Former Coke marketing wiz Nadkarni sets up strategic consulting firm

MUMBAI: Sripad Nadkarni, the man who took Coca-Cola to new heights in the last four years has just floated a venture, MarketGate Consulting, in partnership with Sharda Agarwal, a former Coke colleague.

MarketGate is positioned as a strategic marketing consultancy that will advise companies on how they can grow their brands and themselves through marketing strategy development and execution of services across industries.



The company is still in the process of registration.

Commenting on the new venture, Nadkarni points out, "We want to be trusted partners of clients ensuring strategic marketing solutions. We will be handholding the clients through the various marketing processes."

He says MarketGate is an idea whose time has come and that his venture has already received an enthusiastic response from the market.. "We are very overwhelmed by the response we have received considering we have been operational for only two and a half weeks. We have had several conversations with clients which has given us a very positive feel about MarketGate."

His perspective is that his consulting firm will go a long way in adding value to clients. He explains: "The changing environment today - shortened product life cycles, a complex retail market and intense competition - is forcing companies to value focus. In such a scenario the need for external perspective is becoming crucial. This is making organisations look beyond themselves to professionals who can offer an alternate point of view and solutions .This is where we come in."

Nadkarni says he is not treading on advertising agencies' toes and there is no question of anyone perceiving his consultancy as a threat.

"Not at all," he says."We are not doing an agency's job. We are merely the mediators looking at enhancing processes and skills. In fact agencies should look at us as great opportunities as they are always on the lookout for clients who appreciate great work."



The services that MarketGate Consulting is offering its clients are as follows:

A. Marketing Strategy Formulation - This will include portfolio strategy, brand architecture, positioning of the brand as well as of the company and strategies to grow the image of the brand.

B. New Product Development - This will entail helping clients in the exploration and development of new products right from concept to market execution.

C. Marketing Execution - This will be essentially providing assistance to clients or managing execution directly as the case may be. Consulting on marketing inputs and chalking out the marketing calendar. Managing the client's advertising agency right from briefing to creative development, execution and consumer activation programs.

The company will also delve into the 360 degree marketing plans entailing multimedia/multichannel plan execution, overseeing media plans, planning, buying, benchmarking and evaluating.

Consumer and retail tracking will also be an integral service that the firm will offer apart from design and implementation.

D. Developing a Marketing Organization - This will mean designing marketing organisations, auditing and creating processes and developing and enhancing skills in marketing.



Nadkarni and Agarwal have worked on some of the world's and India's top brands: Coca-Cola, Thums Up, Johnson's Baby, Limca, Band-Aid, Fanta, Stayfree, Sprite, Kinley and Clean & Clear. The two have also been architects of some of India's most memorable initiatives including the extremely popular 'Thanda Matlab Coca-Cola' campaign.

The duo has also received numerous awards; some of them being the Coca-Cola global award for the best marketing campaign and team, Indian Marketing Awards for the best marketing team and awards at Cannes, AAAI, Ad Club, RAPA and Effies.

Nadkarni is an IIM Bangalore (1983) graduate. He worked with Coca-Cola India in the capacity of VP marketing and business head, new bevarages. And prior to that with Johnson & Johnson as VP, marketing and business head, Vision Care.

Agarwal, also an IIM Bangalore graduate (1992) was Coca Cola India director marketing and prior to that Johnson & Johnson, general manager, marketing director.

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