- IMD Business School
 - IMD Business School
Goutam Challagalla

Professor of Strategy and Marketing and dentsu Group Chair in Sustainable Strategy and Marketing

Goutam Challagalla is Professor of Strategy and Marketing and dentsu Group Chair in Sustainable Strategy and Marketing. He focuses on how digital advances and sustainability concerns are impacting companies’ business strategies and approaches to marketing. Having helped companies to rethink their business models and build new capabilities in the face of the digital revolution, he is now helping to integrate sustainability-related challenges and opportunities into their strategy.

His teaching, consulting and research highlight the different challenges facing companies as a result of digital and sustainability transformations. While digital advances require the development of new business models in order to become more effective or efficient, taking on sustainability goals means that organizations have to rethink their whole raison d’être and their relationship with all stakeholders.

He is therefore well placed to help companies prepare for further acceleration in digital and sustainability transformations in the post-pandemic world, particularly by designing strategies that are resilient for today and tomorrow. His research shows how digital breakthroughs can derail businesses, as well as the steps they can take to protect themselves and leverage digital technologies for gain. It also provides insights into how firms can exploit purpose and digital advances to drive sustainability priorities, brand strategies for sustainability, customer centricity, and how to design and lead modern sales organizations in the wake of COVID-19.

Digital is about skilling, doing things faster and cheaper, and building new business models. Sustainability requires you to rethink your fundamental purpose, who you are as an organization, and what your place is in the hearts and minds of your customers and other stakeholders.

His work on sustainability strategy with Frédéric Dalsace has demonstrated that there is only a narrow path to success on sustainability, and most firms and brands are not able to find this because they make crucial mistakes as they pursue their agendas. A recently published Harvard Business Review article by the pair sets out a practical framework for creating sustainability strategies built on customer engagement as well as improvements in products and operations.

Challagalla is now exploring the outlook for emerging technological developments such as the metaverse and Web3 and the implications for C-level executives. He is therefore able to advise them and separate the hype from the reality as they consider how to engage with the next wave of the tech revolution.

He is also working on a book on digital pathways for value creation, which examines five ways companies can use digital advances to drive customer value and loyalty.

His research has been published in top marketing and management journals including the Journal of Marketing, the Journal of Marketing Research, Management Science, Strategic Management Journal, the Journal of Applied Psychology, and Harvard Business Review. He has also served on the editorial review boards of the Journal of Marketing and the Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management.

At IMD, he is Director of the Advanced Management Program (AMP), Digital Marketing Strategies (DMS), and Strategy Governance for Boards. He also ran an annual event for chief marketing officers which was attended by CMOs from across Europe (e.g., Tetra Pak, Dow, IBM Europe).

In addition, he has led programs on strategy and marketing issues for clients from a wide range of B2B and B2C industries including AT&T, Bangkok Bank, Beiersdorf, Cargill, GE, Grundfos, Kone, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Reckitt, Tetra Pak, Turner Broadcasting, and Zurich Insurance Group.

Before joining IMD in 2015, Challagalla served for 20 years as a marketing professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in Atlanta, where he was Associate Dean for Executive Education and head of the marketing department. He also worked as Principal at The Monitor Group, a strategy and marketing consulting company.

Selected publications
Academic publications
Insight for Executives