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Indian Branding Specialist Develops His Own Social Network On Bath MBA

Marketing specialist Abhishek Roy was also selected by chemicals firm Castrol for a study of social media

Abhishek Roy wanted to add an international edge to his five-year career in India’s real estate industry so he left the hustle and bustle of life in Bombay for a year in world heritage city, Bath.

The Indian national had never left his home country for an extended period until he enrolled on the University of Bath School of Management MBA programme. Prior to moving to Bath, Abhishek worked as Brand Manager for Tata Housing Development, India’s fastest growing real estate development company. He was responsible for marketing properties in the residential, commercial and retail sectors of the company.

Abhishek completed the Bath MBA programme in November 2011 and also holds a BSc. Mathematics, Statistics and Computing from Christ University, Bangalore, India. When I asked Abhishek why he went into marketing with his analytical background, he replied that it gave him an advantage, since understanding data and how to manipulate it are essential elements of branding.

This unique background scored him a project for Castrol, the global manufacturer of lubricants for automotive, aerospace, industrial and marine industries. He was selected by the firm to conduct a qualitative study as part of his MBA to identify social barriers and challenges to people’s acceptance of social media. The project lasted for 16 weeks and Abhishek designed measures of user engagement with social media and discovered tools that users would like to engage with in order to communicate more through social media.

Abhishek put an entrepreneurial spin on his flair for social media by developing a plan for a new social networking service with his colleagues. They came up with a social network called Sinantisi. Similar to Grindr, Sinantisi provides users with notifications to meet when they are in the vicinity of a friend and subscribers can respond to the prompt or not. Sinantisi is not restricted to a particular demographic and allows people to transcend the limitations of online social networking. “Sinantisi responds to a basic human need to interact with one another”, says Abhishek. 

Abhishek chose Bath for its high faculty-to-student ratio and because it had a reputation for being a research-based institution. He describes the energy generated during group projects as “phenomenal and infectious”. It was a “real life changer for me”, he says.

He found the entrepreneurship and strategic brand management modules particularly useful because they added to his knowledge. “My ability to think of branding from a different, developed nation’s perspective and to have more clarity on how to bring my own ideas to life were enhanced”, he says.

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