marketer of the month

EPISODE 191: Marketer of the Month Podcast with Subho Mukherjee

Hey there! Welcome to the Marketer Of The Month blog!

We recently interviewed Subho Mukherjee for our monthly podcast – ‘Marketer of the Month’! We had some amazing insightful conversations with Subho and here’s what we discussed about –

1. Embedding sustainability into core business operations and technology advancement.

2. Accelerating emission reduction targets through collaborative efforts and long-term commitments.

3. Leveraging technology to address environmental, social, and governance challenges.

4. Learning from cultural diversity to accelerate sustainability initiatives globally.

5. Promoting digitalization as a key tool for climate change mitigation and sustainability.

6. Highlighting energy and oil and gas sectors’ potential for digital-driven decarbonization.

About our host:

Dr. Saksham Sharda is the Chief Information Officer at He specializes in data collection, analysis, filtering, and transfer by means of widgets and applets. Interactive, cultural, and trending widgets designed by him have been featured on TrendHunter, Alibaba, ProductHunt, New York Marketing Association, FactoryBerlin, Digimarcon Silicon Valley, and at The European Affiliate Summit.

About our guest:

Subho Mukherjee, Vice President and Global Head of Sustainability brings two decades of senior leadership experience in sustainability, strategy, technology, and innovation management. Leading Nokia’s global sustainability strategy, he is passionate about leveraging technology to create impactful change.

Digitizing Decarbonization: Nokia’s Global Head of Sustainability Subho Mukherjee on Greener Futures

The Intro!

Saksham Sharda: Hi, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Outgrow’s Marketer of the Month. I’m your host, Dr. Saksham Sharda, and I’m the creative director at Outgrow. co. And for this month we are going to interview Subho Mukherjee who is the VP of Global Head of Sustainability at Nokia.

Subho Mukherjee: Great to be here. Thank you.

Don’t have time to read? No problem, just watch the Podcast!

Challenge yourself with this trivia about the exciting topics Subho Mukherjee covered in the podcast.

Launch Interactive Quiz

Or you can just listen to it on Spotify!

The Rapid Fire Round!

rapid fire Don McGuire

Saksham Sharda: So let’s start with the rapid-fire round, just to break the ice. You can only answer with one word or one sentence. 

Subho Mukherjee: Okay.

Saksham Sharda: First one. At what age do you want to retire?

Subho Mukherjee: Tomorrow.

Saksham Sharda: How long does it take you to get ready in the mornings?

Subho Mukherjee: 20 minutes.

Saksham Sharda: Most embarrassing moment of your life?

Subho Mukherjee: I landed on a plane and realized I left my wallet in the taxi.

Saksham Sharda: Favorite color?

Subho Mukherjee: Blue.

Saksham Sharda: What time of day are you most inspired?

Subho Mukherjee: Morning.

Saksham Sharda: How many hours of hours of sleep can you survive on?

Subho Mukherjee: I need seven to eight hours at least.

Saksham Sharda: Fill in the blank. An upcoming technology trend is ______.

Subho Mukherjee: Human.

Saksham Sharda: The city in which the best kiss of your life happened?

Subho Mukherjee:  Kolkata, in India.

Saksham Sharda: Pick one Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg.

Subho Mukherjee: Elon.

Saksham Sharda: The biggest mistake of your career?

Subho Mukherjee: Not to do things earlier than what I have done now.

Saksham Sharda: How do you relax?

Subho Mukherjee: I run, and spend time with my kids.

Saksham Sharda: How many cups of coffee do you drink per day?

Subho Mukherjee: Too much.

Saksham Sharda: A habit of yours that you hate?

Subho Mukherjee: Drinking too much coffee.

Saksham Sharda: Most valuable skill you’ve learned in life?

Subho Mukherjee: Focus on people.

Saksham Sharda: Your favorite Netflix show?

Subho Mukherjee:  I’m not watching Netflix.

Saksham Sharda: One-word description of your leadership style?

Subho Mukherjee: Collaborative.

Saksham Sharda: Top priority in your daily schedule?

Subho Mukherjee: Learn more.

Saksham Sharda: Ideal vacation spot for relaxation?

Subho Mukherjee: At home.

Saksham Sharda: A Key factor for maintaining a work-life balance?

Subho Mukherjee: Remember what you are ultimately doing, which is building a life for yourself.

Saksham Sharda: Memorable career milestone?

Subho Mukherjee: My current role as the head of sustainability for Nokia.

The Big Questions!

Big Questions Don McGuire

Saksham Sharda: Okay. Well, that’s the end of the rapid fire. And now we can go into the longer questions, which you can take as much time and thought to answer.  The first one is that your role as a vice president and global head of sustainability at Nokia involves driving sustainability initiatives and environmental, social, and governance efforts. How do you balance the integration of sustainability with the core business objectives of Nokia?

Subho Mukherjee: Yeah, it’s the core of what we do. I think in the world of sustainability, what really matters is making it a business and a technology imperative. The way Nokia operates is sustainable. It’s not just an add-on, it’s not just a risk mitigation factor or a compliance factor. It’s how we do business. Nokia has been in the business for over 115 years, and we want to drive sustainable equitable growth for the societies that we operate in. That’s in our DNA. And I’m really glad to be in my position to integrate that purpose and belief into our supply chain, into our business operations, into our technology.

Saksham Sharda: And so, can you provide any specific examples of sustainability initiatives that have successfully aligned with Nokia’s business goals?

Subho Mukherjee: Yeah. Take the example of this Mobile World Congress. On the first year of Mobile World Congress on Monday, we announced our next zero emission target for 2040. It’s an acceleration from the earlier target of 2050. It may feel like just a 10-year acceleration, but it has a huge impact on the way businesses and societies operate. We are doing a lot now in the run-up to the announcement that we made on Monday about Nokia’s net zero target for 2040. We went behind the scenes for a whole year of work with every possible part of business, from our products to our supply chain, to our operations, to our facilities. And every, you know, there was a huge team of Nokia that came together, worked on what it would take to come and commit towards net zero and, and such integration of sustainability goals with business operations that lasts a long-term commitment is something that I’m really proud of, and, we believe that Nokia is in a great path to get there.

Saksham Sharda: And how does Nokia utilize technological advancements to address ESG challenges?

Subho Mukherjee: Nokia is a B2B business in the world of connecting a large number of societies into a world of opportunities. Nokia is in 120 countries. We provide the networks on which industries and consumers connect with each other. Obviously, we’re at the Mobile World Congress. The importance of connectivity is given, but the question lies about what people do after they get the connectivity. So on one hand, we are very focused on making sure that communities benefit from the connectivity we provide, and have the right type of digital skills so that they can get access to employment, health education, and so on. On the other hand, we want to make sure that the footprint of our industry, the information communication technology industry, is as minimal as possible. We drive towards product, energy efficiency in our products, in our supply chain, so that we can build a more sustainable and cleaner planet as we drive towards getting more opportunities for the communities that you serve.

Saksham Sharda: So speaking of communities, your experience spans across different regions, including Asia, Pacific, India, Europe, and the US. How do cultural differences influence the approach to sustainability initiatives? And how do you ensure global alignment in Nokia’s sustainability strategy?

Subho Mukherjee: I think cultural differences do matter, in the journey of sustainability. Take the example of Europe where many of the circularity practices are almost built in the way the societies operate. I think the rest of the world can learn a lot about the circularity drive from Europe, but also from developing countries like India where circularity has been in the ethos of the society. There are different aspects of the sustainability journey. Innovation plays a strong role in sustainability. And, you know, from the ecosystem in North America or, or Forest Asia, a lot can be learned about the drive toward sustainable innovation. So if we, for a moment, stop thinking about the divide that has taken us apart, but learn from each other in terms of the differences in cultural practices, I think the journey towards sustainability can very well be accelerated. And that’s where the collaboration across the continents, the collaboration across the ecosystem players are coming together. And we are glad we are part of a bigger value chain in information and communication technology which are impacting various other technologies like energy, utilities, manufacturing, transportation, and, we’re glad to go part of that.

Saksham Sharda: So let’s move on to a lighter topic now. Tell us about your typical day at Nokia. You wake up in the morning and then?

Subho Mukherjee: Wake up in the morning. A lot of my friends live in the US. A lot of my team members are in the US, in Europe and, the first thing I do is, well I spend about 20 minutes doing some breathing exercises and yoga just to get ready for the day. But right after that, I talked to my team because clearly, I know the least in my team. My team has a huge, you know, set of knowledge. So I try to get up to speed with the team, and then I usually keep some time to make sure I speak to our customers and our partners. And then I try to spend enough time to look into my schedules. I, in the meantime, drive and drop my kid to school, and prepare breakfast and all sorts of those things. Yeah, so that’s how the day goes. And at the end of the day, you just figure out, you still have a huge pile of things to do. But the best thing to do is to make sure you note down what you have to do, but then take a break, go running or go to the gym, and so on.

Saksham Sharda: So we’ve been stalking your social media a little, and one of your recent posts discusses digitalization as a key tool to address climate change. How does Nokia contribute to digitalization for climate action and what role does the company play in promoting sustainability within the ICT industry?

Subho Mukherjee: It is indeed at Nokia, we have the same name, there is no green without digital. Clearly we, at the Mobile World Congress and at Nokia, are part of the information and communication technology industry. It has its own role in terms of climate, but ultimately information and communication technology contributes to about 2% of global emissions. I think the bigger contribution is what we call the handprint impact of our technology. Like how can we help transform cities? How can we help transform the transportation sector, logistics sector, food mines, you know, energy utilities, and various other sectors that are still very physical and they’re not yet digitized? I think there the next decade we’ll see a huge drive in digitalization of just physical industries. If you compare the past 30 years, more digital industries are already digitized, like banking, media and, you know, the technology sector.  I’m really excited about the opportunity of these physical industries getting more digital, driving towards decarbonization and better quality safety, and productivity for the workers that are there and their impact on the societies that they operate in.

Saksham Sharda: Which physical industries are you particularly excited about in this regard?

Subho Mukherjee: I am excited about a large number of physical industries, but I would pick particularly the energy and oil and gas sectors. There’s a huge role that that industry has in terms of decarbonizing the world and stopping the change in the global warming scenario that we are seeing. And digitalization has a significant impact on that transformation. We are working with various energy utility companies and we are seeing how digital technologies and networking can accelerate, for example, the move towards renewable energy. And that’s what really excites me because we really need to go fast into a decarbonized world in, you know, in the way we consume energy.

Saksham Sharda: So you mentioned in the rapid-fire that collaborative is your leadership style and your role involves leading collaborative actions to target key levers for emissions reduction. As discussed in your recent post about accelerating to net zero, how does Nokia engage with partners and industry peers to drive collective action toward sustainability goals?

Subho Mukherjee: Yeah, great question because, the drive to net zero emission, in my view, is a drive or commitment for collaborative action. Just to give you an example, much of Nokia and similarly other companies, greenhouse gas emissions come from so-called Scope Three emissions, which are basically emissions from your suppliers and your customers. Nokia has 11,000 suppliers. Many of them are small and medium businesses. They don’t have enough wherewithal like a large corporation like Nokia has in terms of decarbonizing their operations. So as Nokia, we feel it’s our both responsibility and duty to be able to work with smaller suppliers and in helping in their decarbonization journey. At the same time with our customers, we try to help in their rapid decarbonization with better energy-efficient products, with better ways to do business with them. We believe that the shared objective that this entire ecosystem has from suppliers to vendors like us and technology providers to customers like telecom operators, is the only way through which, you know, an acceleration towards the planet can happen. And, you know, I’m really glad that at Mobile World Congress, for example, we’re seeing a lot of such collaborations, many engagements coming together and people, you know, the level of noise I’m seeing about sustainability and collaborative actions,  This year I’ve never seen before.

Saksham Sharda: Is there any memorable partnership or collaboration story that you’d like to highlight?

Subho Mukherjee: Recently at Cop 28,  which was in December in Dubai in Nokia, had the interesting opportunity to engage with a large number of our customers and prospective customers across the Middle East and Africa coming together to what we call the Middle East Africa, ESG customer council. Now, the interesting thing about this was many of the partners were competitors themselves, but I think the opportunity that really, kicked me was they were all together in one room sharing their challenges and coming together in terms of how can we get something done by forgetting that we are competitors or suppliers or vendors, but focusing on the common challenge in the industry. It usually does not happen on a day-to-day basis for, you know, typical business purposes. We all compete with each other, but opportunities like this really can help accelerate the journey. And I was really thrilled with that.

Saksham Sharda: So the last question for you is of a personal kind, what would you be doing in your life, if not this?

Subho Mukherjee: I’ll be going around the world eating the best food that I can. Hopefully, most of them will come from farm to cable. So sustainably produced and seeing more places, particularly places that are doing amazing jobs in preserving nature, hopefully that I will be able to do right after I retire.

Let’s Conclude!

Saksham Sharda: Thanks, everyone for joining us for this month’s episode of Outgrow’s Marketer of the Month. That was Subho Mukherjee who is the VP of Global Head of Sustainability at Nokia.

Subho Mukherjee: Pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Saksham Sharda: Check out the website for more details and we’ll see you once again next month with another marketer of the month.

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