Milind Lele

Author, Monopoly Rules
Professor, University of Chicago Graduate School of Business

Understanding monopolies.

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Rules for achieving a ‘monopoly’; that is, how to be alone in the marketplace, to (legally) own a space long enough to make some real money.

The Value

Potential monopolies exist around your company — market spaces in which your customers think only of you. Milind Lele can help you find them and know what to do with them. Milind Lele knows how monopolies really work and he teaches the principles by which you can find, capture and control the most lucrative markets in your business.

A new way to think and take action. The New Competition is destroying many old monopolies, but it is also creating opportunities for new ones. The new monopolies don’t require the conventional "competitive advantages" of a unique product, a strong brand, large scale and/or low cost. What is necessary — what Milind Lele offers — is:

  • The vision to anticipate how monopolies will emerge as customer needs and industry capabilities change.
  • The imagination to determine how best to seize and hold the favored competitive position.

Situation monopolies. The best of these new opportunities are situation monopolies, not asset-based monopolies. They capitalize on a situation in which no other company is meeting the customer’s need. This is the sea change that few business strategists have recognized so far. *Finding new situations — not creating new assets — is the key to growth in the future.

How to keep it going. Because every situation eventually loses its unique value, you have to keep finding new ones. Milind Lele teaches the art of monopoly leapfrog — finding new bits of firm ground to leap to and knowing when to jump.

In addition to keynotes, Milind Lele can do ½-day, full day and 2-day working seminars focused on helping your company find and develop its own monopoly.


  • President & CEO, SLC Consultants
  • Adjunct Professor, Marketing and Business Policy, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago
  • Former visiting associate professor in marketing, J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University


Monopoly Rules: How To Find, Capture And Control The Most Lucrative Markets In Any Business (August 30th, 2005) UK version and translations into Chinese and Korean pending.

Creating Strategic Leverage: Matching Company Strengths With Market Opportunities (1992) Translated into Spanish.

The Customer Is Key: Gaining An Unbeatable Advantage Through Customer Satisfaction (1987 (hardbound) and 1992 (paperback). Also translated into Spanish, Italian and Finnish.


Monopoly Rules

How to Find, Capture, and Control the Most Lucrative Markets In Any Business

Milind Lele

What business leaders really want is to be alone in the marketplace, to have a space that they own for a long enough period of time so they can make some real money. In this short, powerful book, Milind Lele shows you how.

Conventional wisdom attributes winning to having the best products at the lowest prices, a great brand, superior management, and the lowest overhead — so-called “sustainable competitive advantage.” But these are neither necessary nor sufficient to continuously grow your business. These are some of the new monopoly rules:

  • Find a market space where customer’s needs are not being met and they are willing to spend money to meet them.
  • Know how long the space will remain open and why.
  • Figure out how to capture it and wall it off.
  • Know what to do when the party ends.

The best monopoly opportunities are situational, often soft and intangible. They’re segments, not the mass market, and often in the customer’s mind. For the customer there is no one but you, since what you provide can’t be easily copied, duplicated, or ripped off. For example, for many coffee lovers there is no one but Starbucks. The moment people found out what coffee could, and should, taste like it was as if a giant lightbulb went off inside their heads — and Starbucks had a monopoly.

Monopoly Rules couldn’t come at a better time, as an almost perfect storm seems to be hitting every business. Customers are changing and the homogenous mass market has gone the way of the nickel soda. Now the game is winning market segments. In this world, Monopoly Rules provides a new way to think and take action and stay ahead of the game.

Crown Business (Aug 30, 2005)

Creating Strategic Leverage

Matching Company Strengths with Market Opportunities

Milind Lele

Creating Strategic Leverage examines how to analyze industry structure and determine your company's competitive position within it, and then how to anticipate or change the rules of the game — or even change the game itself — for competitive advantage. The book provides a clear, concise approach to describing and communicating a strategy and determine what's feasible and what's not, depending on your company's position. Packed with case studies from such industries as AT&T, Federal Express, United Airlines and more.

Wiley 1 edition, Dec 11, 1991


Milind tailors each presentation to the needs of his audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest his range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.

Inside China

China’s Re-emergence and Its Global Implications

  • The China market
  • Rise of the Chinese middle class
  • Global triad: The changing competitive landscape
  • China: 5000 going on 25
  • Competing or cooperating with the Chinese
  • Mainland Chinese business in transition

Inside Chinese Business

  • Confucianism and its impact on Chinese business and social practices worldwide
  • Networking and guanxi—enduring Chinese relationships
  • Chinese “business families”—rather than “family businesses”
  • Communicating with the Chinese
  • Chinese negotiation psychology
  • Global Chinese business

Global Expansion of Chinese Enterprises

  • Emerging Chinese competitors worldwide
  • Global expansion paths and strategies
  • Challenges for Chinese enterprises
  • Implications for enterprises worldwide
  • Strategic perspectives for engaging with Chinese competitors
  • Business strategy in the new global reality

Inside India

The Rise of India

  • Historical perspectives
  • From socialism to software
  • Trends & trajectories
  • The Salary Pump ©
  • What’s driving India’s growth today  India today

Inside India

  • The consumer explosion
    • Cell phones
    • Home appliances
    • Two-wheelers to four wheelers
    • Housing
    • Airtravel
  • Meet the Indian consumers
    • Demographics
    • Attitudes & expectations
    • Where they shop — and how that’s changed
  • Business India
    • Background and diversity
    • The multinational invasion
    • How Indian firms are responding — and leading
    • Doing business in India
    • Small vs. large firms
    • Family-led vs. entrepreneurial

India Abroad

  • Outsourcing and beyond: How Indian firms are competing
  • Partnering with Indian firms
  • Competing with Indian rivals


A major international executive education organization:
On behalf of HSM we would like to thank you for everything you did for us us here in São Paulo and your wonderful performance. The overall event evaluation was 94% total customer satisfaction, one of the very best in HSM´s history. Rarely we had a speaker who prepared so much for our event as you did. You are not only a first class speaker but also a first class person.