Dr. Ram Rao
Professor of Marketing
Rao investigates how firms compete and how they should formulate competitive marketing strategies with an emphasis on pricing. Rao was among the first scholars to examine pricing issues with respect to retailing and advertising using game theory, which provides a framework to consider the interactions of multiple decision makers. He said the research he and his colleagues performed spurred new ways of thinking about problems.
"The body of research of mine in the last 15 years or so, which has been in the area of retailing, I think that's been significant," he said. "I'm very satisfied because it has contributed in a more comprehensive way to how we think about retailing, especially competitive retailing."
Rao has published numerous papers in marketing journals. He is the editor of the Web-based marketing journal Review of Marketing Science. He serves on the advisory boards of Quantitative Marketing and Economics, and Marketing Research Network. His research has received support from corporations and national funding agencies.
Rao said the most enjoyable aspect of research is working with his students and UT Dallas colleagues.
"The joy of working with other people and having those very sorts of accomplishments that you feel when you're working with other people — it’s a joint accomplishment," he said.
Rao joined the faculty in the Naveen Jindal School of Management in 1983. He has been Founders Professor since 1988. He was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year in 2006. The Greater Dallas Indian American Chamber of Commerce selected him as Educator of the Year in 2005.
When he isn’t teaching or performing research, Rao is an active member of the community. He sits on the board of the Methodist Richardson Medical Center Foundation, a non-profit organization that raises funds for hospital projects. He is active in the Dallas chapter of Food for Education, an organization he founded that raises funds to provide school lunches for underserved children in India. He is also serving as the organization’s first co-president.
He received his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the College of Engineering, Guindy, Madras, India. He earned his master's degree in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Science. He received his master's degree in engineering systems from University of California, Los Angeles and his PhD in industrial administration from Carnegie Mellon University.
The University of Texas System supports the professorship.
Rao is a leading scholar in applying game-theoretic analysis to examine the competitive effects of advertising, promotions and pricing on firms' strategies and profits.
"The Founders Chair has helped me in my research in a very direct way. It provides funds for me to travel to different places and work with others. But it also allows a certain message to reach the outside world about UT Dallas, that good work is recognized by the University."