• Prof. S. Anant Ram

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Huge opportunities exist in marketing says IMT-Nagpur's Prof. S. Anant Ram

Opportunities abound for marketing students in a wide range of areas, says Institute of Management Technology Nagpur's Prof. S. Anant Ram.

"For marketing pupils I see huge opportunities in the areas of retailing, tourism, education, health, and hospitality," said the associate professor of marketing, noting some of the best prospects are in sales management.

"There is a perennial demand for savvy sales managers," he said Pursuing the PhD program of IMT - NLU, Prof. Ram has his MBA (Marketing) from Nagarjuna University, his B.A. (Industrial Relations and Personnel Management) from Andhra University and his diploma in Airlines, Hotel and Tourism Management from Trade Wings Institute of Management.

With an impressive background in academia and industry, he has been an Associate Professor at Institute of Management Technology, Nagpur since April 2011.

Previously, he served: on the faculty of marketing, Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies; as assistant professor and PGP Chairperson, IIAM; senior lecturer and head of the department, Samata College; lecturer, MRVPG centre; centre manager, Trade Wings Institute of Management; assistant branch manager and development officer, JCH Pvt. Ltd.; lecturer, GITAM Institute of Management and junior sales officer, VST Industries Ltd., sales executive, UDI Yellow Pages and customer relations officer, executive centre.

In all, he has been teaching marketing for more than 10 years, and said while the subject has evolved, the fundamentals remain the same.

"If you don't please the customer you are out of business," Prof. Ram. "Marketing demands imagination - yesterday, today and tomorrow. Both the student and the customer are least bothered about how wonderful the subject is. The customer wants a trusted problem-solver and the student (aspiring marketer) demands usable knowledge. Fancy marketing jargon is not a solution to customers' problems. Models are made for business and business is not made for models."

To those IMT-Nagpur students seeking to become marketing managers he said while you can never ever fully understand a customer, you've got to keep trying.

"What makes the customer tick keeps changing," said Prof. Ram. "Great marketing is a journey and not a destination. Soak yourself in the market place. Understand the customer. Figure out what will make him buy from you again and again. He will tell you what he wants. Listen to him. He is your permanent guru, god and boss. Marketing is not for the faint-hearted."

However there is much more to marketing than just knowing the customer.

"Knowing everything there is to know about the customer is not enough," he said. "To succeed marketers must understand the customer in a context including the competition, government policy and regulation and the broader social, economic and political forces that shape the evolution of markets."

Prof. Ram advises students to: take up live problems as part of project work; take an active role in organizing management events; scout out and grab support roles for consultancy assignments handled by the institute; network with alumni and understand the fundamentals of marketing thoroughly.