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Socially responsible marketing in pandemic times at CoKarma

Gaurav Nagpal (Department of Management, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India)
Namita Ruparel (Jindal Institute of Behavioural Sciences, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, India)
Himanshu Seth (Indian Institute of Management Rohtak, Rohtak, India)
Victor Saha (Jindal Global Business School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, India)

Publication date: 24 November 2022


Learning outcomes

After reading and discussing the case, the participant would be able to: comprehend the ethics in marketing strategies that were displayed by an entrepreneur in the challenging times of the Covid-19 pandemic; appreciate how the marketing was executed in a socially responsible manner through digital means when there was a conflict between the business and the social interest; and understand how the innovative services or products can be developed that turn the trouble into an opportunity. The case shall also enlighten the students on how to create suitable marketing messages in digital times. The purpose of this paper is to let the students appreciate how they can carry out marketing efforts for a business while keeping customer needs and aspirations at the core, how the marketing campaigns can be designed and executed in a socially responsible manner and how the product portfolio can be suitably altered to make it more valued to the customer. After reading and discussing this case, the students will also be able to appreciate that it is important to identify and address the customer’s pain which may be stated or unstated by the customer. The case intends to teach students how to identify and reap the opportunities that get created from time to time and to make them appreciate that businesses can contribute significantly towards societal gains by committing minimal resources.

Case overview/synopsis

The mainstream marketing discipline focuses on excessive consumerism as opposed to the concept of “socially responsible marketing” which advocates that business initiatives should be supported by ethical considerations. The coworking industry was one of the worst affected industries by the pandemic since their customers started working from their homes during and post the lockdowns, leading to a loss in revenues. The protagonist in the case had a strong belief that the business interests would be secondary to the overall interest of society, and therefore, he advised the customers on how they could work productively, safely and stress-free from their homes. As the lockdown was un-eased, the marketing campaigns were launched and executed in a very ethical manner, while designing innovative service offerings were designed.

Complexity academic level

The case is relevant for the students pursuing undergraduate and graduate studies in the field of business and management.

Supplementary material

Teaching notes are available for educators only.

Subject code

CSS 8: Marketing.



Disclaimer. This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision-making. The authors may have disguised names; financial and other recognizable information to protect confidentiality.


Nagpal, G., Ruparel, N., Seth, H. and Saha, V. (2022), "Socially responsible marketing in pandemic times at CoKarma", , Vol. 12 No. 4.



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