Dr. Saloni Firasta Vastani joined the faculty in 2016 after an extensive career in corporate America. In her 20-year career, Vastani has developed expertise in business strategy, pricing, and analytics. She has experience in the travel and technology industries in both domestic and international markets including South America, Asia, and Europe. She has solved business problems through insightful data analytics, grounded research, and leading cross-functional teams to implement the strategy. Notable clients include Bain Capital, Riverside Private Equity, BCD Group, Deloitte, and The Weather Channel.
Vastani’s research interests are focused on pricing strategy and innovation management. She is interested in how buyers consciously and subconsciously process price information, remember it, and use it to make purchase decisions. Her work is published in both academic and business journals. Vastani teaches a course in Pricing Strategy and Analytics. She is a frequent speaker in both, industry and academic environments on Revenue Management Strategy, Pricing Analytics, and Leadership.
Over the years, Vastani has served in leadership roles at Fortune 100 companies such as American Airlines and Verizon. Vastani started her career at American Airlines and was responsible for bringing financial discipline into American Airline's processes. At Verizon, she successfully launched B2B products into the market and was the pricing leader over Internet products. She has also been a part of M&A deals and founded a start-up company
Vastani is passionate about community service and serves as an advisory board member for JScreen, a public health initiative by Emory University and the Marcus Foundation. Previously, she served as an advisory board member for Persian Initiative at Michael C. Carlos Museum and Diabetes Leaders Forum at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Georgia State University: Doctorate, Business Administration 2015
Goizueta Business School, Emory University: MBA 1995
University of Bombay: BBA, Accounting 1993
Areas of Expertise (6)
Role of customer attributes on absolute price thresholdsJournal of Services Marketing
Saloni Firasta-Vastani & Kent Monroe
This paper aims to examine how customer heterogeneity influences absolute price thresholds in a service industry.
Balancing Coordination and Autonomy During Post-Acquisition Within A High-Tech FirmBalancing Coordination and Autonomy During Post-Acquisition Within A High-Tech FirmInternational Journal of Innovation Management ·
Saloni Firasta-Vastani, N Barqawi, K Syed, L Mathiassen
Drawing on dynamic capability theory (DCT) and focusing on structural integration and informal coordination, we study how the two management teams collaborated over a two-year period to sustain SmartTech’s innovation capability while at the same time leveraging it as part of GlobalTech’s position and future path. In conclusion, we present a process model with related action strategies for how organizations can orchestrate a dynamic capability to manage the coordination-autonomy dilemma post-acquisition.
In the News (8)
Even as food prices rise, consumers aren't stopping shopping
With food prices increasing, a traditional Thanksgiving dinner will cost more this year. About 20% more, according to the Farm Bureau. Consumers continue to shop despite the rise in prices, according to Dr. Saloni Firasta Vastani, a professor at Emory’s Goizueta Business School.
Newsy Weekend Debrief 11 20 22 GBS Vastani
Inflation and Prices
Some coverage on WSB TV on what is driving prices up and causing inflation. Labor shortage plus supply chain issues are the key culprits. Why is the labor force is not back?
CDC announces new travel guidelines for international passengers
This week the CDC announced new guidelines about summer travel and says if you are traveling out of the country, to check with the state department and embassy before you book your flight. If you travel abroad, you may have to still show a negative COVID-19 test even if you are vaccinated. The CDC has added more than 60 countries to a “Very high” alert level because of COVID-19 infections including India, Egypt, Costa Rica and several European countries.
Getting Away From The City: Georgia Travel Experts Reflect On This Summer’s Biggest Trends
Georgia Public Broadcasting online
Georgians also adjusted when they left for their trips, according to Saloni Vastani, a professor at Emory University Goizueta Business School. Before the pandemic, many had to wait to leave for a trip until after they left the office on Friday afternoon. This summer, many could begin their trip whenever they wanted and still work remote on full business days. “People have more flexibility,” Vastani said. “A lot of people are working from home. So they can take a flight on Thursday and continue to work from the destination city on Friday, and then explore the city on the weekend and come back on a Monday or Tuesday.”
MBA students learn importance of pricing decisions in new course
Emory University online
Forty-one Full-Time MBA students completed a new course this past semester, equipping them with the skills they need in day-to-day management. Taught by Assistant Professor in the Practice of Marketing Saloni Firasta Vastani, the course, Pricing Strategy and Analytics, enables students to learn about an integrated framework to make pricing decisions as well as provides them with the latest thinking on pricing issues. “The primary purpose of the course is to enable the students to learn how to integrate pricing decisions vis-à-vis synthesizing big data, accounting, financial information, market conditions, and legal and corporate agreements,” Firasta Vastani said. While the first part of the course provides the theory, models and analytical tools needed to understand the multidimensional and multifunctional nature of pricing, the second part of the course focuses on applying these strategies and theoretical frameworks to solve a pricing issue using real data. “The course brings together diverse viewpoints to integrate theory and practice to create a meaningful, educational experience,” Firasta Vastani said. Pricing is becoming increasingly important as it has a direct impact on profitability, and pricing algorithms drive business models of many companies, she said. During the course, students learn a variety of pricing models such as dynamic pricing/revenue management, freemium and outcome-based pricing. “From a company viewpoint, price is a powerful lever for profitability that needs to consider marketing, financial and legal implications,” she said. “Additionally, historical and in contemporary research, there are conceptual and operational conflicts in theory and practice between economist and marketers that need to be understood and tackled.” While pricing is one of the four “P’s” of marketing, Firasta Vastani said it is often misunderstood when making business decisions. “After taking the course, students are able to develop pricing strategies to capture maximum value of their products and services in the marketplace, understand the impact of pricing on not only revenue but overall profitability, and effectively use pricing analytics techniques to understand behavioral pricing.
MBA students learn to price with ‘live cases’ during pricing strategy course
Emory University online
Too often managers think about pricing as solely a quantitative or economic variable problem. However, pricing is a strategic lever for profitability with several factors impacting a firm’s pricing decision. A study done by the McKinsey Company in 2003 looked at 1,500 Standard & Poor’s 500 index companies and explored various things the firms could do to increase profits. They could improve their fixed-cost position; they could improve their variable costs or price by one percent each. But the thing that had the most impact was if they were able to improve their final realized price by only one percent, they were able to increase their operating profit by about eight percent. Price is such a critical lever for profitability and yet it is the most overlooked. For many companies, pricing decisions are made arbitrarily. Competitor A is charging $500, competitor B is charging $300, so they just choose $400, without any rationale or data analytics. Or some companies, engage in cost-plus pricing, something that does not maximize profitability. When pricing only to cover costs, managers leave money on the table. By pricing to match competitors, a company may give away created value. At Goizueta, MBA students are studying pricing in its various dimensions in the course Pricing Strategy and Analytics. They have spent the last few months learning the right way to set a price and understanding ways to get the price in the marketplace. To effectively learn the complexities of pricing decisions, students study under a different teaching method that Assistant Professor in the Practice of Marketing Professor Saloni Vastani called “live cases.” Prior to the semester, the faculty and the TA team worked together with several top Atlanta companies experiencing pricing challenges. Throughout the semester, student teams study the issue, explore solutions and then present recommendations to the company’s executive teams. The firm representatives then have an opportunity to provide feedback and share the nuances of what actually happens in a company when it’s faced with a real pricing strategy decision. During the semester, students worked on live cases with four companies — Chick-fil-A, Delta Airlines, Cox Communications and Deloitte. Students worked on developing a menu board pricing strategy, dynamic pricing in competitive markets and digital marketplaces, market research with conjoint analysis and pricing analytics using large datasets covering B2B and B2C.
Leisure Travel Sputters Amid Record COVID-19 Cases
Emory Business online
The U.S. broke its daily record for the number of new COVID-19 cases in the final days of 2021, and short-staffed airlines were forced to cancel thousands of flights as a result. With a record number of planes sitting idle and travelers stranded at airports, it’s impossible to predict when normal travel will resume. Leisure travel will propel the travel industry’s recovery forward in the long term, but it’s clear by now that it won’t happen overnight. Goizueta Associate Marketing Professor Saloni Firasta Vastani.