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Winning in Emerging Markets

June 29, 2010

I’d like to share a video on the Harvard Business Review (HBR) Idea Cast.   Harvard Business School professor Tarun Khanna – coauthor of Winning in Emerging Markets: A Road Map for Strategy and Executionexplains how multinationals can thrive in emerging markets.

Asked what he thought was the biggest mistake companies make, when they’re trying to get into emerging markets – what do you think his answer was?

“ … by far the most common would be an overestimation of the extent to which their experience is going to be useful in a new context”.

It’s a very human reaction: if we’ve been successful and rewarded for what and how we’ve been doing things in the past, chances are we will unconsciously want to replicate this approach also in a new environment – almost regardless of the concrete cultural differences.

This can be a painful – and potentially expensive – mistake.

How can we avoid this very human reaction?

  1. Know thyself – what is your preferred way of doing business?
  2. Get to know your new cultural environment – what does ‘doing business’ look like there?  How do you build relationships? How quick or how slow do people make decisions?  Who takes the final decision?
  3. Adapt your strategy and your day-to-day interactions to fit the market’s preferences rather than your own.

For the whole video take a look at:

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