Nirmalya Kumar speaker

Nirmalya Kumar

Marketing and innovation expert with a special interest in examining the rise of India's economic influence.

Nirmalya Kumar is the author of six books, four on the subject of marketing. His book, Marketing as Strategy (2004) is a hard hitting analysis which argues that marketing needs to become central to any enterprise playing a strategic role and not just delivering tactical add-ons. He has also written about the rise of own labels as serious competitors to established brands and is credited with coming up with the concept of the "3Vs": valued customer, value proposition and value network.

Videos of Nirmalya Kumar

Recession as a marketing opportunity

Speaker Profile

About Nirmalya Kumar

A lively and informed speaker, passionate about his topic whether he is talking about global marketing or the role of India in the world today.


Born in 1960, Nirmalya Kumar attended Calcutta and then Shivaji University in the early 80's before completing his MBA at the University of Illinois Chicago in 1986. He received his Ph.D. in Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in 1991. He taught at Kellogg and served on the faculty of Harvard Business School and the IMD-International Institute for Management Development in Switzerland. He became the Professor of Marketing and the Director of the Aditya Birla India Centre at the London Business School in 2003.

He is a keen collector of art and is said to have the largest collection of paintings by the artist Jamini Roy outside India.


In recent years he has turned his attention to Indias role in the global economy, looking at the country's leading companies in India's Global Powerhouses and explaining how they differ from their international rivals. In his 2012 book, India Inside, he challenges the idea that India does not excel creatively in terms of innovation, research and development and argues that much innovation work occurs across boundaries so that if you open up many products today you would find something developed by India Inside.

His next book will return to the issue of global branding and the challenges he sees ahead.

As well as writing books Nirmalya Kumar is a coach, consultant and speaker. He has addressed over 50 Fortune 500 companies all over the world. He has direct board experience with several Indian firms including ACC Limited and Zensar Technologies.

His papers have been published in the Academy of Management Journal, the Journal of Marketing Research and the Harvard Business Review including case studies examining Amazon, Red Bull, Wal-Mart and Zara. His press appearances include the BBC, Business Week, The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Current / Past Roles & Positions

  • Marketing Professor at the London Business School and co-director of its Aditya Birla India Centre
  • Number 26 on the Thinkers 50 list of influential thought leaders
  • Author of India Inside which reveals India's contribution to research and innovation
  • New projects include a look at the challenges posed by branding for the global market

Speaking Topics

  • Private label strategy: how to meet the store brand challenge
  • Global retail challenge
  • Right way to kill a brand
  • Role of marketing
  • Global branding
  • Innovation in India
  • Strategies to fight low-cost rivals
  • The future challenges for India's economy


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Books By Nirmalya Kumar

  • Marketing as Strategy: Understanding the CEO's Agenda for Driving Growth and Innovation (2004)
  • India Inside: The emerging innovation challenge to the West with Phanish Puranam (2012)
  • India's Global Powerhouses: How They Are Taking on the World (2009)
  • Private Label Strategy: How to Meet the Store Brand Challenge with Jan-Benedict Steenkamp (2007)
  • Global Marketing (2006)

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