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Marketing training for entrepreneurs scoops prestigious prize

13 Jul 2016

LBS professor and team awarded ISMS-MSI Practice Prize

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A London Business School marketing expert is part of the team to win the 2015-16 Gary L. Lilien ISMS-MSI Practice Prize for marketing science.

Rajesh Chandy, Professor of Marketing, London Business School, Stephen Anderson of Stanford University, and Bilal Zia, World Bank, have been awarded the Gary L. Lilien ISMS-MSI Practice Prize for their work exploring the impact of marketing skills training on the businesses of micro-entrepreneurs. 

Rajesh Chandy says: “This work is one of the many ways in which ideas from London Business School are having an impact on the way the world does business. I am hugely grateful to the donors who supported this rather unorthodox work, to the London Business School community for inspiring and helping refine this work, and our South African partners for implementing this work. 

“Given the role of our doctoral programme in maintaining a vibrant research community, it is particularly gratifying that this award recognises Stephen Anderson’s dissertation research, done while he was a doctoral student at London Business School.”

Anderson, Chandy, and Zia worked with micro-entrepreneurs in Cape Town, South Africa, to study, through a randomised controlled trial, the impact of marketing skills training relative to finance skills on business practice and performance. 

The study looked at the impact of the two types of skills training on business growth, prosperity and survival. While the study found both financial and marketing training increased profits and owner happiness, financial training tended to improve profits by reducing costs. Marketing, on the contrary, increased profits by growing the business and employing more staff.

The research was made possible by seed funding from London Business School’s Deloitte Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Tony and Maureen Chair in Entrepreneurship, the Stars Foundation, and the World Bank, among others. 

The aim of the ISMS-MSI Practice Prize is to highlight and celebrate outstanding marketing science work that has had significant organisational impact in terms of profit and performance improvement.

The award was presented at the INFORMS Society for Marketing Science Conference held in Shanghai, which was attended by more than 740 delegates.