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Kazakhstan is a relatively new country that has been a nation-state since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The country has been transitioning to a market economy, with property rights being established and private entrepreneurship being encouraged. The transition has led to some firms making inroads into international markets. For this study, we chose five companies – Air Astana, Sberbank Kazakhstan, Kamaz Kazakhstan, Sportmaster, and Tsesna. Of these, Sberbank and Kamaz originated in Soviet times; Sport Master evolved in the immediate aftermath of the dissolution of the Soviet Union; and Air Astana and Tsesna are relatively new domestic firms that have tried to develop specific competitive advantages. Some of the capabilities that these companies initially developed were in product innovation, branding, distribution, and human resources. A more general competency that all these companies developed, first in their home market but then in foreign markets, is the ability to survive and succeed in institutional conditions that are still evolving and changing. While new institutions were still developing and building credibility, networks and political connections were still important and played a role in most of these markets.
In 2010, there were fifty-six Indian firms in the Fortune Global 1000. These included firms like Sun Pharmaceutical with revenues of slightly less than $1 billion, to Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) with market values of roughly $30 billion, and Indian Oil with revenues of about $50 billion. Most of these firms now have operations overseas. Some, such as the Tata Group, have more than 57 per cent of their revenues coming from abroad. In this chapter, we examine the links between Indian firms’ internationalisation and their innovation capabilities over the last two decades. We also discuss the implications of these recent trends for developments in Indian firms’ innovation and internationalisation in the future.
The innovation and internationalisation process of Indian firms has been dynamic, with both elements changing qualitatively and quantitatively over the last two decades. We identify three broad phases in this process: an initial phase (which roughly covers the 1990s) and two subsequent phases (which together roughly cover the 2000s). These phases correspond to the changing institutional landscape in India (and overseas). For instance, in India, the 1990s was a period of opening up of the economy following several decades of import substitution and tight internal controls. Thus, Indian firms in the 1990s were still constrained in what they could do internally but were even more constrained in terms of what they could do outside the country.
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