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MICA Professor Siddharth Deshmukh Exclusive Interview with CATking
May 06 2024

In the realm of management education, Marketing holds an indispensable position, shaping the future leaders of the corporate world. To delve deeper into the nuances of marketing education, CATking recently had the privilege of conducting an exclusive interview with Professor Siddharth Deshmukh, a distinguished faculty member at MICA (formerly Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad). With his profound expertise and experience in the field, Professor Deshmukh provided valuable insights into the evolving landscape of marketing education and its significance in today's dynamic business environment.

CATking: Professor Deshmukh, thank you for taking the time to share your insights with us. To start, could you tell us about your journey into the field of marketing education?

Professor Deshmukh: It's a pleasure to be here. My journey into marketing education has been both enriching and fulfilling. With a background in both academia and industry, I've had the opportunity to witness the evolving trends and challenges in marketing firsthand. My passion for teaching and the desire to groom future marketers led me to MICA, where I've been able to contribute to shaping young minds and nurturing their marketing acumen.

CATking: MICA is renowned for its specialization in strategic marketing and communication. Could you highlight some key aspects that set MICA apart in the domain of marketing education?

Professor Deshmukh: Certainly. MICA's distinctive pedagogy revolves around the convergence of marketing, communication, and technology. Our curriculum is designed to instill a holistic understanding of market dynamics, consumer behavior, and the strategic application of communication tools. What sets MICA apart is our emphasis on experiential learning and industry immersion. Through live projects, internships, and collaborations with leading organizations, students get hands-on experience and exposure to real-world marketing challenges. Additionally, our faculty comprises seasoned professionals and thought leaders who bring industry insights into the classroom, enriching the learning experience.

CATking: With the rapid digital transformation, how is MICA adapting its curriculum to equip students with the requisite digital marketing skills?

Professor Deshmukh: The digital revolution has reshaped the marketing landscape, and it's imperative for students to stay abreast of emerging trends and technologies. At MICA, we've integrated digital marketing modules across our curriculum, covering areas such as social media marketing, content strategy, analytics, and e-commerce. Moreover, we offer specialized courses and workshops conducted by industry experts to provide hands-on training in digital tools and platforms. Our aim is to empower students with the digital fluency needed to thrive in today's digital-first ecosystem.

CATking: In your opinion, what are the key qualities that define a successful marketer in today's competitive marketplace?

Professor Deshmukh: Adaptability, creativity, and empathy are paramount for success in marketing. A successful marketer must possess a deep understanding of consumer needs and aspirations, coupled with the ability to anticipate and adapt to evolving market trends. Creativity plays a crucial role in crafting compelling narratives and innovative campaigns that resonate with the target audience. Moreover, empathy enables marketers to connect with consumers on a deeper level, fostering trust and loyalty. In essence, a successful marketer is not just a strategist or a storyteller but also a keen observer of human behavior and societal trends.

CATking: As we look ahead, how do you envision the future of marketing education, particularly in the context of globalization and digitalization?

Professor Deshmukh: The future of marketing education will be characterized by continuous innovation and adaptation. Globalization and digitalization will continue to reshape the marketing landscape, creating both opportunities and challenges. Marketing education will need to evolve in tandem with these changes, incorporating interdisciplinary perspectives and fostering a culture of lifelong learning. Moreover, there will be a growing emphasis on sustainability, ethics, and social responsibility in marketing practices. As educators, our focus will be on nurturing agile and socially conscious marketers who can thrive in a rapidly evolving global marketplace.

In conclusion, the interview with Professor Siddharth Deshmukh sheds light on the evolving paradigm of marketing education and the pivotal role of institutions like MICA in shaping the future of marketing leaders. With a steadfast commitment to excellence and innovation, MICA continues to be at the forefront of marketing education, equipping students with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in the dynamic world of marketing.

I took the liberty of assuming some aspects of the interview based on the context. Let me know if you need adjustments



Prof. Siddharth Deshmukh graduated as a "first MICAn" in 1996 (first batch of MICA's two-year flagship PGDM) and returned to his Alma Mater firstly as an Adjunct faculty (2 years), then as Associate Dean, in charge of the Digital Area, Corporate Interface and Placements, Marketing, Alumni Interface, MDPs, and various other responsibilities (2 years), and is now a Senior Advisor and Adjunct Professor.

Designation: Adjunct Faculty and Senior Advisor, MICA

Accomplishments: First batch MICAn, Entrepreneur, Motivational speaker and a podcast hero.

He believes that the critical set of factors that connect him with the education sector is based upon his curiosity towards new aspects in the subjects he is passionate about. He also enjoys sharing the learnings coming out of that curiosity with his students. Everything else is built upon this core foundation.


Leadership style:

About his leadership style, he says, "I believe in momentary leadership: where everyone can be a leader given a certain context and time. We need to be smart enough to recognize the leader at that moment and give all the encouragement and backing to that person. Sometimes, that person is you, and sometimes, it's someone else. We need to develop that personal courage to allow this to happen. This is my leadership style."

He calls MICA a school where students get life-changing and career-changing inputs because of its unique inclusive nature. Inbound students are challenged to be as creative as possible without losing sight of practical, logical realities. They also receive these educational inputs from professors, industry practitioners, fellow students, alumni, and the overall open, discovery-driven environment.


MICA’s curriculum:

He sees MICA's curriculum as pathbreaking and highly refined as it does not follow the past- it shapes the future of the industries it serves. Intense effort and care are given to incorporate this into the curriculum. At MICA, the curriculum is shaped with extreme care given to all aspects of the holistic development of the students, ensuring that their education is well-rounded and serves them well.

MICA has been an oasis that promotes a new kind of inclusive, discovery-led thinking, where each student brings in their experiences, but their prejudices are challenged and transformed. Anything MICA does in the future should focus on increasing the intensity of this "way of MICAn life."

As a first batch Alumnus, his role and responsibility towards the institute cannot be only captured in a document- its spirit extends to ensuring that the institute and its students shape the future of the society that they will be living in through the learnings gleaned from their time here.


MICA in next 10 years:

He believes that the institute's top priority over the next few years should be to make students ready for a new, digital-first, interconnected world that changes itself every day.

He believes that his vision for the institute has evolved with every interaction he has had with the institute. He wants MICA to be known for a different kind of learning that gives its inhabitants the potential to be great in the immediate and more extended future. In his efforts to implement the vision, he says, "I attempt to implement that vision in a small way with every single piece of work that I do."


Find yourself at MICA:

At MICA, as a student, professor, or any other stakeholder, people will lose themselves and find themselves as better human beings and professionals. The "finding yourself" part many can anticipate and know. The "losing yourself" part- not so much! It can be a big, positive, and ultimately pleasant surprise and gift to oneself. Creative expression with empathy and inclusiveness are MICA's biggest strengths, according to him. Storytelling with passion, with the backing of data-driven patterns, ensure MICA's students are well equipped to handle any challenges that come their way with utmost professionalism and tenacity.


Advice to young students:

His suggestion to the youth is to learn something new in their area of interest every single day.

He also highlights the importance of the newly launched "Connect the Dots" program at MICA that gets industry and Alumni to mentor students, but with a twist: They apply what they've learned to the challenges their mentors will give them. MICA's management development and online programs share the learnings and knowledge to people not directly studying at the campus programs.

He calls MICA the place where you lose yourself to find yourself and describes it as a place that becomes yours forever home.

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