“IMT is not just about theories. When it comes to tackling real problems in the corporate world, IMT-ians are far more prepared.”
Jitender Dabas,Chief Strategy Officer at McCann Erickson, Alumnus, IMT Ghaziabad
Jitender Dabas’ foray into the world of advertising is a classic example of finding one’s true calling. An engineering student from IIT Delhi, he had already set his sights on the advertising world when he walked through the gates of IMT Ghaziabad, and the PGDBM course he pursued was his ticket to following his passion. “For me advertising didn’t happen by chance during the MBA. It was something I had decided before I joined the program. IMT helped me build the fundamentals of marketing that’ve held me in good stead,” he explains.
He managed to score a campus placement as an account planner with DRAFT FCB ULKA, his primary area of interest. And ever since his first job, there has been no looking back. “I guess I was lucky enough to get the right opportunities at the right time,” says Jitender. On his climb up the corporate ladder, he’s worked for the best of the brands like Pepsi foods, Nokia, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Hero Honda, General Motors, Mastercard, Sony & more as he’s worked across different leading advertising agencies like JWT, Grey Worldwide & now McCann Erickson.
But it was heading the strategic planning and consumer insight team at JWT of the winning Indian National Congress general election campaign in 2009 that was one of the memorable experiences in his journey. “Working for the general election campaign in world’s largest democray was one of the most challenging & most exciting projects. It was refreshing to discover that the political campaign was run more professionally that a lot of corporates do today. The scale was huge & the whole India was our target consumer. Yes we worked closely with the top leadership of the Congress party including Mr. Rahul Gandhi who was closely involved in the development of the campaign. The campaign won a lot of awards in India & internationally.” he says.
With many other successful campaigns under his belt, it is no surprise that he is now Exec Vice President & Head of Strategic Planning at McCann Erickson, one of the most reputed advertising agencies in the country.
His confidence comes from a strong and worthy educational foundation. “IMT is not just about the theories. When it comes to tackling real problems in the corporate world, IMT-ians are far more prepared,” he opines. The ace account planner proudly gives credit to his alma mater for honing his skills and preparing him to take on the corporate world. “The special thing that you get from IMT is that you learn to fend for yourself and that is very beneficial; it makes you more self-reliant and helps you become a better manager. It makes you more competitive and hard-working.”
He also believes that the company of bright peers at the institute shaped his personality immensely. “You learn as much from being in the company of bright minds as much you do from the the faculty. It’s not only the facilities provided to you by the institute but also the self-propelling mechanism that you learn because of having so many great minds around.” Amen to that!