prof. Ajay K. Kohli, PhD. – Scheller School of Business, GA Tech

 Lecture date: July 10-11, 2017



Tentative lecture topic

Challenging Market Dogmas for Structured Value-Creation


Curriculum Vitae:

Professor Ajay K. Kohli is a chaired professor of marketing at Georgia Institute of Technology. He received his PhD in Marketing from University of Pittsburgh. He is the Conceptual Editor of the premier marketing journal: Journal of Marketing. In addition, he is on editorial boards of: Journal of Academy of Marketing Science, International Journal of Research in Marketing. His conceptualization of market orientation and the idea of customer-centric firm revolutionized marketing by elevating it to a strategic discipline (away from advertising and into firm’s strategic orientation). This works made him the most cited author in marketing, and he is the winner of the first ever American Marketing Association award for long-term impact on marketing. He is ranked as one of the top cited authors in history of both economics and business.

Prof. Kohli is the most recognized for raising marketing to strategic level. However, once the ideas of disruptive innovation were developed onto his work, prof. Kohli was the key to solving pitfalls of disruptive innovations. His market-driven vs. market-driving strategies typology led to great success of large incumbent companies that were the most vulnerable to disruptive innovation.

Besides his academic work and lecturing and guest lecturing at top world schools (e.g. Harvard, Wharton, Bocconi …), prof. Kohli has consulted some of the world’s greatest companies: 3M, Accenture, Andersen, Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical, Eastman Kodak, The Forum Corporation, Halliburton, IBM, Shell, Texas Instruments, and the World Bank. In addition, he worked in the industry as sales and distribution manager, and consultant at the Monitor Group.


Lecture focuses on understanding the possibilities to use market knowledge to a firm’s advantage, rather than blinding the company actions. While companies sometimes claim that “their product was before its time”, the truth is that their market strategies were faulty, given product-market characteristics. Therefore, lecture discusses different strategies a firm can/should implement given the current/desired product-market fit. Strategies range from understanding consumers and their needs to purposeful management of consumers’ decision-making processes to create preferable market conditions for a firm’s products. In such case, firms pursue a more risky, but potentially more rewarding, market creation strategy under which firm is setting the rules, rather than just playing by the rules of the competitive game.