Consumer markets are always hard to predict but there are some who are not content with how things are done. For example, why did Pepsi believe big in Dil Mange More? How did we get our first credit card? We get the honchos behind the scene to step forward and tell the tale. These are the people who have created new business opportunities and models on the back of decisions that at the time were considered unconventional. Your hosts, marketing guru Upendra Namburi and entrepreneur Ajay Menon retrace the journey of these industry pioneers.
Pilot - Ajay Menon [ 00:34 ]
Introduction to the series.
Sagarika Chakraborty - Upendra Namburi [ 37:17 ]
Sagarika Chakraborty is a corporate lawyer turned risk management expert, with niche specialisation in the Risk and Investigative practice. Currently CEO of IIRIS, an intelligence and risk management company, Sagarika has extensive experience in fraud investigations. She has worked exciting cases related to white-collar crime, forensics and homeland security. Select anecdotes she shares on this podcast almost seem straight out of a detective novel; however, they are genuine. Tune in as we chat with Sagarika about the shaping of her career as a woman in the security profession, the scandalous crimes she has solved, and dangers she faced.
Dr. Gullapalli N Rao (Innovating ‘Sight’ for the Masses) - Upendra Namburi [ 48:33 ]
Dr. Gullapalli N Rao (Innovating ‘Sight’ for the Masses)
He left an illustrious career in academic ophthalmology, in the US, with a dream to build a world-class Eye Care Centre in India. His unfailing dedication towards the cause has successfully impacted 30 million people, performed over 1.7 million surgeries, distributed over 100,000 corneas, and reached eye care to 12,000+ villages. In this episode we chat with Dr. Gullapalli N Rao, Founder L V Prasad Eye Institute, and Padma Shri awardee (2002), about his inspirational journey.
Vikram Mehra (Spearheading Disruptive Trends) - Upendra Namburi [ 50:58 ]
Vikram Mehra (Spearheading Disruptive Trends)
An alumnus of IIT Roorkee and IIM Lucknow, Vikram Mehra, MD Saregama India, has extensive experience as a business leader. After his stint with media conglomerate STAR TV, he became one of the early few associated with DTH, when he joined TATA Sky. Apart from his various marketing wins, Vikram has also been credited for revamping Saregama, India's oldest music label founded in 1901, by capitalizing on the right consumer insights. Tune in as he shares insights from the growing content industry in India, leadership lessons, and an interesting anecdote about his presentation to Rupert Murdoch.
Nandita Das (Breaking Stereotypes) - Upendra Namburi [ 46:30 ]
Nandita Das (Breaking Stereotypes)
A versatile actress, who has acted in 40 feature films in 10 different languages, Nandita Das is more than just accomplished in the arts. She has won many accolades for not only her break-through work in film, as both actress and director, but also for her outstanding work for social justice, gender equality, and human rights. She reinvented 'Dark Is Beautiful', and more recently 'India's Got Colour', to end skin colour bias in India. She was conferred the French Government's highest civilian award, the Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and the first Indian to be inducted into the Hall of Fame of the International Women’s Forum and as a Yale World Fellow. On this episode, Nandita shares exciting stories from her childhood, her career in movies and social projects.
Arvind Pani and Vivekananda Pani (Democratising the Indian Internet) - Upendra Namburi [ 58:54 ]
Arvind Pani and Vivekananda Pani (Democratising the Indian Internet)
India is a land of diverse languages with dialects changing in every city and sometimes even in every lane. While the primary operative language for the internet is predominantly English today, Reverie is a company striving to bridge this gap with technology to include regional language users who make up 90% of India’s population. We chat with the founders, Arvind Pani and Vivekananda Pani about how they are attempting to democratize the Indian internet for regional language speakers.
Anu Acharya (Genomics Expert) - Upendra Namburi [ 56:21 ]
Anu Acharya (Genomics Expert)
In this episode we chat with Anu Acharya, a woman who successfully brought coding and data together to strengthen the field of genomics. If there is anyone who can perfectly decode the inception and growth of genomics in India, it’s Anu. A graduate of IIT Kharagpur and the University of Illinois, Anu now heads MapMyGenome, a molecular diagnostics company focused on making people proactive about their health through personalized health solutions based on genetic tests. Tune in to hear about how genomics is the future for healthcare and more about Anu's journey.
Ajit Balakrishnan (Father of Indian Internet) - Upendra Namburi [ 56:07 ]
Ajit Balakrishnan (Father of Indian Internet)
Ajit Balakrishnan is widely credited as the Father of the Indian Internet industry. This visionary launched Rediff.com in 1995, entirely as an ‘experiment’. An iconic brand still synonymous with ‘lightning fast mail’ Rediffmail, and award-winning editorial content. Ajit continues at the helm as Chairman & CEO. An ‘early adopter’ from a young age be it new schools of thought, business models and technology – we chat with Ajit on his trailblazing days, future technologies that captivate him and India, a country dear to his heart.
Naveen Tewari (Building India's First Unicorn) - Upendra Namburi [ 51:41 ]
Naveen Tewari (Building India's First Unicorn)
In this episode, we chat with Naveen Tewari, Co-Founder & CEO of India’s first unicorn, InMobi, a global leader in mobile-based marketing and customer engagement. We deep dive into Naveen’s career trajectory, from the early days, a critical business pivot, as he also shares profound advice around work culture, talent management, facing competition, defining a vision, fundraising and more. Naveen sheds light on growing and managing three different brands and companies: InMobi Marketing Cloud, Glance and TruFactor, under the InMobi Group. Tune in to find out what sets Naveen apart when he approaches leadership, challenges, people, and goals, along with plenty of enriching insights.
Manish Dureja (Customer Loyalty Expert) - Upendra Namburi [ 56:59 ]
Manish Dureja (Customer Loyalty Expert)
Manish Dureja has had an illustrious career of over 20 years with Jet Airways where he spearheaded various strategic business and customer focused initiatives. He also successfully transitioned Jet Privilege, a highly successful loyalty program to a new brand, InterMiles, which took home four awards at the 13th edition of the Customer Fest Show, 2020. Tune in to hear about his journey and to know what it takes to lead in the fiercely competitive customer loyalty domain.
Rajesh Srivastava (Consumer Insights Specialist) - Upendra Namburi [ 54:56 ]
Rajesh Srivastava (Consumer Insights Specialist)
Our guest on this episode believes every established product recognises and solves a pain point for customers. Rajesh Srivastava is someone who has had a splendid career with eminent company's like JK Helene Curtis and Captain Cook. He has nurtured brands like, Bagpiper whiskey, Royal Challenge whiskey, Blue Riband gin, Blue Riband Duet, Park Avenue and many more. Tune in as he shares his marketing stories and great knacks to crack consumer insights.
Ajay Ramasubramanium (Accelerator Man) - Ajay Menon [ 46:46 ]
Ajay Ramasubramanium (Accelerator Man)
Ajay Ramaubramaniam undoubtedly has a vast business entrepreneurship experience across various cultures and countries including Tanzania, Canada and India. Amongst many other initiatives, he also pioneered an accelerator company for startups in India. Now with his new startup called Razo, he and his team continue to provide a framework for startups to scale. Tune in to hear more about the origins and growth of accelerators, and rapidly developing startup ecosystem in India.
Naveen Surya (Payments Pioneer) - Upendra Namburi [ 1:01:40 ]
Naveen Surya (Payments Pioneer)
Upendra Namburi author, speaker and a corporate honcho interviews Naveen Surya who has been known for revolutionising electronic payments industry in India. From the early days of no credit or debit cards to exciting innovations in the payments space, Naveen Surya has lived through it to share engaging stories with us.
Lloyd Mathias (Brand Visionary) - Upendra Namburi [ 1:11:56 ]
Lloyd Mathias (Brand Visionary)
From Pepsi to HP to Motorola, Lloyd Mathias has been at the forefront of leading the change. He's among the most prominent marketing leaders in the world, who is now hands-on in the startup ecosystem as an investor. Upendra Namburi author, speaker and a corporate honcho chats with him to trace his vision and path for past three decades.
Rajesh Jain - Getting and Retaining Customer Attention - Upendra Namburi [ 44:01 ]
Rajesh Jain - Getting and Retaining Customer Attention
One of India’s well known entrepreneurs, Rajesh Jain, Founder & MD of Netcore Cloud, a SaaS platform, is one of the pioneers who built an Indian internet business, IndiaWorld Communications in 1995. He went on to sell that venture for $115 million to Satyam Infoway, going on to found Emergic Venture Capital which has invested as much of $20 Million into over a dozen companies in the digital space. Among these companies is Novatium, which has built a low-cost $100 network computer and mobile payments firm mChek. Under his leadership, Netcore Cloud he is helping B2C companies derive greater value from customers through AI-powered retention and personalized marketing, so businesses can optimize their marketing and customer acquisition spends. On this edition of Pathbreakers, Rajesh Jain speaks to our host Upendra Namburi, on how Netcore Cloud is helping clients like ICICI Bank, Flipkart, Myntra, Airtel, Disney Hotstar, Canon, Puma and PizzaHut stay ahead of the curve in this attention economy. He speaks about emerging trends in this space, how companies can reduce customer churn, improve retention and employ tricks of velvet rope marketing to increase customer lifetime value.