• Vijay Govindarajan

Vijay Govindarajan

Tried and tested ideas from the intersection of strategy and innovation

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2015 Ranking: #13


Vijay Govindarajan (known as VG) is an internationally recognized expert on business strategy, globalization and innovation. While working as the first-ever Professor in Residence and Chief Innovation Consultant at General Electric, he pioneered the concept of Reverse Innovation to describe innovations first adopted in the developing world.

The article he co-authored on the concept with GE’s CEO Jeff Immelt and Chris Trimble won the McKinsey Award for Best Article and was chosen by the Harvard Business Review as one of the great moments in management of the last century.

Govindarajan is also responsible for posing the question that sparked a global challenge to build a $300 house, which earned him the Thinkers50 CK Prahalad Breakthrough Idea Award in 2011. In 2013, he was shortlisted for the Thinkers50 Innovation Award.

More than a quarter of the CEOs and top management teams in the Fortune 500 have invited VG to work with them on strategy issues. His clients include Boeing, Coca-Cola, Colgate, Deere, FedEx, GE, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, J.P. Morgan Chase, Johnson & Johnson, New York Times, Proctor & Gamble, Sony, and Wal-Mart.

His book Reverse Innovation (with Chris Trimble) is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller.

His most recent book is The Three Box Solution (HBR, 2016). In it, he argues that companies need to master three boxes: box 1. Managing the present, box 2. Selectively forgetting the past, and box 3. Creating the future. Most remain stuck in box 1.

Govindarajan is the Cox Distinguished Professor at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business. After training as an accountant in India, he earned a Ph.D. from Harvard Business School.

Books and Publications

Reverse Innovation (with Chris Trimble)
The Three Box Solution (HBR, 2016)