Forbes magazine’s eighth annual report on the world’s most influential Chief Marketing Officers includes three Indian-Americans and one Indian executive among 50 marketing directors.
Mayur Gupta, Raja Rajamannar, Ravi Santhanam, and Vineet Mishra were chosen from 427 global CMOs this year in the Forbes report published Oct. 1, 2020.
Forbes used data from news reports, websites and social networks to measure influence, and worked with research partners Sprinklr and LinkedIn, the report said.
To make the Top 50, a CMO must be in the top 20% of CMOs on at least three different indicators of personal, industry or internal influence, or show extraordinary impact visibility on the conversation around Covid-19 or Black Lives Matter.
Number 17 on the list, Gupta was the CMO of Freshly headquartered in New York, NY when he was selected for the list. He departed Freshly in May and is now chief marketing and strategy officer at media-company Gannett.
As Gupta explained to Forbes in April, when he was still CMO of the meal-delivery company, Freshly pulled back on a lot of its usual marketing and is instead relying on organic traffic and word of mouth while also switching from a top-of-funnel strategy to something more focused on partnerships and customer engagement.
The company also partnered with Nestlé to donate $500,000 to Meals On Wheels to serve senior citizens across the country. “We felt that during this time even though we’re still a growth-stage company, we had the responsibility to take care of people who are highest at risk,” Gupta had told Forbes.
Number 18 on the list, Rajamannar is the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Mastercard headquartered in New York, NY.
In an April thought piece in Mastercard’s LinkedIn newsletter “Marketing Sense,” Rajamannar explained how he believes brands should respond to Covid-19. Among his directives: “In these uncertain times, brands can be either destroyed or elevated. The outcome depends on their response. Brands’ considerations must reach beyond businesses. In these trying times, marketers need to identify how their brand can best convey compassion.” Long one of Forbes’ World’s Most Influential CMOs known for his innovation and industry leadership, Rajamannar actively shared his expertise with peer CMOs during the pandemic.
Number 39 on the list, Santhanam from Mumbai, India is the CMO of HDFC Bank. He led the Indian bank’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, launching the #HDFCBankSafetyGrid campaign to help people keep safe distance in public.
“As social distancing is the need of the hour to fight Covid-19, we want to use our logo to send this important message across to the people. The cause that we are fighting for today is much greater than any marketing rules and norms, and every effort or contribution counts,” he said in an interview with Financial Express. He also led creation of the inspirational “Hum Haar Nahi Maanenge” music video about overcoming adversity, featuring Indian musical talent.
Number 43 on the list, Vineet Mehra from San Francisco, CA is the Global CMO and Chief Customer Officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance.
Mehra prioritizes data-based, personalized shopping and experiences for Walgreens and Boots customers stemming from his commitment to democratize health and wellness, the report says. In an interview with tech partner Microsoft, he said, “The recent events around the racial equality movement are showing there are ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ in our society. Your postal code, in some cases, dictates your health outcome more than your genetic code.”
Mehra went on to say, “We have pharmacy deserts in America. We have food deserts. We have areas without access to health care. But imagine if we knew who you were, we could offer those experiences to you in multiple ways. We can offer up an experience to deliver it direct to your door. And we’ll set up delivery lockers in certain neighborhoods where people can pick things up.”