Sunday, February 13, 2011

Know Your Alumni Series: Part 4

A Quick Take with Akshat Kumar
 PGSEM Batch: 2007

Total Years of Experience: 6 Years 5 Months

Current Organization: Wunderman (A WPP company)

Current Role and Responsibility: Digital Media Strategist for Nokia Global. My remit is to mine consumer insights to position Nokia's product and services. I plan digital touch-points across earned(social) media, bought media(search and display) and owned media(dotcom).

Role Before Joining PGSEM: Senior Software Engineer, Finacle at Infosys

Role After Completing PGSEM: Digital Media Strategist, Nokia at Wunderman

Q. Tell us about your journey to where you are today?
It's been fun so far and to the point of sounding clichéd I owe a lot to PGSEM and IIM Bangalore. I joined PGSEM while I was working as an Engineer with Infosys. By the time I finished my first quarter, PGSEM had given me enough confidence to make a jump to something I had wanted to for a very long time and I was lucky to find a startup that was willing to give me an opportunity to try out something in digital space. I worked with a few startups during my PGSEM period and honed my skills in the digital marketing space. It was not very easy to manage work and studies but then I did it pull it off. And then they were extra-curriculars as well in the form of SAC which I think made PGSEM even more fun! As soon I graduated, I got the opportunity to spearhead planning for Nokia's digital business in India(thanks to Linkedin) and it's been good so far.
Q. Tell us something about the family?
I come from a family which has got three generations in law. My father recently retired as the Chief Justice of the High Court and now heads a Government Commission. My mother, elder brother and elder sister are also lawyers. So in a way, I am the black sheep of the family but then I add colour to the otherwise legalese dining-table conversations :)
Q. 3 words to describe you.

Q What could have been an alternative career for you?
Writer. I still moonlight as one and write for Lonely Planet India.

Q. What is the most challenging aspect of your role?
1.Consumer. Understanding the Indian consumer which is as diverse as it can be and demands the moon from the marketer.
2.Competition. Comes across all price spectrums. In the form of products and/or services as business struggles to survive.
3.Digital. The digital landscape in our country which is as diverse as it can be. While there are places in our country that struggles to get the basic piece of the digital infrastructure right, every marketer wants to have a piece of Youtube in his marketing strategy. It is a challenge tackling such a paradox.
4.Social Media. A beast in itself. It can make companies change their logos(the recent case of GAP.) One can never imagine how powerful can consumer's voice be.

Q. Your personal slogan.
Stay hungry, stay foolish(Stewart Brand)

Q. Whom do you consider as your Role Model and Why?
Anand Mahindra. For building multiple businesses from scratch, putting Indian cars on the global map, acquiring the then scathed company and for supporting the cause of humanities.

Q  What was the influence of PGSEM in the professional life?
Tremendous! I owe a lot to PGSEM and IIM Bangalore for getting me the professional platform I desired and for SAC for helping me become a more well-rounded personality. The academics offered at IIM Bangalore is unmatched and I glad that I am able to implement a lot of what I have studied.

Q. What is your message for PGSEMers?
Network with alumni, industry and batch mates, use Linkedin smartly, spend time with Professors and to add fun to your life, please do volunteer for SAC activities.

No comments:


Get Our Latest Posts Via Email - It's Free

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner