Arvind Sahay

Director, MDI Gurgaon

[email protected]


Professor Sahay joined MDI as Director and Professor of Marketing and International Business in October 2023. Prior to MDI, he served as faculty at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (from 2004) and at London Business School (from 1996) since his Ph.D. in 1996 from the University of Texas at Austin.

His primary areas of interest include marketing strategy, pricing, neuroscience and consumer behavior, brand management, high tech marketing, and international trade and investment. Sectorally, he has consulted and done work in pharmaceuticals, cement, building materials, telecom, broadcast, automotive, IT, FMCG, education and financial services sectors among others. At the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, he has taught the basic marketing courses on the PGP, PGPX and PGP-PMP programs. In addition, he taught elective courses on pricing, brand management, neuroscience and consumer behavior, tracking organizational performance, brand management and valuation, innovation and fintech. His executive education and consulting clients come primarily from the financial services, pharmaceutical, building materials conglomerates, automotive, FMCG, retail and media sectors. His teaching ratings are consistently in the 9/10 range. He has lead the IIMA executive education programs on pricing, neuroscience in marketing, enhancing salesforce performance, fintech and Applications of Behavioral Science for CXOs.

His corporate experience includes stints as a management trainee in the manufacturing sector and as a customer service and then account manager in the financial services industry. He has consulted and done corporate training for more than 50 clients in India and abroad. He has written 34 international peer reviewed articles, 65 cases and more than 50 articles for business magazines and newspapers. A recent project was for FSSAI where a nationwide RCT of front of package label (FOPL) study was done with a view to establish which format was more effective in the Indian population. This was published in Food Quality and Preference in 2023. His second book - on "Brands and the Brain" – was published in April 2022. His latest publications in 2023 are on the "Neural Correlates of Weak Brand Choice" and the "Decision between Gifts and Promotions in Consumer Choice."

Professor Sahay is the recipient of the University Wide Outstanding Dissertation Award from the University of Texas at Austin (for his Ph.D thesis), the Innovation in Teaching Award at London Business School and of the Dewang Mehta Best Teacher Award in Marketing Management and the UTV Bloomberg Best Marketing Professor in India. He was also nominated to the Thinkers50 India list by the Institute of Competitiveness, Harvard Business School. He is also the winner of the Philip Morris Best Case Award at IIMA.

Before joining MDI, Gurgaon, Professor Sahay has served in different administrative and leadership roles such as:

  • Chairperson (Executive Education) where he increased the ARR from INR 67 crores to 92 crores
  • Chairperson (Marketing Area) where he was able to pilot offers to 7 faculty members in 2 years
  • Chairperson (PGPX), where he was a member of the founding team and led the placements for 2 years and made the program FT ranking ready
  • Chairperson (Web site Committee), where he led the development of the Institute’s first comprehensive website
  • Dean (Alumni and External Relations) where he raised more than 130 crores for IIMA
  • Chairperson (India Gold Policy Center) where he contributed to the setting up of India International Bullion Exchange in GIFT City
  • Founding Chairperson (NSE Center for Behavioral Science) where he leads the first of its kind research center at a business school in this part of the world

His recent research has been in the areas of brand relationships, tensile pricing, life cycles in marketing, customer dimensions of gold in India, customer responses to dynamic pricing and how and when to implement dynamic pricing, customer reactions to overlapping price ranges; impact of bundling on customer reference prices; customer loss aversion at different price levels; impact of price changes in pharmaceuticals in India on demand, brand advocacy, and brand preference reversal due to cognitive load and discount framing. His latest papers appear in Journal of Business Research in 2023 (neural correlates of weak brand choice), Journal of Global Marketing" in 2018 (there are limits to quantity changes in FMCG products before customers react ), Resources Policy in 2020 (that gold purchase has strong cultural influences – some of which have led to failure of policy measures like the GMS) and the European Journal of Marketing (2021; on dual brand personalities, Implicit Theories and Word of Mouth). He has earlier been a regular columnist for Outlook Business magazine on marketing strategy and also writes occasionally for the leading Indian business newspapers, Financial Express, and Dainik Bhaskar on gold, economics and business. He is also the author of a case book on marketing strategy called Cases in Pricing, Marketing Communications and Distribution apart from his recent book on Brands and the Brain.

He has been an invited speaker at the Pricex Conference in Chicago, at the BusinessWeek Conference on E-marketing in London, at the annual meetings of All India Management Association in Indore, at the Western Conference of the Confederation of Indian Industry in Ahmedabad, at the CIO Forum, at the India International Gold Convention, at various corporates in India and abroad to their leadership teams and at the Indian Professional Business Network in Qatar. He was the coordinator and lead faculty for IIMA’s management development programs on Pricing, Neuroscience in Marketing, Fintech, and Enhancing Salesforce Performance, and Applications of Behavioral Science in Management: A CXO Playbook, the first programs of their kind in India. He has been a member of the FICCI Sub-Committee on Pharmaceuticals. He was a member of the team that developed the Innovation Index for the Pharma industry that is intended for use by the Government of India and the industry to monitor progress in R&D in pharma in India.

Professor Sahay is (and has served) on the board of several listed and unlisted companies. His cumulative boardroom experience is more than 35 years. In his spare time, he engages in trekking, golf, badminton, issues in constitutional law and has played football for his undergraduate institution. Professor Sahay can be contacted at [email protected].

Experience with 

Core Marketing 
Neuroscience and Consumer Behavior
Brand Management
International Trade and Investment
Doing Business in India

Philosophy of Science
Neuroscience, Behavioral Decision Theories and Marketing Applications

  • Ghosh, Ranjan, Rahul Sanghvi and Arvind, (2023), “Consumer Preference for Nutrition Front of pack Labels Formats in India: Evidence from a Large Scale Experimental Survey,” Food Quality and Preference (forthcoming)
  • Kapoor, Ankur, Arvind Sahay, V. Chandrasekhar Pammi, Nandini Chatterjee Singh and Prantosh Banerjee (2023), “The Neural Correlates and the Underlying Processes of Weak Brand Choices,” Journal of Business Research, , doi:
  • Kumari, Rashmi, Aruna Divya T. and Arvind Sahay (2022), “Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth? Number of Promotional Gifts and Impact on Consumer Choice,” Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, (doi: 10.1016/j.jretconser.2022.103083)
  • Narayanan, Priya and Arvind Sahay (2022), “The Affect Premium for Brands: Brand-First vs. Attribute-First Presentation of Product Information Impacts Willingness to Pay,” Journal of Consumer Behavior, DOI: 10.1002/cb.208.
  • Sahay, Arvind, Arunaditya Sahay and Som Sekhar Bhattacharya (2022), “The Quest for Competitive Advantage: The Role of Technology Depth and Breadth at the Customer Interface,” Vikalpa: The Journal for Decision Makers, (forthcoming).
  • Rathi, Sawan, Sanket Mohapatra and Arvind Sahay (2021), “Central Bank Gold Reserves and Sovereign Credit Risk,” Finance Research Letters.
  • Mondal, Sudipta, Arvind Sahay, Adrian Terron and Kavita Mahato (2021), “How Implicit Self-theories and Dual-Brand Personalities Enhance Word-of-mouth,” European Journal of Marketing,
  • Narayanan, Priya, Balagopal Gopalakrishnan and Arvind Sahay (2020), “Understanding the Government’s Attempt to Transform Attitudes Towards a Critical Resource: Gold Monetization in India,” 66, Resources Policy, (June)
  • Saini, Gordhan, Arvind Sahay, and Kalyanraman, Gurumurthy (2019), “How do complementarity and discount-choices interact with latitude of price acceptance in price bundling?” Journal of Consumer Marketing, 36,
  • Saini, Gordhan, Arvind Sahay, and Kalyanraman, Gurumurthy (2018), “An Empirical Study of Latitude of Quantity Acceptance(LQA) in an Emerging Economy – India,” Journal of Global Marketing, 31(2), 111-127.
  • Mukherjee, Sumitava and Arvind Sahay (2018), “Nocebo Effects from Negative Product Information: When Information Hurts, Paying Money Could Heal,” Journal of Consumer Marketing, 35(1), 32-39.
  • Kapoor, Ankur and Arvind Sahay (2017), “"Please do Interrupt, but Nicely! The Effect of Positive and Negative Interruptions on Product Evaluation and Choice" Advances in Consumer Research, Vol. 45,
  • Mukherjee, Sumitava, Arvind Sahay, Chandrasekhar V.S. Pammi and, & Narayanan Srinivasan. (2017), “Clearing Discrepancy About Loss-aversion in Affective Judgments Regarding Small Gains and Losses,” Judgment and Decision Making,12(1), 81-89.
  • Bannerjee, Prantosh, Sanjeev Tripathi and Arvind Sahay (2016), “When Less is Better than More: Just-Below Discounts in Tensile Price Advertisements,” Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services.
  • Abhishek and Arvind Sahay, (2016) “Role of Culture in Celebrity Endorsement: Brand Endorsement by Celebrities in Indian Context,” International Journal of Indian Culture and Business Management, Vol. 13(3), 394-413.
  • Mukherjee, Sumitava and Arvind Sahay, (2016), “Simultaneous Evaluation of Pro-Self and Pro-Social Bonus Schemes: Implications for Newer Management Policies Towards Social Betterment,” Psychological Studies, 61(Jan-March), 48-54.
  • Jaikumar, Saravana L. and Arvind Sahay (2015), “Celebrity Endorsements and Branding Strategies: Event Study from India,” Journal of Product and Brand Management, 14(6), 633-645. 
  • Sahay, Arvind, Sumitava Mukherjee and Prem Diwani (2015), “Weighted Additive Model vs. Referent Dependent Model of Consumer Decision Making: Evidence from Bundles with Surcharges and Price Discounts” Journal of Indian Business Research, 7(1), 1-15.
  • Saini, Gordhan and Arvind Sahay (2014), "Comparing Retail Formats in an Emerging Market: Influence of Credit and Low Price Guarantee on Purchase Intention" Journal of Indian Business Research, 6(1), 48-69.
  • Sahay, Arvind, Nivedita Sharma  and Krishnesh Mehta (2012), “Affect and Cognition in Consumer Brand Relationships: Exploring Gender Differences, Journal of Indian Business Research, 4(1), 36-60.
  • Kaul, Subhashini, Arvind Sahay and Abraham Koshy (2010), “Impact of Initial Trust Image on Shopper Trust and Patronage Intentions: A Study of Young Male Apparel Shoppers in India,” International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, 38(4), 285-296.
  • Sahay, Arvind and Nivedita Sharma (2010), “Brand Relationships and Switching Behavior for Highly Used Products in Young Consumers,” Vikalpa, January-March.
  • Sahay, Arvind and Anandan Pillai (2009), “Differential Impact of Advertising and Distribution Expenditure on Tobins’s Q:  A Perspective from Listed Firms in India,” Journal of Indian Business Research,” 1(3), 77-94.
  • Sahay, Arvind and Gordhan Saini (2008), “Hatch Waxman Act and the Indian Pharmaceutical Firms: An Analysis,” Foreign Trade Review, XLIII (2), 3-35.
  • Sahay, Arvind (2007), “How Using Dynamic Pricing Increases Profits,” MIT Sloan Management Review, (Summer),,
  • Sahay, Arvind and Gordhan Saini (2006), ““Indo-Thai FTA: Indian CTV/CPT and Auto Industry – A Desk Based Analysis,” Foreign Trade Review, XLI (3), 25-52.
  • Sahay, Arvind (2005), “,” Vikalpa, June.
  • Sahay, Arvind (2003), “Using the Mobile Internet to Enhance Competitiveness,” The Smart Manager,2(4).
  • Sahay, Arvind and Debra Riley (2003), “Resource Access and Market Considerations in Standards Formation in the New Product Development Process,” Journal of Product Innovation Management, 20: 338-355.
  • Arvind Sahay (2002), “Online Pricing: The End of Seller Influence on Pricing?” The Smart Manager, 1(1), 108-120. 
  • Arvind Sahay (2000), “Market Driven vs. Driving the Market: Conceptual Foundations,” Journal of Academy of Marketing Science, January, (with Ajay K. Kohli and Bernard J. Jaworski)
  • Sahay, Arvind, Jane Gould and Patrick Barwise (1998), “New Interactive Media: Experts’ Perceptions of Opportunities and Threats to Existing Businesses,” European Journal of Marketing, June, 616-628.
  • Aulakh, Preet S., Masaaki Kotabe and Arvind Sahay (1996), "Trust & Performance in Cross Border Marketing Relationships: A Behavioral Approach," Journal of International Business Studies, 27, December, 1005-1032. (with Preet S. Aulakh and Masaaki Kotabe).
  • Kotabe, Masaaki, Arvind Sahay  and Preet S. Aulakh (1996), "Emerging Roles of Technology Licensing in the Development of Global Product Strategy: Conceptual Framework and Research Propositions," Journal of Marketing, 60(1), 73-88. 

Completed Projects

  • Pricing project for an Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance firm in India. The goal was to improve the pricing processes of the branded generics of the firm given the regulatory environment in India relating to pricing of medicines.
  • Pricing project for a television broadcaster to create a better pricing model for their advertisers
  • A project that is intended to develop a pricing and supply chain model for a new age pharma supply chain firm that is helping to change the way that medicines are sourced, retailed and distributed in India. 
  • A medium sized cement company where the remit was to develop a marketing strategy including repositioning the brand and provide inputs on changes in the distribution and supply chain management of the firm. The goal was to increase the sales of the firm (including sales in new geographies) by 40% over 2 years.
  • A marketing strategy project for a building materials and prefabricated building firm with the goal of improving market share and price realization by working on the sales force management and incentive processes.
  • Project where the output was the valuation of a brand
  • Project for an automotive firm to estimate the economic value created in a state due to an investment made in the sate
  • Project for a financial services firm that had a strong presence in the B2B space to help create and execute an advertising approach to create awareness and trial in the retail market.
  • Brand Positioning for an Automotive Firm
  • Neuro analysis of employee retention approaches 
  • Marketing Strategy for a large commodity firm
  • FOPL approach for FSSAI