Akshay R. Rao holds the General Mills Chair in Marketing at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota. He has an undergraduate honors degree in Economics from Madras University (India), a Masters in Business Administration from XLRI (India), and a PhD in Marketing from Virginia Tech.
BA 1978 Economics (Honors) Madras University
MBA 1980 Marketing Xavier Institute
PhD 1986 Marketing Virginia Tech
At Carlson, he has also served as the founding Director of the Institute for Research in Marketing, an academic-industry think tank established with the corporate partnership of seventeen multi-national firms, from 2005-2010. In 1997-2000, he served as the Director of the Doctoral program and in 2003-2006 he served as Chairman of the Marketing & Logistics Management Department.
For the 1993-94 academic year Professor Rao was a Visiting Professor at M. I. T. and for the 2000-01 and 2007-2008 academic years he was a visiting Professor at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
Professor Rao's teaching, research, and consulting have focused on industries ranging from food and airlines to apparel and financial services, and the problems of Consumer Behavior, Pricing Strategy, Channels of Distribution, Product/Brand Management, and Sales Force Management.
Professor Rao has served as a consultant to numerous organizations including Abbott Laboratories (Germany), Ambrosetti (Italy), Boston Scientific, the Carlson Companies, Jostens, McQuay International, The NutraSweet Company, Osservatorio Asia (Italy), and Qwest. His expertise is sought in three forms: (1) to assist managers solve complex problems in the areas of Corporate Strategy, Pricing, Brand Management, and Sales Management, (2) for executive education programs in Pricing and Branding strategy, and (3) to serve as an expert witness in legal matters that relate to Consumer Behavior, Pricing, Branding and Marketing Strategy.
Currently, Professor Rao is working on several research and consulting projects including (a) consumer choice, (b) non-traditional pricing strategies, (c) communicating quality to uninformed consumers, and (d) developing the brand-centric organization. He has testified before the Federal Trade Commission on Slotting Allowances. He was Co-Chair of the American Marketing Association's Doctoral Consortium (2003) and the Association for Consumer Research Conference (2004).more » « less