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Vijay Mahajan - The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business. Austin, TX, US

Vijay Mahajan Vijay Mahajan

Professor, Department of Marketing & John P. Harbin Centennial Chair in Business | The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business


International markets, global consumerism, and marketing in the developing world


Areas of Expertise (10)

International Markets Marketing Strategy Chief Marketing Officers Consumer Behavior Family-Owned Firms Developing Marketings International Brand Strategies Digital Divide Globalization & Trade Product Innovation


Vijay Mahajan is a professor of marketing and an influential writer and speaker on global consumer markets, with a special emphasis on consumer behavior and marketing strategies in the developing world. He has also researched on success factors for chief marketing officers, new product growth models, family-owned firms, corporate brand issues, and new product innovation. In a 2007 study, he was identified as one of the top 10 most influential scholars in innovation management.

Mahajan is a professor of marketing and holds the John P. Harbin Centennial Chair in Business at the McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin.

He has received numerous lifetime achievement awards including the American Marketing Association (AMA) Charles Coolidge Parlin Award for visionary leadership in scientific marketing. The AMA also instituted the Vijay Mahajan Award in 2000 for career contributions to marketing strategy. In 2006, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Indian Institute of Technology (Kanpur) for his contributions to management research. He also served as the dean of the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, from 2002-2004, he has taught at the Wharton School, and serves as a research fellow with the IC2 Institute at UT Austin.

Mahajan is the author or editor of twelve books including his recent 2012 book, The Arab World Unbound, translated into twelve languages. His book, The 86% Solution, received the Book-of-the-Year award (Berry-AMA) in 2007, and Convergence Marketing and Africa Rising were among the finalists for the same award in 2003 and 2010 respectively.

He has been invited by more than 120 universities and research institutions worldwide for research presentations, has been a visiting professor at universities in Singapore, Hong Kong, India, and Italy. Mahajan has consulted with various Fortune 500 companies and has delivered executive development programs worldwide.



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Vijay Mahajan: The Algebra of Livelihoods Africa Rising by Vijay Mahajan Vijay Mahajan: Tapping into the Arab Women Market Dr. Vijay Mahajan - Brand Africa FORUM 2011 Texas Enterprise Speaker: The Arab World Unbound


Education (3)

University of Texas at Austin: Ph.D., Management 1975

University of Texas at Austin: M.Sc., Chemical Engineering 1972

Indian Institute of Technology, Kampur: B.Tech, Chemical Engineering 1970

Media Appearances (14)

What They Don’t Teach You at Business School, According to Vijay Mahajan

Fortune India  online


Why are today’s B-schools so far behind the curve? The reason is simple. There are just not enough textbooks or published papers or ground-breaking research for faculty members to fall back upon. “The new mediums of study are newspapers, Google, and YouTube, because most of the students who join us are tech savvy. And we are using more and more software tools to teach our students,” says Vijay Mahajan, who holds the John P. Harbin Centennial Chair in Business at McCombs School of Business, University of Texas and was also a dean at ISB between 2002 and 2004.

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"When the rural consumer is King" Book Review

The Island  online


Through carefully documented growth studies of some principal developing countries, Mahajan, who holds the John P. Harbin Centennial Chair in Business at the McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin, elaborates on contemporary economic processes that are leading to the steady material improvement of rural communities, who are transforming into effective consumers who help in the gradual uplift of national economies.

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The Growing Clout of Rural Consumers

Knowledge@Wharton  online


Almost half the world’s population is non-urban. More than three billion people live in the sprawling rural regions of Asia, Africa and other developing countries. Companies and governments cannot afford to ignore these consumers if they want to be successful, writes Vijay Mahajan in his recent book, Rise of Rural Consumers in Developing Countries: Harvesting 3 Billion Aspirations.

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Tradition, technology spur rural spending in developing countries

Shanghai Daily  online


Mahajan’s deeply researched book, brimming with case studies and anecdotes gathered from his personal trips to rural markets, is broken down into three sections: “Recognizing the Rural Opportunity,” “Growing and Reaping Rural Opportunity,” and “The Rural Challenges.”

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Herman: The rebirth of the Dalai Lama’s University of Texas tree

Statesman (Opinion)  online


Vijay Mahajan, a UT marketing prof, was among the folks who came up with the Bodhi (bo-dee seems to be the Central Texas pronunciation) tree idea.

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UTRGV presenting McCombs marketing, international business lecturer Mahajan

Valley Morning Star  online


Mahajan is scheduled to give a lecture at the Edinburg Campus about development, focusing on the Mideast and Africa.

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In a World Where Social Media Can Build or Damage Brands, Apology for Errors a Survival Skill

The Economic Times  online


"It is better not to be in a situation where one has to apologize for an undelivered promise or commitment to consumers," says Mahajan.

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Why Family Led Businesses Tend to Weather the Storm Better

The Economic Times  online


Family run businesses perform better during economic slowdowns, and one of the key reasons is a better balance of longer term vision and very pragmatic operations management.

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The Perils and Pluses of Working in the Family Business

The Globe and Mail  online


Family run companies didn’t hold back on new product launches during the recessions, they maintained the same level of ad spending and they kept their emphasis on corporate social responsibility.

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Why Family Businesses Come Roaring out of Recessions

Harvard Business Review  online


Some studies have shown that during periods of economic growth, family-managed companies in the US actually perform better than professionally managed businesses.

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The Other Arab Spring

The Economist  online


In “The Arab World Unbound," author Mahajan argues that it is possible to tell a more optimistic story: that the Arab world’s new entrepreneurs are operating in a large and steadily blossoming market.

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In India, Loan Sharks, Commercialization Cast Pall Over Microfinancing

PBS News Hour  online


Mahajan discusses the impact of the competitive micro-lending marketplace in India.

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The Siege of Africa

Forbes  online


“When you look at [opportunities in] the world, and take out India and China, where do you go next? The logical answer is Africa.”

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Africa's Private Sector Flowers

BBC News  radio


During African Economy week, the BBC's African Perspective spoke to Vijay Mahajan about the potential the continent offers for business and for profit.

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Sample Talks (1)

Surprises Await Business Travelers in the Arab World

A glass of red wine. Bollywood brand ambassadors. Turkish soap operas. These may not be things you’d expect to find in the Middle East, but according to marketing professor Vijay Mahajan, the Arab world has a way of surprising visitors. Despite unsettling news headlines from the Middle East and North Africa, Mahajan traveled there to see how corporations and consumers actually operate in the region. “There must be something more going on in these countries other than all the negative news we get from the media,” he said during his talk, which was part of the Texas Enterprise Speaker Series.


  • Keynote
  • Panelist
  • Workshop Leader

Articles (10)

Vijay Mahajan Citations Google Scholar

Listing of top scholarly works by Vijay Mahajan

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Signaling Virtue: Does Firm Corporate Social Performance Trajectory Moderate the Social Performance-Financial Performance Relationship? Journal of Business Research


Over the past 40 years, scholars have demonstrated the effects of corporate social performance (CSP) on corporate financial performance (CFP), finding mixed results on the main effect of CSP on CFP. This study moves beyond the search for a universal main effect of CSP on CFP to examine factors that drive some firms to experience greater returns from their CSP efforts.

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Values That Shape Marketing Decisions: Influence of CEOs' Political Ideologies on Innovation Propensity, Shareholder Value, and Risk Journal of Marketing Research


This research examines the influence of chief executive officers’ (CEOs’) political ideologies—specifically, their degree of political liberalism (i.e., support for the Democratic Party relative to the Republican Party)—on firms’ innovation propensity (i.e., rate of new product introductions [NPIs]). The authors propose that CEOs’ degree of political liberalism positively affects their firms’ rate of NPIs.

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Shedding Light on the CMO Revolving Door: A Study of the Antecedents of Chief Marketing Officer Turnover Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science


Investigating Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) tenure through a longitudinal study of the antecedents of CMO turnover, the authors find that CMO turnover increases if firms’ sales growth is poor, while profitability has a similar though smaller effect when a new CEO is appointed, highlighting marketing’s contextual role vis-à-vis performance metrics.

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Product Bundling or Reserved Product Pricing? Price Discrimination With Myopic and Strategic Consumers International Journal of Research in Marketing


In this study we examine how mixed bundling of products and its variants compare against reserved product pricing (RPP), a form of co-promotion.

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The Name's the Game: Does Marketing Impact the Value of Corporate Name Changes Journal of Business Research


Our study of name change announcements by 180 publicly listed U.S. firms reveals that marketing-related factors play a critical role in the value of corporate name changes.

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Beating the Recession Blues: Exploring the Link Between Family Ownership, Strategic Marketing Behavior and Firm Performance During Recessions International Journal of Research in Marketing


This study explores whether family firms exhibit unique marketing behavior and whether their unique behavior in turn helps them outperform non-family firms during periods of economic contraction.

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Driven to Be Good: A Stakeholder Theory Perspective on the Drivers of Corporate Social Performance Journal of Business Ethics


This research investigates how the characteristics of the stakeholder landscape influence a firm’s corporate social performance breadth.

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Consumer Switching Costs: A Typology, Antecedents, and Consequences Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science


This research develops a switching cost typology that identifies three types of consumer switching costs: 1) procedural, 2) financial, and 3) relational.

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Unobserved Retailer Behavior in Multimarket Data Journal of Marketing Science (INFORMS)


We argue that inferring market responses using cross-sections of multi-market data also reflect unobserved actions by retailers.

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