Prof Sreeram is a published researcher and case writer. His research has been published in some of the best journals in the area of management. He has also written and published teaching cases that are being used by faculty across the world. He has written opinion pieces and articles which have appeared in newspapers and business dailies.
Srivastava, M. & Sivaramakrishnan, S. (2021) Mapping the themes and intellectual structure of customer engagement: a bibliometric analysis, Marketing Intelligence and Planning, Vol. 39 No. 5, pp. 702-727.
Are you interested in Customer Engagement? Wondering what are the seminal papers, evolving themes and future research streams in the domain? Check our article published in the Marketing Intelligence and Planning (ABDC-A), which offers a comprehensive and scientific review of the CE literature using bibliometric analysis.
Srivastava, M., Sivaramakrishnan, S. & Saini, G. (2020) The relationship between Electronic Word-of-mouth and Consumer Engagement: An exploratory study. IIM Kozhikode Society and Management Review, 10(1), 66-81
There has been a significant shift in the purchase of media by brands in the last decade. Brands have moved from spending money on the ever-present television and print media to the ubiquitous digital media of today. In the new hyperconnected world, consumers rely on online reviews (i.e., electronic word-of-mouth or eWOM). The study proposes a model for the relationship between eWOM and consumer engagement (CE). Additionally, it details a comprehensive classification framework of CE and reveals both the experts’ and consumers’ perspectives in this field by adopting a grounded theory–content analysis approach. The findings suggest that eWOM leads to CE.
Srivastava, M. & Sivaramakrishnan, S. (2020) The impact of eWOM on Consumer Brand Engagement, Marketing Intelligence and Planning, Vol. 39 No. 3, pp. 469-484
It is empirically proven that enhanced engagement with a focal medium motivates a consumer to post electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM). However, what has not been explored is whether enhanced exposure to eWOM results in greater consumer brand engagement (CBE). While answering this question, this study also assesses the influence of eWOM and CBE on customer loyalty and satisfaction with the brand. The study has been conducted across two products –a search product and an experience product.
Sivaramakrishnan, S. & Srivastava, Mala (2019). Financial Well-being, Risk Avoidance and Stock Market Participation, International Journal of Financial Services Management, 9 (4), 326-344
The purpose of this study is to understand the influences of risk avoidance and financial well-being on the intention to invest in equity products. It was found that financial well-being and risk avoidance have a negative influence on the intention to invest in equity products. A counterintuitive finding was that financial well-being or the feeling of financial security does not embolden an investor to invest in the stock markets rather it seems to prove a deterrent for stock market participation. This suggests that financial institutions may need to highlight gaps in financial security of households or use other creative means of communication to increase stock market participation.
Bali, A., Kachwala T.T., Sivaramakrishnan, S. (2019). An Assessment of the Impact of Karma Yoga on Performance in Teams, South Asian Journal of Management, 26 (3)
Karma Yoga is an important Indian philosophical concept that teaches the technique of working selflessly for a higher purpose without the desire for personal reward. The study uses experiments to measure the effect of belief in karma yoga on individuals and teams in a controlled environment. It uses a variant of the multiplayer public goods game and concludes that a higher belief in karma yoga is positively correlated with stronger individual performance in a group. A belief in karma yoga could help drive individual performance in teams and lower instances of employee corruption.
Bali, A., Kachwala T.T., Sivaramakrishnan, S. (2019). Aparigraha- Is it good for organisations? International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy, 12(3), 360-384
Management theories have traditionally been based on concepts borrowed from western schools of philosophy with minimal influence of Indian philosophical thought. ‘Aparigraha’ is an Indian philosophical construct interpreted as non-possessiveness, non-greediness, generosity and non-envy. The study used experiments to test the impact of practising Aparigraha on group performance in organisations. The study uses a variant of the multiplayer dictator game and concludes that a stronger belief in Aparigraha and practice of Aparigraha has a positive impact on group performance.
Sivaramakrishnan, S., Srivastava, M. and Rastogi, A. (2017). Attitudinal Factors, Financial Literacy, and Stock Market Participation, International Journal of Bank Marketing, Emerald Publications.
This paper was based on the PhD work done by Prof Sreeram between 2011 and 2016. The study identifies the key factors affecting stock market participation in the Indian market and develops a comprehensive framework to understand the relationship between the various factors and stock market participation. Demographic and socio-economic characteristics affecting stock market participation were also identified. Secondary research across several disciplines – Marketing, Consumer Behaviour, Economics, Psychology, Finance – Classical and Behavioral amongst others was done to begin with and then a mixed methods research methodology was adopted where qualitative research was used to develop the conceptual model and quantitative research was used to confirm the model. For this purpose, interview based and survey data was collected across four cities in India. Structural Equation Modeling was used to analyse the data and finalise a model of investment behaviour. The results of the study have substantial theoretical and policy implications along with actionable strategies for practitioners.
Published Teaching Cases
Sivaramakrishnan, S., Ray S. & Goswami, P (2020). EcoFemme Cloth Pads: Reaching Rural Women. London, Ontario: Ivey Publishing, Western University.
Eco Femme (EF) was a social enterprise founded in 2010. It developed re-usable cloth sanitary napkins and marketed towards those looking for sustainable products to manage their menstrual hygiene. The enterprise faced several challenges in reaching their target market of poor women in rural India. There was a taboo attached to menstruation and it was thus a difficult topic to discuss. Also, there were popular, commonly used, and easily available substitutes in the market, which were heavily marketed and distributed. EF had narrowed its options down to three broad distribution options—community groups, small convenience stores, and apparel retailers; the team needed to choose and develop a plan.
Sivaramakrishnan, S., Krishna, A., (2017). QualityKiosk: Drawing up a sales strategy. London, Ontario: Ivey Publishing, Western University.
In 2015, QualityKiosk Technologies Private Limited (QualityKiosk) was an information technology company providing software application testing and quality assurance services to banks and insurance companies in India. QualityKiosk had over 70 per cent penetration in the insurance sector in terms of numbers of customers, but only 30 per cent penetration in the banking sector. The head of QualityKiosk’s banking vertical, must put together a coherent sales strategy for 2016–17, and present his recommendations to QualityKiosk’s chief executive officer.
Sivaramakrishnan, S., Bhide, Mandar (2017). Aileron Lighting – The Sales Promotion Question. Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies Collection, Emerald Publications.
The case describes the situation faced by a sales manager of a commoditised product in a tough and competitive market. Aileron Consumer and Lighting Group (ACLG) was among the top ten fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies in the country while also being among the fastest growing companies in India and had a diverse portfolio ranging from trade lighting to commercial and institutional lighting. Sunil, the sales manager, after his training found himself in the Budhwar Peth market in Pune, Western India where he was expected to find a way to increase sales of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). The product was undifferentiated and the competition was extremely strong with large allocations to advertising and dealer support. Sunil realised that his only hope for achieving his sales targets was to organise a sales promotion. His team and he came up with three options for sales promotions – two trade promotions and one consumer promotion. Sunil had to make the right choice of sales promotion for his market and the situation he found himself in.
Sivaramakrishnan, S., Thapar, G., Gattani, V., Chatterjee, A. (2014). Wipro Consumer Care: Merchandising for Success. London, Ontario, Canada, Ivey Publishing, Western University.
Visual merchandising (VM) plays a disproportionately important role in hypercompetitive product categories. Well-conceived products supported by excellent advertising are no longer enough to assure companies of sales at retail locations. Strong brands still need the on-the-ground support of distribution and visibility.
This case deals with a vital marketing resource-allocation question while providing ample
information about the realities on the ground concerning selling and managing channels in the
hypercompetitive FMCG market in India.
Sivaramakrishnan, S., (2014), Asclepius Consulting: The Sales Force Dilemma, London, Ontario, Canada, Ivey Publishing, Western University.
Asclepius Consulting is one of the many small software companies in India that have aspirations to become product companies as opposed to being services companies. Asclepius Consulting deals in hospital management information systems and has a product and service offering that is competitive and well received by customers. However, due to lack of capital, the company has been unable to invest in a sales force, and this has created a problem of reach. It is currently selling through a combination of resellers (external parties contracted to sell the software) and an inside sales force. Now, one of its three co-founders, whose expertise is in business process restructuring and business planning and strategy, is looking at revisiting the sales and marketing model in this complex marketplace.
This case is an illustration of the issues faced by a start-up company when it attempts to scale up its business. Students will learn how the choice of marketing channels depends on a variety of internal and external factors, including the type of product, the sales process, the target segment and the environment, and gain insight into institutional buying behaviour, especially in hospitals in India. The case also demonstrates the importance of appropriate market and customer segmentation.
Published case analyses
Sivaramakrishnan, S. (2017). Managing the Sales Team at Balram Beverages– Case Analysis. Vision - The Journal of Business Perspective, 21 (4), 479-481.
Shyam Sundar, General Manager (Sales and Marketing) at Balram Beverages Pvt. Limited (BBPL), was pondering over the final decision regarding whom to offer the post of Deputy General Manager - Sales. There were three candidates each having strengths and weaknesses.
Prof Sreeram had submitted an analysis of the case, which was published.
Sivaramakrishnan, S. (2016). LPB, Stopping Territory Infringement – Case Analysis, Vision: The Journal of Business Perspective, 20(3), 256–258.
Sashi Kujur, Branch Manager, LPB Ltd. (a major Television marketer in India) was losing sales in Baleshwar district of Odisha as the distributor of West Bengal (neighbouring state) was selling materials in his territory at substantially lower prices. The discount structure of LPB was much higher for a greater volume of sale; hence, competing on price with West Bengal was not a sustainable solution for Odisha. Sashi needed to find a long term solution for the problem and had to take concrete steps immediately.
Prof Sreeram had submitted an analysis of the case, which was published.
Sivaramakrishnan, S., Radhakrishnan, A., (2016). Swosti Foods: Decoding Distributor Financial Metrics - Case Analysis. Vision: The Journal of Business Perspective, 20(2), 152–154.
The case describes a situation faced by a sales manager where he has to handle different distributors of his company’s products. Extensive data is provided for each distributor, and the manager has to decide what action to take with each distributor.
Prof Sreeram and Aditya had submitted an analysis of the case, which was published.
Sivaramakrishnan, S., & Hansaria, V. (2015). Kurdola Product Portfolio Decision - Case Analysis. Vision: The Journal of Business Perspective, 19(1), 65–68.
MOMCO was a leading manufacturer and marketer of branded edible oils in India. The company was facing a product crisis, which might cause serious brand dissonance for the loyal consumer base of Kurdola. The management had to take immediate action in the market as the current positioning and margin structures could lead to serious damage to the brand, cannibalisation by low margin products, which could drastically reduce the company's profitability and jeopardise all other businesses.
Prof Sreeram and Vineet had submitted an analysis of the case, which was published.
Sivaramakrishnan, S. (2021). Financial Planning for the new normal. Mumbai: Financial Express.
A three-step method to manage your finances while we are in the middle of a pandemic.
Sivaramakrishnan, S. (2017). More and more disclosures may not benefit the investors. Mumbai: Mint, Hindustan Times.
The article attempts to highlight the beneficial role of voluntary payments over commissions on investment advice. This is especially true for products where investors may require assistance in making investing decisions. The article also points out the downside of too much disclosure which may end up paralysing the decision making of the investor.
Sivaramakrishnan, S. (2015). After Net neutrality, now how about bank neutrality. Mumbai: Mint, Hindustan Times.
If you have found yourself opening a salary account, have you wondered why you are forced to do so?
Sivaramakrishnan, S. (2015). Giving NPS the retail push. Mumbai: Mint, Hindustan Times.
A mere 400,000 subscribers actually made the conscious choice to open an NPS account. It is time that there was a concerted retail push.
Sivaramakrishnan, S. (2010). There is never a “ best time ” to buy a house. DNA. Mumbai.
The only way to buy a house is to say a little prayer and take the plunge. The more you dither, the more you lose out on one of the best investments available today.
Sivaramakrishnan, S. (2010). Use the tax code to your advantage. DNA. Mumbai.
The devil is in the detail and more devils seem to emerge as the DTC is being read. This particular devil refers to the treatment of capital gains (CG) arising from the sale of shares and mutual fund units.
Sivaramakrishnan, S. (2010). Homing in on the right portfolio management service for you. DNA. Mumbai.
PMS is meant to provide a lot more freedom to both investors as well as fund managers with wider objectives.