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High technology in emerging markets: Building biotechnology clusters, capabilities and competitiveness in India

Mark J. Ahn (Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Willamette University, Salem, Oregon, USA)
Ashish Hajela (Indian Institute of Management Lucknow, Lucknow, India)
Mohammad Akbar (Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship Group, Indian Institute of Management Lucknow, Lucknow, India)

Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration

ISSN: 1757-4323

Article publication date: 13 April 2012



Building a bioeconomy requires efficient technology transfer and global linkages to exploit finite intellectual property exclusivity periods. Using a resource‐based view lens, this paper aims to assess the priorities, capabilities, and competitiveness of the emerging bioeconomy in India.


A triangulated design was used that involved interviews, case studies and a survey of 61 India biotechnology industry participants.


Two high priority capabilities were identified as being critical to fostering a competitive bioeconomy – access to talent and access to funding. Participants also identified the critical role of government in building and coordinating infrastructure, enabling critical capabilities, and accelerating bi‐directional technology and capital flows. This study reinforces the resource‐based view strategy framework regarding the importance of local context for biotechnology research.

Practical implications

Implications include the need for public‐private sector collaboration to strengthen industry infrastructure and enable biotechnology start‐ups, partnering between academia and government to accelerate technology transfer, and importance of seeking international investment and alliances early in a company's lifecycle to ensure sustainability.


These India‐centric lessons may be valuable in advancing knowledge for building successful biotechnology clusters, particularly for emerging market countries.



Ahn, M.J., Hajela, A. and Akbar, M. (2012), "High technology in emerging markets: Building biotechnology clusters, capabilities and competitiveness in India", Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 23-41.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited