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Buliding ?Brand Lucknow?

Brand-building does not confine itself to just a product. If you meet Rajeev Verma, the Executive Director of Lucknow Management Association (LMA), he would explain to you why after a long stint abroad, with myriad brand building assignments taken up for the global names in the FMCG sector, developing ?Brand Lucknow? became his passion during the past six months.

india Updated: May 26, 2006 00:26 IST

Brand-building does not confine itself to just a product. If you meet Rajeev Verma, the Executive Director of Lucknow Management Association (LMA), he would explain to you why after a long stint abroad, with myriad brand building assignments taken up for the global names in the FMCG sector, developing ‘Brand Lucknow’ became his passion during the past six months.

“Early last year, while I was working in Dubai, a thought crossed my mind that after spending more than half of my  professional life building brands for Eveready India, Amul India, Togo (very popular in America’s West Coast), Bata India and Allied Domecq (the company which owns Baskin Robbins and Dunkin Donuts brand ) among others in virtually every part of the globe, I needed to do something which would provide me the thrill of  coming back to Lucknow where my father was. I wanted to serve an entire society of professionals and citizens through brand-building of an entire city such as Lucknow”, he said.

“So, one fine day I packed my bag and headed home with my first stoppage in Mumbai where I had bought a flat to finally settle down in India. However, destiny had other plans and I headed to Lucknow to be with my father since I had been away from him so long,” said Verma.

At that time, Verma was looking for a meaningful assignment in Lucknow and the Lucknow Management Association (LMA) was looking for an Executive Director.

“I realised that LMA would be the right platform to start contributing to society by  helping the younger generation contribute to the development of the city in a major way in the coming years,” he says.

So, how does he plan to help develop brand Lucknow? “ My desire is to get Lucknow on an international map by developing tourism, improving the city’s overall infrastructure and getting young professionals to take out time for meaningful public service through LMA’s wide  reach of  membership across various sectors,” he says.

Does he miss out on the nail biting days of brand management in the global corporate circles? “Not really,” explains the suave professional, “I enjoy challenges and the assignment with me right now at LMA is not only fulfilling, it is providing me the satisfaction of building a brand which is not just LMA per se but also ‘Brand Lucknow’ which you would see in the coming months.”

Verma is an MBA and his children are now settled in the United States. “My son is working in Cleveland and daughter has a job in Los Angeles. We are planning to visit both the children this year and most of  all the happiest person is my 86-year-old father who has fulfilled his dream of living with his son after such a long time,” he says.

Chilling out is also on top of Verma’s agenda after a hard day’s work. He loves old Hindi melodies and has, recently, applied for the membership of the Lucknow Golf Club.

“Once a week, my wife and I eat out. My wife is very fond of  Italian and Mexican food which we enjoy thoroughly. As far as reading is concerned, I am, in fact, reading Deepak Chopra’s ‘Ageless Body, Timeless Mind’ once again having read it at least eight times before,” says Verma. He also reads a whole lot of journals, magazines and even travel guides!

Onwards ho! Then, on journey to building ‘Brand Lucknow’!