Thursday, September 03, 2015

Know Your Babu: New tourism secretary Vinod Zutshi’s marketing skills may come handy now

Zutshi (right) with minister Dr Mahesh Sharma
FIRST, let’s take a close look at this photo. Newly-appointed tourism secretary and 1982 batch Rajasthan cadre IAS Vinod Zutshi is seen while being welcomed by minister of state for tourism (independent charge) Dr Mahesh Sharma in New Delhi on Wednesday. In the backdrop of the photo which was released by the tourism ministry on Wednesday, the photo of prime minister Nadendra Modi too stands out. Eyes say it all – the minister is likely to give Zutshi enough room to experiment, innovate and undertake new…
campaigns to promote tourism in the country. Those who are familiar with the topography of Lutyen’s Delhi will tell you, it’s just walking distance between Nirvachan Sadan, the building that houses Election Commission of India where Zutshi worked till recently as deputy Election Commissioner, to his new office, Transport Bhavan. But Zutshi’s priorities will see a sea change now.  The officer who was deeply involved in conducting of elections for the last seven years (first as Chief Electoral Officer, Rajasthan and then in Election Commission of India), may miss the actions of forthcoming Bihar assembly polls, the dates of which are likely to be announced in the next few days. But his new assignment will be no less challenging. Indian tourism needs new campaigns, coinage of new slogans in addition to consolidating the existing ones like Incredible India and Atithi Devo Bhava. Also, the ministry needs to integrate other branding exercises undertaken to promote Yoga and ensure cleanliness in public areas.
For Zutshi, tourism is not entirely a new sector. He served as chairman of Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation between February 2004 and November 2006 and then secretary, tourism in government of Rajasthan (January 2004 to October 2006). As tourism has always been a focus area for the government of Rajasthan, the post -- secretary (tourism) is always considered a key post in the state. He was also education secretary in the state. Earlier, he had served as collector in the districts of Dholpur and Jaipur respectively. He also served as director of information and public relations in the government of Rajasthan between July 1992 and June 1993.
In 1995-1996, he served as director of IFFCO. Founded in 1967, IFFCO or Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited is the world's largest fertiliser cooperative federation comprising 40,000 member cooperatives.
Zutshi had in-service training in international trade, restructuring of public enterprises, ethical issues in administration and negotiation strategies.
Hailing from Madhya Pradesh, he did his schooling in Kendriya Vidyalaya, Gwalior. Later, he did his MBA with a specialization in marketing from the Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), Delhi University. Maybe, the marketing skills that he had acquired in FMS three and half decades ago may come handy in his new role.

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