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World’s Best B-School Professors: Nirmalya Kumar

Nirmalya Kumar of London Business School is one of the world’s foremost marketing thought leaders

Nirmalya Kumar

London Business School

Claim to Fame: Marketing Expert

Age: 51


Northwestern University, PhD


Shivaji University, Master of Commerce

Calcutta University, Bachelor of Commerce

At London Business School Since: 2003

Before London Business School: IMD (Switzerland)

Fun Fact: A passionate art collector. A custodian of one of the largest collections of paintings by Jamini Roy (the father of Indian modern art) and Rabindranath Tagore (first non-Westerner to win the Nobel prize). Regularly organize exhibitions, give lectures, and write on Indian art.

If I wasn’t teaching, my dream job would be: Never dreamed of any other job but to be a teacher. Thought I had chosen a life of relative poverty but discovered that it is close to being a rock star! In my youth was an amateur horse race handicapper

Best part of the job: Generating frameworks, concepts and ideas that companies can utilize.

Worst part of the job: First reaction is of course the necessary evil of “grading” or marking student work. On reflection, everything that takes me away from learning, writing, and teaching.

Nirmalya Kumar is known for his fearless approach to protecting and advancing the field of marketing. According to Kumar, marketing is in a state of crisis and the only way out is for marketing practices to become relevant to chief executives, strategic, cross-functional, and bottom-line centric. His book entitled Marketing as Strategy, serves as a wake-up call for marketing professionals to re-examine what CEOs want and how to deliver it.

Inside the classroom, Professor Nirmalya is known for his high energy teaching style and “push it to the limit” philosophy. When facilitating a lecture, he believes in provoking debate and confronting and challenging beliefs.

“A great session,” he says should bring a transformation in consciousness on the part of the audience and motivate them to act on it.”

At LBS, Professor Kumar also serves as the Director of the Center for Marketing and is Co-Director of the Indian Center at London.

Industry Leaders Say:

“To truly understand marketing strategy, there is perhaps no better guide than Nirmalya Kumar.” — Indra Nooyi, CEO, PepsiCo, New York