It is reliably learnt that the person who shaped Kingfisher Airlines’ multi-pronged marketing initiatives has decided to move on. However, Girish Shah’s next destination is not yet known, though the buzz is that the Marketing Head of Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines is headed towards a significant role in brand management.
Of Shah’s 14 years’ experience in marketing and brand-building assignments, nine have been as profit centre head with leading MNCs such as Reckitt & Coleman, Johnson & Johnson and Scottish & Newcastle, UB Group’s joint venture with Europe’s largest brewer. Thereafter, he was elevated within the UB Group as Head-Marketing of Kingfisher Airlines.
In his assignment with Scottish & Newcastle/UB, Shah’s mandate was to put in place a robust portfolio strategy for its beer brands to move towards volume and value growth leadership in the segment. In the first two years of their relaunch, both Zingaro and Sandpiper clocked double-digit growth and were the fastest growing brands in their category. Sandpiper’s advertising also won awards in the Asia Pacific region in 2004.
During his tenure as Head-Marketing of Kingfisher Airlines, easily the most high-profile launch of 2005, the airline won several recognitions and awards. Among them were “The Best Airline” and “India’s Favourite Carrier” in a survey conducted by IMRB; 3rd rank in a survey on “India’s Most Successful Brand Launch of 2005” under the Brand Derby Survey conducted by Business Standard; a Top 10 ranking in “Buzziest Brands of 2005”; and rated amongst Top 10 Internet advertisers by Yahoo! India. Kingfisher Airlines was voted as the “Best Domestic Airline in South Asia ’06” by Skytrax, a UK-based specialist global air transport advisor.
Shah had joined Piramal’s as Senior Brand Manager-Consumer pharmaceuticals and was quickly made Marketing and Sales Manager with Reckitt Piramal, a group venture with Reckitt & Colman handling the Pain, Cold and Skincare portfolio. He was responsible for the relaunch of core brands Saridon, Lacto-Calamine, Burnol and Disprin.
Girish then joined J&J in October 2000 to spearhead their foray into consumer pharmaceuticals. The key brands Coldarin and Nizoral grew strongly during his tenure.