MASSIG Lifetime Achievement


Madhu Viswanthan has won the AMA Marketing & Society SIG's 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award


Author: Marie Yeh

AMA’s Marketing & Society SIG is very pleased to announce that Madhu Viswanthan, Professor of Marketing, Loyola Marymount University, and Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, has been awarded the 2021 Marketing & Society SIG Lifetime Achievement Award. Lifetime Achievement award recipients make a significant contribution to research advancing the study of marketing and societal issues throughout their career with research that demonstrates significance, innovation and methodological rigor AND substantively has advanced our understanding of issues of importance to our society.

Over the course of his career, Madhu has authored (and co-authored) over 80 journal articles, conference proceedings, books and book chapters, almost all of which have addressed important topics in marketing and society/public policy. He has pioneered the area of enquiry and practice entitled subsistence marketplaces, taking a bottom-up approach to the study of the intersection of poverty and marketplaces and developing unique synergies between research, teaching, and social initiatives. At the heart of his work is a research foundation with a strong emphasis on service to society through marketing, in its broadest form. Furthermore, Madhu has created an ecosystem to bring together a community of scholars, practitioners, educators, and students, through the creation of the Subsistence Marketplace Initiative and a series of biennial conferences which began in 2006 to foster interest in understanding those who are underserved in the marketplace. His work has won the Thomas C. Kinnear/Journal of Public Policy and Marketing Award.

Madhu’s work also has far reaching impact beyond academics. Founded by Madhu almost 20 years ago, the Marketplace Literacy Project is a non-profit organization that delivers marketplace literacy education to low-income individuals in subsistence marketplaces. He developed educational materials and programming that fosters education in nutrition, consumer, entrepreneurial, financial and sustainability literacy. Through a strong emphasis on deeper understanding or know-why, marketplace literacy enables knowledge and skills and self-confidence for consumers as well as aspiring entrepreneurs. Through his organization and partners, more than 100,000 women have received this life changing education –in India, Tanzania, Uganda, Argentina, Honduras, Mexico, and Illinois. In other words, Madhu has been instrumental in developing understanding of the radically different contexts of subsistence marketplaces, created education for subsistence marketplace and create education about this critically important global issue.

The purpose of AMA’s MASSIG is to foster and support a research community that makes a difference in the world. Madhu, his research and his other work  truly embodies the spirit of the MASSIG and stands as a shining example of what we all should endeavor to be in our careers.