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Developing New Products in Emerging Markets
, Srivardhini K Jha, Ishwardutt Parulkar, Charles Dhanaraj
Published in The MIT Press
Volume: 57
Issue: 3
Pages: 55 - 62

R&D centers in emerging markets are often not well established within the multinational enterprise creates a higher hurdle. Against this backdrop, we explore several questions: When is the subsidiary ready to take on such responsibilities? What kinds of products or technology should the subsidiary work on? How should this be developed? While many companies have struggled with these issues, a successful innovation from Cisco Systems Inc.’s R&D unit in India—a family of mobile backhaul routers, named ASR 901 aggregation services routers2—offers insights into these questions.(See “About the Research.”) The ASR 901 family of routers acts as the entry point for consumer voice and data into the mobile telecommunication network and sits in what is referred to as the “last mile” of the network.(See “How a Telecom Network Is Structured.”) ASR 901 was conceptualized and developed by Cisco’s R&D center in India to serve the unique needs of emergingmarket customers. However, the product also found traction in developed markets, making it a global product. The decisions taken with respect to the choice of ASR 901 as the product to be developed in India, its technological features, and its resourcing strategy provide valuable lessons for multinational managers both at headquarters and at subsidiaries on how to turn the company’s emerging-market presence into a source of innovation.

About the journal
JournalWhen Innovation Moves at Digital Speed
PublisherThe MIT Press
Open AccessNo