Yes Nike, Great Brands Are Polarizing!

I am sure you must have heard about Nike using Colin Kaepernick, the American footballer, in its new advertising campaign. In brief, Kaepernick’s refused to stand for the American anthem played prior to the start of the football match to protest police violence against African Americans. This earned him the ire of President Donald Trump,…

Is China Challenging USA as Global Tech Leader?

A decade ago, China would be dismissed as global technology and innovation hub. However, there has been a dramatic change over this time, and especially over the past five years. Just some data to consider comparing China’s technology sector to the USA:

Can IKEA Succeed in India?

IKEA is one of those iconic global brands that people either love or hate. Customers in Europe, where it has been operating for the longest time, love the cheap prices and the clean Scandinavian design sensibility. On the other hand, those who hate IKEA deride its cheap furniture and impossible to understand instructions for assembling…

How CEOs Subvert Boards

It is not often that the failure of a board of directors spills so openly into the public domain. But the ICICI board under the inept leadership of its Chairman, M.K. Sharma, has managed to make themselves the poster child for poor corporate governance in India. It has sullied the reputation of everyone associated with…

Being an Academic versus an Executive

Recently, I was invited by the Marketing Strategy Special Interest Group to deliver the keynote address at the European Marketing Academy Conference (EMAC). This annual conference brings together a thousand or so marketing professors from all over the world. My presentation was about the relevance of research done by business school professors for practicing managers….

Is India a Global Economic Superpower?

The Request for a Column Last month I received an urgent email from an Indian business magazine asking me to write an article on “India’s forward march as a Global Economic Superpower”. I wrote back: On your column, please excuse me as I do not agree with the premise of the title. I do not…

Zara: Fast Fashion and RFID

Last month I had the opportunity to visit Zara headquarters in La Coruna, Spain for a second time. A decade since my last visit, this company has continued to blaze a trail in the apparel industry, inventing what is now dubbed as “fast fashion.” Sales in 2017 for Inditex, the holding company (Zara accounts for…

Is the ICICI Governance Problem Systemic?

The blog post on ICICI governance, despite appearing previously on the Bloomberg Quint website, was rather popular (30,000 views) when reposted on LinkedIn. Readers really engaged with it by offering several comments on how to improve corporate governance – Thank you. In this post, I would like to share some of the comments with my…

ICICI Bank: The Corporate Governance Problem of India Continues

I have previously written about the particular agency problem for promoter-led companies: protecting minority shareholders. Promoters have considerable leeway to siphon corporate resources away from the minority shareholders via skewed contracts with related companies (e.g., tunnelling profits to firms where the promoter shareholding is larger) and undeserving pecuniary benefits for promoters (e.g., paying for marriage…

Why I Quit Facebook?

Last week, I closed my Facebook accounts. This seems to contradict the popularity of Facebook. It now has two billion users worldwide, of whom 1.4 billion are active daily users! While I understand the old rule that if you are not paying for a service, you are the product being sold, ultimately the privacy concerns…

Do We Need Chief Strategy Officers?

The Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) is a curious position. Some companies have them, while in other companies, such a position does not exist. In the latter, when you enquire why there is no Chief Strategy Officer in the organization, the CEO will dismiss the idea that such a position would add any value.  As one…