Where Grameen Bank meets e-Bay in an African marketplace (and everyone wins)
While share prices have been falling and banks have been offering measly interest rates, MYC4 investors have been earning an average gross interest rate of 12.9 per cent a year from investments made from the comfort of their home. Too good to be true? According to Mads Kjaer, CEO of the online marketplace MYC4, “investors set the interest rate themselves and bid for it, and many hard-core investors realise even much higher yields.”
Creative entrepreneurs can survive the crisis
Creative entrepreneurs can weather the current global economic crisis better than traditional businesses, says Jean-Claude Larréché, INSEAD professor of marketing. Virgin Atlantic, which was founded by British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson in 1984, survived and came out stronger after the airline crisis of the early 1990s when many established airlines went bankrupt, notes Larréché. Speaking via satellite, Branson said a lot of opportunities will emerge as a result of the current global e
Arcelor Mittal: Lightening up heavy industry
Steel is one of the industrial sectors under intense pressure to cut greenhouse gas emissions. By its very nature, producing steel consumes a lot of energy, which in turn produces a lot of carbon dioxide. But its not as bleak as all that: the steel industry has been trying for decades to find ways to cut CO2 emissions, says Michel Wurth, a member of the management board of ArcelorMittal, the worlds largest steel maker.
The pursuit of value
It’s all too easy, if you have the upper hand in negotiations – whether it be through information asymmetry or generally a more favourable position -- to make full use of a power play in negotiations to get what you want, with the winner taking all and the loser walking away empty-handed, says INSEAD Professor Horacio Falcao. But instead, negotiators should be looking to develop ‘win-win’ strategies that allow all parties to capture some of the value, or at least feel that they were bein
In the world of banking, does size matter?
It was bound to happen. After pouring tens of billions of dollars, pounds and euros: as much as 5.5 per cent of the GDP of advanced economies, according to the International Monetary Fund, governments began to revolt. “If a bank is too big to fail, then it is too big,” the governor of the central bank of Belgium told a newspaper at the end of June. If this is true, then what about the corollary: “Small is beautiful?” If bankers’ bonuses are being capped, should the size of their banks
Credit ratings: buyer beware
“Investors tend to take credit ratings at face value and rely on them too heavily.” So says ESSEC Economics Professor Patricia Langohr, who with her father, INSEAD Finance and Banking Professor Herwig Langohr, has written a book called 'The rating agencies and their credit ratings'.
Harnessing creativity to power up the economy
Creativity is underrated – at least that is what Fredrik Härén, author of The Idea Book believes.
The Esperion Story: Biotech Success and Rebirth
The Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship kicks off its new Distinguished Lecture Series with Dr. Roger Newton, President and CEO of Esperion Therapeutics and co-discoverer of Lipitor, the most prescribed cholesterol-lowering medication in the world. Dr. Newton discusses his ongoing efforts to commercialize cardiovascular treatments and his approach to securing capital and talent under difficult environmental conditions. [...]
The leadership diversity puzzle
They say it’s never a bad time to invest in leadership. But is that still true, even during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression? Unilever, the food and personal care products giant, thinks so and is putting its money where its mouth is.
Intergroup leadership: a unifying force
As the name suggests, intergroup leadership involves a fair amount of interaction among team members. On paper, it may look simple enough, but in reality, it’s a lot harder to put into practice.
Getting back to basics in a world of luxury
As China's middle class expands, does consumption behaviour change? According to Sir David Tang, founder of Shanghai Tang and China Clubs, consumption behaviour doesn’t shift with economic development; it is only perceived to do so.
“I don’t think economic development has ever changed human nature,” says Tang. “China is able now, with a rising middle class, to start thinking about all the bourgeois things, about life of the next-door neighbour. And that’s why, in a way, cons
The brand imperative
“There are only two advantages in life which are proprietary: technology and branding. Since I’m not a technologist, I decided that whatever business I was going to do next had to have a strong brand.”
Having left journalism to join the family business, Ho Kwon Ping, Founder and Executive Chairman of the luxury hotel Banyan Tree Group, realised that his family’s various contract manufacturing companies were stuck in constant competition on the basis of cost alone, an
Enrich your social capital with the right networks
Networking is not all that it’s cracked up to be; in fact it can even be downright harmful, so says Martin Gargiulo, an associate professor of organisational behaviour at INSEAD and expert on social network analysis.
Global careers in academia: following the ideas
Although Wall Street may be feeling battered and bruised from the financial crisis, if you want a career in teaching business, you should still consider heading for the US at some point. That was the consensus view among INSEAD PhD programme graduates taking part in the school’s 20th reunion celebration at its Europe campus.
Cross-cultural negotiations: Avoiding the pitfalls
When entering into negotiations, we should always take into account cultural factors such as the educational or religious background of the person sitting across the table, but, says INSEAD professor Horacio Falcao, many people both underestimate and overestimate the cross-cultural aspects.
Why Gymboree’s China strategy is no child’s play
As China’s star continues to shine, one of the more recent beneficiaries of the country’s economic boom is the early childhood development sector.
Bringing zest to China’s hospitality market
By offering travellers chic boutique hotel amenities at budget prices, Chinese entrepreneur Wu Hai is now enjoying the fruits of his success, setting up a chain of 16 hotels in China in just three short years since 2006.
Combating malaria: How an oil company is helping to tackle the problem
For Marathon Oil Corporation, its project to tackle malaria on an island off Equatorial Guinea is paying off. It reckons that for every dollar invested, the economic return is around four dollars.
Social entrepreneurship: Innovative care for the elderly
Some ten years ago, when Jean-Daniel Muller and his friend, Jean-Michel Ricard, were studying to become sports teachers both aged 23 they felt that not enough was being done to help the elderly. So, they decided to develop a series of exercises for the elderly as part of their 3-month practicum, which would eventually form the basis of an innovative scheme.
Their theory was that physical activity would improve the quality of life of those aged 75 and above, and help them lead ind
KLM: Aviation has to become 'more sustainable'
Airlines cannot shirk the responsibility that comes with being major producers of polluting greenhouse gases and must aggressively pursue policies to minimise their environmental damage. Thats the view of Jan Ernst de Groot, managing director of the Dutch company KLM Airlines, which by its own estimate gives off some 10 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year from its fleet of 194 aircraft.