Marketing Communications Industry: Entrepreneurial Case Studies

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Gautam Raj Jain & Raunica Ahluwalia

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  • At the heart of all forms of entrepreneurship lies the ability to communicate. All our attempts at communicating or marketing effectively over the ages has led to significant innovations and pioneering of new ventures. There are few people in academia with sufficient experience and knowledge of the symbiotic relationship between communications, marketing, and entrepreneurship. Gautam Raj Jain and Raunica Ahluwalia have explored the ambitions, abilities and ideas of entrepreneurship from different arenas in the Marketing Communications Industry. At a time of rapid change in the Indian business environment, this is an excellent collection of case studies which exemplifies the drive and determination of creative entrepreneurs and the need for nurturing growth in the industry through creative, entrepreneurial talent. Students and professionals involved in marketing, communications, business and entrepreneurship must read this book.

    Professor Jay Mitra, Founding Professor of Business Enterprise and Innovation, Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship Research, Head of the School of Entrepreneurship and Business, University of Essex, United Kingdom

    The authors explore the relatively unexplored world of entrepreneurs from the Marketing Communications Industry (MCI). Their analysis of the cases provides useful insights for aspiring entrepreneurs. It is indeed encouraging to note that the new generation entrepreneurs in the MCI industry are not confined to any specific family, community or religious background and that entrepreneurial success in this field can be achieved by any independent-minded creative-thinking professional having grit and determination. This book would surely add to the body of knowledge on entrepreneurship and be a source of inspiration to potential entrepreneurs.

    Dr Mathew J. Manimala, Professor of Organizational Behaviour, Jamuna Raghavan Chair Professor of Entrepreneurship, Editor, South Asian Journal of Management, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, India

    The variety of cases discussed from the Marketing Communications Industry provide an excellent backdrop for budding entrepreneurs to decide upon their future. This is a unique book; there are not many books on this subject.

    Professor K. Ramachandran, Associate Dean (Academic Programmes), Thomas Schmidheiny Fellow of Family Business & Wealth Management, Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, India

    The case studies of this book are both instructive and inspiring. It is a must read for anyone harbouring an entrepreneurial dream.

    Suraj Commuri, Assistant Professor, School of Business, University at Albany, State University of New York, USA

    The current book fills the void in the domain of Marketing Communications Industry and case study methodology. The authors have done a wonderful job in writing these cases—for inspirational and pragmatic reasons—and this would help the entrepreneurs, managers, students and teachers of Marketing Communications. Lucidly written, it would be an interesting read even for people who are not connected with the Marketing Communication Industry.

    Professor M. Akbar, Professor, Indian Institute of Management Lucknow, India

    This book presents inspiring stories of a new breed entrepreneurs in the Marketing Communications Industry. It brings forth the whole idea of ‘professional entrepreneurship’ that is very relevant to the knowledge economy. It would fuel the spirit of entrepreneurism which is driven not just by knowledge but also by passion and risk-taking.

    Dr Keyoor Purani, Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode, India

    The need for studies in ‘entrepreneurship’ has recently been recognised in universities around the globe, but it has been difficult to locate contemporary case studies. This book provides a number of interesting case studies, which would help to fill this gap. The book will also be of interest to people wanting to establish their own businesses in the field of Marketing Communications. It will provide them with an informative self study manual.

    Dr Martin Kelly, Joint Chairperson in Accounting, Waikato Management School, New Zealand

    Copyright

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    Foreword

    It is encouraging to note that an effort is being made to present entrepreneurial initiatives in the broad based creative industries sector, and more specifically in the domain of communications driven businesses.

    In the last 50 years, the world economy and global socio-cultural systems, people and communities, have rapidly progressed from the industrial age through the information and knowledge management domain, to the emergence of the ‘ideas economy’. In India specifically, this transition from the industrial economy to the ideas economy has occurred in the last 25 years creating new markets, new consumer and customer cohorts, providing exciting business opportunities and spawning a large number of young entrepreneurs who have shown the energy, insight, determination and risk taking ability to create new ventures in several communications domains. The authors of this book have attempted to capture this entrepreneurial spirit in communications management sector, by not only effectively presenting the personality, value and beliefs of the entrepreneurs, but also the manner in which they harnessed the passion and spirit of their teams to establish successful business enterprises.

    In today's context, it is the human talent which will generate new ideas and reconstruct business paradigms. Businesses, to succeed in the future, will need to interact with the stakeholders in a creative and effective manner, anchored in the use of emerging technologies and built through insights which identify more effective ways of satisfying the customer and buyer needs. Communications Management, combined with entrepreneurial spirit, is likely to provide the winning combination in the emerging globalised environment, where the balance of power is gradually but definitely shifting from the suppliers of goods and services to the consumers, who now have multiple choices.

    Economists and Researchers who have explored the meaning of entrepreneurship have identified the entrepreneurial spirit as the willingness and ability to convert a new idea into successful innovation and enterprise. Entrepreneurship is often associated with the ability to manage true uncertainty, particularly when it involves bringing something unique and novel to the world and a situation where the market has to be created for the idea presented by the entrepreneur. This requires entrepreneurs to exhibit extreme optimism, ingeniousness and resourcefulness. It also requires the entrepreneur to have a clear vision and then focus on the operational tasks which translate this vision into reality.

    Simultaneously, Communications Management involves the systematic planning, implementation, monitoring and revision of the multiple channels of communications both within and outside the organisation. In a consumer oriented environment, one of the critical skill sets required will be the ability to discover consumer insights and then manage the customer in order to fulfil this insight. Skills such as an understanding of people, sociology, economy and culture will need to be integrated by the entrepreneur in achieving business success. The authors have been able to effectively compile a series of case studies where the characteristics of entrepreneurship and the constructs of communications management, have been effectively combined for business success.

    The case studies demonstrate:

    • New markets developing in response to effective demand leads to creation of new customers or buyers.
    • Discovery of new sources of ideas and materials is driven by an undercurrent of innovation and risk taking.
    • Mobilisation of capital resources takes place through the promoter's initiative and self confidence.
    • Introduction of new technologies, new products and services fulfils and satisfies customer needs in a focused and definitive way.
    • Creation of employment through consistent growth of the entrepreneurial venture.

    I strongly recommend this book to aspiring entrepreneurs, professionals with diverse managerial responsibilities across industries and students of management who wish to get a better appreciation of how to harness ideas, resources and communications skills to forge new pathways for enterprise success. The book is also recommended for all those government organisations and industries that believe in encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit of Young India.

    In pursuance of the view that entrepreneurship and skills in management of communications need to be combined, the Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad (MICA) has established the MICA Entrepreneurship Development Centre under the able guidance of Professor Gautam Raj Jain, one of the authors of this book and a senior professor at MICA.

    The MICA EDC is being supported by National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Board (NSTEDB), the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. The MICA EDC has also commenced a Post Graduate Programme in Communications Management and Entrepreneurship, which will nurture selected entrepreneurs through the NSTEDB supported ‘Com-cubator’ (Communications' Technology Based Business Incubator). The case studies discussed in the book would inspire students and communications professionals to seek entrepreneurial careers through MICA's Com-cubation process.

    24 April 2008

    AtulTandan, Director, Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad

    Acknowledgements

    We acknowledge the contributions of several people who provided immense support in transforming our research project into this book.

    We would like to express our deep gratitude to the Founder-CEOs of all the companies, not only for their willingness to share their experiences, pains and pleasures with us but also for spending valuable time in patiently sitting through the long, probing interviews, often more than once, and subsequently going through the transcript of the case study and approving it for publication. They shared with us their inspiring and new insights of entrepreneurial initiatives in the genre of Marketing Communications Industry.

    We would like to express our special gratitude to Professor Atul Tandan, Director, MICA for his encouragement and support in our endeavour at all the stages—research, writing and publication of this book. Further, he enriched this book by writing the foreword.

    Our special appreciation and thanks to Asmita Talwalkar, an alumnus of MICA, for her support in revisiting one of case studies in Pune and Professor Rajesh Asrani for helping in rewriting one of the case studies.

    A special thanks to the editing and creative team at MICA—Jalp Lakhia, Judith Nazareth, Anuradha Bhattacharjee for their editorial support at the draft stage; and Esha Patnaik of IIM-A for her help in the final stages of revision of this book. Our special thanks to Mr Rajram Iyer for all his coordination and support in implementing the case study as research project and also in its publication.

    Lastly, we are thankful to Dr Sugata Ghosh, Sushmita Banerjee and the team at SAGE Publications for providing the opportunity to bring this book to fruition.

  • About the Authors

    Gautam Raj Jain, PhD, is Senior Professor and Executive Vice Chairperson, MICA–EDC, at the Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad, India. He has held various academic positions in premier management schools like the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad; Goa Institute of Management, Goa; Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, Ahmedabad and Academy of Human Resource Development, Ahmedabad. He has also worked as an international consultant to United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the European Union (EU) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). He has 27 years of academic, research and training experience; has conducted over 25 international workshops in Asian and African countries, in addition to 24 national training workshops in India. He has co-authored three books and published several papers in reputed journals and books. He has also presented several papers at national and international conferences.

    Raunica Ahluwalia is a Brand Planner and is associated with the Mudra Communications Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi, India. She has done postgraduation in International Business from IIFT. She is a recipient of MICA's Post Graduate Diploma in Communications Management and was also one of the first team members at the Entrepreneurship Development Centre at MICA. Working as a project associate, this book was her first attempt to understand the innovative and passionate minds behind the entrepreneurial ventures in the communication industry. Working closely with the entrepreneurs, the desire to start a venture of her own rubbed off on her and she decided to start ‘Think’, her own training centre. She has conducted a series of workshops on self-development, innovative careers and lateral thinking for students and professional bodies.


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