Speaking to industry leaders, students and alumni at a session at the Dubai Centre celebrating London Business School’s five years of commitment to education in the region, Professor Kumar highlighted the shift from Indians and Chinese looking to the west for jobs and the reverse happening at a rapid rate.
“When you go to the emerging markets it’s about growth, it’s about ambition and setting up businesses and factories,” said Professor Kumar, who recently launched his book ‘India Inside’ and is the co-director of the School’s Aditya Birla India Centre. Multinational companies are ramping up in new markets on a scale that is incredible and presents opportunities for westerners looking for jobs in India and China.
“We have to move our people from the west to the east and we have to make it easier. We have to pressure China and India to be as open to western people as westerners have been to Indian and Chinese immigrants.”
Professor Kumar believes this change will set corporate agendas over the next decade, adding “the Indian government needs to be encouraged to make it easier for Europeans and Americans to get visas to work in India.”
His presentation on ‘The Emergence of Growth Economies and Corporate Giants’ also touched on India’s ability to transition from services whilst changing perceptions that the country is not innovative enough.
“Bright ideas are bizarrely regarded as a Western preserve. Indians make good accountants and programmers, but are not the best for innovation. After all, where are the Indian Googles and iPods?,” Professor Kumar asked the hundred-strong audience in attendance at Dubai International Financial Centre’s Conference and Exhibition Centre.
He provided a compelling argument in order to refute this common perception, saying that during his research he has discovered that despite substantial innovation taking place in India, much of it has been “invisible.”
“Take for example, Intel – a company that prides itself on “Inspired Innovation that’s Changing the World." While Intel ensures consumers know they’re using a personal computer powered by Intel innovation, there isn’t any label on the product showing that the innovation originated in India.”
Professor Kumar touched on four types of innovations originating from India that remain invisible, including: Business-to-Business Products for Global Markets; Offshoring of Research and Development Services; Process Innovation and Management Innovation.
Professor Kumar’s hour-long session, which also referenced other emerging markets in Africa along with Vietnam and Myanmar, marked the fifth anniversary celebrations for London Business School, which delivers an Executive MBA and world-class executive education programmes in the region.
The Executive MBA programme is designed for managers and executives who already have substantial professional experience behind them. The cohort represents a range of exceptional, experienced people who can both contribute to and benefit from the programme.
Omar Al Hashmi, a student on the EMBA 2013 programme, said: “Presentations like this delivered by Professor Kumar provide a distinctive edge for business schools and it was a fascinating insight into India and emerging economies. India and China are the growth markets and young leaders need to learn and understand them as much as possible.”
The session was part of London Business School’s objective to provide thought leadership for its students and business leaders in the region.