Priya Raghubir: Dean Abraham L. Gitlow Professor of Business/ Chair, Marketing Department/ Professor of Marketing, NYU Stern School of Business

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Bio:

Priya Raghubir joined New York University Stern School of Business as a Professor of Marketing in July 2008. Prior to joining NYU Stern, Professor Raghubir was a professor at the Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley. She also taught at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. She has taught undergraduate, M.B.A, Ph.D. and executive education courses in China, France, India and the U.S.

Professor Raghubir's teaching interests are in the areas of marketing research, consumer behavior and marketing strategy, and her research interests are in the areas of consumer psychology, including survey methods, psychological aspects of prices and money; risk perceptions; and visual information processing. She has published more than 50 articles and book chapters in such journals as the Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Psychology and Marketing Science. She is an Associate Editor for 3 journals and is on the editorial boards of two other journals, and has delivered more than 100 presentations of her research at major universities, symposia and conferences around the world.

Additionally, Professor Raghubir has done executive teaching and consulted with Acufocus, Adobe, BioRad, Boston Scientific, Daimler-Chrysler, Google, Mastercard, PayCycle, University of California at San Francisco and the Centre for Executive Development at the Haas School of Business. She has also worked in the financial industry with Jardine Fleming and Citibank in Hong Kong and India.

Professor Raghubir received her undergraduate degree in Economics from St. Stephen's College, Delhi University; her M.B.A from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad; and her Ph.D. in Marketing from New York University.

What do you do best?

Well that depends on who I am talking to.

If I am talking to someone at a bar, I’d respond with one of the following:

“I am a gifted sleeper.”

“I make old technology last till the machines needed for it are no longer in production.”

“I drink most people under the table.”

“I am an amusing conversationalist.”

“I throw together clothes well to look stylish at a low cost.”

If I was introducing myself to a group of current/ potential (undergraduate, MBA, PhD, or executive) students, I would say some or all of the following:

“I can make you laugh while you learn.”

“I can throw my voice so I never have to use a mike.” (This one is true.)

“I can make those of you who hate statistics, learn to love it.”

“I will teach you how questionnaire design is both a science and an art.”

“I will teach you not only the content of research – experimental design and analysis, but also the process of research – how to keep yourself sane and on track.”

If I were speaking to a colleague at a conference, I would respond with one of the following:

“Thank you, you are too kind.”

“I was just born under a lucky star.”

If I were speaking to a desi (Indians who live overseas) group, I would say:

“If you think I am good, you should meet my son. He is twice my intelligence.”

“I wish I could claim I did something best.”

If I was speaking to my spouse, I would say:

“What kind of a trick question is that? Everything, of course.”

What makes you the best?

In case the response to the above question did not make that explicitly clear, I would suggest it was:

a.    Intelligence

b.    Training

c.    Experience

d.    Combined with humor

e.    And a big dose of humility

f.    Without any false modesty

How will you stay the best?

Now that is way too much pressure! My goal in life is to NOT stay the best. My goal is to train a generation of students who are better than me, so that I am not the best, who can then (re)train me, should they wish to. As an administrator, my goal is to hire people who are better than me. If I am able to produce a student who knows more than I do, who can do more than I do, and who will succeed far more than I have succeeded, that will be my biggest success. I count myself fortunate that I have already been successful at hiring people who are better than me. That makes me successful in my job. My goal is to continue to train minds to reach their potential, and find minds who have the potential to better how good I could ever be.

Biggest success?

There are three. In chronological order:

1.    In Summer 1980, I topped the All India Senior Secondary Exam. . This exam is not like getting a 99 percentile on the SAT. There is one “topper” per stream and they are on the front pages of every newspaper! I was 17 and most excited as I was not even sure I would get a 1st division. The media broke the news to us at our home in Delhi and we had a family get together that night where my aunt fondly reminded me that the celebration was for my graduating high school, not any “exam topping.” An evening I shall never, ever forget.

2.    In Fall 1996, I hiked (trekked) a 100 kilometres trail up and down the hills of Hong Kong: The Maclehose trail: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacLehose_Trail. My team did it in around 32 hours (I don’t remember exactly.) The Gurkha regiment of the British army whose lungs are trained on the Himalayas run it is around 17, so we were extremely proud of ourselves. This is a big achievement when you consider that I am a heavy smoker who never does any physical exercise and never had any training. My colleague at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Bob Krider (http://beedie.sfu.ca/profiles/BobKrider), is entirely to blame/ thank for getting me into it. He motivated me; trained me; kept me hydrated with beer (!), helped me work out where my cigarette breaks would be (at the tops of hills, like Needle hill!), and talked work with me while we took time off from work to train. My team mate, Lydia Price (http://www.ceibs.edu/faculty/cv/1095.shtml), is entirely responsible for my completing. She baby sat me the last few kilometres, knowing how close I was to finishing. I will never ever forget them or this achievement in a domain where I had no expertise whatsoever.

3.    On Friday, Aug 8, 1997, I got a driver’s license in Berkeley, California. (For years after that people asked me if my license was forged as they had never seen anyone look so happy in their driving license picture!) I had the singular achievement of failing a driving test in multiple cities (three times in New York alone!), and multiple countries (I also failed in HK). I just could not get my head around what so many people take for granted. It was critical that I learned to drive when I moved from Hong Kong to Berkeley, so I was super motivated and took classes. But, I was still terrified. My husband and son were very encouraging and kept trying to reassure me. Years later, I still hate driving, and love the life in New York City where I do not have to drive. I just wish Google would get approval for those driverless cars soon, so I never have to deal with driving again!

What are your aspirations?

Personal: There are a few, in the order they popped into my mind:

a.    Retire at age 60, Vanguard and Obamacare willing.

b.    Become a Master Gardener.

c.    Win a Nobel, and an Oscar the same year. (This one is a bit tough as they don’t have a Nobel for Marketing, and I don’t do anything remotely connected to winning an Oscar.)

d.    See my grandchildren.

e.    Grow a hydrangea (Don’t ask. I am “Hydrangea challenged” for some reason.)

Business: Be able to work on my research and teaching and wean myself away from service/ administrative commitments.

Most challenging moment?

Being coherent at 9 am. Any day, but especially those days where I am teaching a class/ giving a talk/ attending a meeting after having been up “partying” late the night before with the cast of characters I am addressing.

What fascinates you?

Favorite Motto:

“Well behaved women do not make history.”

Favorite People:

My gardener in California: Mr. George Nakao.

Favorite Places:

Delhi (India), Moraga, Napa and Tahoe (CA), Jamaica, Paris (France), Manhattan (NY), Hong Kong and Xi’an (PRC).

Favorite Products:

Scotch (Chivas Regal, Johnny Walker (Black)), Cigarettes (Marlboro Lights), SPSS (software), Food (Okra, Goat/lamb).

Current Passions:

American football, gardening, Kakuro (puzzle game like Sudoku).