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World's 10 top management gurus

August 6, 2008

"Deregulation, emerging markets, new forms of globalisation, convergence of technologies and industries, and ubiquitous connectivity, these have changed many aspects of business," said management guru C K Prahalad in an interview.

Prahalad is the world's topmost management guru and the first Indian-born thinker to claim the title.

The Thinkers 50 2007 list, produced by Suntop Media in association with Skillsoft, is a definitive guide to who is the most influential living management thinker.

Although the list is still dominated by North Americans (37 of the 50 gurus are from the United States), three more Indian management experts have made it to the Top 50. As yet, no Chinese guru has emerged.

To find out about the other nine who completed the top 10, read on. . .


Coimbatore Krishnao Prahalad was born in the town of Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. He studied physics at the University of Madras (now Chennai); worked as a manager in a branch of the Union Carbide battery company, then went to the Harvard University and earned a PhD.

Prahalad, is now the Paul and Ruth McCracken Distinguished University Professor at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, specializes in corporate strategy.

His books include:

  • Multinational Mission: Balancing Local Demands and Global Vision (1987), coauthored with Yves Doz,
  • Competing for the Future (1994), co-authored with Gary Hamel. Printed in fourteen languages, the book was named the Best Selling Business Book of the Year in 1994, and
  • The Future of Competition: Co-Creating Unique Value with Customers (2004) (coauthored with Venkatram Ramaswamy).

    On his vision about India, Prahalad says: "As a country, India must have high and shared aspirations like it had in 1929 when the leaders of the then Congress party declared their ambition as Poorna Swaraj. Since then, India has never had a national aspiration which every Indian could share."

    Image: C K Prahalad

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