Labdhi Pat Raj Bhandari

Labdhi Pat Raj Bhandari



Professor Labdhi Pat Raj Bhandari worked in the Marketing Area from 3rd January 1972 to 19th October 1988.

Prof. Bhandari was born in Khimel, a village near Rani in Rajasthan. His father, Dhanpat Raj Bhandari was not only a successful lawyer in Sojat, Rajasthan but also a member of the Indian National Congress. After being initially home schooled, he attended a local Hindi medium government school. At the ripe age of 14, Prof. Bhandari moved to Jodhpur for his undergraduate studies at the University of Jodhpur where he received his BA in Economics in 1965. He then applied and was admitted to the second batch of the then new PGP course offered by IIMA. The youngest in his batch, Prof. Bhandari was awarded the National Merit Scholarship for both years. He received his Diploma with the 5th rank in 1967.

Prof. Bhandari worked in the Marketing Division at Hindustan Lever Limited where he was the Product Manager of Surf during India's first detergent war. Here, he played an important role in defending Surf's leadership position in the Indian market against Swastik Oil Mill's Sway detergent. Later, he headed the Client Services Group of the Marketing Research department.

In 1972, Prof. Bhandari was recruited as an Assistant Professor at IIMA by Prof. Ravi J Matthai. The Institute sponsored his doctoral studies via a grant given by the Ford Foundation. Prof. Bhandari completed his PhD in 1976 from Columbia Business School. His dissertation on Social Marketing entitled Communications for Social Marketing: A Methodology for Developing Communication Appeals for Family Planning Programs won the Honorable Mention in the AMA Doctoral Dissertation Competition in 1976.

At the Institute, he served as Chairman of not only the Marketing Area but also of the Management Education Program. Prof. Bhandari was also the first Chairman of the Kasturbhai Lalbhai Management Development Centre. According to V Krishnamurthy, former Chairman of the Board of Governors of IIMA, Prof. Bhandari was in the running to succeed N R Sheth as Director of the Institute in 1989 after his name was prominently proposed by both the faculty and alumni alike. He had been sounded out about the likelihood of his selection just before his death in 1988.

Prof. Bhandari's main body of research focused on marketing issues in areas of socioeconomic development and poverty alleviation. For his doctoral work, he developed a methodology based on the ECHO method devised by Richard Barthol and Gary Bridge. This method was used to identify value based communication appeals that were likely to influence the attitudes and beliefs of people on family planning.

The leading marketing academician died in the crash of Indian Airlines Flight 113. IIMA instituted an endowment in his memory which has sponsored the IIMA Conference on Marketing Paradigms for Emerging Economies. Every year, the Labdhi Bhandari Best Paper Award is given to deserving candidates. The IIMA Alumni Trust has also instituted a scholarship in his memory.

More information on Prof. Bhandari is available on this website maintained by his family: Reconstructing LRB

Date of Birth: July 22, 1948

Date of Death: October 19, 1988