It’s the busy office of the Marketing Head, Mother Dairy - the man who literally drives the mammoth marketing space when it comes to dairy products in India. The man is Debashis Das.
“There is something common to all IMT Ghaziabad students,” says Debashis Das, “we just try harder, and that’s the reason why we are all very good. While the better known institutes at that time, had industry interaction knocking on their doors, we at IMT Ghaziabad really had to stretch ourselves to be noticed. There was a feeling in each of us to go that extra mile. This is why IMT Ghaziabad has been a student run institute for many years, especially in the early years. This, in hindsight, has always been our big strength at IMT Ghaziabad.”
Debashis’ claim to fame in the industry is of course the launching of Pril in the market. It takes a lot of perseverance to taste success- “Prior to the launch of Pril, the research agency advised me not to launch because the competitor was virtually generic to the category and has entrenched consumers for more than 5 years. Many others had made attempts and failed. But we worked harder, found a differentiator, generated a concept, created a product and complete marketing mix around it. Pril became an immediate success, won various awards and the campaign was even featured in Philip Kotler’s Marketing Management Indian Edition.”
Over the decades, in the ever evolving world of marketing, Debashis has faced all types of challenges – and thrived. Simply because of the diehard IMT Ghaziabad attitude of putting in 200% effort, when 100% is not enough!
“Get into marketing only if you know you have the passion for it, and that your passion is more than that of your competitors;
Debashis feels that the consumer today is far more evolved than before, and does not wait for the brand team to create the brand, but rather likes to be an active member of the brand evolution. They talk to you more directly through the multiple touch-points provided by the media and technology explosion. With the budgets becoming thinner, it takes an immense understanding of the consumer to avoid wastage. Marketing today is far more technical, where brand managers have to go beyond the usual methods of good advertising campaign, packaging change and brand activation. It has to be almost like ‘taking your consumer on a date’ in a complete business perspective.
“Many new consumers moving into your TG are those who were born after the liberalization of the Indian economy in 1991. They are born with a spirit of fearlessness and trial. Therefore, loyalty factor and product life cycles are getting shorter than ever before. This is a trend that will continue. With more and more options available to the consumer, brands will need to give a stronger reason every time to the consumer and say ‘pick me up’ even louder.”
Debashis Das singles out his dream faculty at IMT Ghaziabad for special thanks.
“Starting from Sanjeev Bikhchandani to Abhijeet Bhowmik, C K Sabarwal and T N Seshan at his peak, it was an honour being mentored by many such great names at IMT Ghaziabad. When I took up the task of building up alumni relationships for IMT Ghaziabad, I did it because I felt there was a need and opportunity to do this for a larger community to build the IMT Ghaziabad brand. Many years have passed, and I have had successes and failures, but my efforts are consistent.”
On the lighter note, Debashis hopes that his claim to immortality in IMT Ghaziabad is as the ‘chappar phaar ke aayaa hai man’! As the story goes, he fell off the roof of the cafeteria breaking the asbestos sheet, which was the fabric used to house the famous ‘Sharmaji ka canteen’ in 1996. For a long time after that I was known in IMT Ghaziabad as the person jo “chappar phaar ke aaya hai!”