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Faculty Directory

Vijay Govindarajan

Coxe Distinguished Professor of Management





Personal Website



DBA, Harvard University, 1978; MBA, Harvard University, 1976; BC, Annamalai University, 1969

Areas of Expertise

Globalization, innovation, execution


Implementing Strategy


Vijay Govindarajan, known as VG, is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on strategy and innovation. VG was the first Professor in Residence and Chief Innovation Consultant at General Electric. He worked with GE’s CEO Jeff Immelt to write “How GE is Disrupting Itself”, the Harvard Business Review (HBR) article that pioneered the concept of reverse innovation–any innovation that is adopted first in the developing world. HBR picked reverse innovation as one of the Great Moments in Management in the Last Century. In the latest Thinkers50 Rankings, he was ranked the #1 Indian Management Thinker.

Current Research Topics

  • Innovation in emerging markets

Professional Activities

Academic positions

  • Tuck School of Business, 1985–present
  • Faculty Director, William F. Achtmeyer Center for Global Leadership, Tuck School, 2000–10
  • Visiting Professor, INSEAD, 1994
  • Visiting Professor, International University of Japan, 1989–90
  • Associate Professor, Ohio State University, 1981–85
  • Visiting Associate Professor, Harvard University, 1980–81
  • Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Management, 1978–80

Nonacademic positions

  • Chief Innovation Consultant, Professor in Residence, General Electric, 2009, 2008


  • McKinsey Award for the Best Article in Harvard Business Review, 2015, 2010
  • Named a Marvin Bower Faculty Fellow at Harvard Business School for a two-year period beginning in 2015
  • The Carl S. Sloane Award, The Association of Management Consulting Firms (AMCF), 2015
  • Ranked #3 on the Thinkers 50 list of the world’s most influential business thinkers, 2011
  • Accenture Award, California Management Review, 2006
  • Top Indian Management Thinker, Across the Board, 2005
  • Top Five Executive Coaches, Forbes, 2003
  • Outstanding Faculty, BusinessWeek Guide to the Best B-Schools, 2003, 2001, 1999, 1997, 1995, 1993
  • Top 50 Nonresident Indians, NRIworld, 2002
  • Honorable Mention for number of articles in Academy journals, Academy of Management Hall of Fame, 2000
  • Top 20 North American superstars in strategy and organization, Management International Review
  • Top 10 Indian global management guru, Businessworld, 1998
  • Notable Contribution to the Management Accounting Literature Award, American Accounting Association, 1995
  • One of 10 most cited articles, Academy of Management Journal
  • Top 10 Professor in Corporate Executive Education, BusinessWeek, 1993
  • Top 10 Professor in Corporate Executive Education, Paper Award, Academy of Management, 1991
  • Glueck Best Paper Award, Academy of Management, 1991
  • Outstanding Teaching Award, Indian Institute of Management, 1979–80, 1978–79

Selected Publications

  • With T. Govindarajan and A. Stepinski, Why Unicorns Are Struggling, Harvard Business Review, April 2016
  • With A. Winter, "Engineering Reverse Innovations," Harvard Business Review, July-August 2015
  • With R. Ramamurti, “Delivering World Class Healthcare, Affordably,” Harvard Business Review, November 2013
  • “A Reverse Innovation Playbook,” Harvard Business Review, April 2012
  • With C. Trimble, Reverse Innovation: Create Far From Home, Win Everywhere, HBR Press, 2012
  • “Designing a $300 House,” Harvard Business Review, January–February, 2011
  • With C. Trimble, “CEO’s Role in Business Model Transformation,” Harvard Business Review, January–February 2011
  • With C. Trimble, “Stop The Innovation Wars,” Harvard Business Review, July–August 2010
  • With C. Trimble, “How GE Is Disrupting Itself,” Harvard Business Review, October 2009
  • With P. Kopalle, “Disruptiveness of Innovations: Measurement and an Assessment of Reliability and Validity,” Strategic Management Journal, 27, February 2006
  • With C. Trimble, “Building Breakthrough Business Within Established Organizations,” Harvard Business Review, 83(5), May 2005
  • “Knowledge Flows Within Multinational Corporations,” Strategic Management Journal, 21, 2000