Debating the ‘Bottom of the Pyramid,’ 2.0

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Back in 2004, the late C.K. Prahalad’s global bestseller “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits” identified the world’s poorest citizens as its fastest growing market, claiming:

If we stop thinking of the poor as victims or as a burden and start recognizing them as resilient and creative entrepreneurs and value-conscious consumers, a whole new world of opportunity will open up. Four billion poor can be the engine of the next round of global trade and prosperity … [and] a source of innovations.

A new article in the Journal of Macromarketing (JMMK) examines this influential concept and offers a new approach.  Arpita Agnihotri of ICFAI University published “Revisiting the Debate over the Bottom of the Pyramid Market” on June 27, 2012 in JMMK. To see more OnlineFirst articles, click here.

Dr. Agnihotri explains in the paper:

This article begins by explaining some of Prahalad’s propositions and the counterarguments critics have made. Then, an extended ‘‘2.0’’ version of the concept is discussed. Based on the principles of cocreation rather than selling to the BOP, this version emphasizes the role of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) as alliance partners of multinationals. Finally, the article discusses how firms have successfully implemented BOP principles, such as business model innovations and drastic cost reduction to suit products and services, initially meant for a richer segment of society, to the needs of the mass market, thus opening a new channel of revenue generation.

Read the complete article here. To learn more about the Journal of Macromarketing, please follow this link.

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