Nirmalya Kumar is professor of marketing and co-director of the Aditya Birla India Center at London Business School, Europe’s top-ranked business school. He is one of the world’s leading thinkers on strategy and marketing (voted 26 in 2011 Thinkers50) with a strong focus on the rise of India as an economic force.
Professor Nirmalya Kumar serves on the London Business School’s Board of Governors as the elected faculty representative and as the program director for two open enrollment executive programs: Market Driving Strategies and Accelerating Sales Force Performance. He has also taught at Harvard Business School, IMD (Switzerland) and Northwestern University (Kellogg School of Management). Passionate about marketing, he is willing to espouse controversial positions. He believes that the marketing function is currently in crisis and by focusing on the 4P’s, marketing is caught in the whirlpool of corporate obscurity that comes with responsibility for tactical implementation issues. Instead, for marketing to be relevant to CEOs, Kumar believes it must become strategic, cross-functional, and bottom-line oriented.
Professor Nirmalya Kumar has worked with more than 50 Fortune 500 companies in 50 different countries as coach and seminar leader & speaker on strategy, marketing, branding, retailing and distribution.
Kumar is the author of several books. Marketing as Strategy: Understanding the CEO’s Agenda for Driving Growth and Innovation (2004); Global Marketing (2005); and Private Label Strategy: How to Meet the Store Brand Challenge (2007) which focused on marketing strategy, where Kumar is also credited with introducing the concept of “3Vs”: valued customer, value proposition and value network.
More recently, he has written about India and its rise to economic superpower status. In India’s Global Powerhouses: How they are taking on the World (2009), Kumar provides an insider’s guide to doing business with Indian leaders and companies. His latest book is India Inside: The Emerging Innovation Challenge to the West, written with London Business School colleague Phanish Puranam (2011).
He has published articles for the Harvard Business Review along with more than 40 case studies including among them, companies such as Amazon, Red Bull, Wal-Mart and Zara. His cases ‘easyJet’ and ‘Medi-Cult’ have won three Business Week / ECCH adoption awards. His academic papers have appeared in Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Marketing, as well as six articles in the Journal of Marketing Research.
Professor Kumar has served on the board of directors of Bata India and currently on boards of ACC, BP Ergo, Gujarat Ambuja Cements Limited and Zensar Technologies. He has made more than 100 press appearances including BBC, Business Week, CNBC, CNN, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune and Wall Street Journal.
Professor Kumar received his B.Com. from Calcutta University, his MBA from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and his PhD in marketing from Kellogg Graduate School of Management (winning the Marketing Science Institute’s Alden G. Clayton Award for his PhD dissertation). All of the above has led to more than 400 press appearances, six European case (ECCH) adoption awards, as well as several teaching, research, and lifetime achievement honors. In 2011 he was ranked 26 in the world’s top business thinkers and in 2010, Speaking.com voted him amongst the top 5 marketing speakers worldwide. The Economic Times placed him 6th on the list of Global Indian Thought Leaders; whilst The Economist referred to him as a “rising superstar” in their cover story entitled “The New Masters of Management.”
In his personal life he is a keen collector of the work of Indian artist Jamini Roy and is said to have the largest collection of Roy paintings outside of India.