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Global Meets Digital

Global Meets Digital:
Global Strategy for Digital Businesses - Digital Strategy for Global Businesses

(Taylor & Francis, Productivity Press, May 23, 2023)

The confluence of global business and digital business, a shift long in the making, is now well underway. Of the important factors that account for this confluence, two in particular stand out: continuing advances in technology and innovation and the growing interconnectedness between the physical and digital worlds. These trends have major implications for corporate strategists.

In the global-digital world, products are of three kinds—physical, digital, and smart machines (products that are both physical and digital, and connected to the internet). The economics of each kind of products is distinct from that of the others, which has strategic implications for all kinds of businesses.

Aimed specifically at an executive/professional audience, Global Meets Digital derives its underpinnings from the actual practice of global and digital business. It is imperative for multinational enterprises (MNEs) to learn from the experiences of other MNEs how they do business and how they became successful (or unsuccessful) in their international and digital activities.

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Multinational enterprises have existed for a very long time. So, why now? The context of business in the last several years has undergone significant change. 1) Growing interconnectedness between the physical and digital worlds; 2) accelerating growth of technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing, used not only by IT firms but increasingly by firms in practically all industries; 3) growing role of cross-border data flows versus international trade in goods –- a fact not often covered in books on strategy and international business; 4) emergence of millions of entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized businesses new to the global marketplace for goods and services; and 5) a changed political, economic, and social environment in many parts of the world including the U.S., several European countries, and Latin America -– all of which have important implications for business.

With several mini case studies and over 300 company examples, the book covers themes and cutting-edge issues like the paradox of globalization, digital disruption, disruptive business models, exponential technologies, Internet of Things, competition in digital markets, winner-take-all market dynamics, Industry 4.0, how to innovate, strategizing for the New Normal, and value creation and value capture in both B2C and B2B contexts.

Table of Contents


PART ONE: The Context

1. Global Meets Digital


A global-digital world

Old is new again

Business in the 2020s: 


  Technology on steroids

  Competition—a changing paradigm


2. Paradox of Globalization

Global business in August 1914

When did globalization begin?

What’s behind the growth of globalization?

  Multilateral institutions, governments, MNEs, ICTs

Globalization today

  Reversal phenomena: Attitudes, innovation, FDI, outsourcing/offshoring

Globalization today vs. in earlier eras

The paradox


3.  Digital Business: Technology at Warp Speed

Crossing the chasm

Economics of digital products

Technologies: AI, robotics, 3D printing, cloud, blockchain, and 5G

Exponential characteristics of information technologies

Digital disruption

Value creation and value capture with technology


PART TWO: Strategy


4.  Entering Foreign Markets

Netflix goes abroad

Foreign market selection

The PRISM framework

Industry structure

Learning about foreign markets

Entering foreign markets:

  Exporting/importing, licensing, franchising, FDI, strategic alliances


5.  Global Strategy for Digital Businesses

Digitization-digitalization-digital transformation

Spotify – a case study

  How Spotify creates and captures value

  Spotify’s global strategy

Peloton – a case study

  How Peloton creates and captures value

  Peloton’s global strategy

Globalization-localization dilemma

Global strategy for digital businesses

6. Digital Business Models

Business models vs. operating models

Digital business models:

  Direct selling, subscription, freemium, outcome-based, razor and blade, data monetization, platform, ecosystem

Business models for professional services firms

7. Digital Strategy for Global B2C Businesses

Three kinds of businesses

What is digital strategy:

  Value creation – value capture

  Competition and competitive advantage in digital markets

Digital strategy for global B2C businesses

Nestlé – a case study

  Digital transformation at Nestlé

  Nestlé’s digital strategy

8. Digital Strategy for Global B2B Businesses

The four industrial revolutions; Industry 4.0

How IoT (IIoT) changes manufacturing

Advantages of the IIoT

How KCMG benefits from the IIoT

Value creation - value capture framework for IoT

Bosch – a case study

  Digital transformation at Bosch

  Bosch Group’s digital strategy 

9. Reinventing Innovation

InnoCentive reinvents innovation

How innovation happens


  Invisible hand of market

  Visible hand of management

How to innovate

  The Build|Buy|Ally framework

    Build: Innovation through internal development

    Buy: Innovation through M&A

    Ally: Innovation through alliances

  Open innovation


10. Reimagining Business

Starbucks’ reinvention plan

The five megatrends

Strategizing for the new normal

Value creation and value capture


  Competition’s new logic and logistics 

  Innovation’s new logistics

  Disrupt/cannibalize yourself

  The fourth industrial revolution 

  Disruptive business models





Vinod embarks on an excellent treatise on the convergence between the physical and digital worlds. Alongside, he at once recognizes that fundamental economic principles are no longer sacrosanct; be they the concepts of scarcity and choice, or the dictates of diminishing returns to scale. What we know from textbooks are no longer textbook! Global Meets Digital challenges business leaders to think differently about strategic implications of the global-digital world.  

  • Dr. Janamitra Devan, Head of Executive Office/Chief Strategy Officer, NEOM, Saudi Arabia; former Vice President, The World Bank Group; former Director, Global Strategy Practice, McKinsey & Co.


This “must-read” book for students and executives is a deeply reasoned and authoritative review of how digitalization speeds the international expansion of service providers like Netflix or Spotify, but it also covers examples of companies that provide physical products to global markets, such as Nestlé, Bosch, Starbucks, and Peloton. For the latter category of firms selling tangible products, digitalization has not only speeded up innovation, but for several it has entailed a fundamental organizational restructuring of their global operations and strategy decisions such as the choice between internal development and production versus strategic alliances versus acquiring foreign companies. 

The book is a “deep dive” into one of the fundamental changes occurring in business today – as evidenced by as many as 264 useful references on the subject. Yet, at the same time, it is written in language accessible to students and executives, with lessons for strategy clearly delineated. This book should be essential reading. 

  • Dr. Farok J. Contractor, Distinguished Professor in Management & Global Business, Rutgers Business School, New Brunswick & Newark, New Jersey 


It is rare to find a book on business strategy that combines the scope and depth of Vinod's understanding of strategy with the rigor of academic research that is as accessible in clear prose to the multinational executive who needs to formulate a strategy that is executable. He provides a terrific framework at the intersection of economics, strategy, and technology for understanding the dynamic dialectical process of the global (thesis) meeting digital (antithesis) that enables one to see opportunities and exigencies in the resulting synthesis in ways far superior to vain efforts to predict the future.  

  • R. Lemuel Lasher, Chairman, Leading Edge Only, Ltd., Managing Director, Boehme Eckhart LLC; former Vice President-Strategic Projects and Chief Innovation Officer, Computer Sciences Corporation


In this excellent book, Jain provides a roadmap for how global firms should leverage digitalization to enhance their global competitiveness. Whether your firm is big or small, young or old, a B2C or a B2B company, Jain shows you how to craft a digital strategy and stay ahead of competitors. Peppered with hundreds of examples from diverse industries and countries, Jain’s book is a treasure trove of practical insights for managers, academics, and students alike.

  • Dr. Ravi Ramamurti, University Distinguished Professor of International Business & Strategy, and Director, Center for Emerging Markets, Northeastern University


The book is far more than a study of the intersection of two megatrends—globalization and technology. It recognizes that while the axes are nominally orthogonal, they interact powerfully as the two phenomena evolve in the business world – along with the consequential impacts on our personal and professional lives. In fact, the author makes clear that this deepening intersection creates a new need for business capabilities demanding new models and new strategies to succeed in the global-digital world. The text is clear, well organized and meticulously punctuated with relevant case studies, and the scholarly works of those attempting to understand the why’s and broader implications of these phenomena. Finally, it offers a framework for leaders to examine their corporate strategies and evaluate them for future relevance in a methodical way.  

  • Dr. Alpheus Bingham, author of “The Innovation Marketplace” and “One Smart Crowd” and founder of InnoCentive


Professor Vinod Jain’s latest book Global Meets Digital: Global Strategy for Digital Businesses - Digital Strategy for Global Businesses is very timely. It used to be no firms had digital strategy; then some firms had a digital strategy; and today all firms should have a digital strategy, but many do not.  This book will help you learn how to develop a successful one. Professor Jain has written a very accessible book that clearly explains complex issues about digital strategy and includes many interesting case studies which help readers to better understand the issues discussed and learn about international best practice in the area. Global Meets Digital is unique in that it covers strategies for physical, digital, and smart products like the Internet of Things. The book also covers many important current themes like digital disruption, the paradox of globalization, exponential technologies, industry 4.0, disruptive business models, competition in digital markets, and winner-take-all market dynamics. This book is a must-read for any student or executive concerned about digital strategy.

  • Dr. Carl Fey, Professor of Strategy, BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo, Norway; former Dean, Nottingham University Business School China


At last, a book that addresses the inescapable reality of the fusion between the physical and digital worlds. What impacted me most about this world-class book is the practical and pertinent applications of its content. Vinod Jain managed to combine his research, knowledge, and industry experience with relevant case studies delivering a superb book. I’m glad Vinod Jain has so well and so fully shed light on these two vital and here-to-stay forces.

  • Humberto “HAP” Patorniti, Partner at Tenacity Inc. and Adjunct Professor, Rutgers State University; former CEO and President, SODEXO, Mexico, North America


Globalization has been going on since humans started to consume something that was built somewhere else. It started with the Silk Road and then to ships to railways to trucks to airways and finally the Internet. All of these modes of knowledge and service transport have helped increase the speed at which the services can move across the globe, and it is just continuing to pick up speed. “Global Meets Digital” gives you the whole perspective on what is happening and what is yet to come, and how one by one each industry is getting transformed. If you are in any position in a business and are thinking about what Digital means for your business, then this is the book for you!

  • Lokesh Kumar, Chief Technology Officer, and Co-founder and Chief Architect,


I highly recommend Dr. Vinod Jain’s new book, “Global Meets Digital”, for several reasons. It is a book for our time in business that will enable us to also prepare for the future environment of the melting of “older business axioms” into new, adaptable business strategies to take any business enterprise into the near and far-reaching future. Jain critically examines not only how we got here, but more importantly, how we should think about next steps in navigating the ever dynamic and changing world of business where “giants have fallen” and new entries can generate a meteoric rise in shareholder value. Essentially, the rules have changed and ALL business must recognize and plan for the future. I enjoyed the mixture of real-world business case studies with the lessons learned to prepare one’s own business. In my opinion, this is a “must read” for any organization or person contemplating how to grow in a digital business environment.

  • H.E. The Hon., Dr. Thomas A. Cellucci, former First Chief Commercialization Officer of the United States of America, Author of 30 books, and Serial Entrepreneur


Vinod writes an extremely timely book for today’s executives. It captures two pressing, inter-connected issues of our time—globalization and digitalization, and offers numerous insights about how we can address them—in an integrated manner. I highly recommend the book, particularly to executives aiming to expand their global footprint through a digital strategy.

  • Dr. Tony Tong, Senior Associate Dean for Faculty & Research and Professor of Strategy & Entrepreneurship, Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado Boulder


Dr. Jain has long shared his expertise regarding the relationship between global and digital business. His latest book, Global Meets Digital, provides a look at the historical evolution of this relationship. Further, given the unprecedented rate of change today, driven by the twin forces of globalization and technology, he points to the business revolution that is unfolding real time. Dr. Jain provides an insightful strategic context to the growing interconnectedness between the two and offers numerous case examples that allows the reader to peer into the future. Global Meets Digital explores the opportunities and challenges and is a must read for business leaders who are struggling to reimagine today’s new normal.

  • Keith Darcy, President, Darcy Partners Inc.; former Independent Senior Advisor, Deloitte & Touche LLP, and former Chairman, Better Business Bureau Foundation


Vinod has a unique style of explaining even complex concepts in a simple manner, which makes this book enjoyable to read. He addresses the challenges of global expansion for new-age digital businesses and the need for digital transformation of traditional global enterprises in a lucid fashion with authentic case studies across the spectrum. I recommend this book as compulsory reading for business leaders looking for practical guidance on several topics not covered in other management books.

  • Sridharan Rangarajan, Vice President, Platforms, Viessmann, Germany; former Director, Hybrid Cloud Strategy, Bosch, Germany; and former Program Director, Bluemix Practice, IBM Software Group


Dr. Jain captures the importance of growth strategies for Global and Digital businesses through his impressive research, extensive case studies, academic excellence, and many years of engagement with the world’s leading corporations. This is a brilliant book for executives facing a highly charged market dynamic in the global-digital world. While most books on strategy tend to focus on B2C businesses, what I, with over 30 years of senior-level experience in B2B businesses worldwide, really appreciated is that Global Meets Digital has a whole chapter devoted to competing in B2B businesses. 

  • Steven R Zirkel, President & CEO of Blue Everest LLC; former Managing Director, Owens Corning Asia Pacific


As an active practitioner in international business for over 30 years I really appreciated reading Global Meets Digital by Vinod Jain. I strongly recommend reading this book as it is timely and it discusses the real issues companies are facing right now. The important concepts are clearly explained and supported by practical cases so that the reader is able to relate to real situations. The ideal content to bring ourselves up to date on critical issues that impact global strategy, Vinod Jain’s new book is, in my view, a must read.

  • Jean-Paul DAVID, CEO of Mercadex Europe & Director of Institut MX, Paris, France

In modern times, it's not enough to have strategy, you need to have a flexible and resilient execution feedback loops to maximize outcomes. Vinod combines an approach that does both and explains in his book how businesses can benefit from taking advantage of the the natural contradictions that exist between the physical and digital, the local and the global, and between theory and practice. 

  -  PV Boccasam, Chairman of Jôrn Capital and serial entrepreneur

Global Strategy

Global Strategy:

Competing in the Connected Economy

(Routledge, 2016)

“In this state-of-the-art book, Vinod Jain provides managers and business students with a road-map for navigating today’s hyper-connected, hyper-innovative, and hyper-competitive global economy. 


Drawing on the latest research, he presents practical frameworks managers can use to enter, compete, and grow in foreign markets as well as manage their global operations.  Jain’s use of many fascinating examples from around the world makes his points come alive.  I strongly recommend the book to executives looking to get them up to speed quickly on the essentials of global strategy in the contemporary world.”

- Dr. Ravi Ramamurti, Distinguished Professor of International Business and Strategy, and Director, Center for Emerging  Markets, Northeastern University.

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“An excellent, comprehensive, and balanced combination of the theoretical and practical aspects of global strategy, which will appeal to both the academic savants and operational practitioners, clarifying abstruse issues for the former and practical guidelines for the latter.”


- Lemuel Lasher, Chairman of the Board, Leading Edge Only, Ltd., The Global Innovation Marketplace, and former Chief Innovation Officer, Computer Sciences Corporation.

“Global Strategy does a masterful job of simplifying the complexity of today’s globalized environment. Jain captures the essence of the digital transformation lucidly. This will be a refresher to practitioners as well as students of global business. While learning from the rich facts Jain expertly weaves, readers are prompted to think as well.”

- Dr. Janamitra Devan, Former Vice-President at the World Bank (WB) and International Financial Corporation (IFC), and former Global Director of Operations for McKinsey’s Strategy Practice.

Table of Contents


The Context of Global Business

1. Introduction: The Connected Economy

2. Globalization: Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow

3. Globalization of Industries and Firms



Strategy for International Markets

4. How to Enter Foreign Markets

5. How to Compete in Foreign Markets

6. How to Grow in Foreign Markets​


Global Strategy Implementation

7. Organizational Design for Global Operations

8. Global Learning, Capability Building, and the MNE

9. Innovation and the MNE

10. Leveraging Opportunities in the Connected Economy

How America Benefits Book

How America Benefits from Economic Engagement with India

Co-authored with Kamlesh Jain

(India-US World Affairs Institute, Inc., 2020)

“While popular perception has it that the companies of India Inc. are taking jobs away from Americans and adding little value to the U.S. economy, nothing could be further from the truth. As the authors of this study demonstrate, Indian companies have been investing steadily in the U.S. for decades, and with the rise of India Inc. the magnitude and impact of such investments have increased… Firms and individuals from India also make a powerful impact on other aspects of U.S. culture and society.”


- Timothy D. Matlack, former CEO, Wipro Consulting USA, and former President & CEO, Delta Solutions and Technologies, Inc.

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“For too long, the relationship between developed and developing nations had been a one-way street… In the 1980s and 1990s, …multinationals from developed countries also began to disseminate technology to junior partners in developing countries, with the idea of using such technology to produce and sell products there. In the 2000s, we are seeing a dramatic paradigm shift, whereby developing countries are now giving birth to multinationals of their own, and these multinationals are making acquisitions and other investments in developed countries…


This study challenges the received wisdom, the old paradigm, of international economic engagement between developed and developing nations, using United States and India as a case in point. The study shows how major multinationals from India are now making significant acquisitions and greenfield investments, and creating jobs, in the United States.”

- Dr. Amit Mitra, Secretary General, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI)

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