The Indian School of Business (ISB) launched the Centre for Business Markets (ISB-CBM) in collaboration with ISBM, USA (Institute for Study of Business Markets) on April 27, 2019, at its Hyderabad campus. ISB-CBM will showcase state-of-the-art research in Business-to-Business (B2B) marketing, sales and purchasing.
The event theme, “Contemporary Challenges in Business Markets for Companies Operating in Growth Economies,” was intended to help B2B-oriented organisations based in India and other countries in Asia to find innovative next-generation pathways to grow their businesses profitably. Distinguished B2B Marketing academics from across the world spoke on topics of interest to the industry. The launch also saw more than 400 participants from across India, representing more than 100 organisations including Aditya Birla Group, Aurolabs, Honeywell, Danfoss, Tech Mahindra, Wipro, Cyient, and many more.
The day was kick-started by Prof DVR Seshadri, the Director of ISB-CBM, who introduced the thinking behind its creation. Showcasing the fifty top global academicians and faculty who have converged to form the centre, Prof Seshadri affirmed that CBM would serve as a hub for executives and academics to gain knowledge in B2B Marketing Innovation and Business Performance.
Prof Rajendra Srivastava, Dean, ISB, spoke about the challenges of companies in business markets in growth economies. Describing some lessons from the past, he emphasised the importance of value creation and innovation. Prof Liam Fahey, Executive Director, Leadership Forum Inc., USA, introduced ISBM, USA to the audience and talked about how business market companies in the USA benefited from becoming members of the ISBM. He then went on to talk about the importance of garnering and using insights from the marketplace to make better strategic decisions that benefit the organisation, and how a company may go about acquiring the capabilities of generating valuable marketplace insights.
Prof Srinivas Reddy, Singapore Management University, spoke on ‘Digital Transformation of Marketing & Sales.’ He emphasised the need to have monitoring mechanisms to understand market trends around the digital transformation of marketing and sales. Prof Sundar Bharadwaj, University of Georgia, USA, spoke about the need for customer centricity in an era of massive disruptions. He equated the availability of rich data in the modern day to a ‘golden era for marketing’.
Prof Milind Sohoni, Deputy Dean, ISB, reflected on the innovations underway in supply chains within business markets. He urged firms to look at the changes taking place in the market in order to adapt supply chains to the fast-changing conditions. Prof Murali Mantrala, University of Missouri, discussed the important topic of ‘Salesforce Management in the Digital Era,’ referring to the new methods in which improved digital consumer engagement benefits the firms. Prof Phil Zerrillo, Deputy Dean, ISB, presented his thoughts on New Age Channels in Business Markets. He recommended that the companies promote a faster customer response rate with the use of technology to provide better value and transparency.
The invited speaker series was followed by a Panel Discussion that had six invited CXO-level panellists from well-known organisations spanning different industries. These included: Mr. Peeyush Gupta, VP-Steel (Marketing and Sales), Tata Steel; Mr. Feroze Mohammed, Executive VP, Hitachi Consulting; Mr. Jayant Kumar, Managing Director, Hilti India; Mr. Kamesh Mullapudi, Managing Director, Strategy and Operations, Deloitte; Ms. Manisha Saboo, Associate VP and Delivery Head, Infosys; and Mr. Ram Rangarajan, Senior Director and Site Lead of the medical electronics firm Stryker. Each of the panellists talked about the emerging challenges in their respective industries and how they were addressing them.
ISB-CBM aims to have over 200 large organisational members from the Asian geography who could benefit from its many initiatives in the broad areas of B2B Marketing, Sales and Procurement. For further information about the Centre, please visit: www.isb.edu/cbm
About the writers:
Prof DVR Seshadri and Astha Sharma from the Centre for Business Markets at ISB wrote this piece, with inputs from Ram Mohan Chitta at the Centre for Learning and Management Practice, ISB.