From sales executive to CEO in a career spanning over three decades, now that’s what corporate fairly tales are made of. Students of Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida have the opportunity to be inspired by the prolific industry veteran, Prof. B. D. Nathani, who has come on board as Adjunct Faculty of the institute. An expert in sales, marketing and retail, he has been the man behind several top footwear, apparel and lifestyle brands. In fact, his contributions earned him the sobriquet of Bhisham Pitamah of Footwear industry. What’s behind it and his stint in teaching? We find out.
Stunning corporate career
In his long corporate career Prof. Nathani has worked with brands like Lotto Shoes, Woodland, Disney, New Balance & Crocs to name a few. He also worked as a consultant to Adidas and Liberty shoes. From launching new brands to turning things around for existing ones, he has done it all. Hence his epithet is truly deserved and justified. He smiles and says, “It was something my peers, friends and contemporaries in the footwear industry started calling me. I started with the launch of Lotto Shoes when there were hardly any professional footwear brands in India. Then I launched Woodland, which has gone on to become a huge International success. I think that might have led to the title of Bhisham Pitamah of Footwear industry.”
Transitioning into academics
It was by chance that Prof. Nathani ventured into teaching. As a corporate bigwig he was hiring students from a B School when he was asked to deliver a guest lecture at the institute. He relished the opportunity of interacting with young minds and also received positive feedback for his teaching skills. “After delivering a few lectures I realized that I was actually cut out for this. But after my first stint in academia, I was called back to the industry. Now I have this opportunity to work as an adjunct faculty with Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida. It’s something I take very seriously and like to share my experiences with students,” he adds.
Bringing his best to the classroom
Prof. Nathani is a mine of industry experiences, which he is penning down in a book. It will cover his industry career with seven top brands, the challenges, highlights and mantras to success. But students of Jaipuria, Noida get to benefit from these experiences in the classroom. Ask him what he does to boost classroom engagement and he says, “I don’t really teach, I share the experiences of what I have learned in the field. I give them real life examples of how to launch a brand, how a brand fails and ways to relaunch it. When I see the glowing faces of students I get more satisfaction than I have had in my industry career,” he concludes.