This business and management course, taught by Harvard Business School professor Tarun Khanna, takes an inter-disciplinary approach to understanding and solving complex social problems. You will learn about prior attempts to address these problems across the emerging markets, identify points of opportunity for smart entrepreneurial efforts, and propose and develop your own creative solutions. The focus of this course is on individual agency—what can you do to address a defined problem? The creative process starts with immersion in the problem-at-hand and the harnessing of diverse perspectives.
The course then touches on issues related to financing, scaling up of operations, branding, the management of property rights, and the creation of appropriate metrics for assessing progress and social value, in the fast-growing but institutionally compromised settings of emerging markets.
The settings are diverse, sectoral (healthcare, online commerce, fintech, infrastructure) and geographic (India and South Asia, China, Africa, Latin America). But the emphasis is less on comprehensive coverage than on developing a way of thinking with a bias-to-action.
- An awareness of the opportunities for entrepreneurship in fast-growing emerging markets
- An understanding of a conceptual framework for evaluating such opportunities
- An appreciation of the types of problems that lend themselves to entrepreneurial solutions
Tarun Khanna is the Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at the Harvard Business School, where he has studied and worked with a wide range of companies and investors in emerging markets worldwide. He joined the HBS faculty in 1993, after obtaining an engineering degree from Princeton University, a PhD from Harvard, and spending an interim stint on Wall Street. During this time, he has served as the head of several courses on strategy, corporate governance, and international business targeted to MBA and PhD students and senior executives. In 2010, he was named the first director of Harvard University's Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute. He teaches a university-wide elective course, Contemporary Developing Countries. And he is the author of the 2018 book Trust: Creating the Foundation for Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries. For many years, he has served as the Faculty Chair for HBS activities in India and South Asia.