2022 Best & Brightest MBA: Nupur Gadkari, Warwick Business School

Nupur Gadkari

Warwick Business School

“Author, Artist, Marketer, Baker. Motto: ‘Challenge Accepted’. Always ‘all-in’.”

Hometown: Mumbai, India

Fun fact about yourself: Recently, I published my first book of poems ‘Verses & Sonnets – Freshly Brewed’ which was an acclaimed International Best Seller.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

  • Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS) – University of Mumbai
  • Master of Commerce (Business Management – M.Com) – University of Mumbai
  • Master of Science (MSc) Marketing & Strategy – Warwick Business School

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Head of Customer Marketing & Strategy, All Sports, for India (Star Sports – Walt Disney India)

Where did you intern during the summer of 2021? N/A

Where will you be working after graduation? TBC

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Warwick Scholar and Ambassador
  • Co-President – The Marketing Club, Warwick Business School
  • Content Director – TEDx Warwick
  • Mentor and Steering Committee Member – Warwick Business School Global Mentoring Programme
  • Member of the ‘Women in Business’ Club at Warwick Business School
  • Member of the ‘Entrepreneurship Club’ at Warwick Business School
  • Participant for the INSEAD Product Challenge 2021-22
  • Delivered a Marketing ‘Master class’ to the Marketing Department Professors of Warwick Business School
  • Led the sub-group that conceptualised and implemented the ‘10-year celebration event’, a milestone for the Business School’s Award Winning Global Mentoring Programme, at The Shard, London

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Being Co-president of the Marketing Club at WBS has left me with a strong feeling of fulfilment. This has given me the opportunity to call upon some amazing leaders that I have had the privilege to work with and I am thankful for their support. Each of these individuals has been inspiring to me along my journey and their willingness to support and share their insights for the Marketing Club, has been humbling. The most rewarding part has been the sense of belonging built among the members of the club and having the opportunity to present a Masterclass to the academics of the Business School.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? In the 15 years that I’ve spent in different Marketing roles, my longest stint was with Castrol-BP. This period of my career was a high point as I was consistently recognised for each of my campaigns year after year. These included being awarded for the ICC Cricket World Cup for ‘Best Project Delivery and Execution in connecting with First Time Users and creating a Unique Customer Experience’. Winning the ‘Brand Building’ award for the Best Digital Marketing campaign at the ‘Marketing the Castrol Way Awards’ Asia Pacific Region. This resulted in being one of the youngest to be selected in the Emerging Leaders Program – BP Worldwide.

Why did you choose this business school? This is my second time being a student at Warwick Business School as I resonate with the CORE values of the school (Curiosity, Openness, Restlessness, Excellence) in every way. Having the opportunity to grow and share ideas with an international cohort, being in an environment that challenges you and stretches you to be the Change Makers of the future is something unique to Warwick.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My favourite Professor at Warwick Business School was Professor John Colley. His unique way of bringing the theory to life through case-studies, highly engaging discussions, and getting us to think and analyse every situation with a different lens made learning enjoyable.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? My favourite event during my MBA was a session we had on ‘difficult conversations’ in the LeadershipPlus module. This session threw light on aspects of our emotional intelligence, helping us understand that with our choice of words and approach a situation’s outcome can ‘change’. It was extremely insightful for all of us and certainly helped me reflect on how different conversation styles impact relationships both in a professional and personal environment.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? While my MBA isn’t over yet, Term 1 is. I was reflecting back at what we were told at the Dean’s reception. The value of this MBA is not just in the classroom but outside, where you can build relationships and networks, the importance of which most people don’t realise until the MBA is over. If I had to do something differently in Term 1, it would be to have a healthier balance between my academic and social life. I have started Term 2 with a fresh outlook, learning from Term 1 and I am enjoying it immensely.

What is the biggest myth about your school? Myth: There is a myth that people consider Warwick very elitist in its recruitment.

Truth: I’ve studied with people from across 33 different countries, a spectrum of industries and social backgrounds. Each one being celebrated and an integral part of the overall learning experience..

What surprised you the most about business school? What surprised me the most was the openness (one of the CORE values of the school) of the academics at the business school, to take on insights shared by the cohort.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? During my interview with the Business school, one of the questions asked by the interviewer was what makes my application different. MY application had an edge because I was a female leader in business and marketing, had worked in and overcome challenges in some male-dominated industries, and was able to be succeed despite personal challenges.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I would have to say, a classmate I admire the most is Mónica Vargas. Monica is a smart and driven woman who leaves no stone unturned. She is warm, approachable and extremely supportive when she puts her heart into something. Monica are on the same wavelength on various perspectives and have a lot in common, including being women in business, leaders in our previous organisations, managing teams, and dealing with challenges. Hers is a connection I treasure as she’s not just a colleague in my MBA but a life-long friend I’m fortunate to have made.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? I always wanted to be an architect as a young girl. One day, I saw a commercial. A brilliant emotional advert made by Cadbury. I remember being blown away as it touched every nerve. And the first thought that came to my mind was: “What if I could do that someday? Create something so powerful that it blows someone away?” And that was the start of my search for a career in business and specifically in marketing – since then I’ve never looked back.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

To be the Global CMO of one of the top 50 brands in the world in the next 10 years.

And to leave a legacy and make a difference in the world of marketing.

How has the pandemic changed your view of a career? The pandemic hasn’t changed my view of a career in marketing. If anything, it has opened my eyes to newer opportunities, a different way of implementing communication and marketing strategies. The emergence of Web 3.0 and AI has opened up a whole new world of possibilities.

What made Nupur such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?

“I met Nupur just before she started her Full-time MBA at Warwick Business School and was struck then by her ability to build relationships, to stand in someone else’s shoes and to see the world from their eyes.

As I got to know her, it became evident that her talents extended beyond her skills in Marketing & Strategy and relationship-building to effective networking, organisation and leadership skills.

“Nupur is a consummate networker and seems to know someone from every sphere of life. She is passionate about personal development both for herself and empowering others. If you meet her, find a way to collaborate with her and you will learn something! “She fully engages with life and alongside her busy Full-time MBA has engaged with a number of extra-curricular activities, namely:

She is a member of the steering committee at Warwick Business School’s award-winning Global Mentoring Programme. She leads the marketing sub-group to drive awareness and recruit for the programme. And she has recently put together a 10-year celebration, a milestone event for the programme and has mentored two mentees to date.

Nupur is also co-President, of The Marketing Club at WBS. She leads the strategic agenda for the Marketing Club, a student-led voluntary body. The club focuses on creating interesting and insightful conversations around marketing as a subject, and its various branches like brand marketing, sports marketing, digital marketing etc. “The members discuss case studies, tune-in to speaker sessions who are veterans from the industry and believe in a common passion of understanding marketing better.

She is content director for TEDx Warwick, which is largely responsible for setting the theme for every TED event, looking out for and securing powerful and impactful speakers who will make a difference with an idea. Nupur has over 15 years’ experience across a range of industries from Consulting, Entertainment, Automotive, Toys & Sports. Her passion is for Marketing & Strategy and she has a number of notable achievements.

She designed and implemented the first-ever customer marketing template within Star Sports-Walt Disney. She built a sustainable relationship-based model through targeted communication to evangelise sports, therefore making it the preferred choice for advertisers. She achieved year-on-year growth in advertising revenue, including 14% growth during the pandemic.

“Nupur devised and launched the “Barbie careers Dolls” in line with the brand’s vision “You can be anything”, giving young girls a reason to believe and imagine themselves in aspirational careers. This included implementing consumer promotions to build awareness and focused below the line activations that helped grow the brand awareness score by 12% over competition

Nupur developed, launched and executed Castrol’s Brand Assets Strategy for over 4,000 dealers and distributors. As a result, she was nominated for the “Emerging Leaders Program-BP Worldwide” and was awarded “Best Project Delivery and Execution for the ICC Cricket World Cup”, beating over 100 other projects nominated in the Asia Pacific region

In my opinion, Nupur is a perfect candidate for the Poets & Quants Best & Brightest list as her addition to the FTMBA 2021-2022 cohort has been and continues to be invaluable.”

Sarah Jackson
MBA Careers Manager at WBS Careers Plus


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