Rob Katz

BOP Learning Lab India

Reuben AbrahamThe BOP Learning Lab, an on-the-ground research project run through Cornell’s Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise, will soon have an Indian arm. NextBillion ally Reuben Abraham (photo) reports on his Zoo Station weblog:

I have a joint appointment with the Cornell Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise and the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad. I am heading up the process to set up the Center in India as a joint partnership between Cornell and the ISB. Under the umbrella of the center, we are also setting up a Base of the Pyramid Learning Lab and a Sustainable Innovations Lab. The entire project is headed up Stuart Hart at Cornell, who co-authored the famous “Fortune at the Base of the Pyramid” paper with C.K. Prahalad.

I selfishly hope Reuben will find the time to write about his experiences running the Lab, since that kind of from the field reporting is scarce. So far, he’s given us a skeleton work plan:

1. Academic: publishing, conferences, seminars, academic exchange programs etc, to promote the role of the private sector, technology, and capital markets in economic development.

2. Strategy Consulting: to MNCs, foreign companies and Indian Corporations that want to tap lower middle and low-income markets in India.

3. SME Incubation: the incubation component will consist of reducing transactions costs by providing access to finance (through a financing value chain that extends from micro-finance to venture capital and private equity); access to best practices, technologies and knowledge networks; and access to managerial capacity building.

Good luck with the new position, Reuben! We?ll be sure to get in touch when the New Ventures team launches its Indian operation in November, along with our new book, Tomorrow’s Markets II.