Session 6. Dancing with Gorillas
- CEIBS MBA Entrepreneurship Bootcamp
November 19, 2016. Shanghai – “Dancing with Gorillas” was the focus of the sixth eLab Bootcamp session with CEIBS Associate Professor of International Business and Strategy Shameen Prashantham held today on the Shanghai Campus.
“Often times when we talk to people involved with start-ups, they usually focus on talking to venture capitalists and investors,” Prof. Prashantham said. “Not a lot of those in the community want to engage with or learn about multinational corporations.”
Prof. Prashantham sought to make a case to entrepreneur-hopefuls to consider how they planned to engage and interact with multinational corporations (MNCs), or “gorillas”, in their business development plans. Speaking about how an increasing number of MNCs are engaging with start-ups in innovation networks and ecosystems, he said that entrepreneurs today do not have to face-off against these gorillas if they do not want to. Rather, they can think about how to create synergistic partnerships, selling with or selling to MNCs. This concept is known as “Dancing with Gorillas”.
“There is a greater opportunity if start-ups create complementary products to MNCs,” said Prof. Prashantham, citing example of companies like Bayer, which talks to digital start-ups to help meet the increasing need for digital health solutions. “The opportunity is great, and the challenge is great as well,” he said.