Conference on

Leveraging India: Strategies for Global Competitiveness

Sydney, Australia, April 11-12, 2012

Sponsored by

Emerging Market Internationalization Research Group (EMIRG)

The University of Sydney Business School


Institute of Global Management Studies (IGMS), Fox School of Business, Temple University

Convenors: Sid Gray, Vikas Kumar, Ram Mudambi, and Chinmay Pattnaik

India's rise in the global economy has generated interest among corporate executives worldwide as well as management, international business and strategy scholars. A recent publication, titled 'The India Way' (Capelli, Singh, Singh & Useem, 2010) by the Harvard Business Press showcases how India's top business leaders are revolutionizing management practice. Australian and other western multinationals that intend to do business in India or with India can learn from some of these rather unique management practices. Australian multinationals in particular have considerable experience in the Chinese/Asian market and are aware of the Chinese/Asian management techniques. As they expand their footprint, understanding the subtleties of Indian businesses becomes imperative.

As a large emerging economy, India is often clubbed together China (Gupta & Wang, 2009). However, businesses and academics are beginning to recognize the huge inherent differences between their civil societies, institutional infrastructure and cultural nuances. These differences imply consequent differences in strategy making, entrepreneurship, and individual and firm behavior (Khanna, 2009). As Australian businesses expand in Asia they need to develop a specialized and deeper focus on India in order to understand the challenges of doing business there. India fits into the strategy map of any future global enterprise by providing (a) megamarkets for almost every product and service; (b) a platform to dramatically reduce cost structures of global companies; (c) potential locations to transform any company's technology and innovation base; and (d) basis for emergence of the 21st century multinationals (Gupta & Wang, 2009).

The conference aims to advance our understanding of innovation, internationalization and entrepreneurship in India and how outsiders, particularly Western firms, can leverage India's potential for their own global competitiveness. The following three tracks will serve as the basis of discussion and debate during the conference:

 1.  Leveraging India's Innovation Potential: Multinational enterprises continue to do most of their R&D within the nation in which the parent firm is located. However, in several firms, some R&D activities are being moved to (a) foreign locations and/or (b) to external service providers or alliance partners (Contractor, Kumar, Kundu & Pedersen, 2010). In short, the R&D function is beginning to be both offshored and outsourced. India in the recent past has transformed itself from being a location for conducting relatively low skilled company activities to one that is an attractive place to establish high end R&D facilities. IBM, Cisco, GE and Microsoft are just a few of the pioneers in recognizing India's potential in serving as an innovation hub and have leveraged their connections with India for global competitiveness (Mudambi, 2011). Other advanced economy companies can do so as well, if they are armed with the right skills and knowledge and ready to make such a commitment. This track will discuss the new methods that firms are adopting in benefiting from India's innovation potential. This theme will address the new methods that firms are adopting in benefiting from India's innovation potential. The following illustrative questions will be addressed:

         What strategies can best help advanced economy firms benefit from the growing innovation capabilities in India?

         What is the role of domestic Indian firms vis--vis advanced economy multinationals in enhancing the innovation potential of India?

 1.  Learning from the Internationalization of Indian Firms: Indian firms have been active players in global business for a long time (Lall, 1983; Singh, 1977; Wells, 1983), have gained global dominance in certain key industries (Peng, Wang & Jiang, 2008; Khanna & Palepu, 2006; Lorenzen and Mudambi, 2010) and more importantly are unique in certain characteristics even when compared to multinational enterprises from other emerging economies. Indian firms' internationalization has been of-late (since 1995) characterized by significant foreign direct investment (FDI) to 'up-market' (developed economies) host locations, conducted by private entrepreneurial enterprises, primarily from the services sector (Ramamurti & Singh, 2009). On the other hand, China's outward FDI is mainly into neighboring Asian countries and resource-rich part of Africa (thus, to other emerging economies), spearheaded by state-controlled monoliths, primarily from the manufacturing sector (Morck, Yeung, & Zhao, 2008). These differences demonstrate the heterogeneity that exists even within emerging economy firms (Dymsza, 1983; Ramamurti, 2009; Lorenzen and Mudambi, 2010), and point to the potential for theoretical and empirical extensions of International Business theories with studies focused on India. This track will discuss the potential learning for firms based in developed markets as well as in other emerging markets from the rather unique internationalization path of Indian multinationals. The following illustrative questions will be addressed:

         What can advanced economy firms learn from the internationalization strategies of Indian firms?

         Are there strategic contexts in advanced economies similar to the Indian context? If so, how can advanced economy firms use their Indian experience to enhance their competitive position in their home markets?

3.    Learning and Leveraging Entrepreneurship in India: India is arguably the most vibrant democracy in the emerging world today. This breeds a unique sense of entrepreneurship among its people and institutions. While the state in China has been the primary driver of economic activity and growth, it is the individual entrepreneur in India that has been behind its growth story (Khanna, 2009). Unraveling the special characteristics of the Indian entrepreneur and as well as of entrepreneurship in India in general will have significant potential to enrich the field of entrepreneurship. New ventures in advanced economy markets may stand to learn how to create, operate and survive in extreme resource constrained situations. The following illustrative questions that we seek to address through this special issue are:

         How can advanced economy firms leverage Indian entrepreneurship to enhance their global competitiveness?

         To what extent can learning from Indian entrepreneurship be replicated in home country markets by advanced economy firms?

Keynote Speakers:
Farok Contractor, Rutgers University
Andrew Delios, National University of Singapore
Amitendu Palit, Institute of South Asian Studies, NUS
Ram Mudambi, Temple University
Ravi Ramamurti, Northeastern University

Guidelines and Information
Please submit an extended abstract of 800 - 1000 words (3 - 5 double spaced pages) by January 15, 2012 to [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> . Contributors will receive decisions by February 10, 2012.Confirmed participants will be required to register.  Registration will be free for presenting participants and includes lunches, coffee breaks and the conference dinner on April 11.
The best papers in the conference will be considered for inclusion in a special issue of a peer-reviewed journal.  Further details will be circulated in due course.

Please direct any questions regarding the conference to one of the convenors.
Sid Gray: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Vikas Kumar: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Ram Mudambi: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Chinmay Pattnaik: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>


Capelli, P. Singh, H., Singh, J. And Useem, M. 2010. The India Way. Harvard Business Press.Boston, Massachusetts.

Contractor, F.J., Kumar, V., Kundu, S.K., & Pedersen, T. 2010. Reconceptualizing the Firm in a World of Outsourcing and Offshoring: The Organizational and Geographical Relocation of High-Value Company Functions. Journal of Management Studies, vol.47:8, pp. 1417-1433.

Dymsza, W.A. 1984. Trends in multinational business and global environments: a perspective. Journal of International Business Studies, 15(3): 25-46.

Gupta, A.K. and Wang, H. 2009. Getting China and India Right. Jossey-Bass (Wiley), San Francisco, CA.

Khanna, T. 2009. Learning from economic experiments in China and India. Academy of Management Perspectives, 23(2):36-43.

Khanna, T., and Palepu, K. 2006. Emerging giants: Building world-class companies in developing countries. Harvard Business Review, 84(10), 60.

Lall, S., 1983. The new multinationals: the spread of Third World Enterprises. Wiley, New York.

Lorenzen, M. and Mudambi, R. 2010. Bangalore vs. Bollywood: connectivity and catch-up in emerging market economies. AIB Insights, 10(1): 7-11.

Morck, R., Yeung, B., & Zhao, M. 2008. Perspectives on China's outward foreign direct investment. Journal of International Business Studies, 39: 337-350.

Mudambi, R. 2011. Hierarchy, coordination and innovation in the multinational enterprise. Global Strategy Journal, 1(3-4): 317-323.

Peng, M.W., Wang, D.Y.L., & Jiang, Y. 2008. An institution-based view of international business strategy: a focus on emerging economies. Journal of International Business Studies, 39(5): 920-936.

Singh, D.R. 1977. Capital budgeting and Indian investment in foreign countries. Management International Review, 17(1): 101-

Ramamurti, R. 2009. What have we learned about emerging market MNEs? In Ramamurti, R. & Singh, J. (eds.), Emerging Multinationals from Emerging Markets. Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Ramamurti, R. & Singh, J. 2009. Indian multinationals: Generic internationalization strategies. In Ramamurti, R. & Singh, J. (eds.), Emerging Multinationals from Emerging Markets. Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Wells, L.T. Jr. 1983. Third World multinationals: The rise of foreign investment from developing countries. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

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