Michael Porter, 55, is widely respected in the US and UK as the leading authority on global competitiveness, an innovative management thinker and business strategist.
Millions of HR managers, investment analysts, consultants and scholars devour his books.
Porter originated the idea of 'sustainable competitive advantage' which has now achieved cliché status in worldwide business circles.
The Professor of Business Administration at Harvard regularly advises heads of state, major corporates and companies such as AT&T, Procter & Gamble and Shell. Officially, he is known in the US as the Bishop William Lawrence University Professor - only the fourth Harvard faculty member in its history to be recognised with a university professorship.
His fees on the conference circuit are notoriously high at about £100,000 a day.
Last year, it was reported that the Thai government intended to pay Porter $1m for a lecture and consultancy on how the country can stay competitive. While it is unclear how much he will earn working for the DTI, his UK project is expected to last about four months.
Porter's big idea is that companies should not just focus on operational effectiveness because it ultimately leads to competition on prices. He believes strategy should be about making companies different and that ethical policies can bring competitive advantages.