emerging Innovation Challenge to the West. One of the important lessons that he has taught is how a business can be a leader in sustainability. He advises that in order to take an approach to sustainability, one vital step would be to be an activist of societal change – the companies that are leaders today have implemented sustainability and distinguished their products in this aspect.
Also, in his blog, a pivotal subject that Kumar throws light upon is branding. He says that the brand’s mission statement helps articulate ‘why the brand exists’. A good mission statement should have five attributes – benevolent (so that the brand is focused on how it impacts others), energising (so it makes employees, dealers and suppliers involved in making the brand feel inspired), ambitious (so that it stretches the organisation to be at greater heights), discriminating (so that employees are guided to make choices in their daily work) and simple (so that employees can easily recall it as well as clearly understand the purpose of the brand). “Branding is about striking emotional chords with consumers. It is about cultivating identity and trust to inspire customer loyalty,” he says.
Kumar, undoubtedly, is an ardent voice for upcoming and present businesses in India. As business strategy, management and marketing have gotten complexed over the years, Kumar has given out extensive insight, helping create and lead to the origin of exceptional future leaders.