Krishna G. Palepu

Ross Graham Walker Professor of Business Administration

KRISHNA G. PALEPU joined the faculty of the Harvard Business School in 1983, and he is currently the Ross Graham Walker Professor of Business Administration.  In addition to his academic position, Professor Palepu is Senior Advisor to the President for Global Strategy at Harvard University. Prior to this, Professor Palepu held other leadership positions at the School, including Senior Associate Dean, Director of Research, and Unit Chair.

Professor Palepu's current research and teaching activities focus on strategy and governance. Professor Palepu has published numerous academic and practitioner-oriented articles and case studies on these issues.

In the area of strategy, his recent focus has been on the globalization of emerging markets, particularly India and China, and the resulting opportunities and challenges for western investors and multinationals, and for local companies with global aspirations. He is a coauthor of the book on this topic, Winning in Emerging Markets: A Road Map for Strategy and Execution. He developed and taught a second year MBA course, "Globalization of Emerging Markets," which focuses on these issues. In addition, Professor Palepu Chairs the HBS executive education programs, "Global CEOs Program for China" and "Building Businesses in Emerging Markets."

In the area of corporate governance, Professor Palepu's work focuses on board engagement with strategy. Professor Palepu teaches in several HBS executive education programs aimed at members of corporate boards: "Making Corporate Boards More Effective," "Audit Committees in a New Era of Governance," and "Compensation Committees: New Challenges, New Solutions." 

In his prior work, Professor Palepu worked on mergers and acquisitions and corporate disclosure. Based on this work, he coauthored the book, Business Analysis and Valuation Using Financial Statements: Text and Cases, which won the American Accounting Association's Wildman Award for its impact on management practice, as well as the Notable Contribution to the Accounting Literature Award for its impact on academic research. This book, translated into Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish, is widely used in leading MBA programs all over the world. It is accompanied by a business analysis and valuation software model published by the Harvard Business School Publishing Company.

Professor Palepu has served on a number of public company and non-profit Boards. He has also been on the Editorial Boards of leading academic journals, and has served as a consultant to a wide variety of businesses. Krishna Palepu is a researcher at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and a fellow of the International Academy of Management.

Professor Palepu has a masters degree in physics from Andhra University, a post-graduate diploma in management from the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, a doctorate in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an honorary doctorate from the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration.

  1. Winning in Emerging Markets: A Roadmap for Strategy and Execution

    Most books thus far on emerging markets are either investing-oriented (Mobius, Pereiro), or country - or market-specific (Farrell, Lindahl), or descriptive (Friedman, van Agtmael). No book has definitively targeted the corporate strategists who need a practical framework and assessment tools for analyzing emerging markets, identifying new business opportunities, and planning strategy and execution. This book does just that. Rather than defining emerging markets by particular size or growth qualifications, Palepu and Khanna argue that the primary exploitable characteristic of these markets is their lack of developed infrastructures and institutions that might enable efficient business operations. Credit card systems, intellectual property adjudication, and data research firms are all market intermediaries taken for granted in advanced economies, for example, and operating without them poses specific challenges - as well as major opportunities. Building upon of the authors' series of popular HBR articles on the topic, the book gives managers a systematic framework for assessing the institutional context of any emerging market so that they can spot institutional voids, position themselves in the market, and finally build execution strategies that factor in an informed prognosis of that market's future. 

  2. How Companies in Emerging Markets Break Out

    In this interview with Harvard Business Review, Krishna Palepu explains how multinationals and local companies can win in emerging markets.
  3. Interview with IAE Business School on Emerging Markets

    Krishna Palepu attended the annual meeting of the Board and Academic Advisory Board of the IAE Business School in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he  spoke on emerging markets and the speed with which they are growing. Professor Palepu refers to Latin America as part of this phenomenon and explains the importance of Latin America as a producer of food and raw material for China and India.
  4. Business Analysis and Valuation: Using Financial Statements

    This book provides a framework for business analysis and has been used by business schools throughout the world. It provides a foundation for analysis using four key steps: 1) Strategy analysis: Identifying a firm's strategy and understanding sources of its competitive advantage; 2) Accounting analysis: Assessing how a firm's financial statements reflect its economics and determining whether any adjustments are needed. This new edition (5th ed) specifically covers measurement questions for firms reporting under US GAAP and International Standards; 3) Financial analysis: Evaluating a firm's performance using ratios and cash flow data; and 4) Forecasting future performance and estimating its value. These steps are applied to a variety of business contexts, including securities analysis, credit analysis, merger & acquisition decisions, and governance. The book includes a broad range of classic and new HBS cases to illustrate the concepts and applications.