Saroj Kumar Pani

Saroj Kumar Pani

Associate Professor

Dr. Saroj Kumar Pani is a Fellow (PhD) in Corporate Strategy and Policy from IIM Bangalore. He holds an MBA in marketing and has completed the CPCL program from Harvard Business School, Boston. Dr. Pani has more than fifteen years of work experience in industry and academia. After completing his doctoral program, he has worked as a visiting faculty at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy and as a full-time faculty member at IIM Nagpur, IIM Indore, and XLRI, Jamshedpur. Dr. Pani also has first-hand entrepreneurial experience as co-founder of an education and consulting start-up during early 2000.

Dr. Pani’s area of research and teaching broadly relates to business strategy, ESG strategy, strategic leadership, business models, and entrepreneurship. Dr. Pani has been recognized for his research and teaching. He has received Andrew Towl Endowment Fund from Harvard University, Best Young Teacher Award from AIMS, Best Research Paper award at pan-IIM World Management conference, Best paper award at ICSBS, Singapore, and Outstanding Reviewer award at the Academy of Management annual conference, San Antonio, Texas to name a few. Apart from research and teaching, Dr. Pani has also been involved with industry as consultant and corporate trainer. In recent past he has been involved with reputed business firms such as EISAI Pharmaceuticals, Powergrid, ZIM Labs, Transrail, MECL, Mahindra Finance, SBI Life, Ashok Leyland, and Indian Oil to name a few.

Dr. Pani's teaching interest broadly covers strategic management, business models, strategic leadership, and capstone business courses. Some of the selected courses offered in long duration programs are listed below:
  • Innovative and Disruptive Business Models (2018-21, MBA Elective, IIM Visakhapatnam, IIM Nagpur)
  • Strategic Leadership (2018-21, MBA & PGPEx Elective, IIM Visakhapatnam, IIM Nagpur)
  • Capstone Business Simulation (2018-21, MBA Elective, IIM Visakhapatnam, IIM Nagpur)
  • Introduction to Strategy (2018-20, MBA Core, IIM Nagpur)
  • Business Models for Entrepreneurial Firms (2018-20, MBA Workshop, IIM Nagpur)
  • Strategic Management (2010-20, MBA Core, IIM Nagpur, XLRI, IIM Indore; FPM-I Core, IIM Indore)
  • Competition & Strategy (2017-18, MBA Core, IIM Visakhapatnam)
  • Business Strategy (2014-2018, GMP Core, XLRI)
  • Doctoral Seminar on Strategy Process (2013-19, FPM & EFPM Elective, XLRI)
  • Family Business, M-II (2013-18, PGPCEM Elective, XLRI; FPM Elective, IIM Shillong)
  • Strategies for the bottom of the Pyramid (2011-2018, PGP & ExPGP Elective, IIM Indore, XLRI)
  • Strategy Content Research (2011-18, FPM & FPM-I Core, IIM Indore, XLRI)
  • Research for Management Decisions (2011-13, ExPGP workshops I and II, IIM Indore)
  • Strategy Implementation (2010-13, ExPGP Core, IIM Indore )
  • History of Management Thoughts (2010-13, FPM Core, IIM Indore )

Research Interest:
Dr. Pani’s area of research broadly relates to socio-economic strategy, ESG Strategy, business model innovations, and entrepreneurship.

Journal Articles, Monographs and Book Chapters:

  • “Consumer Privacy in Smartphones: A systematic Review”, Journal of Consumer Marketing. 2023. (With R. Balakrishnan et al.)
  • “Institutional Ecosystem to Drive Productivity- India”, International research report on institutional ecosystem in APO member countries by Asian Productivity Organization Research Wing, Tokyo, Japan. 2023.  (With K. Kolukuri)
  • “Should I Adopt an Integrated Virtual Clinic? A Dual-Factor Theory Perspective”, Journal of Consumer Behaviour. 2023. (With A. Sankar et al.)
  • "Managing Plastic Packaging Waste in Emerging Economies: The Case of EPR in India” in Journal of Environmental Management. 2021, Vol. 288. (With A. Pathak)
  • “The effects of economic and political events on the movements of BSE Sensex: A study of outliers from 1991 to 2014” in Finance India, 2019, Vol. XXXIII, No. 2. (with R. Bhat and G. Himatsinghka)
  • “Corporate Political Activity: An Integrated Model” in Asian Social Science, 2015, Vol. 11, No. 16. (with Kumar V., and Thakur M.)
  • “Power Imbalance in Inter-firm Exchange Networks: Its Effect on Value Appropriation Potential of Firms in Embedded Structures” in Emerging Issues in Management (ed. Book), Emerald, 2014.
  • “Reinventing the Artisan Community Ecosystem: The Evolving Engagement of Fabindia with Indian Handloom Artisans” in Journal of Product Innovation Management, 2012, 29 (1). (With Ramachandran J., and Pant A.)
  • Case note on “Infosys: Transition at the top”, Indore Management Journal, 2012: 3(2).
  • “The Effect of Economic and Social Embeddedness of Firms”. Research Monograph, 2011
  • Case note on “Euthanasia: Should it be Lawful or Otherwise”, Indore Management Journal, 2011: 2(2).
  • “A dependency based view of Organizational Social Capital (OSC): Understanding the structural and reputational aspects of OSC, and its effect on performance” in Changing Ideas in Strategy, (ed. book), Narosa, 2010.
  • ‘Enhancing Business Sustainability and Gaining Competitive Advantage through CSR Initiatives: A Process Model for Corporations’, Vishleshak, 2008, 2(2).
  • “Facets of organizational social capital: How network renovation is key to favourable strategic space”, SSRN, (IIMB Research Paper No- 278), 2009.
  • “Exploring the strategic edge of Corporate Social Responsibility: A process model to uncover the missing links”, SSRN, (IIMB Research Paper No- 283), 2009.

  • "Campushash: Evolving Business Model of an Entrepreneurial Venture" , 2019 (With A. Pathak and A. Agarwal)
  • “LifeCarft: The Birth of a Social Entrepreneur”, 2017. (with H. Singh)
  • “Divine Chocolates: Family Farmed, Farmer Owned”, 2016. (with S. Samuel and P. Rathi)
  • “Tata Steel India’s Project PRIDE”, 2014. (with S. Bose)
  • “Finally the Elephant danced: Foray into cellular jungle, a case of BSNL”, 2006 (with A. Mishra)

Conference Papers and Proceedings:

  • “The social aspect of ESG: How firms create social impact and business advantage”. Strategic Management Forum (SMF) Annual Conference, IIM Nagpur, India, December, 2021.(with Pathak A.)
  • “Urban tree protection framework in emerging economies”. Strategic Management Forum (SMF) Annual Conference, IIM Nagpur, India, December, 2021. (with Pathak A.)
  • “Re-creating the context: Pedagogical innovations for non-ideal case participants”. Strategic Management Forum (SMF) Annual Conference, IIM Lucknow, India, December, 2019.
  • “The Active Case Method: Re-creating context with participants’ involvement”. Strategic Management Forum (SMF) Annual Conference, IIM Trichy, India, December, 2018.
  • “Collective Mindfulness in Teams: View from the Strategy Lens”. SMS Special Conference, Hyderabad, India, December, 2018. (with Chaterjee A.)
  • “What do I get? A study on firms’ social investments on their own wellbeing”. ICSBS Conference on Enriching Global Societal Wellbeing, Singapore, August, 2017.
  • “Lessons from the Failures at the Bottom of the Pyramid”. Sixth Subsistence Market Place Conference, Illinoi, USA, June, 2016. (with Chaterjee A.)
  • “CSR Internalization and Competitive Advantage of Firm”. 16th BESSH Conference, Indonesia, September, 2015.
  • “Innovative Management Practices and Interventions at the Base of the Pyramid: An Organizing Framework”. Strategic Management Society (SMS) special conference, Mohali, India, December, 2013. (With Pant A.)
  • “Embeddedness and value appropriation” Academy of Management (AoM) Annual Conference, Lake Buena Vista (Orlando), Florida, USA, August, 2013. Included in Academy of Management Proceedings, January, 2013.
  • “Power Imbalance in Inter-firm Exchange Networks” pan-IIM World Conference on Emerging Issues in Management, Goa, India, May, 2013. Best paper award.
  • “Value appropriation in economic networks: Does relational strength matter?” Academy of Management (AoM) Annual Conference, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, August, 2012.
  • “Inter-firm dependencies and firm’s profit potential”. Academy of Management (AoM) Annual Conference, San-Antonio, Texas, USA, August, 2011.
  • “Why and how do firms gain from CSR actions?” Academy of Management (AoM) Annual Conference, San-Antonio, Texas, USA, August, 2011.
  • “Base of the Pyramid Strategies: A Contingency View and an Organizing Framework’, Strategic Management Society (SMS) special conference, San Diego, June, 2011 (With Ramachandran J., and Pant A.)
  • “A Case Survey on CSR Process, Internalization, and Competitive Advantage” Managing in Global Economy XIV, Eastern Academy of Management (EAM) Conference Proceedings, June, 2011.
  • “Society as source of competitive advantage: A case survey on CSR actions and firm performance”. Academy of Management (AoM) Annual Conference, Chicago, IL, USA, August, 2009.
  • “Why do some firms gain from Corporate Social Responsible (CSR) actions, while others do not? A case survey on CSR process, internalization and competitive advantage”. IMR Doctoral Conference, IIMB, Bangalore, November, 2009. This paper was among the finalists for best research paper award.
  • “Firm performance in socio-economic networks: Understanding network dynamics with Nodal Power”. Academy of Management (AoM) Annual Conference, Anehiam, CA, USA, August, 2008.
  • “Organizational Social Capital: A Theoretical and Mathematical Treatment”. Strategic Management Forum (SMF) Annual Conference, IIT Kanpur, India, May 2008. This paper was awarded “Cummins Best Paper Award”.
  • “Ability to compete: Creating fortune for the bottom of the pyramid”. Strategic Management Society (SMS) special conference, ISB, Hyderabad, December, 2008. (With Ramachandran J., and Patvardhan S.)
  • “From Corporate Social Responsibility to Competitive Advantage: A Process Model Exploring the Strategic Edge of CSR”. Accepted for presentation in third CORE conference, NBS, UK, June, 2008.
  • “Business Sustainability and Competitive Advantage through CSR Initiatives: A Process Model”, DRIEMS International Management Seminar, Bhubaneswar, India, March, 2007.

Dr. Pani has been involved with business firms as well as government organizations as a consultant and trainer for over a decade and half. He has conceptualized and delivered customized programs and consulting solutions to organizations of repute such as:

Training (selected client organizations)

  • Ashok Leyland
  • Canara Bank
  • EISAI Pharmaceuticals
  • Indian Oil
  • Mahindra Finance
  • ONGC
  • PowerGrid Corporation
  • Rajya Sabha Secretariat
  • SBI Life
  • ZIM Labs

Consulting (selected client organizations)

  • BSNL
  • Mahanadi Coal Fields Ltd.
  • Tata Steel
  • ZIM Labs.

Advisory Board Member

  • NRDC-IPFS & TISC Visakhapatnam (Govt. of India), 
  • Board of Studies, RCOEM, Nagpur (Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University)
  • Kislay Agro Tech (Agritech Startup)
  • CIVN (VNIT Innovation council)

Selected responsibilities at IIM Visakhapatnam

  • Chairperson, PGPEx (2021- )
  • Chairperson, Career Development Service and Alumni Relations (2020-2021)

Selected responsibilities at previous organizations

  • Managing Director, InFED (founding MD, 2018-2020)
  • Chairperson, Center for Entrepreneurship, IIM Nagpur (2018-20)
  • Chairperson, Strategy and Entrepreneurship Area, IIM Nagpur (2018-20)
  • Chairperson, Executive Post Graduate Program in E-Governance, IIM Indore (2012-13)
  • Chairperson, Certificate Program in E-governance, IIM Indore (2011-12)