Institute for Business in the Global Context

Where the World of Business Meets the World

Tag: Ravi Shankar Chaturvedi (page 1 of 2)

The “Smart Society” of the Future Doesn’t Look Like Science Fiction

by Bhaskar Chakravorti and Ravi Shankar Chaturvedi

What is a “smart” society? While flights of imagination from science-fiction writers, filmmakers, and techno-futurists involve things like flying cars and teleportation, in practice smart technology is making inroads in a piecemeal fashion, often in rather banal circumstances. In Chicago, for example, predictive analytics is improving health inspections schedules in restaurants, while in Boston city officials are collaborating with Waze, the traffic navigation app company, combining its data with inputs from street cameras and sensors to improve road conditions across the city. A city-state such as Singapore has a more holistic idea of a “smart nation,” where the vision includes initiatives from self-driving vehicles to cashless and contactless payments, robotics and assistive technologies, data-empowered urban environments, and technology-enabled homes.

More broadly, we might define a smart society as one where digital technology, thoughtfully deployed by governments, can improve on three broad outcomes: the well-being of citizens, the strength of the economy, and the effectiveness of institutions.

The potential for technologies to enable smart societies is rising. For example, internet-of-things sensor applications are envisioned to deliver a wide range of services, from smart water to industrial controls to e-health. The market for smart technologies is predicted to be worth up to $1.6 trillion by 2020, and $3.5 trillion by 2026. Surely, given the size of the opportunity, increasing interest among governments and policy makers, and the explosion of relevant technologies, we can start to understand what smart societies are  and establish standards and ideals to aim for.

Read the full piece in the Harvard Business Review

Why failing to protect net neutrality would crush the US’s digital startups

American leadership in technology innovation and economic competitiveness is at risk if U.S. policymakers don’t take crucial steps to protect the country’s digital future. The country that gave the world the internet and the very concept of the disruptive startup could find its role in the global innovation economy slipping from reigning incumbent to a disrupted has-been.

Read the full post from Dean Chakravorti in Business Insider

Fletcher Voices: On Brexit

With the United Kingdom greeting its referendum on the European Union with a resounding “Leave,” the sheer weight of the “Brexit” was felt at 10 Downing Street and on Wall Street, with shock waves quickly reverberating far beyond. From world markets to international security, geopolitics to national elections, uncertainty around the effects of the vote persist. Among many of the questions being asked there sits a single thread:

So what does this really mean?

At The Fletcher School, our faculty has grappled with its impact in a number of spheres. While the search for clarity goes on, looking at Brexit in the context of the world in which we live, and from a variety of viewpoints on campus, can hopefully shed a light on the referendum’s far-reaching implications.  Here’s what some of our faculty members – from those specializing in security studies to business innovation to international law – are saying about the current situation.


Faculty Voices

Dean James Stavridis

“The US must face the fact that the UK will likely be less of an effective and reliable partner in global affairs. The US-UK relationship is about to get somewhat less special, unfortunately.”

UK-US Special Relationship Shaky Following Brexit Vote, Financial Times

The United States and Europe will be confronted with a raft of bad news that goes along with [Brexit]: economic turmoil, a faltering British economy, a deeply weakened political entity in the European Union itself, the high chance of a Scottish departure from the UK, to name just a few of the challenges. The political and economic institutions of the West all seem worse off […].

The sole exception might be the military. Brexit, counter-intuitive as it might sound, will likely produce a stronger NATO.

Europe’s Loss Is NATO’s Gain, Foreign Policy
Continue reading

How Benchmarking Can Help Countries Become More Digital

When it comes to understanding the pace of global digital evolution, the digital growth of developed countries usually has little to tell us about the digital future of developing ones. This has big implications for businesses, entrepreneurs, and innovators seeking growth beyond their home markets: there just isn’t a one-size-fits-all app or approach to building scale in the global digital economy. But if a country wants to become attractive to new investors, what it can do is learn from its better-connected peers and play some “digital catch-up.”

Read the full piece from Dean Chakravorti and Ravi Shankar Chaturvedi in Harvard Business Review

10 Questions: The U.S., China, or Estonia: Who Leads the Digital Planet?

MIB Ads - Small thingBefore becoming consumers of digital marketplaces, the current three billion Internet users started with surfing and emailing. But the next billion will be different. They will start not as mere users, but rather as e-consumers – and this has profound implications for the future of global commerce and digital marketplaces.  Who are the next billion e-consumers?  So, who are the standouts of the future?

Which countries will race to the front, and which will be left behind? Hint: It’s not the usual suspects.

Learn more:


As part of our “10 Questions” Series, we delve into hard questions of international business not easily answered by a single book, class, discipline, or school of thought. They herald a future where the world and the world of business are ever more interconnected, where decisions can’t be made in a bubble, where real expertise demands deep ‘contextual intelligence.’ This series reflects that contextual intelligence we cultivate in our students in the MIB program.

Bahrain: Betweem Iran and Saudi Arabia in More Ways Than One
by Jess Delaney

Ravi Shankar Chaturvedi, a research fellow at Tufts University, agrees. “Bahrain’s best interest in the medium term is to deepen economic ties with both Iran and Saudi Arabia if it wants to realize its dream of becoming the Singapore of the Middle East,” he says. “If it needs inspiration, it need not look far beyond its own neighborhood. Dubai is already well on its way there.”

Read the full article, with quotes from Ravi Shankar Chaturvedi, in Institutional Investor

“Inside Bahrain’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Mumtalakat”
by Jess Delaney

Like a young Temasek in its first decade of existence, Mumtalakat’s mandate is to play the role of a state entrepreneur, to make investments in related companies and infrastructure to help build the domestic economy — a role that Bahrain’s nascent private sector is unable to undertake,” says Ravi Shankar Chaturvedi, a research fellow at Tufts University and author of an academic case study of the fund. Both entities tap global bond markets for financing and were created to turn around state-run businesses and attract investment to diversify their domestic economies, he adds.

Read the full article featuring Ravi (MIB 2012) at Institutional Investor

Planet eBiz Article Among Harvard Business Review’s “Most Read” in 2015

Where is the digital economy moving fastest? And, when we know that, what it all mean for what the future holds?

These questions and the many more answered and posed by the pioneering research of our Planet eBiz initiative have captured the attention of thousands of Harvard Business Review readers (including Bill Gates). As the calendar flipped to 2016, HBR looked back on the year that was and found the February piece from Dean Bhaskar Chakravorti, Ravi Shankar Chaturvedi, and Rusty Tunnard among their Top 20 “Most Read Articles from 2015.”

W150210_CHAKRAVORTI_COUNTRIESBUILDINGDIGITAL1

The piece, “Where the Digital Economy is Moving Fastest,” examined 50 countries around the world over a five-year period and categorized their digital performance into four trajectories — Stand Out, Stall Out, Break Out, and Watch Out. The article even inspired a corresponding video from HBR based on the Digital Evolution Index.

Read the original piece for yourself!

Europe’s Other Crisis: A Digital Recession

You may have heard that Europe is in a state of crisis. This has nothing to do with an influx of refugees, or Greek debt, or even the future of the European Union. The crisis we speak of has even more severe consequences for Europe’s global competitiveness. In our research on the state and pace of digital evolution worldwide, we have found that the old continent is in the midst of a “digital recession.”

Read the full piece from Dean Chakravorti and Ravi Shankar Chaturvedi in Harvard Business Review

Fletcher Features Disrupt Yourself: Ravi Shankar Chaturvedi (MIB ’12) Discovers an Entirely New Dimension to the World of International Business at Fletcher

In 2006, Ravi Shankar Chaturvedi was working for American Express, based in Bahrain, with portfolio oversight of countries spanning the African Maghreb, the Nile Valley, Levant, and the Persian Gulf. That summer, cross-border skirmishes between Israel and the Lebanon-based non-state group Hezbollah erupted into full-scale war.

Chaturvedi, who had earned an MBA in finance and strategy five years earlier, suddenly found himself in a team trying to “ring-fence” the portfolio, to estimate business losses that could result from the war, and to explore ways to mitigate the company’s exposure—all while ensuring continuity in service for customers living in areas impacted by the war.

Unexpectedly, as they discovered, customers were more—not less—diligent about their credit lines, paying back their loans more punctually than in times of relative peace.

“Ultimately, we rose to the occasion—as my business experiences and education had trained me to do,” says Chaturvedi. “But we were reactive. A Fletcher graduate in my position would have been proactive and prepared—anticipating the potential for imminent war and putting together a contingency strategy well ahead of the event.”

Continue reading

Older posts