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Vijay Govindarajan        

Strategic Innovation Expert and World Renowned Professor

Vijay Govindarajan, known as VG, is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on strategy and innovation. VG was the first Professor in Residence and Chief Innovation Consultant at General Electric. He worked with GE’s CEO Jeff Immelt to write “How GE is Disrupting Itself”, the Harvard Business Review (HBR) article that pioneered the concept of reverse innovation–any innovation that is adopted first in the developing world. HBR picked reverse innovation as one of the Great Moments in Management in the Last Century. In the latest Thinkers50 Rankings, he was ranked the #1 Indian Management Thinker.

Speech Topics


Strategy is Innovation

Securing global presence is anything but synonymous with possessing global competitive advantage. Presence in strategically important markets is certainly a precondition for creating global competitive advantage. To convert global presence into global competitive advantage, the company must pursue three value creation opportunities: adapting to local market differences, exploiting economies of global scale, and maximizing the knowledge transfer across borders. Pursuing these value creation opportunities requires the firm to design the right type of organization (in terms of structure, systems, people, process, and culture), an organization that can simultaneously optimize local responsiveness, global scale, and knowledge transfer.

Reverse Innovation

In this Reverse Innovation Module, VG introduces the idea of developing in emerging markets first – instead of scaling down rich-world products – to unlock a world of opportunities for your business. Stemming from a pivotal article in Harvard Business Review, his reverse innovation presentation offers an important next step for companies looking to derive long-term value from emerging markets. According to VG, “Reverse innovation is a potent force that will transform the global economy over the next few decades. It will redistribute power and wealth to countries and companies who understand it and diminish those who do not.”

VG offers a glimpse at strategies from some of the world’s leading companies – from GE and Deere & Company to P&G and PepsiCo. There is no one industry that needs to reverse innovate; instead, all industries must have interest in the needs and opportunities in the developing world in order to thrive in tomorrow’s global marketplace.

Innovation Execution: Executing the Box 3 Strategies

The Other Side of Innovation - Solving Breakthrough Businesses Within Established Organizations

Even world-class companies with successful business models eventually hit the ceiling on growth. That’s what makes emerging industries so attractive. These markets represent huge opportunities for capturing long term growth and competitive advantage. But because they lack a proven formula for making a profit, they are risky and expensive–with dire consequences for failure.

Vijay Govindarajan argues that every organization’s survival depends on strategic experiments that target such untested markets, but few firms understand how to implement them successfully. Too many managers think that a great idea is enough to get them from business plan to profitability, but somewhere in the middle of the innovation process, most organizations stumble. Govindarajan reveals where firms go wrong on their journey from idea to execution—and outline exactly what it takes to build a breakthrough business while sustaining excellence in an existing one.

Based on an in-depth, multiyear research study of innovative initiatives at over 25 large corporations, Vijay Govindarajan identifies three central challenges to strategic innovation:

· Forgetting some key assumptions that made the current business successful

· Borrowing assets from the established organization to fuel the new one

· Learning how to succeed in an emerging and uncertain market

Govindarajan illustrates ten rules to help organizations overcome these challenges, and show how firms must rewire their “organizational DNA” across four main areas: staffing, structure, systems, and culture, in order for a promising new venture to succeed. He also spells out the critical role senior executives must play in managing the inevitable tensions that arise between today’s business and tomorrow’s.

Breakthrough growth opportunities can make or break companies and careers. Govindarajan can present a guide to execution in unexplored territory.

Global Strategy and Organization

Securing global presence is anything but synonymous with possessing global competitive advantage. Presence in strategically important markets is certainly a precondition for creating global competitive advantage. To convert global presence into global competitive advantage, the company must pursue three value creation opportunities: adapting to local market differences, exploiting economies of global scale, and maximizing the knowledge transfer across borders. Pursuing these value creation opportunities requires the firm to design the right type of organization (in terms of structure, systems, people, process, and culture), an organization that can simultaneously optimize local responsiveness, global scale, and knowledge transfer.

During Govindarajan's interactive presentation, participants develop an understanding of the following issues:

  1. How does global presence create three potential avenues for value creation: adapting to local markets, capturing economies of global scale,and leveraging knowledge across subsidiaries?

  2. How to design the structures, systems, incentives, people and processes to realize the three value creation opportunities?

  3. How to build a global organization that promotes a "global mindset"?

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