Creating Emerging Markets: Lessons from History

February 13, 2017

Taj Lands End, Mumbai, India


Business History

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The event seeks to explore and debate what we can learn from history at a time of turbulent change. It is built around the Creating Emerging Markets project (CEM), a foundational effort by Harvard Business School to capture the history of business leadership in emerging markets. At its core are interviews, many on video, by HBS faculty with leaders or former leaders of businesses and NGOs that span over four decades of experience. These interviews, with men and women of diverse backgrounds, address pivotal moments of transition, and candidates are selected for the unique perspectives they offer on the ways in which their industries have changed and grown over time. A recently produced short video provides a glimpse into the rich interviews that have been assembled by CEM. Doing Good by Doing Business is focused on the issue of corporate social responsibility.​

The ​Lessons from History ​conference explores the lessons of history for today's practitioners and policy-makers, as well as how to best capture those lessons. It will explore these broad issues through the lens of four major issues facing businesses in emerging markets today: 

  • Spurring innovation
  • Managing family businesses
  • Navigating business-government relations
  • Promoting responsible business practices
Discussions of these four topics will be led by special guest discussants: South Asian business leaders, historians, and scholars who are experts in their respective fields. Harvard Business School professors Tarun Khanna, Srikant Datar, and Geoffrey Jones will moderate these discussions. Discussions will be based around short clips from the CEM interview archive that address these specific themes. All of these clips are available to view on the 'Conference Video Clips' tab. 

Throughout each of the four sessions, the conference seeks to address the underlying questions: 

What is the value of history in business?

Are the accomplishments and failures of business leaders of the past relevant to the challenges faced by young business leaders in today's fast-gr​owing emerging markets?

What does history reveal about the responsibilities of business leaders today to their societies?

The event will begin at 11:00am with a special welcome hosted by Professors Tarun Khanna and Geoffrey Jones. 

Guests are invited to attend a dinner following the event, hosted by business historian Gita Piramal, beginning at 8:00pm. Transport will be provided. To RSVP, please visit the 'Registration' tab.  

We are holding a second, half-day event on February 14th especially designed for educators and archivists, although all participants of the first day are welcome. This session will run from 8:30 to 11:00am, and will explore the question: How can history be further integrated into management education in India? There will be an informal networking breakfast held prior to the session, beginning at 8:00am. To RSVP, please visit the 'Registration' tab.