Faculty: Filipe Monteiro, Senior Affiliate Professor of Strategy, Academic Director, Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI)

Course Overview and Objectives
One key advantage that emerging markets have in the digital space is a lack of legacy. Many companies in mature markets have more than 20 years ingrained cultures, mindsets, business models, ways of working and, of course, technology landscapes that are not necessarily conducive to operating with an agile innovation approach.

Leapfrogging – using the lack of existing infrastructure as an opportunity to adopt the most advanced methods – has been a highly effective strategy for developing nations over the last few decades.

In 2019 with the digital revolution in full swing, there is a potential wealth of opportunities for emerging markets to leapfrog in the digital world. In Latin America, for instance, a rapid adoption of mobile vs fixed devices to access the internet was having a big impact in sectors such as retail, fintech, ecommerce, e-health, and the development of ‘smart’ cities. As a developing region, Latin America, and Brazil in particular, had a unique opportunity to grow through digital transformation. On a B2B level, companies that lacked the resources to invest in IT systems in the past could use new technologies to leapfrog to digital. The region also has a large number of very innovative players, including ten “unicorns. In addition, some of the largest global players were investing heavily in digital to transform their organization (for more details, please read the article “Digital Transformation in Latin America: A Leapfrogging Opportunity”, INSEAD 2018)

The course will take place in Brazil, the third largest emerging economy and the ninth economy overall in the world. As other large emerging markets (e.g. China, India, Russia, South Africa) it provides a great context for our study of the key leapfrogging opportunities and challenges of an emerging market embracing digital transformation.
In this weeklong KMC we will be based in Sao Paulo, the largest economic and industrial hub in the Southern Hemisphere and the largest business center in Latin America, second only to New York in number of multinational companies’ offices. The KMC will mix lectures, presentations by guest speakers and company visits to local companies and subsidiaries of multinational companies. We will interact with some key business decision makers both in large incumbents engaging in digital transformation as well as in some of the most innovative startups in the region.