Doctoral Student

Alicia Taylor DeSantola

Alicia DeSantola is a Ph.D. student in the Organizational Behavior program jointly offered by the Harvard Business School and the Department of Sociology at Harvard.

Alicia’s research interests center around entrepreneurial activity within the high tech and life sciences industries. Alicia is currently conducting research on the scaling and professionalization of start-up firms.

Alicia holds a M.S. in Management Science & Engineering, a B.S. with honors in Science, Technology & Society and a B.A. in International Relations from Stanford University. Her undergraduate honors thesis, which focused on organizational decision-making in high-stakes nuclear cooperation, was awarded Stanford’s Walter G. Vincenti prize. Prior to her doctoral studies, Alicia worked in San Francisco as a management consultant assisting life sciences companies in the strategic management of pipeline portfolio products.

Alicia DeSantola is a Ph.D. student in the Organizational Behavior program jointly offered by the Harvard Business School and the Department of Sociology at Harvard.

Alicia’s research interests center around entrepreneurial activity within the high tech and life sciences industries. Alicia is currently conducting research on the scaling and professionalization of start-up firms.

Alicia holds a M.S. in Management Science & Engineering, a B.S. with honors in Science, Technology & Society and a B.A. in International Relations from Stanford University. Her undergraduate honors thesis, which focused on organizational decision-making in high-stakes nuclear cooperation, was awarded Stanford’s Walter G. Vincenti prize. Prior to her doctoral studies, Alicia worked in San Francisco as a management consultant assisting life sciences companies in the strategic management of pipeline portfolio products.

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Micromax: Scaling the Largest Indian Mobile Handset Company

    Ranjay Gulati, Rachna Tahilyani and Alicia DeSantola

    It is January 2014 and Rahul Sharma, cofounder of Micromax Informatics (Micromax), the largest Indian mobile handset company, is preparing for an emergency conference call with his private equity investors. In the last six years, Micromax had grown its annual product revenues from $54M to over $1B. Unfortunately, it was difficult for the founding team to keep up with Micromax's rapid growth, triggering a series of missteps in 2010 that brought the company close to catastrophe. In response, investors had convinced Sharma and his cofounders to hire their first outside CEO, Deepak Mehrotra, and several senior professionals. With the founders working alongside the new "professionals," frequent overlaps and sometimes run-ins occurred. Now, both Mehrotra and the head of their smartphone division had resigned. Sharma evaluates their options: Would the founders need to reconsider their involvement in the company they created? Or was there still a middle ground where both founders and professionals could coexist in the business?

    Keywords: mobile; scaling; Indian software development; e-commerce; consumer behavior; management turnover; Mobile Technology; Management; Technology Industry; Telecommunications Industry; India;

    Citation:

    Gulati, Ranjay, Rachna Tahilyani, and Alicia DeSantola. "Micromax: Scaling the Largest Indian Mobile Handset Company." Harvard Business School Case 415-034, November 2014. View Details