World’s Best B-School Professors: Vijay Govindarajan
Tuck School of Business
Claim to Fame: Business Innovation
Harvard Business School, PhD, Business Administration
Harvard Business School, MA, Business Administration
Annamalai University, Bachelor of Commerce
At Tuck Since: 1985
Before Tuck: Harvard Business School, the Ohio State University, Indian Institute of Management at Ahmedabad
Fun Fact: I’ve travelled to over 90 countries in six continents
If I wasn’t teaching, my dream job would be: I was built for teaching
Best part of the job: When alumni call and say, “I just made a million dollars based on the insights from your class.”
Worst part of the job: Grading
According to Jeff Immelt, the CEO of General Electric, the research produced by Vijay Govindarajan is, “A great addition to a manager’s toolkit.” Professor Govindarajan’s work hones in on strategy and innovation. He stands firm on the idea that the only way companies can grow is through innovation. “Companies that are capable of strategic innovation delight investors with sustained growth and surprise competitors by changing the rules of the game,” he says on his website for “VG’s Innovation Quarterly,” his quarterly newsletter.
“VG”—as he’s known throughout the business world—worked with GE’s CEO Jeff Immelt to write “How GE is Disrupting Itself,” a Harvard Business Review article that introduced the concept of reverse innovation – any innovation that is adopted first in the developing world. Harvard Business Review has rated reverse innovation as one of the ten big ideas of the decade.
VG’s influence in business is evident having worked–and continues to work–with CEOs and top management teams in global Fortune 500 firms to discuss, challenge, and escalate their thinking about strategy. He has worked with more than 25% of the Fortune 500 corporations and he was the first Professor in Residence and Chief Innovation Consultant at General Electric. He has published nine books, including two best sellers Ten Rules for Strategic Innovators and The Other Side of Innovation.
More recently the professor has created a buzz for his proposed $300 house project, global effort to rebuild slums and impoverished communities across the world.
“VG has a talent to push each individual’s thinking into a new realm. His preparation, breadth of experience, and classroom execution are truly unique. Nearly 20 years later, I still use the lessons from his class.” – Anil Chitkara, T’94
“I came into contact with Professor VG through the $300 house project. Professor VG’s vision and his courage to execute on that vision has led to a significant movement behind an idea like affordable housing for millions of fellow human beings around the world. He is a thought leader who has inspired several people around the world to contribute towards this vision.” – MBA Student – Tuck 2012
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