Umesh Rao

Umesh has had an impeccable run of 28 years across an eclectic mix of leadership roles in FMCG, Luxury, retail, Home Entertainment, rural e – serve & BFSI industries. He has overseen a mix of operational & enterprise transforming roles with a sharp oversight on people, brands, processes & innovations.

P&L upkeep, Brand Management, Distribution oversight, Advertising, New category creations, development of cross cultural business plans are his functional strengths. He has held CMO profiles at Reliance Communications & Pramerica Life Insurance. He has also had core Marketing & Distribution stints at Dabur India Limited & Godfrey Phillips India Limited.

He was nominated to the list of Top 50 CMOs by World Brand Congress.

Umesh has had stints in India, North Americas & in the MENA regions where as SBU Head he was responsible for overseeing Business P&L across 14 countries. He brings a deep strategic perspective on Business, Brands & Consumer motivations. He has led large cross functional & cross cultural teams.

Some of his BIG Wins are:

  • Dabur’s foray into the confectionery category with the launch of Hajmola Candy
  • Building a Market leadership portfolio of National & Regional brands. Accelerated success through New category introductions.
  • Retail innovation @ Rivoli Group Dubai– First of its kind launch of luxury optical retail stores in the UAE & lower Gulf.
  • Fastest customer acquisition in the DTH Industry – 1 mn subs in <90 days at Reliance BIG TV.
  • Strategic oversight of India’s largest rural e-commerce program at the SREI Group with a potential impact across a population base of 280 mn rural citizens
  • Digital transformation programs at DHFL Pramerica & supporting the business with the award winning Behtar India campaign.

Umesh is passionate about teaching & post his sabbatical in 2018, shares a practitioner’s perspective at some of the leading B-Schools such as IIM Amritsar, SIBM, Fore School etc. He also mentors start-ups & counsels students aspiring for higher education overseas.

Umesh has an honours in Physics from Delhi University & an MBA in Marketing from University of Pune.