Indian Institute of Management Calcutta

Strategic Thinking – Creating and Sustaining Advantage

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About the course

A company’s strategy is no longer the exclusive domain of its top management. Rapid changes all around are throwing up new opportunities and threats, and firms need to be agile enough to seize the moment. It is therefore imperative that mid-level managers, who are much closer to the action, develop the critical skills as well as the mindset to think about their firm or business unit’s strategy, and provide timely and continuous strategic inputs to the top management. Managers must also be able to predict the direction of their industry’s evolution as well as gauge the impact of forces like competition, customer demands and technological changes on their company’s bottom-line, and accordingly devise strategies that align the needs of the present with the emerging realities of the future. Top management, on the other hand, needs to create robust processes to seek insights from and work closely with middle managers in not only execution, but formulation of strategy as well.


This program aims to acquaint participants with the concepts, techniques and tools firms use to create and sustain competitive advantage, to understand why strategies of some firms fail and others succeed, and how firms may make changes to their structure, strategies and governance to remain competitive in a rapidly evolving and increasingly complex business environment. Participants will be introduced to the fundamentals of competitive strategy, the economics of value creation and capture, and the analytical tools needed to formulate strategies. They will learn about the forces underlying industry structure, industry evolution in a volatile and ambiguous global environment, and how firms can position themselves to obtain a dynamic fit with their environment with an eye to creating greater value for themselves. Participants will also learn to look inside the firm for internal sources of competitive advantage, for example through developing complex and dynamic capabilities.

Key Topics

  • Business strategies for competitive advantage
  • Analyzing industries, networks and value chains
  • Analyzing competitors, suppliers, partners and complementors
  • Designing the organization: Structure, incentives and coordination
  • Strategy execution: Dilemmas of control and delegation
  • Corporate strategy: Managing business portfolios
  • Corporate governance: Managing multiple stakeholders

Who should attend

Senior managers in general management roles and functional heads looking to migrate to general management roles across industries like high tech, IT & analytics, pharma, professional services, consumer products, manufacturing, telecommunications, energy, financial services, etc. Managers planning for a career move into general management and leadership roles with business level profit responsibilities will especially benefit from the program.

Trust the experts

Palash Deb

Prof. Palash Deb is an Associate Professor in the Strategic Management group at IIM Calcutta. He also co-heads the IIM Calcutta Corporate Governance Center. Prof. Deb did his PhD in strategic management from the Martin J Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University in NY, USA. He then taug...


Biswatosh Saha

Prof. Biswatosh Saha did his B.Tech from IIT Kharagpur and completed his doctoral research at IIM Calcutta. His research work has been published in Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Marketing Management, AI & Society, Economic and Political Weekly and in books published by Sage and Tay...


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