A student of Mechanical Engineering, Sanjeev Kapur, CMO, Citi India, was enamoured by marketing through magazines and reports that evangalised the brand wars like that of Coke vs Pepsi and Procter vs Levers. Kapur walks back in the memory lanes to tell Impact – a weekly media, marketing and advertising magazine from the exchange4media Group that celebrated its 8th anniversary lately – what sealed his career…
“Why I chose Marketing as a career may not be very rationally explained, but the decision was taken much before I did my Masters in Business Administration.
“I guess, I was quite enamoured by Marketing as far back as 15 years ago, reading business magazines such as Advertising & Marketing, Strategist and Brand Equity, and what was written in them about wars that were being fought at the brand level.
“There were discussions about Pepsi vs Coke, Procter vs Lever, etc. This aspect that was almost like a game, competition between top brands and how they were vying for top spot on a daily basis in country after country fascinated me. A big part of me was into sports and competition, and therefore, I was drawn to it. There are some common values between sports and Marketing – both are competitive, action-oriented, dynamic in nature and I loved that. Both require you to strategise as much as execute and they are not just about the person with better stamina, they are about better skills. Sports is a lot to do with being very clear what you are good at, sizing up your competition very well, identifying your strengths, playing up to your strengths, strategising about how to beat the competition and obviously on the day when it matters, you have to execute it well. The same is true for Marketing – you play to win.
“I was strongly influenced and enamoured by the story-telling part of the warfare too, as I love to create new things, new products, new ideasâ€¦ whatever! As a student of Mechanical Engineering, I had a thesis project to do. Usually, for a thesis, most people come back with a very deep understanding of some complicated turbines, etc., but I took the prototype of a track vehicle which runs on solar power, at a time when solar power experiments were rarely heard of in engineering colleges. It gave me an incredible high that I had made that product. If you look at Marketing and the way it is taught and the way we execute it on a daily basis, a combination of these two â€“sports and creativity – keep me going.”