The students of IIM Kashipur got an opportunity to interact with Mr. Shouvik Mukherjee, VP and Growth Unit Head at Jubilant Life Sciences. Mr. Mukherjee has a Masters degree in Agriculture and has worked with renowned firms such as Bush Boake Allen, Monsanto and also served as the VP of Agrochemical division at Sudarshan Chemicals.
The session began in a very interactive manner as the students posed questions on topics such as Genetically Modified Crops and their regulation in India. In response to the questions, Mr. Mukherjee talked about the differences in marketing of agricultural products in India and abroad. He drew upon his vast experience in dealing with international markets and demonstrated the differences between doing business in India and abroad. He informed the students about the numerous avenues through which a company can acquaint itself with potential foreign clients. He stressed on using avenues like International trade fairs and Embassies of foreign countries in reaching out to clients abroad.
Speaking further on trade relations with International clients, Mr. Mukherjee spoke of obstructions to free trade and the negative impact of protectionist measures in preventing the opening up of new markets. He also discussed about the exact opposite, wherein the government steps in to prevent a meltdown of the local industry in the wake of fierce and unfair competition from firms operating in other countries. Spurred on by the keen interest of the students in cases where anti-dumping duties were imposed, Mr. Mukerjee elucidated the concept with some real examples from agri-business. Some of the students questioned the nature of anti-dumping duties and pointed out that it could be construed as a form of protectionism adopted by the home country. The confusion was eliminated soon after, as Mr. Mukherjee pointed towards several cases in which significant evidence of unfair practices could be found.
As the session came to a close, Mr. Mukherjee offered helpful advice to the students on building strong client relationships. He emphasized on the need to follow business etiquette in dealing with international clients and its importance in building rapport with people from vastly different backgrounds. The students of IIM Kashipur found the session very informative as it provided them with a better understanding of the life-sciences industry and also a glimpse of how global selling occurs.