Goutam Challagalla

Goutam Challagalla
Digital is about skilling – doing things faster and cheaper and building new business models. Sustainability requires a rethinking of 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.
Goutam Challagalla

Goutam Challagalla, Professor of Strategy and Marketing, 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 into their strategy sustainability related challenges and opportunities.


Challagalla's 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 on ways in which firms can exploit purpose and digital advances to drive sustainability priorities, on brand strategies for sustainability, customer centricity, and how to design and lead the modern sales organization in the wake of COVID-19.


He is currently working on a book on digital pathways for value creation, which examines six ways in which companies can use digital advances to drive customer value and loyalty. The book is due to be published later in 2022 or in early 2023.


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


Challagalla 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.


At IMD, he is Director of the Advanced Management Program (AMP), the Digital Marketing Strategies program (DMS) and Strategy Governance for Boards program. And until recently he ran an annual event for Chief Marketing Officers, which was attended by the CMOs of firms from across Europe (e.g. Tetra Pak, Dow, IBM Europe).


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

The joint and multilevel effects of training and incentives from upstream manufacturers on downstream salespeople's efforts (Journal of Marketing Research, 2020)

The online challengers threatening to disrupt the disrupters (Financial Times, 2020) How Coke, Apple and others use marketing doctrine (Forbes India, 2015)

Marketing doctrine: A principles-based approach to guiding marketing decision making in firms (Journal of Marketing, 2014)

Implementing changes in marketing strategy: The role of perceived outcome and process-oriented supervisory actions (Journal of Marketing Research, 2012)

Proactive postsales service: When and why does it pay off? (Journal of Marketing, 2009)



Outstanding Dissertation Award at UT-Austin (1994) Decision Sciences Institute Best Paper Award (2006)

American Marketing Association Best Services Paper award (2010) Maynard Award for best paper in Journal of Marketing (2015)


After graduating from Osmania University in Hyderabad, India, Challagalla earned an MBA at Arizona State University and a PhD at the University of Texas in Austin.

Orchestrating Winning Performance
IMD's signature program, OWP, brings you the latest business trends, thought leadership and insights to revitalize your business, drive innovation and lead you forward. Fully customizable schedule. For executives and teams.
Advanced Management Program
A comprehensive strategy and leadership program that enables top-level managers to understand complex market forces and strategically reassess and capture tomorrow's opportunities for their organizations.
All IMD programs
Goutam Challagalla's Publications
Trader Joe's: At a crossroads?
Case study
Matas (A): Will the Danish retailer’s transformation ignite growth?
Case study
Matas (B): Will its digital transformation strategy succeed?
Case study