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Event: Pitch CMO Summit 2013

Speaker: Mr. M.V.Krishna, Vice President, Marketing (Two-Wheelers), Piaggio India (16 years of experience with TVS Motors and Castrol)

Session Chair: Mr. Shripad Kulkarni, CEO, Percept Media

Mr. M.V.Krishna

Mr. M.V.Krishna

Did you know?? There’s close to 11 players in the two-wheeler market that offer almost exactly the same mileage of 100 to 125 cc and are also priced similarly. Yet, the funny part is that people still stay utterly confused about which one to buy in this market of 11 look-alikes!! Now, that’s because a whole lot of factors feature in the buying decision, which can be can be broadly summarised as rational factors which include functional benefits like mileage, price, etc and emotional factors like brand image, reliability and so on.

In this cluttered two-wheeler market, how can brands differentiate themselves and make the choice easier for the consumer? Looks like the iconic 1940s brand – Vespa Piaggio has just the right solution for this problem as it tries to stand out in this market of me-too’s.

With its new launch, the Vespa Piaggio wishes to establish a niche in a logic driven market, command a premium price for the same and also procure a sizeable business out of it. The challenge was to bring in novelty and style while still holding on to the timeless brand image of the Piaggio.

To achieve this objective, the team decided to go ahead with ‘Unscootering Vespa’ that is to tell consumers that ‘Vespa’ is not just about mileage, price, convenience, reliability, pickup, or anything,  but it is much more than that.  There are Vespa Clubs for fanatics, who know Vespa’s more than just the functionalities! These clubs have a worldwide presence, and closer to home, you’ll find them in Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad. Seems like Vespa is going the Harley Davidson way!

Vespa, priced at a 40% premium with respect to the average scooter price, competes in the

Display of a wasp made using Vespa at Kala GhodaArts Festival 2013

Display of a wasp made using Vespa at Kala Ghoda
Arts Festival 2013

high-end segment. They target two interesting segments of consumers: ‘The Liberated’- the expressive and affiliated group of people and ‘The Achievers’- the ones who feel that their vehicle depicts who they are and how they wish to be perceived.

As is it said, a brand is all about – What it is, What it says, What it does and Where it is seen. The latest Vespa display at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2013, speaks volumes about Vespa’s intention to clearly ‘unscooter’ itself and break through the clutter!!

How successful they turn out to be is something that we must wait and watch!

-An excerpt from the Pitch CMO Summit 2013 report made by Abhishek Shetty, Nima Vijayan, Rashmi Udayshankar & Rati Sawant (students of SIESCOMS 2012-14 Batch)


Knowledge Management – A Driver of Competitive Advantage and Business Growth!

Event: CII – Knowledge Summit 2013


  • Mr. Jayesh Chakravarthi (Senior Vice President and Country Head-IT Fidelity Business Services India Pvt. Ltd.),
  • Mr. Karuna Ramanathan (Deputy Head, SAF centre for Leadership development, Singapore Armed Forces),
  • Mr. Arun Gupta (Chief Information Officer, Cipla Ltd.),
  • Mr. Vadim Shiryaev (President, SOMAR; CKO, Livejournal, Russia),
  • Mr. Alok Kumar (Vice President and Global Head- Internal IT and Shared Services, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.).

Session moderator: Mr. Ganesh Natarajan (Chairman, CII Knowledge Committee 2012-13; Vice Chairman and CEO, Zensar Technologies Ltd.)

As people progress and move up the ladder, their buying habits change significantly. This is a pretty ‘common-sense’ piece of information. And this piece of information remains just that until it is transformed into Knowledge – which is the real task. And that is where Knowledge Management comes into the picture.

Well, Shoppers’ Stop – the Indian department store chain promoted by the K Raheja Corp1 Group, used this piece of information and designed a new strategy to create a slight shift in positioning and successfully rake in a whole lot of revenues.

The strategy included positively changing the attitude of the floor personnel, rebranding of the floor – in terms of merchandise, vacating value clothing and focusing only on premium brands. This added an aspirational value to the brand, although a certain set of customers who came for the value clothing are possibly being lost.

As visual merchandising plays an important role in retail and is known to affect purchase decisions, the store look was changed to add a more contemporary feel. And as hoped for, revenues from the targeted customers gradually began to rise. For Shoppers’ Stop, merely knowing the number of customers possessing a first citizen’s card was not enough. They went one step ahead by converting mere information into knowledge that could be put to use!

An organisation that looks bottom up is usually knowledge driven. Knowledge Management doesn’t happen in a committee. It happens when large sales teams interact with one another, share instances, and help each other overcome challenges.

This can happen only when there exists a sense of purpose and intent among the various internal stakeholders involved. Intent is something that a CEO sets for a company;

SIESCOMS representation at the summit

SIESCOMS representation at the summit

however without articulation of purpose it is incomplete. A common purpose is imperative to make sure knowledge is shared and made use of effectively for the benefit of customers and eventually for the benefit of the company.

Talking about information, how can we not speak about social media which is bursting at its seams with terabytes of information on a daily basis? Social media is important for collaboration in today’s world. Today, companies use social media to gain consumer insights, and many companies are also contemplating on incentivising knowledge sharing. But who knows, that might actually cause more harm than good with users cooking up stories just for the sake of the lucrative incentive. In the end, how to filter all those Facebook and Twitter feeds to gain what is of value to the company and its product is a test of Knowledge Management right there.

All said and done, everything in Management boils down to quantification of results and return on investment. The knowledge shared, the insight gained might be priceless, but can we quantify it, can we measure the return on the investment made in Knowledge Management – that’s a thought for all to ponder upon!

 – An excerpt from the KMO SUMMIT 2013 Report made by Dipendra Saxena, Lata Punetha, Madhura Navare, Navya Chandrasekar, Nupoor Mehta, Prajakta Sarmalkar, Pranita Shewale, Pratik Shetty, Renita Miranda, Ruchika Shrivastava, Sandhya Bhatre & Utsav Joshi (students of SIESCOMS 2012-14 Batch)


Event: Pitch CMO Summit 2013

Speaker: Ms. Manisha Lath Gupta,CMO, Axis Bank (13 years of  experience with Colgate and Unilever, IIM-B alumna)

Session Chair: Mr. Suresh Balakrishna, CEO, Brand Programming Network


Ms. Manisha Gupta

‘In a day, how often do you think of a bank and how often do you listen to music?’ That’s the question Ms. Manisha decided to start her talk with at the Pitch CMO Summit 2013. Undoubtedly, people listened to music more often. Well, the motive behind her question was to portray that people tend to spend more time and also focus more on aspects that entertain and engage them. Thus, it is better for brands to associate themselves with some sort of engaging music or action in order to create an impact in the minds of customers. But it is difficult for brands in the BFSI sector to engage customers due to the sheer nature of their products and offerings. But Axis Bank wasn’t willing to give up and go with the flow, it decided to tweak the scenario with its latest three-fold strategy:

  • Create Advertising which is Entertaining!
  • Create Content to Increase Engagement
  • Integrating Content via more Consumer Association

Let’s look at how each of these tactics has been put to work by Axis Bank!!

  1. Create Advertising which is Entertaining!

This is the rationale behind Axis Bank’s most recent ad campaigns ‘Badhti ka naam zindagi’ and ‘Zindagi ke highway pe koi akela nahi chalta’. The fact that people prefer more engaging communication such as songs and stories, has led the marketing team at Axis to believe that they need to be using more effective and engaging tools to get to theirSIESCOMS customers, rather than just talking about the banking products, which is a dry topic in itself. Also, nobody likes to hear about somebody else, but everybody simply loves to hear anything about their own self. This is the idea behind moulding every ad campaign around the lives and life stories of customers. The main motive behind making the ad campaigns with so much focus and emotional connect towards the customers, was to compel them to watch the ad time and again, and thus increase Axis’ mind share.

  1. Create Content to Increase Engagement

To implement this strategy, Axis has launched a website named as . The insight behind this website and the corresponding ad campaign was that our lives are interlinked to those around us, and whatever we do has a direct or indirect effect on the people around us, that is, ‘when you progress, others progress too, and thus we progress together’. To give impetus to this initiative, a platform has been provided at, where an individual can express gratitude and thank anyone, who he believes has contributed to his success. To attract more traffic to the website, multiple entry points were enabled namely an application micro-site and a facebook application on the brand’s page. Besides this, the TVCs, outdoor ads and print ads also route traffic to the website. Currently, more than 1000 people have used the platform to thank others.

In the second phase of strategy implementation, Axis Bank has dared to Make Finance Fun! To do so, it has launched four interactive games on the website, siescomswhere in each game addresses one financial problem and generates solutions to the problem. The games include Suneetha’s Dilemma – introducing the Axis Bank Ladies-First Card, exclusively for homemakers and Happy Home – that provides tips to reduce number of EMIs, and others. At present, more than 12000 customers have engaged with Axis Bank through these games.

  1. Integrating Content via more Consumer Association

For the purpose of increasing their consumer association, Axis Bank has opted for various effective partnerships and collaborations. Well, if you’ve noticed the Axis bank logo on the cheque that Mr. Amitabh Bachchan hands over to contestants of KBC, Axis can be sure their attempt was effective. Axis Bank collaborated with Satyamev Jayate by becoming their donation partner and by having Amir Khan name Axis Bank as a source of more information and donation points while asking viewers to donate for the cause.

Axis Bank’s promotion strategy is a good example of how connecting with customers is all about starting with an idea and building around it with entertainment and engagement. And seems like they’ve been successful at it!


Rashmi Udayshankar

MMS (2012-14)

2012 in review

The stats prepared a 2012 Annual Report for The SIESCOMS Blog. A BIG thanks to all who’ve been there – contributed, commented, voted, participated or at least just read all that we posted for YOU!!!

Thanks a lot!!! And we really hope to make The SIESCOMS Blog bigger and better with every passing year… and that’s possible ONLY through your unfailing support, which we are sure we can always bank on!!

The SIESCOMS Blog Annual Report 2012

The SIESCOMS Blog Annual Report 2012

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 16,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 4 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.


The SIESCOMS Blog Team

Virtualities 2013

Virtualities 2013 is going to become a reality on *22nd & 23rd Feb* 2013. So all the Ad Addicts, Mock Stock Stallions, Energetic Actors, Budding Business developers, Pharma phenoms, Bio techies, block your calendar and gear up for the battle against the top B-schools of Mumbai.

Follow the link for more details and get right on to telling all your friends about it !!

Last date for registration: 19th February 2013

SIES College of Management Studies

Virtualities 2013

You Can Be a Stock Market Genius

You Can Be a Stock Market Genius – Joel Greenblatt

My only problem with this book has been its title. Not only is it tacky but it also gives a wrong sense to people.   Apart from the title, it’s a very informative and useful guide to discover various methods to invest in Stock market. Before I dwell further upon this book, let me remind all those who follow Benjamin Graham – The father of Value Investing and an author of security analysis, he uses a term called “Special Situations”. The book is all about these situations.

The author of this book, Joel Greenblatt is the founder of Gotham Capital, a private investment partnership firm achieving 50% annual returns over a period of 10 years. Thus Greenblatt definitely practices what he preaches.

Joel Greenblatt has explained in a simplified manner, the nuances of Special Situations such as Spin offs, Restructurings, Merger Securities, Rights Offerings, Recapitalization, Bankruptcies, Risk Arbitrage. Each one of these provides ample opportunities to invest and generate profitable returns in them.

Some of these situations cannot be exploited by a Lay investor but some situations like Spin offs, Right offerings can definitely provide ample returns to the investor doing thorough analysis.

Spin-offs: Spin-offs are often but not always the result of a parent company wanting it to get rid of a subsidiary in order to focus on their core business. Since getting rid of the segment that is dragging performance helps in improving the valuation of Core Segments, the neglected spin off thus usually has a vast potential. All that is required for the investor is to find out more about the role of management post spinoff. If their compensation is based primarily on performance, they will tend to perform well.  Of course, there are a million caveats but, if you do your homework properly, specializing in corporate spin-offs can dramatically improve your odds of earning high, sustainable returns in the stock market. The best part about these situations according to the author is that all the decisions to be taken about Company is on the basis of publicly available information. The author repeatedly warns to do homework!

Risk Arbitrage and Merger Securities: Joel offers a strict warning about the dangers of risk arbitrage by the small or retail investors, but risk arbitrage’s close cousin, the merger security, can offer outstanding profits to those careful investors.

Corporate Restructurings:  A corporate restructuring means something went wrong! Either the company wasn’t performing up to the expectations or an outright bankruptcy might have occurred. Typically with these kinds of situations, one would stay clear of investing in a particular company. Upon thorough analysis one can think of investing if the risk is ascertained and the company is in process of a turnaround.

A simple example given by the author here is say a company has Equity of $5 and debt of $25. Its total worth is $30. Now a 10% increase in its assets will double the Equity component and thus the stock price. Caveat: A reversal of above circumstance may wipe your entire capital. Thus these circumstances must be thoroughly analyzed before investing money into it.

Stub Stocks, Warrants, Options, and LEAPs:  Derivatives can make good investments, but leverage is something I personally don’t advocate. This is for people who know the nuances of trading in derivatives. Small investors like you and I can have a clear view on investments.

The Book I believe is worth reading because it provides one with a ground work on how to exploit these “Special situations” and gain profit from them. To sum up it is a well written book.

P.S:  Joel Greenblatt if you are reading this, Please avoid giving tacky titles to your future endeavors.

Rohan Pinto
Batch 2011 – 13

Virtualities Corporate Summit 2012 – 13


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