Global Vice-President, Alliance A-Segment Development Unit Director, Renault-Nissan Alliance
Professor, Strategic management, INSEAD
CNRS, research director (CRG I3); Professor, École polytechnique; Co-author, ‘Rethinking Innovation and Design for Emerging Markets: Inside the Renault Kwid Project’
Seminar Guest speakers | Monday February 13, 2017 - 19h00 - 21h15
It is often assumed that innovation involves sophisticated products or specialised technologies, and that it emerges in developed countries before being modified and spreading to developing countries. Renault’s car, the Kwid, turns this premise on its head. The Kwid had to be designed and manufactured in India by Indians in order to compete with the cheapest models in the market, and in so doing it rewrote the rules. It had to have an attractive design, but the technical choices made had to be the least expensive. The simplest solutions had to be found, even with respect to the smallest details, and often this meant lowering standards. Imposing such radical ideas on the parent companies required the skill of a charismatic project manager and a very reactive organisation. This experience may be too specific to be able to set a precedent unless it can produce a strategy for global businesses based on the requirements for emerging markets to invent cost-saving solutions which can then be spread throughout the world.
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