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Sunil Raina, Chief Marketing Officer, Lava International
As chief marketing officer (CMO) of Lava International and business head of the company’s sub-brand Xolo, Sunil Raina has his hands full. He is striving to achieve a higher market share for both the smartphone brands. “It is India’s turn to create global brands. We believe that if we stick to the strategies and the values that we have, which are integrity and passion for excellence, we will be able to become a global brand,” he says.
Raina started his career in 1998 with Hughes Telecom Limited, joining the company’s sales department and later moving to the marketing division. In 2002, he joined Tata Teleservices Limited and played a key role in the launch of the company’s operations in Maharashtra. He joined Bharti Airtel as a product manager in 2004 and went on to become the marketing head of the company. He then worked with Reliance Communications and Telenor India. He joined Lava in 2011.
Raina fondly remembers his stints at Hughes and Airtel, where he says he gained a lot of exposure and learning. He, however, considers his job at Lava as his most memorable experience. “My stint at Lava has been the most exciting as I was asked to build a new brand and business from scratch. This gave me good exposure and a lot of opportunities to make contributions to the industry,” he says. The creation of the brand Xolo is also close to his heart.
Raina feels that smartphones are becoming the centre of every digital activity in the country. “A lot of new technologies are evolving around smartphones. Therefore, the smartphone industry is becoming more valuable,” he says. However, according to him, there has not been any cutting-edge innovation on the hardware side of smartphones in the past few years. “It is now time to get into disruptive technologies.”
According to Raina, a leader should empower people to utilise the maximum potential that they have. “I play the role of a guide most of the times. I make sure that people come to the office with a certain purpose which keeps them motivated.” Raina considers his ability to trust people and not get judgemental about them as his biggest strengths.
Raina holds a management degree from Doctor Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Maharashtra. He likes to unwind by listening to music and playing the guitar. He is an avid reader and his favourite books include Adapt and Sapiens.
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