In a first of its kind session by the Marketing and General Management Forum, the students of TAPMI were involved in an enriching and informal session with Professor Vinod Madhavan. He spoke with an open heart and a free mind about the career prospects and challenges in the field of marketing and what lies ahead in the future. He also shared his personal experiences with the students to give them a taste of reality.

He began the session by telling the students that a marketer must know how to impress customers as they are the ones who get money to the table. The other departments of a company simply manage the money. He referred to 'war' as the synonym for marketing as it involves a stiff battle with direct and indirect competitors. To win this war, a marketer needs courage and ideas and hence, is not a career for the faint-hearted.

Marketing as a career option gives a diverse, dynamic work experience that gives rise to new challenges every day. It is also fast paced, involves a challenging environment very often and is faced with numerous internal and external pressures.

Moving ahead, he spoke of the skill sets that a marketer must have and told the students to improve on these during their stay at TAPMI. Firstly, a marketer must take the initiative or somebody else will. Secondly, he must have leadership skills in which persistence plays a major role. Thirdly, he should have good analytical skills as decisions are taken based on facts and not merely on intuition. Fourthly, the team is god as far as marketing is concerned. The fifth skill that a marketer must have is that he must possess radical and out of the box ideas. Lastly, he must have the communication skills necessary to convince others.

Moving on to career paths, he spoke of three traditional careers and two modern day career options. The traditional paths included sales, marketing (branding, project management, etc.) and a move from sales to marketing once an employee has gained enough experience. The modern day options included careers in analytics and digital marketing.

To end with he said that students must choose their careers wisely as digital marketing in India will take at least another 10 to 15 years to reach an advanced level. The infrastructural challenges, illiteracy rates, lack of access to technology and branding and communication remain hindrances in the path of digital marketing in India.