Alumni Speak


Tilak Shrivastava

Head of Marketing at a Software Firm,

Please tell us about your role

Currently, I head the global marketing activities for a software firm with responsibility for brand management, marketing programs and corporate partnerships. Before this, I have been involved in strategic marketing at several tech companies, over the last decade.

You have been a marketing /branding professional ever since you completed your MBA. Is this your passion for marketing that drives you? What interests you most about the profession? How did the journey begin? What inspired you to get into this field?

Well, I started my marketing career four years before joining Great Lakes. It was the time of cold calls instead of LinkedIn Inmails. Communication was way more intrusive. That experience, combined with MBA solidified marketing as my career of choice. In a marketplace characterized by fast change and potentially deadening options, credibility becomes your sustaining value. I struggled in that part and decided to opt for an MBA.

I had grown up seeing my father involved in marketing. It intrigued me from quite an early stage. I still remember the copy of Dr Philip Kotler ’s Marketing Guide occupying a place of pride in dad’s room. When I finally met Sir Kotler at Great Lakes, it was the 'Moment Of A Lifetime' for me.

On a philosophical level, I feel that humans, deep down inside, are biased and emotional creatures. The only way to grab anybody's attention is by storytelling. I love solving problems through fun and engaging content. It's fascinating.

I believe, marketing fuels every successful business. If you do it right, you can create absolutely fresh new product categories and industries out of zero. That’s the power of marketing, and that’s what I love about it.

What do you think are the key skills required to be an ace marketing/branding professional?

The core idea of being a marketer is to amplify the value of your product/ company. You can't achieve that without writing.

Writing is the foundation of everything you will do. Whenever you are creating or reviewing an email, social media post, whitepaper, press release, blog or a case study, you will have to know what is good or bad.

Subscribe to the relevant newsletters/ blogs. Follow the right marketers. Read religiously. Write about what touches you. Record your emotions. Just like deadlifts, just like maths, the more you write, the better you become.

You’ll build a muscle you never knew existed. The no-fluff marketing vision should eventually come to you: a killer ad copy, a perky email (or even a subject line).

Can you tell how Artificial Intelligence will play a huge role in businesses in the coming years and how management students can prepare themselves for the same?

Artificial intelligence will be a game-changer in the coming years.

It would shape the future of work, transform every sector imaginable and touch every aspect of our lives.

PwC estimates AI will contribute $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030, and the predictive analytics market is forecasted to hit $10.95 billion by 2022.

In the coming years, AI would automate a lot of manual tasks and help businesses focus on their core products. This means a loss of redundant jobs and a massive increase in creatively driven roles.

A WEF report predicts a decline of 0.98 million jobs and a gain of 1.74 million jobs, due to automation. By 2030, this will create 85 per cent of newer roles which don’t even exist today.

Unlike the much-beaten career paths, AI is still in its infancy. Hence as a management student, you may have to form your plan and get creative.

You need to understand how machines work and better equip yourselves to do what machines can't. Focus not only on your core technical skills but also on soft ones like social intelligence, curiosity and creativity.

You would be working with machines in strategic decision-making and problem-solving roles. How you use it to your advantage is the real test of your capability. If you start learning integral AI subjects and network with the right folks, you'll be unstoppable. From there, internship and job opportunities are sure to follow.

How did your one year at Great Lakes prepare you for the corporate world? Any special incident/experience you would like to talk about?

Joining Great Lakes gave me the chance to understand how little I know about the world.

It exposed me to some brilliant professors and industry experts who helped me understand businesses better and broaden up my vision when trying to find a solution for a problem statement.

Working closely with the BPR team earned me a gold medal, but the larger takeaway was the long term exposure to how branding and media releases work. That helped me a lot during my stint with the post MBA companies where I was in charge of their reputation management and branding activities.

Also, it's hard not to make a few friends along the way, and they are more than just good people. They're likely to go on to be successful in their field of interest. They'll be your sounding boards in the future.

At Great Lakes, you will discover how to take your grit to the next level, how to solve overlapping challenges in limited time, but best of all how you can tap in multiple networks to tackle the corporate world challenges.

Once you are out of Great Lakes, you will find yourself taking initiatives you didn't think you would consider earlier. Your horizon would expand as you broaden your view and embrace working from a strategic point of view.

It is indeed a transformative experience, but it all starts with you opening up and making the most of it.

What would be your message for Great Lakers?

If you are already a part of the Great Lakes circle, you are smart enough.

At the cost of sounding nihilistic, I’ll tell you something straightforward. None of this matters in the long term.

90% of the people you come across at Great Lakes, the books you get, the assignments, case studies, competitions, GPAs, placements - you won’t remember ANY of these things five years from now.

Once you let that sink in, you’ll be crystal clear on what matters. These are testing times, and the world is changing. Keep a little flicker of light inside. You’re in charge of your story.

Extreme ownership.

What can you work on today that will pay you back in the long term? That approach is your secret weapon. Pick long term goals and build sustainable habits to reach there.

Don’t build a resume, build a reputation. You are enough.

I wish you good luck in everything that you do. Go out there, make the Lakers proud!


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