A post-grad student with hunger for, and access to practical knowledge thrives in the professional sphere. At Northpoint, the idea of building actionable knowledge proves the same. Gone are the days of gauging students’ capabilities merely through the medium of scores that are fetched through memory tests, followed by recognized degrees. “The students who just want a degree to add to their CVs, are not the ones the corporate world is looking for”, says Ms. Piyul Mukherjee, CEO of Quipper Research and visiting faculty at Northpoint in an interview with Fourth Estate, Northpoint Centre of Learning. She highlights the importance of learning what is latest in terms of both research and communication sides of marketing and that it is hard to find the kind of exposure given to students at Northpoint as compared to that at any post-graduate institutes in India.

On a question about Ms. Mukherjee’s shift from being employed to forming her own organization, she denies it to be a big shift as such. She emphasizes on the fact that an individual must always have entrepreneurial spirit, not only to form one’s own organization but those are the kinds of people research organizations and large ad agencies actually hire. She even suggests that everybody should be on their own, because one never knows what today’s day and age has in store for them.

When asked about the importance of qualitative research in understanding a consumer, Ms. Mukherjee points up that one should not neglect quantitative research as it has a huge role to play in finding definite answers, for e.g. the new brand of a company that is not performing at certain geographical locations. But qualitative research is the human-oriented bit of research that answers all the whys. At the end, both complement each other. She underscores the fact that brands and communications are all about dealing with human beings and that is the reason why qualitative research plays a vital role in understanding consumers in this drastically changing world.

In terms of advice to students of Northpoint Centre of Learning, Ms. Mukherjee unnerves the students by giving two thumb rules to follow as they venture out in the corporate world. The first one being, “Don’t think anything will ever be laid out on a plate just because one has a certain degree or certain background. There are no more free lunches, so you have to keep working and moving.” She winds up by giving the second thumb rule that students will find it easy to be on top of everything if they also start learning to work smart.



Piyul Mukherjee