Resources   region

East Asia

Serving the low-income consumer: How to tackle this mostly ignored market

Facing saturation and cutthroat competition in long-established markets, many multinational companies are seeking new markets. Yet until recently, they have largely ignored the more than 5 billion low-income consumers, thinking these consumers have no money to spend or are impossible to reach. Now several companies are disproving these perceptions. ...

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A Nano car in every driveway? How to succeed in the ultra-low-cost car market

Henry Ford’s historic promise in 1908 to “build a car for the great multitude” resulted in the production of more than 15 million Model Ts and created unprecedented mobility for consumers everywhere. Will India’s Tata Motors deliver on its equally bold promise to a new generation of consumers to bring ...

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Purchasing power at the bottom of the pyramid: differences across geographic regions and income tiers

Purpose - The purpose of this article is to examine the purchasing power at the bottom of the pyramid (BOP), i.e. of low-income consumers. Design/methodology/approach - The authors analyze secondary data on income, population, and expenditure at the BOP from different countries, and apply the buying power index (BPI) methodology ...

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From digital divide to digital dividend: What will it take?

One of the greatest challenges in higher education is to give billions of impoverished people access to it across the globe. The growth of information and communications technologies (ICTs) over the past decade holds great promise for meeting this challenge, yet the limited access that most of the world's population ...

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The next 4 billion

In an informal suburb of Guadalajara, Mexico, a growing family is struggling to expand its small house. Help arrives from a major industrial company in the form of construction designs, credit, and as-needed delivery of materials, enabling rapid completion of the project at less overall cost. In rural Madhya Pradesh, ...

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Creating value for all: Strategies for doing business with the poor

The Growing Inclusive Markets Initiative responds to a need for better understanding of how the private sector can contribute to human development and to the Millennium Development Goals. Led by UNDP, the initiative was conceived in 2006 after the success of Unleashing Entrepreneurship: Making Business Work for the Poor—the 2004 ...

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Interview: C. K. Prahalad

The renowned corporate strategist and co-author of Competing for the Future talks about his theory of co-creation, expounded in his most recent book, The Future of Competition: Co-Creating Unique Value with Customers. Interview by Des Dearlove. ...

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Marketing technological innovation to LDCs: Lessons from one laptop per child

If the criterion for success were admiration for an innovative concept, the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project would be an unqualified triumph. The project, which sought to put laptop computers into the hands of tens of millions of children in the developing world, attracted early funding from Google, AMD, ...

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Aid is not the answer

There is an inherent paradox in the debate about poverty alleviation that escapes even the most sophisticated observers in the West. Consider the conventional thinking about China and India: They are seen as a threat to the West. The fear is not only about "exporting well paying U.S. jobs" but ...

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Creating mutual value: Lessons learned from ventures serving base of the pyramid producers

The base of the pyramid (BoP) literature is grounded in the proposition of mutual value creation, an important but not yet well-tested relationship between business development and poverty alleviation. This paper begins to address this gap by assessing how business ventures serving BoP producers address local constraints and create mutual ...

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The great leap: Driving innovation from the Base of the Pyramid

Billions of poor people aspire to join the world's economy. Disruptive innovation can pave the way, helping companies combine sustainable corporate growth with social responsibility. ...

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The next four billion: market size and business strategy at the base of the pyramid

Four billion low-income consumers, a majority of the world’s population, constitute the base of the economic pyramid. New empirical measures of their aggregate purchasing power and their behavior as consumers suggest significant opportunities for market-based approaches to better meet their needs, increase their productivity and incomes, and empower their entry ...

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Segmenting the Base of the Pyramid

To succeed, you’ll need to link your commercial interests with your constituencies’ well-being. ...

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The end of corporate imperialism

When large Western companies rushed to enter emerging markets 20 years ago, they were guided by a narrow and often arrogant perspective. They tended to see countries like China and India simply as targets—vast agglomerations of would-be consumers hungry for modern goods and services. C.K. Prahalad and Kenneth Lieberthal call ...

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Beyond the hype: Taking Business Strategy to the “Bottom of the Pyramid”

Recent studies in strategy have highlighted both the successes and failures of applying conventional perspectives in strategic management to developing markets. Within this debate, Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP) strategies, aimed at exploiting high-volume, low-margins strata at the bottom of these societies, have particularly drawn interest. We critically examine the ...

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Better vision for the Poor

Estimates for the number of poor people worldwide who need eyeglasses are startling. The World Health Organization reports approximately 517 million people in developing countries are visually impaired because they do not have access to corrective treatment. The Centre for Vision in the Developing World at Oxford University has a ...

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Developing native capability

Today multinational corporations (MNCs) find themselves on the horns of a dilemma. With the unprecedented performance of stocks over much of recent history as a backdrop, their shareholders now expect double-digit returns, yet the global economy limps along at an annual average rate of growth of only 2%-3%. The question ...

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Instant noodles as an antifriction device: Making the BOP with PPP in PNG

Focusing primarily, but not exclusively, on urban and periurban Papua New Guinea (PNG), we discuss the significance of instant ramen noodles to those now known as the "bottom of the pyramid" (BOP). Although instant noodles are remarkable in that they are eaten by virtually everyone in the world, albeit in ...

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Innovation blowback: Disruptive management practices from Asia

Western companies think too narrowly about the emerging world. If they aren’t careful, they may end up as defenders, not attackers. ...

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Serving the world’s poor: innovation at the base of the economic pyramid

The market for products and services delivered to the poor people of the world is huge. Consumers at the very bottom of the economic pyramid – those with per capita incomes of less than $1,500 – number more than 4 billion. For more than a billion people – roughly one-sixth ...

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