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My years with B2B Marketing in India: Reflections and Learnings from a journey of 40 years

The Article, Published by Sharad Sarin in Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 27(3), 2012, 160-168, 2012

This paper aims to review the author's association with the discipline of business-to-business (B2B) marketing for nearly 40 years. Of these, 34 were spent teaching in a postgraduate institute, i.e. the Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur, India.

The paper is organized around nine lenses for reflection. These provide a comprehensive coverage of the author's experiences. The paper critically evaluates the author's performance as a B2B marketing instructor, researcher, trainer and consultant. It examines the evolution of B2B markets and marketing in India and traces the symbiotic relationship between academics and practice.

The reflection reveals that B2B marketing practices have benefited and improved a great deal in India due to interventions from academia. However, the most disturbing aspect of B2B marketing practices in India is all-pervasive corruption. There seems to be no solution for it. An important audience for this paper is young faculty members. It is hoped the paper will be able to motivate them for more research and publications. The challenge for B2B marketing is to fuel the declining interest in the discipline. The B2B marketing discipline in India needs more faculty members, and substantial home-grown research articles and cases.

The paper illustrates that the Indian B2B scenario has changed a great deal: the impact of competition and globalization has transformed B2B marketing practices beyond recognition.