After a stint of almost three-and-a-half years, Manisha Lath Gupta has quit Axis Bank to join the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Talking about the reason to join AAP, Lath Gupta tells afaqs! "For me AAP is not a political party, its a political movement. This is a real participative democracy and if this time we don't help them (AAP) succeed, we will continue to live in the current corrupt environment. And this is not the kind of country I want to leave behind for my kids. This is a one time opportunity for me. I will live for may be more 25 years and in this I would like to help bring change in the way the country has been running."
AAP is a voluntary organisation and Lath Gupta will be formally joining it on February 1. While she doesn't know exactly what all responsibilities she will get there untill she joins the party, she has already started contributing to the initial fund raising plans.
Lath Gupta did her masters from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi and she believes that her social consciousness started from there. "In this capitalist environment, being from JNU, I also feel that I have a deeper sense of social responsibility and want to contribute to the country. AAP is trying to do something different to bring about a change. There might be some successes and failures, but its worth trying."
On her journey with Axis Bank, she says, "It's been a great three-and-a-half years and I got to do a lot of new work that I never got a chance to do in the FMCG sector. In this period, we did a lot of brand building activities, repositioned Axis Bank, redesigned branches for better consumer experience and also contributed in making Axis Bank the No. 1 private sector bank from No. 3, a few years ago. The bank has done a lot even on the digital medium in terms of marketing. The last one year has been very good, more so because I got to work on the product side and the experience was truly rewarding."
A marketing professional who later transited into general management, Lath Gupta's specialties include new product development, FMCG marketing, financial services marketing and customer strategy and service.
At Axis Bank, she was responsible for all marketing communication across brand, product and branches, keeping the brand salient, and products and branches activated. She was also responsible for retail liabilities products, customer experience and portfolio/customer lifecycle management, ensuring customer activation and engagement. Deployment and performance of electronic banking channels like ATMs, internet banking, mobile banking including digital payments also fell under her portfolio to drive innovation, revenues and profitability.
As the CMO of Axis Bank, Lath Gupta took care of brand positioning and advertising for Axis Group Companies (bank, AMC and direct) and customer strategy for the bank. She is also credited with the digital marketing strategy initiative of the bank.
Lath Gupta started her career as a management trainee at Hindustan Unilever in 1997. She was promoted to senior product manager of the company in 2001, where she managed innovation on Pond's and Vaseline skin care brands.
In 2004, she moved to Colgate Palmolive and was responsible for new product development for the Indian market as consumer innovation centre manager. Later, in 2008, Lath Gupta was appointed as associate director, dentifrice marketing at Colgate Palmolive India and she held on to the post till she joined Axis Bank in August, 2010. The dentifrice portfolio consisted of all the products under the Colgate brand such as Colgate Dental Cream, Max Fresh, Active Salt, and Toothpowder. She was responsible for brand building, advertising, and on ground brand activation for these products in the Indian market.
Lath Gupta holds a PGDBA degree in marketing and strategy from IIM Bangalore. She has a Master's degree in Biotechnology from Jawaharlal Nehru University and graduated with Biophysics from Punjab University.