The Digital Guru: Subhobroto Chakroborty

The Digital Guru: Subhobroto Chakroborty

Niharika Niharika Dalai | Mar 26, 2018

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The first version of TechX witnessed one of India’s greatest digital marketer, strategic consultant, entrepreneur and keynote speaker. A brand communication specialist since past twenty-six years, with the work experience in 19 industries, Mr. Subhobroto Chakroborty has efficiently used Digital marketing mediums to build and improve more than 33 brands in the domain of virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

Mr Subhobroto Chakroborty who has a personal mission to render constructive value, share knowledge and transform lives had been in the institute to deliver a talk on “AI, Digital Marketing, Product Marketing, Sustainable energy and Industrial Market” in the technical confluence at the TIIR auditorium.

The session commenced at 10:55 AM with Mr. Subhobroto introducing himself after which he proceeded on to describe his career and passion for Digital marketing. Subsequently, he began a slideshow to describe the “Do’s and Don’ts” in marketing such as Successes and Failures; usage of 99% Science and 1% creativity; Spray and Pray theory; importance of Content; theory of TOFU, MOFU and BOFU; content mapping as per sales funnel; importance of outsourcing skilled people; application of AI, VR and robotics in digital marketing.

His success mantra was of upgrade or perish.

The event concluded with an interactive session where the audience asked various queries to Mr. Subhobroto and the latter cleared all the misconceptions on digital marketing.

After the session, Monday Morning got in touch with Mr. Subhobroto to have a tête-à- tête with him. Following are the certain excerpts from the candid conversation:

Monday Morning (MM): Tell us something about your childhood days.

Subhobroto Chakroborty (SC): Most of my childhood days were spent in Calcutta and I did my schooling there itself. I come from a humble family background. My father was a professor and my mother, a housewife.

MM: What inspired you to pursue Entrepreneurship and Digital marketing as a career option?

SC: I never wanted to be an entrepreneur and get into the realm of digital marketing until the time I arrived in Mumbai. I got the taste of digital marketing in 2005-2006 when I was a part of Reliance Communications. I was exposed to telecom data and digital marketing. Gradually, I started reading more and gained extensive knowledge in the field of digital marketing. Thus, I opted for jobs related to the digital sector which provided me furthermore exposure to the latter. That is how I pursued digital marketing and entrepreneurship as a career option. It was not a pre-determined journey.

MM: Share with us your experiences in Bhawanipur Education Society College where you were pursuing your B.Com (Hons).

SC: My scores were pretty average so I considered myself as an average student throughout my college life. After I graduated from college, I got my first job at Coca-Cola, I started researching on various business schools. I gave my entrance exams and “successfully failed” for the first time. Later, I appeared for the second time and subsequently succeeded.

MM: What made you incline towards pursuing an MBA back in 1998?

SC: I appeared for MBA exams after working 6 years because I wanted a designation and degree. In the first semester of my MBA, I performed really well and I was shocked as I had always considered myself as an average student. I graduated with a first class degree and at that time I realized what revolutionized me. I started loving what I was doing.  I started liking the subject and hence, I started putting a lot more effort into writing the content, thus I succeeded. I never wrote what was in the book rather I wrote what was in the ENA magazine (a magazine on marketing) and learned various facets of marketing. While others were talking theory, I spoke about practical matters.  Eventually, my perspective about myself changed and I was no longer an average person.

MM: Share with us your experiences at Indian School of Management, Calcutta and Xavier School Of Management, Jamshedpur.

SC: IIM made me realize my own strengths and opened up a wider horizon for me. After entering into IIM, I realized that I had wasted 15 years of my life. The professor here do not follow what is written in books, rather they talk about life and practical things.

After entering into IIM, I realized the difference between a mediocre and best college.  Best college does not mean the best campus. Best college means great professors. IIMs are a thousand miles apart from other mediocre colleges in terms of education and knowledgeable professors.

MM: There is a common perception among students nowadays that they need a management degree simply to increase their job packages, but what according to you is the actual need for an MBA?

SC: Knowledge is the only thing you should expect from a businessman. You should always keep yourself upgraded and make yourself more proficient in your skills.

MM: Before establishing the Digital Fellow, you worked in many other companies. So, how was your overall experience in Netcore solutions, Apps Daily solutions, Genesis advertising, Group ISD, United Stock Exchange of India, INX Media, NCDEX, Reliance Communications, ICICI Bank, Century Plyboards and Coca-Cola?

SC: My overall experience in the above said companies were pathetic and those were the most stupid things I have done in my life. This was because my corporate life taught me all the incorrect things you should do in marketing. There were no ethics, no morality and had the existence of superficial leaders. Most of my bosses were not great human beings. I did not found a great Guru or a great mentor.

MM: Enlighten us about your association with Kutch Yuvak Sangh (NGO and Hiren Sangoi).

SC: This NGO helps in collecting blood and the team came up to me for web marketing. I helped them in doing online and Facebook marketing and we got around 8000 bottles of blood to help the poor.

MM: How did Digital Fellow happen? What is the motivation that has driven you to come up with such an idea?

SC: Digital Fellow happened due to my anger. I was so angry with my bosses with whom I worked and I could sense that they were less knowledgeable than me. I didn’t want to do a job once again. So, I thought about creating Digital Fellow.

It was not predetermined and everything happened gradually from developing a website to designing a logo for my company. Digital fellow deals with everything related to the digital world like AI, virtual reality, marketing, and consultancy.

MM: How can you describe the work culture of Digital Fellow?

SC: In my company, there is nothing called office timing. You can take leave whenever you want. The only thing that matters is that if you are given a project you should do it in a completely dedicated and responsible manner. Moreover, we work from Monday to Friday and on Saturday we teach each other.

MM: How do you keep your spirits high amidst professional pressure and hectic schedule?

SC: I think all my life for 25 years I was actually under pressure because I was a slave and was working for others. But now I am enjoying what I am doing, so I never feel stressed or under pressure.

MM: What are your plans for the near future?

SC:  According to me, there is nothing called future plans in the digital world.  Eight months ago, I just started with one chair and now I have a good number of people working with me. I am enjoying my journey and I really don’t know my destination.

MM: How was your overall experience in NIT Rourkela, interacting with the students in your session?

SC: Actually I had given up the plan of coming here because of the hectic time schedule but the coordinators were quite persuasive and they convinced me to come here and give a talk.

There was a time when I was a student and I did not get much of the opportunity to interact with great leaders. So I was glad that I could share my knowledge and experience with the students here.

MM: Any message that you would like to leave for our readers.

SC: I would advise everyone that keep upgrading yourself and keep gaining knowledge throughout your life. You should never stop learning no matter whatever job you are doing.


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