Product Development, CRM and Lunch

Some events at GSU not only impart education but also reveal the human side of the professors.

If you pursue the certificate in brand and customer management, you’ll be taking classes that are a brand apart! Two of the classes, namely Product Management and Customer Relationship Management (CRM), are with Dr. V Kumar, a legendary genius in academia, noted for his contributions toward CRM models. Dr. Kumar — also known as VK — and his teams regularly build marketing models for companies like P&G. In his class, he teaches relevant mathematical models that answer questions like: “How do you select customers based on their value potential so that the ROI for the marketer is doubled?” It is interesting and engaging and you must be prepared to be pushed to your limits.

Since he travels a lot, Dr. Kumar’s class schedules generally run like a marathon — instead of weekly classes, he usually takes a full Saturday or Sunday class. But, his classes are an interesting mix of learning, food and fun! Add to that an unusually calm demeanor and friendly disposition coupled with a genuine interest in the well-being of his students and you sense the presence of a self-actualized guru.

First, the classes are held in Room 600 of Classroom South, which is no ordinary classroom. It has a digital white board and auditorium-style seating. So, students are transported into a state-of-the art facility. Second, there is a battery of TAs that ensures smooth operation of the class and clears students’ doubts on the subject matter. Third, there’s an ample amount of bonhomie going around — so much so that students who are brand managers of food products bring in their brands for “sampling.” I remember in the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) class we once had cupcakes, Coke and Red Bull being passed around liberally. I once took along an entire box of fruit snacks for fun.

And last but not least, Dr. Kumar insists on buying lunch for students while they’re immersed in learning intricate CRM and Product Management regression models. In his own words, “It is a pleasure to buy lunch for the students attending our classes since it significantly alleviates one major inconvenience in terms of getting out and looking for food, plus they use the time to solve marketing problems.”

Well, needless to say, I was able to absorb a lot more from that course courtesy of VK and his sponsored lunches. Now, we need more profs to buy us lunch, I say… :-)

 

 

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