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Interview with Deval Sood

Deval Sood


Class of 2004


Currently employed with Philip Morris International, Delhi


Deval Sood has always been a charismatic and a highly motivated leader who has successfully applied his motivational and leadership skills to the business environment.


Designation:    Manager - Corporate Affairs


Campus Placement:   Pidilite Industries



Career Path:

Pidilite Industries, Hyderabad                        
Mgmt. Trainee                                            
Philip Morris Intl, Delhi Sales Manager 2005-08
Philip Morris Intl, Hongkong Mgr - Business Devt. 2008-09
Philip Morris Intl, Delhi Mgr - BD & Planning 2009-11
Philip Morris Intl, Delhi Mgr - Corporate Affairs Apr 2011 - Present


Achievements / Awards:

  • Service Award on completion of 5 years with PMI.
  • Part of M&A team that secured our JV in India.
  • Completion bonus for successfully completing Assignment in Hong Kong.


Life Quote: "Winning isn't everything, but wanting to win is."


Q: Why don’t you give a little bit of background about your life after/before Infinity?

Deval: As a college student, I remember being anxious about what to do after graduation. Unlike other countries, being a graduate usually does not gaurantee a job, forget a career, in India. This was the reality I was faced with at the time. Being in Infinity was a time of discovery for me. The rigors of a well designed course, the guidance of top notch professors and doing projects with experienced professionals pushed me to the limit. At the culmination of it all - the placement season - the feeling of anxiety was replaced with confidence and self belief. Surely enough I landed a job with Pidilite and then moved on to PMI. I have worked in many cities in India and had the opportunity to work in PMI's RHQ in Hong Kong. Life has been everything but stagnant since Infinity!


Q: Discuss your stint at Pidilite. Was it a grind? How did your first job experience prepared you for the challenges ahead?

Deval: Pidilite was an excellent learning experience, purely for one reason – the excellent management trainee program. The program ensured that we not only learn from experienced professional within the company but also that we interact with other MT’s from various institutes. We gelled instantly as we were from various towns and schools but in a totally new environment. This was the first time I measured myself against my peers from other top ranked b-schools. And you know what, I did not find myself lacking in anyway!


Q: What have been the most critical projects, assignments in your role with Philip Morris?

Deval: In my 7 years with PMI, I have been lucky to handle various roles which required a great deal of hard-work, integrity and dedication. The critical project I have handled is when I was with regional M&A in Hong Kong working on the JV deal that was eventually secured in 2009. Working on commercialization issues post the deal was an important phase too.


Q: What personal qualities or abilities are important to being successful in this job?

Deval: Integrity, analyze external environment, business planning, analytics, ability to question, comfortable in interacting with top management, working with spreadsheets.


Q: During the course of your career, who was your mentor and what was that experience like?

Deval: I was able to draw on a few mentors at various stages of my career. But I have been very lucky to have been mentored by the ex-GM of PM India, Mr. Robin Wood. His tremendous energy and drive was infectious and made me more expressive with my thoughts and views. He actively sought my views on various matters which pushed me to gain more knowledge on diverse subject matters.


Q: Where do you see yourself in the next five or ten years? Do you have a plan chalked out?

Deval: I would definitely like to build on the exposure I have got to various functions. I see myself getting more involved at a strategic level and heading a business function


Q: What is your fondest memory of Inbuss?

Deval: Working late nights in group projects, having some fun on the side and landing up in the morning to Inbuss for presentation on the project. It was a mental and physical rollercoaster!


Q: Please tell us about your hobbies and passions.

Deval: Besides the traveling, listening to music - perhaps the hobby that I am able to devote most time to is people watching! Whether it’s travelling on the metro, waiting at the airport or on market visits, I like to observe how people react, comprehend or interact. It’s a good trait to have if you’re a marketing person but remember not to get too intrusive!