Yesterday, Dr D Subbarao, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India gave a fascinating Lecture on “India and the Global Financial Crisis” to the GITAM School of International Business at Vizag in Andra Pradesh, India. Emphasising the need to diversify the economy he referred to the inclusive agenda and, the opportunity to develop rural markets as part of sustaining economic growth.

These two priorities, inclusivity and rural markets, were covered in a ground breaking series of lectures given at GITAM over the past two weeks on Transformational Logistics; an umbrella term for logistics and supply chain thinking in emerging, developing and devastated markets. This course explored these markets not as “an act of charity”, not as an “act of corporate social responsibility” but as a viable option to build sustainable, inclusive and innovative growth beyond the mature – but largely stagnant – developed world. This is not about sharing best practice from those “that know” but building fresh practice from markets that have an acute survival instinct and an ability to adapt that can be an inspiration elsewhere. All businesses can benefit from these markets beyond the mainstream in many ways.

At the invitation of the Director of GSIB, Professor V.K. Kumar Rob Bell led the sessions with Dr P.R.S. Sarma and Assistant Professor Ram Bhagavatula.  This is a detailed overview of the Course. These are the core units.

1.      Mainstream Logistics. Drawing from the work of Martin Christopher (2011), John Gattorna (2006) and, a sample of key Papers from the Logistics and Supply Chain discipline the sessions started with an overview of mainstream logistics highlighting all sorts of examples from lean to agile supply chains and, logistics and supply chains as a source of competitive advantage. This revision session linked to GITAM’s established Logistics Course.

2.      Checking our assumptions. The three F’s crisis (Food; Fuel and Finance) has accelerated a number of trends (the pace of the BRICs; G7 to G20) and, questioned a number of fundamentalisms – not least, as George Soros coined the term – market fundamentalism.

The Group explored ideas on Globalisation; Growth and free markets in this fresh context and, explored the impact such global shifts have on logistics and supply chains in all industries.

3. The Brands New World.With Global population rising from 6 to 9 billion by 2050 As Dr Subbarao had said in his talk earlier today, there is a need for greater inclusivity and, exciting potential to develop rather than ignore rural markets. Equally, there is a role for traditional industries in the business mix.

The Rushikonda fishing community