Hi, please help me in deciding for the post for which should I apply.
I am M.Com, M.Phil(commerce)
I want to make new marketing strategies, develop new products and develop new ways of advertising etc. I am currently not having any experience and want to go to FMCG sector.
Please tell me from where should I start.

From India, Ludhiana
Dear Scholar,
From the qualifications that you have, teaching jobs can be a good fitment for you.
But as you are willing to make a career in Marketing that to in FMCG sector where Marketing or Brand Management is considered to be very creamy job then least what might be required is that you should do a MBA in Marketing from some highly reputed
B School.Even if you are able to do a MBA from a good B School & get into a known FMCG Co. you still have to spend a decent time in sales to understand the product, its market, consumer preferences etc. & then based on your performance you will be put in Marketing/Brand Management.
No doubt Marketing/ Brand management is most sought job in FMCG sector for sales /marketing guys.
Second option which is a long process (if you are not lucky enough ) that you try to get into some FMCG sales job (with some good FMCG Co.) with your current qualifications, spend time in sales & then try to get into Brand /Marketing.

From India, Delhi
If you need an honest, good, relevant and appropriate suggestion; then I must tell you that since :
  • you do not have any experience;
  • you do not have the requisite educational qualifications;
you can not indulge in the activities mentioned by you viz. make new marketing strategies, develop new products and develop new ways of advertising etc.

Currently only a few of these activities can be handled by professionals with about (more than) 20 years of experience.
Moreover, a person who "develops new products" most likely will not be doing the task of "develop new ways of advertising etc. " which is an entirely different field and specialisation, and handled by an entirely different set of professionals.

I think you have only read and fantasised about these activities; like children who think of becoming scientists, policeman and pilots together.

It is a good thing that you are an M.Com and have managed to get (by what means, I do not know) an M.Phil(commerce); though you definitely lack in maturity.

The best career counselling I can give you is to :
  • apply for Lecturer or Asstt. Professor post in an educational institution.

But then, remember your knowledge (or lack of it) will be exposed, as the Y-generation kids are very smart.

Alternatively; you can float your own company and become a new product developer, brand manager, an ad-man, an ace marketer etc. whatever you wish to call yourself (considering that you need to have a product in the first place and consumers willing to buy your products).

On advertising, you are advised to find out how much a national daily charges for a full page colour ad, and how much a national TV channel charges for a 30 seconds-spot; apart from the cost of making ads, signing celebrity endorsers etc.

I think, once you get an idea of the reality, you'll think of pursuing an attainable livelihood or occupation.

Kindly do not thank me for my efforts and time, I consider it my moral duty to guide people like you who are truly lost despite being in abundance (M.Com and M.Phil. does not come for free - it could educate at least 100 slum/under-privileged children).

From India, Delhi
Dear Mr. Raj Kumar,

I have a little different opinion with reference to this:

“Currently only a few of these activities can be handled by professionals with about (more than) 20 years of experience” & would like to make a point out here.

Although different Industry works differently when it comes to marketing but out here we are specifically talking of FMCG so would like to share that Brand/Product /Marketing Managers do take care of most of them or even all of the activities as mentioned above. However when it comes to advertising then Managers do engage different agencies & sources to manage the ATL (Above the Line Marketing Activities) & BTL (Below the Line Marketing Activities).

Secondly, having a certain years of experience is definitely a plus point when responsibilities are being handed over to someone to manage a Brand but in a time like today it is not necessary.

Quite a few Brand Managers got all those responsibilities OR most of them even after a few years of their career or joining the Company(typically 6-7 years, can be less, can be more depending on how much time they have spent specifically in brand management) & if they have been consistently performing well. (But as a usual trend what I have seen specially in FMCG industry is that people who are in Brand /Product /Marketing Management with well renowned FMCG Co.’s & handling large brands are typically from the best colleges like IIM’s, XLRI, FMS, MDI, JBIMS etc. & they are the ones who are given all these responsibilities after working for some years, although there will be enough exceptions to this also)

Just to cite an example I used to know someone who was from S.P.Jain College & was working with a well know FMCG Co. as a Snr.Brand Manager & was fully responsible for Rs. 450 -500 Corer brand with just 8-9 years of experience & there are more like him who are working on the same parameters.

There are quite a few industries which might require different departments to do the “new product development” and another department “developing new ways of advertising” but with reference to FMCG predominantly both the responsibilities lies with the Brand /Product Manager as what I mentioned above in terms of Above the Line Marketing Activities (ATL) & Below the Line Marketing Activities (BTL). They have to take care of new product development & new ways of advertising both & much more.

Specially when people reach to a Senior level in Brand Management then they also start becoming the P&L Owner (Profit & Loss Owner) for the brand & that’s where they have to manage lot of activities single handedly.

On the same note I appreciate that you have given some valuable advice to Scholar which I guess will help to know where he has to head.

From India, Delhi
Dear Prashant

I read your response with enthusiasm; and I AGREE with your views in TOTALITY.

But my response was based on a generalized picture of the career scenarios and career progressions.

I agree that at higher levels the Brand manager, in an FMCG co. is indeed the owner of P&L of the brand and has a say in all the 4P's; including advertising; but the market research (excepting biggies like HUL, P&G, C&P etc); ad "creatives" etc. are handled by MR firms and Ad agencies.

I agree with the instances cited by you; but you"ll agree that they are very specific and special cases; and not something that every MBA from any XYZ institute can definitely claim to achieve.

Secondly, I feel at times one should be stern and a bit harsh. See, here is a person who has done his M.Phil.; and one expects certain objectivity in assessment of career options from such a person. Had it come from a 10+2 student, my response would have been different.

Can anyone explain, under the circumstances, what is the utility of his M.Phil. (Commerce) ? Except perhaps for ego-massaging.


Warm regards.

From India, Delhi

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