Rohit Deshpande

Sebastian S. Kresge Professor of Marketing

Rohit Deshpandé is Sebastian S. Kresge Professor of Marketing at Harvard Business School, where he has been teaching in the Program for Leadership Development, the Owner/President Management Program and in other executive education offerings. He has also taught global branding, international marketing, and first year marketing in the MBA program as well as a doctoral seminar in marketing management. He is the faculty chair of the Global Colloquium for Participant-Centered Learning and coordinator for Marketing faculty recruiting, and has previously been coordinator for Marketing doctoral program admissions, and faculty chair of the Strategic Marketing Management  executive program at Harvard Business School. In addition to teaching marketing, he was a part of the design and delivery team that created the Leadership and Corporate Accountability (LCA) MBA required course at HBS focusing on ethics and corporate governance and was faculty chair of the LCA in India executive program. In 2008-2009 Deshpande was recognized as the Henry B. Arthur Fellow for Business Ethics and in 2015 received the Robert F. Greenhill award for outstanding contributions to the HBS community.

Deshpandé introduced the concept of “customer-centricity” at an American Marketing Association meeting talk in 1998 well before the term "customer-centricity" became the strategic focus of leading corporations worldwide. In a series of research papers he has profiled high performance, customer-centric companies in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. He has published several technical articles, cases, and monographs and was cited in an American Marketing Association study as one of the most highly published full professors in the marketing field. His recent work on this topic is published in the “Core Readings in Marketing Series: Customer Centricity.” He is now extending Customer-Centricity into Audience Engagement in arts and culture organizations with case studies on the marketing of jazz (“Wynton Marsalis & Jazz at Lincoln Center”), theater (“American Repertory Theater”), media/entertainment (“Tyra Banks: Personal Branding”), and classical music ("".

He has served on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Marketing, the Journal of Marketing Research, the Journal of International Marketing, the International Journal of Rese arch in Marketing, the Journal of Business Research, and the Asian Journal of Marketing. He is on the Executive Directors Council of the Marketing Science Institute and has served on the Board of Directors of the American Marketing Association.

Deshpandé has also been a principal in a marketing research consulting firm and an electronics manufacturing company. He is an elected member of Beta Alpha Phi and Omicron Delta Kappa and is listed in Who's Who in America. He has consulted with and taught executive seminars in a variety of organizations in the U.S., Europe, and Asia and has received several recognitions for both executive and MBA teaching. At Harvard, he serves on the Harvard University Committee on the Arts, the Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching, the Harvard Murthy Classical Library of India Committee, and is on the advisory boards of the American Repertory Theater and the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies.

Before coming to Harvard, Deshpandé was the E. B. Osborn Professor of Marketing at the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College. He has also held appointments as Associate and Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Texas at Austin, Visiting Professor and Scholar at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University and Thomas Henry Carroll Ford Foundation Visiting Professor of Business Administration at Harvard University. He served as Executive Director of the Marketing Science Institute from 1997-1999. He has a B.Sc. (Hons. Dist.) and M.M.S. from the University of Bombay, an M.B.A. from Northwestern University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, where he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2008.



  1. Cross-cultural Marketing Strategy

    by Rohit Deshpande

    Rohit Deshpandé's research program focuses on cross-cultural marketing strategy. One stream of projects examines the interaction between corporate and national culture as they influence the development and implementation of global marketing strategies in multinational firms. Deshpandé is collaborating on a study of high performance firms across several geographies with initial work comparing European, Japanese, and U.S. companies, and current work on emergent economies in Asia. This research also develops diagnostics for measuring the customer-centricity/market orientation of a firm.

    The second stream of projects relates to the influence of culture on consumption. This work examines the impact of the changing demographics of the U.S. population on receptiveness to corporate branding and advertising strategies with specific focus on ethnic and minority marketing strategies.

  2. Global Business Standards

    by Rohit Deshpande

    A more recent research program focuses on understanding the relationship between codes of conduct and corporate performance in global firms. Collaborating with HBS colleagues Joshua Margolis and Lynn Paine, Deshpande is working on developing a diagnostic measurement of business codes of conduct and examining similarities and differences in firms operating across different geographies. The initial phases of this project are described in the December 2005 Harvard Business Review article 'Up to Code' and the September 2011 Harvard Business Review online article 'The Global Leader's Guide to Managing Business Conduct.'
  3. Global Branding and the Provenance Paradox

    by Rohit Deshpande

    Recent research on  global branding focuses on the Provenance Paradox. This phenomenon describes the problem faced by companies in emergent economies trying to establish their brands in developed markets. Although their provenance establishes authenticity, it also constrains these firms to raw material supply chain positions with lower prices. This paradox is detailed in a Harvard Business Review article in December 2010 titled "Why You Aren't Buying Venezuelan Chocolate."