Prithwiraj Choudhury

Assistant Professor of Business Administration


Prithwiraj (Raj) Choudhury is an assistant professor of business administration in the Technology and Operations Management Unit. He joined the HBS faculty after three years as an assistant professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. In his research, Professor Choudhury focuses on innovation in emerging markets. His two major areas of inquiry concern the management of human capital within innovative firms and the interactions between multinational firms and local entities in emerging markets. He was awarded the Haynes Prize by the Academy of International Business and recognized as the most promising scholar under the age of 40 in the field of international business. Professor Choudhury earned his DBA at HBS, receiving the Wyss Doctoral Research Award. He also holds degrees from the Indian Institute of Management and the Indian Institute of Technology. Before pursuing his doctorate, he worked at McKinsey & Company, IBM, and Microsoft Corporation.

  1. How Return Migrants are helping Multinational Firms innovate in Emerging Markets

    I study how return migrants are helping a Fortune 50 multinational firm innovate in an emerging market R&D center. Return migrants file higher number of patents compared to local employees, however this might be endogenous to their underlying ability. More interestingly, I study the effect of returnees on their direct reports. I exploit a natural experiment where undergraduates joining the firm are randomly assigned a returnee or local manager and find that direct reports of returnees are more likely to file a U.S. patent compared to direct reports of local managers. I also study longitudinal trends of human capital over the first 10 years of this R&D center and find that direct reports of returnees emerge as the most important group of innovators within the center.

  2. Hiring Stars from Remote Towns

    High ability individuals can be constrained from commensurate employment opportunities due to their geographic location. Firms with nationwide hiring practices can benefit from facilitating the migration of high ability individuals from low employment districts to regions with better employment opportunities. Exploiting a natural experiment within one of India’s largest technology firms, this paper establishes that individuals hired from low employment districts outperform their mainstream counterparts. The paper also finds evidence of selection – individuals hired from low employment districts outperform their mainstream counterparts in standardized tests of logical and verbal ability at the time of recruitment.

  3. Bio-Piracy or Prospering Together?

    In a series of studies we analyze the phenomenon of patenting Chinese and Indian herbal formulations by western entities. We analyze the institutional pushback to such patenting from India and China that leads to codified prior art being available to patent examiners in the U.S. and Europe. We study the effect of this codification of prior art on the trend and nature of future patenting. We also examine the ethnicities of inventors on herbal patents and find evidence of cross-border migration and knowledge transfer – most western patents are filed by scientists of Chinese or Indian ethnicities. Finally, we also examine 17 detailed case studies from 10 emerging markets and explore conditions under which rents from filing herbal patents are shared by the western firm and the indigenous community.