Mr. Sanjeev Asthana discusses the role of marketing at FORE School of Management’s Global Leadership Lecture Series


India, 7th November 2022: FORE School of Management hosted its sixth session under Institute’s Global Leadership Lecture Series on 3rd November 2022. The guest speaker for this session was Mr. Sanjeev Asthana, the Chief Executive Officer of Patanjali Foods Ltd., who addressed the first and second-year MBA students on the role of marketing in business. Prof. Varsha Khattri moderated the entire session.  

Prof. Varsha Khattri introduced the session by saying “FORE School of Management has been working ceaselessly with industry and academia for developing new domains for managerial thought and education and contributing to building leaders in this global business environment” 

She then briefly introduced Mr. Asthana as a recognized leader with over three decades of experience in Food, Agribusiness, Retail and Private Equity while being at the top management leadership roles, as well as being a part of Public Policy & Think Tanks. 

Through the session, Mr. Sanjeev Asthana spoke in detail about the four Ps of marketing and how emerging trends are causing a change in those Ps with references to his experience in the market. 

He commenced the session by distinguishing services from a product. He said, “Much larger roles are getting built in the services sectors. One can no longer see traditional roles that can still be seen in the FMCG sector regarding products. In the few years, the services industry has built massive markets in emerging areas with distinguishing features.”

The significant issue FMCG sectors are facing nowadays is the marketing of commoditized products, as commodities have no features other than the price tag. The importance of positioning is shown through the sale of these commodities. FMCG products essentially need to be marketed with an added level of sophistication and added attributes. 

Mr. Asthana then explained the influence of social media as one of the significant marketing dimensions other than the consumers’ orientation about a product. Nowadays, technology can understand market trends better and help change the narrative of a product/service and said orientation about a consumer, which can be understood better when the face value does not analyze it. 

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With the emergence of D2C (Direct to Consumers) and E-commerce in the digital media sector, global markets have been opened. Any publicity received while launching a product will be handled differently by different countries. Due to the worldwide access to markets, global insights must be kept in mind while marketing; whether the brand is international or Indian, the service level must be ominous. Mr. Sanjeev Asthana also strongly believes that the channel of communication and brand ambassador chosen should be done after careful and thorough research as this could also lead to much negative publicity. Selecting a well-known celebrity or influencer has not always resulted in success; often, the opposite of the desired result has occurred. The brand ambassador’s selection must be in line with the ethos of the company and its employees. 

Lastly, Mr. Asthana concluded the session with a critical note for future management professionals, “Consumer perspective is the most important in our field. Never lose it. It must be aligned with the product, price, place and promotion on top of the company ethos. One must have the 360-degree built-up ability to see what the product or service stands for. Building a better understanding of it will build a better ability to impress the marketing industry.” 

The session ended with an interactive Q&A session with the students at FORE School and the vote of thanks delivered by Prof. Ashutosh Pandey which summarized the entire session for all. 

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