Purpose

This book looks at successful and sometimes not so successful strategies, operations, and innovations within India. We have distilled lessons from our decades of practical work experience in the country. We leverage more than 100 client engagements in India and other emerging markets as well as countless research assignments on India’s macro- and micro-economic environment. In addition, more than 100 case studies created in the last few years in the context of the Porter Prize, provide us with detailed insights into the way business is done in India. The book clearly addresses the Indian context; however, many approaches and ideas can be applied to other emerging markets as well.

We hope that our work will offer useful insights to practitioners and professionals working in any one of the four company types described above or those trying to establish their own enterprise. We also hope that students with an interest in emerging markets and their challenges will find reading our book useful. Some 20 cases in nearly as many different industries are covered. To increase the impact of our case studies, each case is preceded by an overview of the relevant industry to establish context and relevance.

Overall we are guided by two seminal works on strategy. Porter’s Harvard Business Review’s article “What is Strategy?” and Lafley and Martin’s more recent book Playing to Win. Rather than identifying yet another framework, our book is loosely guided by the ideas in these works and focuses more on the practical implications of strategy, operations and innovation in emerging markets. As can be seen from many of the cases that we discuss, success in India is often the result of unsuccessful attempts, quick course corrections, customer-focused innovations, and relentless push for cost optimization and scale. Being successful in India is not rocket science, but it does require entrepreneurs to get all the various pieces of the puzzle right and to work on a value proposition that makes sense to discerning Indian customers.

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© 2018 Wilfried Aulbur and Amit Kapoor

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