Saroj Kumar Pani

Saroj Kumar Pani
/Faculty/Saroj Kumar Pani
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Saroj Kumar Pani
Saroj Kumar Pani
Area Academic Affiliation Qualification
Strategy and entrepreneurship Full Time Faculty
  • Overview
  • Research & Publications
  • Teaching
  • Training and Consulting
  • Administration

Dr. Saroj Kumar Pani is a faculty member of Strategy at IIM Nagpur. Dr. Pani is an MBA in marketing, a Fellow of IIM Bangalore in Corporate Strategy and Policy, and has completed the CPCL program from Harvard Business School, Boston. Dr. Pani has more than thirteen years of work experience in industry and academia. After completing his doctoral program, he has worked as a visiting faculty at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Italy and as a full-time faculty member at IIM Indore, and later at XLRI, Jamshedpur. Dr. Pani also has first-hand entrepreneurial experience as co-founder of an education and consulting start-up during early 2000.

Dr. Pani’s area of research and teaching broadly relates to socio-economic strategy, strategic leadership, business models, and Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP) strategy. Dr. Pani has been recognized for his research and teaching. He has received Andrew Towl Endowment Fund from Harvard University, Best Young Teacher Award from AIMS, Best Research Paper award at pan-IIM World Management conference, Best paper award at ICSBS, Singapore, and Outstanding Reviewer award at the Academy of Management annual conference, San Antonio, Texas to name a few. Apart from research and teaching, Dr. Pani has also been involved with industry as consultant and resource person for executive education.  In recent past he has been involved with reputed business firms such as Powergrid, ZIM Labs, Transrail, Mahindra Finance, SBI Life, Ashok Leyland, Indian Oil to name a few.

Research Interest:

Dr. Pani’s area of research broadly relates to socio-economic strategy, business model innovations, entrepreneurship, and strategic leadership.


  • "Campushash: Evolving Business Model of an Entrepreneurial Venture" , 2019 (With A. Pathak and A. Agarwal)
  • “LifeCarft: The Birth of a Social Entrepreneur”, 2017. (with H. Singh)
  • “Divine Chocolates: Family Farmed, Farmer Owned”, 2016. (with S. Samuel and P. Rathi)
  • “Tata Steel India’s Project PRIDE”, 2014. (with S. Bose)
  • “Finally the Elephant danced: Foray into cellular jungle, a case of BSNL”, 2006 (with A. Mishra)

Journal Articles, Monographs and Book Chapters:

  • “The effects of economic and political events on the movements of BSE Sensex: A study of outliers from 1991 to 2014” in Finance India, 2019, Vol. XXXIII, No. 2. (with R. Bhat and G. Himatsinghka)
  • “Corporate Political Activity: An Integrated Model” in Asian Social Science, 2015, Vol. 11, No. 16. (with Kumar V., and Thakur M.)
  • “Power Imbalance in Inter-firm Exchange Networks: Its Effect on Value Appropriation Potential of Firms in Embedded Structures” in Emerging Issues in Management (ed. Book), Emerald, 2014.
  • “Reinventing the Artisan Community Ecosystem: The Evolving Engagement of Fabindia with Indian Handloom Artisans” in Journal of Product Innovation Management, 2012, 29 (1). (With Ramachandran J., and Pant A.)
  • Case note on “Infosys: Transition at the top”, Indore Management Journal, 2012: 3(2).
  • “The Effect of Economic and Social Embeddedness of Firms”. Research Monograph, 2011
  • Case note on “Euthanasia: Should it be Lawful or Otherwise”, Indore Management Journal, 2011: 2(2).
  • “A dependency based view of Organizational Social Capital (OSC): Understanding the structural and reputational aspects of OSC, and its effect on performance” in Changing Ideas in Strategy, (ed. book), Narosa, 2010.
  • ‘Enhancing Business Sustainability and Gaining Competitive Advantage through CSR Initiatives: A Process Model for Corporations’, Vishleshak, 2008, 2(2).

Conference Papers and Proceedings:

  • “The Active Case Method: Re-creating context with participants’ involvement”. Strategic Management Forum (SMF) Annual Conference, IIM Trichy, India, December, 2018.
  • “Collective Mindfulness in Teams: View from the Strategy Lens”. SMS Special Conference, Hyderabad, India, December, 2018. (with Chaterjee A.)
  • “What do I get? A study on firms’ social investments on their own wellbeing”. ICSBS Conference on Enriching Global Societal Wellbeing, Singapore, August, 2017.
  • “Lessons from the Failures at the Bottom of the Pyramid”. Sixth Subsistence Market Place Conference, Illinoi, USA, June, 2016. (with Chaterjee A.)
  • “CSR Internalization and Competitive Advantage of Firm”. 16th BESSH Conference, Indonesia, September, 2015.
  • “Innovative Management Practices and Interventions at the Base of the Pyramid: An Organizing Framework”. Strategic Management Society (SMS) special conference, Mohali, India, December, 2013. (With Pant A.)
  • “Embeddedness and value appropriation” Academy of Management (AoM) Annual Conference, Lake Buena Vista (Orlando), Florida, USA, August, 2013. Included in Academy of Management Proceedings, January, 2013.
  • “Power Imbalance in Inter-firm Exchange Networks” pan-IIM World Conference on Emerging Issues in Management, Goa, India, May, 2013. Best paper award.
  • “Value appropriation in economic networks: Does relational strength matter?” Academy of Management (AoM) Annual Conference, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, August, 2012.
  • “Inter-firm dependencies and firm’s profit potential”. Academy of Management (AoM) Annual Conference, San-Antonio, Texas, USA, August, 2011.
  • “Why and how do firms gain from CSR actions?” Academy of Management (AoM) Annual Conference, San-Antonio, Texas, USA, August, 2011.
  • “Base of the Pyramid Strategies: A Contingency View and an Organizing Framework’, Strategic Management Society (SMS) special conference, San Diego, June, 2011 (With Ramachandran J., and Pant A.)
  • “A Case Survey on CSR Process, Internalization, and Competitive Advantage” Managing in Global Economy XIV, Eastern Academy of Management (EAM) Conference Proceedings, June, 2011.
  • “Society as source of competitive advantage: A case survey on CSR actions and firm performance”. Academy of Management (AoM) Annual Conference, Chicago, IL, USA, August, 2009.
  • “Why do some firms gain from Corporate Social Responsible (CSR) actions, while others do not? A case survey on CSR process, internalization and competitive advantage”. IMR Doctoral Conference, IIMB, Bangalore, November, 2009. This paper was among the finalists for best research paper award.
  • “Firm performance in socio-economic networks: Understanding network dynamics with Nodal Power”. Academy of Management (AoM) Annual Conference, Anehiam, CA, USA, August, 2008.
  • “Organizational Social Capital: A Theoretical and Mathematical Treatment”. Strategic Management Forum (SMF) Annual Conference, IIT Kanpur, India, May 2008. This paper was awarded “Cummins Best Paper Award”.
  • “Ability to compete: Creating fortune for the bottom of the pyramid”. Strategic Management Society (SMS) special conference, ISB, Hyderabad, December, 2008. (With Ramachandran J., and Patvardhan S.)
  • “From Corporate Social Responsibility to Competitive Advantage: A Process Model Exploring the Strategic Edge of CSR”. Accepted for presentation in third CORE conference, NBS, UK, June, 2008.
  • “Business Sustainability and Competitive Advantage through CSR Initiatives: A Process Model”, DRIEMS International Management Seminar, Bhubaneswar, India, March, 2007.

Working Papers:

  • “Facets of organizational social capital: How network renovation is key to favourable strategic space”, IIMB Working Paper No- 278, 2009.
  • “Exploring the strategic edge of Corporate Social Responsibility: A process model to uncover the missing links”, IIMB Working Paper No- 283, 2009.

Dr. Pani's teaching interest broadly covers competitive strategy, corporate strategy, business models, strategic leadership, and strategy for subsistence economies. He has taught/teaching the following courses*

  • Introduction to Strategy (MBA Core, IIM Nagpur)
  • Strategic Management (MBA Core, IIM Nagpur, XLRI, IIM Indore)
  • Innovative and Disruptive Business Models (MBA Elective, IIM Nagpur)
  • Strategic Leadership (MBA Elective, IIM Nagpur)
  • Capstone Simulation (MBA Elective, IIM Nagpur)
  • Business Strategy (GMP Core, XLRI)
  • Strategies for the bottom of the Pyramid (PGP /Executive PGP Elective, IIM Indore, XLRI)
  • Research for Management Decisions (EPGP workshops I and II, IIM Indore)
  • Strategy Implementation (Executive PGP Core, IIM Indore )
  • Strategic Management (FPM-Industry & FDP Core, IIM Indore)
  • Strategy Content Research (FPM and FPM-Industry Core, IIM Indore, XLRI)
  • History of Management Thoughts (FPM Core, IIM Indore )
  • Doctoral Seminar on Strategy Process (FPM and EFPM Elective, XLRI)
  • Family Business, M-II (PGPCEM Elective, XLRI; FPM Elective, IIM Shillong)


*selected post-graduate and doctoral courses offered from 2010-19 in IIM Nagpur and his previous organizations are listed 

Dr. Pani has been involved with business firms as well as government organizations as a consultant and trainer for over a decade. He has conceptualized and delivered customized programs and consulting solutions to organizations of repute such as:

Training (selected client organizations)

  • Ashok Leyland
  • Canara Bank
  • Indian Oil
  • Mahindra Finance
  • MRF
  • ONGC
  • Rajya Sabha Secretariat
  • SBI Life
  • Time Technoplast
  • ZIM Labs

Consulting (selected client organizations)

  • BSNL
  • Mahanadi Coal Fields Ltd.
  • Tata Steel
  • ZIM Labs.

Advisory Board Member

  • Kislay  (Agritech. Startup)
  • VIC (VNIT Innovation council)

At IIM Nagpur

  • Chairperson, Center for Entrepreneurship, IIM Nagpur
  • Managing Director, InFED
  • Chairperson, Strategy and Entrepreneurship Area
  • Member, PGP Executive Committee, IIM Nagpur

At previous organizations (selected responsibilities)

  • Chairperson, Executive Post Graduate Program in E-Governance , IIM Indore
  • Chairperson, Certificate Program in E-governance, IIM Indore
  • Member, Faculty Research Committee, XLRI
  • Member, FPM Executive Committee, XLRI
  • Member, Editorial Board, IMJ