Lahore School of Economics

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When an Alumni comes to back to the Alma Mater

Mr. Muhammad Agha, General Manager Pakistan Beverages Ltd (PepsiCo) and recently Marketing Director PepsiCo (Philippines) visited the Lahore School on 15th of April 2017 to deliver a sterling session to our MBA class. Muhammad is an alumnus of the Lahore School.

At the outset, Muhammad Agha expressed his pride in the Lahore School and mentioned that he was a student at the old campus. He had worked at Total and Nestle before moving to PepsiCo where he worked at various positions including as a franchise manager and also in the Philippines.

His first advice to the MBAs was that without hard work none of their goals would be achieved. Ambition was important but one had to learn to be patient. The graph of one’s career generally moved upward but rarely in a straight line – there were ups and downs. One had to recognize one’s interest early: Muhammad wanted to do advertising but soon realized that the ownership of the brand for an advertiser was limited and stayed mostly with the brand manager. A brand manager thus was responsible for advertising but also for innovation, strategy, P&L, Sales, Distribution, Packaging and Media.

Muhammad showed many ads to the class and noted that one problem PepsiCo and others were facing was the general lack of availability of “stars”. Also one had to be careful while associating the brand too much with success in a sport – Pakistan lost to Ireland once.

Muhammad gave advice to the MBAs, “Do the most difficult thing earliest in the day so that the pressure was off for the rest of the day. Meet the deadlines – this is very important in the MNCs but if you cannot then at least try to inform your superior. Deal with power points as there are tons of it in the industry. Be radical but also be relevant. Move out of your comfort zone otherwise you will never find your potential.”

In dealing with an Ad agency as a brand manager it was also important to motivate them as you have to work with them in the end. Also your creative brief must be good and clear: If not, then the agency will not produce a good ad.

There were many questions and answers and Muhammad explain industry mechanics in detail. The class was very grateful to him and he was invited to return to his Alma Mater.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 5/09/2017 12:17:00 PM,

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