In a Conversation With Dr. Ramaswamy and Ms. Namakumari, Authors of Marketing Management

Marketing is one of the most sought after fields today. We have a plethora of knowledge available on the internet and texts. In one of our recent attempts of exploring knowledge materials on marketing, we happened to interview Dr. Ramaswamy and Ms. Namakumari, authors of a best-selling textbook on Marketing Management – Marketing Management: Indian Context Global Perspective, SIXTH EDITION published by SAGE Publications India. Here’s what they had to say:

Congratulations on the publication of the 6th edition of Marketing Management. This title is already recognised as a legend, with the previous 5 editions having done so well. How do you see the latest edition?

This book is the pioneer, published 35 years ago; the first Indian text on marketing, presenting a unique, India-centric approach to the discipline of marketing. The previous five editions with forty odd reprints have established the title as a popular text on the subject for the MBA programmes of the universities and B-Schools in India and it has now triumphantly entered its 6th avatar. The teachers and students have solidly stood by the title. Without their support, such achievements would never have been possible. So, the first comment, Ms Namakumari and I would make is, “Thank you so much, dear teachers and students, for making our book such a success”.

To what would you attribute this outstanding success of this title?

It is simple. The title filled a need. When you offer a product that fills a felt need, it sells. In the past, our B-Schools were largely using books written in the North American perspective. This was largely because a quality book on Marketing written in the Indian context was not available. When such a book was made available, the users took to it with gusto. Today, most of our B-Schools are quitting the foreign books on Marketing and preferring Indian ones. And, among Indian texts, this book is considered unique. A book that is wholly India-centric, comprehensive, and apt for the times.

This book has no doubt proved to be a time-tested and distinctive resource for teaching marketing. And, many Professors in leading B-Schools use it as the text. Could you please say “How is the latest edition different from the previous ones”?

I would say “the emphasis on the Value-delivery theme”, is the prime distinctive feature of this edition. Of course, editions 4 and 5 had also laid emphasis on the “Value- theme”. But the present one makes a significant contribution to marketing-teaching by offering the “value concept of marketing”. It strengthens the foundation of marketing-teaching. And, it does not stop with introducing the concept; it integrates it into all the lessons in the book, end to end. It is totally built around the Value theme. It makes the students realise that ‘value delivery to the customer’ is the crux of marketing. The second thing I can say about the latest edition is that it is “the book of the times”. It is very relevant to the contemporary times. These are extra ordinary times for marketing. Marketing has not only been changing rapidly but has also been going through a predicament. Its study and practice need a change, right now. On one hand, this new edition preserves the strengths of previous editions; on the other, it introduces new material to enhance the quality of marketing learning. One important feature is the re-organisation of topics and their integration into more homogeneous modules, optimizing the number of Chapters in the process.

Has the USP of the book undergone any change in the latest edition?

Its USP has not undergone any change in any fundamental way. It, however, has attained an elevation— an elevation from ‘An Indian text’ to ‘The authentically and wholly Indian text’ on marketing. The compelling logic for an Indian text is well understood today and an ‘Indian text on marketing’ is no more a big deal. There are many and the tribe is growing. But this one is the ‘authentically and wholly Indian’ one. To say, it is not a mere adaptation of a text created for an alien student community, is an understatement. It has been written specifically for the Indian student. The Indian setting and the marketing topics covered are woven together like warp and weft. The book has a strong USP in comparison with both the foreign texts and the other Indian texts on the subject. That the foreign can be described as “books with some Indian examples”, this one is an “Indian book”.

Please elaborate a little on the new feature—Marketing Insight—that has been added to the latest edition.

‘Marketing Insight’ is a major new feature of this new edition. It consists of exhibits, spread through all the chapters. These exhibits provide ‘Marketing Insight’ explaining how high-performing companies, Indian as well as Global, are excelling in various aspects of marketing. These are designed to make teaching and learning more concrete as well as more enjoyable. We have tried to make this book a welcome companion for the teacher; teaching marketing through this book and the supporting Instructor resources will make the class room live; and teaching a finer experience. Just as it makes teaching a finer experience for the teacher, it makes learning a fine experience for the students.

How important is it to bridge the gap between learnings in B-Schools and execution in the corporate world? Does your book bridge this gap? 

Why do so many of our youngsters go abroad for higher studies spending so much money? Many of these youngsters go abroad for MBA. One main reason for this is the yawning gap between learnings in our B-Schools and execution in the corporate world. The education they receive in our B-Schools does not equip them with the knowledge and skills needed for managing businesses in the real world. The inadequacy or inappropriateness of the curriculum and the textbooks must take the major part of the blame for this. While this applies to several subjects of management-education, it is especially telling in respect of marketing. Our BSchools, obviously, need to ramp-up the curriculum on marketing and introduce the right textbooks. I hope this new book will help bridge in some way this gap between learnings in BSchools and execution in the corporate world. It will, in any case, equip the students to comprehend marketing in a manner relevant to the Indian setting.

You can check out the book here!

This article was originally published on University Express, on November 28,2018


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