Reverse innovation from emerging markets

When:  Feb 28, 2019 from 03:00 PM to 04:00 PM (ET)
Speaker: Ravi Ramamurti, Northeastern University
Time: Thursday, Feb. 28th, 2019, 3PM-4PM
Location: Schlumberger-Doll Research (1 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA USA)
Registration: Registration is required. Please RSVP with the link below and arrive 15 minutes early.


For much of the past two centuries, innovations have flowed largely from rich to poor countries. "Reverse innovation" refers to the flow of innovations in the opposite direction, i.e. from poor to rich countries. The talk will explore why reverse innovation may be gaining momentum, what kinds of innovations poor countries are likely to produce, and the organizational challenges this trend creates for Western multinational firms. Examples of reverse innovation in different kinds of products and services will be provided.


Ravi Ramamurti is University Distinguished Professor of International Business & Strategy and Founding Director of the Center for Emerging Markets at Northeastern U. He studies strategy and innovation in emerging markets.

Ravi obtained his BSc (Physics) from Delhi University, his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedabad), where he received the Gold Medal for graduating at the top of his class, and his doctorate in business administration from Harvard Business School.

Besides Northeastern U, Ravi has been a visiting professor at Harvard Business School, at the Wharton School of the U. of Pennsylvania, and at the MIT-Sloan School of Management. He has also taught at Tufts University’s Fletcher School, the China-Europe International Business School in Shanghai, and IMD-Switzerland. Prior to academia, Ravi worked as a Consultant to the Indian Planning Commission, as executive assistant to the CEO of one of India’s largest engineering companies, and as a United Nations adviser to Bangladesh and South Korea.

For his “outstanding contributions to the scholarly development of international business” Ravi was elected a Fellow of the Academy of International Business in 2008. A survey ranked him among the top 1% of all scholars in his field. He is the author of eight books, including three published by Cambridge University Press and one by Harvard Business Review Press. He was elected in 2007 as president of the Academy of Management’s International Management Division. In 2017, The Globals, based out of London, recognized him for being the “most innovative thinker on strategy and innovation in emerging markets.” He is a six-time winner of the ADL Prize for Professor of the Year based on his excellence as a teacher. 

Lately, Ravi has been working with Vijay Govindarajan (“VG”) of Dartmouth on “reverse innovation,” which is about innovations diffusing from poor to rich countries (rather than the other way around).. Their article on “Reverse innovation, emerging markets, and global strategy,” won the 2012 EBS prize for best article on Innovation Management and the inaugural 2017 prize for Best Article published in Global Strategy Journal (GSJ).

Most recently, Ravi and VG have studied the potential for reverse innovation in an important sector—health care. They published “Delivering world class health care, affordably,” in Harvard Business Review (Nov 2013), which led to their new book, Reverse innovation in health care: How to make value-based delivery work (Harvard Business Review Press, 2018). They also just published “Transforming health care from the ground up,” in Harvard Business Review (July-Aug 2018) and have coauthored several opinion pieces in HBR Online.

Ravi has done research and consulting with firms and governments in more than 20 emerging economies. He has also been an adviser to the United Nations, USAID, Fulbright, the World Bank’s board, and to The Economist group on designing courses on emerging markets. He has given keynote speeches in Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, India, Singapore, South Africa, and the United States, and at many international academic conferences.

Ravi’s consulting clients have included organizations such as the American College of Healthcare Executives, Arthur D. Little, Bosch, Asia Center (Denmark), Cambridge Consultants, Cognex, EG&G, EMC, General Electric, Innovative Care Asia Pacific (Singapore), KPMG International, Albert Einstein Hospital (Brazil), Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Ivey Center for Health Research (Canada), Lab Products Assn., Lloyd’s, Dubai Ministry of Economy, Nielsen, Petrobras, Praxair, Reutgers, SK Group, Steel Authority of India Ltd., Tata Group, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and Wipro.

Ravi is quoted regularly in the business press, has published op-eds in Forbes, MarketWatch, Times of India, the Hindu, the Washington Post, and other publications, and been interviewed by Bloomberg Radio, NPR, China Global TV Network, and other media outlets.


Schlumberger-Doll Research
1 Hampshire St
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States
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Chang-Yu Hou