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4 - Leadership in Emerging Markets - Tarun Khanna on Applying Strategic Thinking to Career Development

Tarun talks in detail about the mind-set with which entrepreneurs need to think about creating the conditions to create. He talks about the example of Charles Shao and how he battled the decline in trust in the milk industry in China. He discusses how Charles gave away IP (which seemed counterintuitive in the short run) to widen the profit pools of the industry as a whole and thereby improve the outcomes of his business.

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Tarun talks about developments in the field of Strategy and maps that to how individuals should think about their careers. He acknowledges the influence of Prof. Ben Jones (of Northwestern University) in shaping his thinking here. He talks about the fact that the world of knowledge is growing exponentially and we will know less and less (as a percentage) of what is to be known. He discusses how people should think about specialization and collaboration in this context and shares his perspective on the mind-set with which we should march into the future that can feel overwhelming.
 • 11m:46s • 
Tarun discusses how he has crafted his self-assigned space of thinking about issues around creativity and entrepreneurship in Developing countries. He talks about being known as the “clearing house” for something. He also talks about the tension between access to intellectual capital at Harvard and being located closer to the action that he is passionate about. He later goes on to discuss the allocating mechanism he uses to fill his time when he visits the various markets.
 • 06m:30s • 
Tarun makes the case for why it is critical for entrepreneurs in developing economies to build trust in their local economies. He contrasts the differences between a startup in Boston and its counterpart in Bangalore, Bogota or Beijing. Given the relative differences in maturity of institutions that provide support and the depth of talent in some of the associated areas, entrepreneurs starting up in emerging economies might have to deal with a lot of friction and Tarun makes the case for building trust for it to act as a lubricant in those circumstances.
 • 05m:34s • 
Tarun talks in detail about the mind-set with which entrepreneurs need to think about creating the conditions to create. He talks about the example of Charles Shao and how he battled the decline in trust in the milk industry in China. He discusses how Charles gave away IP (which seemed counterintuitive in the short run) to widen the profit pools of the industry as a whole and thereby improve the outcomes of his business.
 • 11m:01s • 
Tarun talks about variations in how companies and entrepreneurs think about returning capital to the shareholders and talks about the examples of BFIL (earlier SKS Microfinance) and Banco Compartamos to illustrate how you could have very different approaches but still end up building a successful enterprise over the long run.
 • 12m:10s • 
Tarun talks about how entrepreneurs (keen on having impact at scale) in developing economies should think slightly differently from their counterparts in more developed ecosystems like Silicon Valley. He urges them to include trust-building as part of the objective function in addition to the business metrics they are going after in building out their enterprise.
 • 05m:58s • 
Nugget
38.7
Measuring Trust
Tarun talks about the realities of building and measuring trust. He shares some of his thoughts on how entrepreneurs could take his central idea of creating the conditions to create and bring it to life when they work with multiple stakeholders. He urges the entrepreneurs to pick one stakeholder group and build trust with them as a starting point before looking to build trust with the entire system which can seem like a daunting task.
 • 05m:57s • 

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