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Reverse Innovation: Create Far From Home, Win Everywhere Hardcover – April 10, 2012

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Frequently Bought Together

Reverse Innovation: Create Far From Home, Win Everywhere + The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge (Harvard Business Review) + Beyond the Idea: How to Execute Innovation in Any Organization
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (April 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422157644
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422157640
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,450 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Named a Best Business Book for 2012 in strategy+business magazine

“Whether you are an executive of a global company or you are simply interested in innovation among cultural differences, creativity, and diversity, this is a lovely and persuasive read.” — Business Insider

“In Reverse Innovation: Create Far from Home, Win Everywhere, Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble make a compelling argument for companies to not just widen their lens, but shift it to a completely different context— that of developing economies.” — strategy+business magazine

“This lovely, persuasive work couples the focused repetition of a good textbook with the lively style of an entertaining article.” — Directorship (South Africa)

“Highly recommended... released this year to a chorus of approval from global business leaders this book explains the way in which the flow of innovation has changed... Reverse Innovation shows senior managers how to make innovation in emerging markets happen, and how these innovations can unlock business opportunities on a global scale - using real-life case studies to illustrate the theories.” — Business Executive

“The book presents its ideas clearly, with about half devoted to the general concepts and the other half to case examples of companies such as GE, Procter & Gamble and PepsiCo, which are leading the way in reverse innovation. If your company can benefit from reverse innovation – or might suffer from it—the book is well worth reading.” — Globe & Mail

“…a book that offers provocative insights into the quickly changing dynamics of the global economy.” “The book is rich with examples…” — The Wall Street Journal

“In Reverse Innovation, [the authors] argue that…western businesses must similarly learn new tricks from their emerging markets. It is an idea that they have been championing for years and which has become increasingly fashionable.” — The Financial Times

“The book, an extension of a 2009 Harvard Business Review article that Govindarajan and Trimble co-authored with General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt, reads like a how-to guide for executives looking to innovate beyond the U.S. and Europe...It's a useful and even inspiring read for any executive who cares about the future of business innovation.” —

Reverse Innovation is a must read for anyone seeking to participate in emerging markets, be they CEOs of multinationals, leaders of NGOs, or government policy makers.” — Stanford Social Innovation Review

“This accessible new book...provides a clear evaluation of the issues faced and expert advice on how to implement a reverse innovation strategy.” — Developing Leaders

“Govindarajan [and Trimble] writes about how reverse innovation is rapidly changing the way companies think and how that’s affecting the way they look at markets.” — Fortune (India)

“This insightful book makes a compelling case for the developing world supplying the strongest emerging market of the new century.” — Publishers Weekly

“This is a fascinating book for anyone interested in how concepts of innovation need to change in order to succeed, and an even more important book for those who can actually take part on the level the authors advise.” — 800 CEO READ

“A well-researched and thoughtful book.” — The Irish Times

“This book shows how, counter-intuitively, there are many circumstances when business models and products developed in emerging markets can provide new opportunities in rich economies also.” —

ADVANCE PRAISE for Reverse Innovation:

Jeffrey R. Immelt, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, General Electric—
“Govindarajan and Trimble offer a framework for the next phase of globalization.”

Robert A. McDonald, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Procter & Gamble Co.—
Reverse Innovation is a playbook for leaders who want to unlock growth in emerging markets.”

William D. Green, Chairman, Accenture—
“Innovation knows no geographic boundaries. This book is a defining work on how we invest and engage the future.”

Omar Ishrak, Chief Executive Officer, Medtronic, Inc.—
"Unique and important work, hard-hitting examples, detailed and actionable steps, and clear explanations.”

Ajay Banga, President and Chief Executive Officer, MasterCard—
“As the world’s economic center of gravity continues to shift—and as new consumers continue to emerge—it’s clear that the logic and business practices that drove yesterday’s success won’t drive tomorrow’s.”

Peter F. Volanakis, Former Chief Operating Officer, Corning Technologies—
“I wish I had this book ten years ago."

About the Author

Vijay Govindarajan is the Earl C. Daum 1924 Professor of International Business at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, and the first Professor-in-Residence and Chief Innovation Consultant at General Electric. He ranked third in the recent Thinkers 50 list of the greatest management thinkers in the world. Chris Trimble, a well-known innovation speaker and consultant, is also on the faculty at Tuck.

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Customer Reviews

That said, the book is an excellent read and very thought provoking.
The book offers a clear structure for understanding the unique role that emerging markets play as sources of innovation.
Ron Adner
I particularly liked the case studies, which offer great points of comparison.
Kara R

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By john moran on April 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great business books tend to either explain world-changing phenomena (e.g., Steven Johnson's Where Good Ideas Come From) or prescribe steps to become more successful (e.g., Jim Collins' Good to Great).

Reverse Innovation does both. It builds on groundbreaking earlier frameworks (including Clay Christensen's theory of disruptive innovation and Govindarajan and Trimble's own models of innovation execution) to both describe, and explain how to make use of, an astonishing phenomenon: emerging-market innovations that "defy gravity" to gain traction in developed economies.

This trend is real, and the authors have the examples to prove it - from John Deere and GE to numerous small companies and entrepreneurs you've never heard of. But the best part of the book is the combination of practical, how-to advice (they provide counterintuitive organizational steps to "create far from home and win everywhere") with the illustrations of how this trend is literally changing billions of lives.

The potential to win in rich markets as well as poor will attract every major corporation to solve the problems of those not at the "top of the pyramid." This is capitalism at its best: the profit motive as a phenomenal engine for the welfare of the entire world. Kudos to Govindarajan and Trimble for both uncovering the trend and providing a playbook for everyone to take advantage of it.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mal Warwick on April 30, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Back in 2004, a respected marketing professor at the University of Michigan named C. K. Prahalad raised eyebrows in the business community with a widely-read book titled The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid. In 25 words or less, he postulated that multinational corporations could grow their markets and their bottom line by reaching out to the billions of poor people who crowd emerging nations across the globe. Much of Prahalad's book consisted of "case studies" -- written by his graduate students -- that purported to support his thesis. Unfortunately, practically none of them did.

Here, eight years later, is the book that Prahalad -- now, unfortunately, deceased -- should have written. Govindarajan, a professor at Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business, and Trimble, a younger Tuck faculty member, have formulated a concept they call "reverse innovation" that is the key to doing business in those emerging markets that excited Prahalad's lust. Their book, too, is dominated by case studies, but in this case the examples do a good job of illustrating how multinational companies have successfully developed products that gained a foothold in developing countries -- though by no means necessarily at "the bottom of the pyramid."

"Reverse innovation" -- an ethnocentric term -- begins with the conventional wisdom that business innovation takes place in rich countries but asserts that transnational corporations wishing to become established in developing markets must cast off traditional thinking and develop products and services within those markets and base them on the needs and wants of people living there.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Pepijn Veling on April 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
World-class open-heart surgery for up to 1% of the costs of rich world comparables...: `Reverse innovations' - innovations developed for and adopted first in developing countries - have shown major potential in both emerging and, increasingly, developed markets.

The authors clearly outline why multinationals everywhere must and how they can learn to develop such compelling reverse innovations, in order to compete both far from home in vast and fast growing emerging markets, as well as in their own backyards.

A very exciting must-read for both those who are interested in sustaining business viability, as well as academics interested in exploring a rather new and stirring field of innovation sciences.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Abhijit on April 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Another gem from VG and Chris Trimble after the Other side of Innovation.

Why do we need to start from a clean slate in the developing world even if we have mastered the developed world in comparable categories?

Why would the developed world be interested in a product originally conceived in the developing world?

Traditionally it has always been the other way round.

And why ignoring these questions can cause incumbent corporations to lose in the long term?

A must read for innovators, strategists and business leaders.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C C Hang on April 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I first learnt the term "Reverse Innovation" from the impactful article "How GE Is Disrupting Itself" in the Sept. 2009 Issue of Harvard Business Review, co-authored by Chairman & CEO of GE (Jeff Immelt) and two professors (Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble). With "Reverse Innovation", products originally developed for markets in emerging countries would pioneer new uses when introduced back to the developed countries. It is the opposite of glocalization in which products developed in the developed markets are adapted to the less developed markets globally. I was immediately attracted to the tremendous potential of Reverse Innovation as a new growth strategy and wondered when the two professors would tell us more about their research findings, to answer questions such as why it would apply to many multinational companies looking for new business growth, whether it is easy or difficult to plan and implement, how one should frame the challenges and develop this game-changing innovation strategy, and what are other good examples beyond GE. I was thus overjoyed when I learnt of the publication of this book. It was very well written and it answers all the above questions. I highly recommend it to all business leaders and scholars in the field of innovation management. I believe this outstanding book will serve as a pioneer in stimulating interest, practice and continuing development of Reverse Innovation over the next decade.

The structure of the book is helpful with its breakdown into two parts. Part 1 is the Reverse Innovation Challenge.
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