For decades, GE has sold modified Western products to emerging markets. Now, to preempt the emerging giants, it’s trying the reverse.
-Jeffrey R. Immelt, Vijay Govindarajan, and Chris Trimble
According to this article in HBR, GE basically needs to develop products in India/China (or take products that were developed for India/China) and sell them in the West instead of taking products designed/developed in the West and selling them in India/China. They’re calling it reverse innovation.
My feeling is that it’s just taking products from one market and selling them in another. That idea is pretty old. I mean the concept of ‘0’ was invented in India right? And paper in China? And people have been selling Bollywood movies everywhere…
Concepts are seldom new, the strength lies in defining it, and that’s exactly what GE is doing. Taking an analogy from Indian struggle of Independance – Dadabhai Naroji coined the term “Drain of Wealth” which was not a novel concept per se but it caught the attention of the Indian intelligencia and became the focal point of Indian resistance against British Raj.