Chapter 6. The Beaten Path and The Road Less Traveled: Established and Emerging Countries

A single millimeter.

That’s all it took to sink the Whirlpool Corporation’s dream of developing a washing machine that would serve the needs of customers from Mumbai to Mexico City.

The time was 1990, when going “global” held the promise of hundreds of millions of new customers for executives of Western companies from developed lands. The lure of the emerging world and all its upside was irresistible for many, including then Whirlpool CEO David Whitwam. “Being an international company—selling globally, having global brands or operations in different countries—isn’t enough,” he told the Harvard Business Review in 1994, “Everybody is going global but hardly ...

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