The Fortune list of Asia’s most powerful people in business has many unfamiliar names. The list highlights the power shift in Asia, from Japan to China, India, and beyond. Toyota’s Akio Toyoda tops the list of 25 most powerful people in the business world. Six top executives from India also make it to the Fortune list.
1. Akio Toyoda
One of the most influential businessmen in the world, Akio Toyoda is the president and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation. Grandson of Toyota founder Kiichiro, Toyoda joined the company in 1984. He joined Toyoto’s board of directors in 2000. Toyoda has played a key role in boosting sales and promoting the brand image of the company.
2. Ratan Tata
Chairman of the Tata Group, Ratan Tata is one of the most powerful business leaders in India. In 1981, JRD Tata stepped down as Tata Industries chairman, nominating Ratan as his successor. Ratan Tata is also the chairman of the major Tata companies, including Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Power, Tata Global Beverages, Tata Chemicals, Indian Hotels and Tata Teleservices. Under his leadership, the group’s revenues have grown nearly 12-fold, totalling $67.4 billion in 2009-10.
3. Mukesh Ambani
Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, is an ace dealmaker. He has acquired assets in telecom, petrochemicals to expand $45-billion-a-year empire, says Fortune. He initiated Reliance’s backward integration journey from textiles into polyester fibres and further into petrochemicals, petroleum refining and going up-stream into oil and gas exploration and production. He created several new world class manufacturing facilities that have raised Reliance’s petrochemicals manufacturing capacities
4. Kun-Hee Lee
Son of Samsung Group founder Lee Byung-chull, Kun-Hee Lee is the chairman of Samsung Electronics. In 1996, Lee also became a member of the International Olympic Committee. With an estimated net worth of $7.4 billion, Kun-Hee Lee and family rank among the Forbesrichest people in the world.
5. Ren Zhengfei
Ren Zhengfei is the president of Huawei Technologies. With private assets worth $124 million, Ren is among the richest people in China. Ren founded Huawei Technologies Co in 1988 to specialise in the development, production, and sales of telecom equipment. Time magazine included Ren Zhengfei in its list of 100 most influential people in 2005.
6. Terry Gou, 60, chairman and CEO of Foxconn Technology Group, Taiwan
7. Gao Xiqing, 57, president and CIO of China Investment Corp, China
8. Wang Xiaochu, 53, chairman and CEO of China Telecom Corp, China
9. Jiang Jiemin, 55, chairman of PetroChina Co, China
10. Chung Mong-koo, 73, chairman and CEO of Hyundai Motor, Korea
Amy Radin became one of America’s first Chief Innovation Officers when Citigroup appointed her to the role in 2005. She is currently Chief Innovation officer at E*E*Trade Financial, the leading online discount stock brokerage. (via innovationmanagement.se)
A tangible corporate structure is becoming less necessary for delivering goods and services to consumers, so there’s more pressure on established businesses to embrace technology.
The key to success is to fail fast and fail cheap; harvest the learnings and move on.
Innovation is not a one-year return on investment, or time…. you should probably take a 24-36 month view.
- Establish a pipeline or portfolio of bets approach.
- Focus on understanding potential market/universe size and unit-level business model/economics, not a full P&L statement early on.
- Make the effort to uncover real market needs within the universe of people whom you would like to serve, and stay relentlessly focused on delivering them.
- Engage all functions in the organization as early on as possible. People want to be included, and helping them see what is going on along the way is invaluable.
- Don’t automatically apply traditional business process to innovation – it needs to be faster, more iterative, and is inherently different than how companies may approach running a well-oiled machine.
- Don’t underestimate the criticality of leadership and culture. These will make or break your success. This includes fully-engaging the CEO in your innovation efforts.
Key characteristics of good people in the innovation space:
- Left brain/right brain thinkers
- Bias for execution and getting things done
- The wiring of a start up employee combined with a healthy respect for the benefits of being in an established company (brand, resources, talent, expertise, franchise)
- Leadership ability, which includes influence, communications, teamwork, collaboration
- Ability to embrace ambiguity and not get flustered by it
Interesting to see how angel investors think or make their decisions. It’s really useful knowledge if you like to pitch your idea to one or just to see and judge if your business idea is in a good spot.
1) “Drill more holes”. Investing in many companies is the only way to balance the risks of markets, teams and competition. Maintain a relatively large portfolio.
2) If you can’t judge the team, market and product thoroughly, it’s probably not a wise investment.
3) Keep some powder dry for subsequent rounds. While the best return in a successful investment comes from investing earlier, holding some cash back can mitigate some risk.
4) Don’t make assumptions during the honeymoon. While making an investment, you’re probably seeing the company in its best light. Things will likely get worse before they get better.
5) Team over idea – Ideas are cool, but quality teams are cooler. A great team can make a mediocre idea soar or morph it into a better one over time. Often, mediocre teams struggle to create success even when they start with a great idea. I have to believe that the team can knock the ball out of the park. Only then do I consider the idea itself. As a corollary to this, I need to trust the CEO. Surprisingly, I find this to be a real issue from time to time.
6) There has to be a grownup involved – For all the energy, drive, brains and talent in most startups, there’s often a dearth of wisdom. Someone needs to be involved to provide it and be a sounding board for the startup team. This person or these people should be on the company’s Board of Directors. They can come from inside or outside of the investor group (inside preferable).
7) You can’t and don’t even want to try to tie up every loose end – As much as you’d like everything in the investment to be taken care of and completely thought out, it ain’t gonna happen. Things change along the way. The investor and founding team need to feel like they will make adjustments together as warranted.
8) Friend’s before business – This is a personal rule of mine that I’ve broken more than once. Fortunately, it’s never backfired on me. I take both my friendships and my involvement with companies seriously. As such, the potential for conflict is high if I mix them – things never go the way you plan. There are always going to be situations in which the investor needs to support either the company or the management team. Can you support the company over your friend? Your friend over the company? Why even put yourself in that position? (via Venturebeat)
Creativity Is The Most Important Leadership Competency For The Successful Enterprise Of The Future. (IBM-Institute for Business Value)
(image by Andreas Golder)
A recent BusinessWeek article reported that, “According to a new survey of 1,500 chief executives conducted by IBM’s Institute for Business Value (IBM), CEOs identify ‘creativity’ as the most important leadership competency for the successful enterprise of the future.” While the study’s results will come as no surprise to hard-working creative professionals, they do raise an important question: How do we identify – and hire for – the qualities that add up to creativity? (via the99percent)
(via Fast Company)
What’s the difference between a CEO with a management background and one with a design DNA? Nike’s president and CEO Mark Parker is the answer. He began his career as a designer inside the company, where he would often modify and customize shoes for himself (a practice he continues to this day). Creative innovation has been essential to his success, and he gives design a seat at the table “with senior management at the
company helping to shape strategy and direction for the company.”
Mark Parker was among the guests at Fast Company‘s Innovation Uncensored conference held on April 21, 2010, in New York City. For those who didn’t score a ticket to the sold-out event, we’re offering highlights.