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Winning in Emerging Markets

Emerging Markets Symposium 2012
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (left) speaks with Ravi Ramamurti, Distinguished Professor of International Business and Strategy as well as Director of the Center for Emerging Markets, at the 2012 Emerging Markets Symposium: Winning in Emerging Markets. Photo by Brooks Canaday.

Mass­a­chu­setts Gov. Deval Patrick said on Thursday morning at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity that edu­ca­tion, inno­va­tion and infra­struc­ture drive the devel­op­ment of growing economies. Mass­a­chu­setts, he added, has these traits in sur­plus, making the state an ideal busi­ness partner.

“There’s a great oppor­tu­nity, it seems to me, in this glob­al­ized economy for Mass­a­chu­setts in par­tic­ular,” Patrick told busi­ness and aca­d­emic leaders at the start of Northeastern’s fourth annual Emerging Mar­kets Sym­po­sium, which was spon­sored by the university’s Center for Emerging Mar­kets. “This glob­al­ized economy is all about an explo­sion of knowl­edge, and we have that in spades.”

World-​​class research uni­ver­si­ties like North­eastern, Patrick said, not only drive the state’s economies but also make it an ideal busi­ness partner for emerging mar­kets in the BRIC coun­tries: Brazil, Russia, India and China.

He noted that an invest­ment in edu­ca­tion and inno­va­tion rep­re­sents a long-​​term com­mit­ment to eco­nomic growth in Mass­a­chu­setts, in the United States and in emerging mar­kets worldwide.

“All of these things create jobs, but they also create a plat­form for future growth,” Patrick said in his remarks, which were fol­lowed by an open and engaging question-​​and-​​answer ses­sion with sym­po­sium attendees.

Patrick’s talk of eco­nomic devel­op­ment and job cre­ation was not just rhetoric: He and his admin­is­tra­tion are sup­porting a com­po­nent of pending eco­nomic devel­op­ment leg­is­la­tion, also known as the Speaker’s Jobs bill. About half of that $50 mil­lion pro­posal will be eli­gible for pri­vate research enti­ties like North­eastern, which focuses on eco­nomic devel­op­ment at levels across the uni­ver­sity, from the Center for Research Inno­va­tion to the student-​​run ven­ture accel­er­ator, IDEA.

Ravi Rama­murti, a Dis­tin­guished Pro­fessor of Inter­na­tional Busi­ness and Strategy in the Col­lege of Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion and director of the Center for Emerging Mar­kets, described the annual sym­po­sium as an out­reach event for the greater Boston area’s busi­ness sector. The sym­po­sium, he said, was designed to share some of the field’s top aca­d­emic research with on-​​the-​​ground busi­ness professionals.

“We do this to increase aware­ness of the impor­tance of emerging mar­kets for com­pa­nies and indi­vid­uals in Mass­a­chu­setts and, more broadly, in the United States,” Rama­murti said. “This is an impor­tant field with enor­mous potential.”

Pre­sen­ters at the sym­po­sium included Sanjay Mir­chan­dani, the chief infor­ma­tion officer and chief oper­a­tion officer of EMC Corp.’s Global Center of Excellence.

Mir­chan­dani stressed the impor­tance of inno­va­tion — or, as he put it, “the lifeblood of com­pa­nies like ours” — in a world where tech­nology is both rapidly changing and becoming glob­ally acces­sible because of advances like cloud com­puting. Lev­eling tech­nology access, he said, may help teams around the world col­lab­o­rate on the same projects, pro­viding new oppor­tu­ni­ties within one com­pany or between several.

“I don’t think anyone in the world has a monopoly on inno­va­tion or talent,” he said. “It has to be about working well together.”

The sym­po­sium also included pre­sen­ta­tions by Luis Bon­nell, CEO of Lib­erty Inter­na­tional, and Giri Chakravarthi, pres­i­dent, Emhart-​​Asia, of Black& Decker, on “Cap­turing Busi­ness in Emerging Mar­kets: CEO Per­spec­tives”; Michael Can­talino, a 2012 North­eastern busi­ness grad­uate, and Eliz­a­beth A. Cher­chia, a cur­rent stu­dent, on “Social Entre­pre­neur­ship in Africa: Per­sonal Jour­neys”; Venetia Kon­to­gouris, man­aging director of Venkon Group LLC, on “Ven­ture Cap­ital and Pri­vate Equity in Emerging Mar­kets”; and Nigel Burton, chief mar­keting officer of Colgate-​​Palmolive, on “Serving Con­sumers in Emerging Mar­kets Profitably.” 

Article by Matt Collette