EE204: Business Management for
Electrical Engineers and Computer Scientists

Emerging Markets


  1. Finding Great Ideas in Emerging Markets (HBS course materials)
  2. Logitech, and the Mouse That Roared: How Multinationals Can Compete With Local Start-Ups as They Innovate in Emerging Markets (HBS course materials)

Case Summary

Chapter 5 of "Reverse Innovation: Create Far from Home, Win Everywhere" tells the cautionary tale of Logitech, a multinational maker of computer peripherals that learned the hard way to pay close attention to its local competitors in an emerging market. In the end, Logitech used the principles of reverse innovation to avert a potential disaster. The Logitech story shows how a Western multinational can overcome inertia and internal opposition to create a product that works better, faster, and cheaper in all markets--and why doing so is now mission-critical. *About the book:* A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble bestseller. The gap between rich nations and poorer ones is closing. As a result, the global dynamics of innovation are changing. No longer will innovations traverse the globe in only one direction, from developed nations to developing ones: they will also flow in reverse. Authors Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble, of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, explain where, when, and why reverse innovation is on the rise and why the implications are so profound--for nations, for companies, and for individuals. The authors focus on successful and long-established multinational corporations, which are seeking explosive growth in emerging economies and must now learn new tricks in order to succeed. "Reverse Innovation" shows leaders and senior managers how to make innovation in emerging markets happen and how such innovations can unlock opportunities throughout the world. The book highlights the tribulations and triumphs of some of the world's leading companies (including GE, Deere & Company, P&G, and PepsiCo), illustrating exactly what works and what does not. Whether you're a CEO, a financier, a strategist, a marketer, an engineer, or even a student forming your career aspirations, reverse innovation is a phenomenon you need to understand. This book will help you do just that.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why was Logitech initially content to wait for their sales in China to rise? What were they waiting for?
  2. What did Logitech fail to anticipate?
  3. Why did the Rapoo mouse prove to be so popular?
  4. Why did Logitech corporate ignore the threat from Rapoo for so long?
  5. When did they finally take notice? What prompted the change?
  6. What other challenges had to be overcome for Logitech to launch a competitive product?
  7. What role did Dooley play in Logitech's success in China? What were his key contributions?
  8. What were Egloff's contribution? What made him a good choice to lead the LGT?
  9. How did Logitech's efforts in China help them in their more developed markets?
  10. What recommendations do you have for Logitech to stay in front of internatioanl competition in the future?