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Abstract: Business development in developing economies usually face significant challenges due to resource, infrastructure, and market constraints. To overcome such challenges, innovations in multiple dimensions – product, process, business model, and leveraging the ecosystem of partners – are necessary. In this talk, I will describe the key elements of such innovations, with examples drawn from Asia, Africa, and Central and South America, to show how tremendous values can be created.
Bio: Hau L. Lee is the Thoma Professor of Operations, Information and Technology at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. He was the founding faculty director of the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies (SEED) and is the current Co-Director of the Stanford Value Chain Innovations Initiative. Professor Lee’s expertise is on global supply chain management and value chain innovations. He is also interested in how innovating with the value chain can bring forth economic and welfare development in developing economies. In 2006-7, he was the President of the Production and Operations Management Society. Besides extensive consulting, he co-founded DemandTec, a price-optimization company that went public in NASDAQ in 2007. He was the founding chairman of SCM World, which was acquired by Gartner in 2016. He is currently an independent non-executive director of Synnex and the Lion Rock Group.
In 2011, Lee led SEED upon the receipt of $150 million from Mr. and Mrs. Robert King to the Graduate School of Business. SEED’s goal is to use entrepreneurships and innovations to support poverty alleviation. Lee led the team to set up the first SEED Innovation Hub in Ghana, and worked with hundreds of small enterprises in Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Cort d’lvoire, to scale up their businesses and increase local employment. SEED research grants also allowed Lee to supervise students conduct value chain innovation research on sheep ranching in Patagonia, Argentina. Between 2009-2014, Lee received a research grant of $2.3 million from the Gates Foundation to conduct research on supply chain performance evaluation based on innovations using Riders for Health’s fleet management in Zambia.
Professor Lee had degrees from the University of Hong Kong, the London School of Economics, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He was awarded Honorary Doctorates by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the Erasmus University of Rotterdam and the University of Macau.
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