Friday, May 27, 2011

USA and Innovation

The May 2011 edition of the McKinsey Quarterly carried an article "Translating innovation into US growth: An advanced-industries perspective " which attempted to answer the question "Is America losing its innovation edge? " and opined that "The United States faces a future in which the elements of economic leadership are moving abroad. Reversing these trends will require the private and public sectors to collaborate."

I responded with a few comments of my own which have been included on the McKinsey Quarterly website:
Skilled immigrants are one of America’s greatest competitive advantages- the US has the unique advantage of having amongst its citizenry people from all parts of the globe. This “integrated diversity” is not yet fully utilized by corporations to its full potential. No other country operating in the global arena has this advantage. You may not find a Fijian or an Icelander in China or India but you would very well do in the US. And that’s a strength which needs to be leveraged.
Let us celebrate the "integrated diversity" of US and the pursuit of the "American Dream". Both of which contribute to the continued growth and prosperity of the US in a global economy.
More at Immigrants as Entrepreneurs: creating jobs, enhancing prosperity
What do you think? Is America losing the innovation edge? If yes, how do we get the edge back?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Local vs. Global; a dialogue with McKinsey experts

The McKinsey Quarterly recently carried an article Is your emerging-market strategy local enough? in which the authors opined that the diversity and dynamism of China, India, and Brazil defy any one-size-fits-all approach. But by targeting city clusters within them, companies can seize growth opportunities.

The article however focused only on socio-economic measures as the means of identifying the clusters- an approach which I think will not work for India. I commented on the article:

"The “clustering” in India would need to factor in state and linguistic boundaries and cannot be just on the basis of socio-economic indices. For example, the cluster around Delhi will span across the states of Haryana, UP, Rajasthan, MP, Uttarakhand, etcetera, each with its own local laws that will impact a marketer’s objective of achieving some kind of homogeneity across the cluster.

Similarly, the cluster around Calcutta will span across the Hindi-Bengali socio-linguistic divide while the one near Hyderabad will be impacted by the political crisis around which states that area falls in. Definitely a twist to the tale.

Look forward to the authors moving beyond the rudimentary socio-economic clustering; layering it with the colors from a politico-socio-linguistic palette to paint a more realistic picture."

The editors of McKinsey Quarterly " passed along your feedback to the authors, who then wrote a response, and we are considering them for publication in the Idea Exchange section of our upcoming print edition. We thought your comment about sociolinguistic divides in India was an insightful point that will push the conversation around strategy forward"

I am looking forward to seeing this conversation progress forward and will welcome your thoughts on this issue.

McKinsey’s Ireena Vittal responds:

Yes, getting granular in India requires understanding the market not only geographically but also through other relevant lenses, including language and community. Indeed, some of the best insights emerge at the “sweet spots” where all of these variables intersect. For example, one food retailer has looked at Mumbai as a grouping of 32 separate wards, and then as a mix of two or three cultural communities within each ward. The resulting clusters are very revealing. For example, there are catchments within Mumbai with food tastes that are similar to catchments in Chennai, and others that more closely resemble Ahmedabad.

Search Google


Site Meter