Resources

Cross, Jamie / Street, Alice / 2009. Anthropology at the Bottom of the Pyramid.
Anthropology Today, 25 (4): 4-9.

In this article, we examine three initiatives in South India that have brought Hindustan Unilever to prominence as a pioneer of business at the bottom of the pyramid. Using corporate reports, promotional materials, business case studies, academic papers and newspaper interviews we look at a public-private partnership campaign, a school-based educational campaign and a direct distribution strategy. Our intention is not to advance opinions about the empirical effectiveness of soap against the transmission of disease or human morbidity. Instead we use this article to reflect on the particular constellation of relationships between multiple actors that have enabled Lifebuoy soap to emerge as a 'social good', an object that circulates through international business schools, NGOs, universities and government departments as a convincing composite of both 'social' and 'commercial' value.


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Appeared in

Sector: Enterprise, Gender Sanitation
Region: South Asia