Posts Tagged ‘prahalad ’

Lessons From Emerging Markets

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

Turning the page

Another interesting year is rapidly winding down. This year, I had the chance to work with many gifted business and tech leaders, but it was particularly satisfying collaborating with innovators in developing regions — the Sub-Sahara, the Middle East and South Asia.

It’s time for Western multinational companies — especially those in the customer-facing sectors — to enter developing markets where consumer-led growth is robust but capital and resources are in short supply.


Remembering C.K. Prahalad

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

Invest time in languages and intercultural awareness. Focus on becoming part of global citizenry. In exchange for the opportunity to participate everywhere/anywhere in the world you have the obligation to do something productive, which will improve the world.  ~C.K. Prahalad

Distinguished scholar and visionary

The distinguished business scholar, C. K. Prahalad, died unexpectedly last week of a lung ailment at the age of 69. His contributions to the pursuit of business strategy and innovation are unparalleled.  He’s had an enormous influence on my work and that of my peers.

Dr. Prahalad was more than a celebrated management guru, he was a visionary.  He redefined the way that a growing number of global businesses deal with developing markets, and he helped to shape a new economic paradigm.


Ghana in the “R=G World”

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

Having just returned from Ghana, I was keenly interested Roger Cohen’s NYT piece today. He says,

In my lifetime, conditions have grown immeasurably better, freer and more prosperous for a majority of humanity, yet hand-wringing about the miserable remains the reflex mode for most coverage of planet earth.

Nowhere more so than in Africa, from which I’d just returned when the e-mail landed. During a short stay in Ghana, which will hold free elections in December, Vodafone had bought a majority stake in Ghana Telecom for $900 million (entering a fiercely competitive mobile-phone market) and I’d heard much about 6 percent annual growth, spreading broadband and new high-end cacao ventures.

Accra, the capital, is buzzing. Russian hedge funds are investing. New construction abounds. Technology enables people in the capital to text money transfers via mobile phone to poor relatives in the bush.

I think most of Cohen’s points are well taken. He doesn’t mention the discovery of oil off Ghana’s coast and the country’s fiber projects or the investments being made by multinationals in the country’s business infrastructure.  The business climate in the region is improving, albeit in successive approximations.  The country’s services sector — chiefly teleco and financial services — are contributing to Ghana’s high annual growth rate.  Inflation is a growing concern, but so far it’s been manageable.  The process leading up to this December’s election should be interesting.  So far so good.

It’s also true that Africa’s success stories aren’t newsworthy to many news consumers.  We mostly hear about war, corruption, disease and rampant poverty.  On this point, I recommend Charlayne Hunter Gault’s New News Out of Africa: Uncovering Africa’s Renaissance,” — it’s  chiefly about South Africa, but pertinent to the problem of media coverage across the continent.

If Ghana’s political environment remains stable and forward-looking, the country will be in a position to contribute even more of its stalwart intellectual capital to a “globalized” resource (R=G) community in the coming years.  So, even if the global media is fixated on the region’s challenges, the numbers will support a different story.  So look for Ghana and other gazelle nations of the sub-Sahara to lead the way.

On “New Age of Innovation”

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

Management guru C.K. Prahalad has an amazing knack for zeroing in on what’s salient.  Among his other big ideas, he’s introduced business practitioners to the importance of delivering services to emerging markets. In his latest book, The New Age Of  Innovation, with co-author, M.S. Krishnan, he advances the need for a new paradigm in business.

The duo discusses their book in the New Age of Innovation blog where Prahalad asserts that our industrial system has reached an inflecton point.

He writes,

“Ubiquitous connectivity (e.g. cell phones and PCs), digitization, convergence of technology and industry boundaries (e.g. consumer electronics, computing, communications), and the emergence of social networks have collectively put a turbo charge on this transformation. This transformation is affecting all industries.”

The transformation, he argues, is changing the way firms create value and, therefore, the way we all work.

He poses the following questions:

a. How are these trends playing out in your industry? Obvious impact (e.g. advertising, music industry) or subtle but significant (e.g. insurance) or weak signals for now but accelerating (e.g. shoes)?

b. Is there an emerging consensus among your colleagues on how it will transform the way you work? The way you approach your customers?

c. How will it impact the work of CIO/CTO/HR professionals? How well prepared are you for the changes needed in the basic approach to the function and the new skills needed (e.g. global project teams, flexible and resilient business processes)?

d. Will the nature of relationships between the CEO, business unit managers, and CIO/HR change? Should it?

e. Do your colleagues see IT as strategic or do they still persist in believing IT does not matter?

This transformation in business is dramatically changing the way firms will create value. How shall we adapt our business models to operate successfully in the new paradigm?

Good questions.