• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

Renowned Strategy Expert to Speak on the Making of Champions at April Conference

Hermann Simon, chairman of Simon-Kucher & Partners Strategy & Marketing Consultants, will present at the upcoming XVIII April International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development in Moscow. His presentation, entitled ‘Hidden Champions – the Vanguard of Globalia’, will be held during the Firms and Markets section on Tuesday, April 11.

An expert in strategy, marketing and pricing, Dr. Simon was previously a professor of business administration and marketing at the Universities of Mainz (1989-1995) and Bielefeld (1979-1989). He has also served as a visiting professor at Harvard Business School, Stanford, London Business School, INSEAD, Keio University in Tokyo and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of more than 30 books, including the most recent ‘Confessions of the Pricing Man, Hidden Champions of the 21st Century’.

Dr. Simon spoke to the HSE News Service ahead of this year’s April Conference about several of the themes he plans to cover in his presentation.

— Your presentation at the conference will be called 'Hidden Champions - The Vanguard of Globalia' and will centre on ambitions and being ambitious, among other things. How can one grow and develop ambitions, if that’s even possible?

— Ambition resides in the entrepreneur. Is ambition genetic or socially induced? Probably both. But it’s not enough if an entrepreneur has strong ambitions. To paraphrase St. Augustine, he must ignite the flame which burns in him in others. Becoming a hidden champion is not a one-person endeavour but a team exercise.

— Having a good understanding of your unique target audience is one path to achieving success. How would you describe a winning team for a start-up, for example?

— I see focus as absolutely essential. Only focus leads to world-class. The most difficult challenge with innovation is to integrate technology and customer needs. Hidden Champions are very good at that, because their biggest strength is their closeness to customers. ARRI, the global leader in professional film cameras, not only has the best digital camera, but it also knows all famous film directors and their preferences better than anybody else. 


— Will you talk about the Russian market and its champions, if there are any?

— I will mention some, for example Kasperky in the IT-security sector, or Grishko, the global leader in ballet shoes, a typical niche player. While Russia has five Fortune Global 500 companies the number of Hidden Champions from Russia is small. 



— What would you recommend that young people read, study and do to achieve success?

— The most important aspect is to gain international experience. To prepare yourself for Globalia, you must experience Globalia. That can only be achieved if you spend time abroad on school exchanges, studies, internships, etc. My company, Simon-Kucher & Partners, rarely hires anybody who doesn’t have some foreign experience. As I can tell from my own experience, reading is not enough. I read a lot about Japan. But that gave me nothing compared to the semester I lived in Japan in 1983. And openness to the world remains a major weakness of Russia. 



— Have you been to Moscow before? Are there certain places of interest you would like to see during your visit to Russia?

— I have been in Moscow many times. My last visit was in December 2016. I took an hour to stroll across the Red Square and to do some shopping in GUM. I was touched by the wintery atmosphere, the illuminations, the people hurrying through the city (much faster than during my first visit in 1971). I stayed in the Metropol hotel, again after 45 years. Beyond my business with Raiffeisenbank it was a very emotional visit.

In April, I am afraid, I will have little time. My visit will be short. Besides the conference activities, I will meet my publisher and a long-time Russian friend and maybe give an interview or two.

Anna Chermyakhovskaya, specially for HSE News service 

See also:

Unfit: Why Seniors Don’t Care about Their Health

Seniors in Russia are not responsive to public promotion of healthy living. Their behaviours follow eight different patterns, and a healthy lifestyle is far from being the most popular one. Only 17% of elderly people live what can be termed a 'healthy' lifestyle, Elena Selezneva discovered. The results of the study were presented at the XIX April International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development at HSE.

‘The Biggest Priority in Education Is World Class Professional Development Programmes’

The report entitled ‘Twelve Solutions for New Education’, prepared by the Higher School of Economics and the Centre for Strategic Development, was presented at the XIX April International Academic Conference. Professors Martin Carnoy and Tomasso Agasisti, international experts on education and conference guests, have shared their views on the issues and initiatives highlighted in the report.

How Are Russian Cities Different from Western Cities?

One of the roundtables held during the XIX April Academic Conference featured a discussion of the report on morphology of Russian cities presented by Robert Buckley, Senior Fellow in the Graduate Program in International Affairs at The New School, US. The report looked at what Russian cities look like in terms of population density, how the patterns Russian cities exhibit compare with those of other cities around the world, and what individual behaviours might have contributed to the appearance of a certain pattern.

Marx’s Capital Was a Work in Progress

The notion that Karl Marx's works have been studied inside and out is fundamentally incorrect. The huge body of his manuscripts has still not been completely processed, and his seminal work, Capital, was only recently published with the final edits of the author. The 19th April Conference at the Higher School of Economics included the section ‘Methodology of Economic Science’ which was devoted to the work of the German philosopher and political scientist. Independent researcher and professor from Berlin, Thomas Kuczynski, gave a presentation at the conference which pointed out numerous aspects of Marx’s continuous rethinking of allegedly fixed truths.

Russia’s Economic and Social Development Depends on How It Responds to Technological Challenges

During a plenary session of the HSE XIX April International Academic Conference, participants discussed the technological future of the Russian economy and how it relates to objectives such as speeding up economic growth and improving the quality of life.

Digital Humanities: A God of Many Faces

These days, no scientific research is carried out without the use of digital media for the production or dissemination of knowledge. The term ‘Digital Humanities’ reflects this process and constitutes a scientific field where humanists not only aim to use a certain software, but also to understand research using quantitative semantics. However, digital infrastructures are not the same globally. In her talk at the HSE April International Academic Conference Dr Gimena del Rio Riande addressed various issues that arise in connection with digital humanities.

We Must Reconsider the Government’s Role in the Economy

Slower GDP growth rates over the last several years were brought about by changes on international markets and the exhaustion of transformational bonuses due to the transition from a planned economy to a market economy, and this slowdown proves the necessity of looking for new solutions for stimulating the economy. The authors of the paper ‘Structural Changes in the Russian Economy and Structural Policy’ conducted a large-scale analysis on structural policy in Russia and around the world, as well as on possible ways for this policy to develop further. The first presentation of the paper took place as part of the plenary session called ‘Structural Policy in Russia: New Conditions and a Possible Agenda,’ which closed out HSE’s XIX April International Academic Conference.

HSE Hosts Russian National Award in Applied Economics

The winner of the 2018 award is Ina Ganguli, Professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The American researcher stood out for her series of articles analysing the productivity of Russian scientists in the 1990s, as well as their decisions concerning emigration and the impact that emigration had on the diffusion of Russian science in the United States.

Improved Investment Environment as a Real Factor in Solving Current Economic Problems

The subject of the risks and challenges related to sanctions on Russia is crucial in defining a number of different areas of economic policy. Participants in the round table focused on improving the business environment as one of the ways of responding to sanctions, exchanged opinions during the 19th April International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development about how to move into positive economic growth while under this external pressure.

Breakthrough Solutions to Lead the Way in Modernizing Education

On April 11, the educational portion of the XIX April International Academic Conference featured a presentation and discussion of the paper ‘12 Solutions for New Education,’ which was prepared by the Higher School of Economics and the Centre for Strategic Development.