Institute for Emerging Market Studies

SKOLKOVO School of Management
SKOLKOVO Institute for Emerging Market Studies (IEMS) was established at the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO in 2008 with a mission to develop rigorous knowledge and actionable insights that enable individuals and organizations to advance their frontiers in emerging markets.



    Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO 100 Novaya Str, Skolkovo Village, Odintsovsky District, Moscow Region 143025 Russia
    +74955393003 | |


    Lo Ka Chung Building, Lee Shau Kee Campus The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong
    +85234692215 | |


    AC-3, Level 1, Indian School of Business Gachibowli, Hyderabad 500 111 India
    +914023187027 | |


The institute is a vision of impact investor and venture philanthropist Ruben Vardanyan, a strong believer in the future role of the emerging markets in the global economy.

Ruben Vardanyan

Founding partner, Deputy Chairman of the International Advisory Board, member of the Board of Directors of Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO

The world has never been as dynamic as it is today: technological disruptions, demographic shifts, economic turbulence, and political unrest bring challenges on an unprecedented scale. Twenty years ago nobody could have imagined that the combined GDP of the top seven emerging markets could exceed that of the G7 countries. These markets offer both a great opportunity and a major challenge for any business. By establishing IEMS we wanted to contribute our views and insights to the dialog of business with policy-makers and NGOs in all emerging markets. We believe that open multi-stakeholder dialog will eventually help businesses and politicians come up with better-informed decisions that make a positive impact and drive change for better.

Since its inception, IEMS has been supported by EY. Under the strategic guidance of Karl Johansson, IEMS has developed into an international network uniting the research teams in Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Indian School of Business in Hyderabad.

Karl Johansson

Chairman of SKOLKOVO IEMS Management Committee, Chairman of the Analytical Credit Agency of Russia (ACRA)

Studying emerging markets from within – that is the idea behind bringing together the research teams in Moscow, Hong Kong, and Hyderabad into the international and interdisciplinary research network. These are the most effective means to deal with the dynamics and complexity of the changing nature of emerging markets. Assisting international businesses better understand emerging markets and operating businesses in emerging markets expand globally – those are the strategic aims of the research initiatives at IEMS.

Pursuing its mission, in more than 10 years SKOLKOVO IEMS has produced over 80 sponsored and commissioned research reports, published an award-winning book, and contributed to expert discussion at major economic forums in emerging markets and globally. IEMS has benefited from the support of and partnerships with various institutions and organizations, such as Unilever, RVVZ Foundation, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Dialog of Civilizations Research Institute, BRICS Business Magazine, and others.

Key Activity Areas


Global Economy

Major reforms and market transformations in India, China, Russia, Central Asia and the Caucasus. Global expansion of emerging economies. Business opportunities in pockets of g

Grloowbtahl Strategies Internationalization of mid-market firms, strategies for winning a global niche. Internationalization from emerging markets to emerging markets.

Sustainable Development

Business strategies addressing the United Nations’Sustainable Development Goals: ESG, responsible Consumption Duisgtiatianla tbrlaen ssofuorrcminga taionnd souf ptphley lcivhianign se nvironment, of business models and of consumer behavior. Innovations for, in, and from the emerging economies. Management, governance, and policy in the digital age.

20+ applied research reports in cooperation with EY, HKUST, ISB, WWF, Nord University Business School, Korea

Maritime Institute, the Russian Ministry for Economic Development, Arctic Council, Arctic Economic Council, and UNDP.

Book From Rhino To Unicorn received the Business Book of the Year Award at Saint-Petersburg Economic Forum and became the best seller on Amazon and No. 1 Bestselling Book on The Wall Street Journal globally.

Further studies:

  • Mapping the Future of the Arctic
  • Transformation of the Global Supply Chains
  • Evolution of Digital Ecosystems
  • Climate Policy of China, India, and Kazakhstan


Commissioned research reports on;

  • economic policy
  • sustainability
  • infrastructure development
  • transportation and logistics
  • digital transformation

Cooperation with EY on their consulting projects

Reports for Russian regional administrations:

  • Yugra Administration, on Tourism, Fish, and Forestry.
  • Sakhalin Administration on International Development.

Reports for Korean Maritime Institute:

  • Russian-Korean Cooperation in the Arctic.
  • Application of technologies of the fourth industrial revolution in the Arctic.
  • Application of technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the Arctic
  • The role of inland waterways in the development of the Northern Sea Route

National Digital Strategies

  • Digital Armenia
  • Digital Turkmenistan (contracted by UNDP)


Themes of the educational programs and courses

  • International Strategy
  • Global Trends in Business and Society
  • Sustainable Development and ESG Transformation
  • Digital Transformation
  • 10+ teaching cases on digital transformation and the Belt and Road, one written exclusively for dual-degree HS EMBA program.
  • >500 hours of lectures taught by IEMS speakers as School’s professors for the programs. IEMS speakers receive positive feedback from program units and students, usually getting not lower than 9 out of 10 points in student’s feedback forms.

Programs and courses developed by IEMS:

  • Global Trends in Busines & Society
  • Strategy in Business
  • Bioeconomy and Sustainable Forestry
  • Indian Module for HS EMBA

IEMS regular contributions to SKOLKOVO programs:

  • MBA
  • Practicum Global Shift
  • Exporters 2.0
  • Chief Digital Transformation Officer
  • Productivity Leaders

IEMS corporate programs:

  • Sustainability for METALLOINVEST (online)
  • Study Tour to India for KINOPLAN


  • Publications in Russian and international business media
  • Hosting business and policy dialogs on- and offline
  • Moderating and speaking at leading business forums

88 Articles

More than 80 articles and comments in Russia’s and World business media 

119 Expert Presentations

More than 100 expert presentations delivered at business conferences, forums and roundtables

34 Home Events 

More than 30 home intellectual events were held in partnership with EY, HKUST, CREC, Nord University and other partners

>40 Thousand Views

IEMS online events and streams have more than 40 thousand views on YouTube


  • Ruben Vardanyan
    Ruben Vardanyan
    Founding partner, Deputy Chairman of the International Advisory Board, member of the Board of Directors of Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO
  • Andrey Sharonov
    Andrey Sharonov
    Professor, CEO of the National ESG-Alliance
  • Vladimir Preobrajensky
    Vladimir Preobrajensky
    Professor of Business Practice

Founding Partners

Research partners

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