The ranking of companies and business leaders has become something of a cottage industry in recent years. But what do they tell us about anything? Quite a bit, it turns out. You just have to learn to read between the numbers.
‘Russian management’ may seem like a conflict in terms to some cynics in the business world, but a new programme for the region’s largest bank created by INSEAD and the Moscow-based New Economic School is changing all that.
Indebtedness is both a consumer and a financial industry problem. Regulatory bodies think more banking regulations will fix the problem. INSEAD Professor of Banking and Finance Jean Dermine is not so sure.
Rapid economic growth and an increasing demand for travel should make it easy to make money in the airline business in India. But it’s not. One private company explains how it’s navigating through the clouds.
What is it about train travel that evokes a sense of romance and nostalgia, and what is the mystique and allure of trains? Who better to ask than the chief executive of the Orient-Express, the iconic hotel on wheels and arguably the ultimate train ride?
Sub-prime mortgages were supposed to put an end to segregated neighbourhoods by allowing affordable housing to more people. But a new study shows that better access to mortgages leads to more - not less - racial segregation.
At a time when business and industry are going through mega-changes and Wall Street capitalism comes under fire, the energy and innovation of the entrepreneur are more important than ever, says the founder and CEO of Ariadne Capital.
GCC nations have attempted to modernise and standardise their legal frameworks in the past 30 years to encourage foreign investment in this rapidly growing region. But how much investment can be expected when foreigners can’t own their businesses outright and business debts are secured by a cheque?
As the winds of change sweep the Arab world, the world is also beginning to view the region and Muslims in a different way. Gallup polls show that more than 80 percent of the American public said that they sympathised with the protests in Egypt.
When the flashy Emirate of Dubai asked for a six-month moratorium on its debt obligations just over a year ago, the world trembled. In reality, the problems of Dubai had been well-known in the region for over a year: unfinished developments, redundancies with expatriates returning to their home countries and the collapse of the property market.
No longer content to be cost and talent arbitrage destinations, emerging markets are becoming hotbeds of innovation, says SD Shibulal, co-founder of Infosys Technologies, one of India's leading IT firms
Despite the positive developments for women in India -- increased visibility in the public sphere, presence of women in the labour force across international borders and lower fertility rates--gender discrimination not only persists but also has seen little decline.
INSEAD alum Fabian Hansmann (MBA '06D) has taken a novel approach to entrepreneurship. His organisation identifies opportunities and builds a team, but then matches business ideas and opportunities with aspiring entrepreneurs and also tries to raise funding.
As China's middle class expands, does consumption behaviour change? According to Sir David Tang, founder of Shanghai Tang, consumption behaviour doesn't shift with economic development; it is only perceived to do so.
Uncertainty surrounds the security and sustainability of energy supplies in the UK from 2015 onwards, with energy prices rising – in some cases – to uncomfortably high levels. “Gas would be a very important bridge to take us to the Elysian fields of a much cleaner energy scene of onshore and offshore wind, renewables, and an expectation of a very large chunk of nuclear,” says Alistair Buchanan, Chief Executive of Ofgem (the Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets), speaking at The Economist’s recent UK Energy Summit.
Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) is one firm that knows very well that its environmental and economic impact extends well beyond its factory gates. This starts with the ingredients it needs for its products to the natural resources required to make the packaging, "extending all the way to the people who buy and consume our drinks and handle the packaging," says CCE Europe's Communications Director, Shanna Wendt (YMP Sep '05).
The world will face a 40 per cent shortfall in water supplies by 2030. The good news is that if we are smart, we can meet the challenge successfully. But this can only happen through co-operation between industry, governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and communities, SABMiller’s head of sustainable development, Andy Wales, told INSEAD Knowledge on the sidelines of the LBC’s (London Business Conference) ‘Corporate Water Scarcity Risk Management Conference’ held recently.
Women are far more likely to be in positions of leadership in social enterprises than in the traditional small and medium business sector. That was one of the main findings of research by the UK Social Enterprise Coalition based on a survey. Some 26 per cent of social enterprises could be described as 'women-led', almost twice as many as for small businesses for which the figure was 14 per cent.
When it comes to the notion of a sustainable low carbon economy, governments around the world may like the concept but are either reluctant or incapable of developing the means to make it reality, says Jonathon Porritt, founder director of Forum for the Future. It has to be done through the markets, through various instruments and market mechanisms -- but the markets cannot do it unaided. It is public policy that will shape the markets, which in turn could deliver a low carbon future.
In 2006, Brendan May, then managing director of Planet 2050, Weber Shandwick's corporate responsibility and sustainability practice, received an email message: “Hi. Can you look into getting some CSR -- how much does it cost, what does it involve?” Forwarded by a friend, it came from someone in a small American company who had read something about CSR on the plane. “Can you help?” his friend asked.
May said he didn’t think he could, because “this is a state of mind. This is not something you can get out and buy or outsource what should be a whole way of doing business .... something that has to be woven into the core DNA of your business. That’s not how you do sustainability.”
While climate change has been in the headlines in recent months due to the Copenhagen talks and concerns about alleged data manipulation, businesses don’t appear to be making much headway in terms of carbon reduction. That’s according to a new EIU study due out later this month, which will reveal that net gains by businesses have been close to zero since last year.
The outcome of the Copenhagen climate conference may have disappointed some business leaders and may not be the ‘Global Deal’ that many, including the UK’s Carbon Trust, had been hoping for, but it is being touted as another small step forward in the long process towards reducing carbon emissions.
The internet has changed the way we live. Many of us now get our news online rather than from newspapers, fans connect with their favourite bands on music social networks rather than try to catch them after a concert, and we can get attractive high-street deals from the comfort of our home.
Social entrepreneurs and enterprises may have limited resources but they’re resourceful and are capable of tackling failed markets, as well as intractable ‘wicked’ problems. But the key question, according to Pamela Hartigan, Director of Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Said Business School, Oxford University, is how far can social innovation help forge a new global order that is more sustainable, responsible, and humane than what has gone before?
Kancheepuram, some 80 kilometres south-west of Chennai, is well known for its 500-year-old heavyweight silk sari tradition. But chances were that its ornate, intricate pieces were woven by children between the age of five and 13, working 12 to 16 hours a day and bonded to a master weaver until their parents’ debt was paid in full.
Social networking is a fast-growing online trend that is changing the media landscape, particularly in the way in which consumers and companies interact with each other. These sites enable community participation and include blogs, discussion forums, social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as consumer review sites. No editor is required, which means the content is not controlled and publishing costs are always near zero.
Born to Indian parents in Texas, Deval Sanghavi lived the American dream. After graduating from college with two business administration degrees, he went to work at Morgan Stanley’s strategic finance department at its headquarters in New York City.
Falling demand, collapsing yields, low consumer confidence and fears of a pandemic have thrust the aviation industry into survival mode. Airlines are expected to post losses of US$9 billion this year, with an unprecedented drop in revenue of 15 per cent, that will see industry revenues shrink by US$80 billion to US$448 billion.
Like many societies, Malaysia is in a period of transition from one generation to a new one and with that comes many issues. After 51 years of independence, the question of who they are as a nation is one that plays a lot on people's minds these days.
iXiGO.com has the rare combination of a passionate team with an idea that is not only innovative but also timely. The travel search engine was launched in a market where Indian online travel agents had received more than 100 million US dollars in venture funding.
Lufthansa carried a total of 70.5 million passengers last year and was ranked number one by IATA (International Air Transport Association) for having carried the most number of passengers on international scheduled routes, leaving number two Air France lagging some 20 per cent behind.
Social enterprises are not immune to the effects of the economic downturn. Jop Blom, a social entrepreneur based in Amsterdam, says as companies turn their attention to survival, they are focusing on reducing costs and corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects are cut as these are not regarded as a priority during these times.
Ever played Mikado or ‘pick-up-sticks’? It’s a game that requires skill, strategic planning and a steady hand. Serra Titiz decided to call her company 'Mikado' because it's an unusual name name in Turkey, but mostly because that's what her company is there for: to provide skills, strategy and a steady hand to businesses which want to make an impact in society.
The day before she was to launch her new company, Maya Hari found that she was expecting her first baby. She decided to put the launch on hold. Two years later, in August 2008, Stylkist was set up, but this came just days before Lehman Brothers went under and the financial meltdown began.
In an economic downturn, budgets get cut – whether they be for training, travel, marketing or PR activities. But these cuts go well beyond the normal discretionary items. Where companies had recently started spending money to promote and enhance their sustainability, they are now refocusing their attention on cost-cutting instead.
Behind the doors at no. 84 rue de Jemmapes along St Martin’s Canal in Paris, social entrepreneurs are busy working on their own and with one another to find ‘innovative solutions’ aimed at bringing about change in society.
University students in China were given 1,000 RMB ($146, €112) each and told to turn their ideas into reality: ‘go into the streets, market the products and build something.’ A year later, most of them had something to show for their efforts.
Proctor & Gamble's Ariel detergent 'Turn to 30' campaign, launched in 2006, was aimed at bringing about long-term change in behaviour by getting people to wash their clothes at 30 degree celsius for the good of the environment, saving up to 40 per cent of energy used. Recently P&G came out with a detergent that washes at only 15 degree celsius, which is essentially cold water.
The solution to African development must be African and internally generated. However, it will need support from the developed world, mostly in terms of knowledge and training, as well as investment. This was the consensus of a panel at Net Impact’s Doing Good, Doing Well 2009 European conference held here.
For Noel de Villiers, founder and CEO of non-governmental organisation Open Africa, three issues are key for Africa’s development: the need for the emancipation of women, the need to overcome the debilitating effect of a lack of confidence among the people, and the need for people in rural and marginalised areas to get more exposure to success stories which could then inspire others. In his view, these three issues, if properly addressed, would help to reverse Africa’s poverty slide.
Micro health insurance is in its infancy but it’s expected to take off in the next couple of years, with the financial success of microfinance helping to speed up the process. Yet Johanna Mair, a former doctoral student at INSEAD (PhD 01Jul) who is now an associate professor of strategic management at IESE business school here, says microfinance and micro insurance are two very different processes.