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Friday, 13 February 2009

Trilochan Sastry remembers...

I was also Labdhi's PGP student. He took only two classes for us, but it is still in my mind. Mainly, I got a few things from it: that he had a very high quality mind, very incisive and insightful, and conveyed that marketing required a lot of skill and intellectual content. He was, of course, a very good teacher.

But, it is one long conversation I had with him as part of a student project that I still remember. We had a course called "WAC – written analysis and communication". My friend, Raju Vir, and I went to interview your father at your home. He laid out a plan of action for alleviating rural poverty through marketing. I could not understand him and came away thinking that he was biased because he was from the marketing field. How could marketing solve rural poverty problems?

Today, I run an NGO that helps about 3000 farmers in tribal and drought prone areas. And we use marketing as the central point of our intervention. Today I also believe what your father told me back in 1981. He had, therefore, a much wider vision of the world and his own profession than people understood. He was able to see things and opportunities that most of us miss. And perhaps he had a wider concern than the corporate sector, where as you know, he was highly respected.

*Trilochan Sastry was a student of LRB in 1981-83 and is currently Professor of Quantitative Methods and Information Systems and Dean(Academic) at IIM, Bangalore.

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