Out of the West
Much of the world’s economic growth is happening in emerging markets, but serving customers in China and India and Africa and elsewhere demands more than a bit of brainstorming in offices in the West. As Dartmouth professor Vijay Govindarajan argues, it requires actually setting up R&D centers in those countries, to get a close-up view of what customers want and need. And the resulting innovations—high-quality products and services at a fraction of current U.S. prices—represent the future not only in the emerging economies but on Western shores as well. Of course, that process—creating in poor countries and shipping to rich countries—runs counter to the way innovation has traditionally worked. Hence the term reverse innovation, also the title of Govindarajan's new book.