Vijay Govindarajan needs no introduction. He is affectionately called VG. He was ranked #3 on the Thinkers 50 list of the world’s most influential business thinkers. He is the Earl C. Daum 1924 Professor of International Business and the Founding Director of Center for Global Leadership, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College, Hanover NH USA. Here is his CV:
- Received President's Gold Medal for obtaining the first rank nationwide in Chartered Accountancy, India.
- Received MBA with distinction from the Harvard Business School, where he was included in the Dean's honor list.
- Received Doctorate from the Harvard Business School, where he was awarded the Robert Bowne Prize for the best thesis proposal.
- He has authored several international best sellers on innovation and execution with prestigious global publishers.
He is India’s pride who has made a huge difference through his innovative ideas such as Housing for Poor @ $300, and intellectual contributions globally. His “three-box approach” which emphasizes managing the present (Box 1), selectively forgetting the past (Box 2), and creating the future (Box 3) is unique and interesting. His work can be characterized as using innovation to solve complex social problems. His research, teaching, and consulting therefore address critical needs of India. Here is a list of his outstanding achievements and contributions.
VG’s Achievements and Contributions to India
- He encouraged GE to develop the MAC series of portable ECG machines in India priced between $500 to $1000 (The U.S. ECG machines cost upwards of $10,000). ECG is used to diagnose heart problems-- the biggest killer in India. The MAC series of ECGs have helped the rural poor in India. Even more importantly, the MAC series of ECGs are now sold in over 90 countries. GE has made India their global center of excellence for portable ECGs.
- He wrote the seminal Harvard Business Review (HBR) article that introduced the concept of reverse innovation (co-authored with GE CEO, Jeff Immelt). Reverse innovation is any innovation first adopted in a developing country. Surprisingly, such innovations defy gravity and flow uphill to rich countries. GE’s $500 ECG is an example of reverse innovation. Harvard Business Review rated reverse innovation as one of the ten big ideas of the past decade. His book on Reverse Innovation will be published on April 10 by HBR Press. (www.innovationreverse.com). Based on very strong pre-orders for the book, HBR Press believes that Reverse Innovation will surely hit the New York Times Best Seller List and Wall Street Journal Best Seller List. These are very high honors. This kind of visibility should further help the cause of solving the wicked problem of poverty through the help of business and their ability to come up with breakthrough innovations.
- He has worked with American multinationals over the past 30 years: He has worked with over 25% of Fortune 500 companies (You can see the full list of his consulting clients on his web site). He has persuaded these companies to invest in India to contribute to India's economic development. For instance, Deere opened an R&D center 5 years ago in Pune - based on his work with them. They recently introduced Krish Tractor for the small farmer in India - a runaway success.
- An article in HBR has led to a global movement to design a $300 House For The Poor. Companies like Tata and Mahindra & Mahindra have taken up this challenge. He recently held a $300 House Prototype Design Workshop at Dartmouth. He invited 3 very senior Mahindra executives for this workshop. Mahindra and other Indian corporates will surely mobilize their efforts to design a house for the poor.
Padma Awards, the country's highest civilian awards, are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. The awards are given for ‘distinguished service’ (Padma Shri); for ‘distinguished service of a high order’ (Padma Bhushan); and for ‘exceptional and distinguished service (Padma Vibhushan). And these awards are conferred by the President at Rashtrapati Bhawan in January every year. These awards are given to citizens of India in the areas of Arts, Education, Industry, Literature, Science, Sports, Medicine, Social Service and Public Affairs. However, they are also given to non-Indian citizens who contribute to India.
Padma Bhushan for VG
The Padma Bhushan is the third highest civilian award in the Republic of India, and is awarded by the Government of India for the people for their ‘distinguished service of a high order’. In 2007, Indra Nooyi, Chairman & CEO of PepsiCo, was honored with Padma Bhushan. And management guru, C. K. Prahlad was honored with the Padma Bhushan. Presently, VG has been ranked as the World’s Third Management Guru. He certainly deserves this prestigious award not because he is India’s management guru but a global Indian who made India proud globally and contributed immensely to India’s growth through his ground breaking idea, reverse innovation. Therefore, I request both Tamilnadu government and Govt. of India to take notice of VG’s achievements and honor this living Indian management legend with the award. It inspires other management gurus and academicians to share their immense knowledge with the world with a view to make a difference in the lives of others.
Founder, MSR Leadership Consultants, India
Where Knowledge is Wealth
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