MUMBAI, August 17, 2010 - The qualities that make an entrepreneur successful remain the same from place to place. All that changes are the conditions to which they have to adapt and respond.
This was the thesis explained by Tarun Khanna, Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at the Harvard School of Business, in a panel discussion titled The Entrepreneur in Emerging Markets: Traits, Skills, and Strategies.
Asia Society India Centre conducted the program in partnership with Harvard Business School India Research Center and Taj Mahal Palace and Tower. Khanna was joined by panelists Aman Nath, Co-founder and Co-chairman of Neemrana Hotels Group, and Arvind Rao, CEO and Co-founder of OnMobile; and by moderator Malavika Sangghvi, a senior journalist and writer.
Fresh on the heels of the launch of his new book, Winning in Emerging Markets: A Roadmap for Strategy and Execution, Khanna drew on his extensive experience in the academic and corporate worlds to reveal secrets behind the entrepreneurial spirit. He presented several case studies to show the importance of understanding the economic environment, social conditions, and political scenario surrounding one's business. The key to success is crafting strategies that identify opportunities, potential hurdles, and ways around those hurdles, in the context of one's unique surroundings.
The other speakers reflected on their own diverse backgrounds to explain the prospects and impediments faced by their sectors. For instance, they provided different perspectives on the degree to which inefficient governments can obstruct business growth, and the potential for the private sector to catalyze the state.
Indeed, the successful entrepreneur—wherever he or she is—foremost deals with the cards that have been dealt. Beyond this, the speakers shared valuable insights into the conditions that arise in emerging markets, with key lessons on what it takes to nurture an idea into a successful venture in that context.