Sunil Gupta

Edward W. Carter Professor of Business Administration
Chair, General Management Program

Sunil Gupta is the Edward W. Carter Professor of Business Administration and Chair of the General Management Program at Harvard Business School. He is also the co-chair of the executive programs on Driving Digital and Social Strategy and Competing on Business Analytics and Big Data. In the recent past, he has taught an elective course on Digital Marketing Strategy to MBA students and Advanced Management Program to senior managers. From 2008-2013, he served as the Head of the Marketing Unit. 

Sunil's research interests are in the areas of digital marketing, customer management, pricing, and return on marketing investment. His articles in these areas have won several awards including the 1993, 2002, and 2009 O'Dell Award and the 1998 and 2005 Paul Green Award of the Journal of Marketing Research for the most significant contribution in the field of marketing; the 1998, 2000, and 2003 Marketing Science Institute award for the best paper; the 2004 best paper award for the Journal of Interactive Marketing and the 1999 best paper award for the International Journal of Research in Marketing. Sunil is an area editor for the Journal of Marketing Research and an editorial board member of five major journals.

Sunil is co-author of two books. His recent book, Managing Customers as Investments, was published by the Wharton School Publishing in February 2005. It was selected as the 2006 winner of the annual Berry-AMA book prize for the best book in marketing. In April 2006, this book was also chosen as one of the top 30 business books of the year by Soundview Executive Book Summaries.

Sunil has conducted seminars and consulted with several companies in the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia. As a business expert, he has frequently appeared on several national and international television programs, such as CNN and BBC, and has been quoted in the press. 

Prior to joining Harvard, Sunil was the Meyer Feldberg Professor of Business at Columbia Business School and Assistant Professor at UCLA. In 1996, Sunil spent his sabbatical with McKinsey & Co. 

Sunil holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, and a Ph.D. from Columbia University.

  1. For Mobile Devices, Think Apps, Not Ads

    Although smartphones are ubiquitous, "mobile advertising" can be a hollow phrase. People simply don't like ads on their screens. Instead, smart marketers will create apps that enhance consumers' lives.

  2. The Mobile Banking and Payment Revolution

    Mobile technology is revolutionizing the global banking and payment industry, adding convenience for existing customers and serving unbanked customers in emerging markets. But banks face significant challenges as the ecosystem changes.

  3. HBS Working Paper: Do Display Ads Influence Search?

    As firms increasingly rely on online media to acquire consumers, marketing managers feel comfortable justifying higher online marketing spend by referring to online metrics such as click-through rate (CTR) and cost per acquisition (CPA). However, these standard online advertising metrics are plagued with attribution problems and do not account for dynamics. These issues can easily lead firms to overspend on some actions and thus waste money, and/or underspend in others, leaving money on the table. We develop a multivariate time series model to investigate the interaction between paid search and display ads, and calibrate the model using data from a large commercial bank that uses online ads to acquire new checking account customers.

  4. E-Commerce in Asia: Challenges and Opportunities

    Asia is a large and rapidly growing region with a rising middle class, accelerating internet access and a staggering penetration of mobile phones. As North American and European markets mature, Asia is becoming increasingly attractive to businesses, especially to e-commerce firms that thrive on global and scalable business models. Yet...

  5. Asia Consumer Summit

    Sunil Gupta speaks on e-commerce in Asia at the Asia Consumer Summit, Singapore, October, 2012.