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Madan Mohan Mohapatra

Madan Mohan Mohapatra

Head - Customer Strategy, Future Group, India

Madan Mohan Mohapatra, Head-Customer Strategy and CEO Future Media, brings with him a cumulative experience of over two decades. The period has seen him working across sectors as diverse as consumer research, television production, media planning and buying, marketing with retail at the core, activation, loyalty & analytics and business revival at market/store level. During these two decades of work, he has been not only responsible for setting up new businesses but also revising business across multiple verticals. His current role is two-fold – drawing up the customer strategy for Future Group in India and also building an asset monetization model (P&L responsibility) for the group.

He has been fortunate to have worked in India during a critical phase when the new economy was just taking its baby steps. Sectors such as television, media and retail had transformed to align with a new, emerging consumer class and eventually to make way for a global Indian consumer. That gave Madan a first hand exposure to often working in large organizations, where the environment was no different from a start-up – enthusiastic, having a clear cost focus and very profit-driven. Cases in point would include stints in media agencies when television was a fledgling medium, witnessing the beginning of the cricket economy in India and later globally and perhaps most importantly, being a part of the retail story in India, where not just the ability but willingness to spend being the big story. At each stage, the evolution of the Indian consumer or shopper was at the core of it and the job on hand was to get key insights and building strategy to help in business by getting the customers inside the stores. This was greatly supplemented by travel across India during a critical phase when Future Group was expanding its retail presence. The experience of being on the shop floor has been one of the most insightful experiences. Of course, in a market as heterogeneous as India with varying consumer tastes coupled with an intensely complex media structure, he has managed to bring in consumers across store formats feeding into the large growth strategy of the group.

For most Indians, the move to working for large multinational networks comes after the mandatory stint with the traditional Indian entrepreneur. In Madan’s case, it has been the other way but with a difference. The entrepreneur here is Mr. Kishore Biyani, a name synonymous with modern Indian retail, whose 2000+ stores on any given month sells products to over 40 million Indian consuming class. Be it fashion, food or home category, Madan’s experience of working closely with the man, who founded the Future Group and laid the foundation for Indian modern retail, has been rich to say the least. A recent move, which in many ways will mark his return to P&L responsibility with media at its core, calls for working with the largest Indian/MNC brands and develop more innovative ways at the last mile to build positive disposition in the fragmented media market with lesser consumer attention span. This is a business about which not very much is known to the world at large. It gives him the chance to draw out a consumer strategy for modern retail and ensure it makes business sense for the brands using the captive audience in the retail environment.

A firm believer that India is all where the most exciting things are taking place, Madan represents a generation that had a little baggage from a closed economy and used that smartly to get the best out of a new age economy. Luckily, that period of transformation is still underway