“The steepest learning curve I’ve been on while in IMT Ghaziabad was actually due to my peers”
Dev Amritesh, President & COO- Dunkin’ Donuts India Jubilant FoodWorks Ltd
It’s been 13 years since Dev Amritesh passed out of IMT Ghaziabad, but he feels that the very first lessons in Marketing given to him at IMT Ghaziabad are still worth their weight in Gold. “After all,” he quips, “in the world of marketing, the more things change… the more they remain the same.”
“Back then, IMT Ghaziabad was a unique institute. It had excellent full-time and visiting faculty in marketing who were involved with the Institute on a regular basis. I learnt my initial marketing and business lessons from stalwarts like Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Santosh Sood (who was with Lintas then), Abhijit Bhowmick (who was with Feedback Ventures), Arvind Nagarajan, and so on. These gentlemen had a profound impact on my choice of career and understanding of the basics of brands, marketing and business in general.”
Ever since passing out of IMT Ghaziabad, Dev has worked on consumer product marketing with megabrands like Cadbury’s and Whirlpool; but what he is recognised for in the world of marketing is his 6-year long ‘game-changing’ tenure with Domino’s Pizza, between 2005 and 2011.
“We always tried to bring more to the table than just the food. In the case of Domino’s Pizza the home delivery proposition and the resultant behaviour change in consumers with respect to ‘food delivered at home’ was as big a factor as the pizza itself. The ‘30 minutes or free’ offering, along with the emotional benefits that the Domino’s Pizza brand delivered, helped build a strong affinity with the consumer.”
In March 2011, Dev Amritesh was sitting pretty high as the Head of Marketing at Domino’s Pizza, but life had better things in store for him. Jubilant FoodWorks, the parent company of Domino’s, was looking for the right man to launch its new brand ‘Dunkin’ Donuts’ and head the new business. Not surprisingly, in Dev they found the perfect fit. So Dev Amritesh, in less than 12 years of passing out of IMT Ghaziabad, was a part of the top management of a global megabrand in India. His visiting card today simply reads,
President & Chief Operating Officer
Dunkin’ Donuts India, Jubilant FoodWorks Ltd
“One of the first things that I understood at IMT Ghaziabad – and one that I never forget – is that the lives which consumers are living are what drive their consumption behaviour the most. Various influences like culture, tradition, roles and responsibilities are important factors that brand managers should understand. But what does not change much is the basic method of winning with customers; which is of scratching below the surface, unearthing real consumer insights, building differentiated propositions and executing to perfection.”
Dev Amritesh feels that so far the toughest competition and the best learnings in his life have actually come from his peers while he was at IMT Ghaziabad. “I had the great fortune of having a fantastic peer group at IMT Ghaziabad -seniors and batchmates included – who form the ‘who’s who’ of the corporate world today. This peer group played a key role in developing thoughts and pushing each other. “
Dev fondly recalls the great debates he had with peers such as Nilesh Jain, Nitin Goel, Durgesh Sharma, Mohit Ganjoo, Amit George, Manik Nangia, Keyur Shah, Nishesh Gupta, Manish Lohani, C. Premchand, Ganesh Srinivasan, Ina Nanda, Anuj Saxena, Mohit Chowdhury, Rajesh Kumar (Demo), Deepak Jha, Rohini Bhattacharya, and several others.
To this day, when the going gets tough, “I remind myself of the time when we were awake for close to 50 hours on the trot, and then spent another 5 or 6 hours in the stress management game during ‘Passion’,- the IMT Ghaziabad Fest. It helps me pull through the situation alright.”