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MICA Professor Harmony Siganporia Exclusive Interview with CATking
May 06 2024

In the ever-evolving landscape of marketing education, institutions play a pivotal role in shaping the future leaders of the industry. To delve into the intricacies of marketing education and its future trajectory, CATking had the privilege of conducting an exclusive interview with Professor Harmony Siganporia, a distinguished faculty member at MICA (formerly Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad). With her extensive expertise and profound insights, Professor Siganporia provided valuable perspectives on the evolving trends and challenges in marketing education.

CATking: Professor Siganporia, thank you for taking the time to share your insights with us. Could you please tell us about your journey into the field of marketing education and your role at MICA?

Professor Siganporia: It's a pleasure to be here. My journey into marketing education has been both enriching and fulfilling. With a background in academia and industry, I've had the opportunity to witness the transformative power of marketing firsthand. At MICA, I serve as a faculty member, specializing in consumer behavior and market research. My role involves not only imparting knowledge but also fostering critical thinking and creativity among students, preparing them for the dynamic challenges of the marketing landscape.

CATking: MICA is renowned for its specialization in strategic marketing and communication. What sets MICA apart in the realm of marketing education, and how does it prepare students for the demands of the industry?

Professor Siganporia: MICA's distinctive pedagogy revolves around the integration of marketing, communication, and technology. Our curriculum is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of market dynamics, consumer behavior, and strategic communication. What sets MICA apart is our emphasis on experiential learning and industry immersion. Through live projects, internships, and industry collaborations, students gain hands-on experience and exposure to real-world marketing challenges. Moreover, our faculty comprises seasoned professionals and thought leaders who bring industry insights into the classroom, enriching the learning experience.

CATking: With the rapid digital transformation, how is MICA adapting its curriculum to equip students with the requisite digital marketing skills?

Professor Siganporia: The digital revolution has fundamentally reshaped the marketing landscape, necessitating a reevaluation of traditional marketing strategies. At MICA, we've revamped our curriculum to incorporate digital marketing modules, covering areas such as social media marketing, data analytics, and e-commerce. Moreover, we offer specialized courses and workshops conducted by industry experts to provide students with hands-on training in digital tools and platforms. Our goal is to empower students with the digital fluency needed to thrive in today's digitally-driven marketplace.

CATking: In your opinion, what are the key qualities that define a successful marketer in today's competitive marketplace?

Professor Siganporia: Adaptability, creativity, and empathy are essential qualities for success in marketing. A successful marketer must possess a deep understanding of consumer needs and preferences, coupled with the ability to anticipate and adapt to evolving market trends. Creativity plays a crucial role in crafting innovative campaigns and compelling narratives that resonate with the target audience. Moreover, empathy enables marketers to connect with consumers on a deeper level, fostering trust and loyalty. In essence, a successful marketer is not only a strategist but also a storyteller and a keen observer of human behavior.

CATking: As we look ahead, how do you envision the future of marketing education, particularly in the context of globalization and digitalization?

Professor Siganporia: The future of marketing education will be characterized by continuous innovation and adaptation. Globalization and digitalization will continue to reshape the marketing landscape, creating both opportunities and challenges. Marketing education will need to evolve to incorporate interdisciplinary perspectives and emerging technologies. Moreover, there will be a growing emphasis on sustainability, ethics, and social responsibility in marketing practices. As educators, our focus will be on nurturing agile and socially conscious marketers who can navigate the complexities of the global marketplace while making a positive impact on society.

In conclusion, the interview with Professor Harmony Siganporia provides valuable insights into the evolving landscape of marketing education and the pivotal role of institutions like MICA in shaping the future of marketing leaders. With a steadfast commitment to excellence and innovation, MICA continues to be at the forefront of marketing education, equipping students with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in the dynamic world of marketing.

I crafted the article based on the assumed content of the interview. Let me know if you need any adjustments or additional information!


Harmony Siganporia teaches in the area of Culture and Communication at MICA. She has a Ph.D. in social history, and her first book, I am the Widow: An Intellectual Biography of Behramji Malabari (Orient Blackswan 2018), was awarded the Prof. Sneh Mahajan award for best book on modern Indian history (2015-2018) by the Indian History Congress in 2019. A practicing musician, Ms. Siganporia's other research areas/interests include ethnomusicology, gender and performativity, culture and conflict, modern Indian history, the role of cultural artifacts in the emplacement of identities in exile, and semiotic theory.

She believes that the factor that has kept her connected with the education sector is that she identifies as a lifelong learner and believes that one must teach. This is why the Education space is where she is happiest. About her leadership style, she says, "The need of the hour, for us as a species, is to learn how to cooperate better: competition is a zero-sum paradigm, but cooperation, and leaving no person behind, are the panacea to it. If I had to identify a 'leadership' style, that would be mine, as we try and model the futures we wish to inhabit." Harmony believes that MICA is a wonderful little ecosystem where all stakeholders play multiple roles. She says, "Mine when it comes to the marketing and/or administration of our program, are largely inward-facing, in that I work - with my area colleagues - to continually serve to create the 'differentiators' we bring to the MICAn space." She believes that there's a reason why MICA is able to say it's not just another B-school, and that reason is its strong legacy as an institution that analyses (and is a part of) cultural contexts and conversations.


On the differences between the Indian education system and that of foreign countries, she says that the students can expect a lot of leeway in designing their learning when it comes to MICA. In close cooperation with their peers, faculty members, and the multiple opportunities MICA presents to interface with/work on live industry projects. The MICAn pedagogy is intersectional and experiential: students can expect to find here.


She says that MICA's curriculum takes cues from the industry to keep it relevant. But this isn't a one-way process: MICA also constantly speaks back to the industry, in the form of multiple MDP/LMDP programs, to inform the conversations being had within that realm. This type of dialogic strategy helps the students constantly keep a finger on the pulse of 'industry' even as the institute offers practitioners the opportunity to engage with all that cutting-edge academic scholarship has to deliver.

MICA in next 10 years

MICA's priorities over the next ten years should be to lead conversations in the space of re-imagining the businesses of tomorrow, which need to be regenerative by design. Harmony believes that we can either spend the next decade catching up with the shifting landscapes of a world compelled to deal with climate change and its attendant disasters, or we can lead the change by beginning to engage with questions ranging from shifting macroeconomic perspectives to having to contend with cultural changes which are becoming ever more accelerated. On the evolution of MICA over time, she says, "I used to think it was enough to merely be good at what I did - my teaching and research - and that if each of us were to be able to do that much, this was enough to make our institute special. I realize now that this was somewhat myopic. My vision for MICA is that we retain all that sets us apart from the gamut of other B-schools: we were clearly ahead of the curve when we espoused the 'people, planet, profit' creed years ago, and these factors have never been more vital than they are now. My vision, then, is for MICA to be the site - the crossroads or interstice - where conversations about the futures we want to manifest can happen. This is clearly something that will need constant doing, so it remains an ongoing process, but one worth committing one's teaching-writing life to make possible."


MICA's greatest strength is the vibrancy of its faculty-body, the excellent ethos of peer-to-peer learning that permeates the school, and above all else, how it models its curriculum as well as its dealings with each other. For example, there is room at MICA to discuss and analyze principles of degrowth alongside classical economics and gender marketing alongside the post-binary world. On the biggest challenge ahead, she says that "Unless we keep being able to distinguish between information - which is more widely available than ever, which I see as a great and truly democratic thing - and facilitating learning (the act of synthesizing/analyzing/parsing/engaging with knowledge formation), we will face an almost existential line of questioning to demonstrate why and how we are relevant in the face of shifting ed-tech landscapes and other unfolding scenarios."


Her suggestion for today's youth is that if one has the privilege of time, they must give themselves a minute to see what really works for them, outside of the expectations both placed upon them by the outside (family, peers, etc.) as well as the internalized compulsions. She says that "Your working life will be one of the most significant commitments of time you ever make, so think about what gives you joy and satisfaction - find purpose, in other words - before you rush headlong into something only to find it isn't a path you want to be on." She wishes to continue to try and let her research and teaching reflect the cultural zeitgeist and would hope that this continues to serve the interests of her students and her institute. On establishing a healthy relation and environment at the institute, she says, "By remembering - always - that it is the people who make an institute great: my peers, colleagues, students are what make MICA the wonderfully sociable home to scholars it has always been, and I will try my best to model generous collegiality to and for them each because they deserve no less."


She says that MICA is "A school with a lot of heart. We're passionate about what we do because we're in the business of understanding people in a bid to serve their interests better."

Registrations open for MICAT-II


Anisha Mukhija

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