Anand Kurian

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(Alby) Anand Kurian (13 September 1958, Calcutta, India), is a marketing communications theorist and writer; he has been featured among thirty marketers from around the world. He has conceived and developed the twin marketing management concepts of Reality Plus and Neo People, other allied concepts and the Universal Integrators marketing model.

His first book, The Peddler of Soaps, a political novel against religious fundamentalism, was on the India Today best-seller list. For his next book, a work of non-fiction, professionals such as Narayana Murthy, Javed Akhtar and IIM professors are interpreting his management concepts, in their own areas of specialisation.


He was educated at Bombay Scottish School, St. Xavier’s College, Elphinstone College and Government Law College, Mumbai. He was first in his division at the University of Cambridge Indian School Certificate examination, graduated with honours from Mumbai University, and was awarded scholarships throughout an unorthodox academic career.[1][2]

He qualified as a lawyer; he topped Moot Courts in Mumbai University, in Maharashtra State and in India.[3][4][5][6]

His thesis for his PhD in Management was recommended by two former deans of IIM Ahmedabad, and featured contributions from the co-authors of Philip Kotler’s classic on marketing.

Advertising career[edit]

He trained in advertising in New York and founded Emphasis; the company has conceived and executed advertising work for multinational majors such as Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, Colgate-Palmolive, PepsiCo and Unilever, and for products such as Lay's, Ariel, Lifebuoy and Coca-Cola.[4][5][7]

The struggle against communalism[edit]

The rise of communalism in India occurred at this time; Anand Kurian wrote The Peddler of Soaps, a political novel set against this period. The book seemed prescient; it was written before the Gujarat riots erupted.[8][9][10]

The book found support among intellectuals, celebrities, newspaper editors and national award winning actors; among them were Vir Sanghvi, Shabana Azmi, Shobhaa De and Tabu.[11][12]

Launch of The Peddler of Soaps, New Delhi; with Javed Akhtar and Arnab Goswami

Sanghvi described The Peddler of Soaps as ‘Deceptively simple, a contemporary, modern-day fable’; Azmi called it ‘The right book for these wrong times’.[11][13][14][15][16]

In its review, India Today said, "It explores the tantalisingly complex issue of why multicultural societies lapse into violence and communal rioting."[17] [18] The Hindu described it as "Beguilingly simple..."[19] Critical reviewers and readers dubbed it as pseudo-secular.[20]

His use of the small letter ‘i’ for the personal pronoun ‘I’ (in certain chapters of the book), has now been adopted in the editorial page of The Times of India.[21]

The book was on the India Today best-seller list[22] and it topped the best-seller charts of The Times of India, The Financial Express and The Indian Express.[19][23] It was to be made into a film by Mansoor Khan but the project was still-born.[11]

Key management concepts[edit]

He has conceived and developed marketing management concepts such as: ‘Reality Plus’[24][25] ‘Neo People’[26] ‘Simulated Obsolescence’[27][28] and ‘The Afghanistan Syndrome’.[29][30][31]

He has developed ‘The Universal Integrators model’,[32][33] a marketing management enabler that helps overcome barriers as products and services cross boundaries.

‘The Transference Response’,[34] applies a concept from psychoanalysis to marketing communications.

‘The Laggard's Lock’,[35][36] (co-written with Nitin Borwankar) describes how our mindsets do not always keep pace with new technologies and how we tend to use new tools in a less than optimal way.

He coined the term ‘Co-omperation’ in a paper that appeared in the AIMA Journal, developing the concept to describe relationships where competition and co-operation co-exist. He described co-omperation as being the most natural of all human transactions.[37]

He has developed the ‘Triple F Model’. Applying it to Apple under Steve Jobs, he opines that Job's contributions in the area of pure ‘Function’ are less significant, but that his contributions in the areas of ‘Functionality’ and ‘Form’ are substantial.[38] [39]

In 'The Mirror Maxim', he shows how frailties, ordinariness, imperfections and handicaps can become strengths and the competition repositioned as plastic and out of touch with the common person.[40]

He has lectured on these concepts at the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), at CEO conclaves, to industry bodies, at IIM conferences,[2][41][42] to faculty and students of universities abroad[43] to members of the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) and at international conferences.[44][45][46][47]

These lectures have subsequently been published in professional advertising and marketing publications.[48]

Articles, keynote addresses & lectures[edit]

He lectures at the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) and the National Institute of Design (NID).[24][27][29] His message against communalism is summarised in the dictum ‘A world without borders... people without labels.’[5]

"The Indian way", a keynote Convocation Address at the Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad (MICA) is an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the Indian way of life.[49][50]

In "Racing on the fast track" Anand Kurian takes a critical look at the caste system.[51][52][53]

He has founded India's first campus channel; the Chairman of Cadbury's described it as "an example of the power of an innovative idea." Along with two former Deans of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, he has designed a subject ‘The New Culture of Business’, for management students.[24] He has introduced courses on ‘The Business of Cinema’ to management education in India.[54][55]


He is working on his second book, a work of non-fiction. Professionals from diverse fields – such as Narayana Murthy, R. Balki, Sagarika Ghose, Ashis Nandy, Abraham Koshy (of IIM, Ahmedabad), Javed Akhtar and R Gopalakrishnan – are interpreting his concepts, in their areas of specialisation, for the book.[11]

He is part of an international brand consultancy; he has been cited for multi-media innovations, and has served on juries for professional awards.[56] He has been profiled in ‘Marketing people’ (Barnes & Noble), a book about thirty marketers from around the world.[2]

But his feature film has been long delayed; critics have described him as unorthodox and unconventional.[11][57]

However, a former Dean of IIM, Ahmedabad Dr Parikh says, "He draws from cultural anthropology as well as from McKinsey and Kishore Biyani. He straddles both left and right brain territory to create a new, more dynamic picture."

Says another erstwhile Dean of IIM, Ahmedabad,Dr Shingi, "He is a Renaissance man; he helps us see, beyond narrow specializations, the complete picture."[5]


  1. ^ "Author Profile". Retrieved 16 May 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c "Speaker Profile, IIM Conference". IIM. Retrieved 27 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "Business School profile" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 August 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Business School guest faculty profile". Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 22 October 2008. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Anand Kurian". Open Library. 
  6. ^ "Business School Profile" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 November 2010. Retrieved 18 November 2010. 
  7. ^ "Emphasis Portfolio". Youtube. 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  8. ^ "Interview in The Hindu". The Hindu. 2002. Retrieved 22 October 2008. 
  9. ^ "CHATTERATI". Indian Express Newspapers. 4 December 2002. Retrieved 22 October 2008. 
  10. ^ "Part fable, part critique". Afaqs. 
  11. ^ a b c d e "Peddler of Soaps". Open Library. 
  12. ^ "Star endorsements". The Indian Express. 
  13. ^ "New Delhi launch pic of Peddler of Soaps". WLI Foundation. 
  14. ^ "Mumbai launch pic of Peddler of Soaps". WLI Foundation. 
  15. ^ "Book Cover (Front)". WLI Foundation. 
  16. ^ "Book Cover (Back)". WLI Foundation. 
  17. ^ "India Today Book Review". India Today. 
  18. ^ "India Today Review". India Today. 
  19. ^ a b "Review in The Hindu". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 24 December 2002. 
  20. ^ "Criticism". 2002. Retrieved 21 February 2010. 
  21. ^ "Small 'i' for 'I' Criticism". The Times of India. 2011. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  22. ^ "India Today Best seller list". India Today. 
  23. ^ "An Unlikely Best-seller". The Week. 2002. Archived from the original on 17 January 2003. Retrieved 9 June 2012. 
  24. ^ a b c "Reality Plus". Business Standard. 
  25. ^ "Reality & Reality Plus". Afaqs. 
  26. ^ "Neo People". The Journal of the All India Management Association. 
  27. ^ a b "Simulated Obsolescence". Business Standard. 
  28. ^ "Simulated Obsolescence". exchange4media. 
  29. ^ a b "The Afghanistan Syndrome". Business Standard. 
  30. ^ Rajghatta, Chidanand (14 March 2002). "The Afghanistan Syndrome (Source 1)". The Times of India. 
  31. ^ "The Afghanistan Syndrome (Source 2)". The Washington Times. 
  32. ^ "Universal Integrators". Afaqs. 
  33. ^ "Universal Integrators". The Journal of the All India Management Association. 
  34. ^ "Transference Response". The Journal of the All India Management Association. 
  35. ^ "The Laggard's Lock". The Journal of the All India Management Association. 
  36. ^ "The Laggard's Lock". KhabarMedia. Retrieved 20 May 2010. 
  37. ^ "Co-omperation". The Journal of the All India Management Association. 
  38. ^ "Applying the Triple F Model to Steve Jobs". Journal of the All India Management Association. 
  39. ^ "The Triple F Model & Steve Jobs". The Business Standard. 
  40. ^ "The Mirror Maxim". afaqs. 
  41. ^ "Talk at IIM Conference". IIM 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  42. ^ "The Triple Bottom-Line: People, Planet, Profit". IIM Conference. Retrieved 25 November 2011. 
  43. ^ "UK University talk". Brunel University UK. Retrieved 7 July 2012. 
  44. ^ "Talk at IAS officers Conference (pictures)". Government of Maharashtra. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 
  45. ^ "Industry Interaction with IIM pictures (Anand Kurian pictures)". Indian Institute of Management. Retrieved 6 August 2009. 
  46. ^ "Lecture at CEO forum (pictures)". Executive Recruiters Association. 
  47. ^ "CEO"s Conclave". Executive Recruiters Association. 
  48. ^ "AIMA journal". All India Management Association. 
  49. ^ "The Indian Way". Business Standard. 
  50. ^ "The Indian Way". AFaqs. 
  51. ^ "Racing on the fast track". Hindustan Times. 
  52. ^ "Caste among Syrian Christians". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 19 March 2010. 
  53. ^ "Nambudiri origin". Retrieved 19 March 2010. 
  54. ^ "Film & Entertainment". Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad (MICA). Archived from the original on 28 March 2010. Retrieved 31 March 2010. 
  55. ^ "Film Marketing". The Hindu. Retrieved 23 August 2012. 
  56. ^ "Award jury". Eventfaqs. 
  57. ^ "Filmi Fundas". The Times of India, Ahmedabad. Retrieved 2 April 2010. 

See also[edit]