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“It is idea or I die, basically”, says alumnus Mr. Vivek Malhotra, Vice President, Marketing, Idea Cellular Ltd. in his recent interaction with students of FORE School of Management, New Delhi


13th October 2014


Students of FORE School of Management, New Delhi recently had an opportunity to listen to an expert who has made a name for himself in Marketing in the Telecom sector. Mr. Vivek Malhotra is the Vice President, Marketing, Idea Cellular Ltd., and he has over 20 years of experience in the field. Importantly, he is an alumnus and a glorious ambassador for the institute. Hence, it was a homecoming of sorts when he came back to deliver the guest lecture on ‘Sales and Marketing’ in the Telecom industry at FSM.

 

 

 

The alumnus from the 1992-94 batch naturally received a warm welcome as he took to the podium and shared insights into the industry that has become his specialty. Mr. Malhotra began the lecture by talking about 4G Technology and the exciting Future of Technology. According to him, “If one player builds coverage, others have to follow or perish.” Such is the competitive nature of the industry he works in; and, knowing more about it from a renowned professional like him was definitely an eye-opening experience for the students.

 

Being an alumnus of the institute, a place where he was groomed as a professional, Mr. Malhotra took special interest in helping students understand the ins and outs of the industry. Talking about coming back to FORE School of Management, New Delhi, he said, “It’s always great to be back here. I have been coming back for the past two years for guest lectures and I love connecting with students here. It also allows me to reflect on the memories of my college days.”

 

 

 

Mr. Malhotra has been the brain behind Idea Cellular creative brand and it’s fascinating to know how his mind ticks, especially creatively, after all these years. Letting us into his creative process he says, “Sometimes I read something that I feel is very close to my heart. It is idea or I die, basically. You have to come up with ideas every time – otherwise you will not be able to survive in the industry.” And that’s how he has managed to make a place for himself with Idea for almost 15 years.

 

According to Mr. Malhotra, the industry keeps you on your toes and he feels the 15 years gone by are like yesterday. It’s important to understand the work ethic of a seasoned professional like him; but, he gives the students some insight, saying, “Speed is the essence of living. When you are busy doing what you love, then you are going to have a lot of fun. My time with Idea has been fantastic and every assignment has dealt with something specific that is very close to my heart.”

 

Mr. Malhotra makes a joke about not finding another job all these years, when asked about his loyalty to the brand. But in all seriousness, loyalty counts for a lot in the industry and he acknowledges that. “Actually there are a lot of people who have been with Idea for many years and it’s more about the freedom the company offers you”, he explains. “If you are given a certain kind of attitude, independence of thinking and challenging projects, it makes you who you are. That’s what has happened to me with the company”.

 

He then goes on to explain different concepts one comes across in Sales and Marketing, in the context of the Telecom industry. For him brand positioning involves creating a brand in a position right from the word go. “You need to take a place in mind and uniqueness has to be there”, he says “The most important thing is to find the right position for yourself. That’s what we are trying to do as individuals, and it’s the same concept with marketing, we just make it bigger and help brands find their place”.

 

Ask him what the most satisfying part of his job is, and he is quick to reply: “The satisfaction that you get when people come and tell you that how they were able to do something with the brand, how it changed their life or saved their life, is a nice feeling. Brands are like hats that you wear at different points in time and some might look good on you at a certain stage, but making a difference to a human life in whatever way you can is what you live for”.

 

Given his experience in the field of marketing, he understands how things have changed over the years. That’s something he bears in mind while hiring freshers: “When you look at an individual you see whether he or she has got the commitment, intelligence, emotional quotient to work in teams. You have to look at the broader picture because an individual contributes, but the team delivers.” He also appreciates the change in new students, who he believes have the inquisitiveness to find the answer by themselves, which is a trait they should continue to develop.

 

Listening to Mr. Malhotra, you know you are in the presence of a man who is not only passionate about marketing but wants to make a difference in the lives of students. It has been an enlightening talk for them and he concludes with his final words of advice: “Marketing is changing faster than we read in the books. From the service and customer point of view, marketing is becoming the central part of organizations. That’s why people need to have the ability to interact with and understand all the gamut of the business. Hence you need to go out, see the world and be more flexible.”
 

 

 

 
 
 
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