Antoine van Agtamel, who first coined the term ‘emerging markets’, argues the twenty-first century will be the ‘Emerging Markets Century’. Ruchir Sharma who has written extensively on the subject of ‘Emerging Markets’ in his much talked about work ‘Breakout Nations: In search of the Next Economic Miracle’ has the following to say to highlight the relevance of ‘Emerging Markets’ in contemporary times: ‘In 1970 the mania was for the top US companies like Disney, which had been the “go-go stocks” of the 1960s. In 1980 the hot play was natural resources, from gold to oil. In 1990 it was Japan, and in 2000 it was Silicon Valley….The mania at the start of the 2010s was the big emerging markets, in particular the belief that the economies of China, India, Brazil, Russia and South Africa (BRICS) would continue growing at the astonishingly rapid pace of the previous decade’. Business seems to be strongly rooted in these emerging economies not just as markets but also as sources of goods, innovation and competitive services. This course seeks to look at business opportunities and challenges in ‘emerging markets’ in terms of ‘business systems’. The concept of ‘business systems’ is associated with Richard Whitley, an expert on Organizational Sociology. In his works Whitley has raised some very interesting questions which were not addressed earlier. Some of these questions are,’ Why do we have different business systems in different countries?’,‘Why different countries have different business systems? etcetera. The moment we talk of different business systems one is prompted to think of unique institutional mechanisms in different national systems. These unique institutional mechanisms (or lack of them) haven’t emerged from thin air. In fact, in the Asian context, some of these institutions are rooted very much in a very unique socio-cultural milieu. These have led to large FDI outflows from BRICS as also government to government aids and grants. While on the one hand these unique business systems have thrown up concepts like ‘Guanxi’ in China or ‘jugaad’ in India, these have also thrown up challenges of marketing to large Bottom of Pyramid (BOP) markets and social business models. It is interesting to note that these unique institutions are perceived by many as cases of ‘institutional voids’. This course seeks to encourage students to look at the concept of ‘emerging markets’ through various prisms and help them to appreciate the nuances of these business systems, their unique political, economic, social and cultural roots. The idea behind this approach is to appreciate the innovative practices from emerging markets in terms of product innovation, price innovation, integrating socio-economic and political institutions to achieve business objectives. This course seeks to focus on emerging markets to understand uniqueness of these markets, industry structures and socio-cultural milieu as constituting unique Business Systems.
- Teacher: Prof. Sumit Mitra