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Vishal Koul
Vikrant Khanna
Head, TV business, HomeShop18

Which course did you attend and when?

I attended the ‘Leadership in Action’ executive education programme at INSEAD in 2008. It was a two-week programme sponsored by my then employer, Bharti Airtel.

What is your background?

I graduated from Delhi University with a humanities degree in 1992. In 1994, I completed my post-graduate diploma in business management from the Institute of Management Technology in Ghaziabad. From there, I was picked up by Dabur India, where I started off as a management trainee and went on to become a senior product manager. I’ve worked on brands such as Dabur Amla hair oil and Vatika. In 1998, I joined General Mills India as a brand manager and worked on Pillsbury’s wheat flour brand. When online marketing became the buzzword around the turn of the millennium, I moved to Sify as their business head for utilities. In 2007, I joined Airtel as the marketing and media manager. I moved to HomeShop18 last year.

What were your key learnings from the course?

The course was a perfect combination of theory about business strategy and real-life anecdotes/examples. We learnt about how the business environment is changing globally due to variables such as the advent of technology. They also used case studies to substantiate the theory taught in class. The course taught us three elements that form the practical aspect of business strategies — the importance of a long-term approach, assessing the implications and making informed decisions.

What did you like about the course?

The whole idea of coming back to campus is fun. With people coming from different countries, sectors and companies, the diversity in class ensured that we always looked at concepts from a different perspective. Every day, we worked on a make-believe business problem and at the end of the day we would be evaluated on the basis of how our decisions impacted the business.

What did you not like about the course?

Honestly, I enjoyed my time at INSEAD, there wasn’t anything that they could have improved. However, I would have appreciated it if the course was longer, as that would have given me more time at INSEAD.

—As told to Laveena Iyer

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