Winning in Emerging Markets

 Winning In Emerging Markets: A Roadmap for Strategy and Execution

 by Tarun Khanna and Krishna Palepu (HBS Press, 2010)

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In Winning in Emerging Markets, Krishna Palepu and Tarun Khanna outline a practical framework for developing emerging market strategies based not on broad categorical definitions like geography, but on a structural understanding of these markets. Their framework describes how “institutional voids” – the absence of intermediaries like market research firms and credit card systems to efficiently connect buyers and sellers – create daunting obstacles for companies trying to operate in emerging markets. Understanding these voids – and learning how to work with them in specific markets – is the key to success.

On the basis of more than a decade of research and practical experience with foreign multinationals and domestics companies in emerging markets, Krishna Palepu and Tarun Khanna present a simple framework that strategists and investors can use to map the unique institutional context of any emerging market. They offer advice and practical toolkits to help you determine whether to:

  • Replicate or adapt an existing business model in that market
  • Collaborate with domestic partners or go it alone
  • Navigate around that market’s voids – or actively try to fill them
  • Enter the market now or look for opportunities elsewhere
  • Stay in or exit the market if current strategies are not working

Actionable, field-tested, and full of company examples, this book is your must-have guide to tailoring and executing strategy in markets from Brazil to India and beyond.  The book has just been published in Chinese and Japanese.


Hear Krishna Palepu speak about the book:



Reviews of the book

“As I do every week, I want to recommend a book. This one is called “Winning in Emerging Markets: A Road Map for Strategy and Execution,” written by Tarun Khanna and Krishna Palepu…It is smart, thoughtful, and is filled with good research. It actually is a very interesting set of observations about emerging markets, what makes them tick, what makes businesses do well in them. It’s a first rate guide to emerging markets, really worth reading.” Fareed Zakaria listing the book as the “Book of the Week” on the CNN show, GPS

“The scope of this book’s research is broad and deep, the authors’ thinking is deliberate and well tested, and the result is a compelling must-read for any leader who is seeking sustainable growth in dynamic emerging markets.” Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company

“Learning to compete in emerging markets is one of the greatest challenges facing global businesses today. In this book, Tarun Khanna and Krishna Palepu show leaders how to navigate the different operating conditions in these markets and how to take advantage of the tremendous growth opportunities they offer in the twenty-first century.” Dominic Barton, Worldwide Managing Director, McKinsey & Company

“Emerging markets have piqued the interest of many business scholars. Much has been written about them, but this book is unique in that it proposes an actionable framework for assessing the challenges and opportunities associated with the institutional voids in such markets.” N. R. Narayana Murthy, founder and Chairman, Infosys

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See Krishna Palepu discuss the Global CEO Program