Kishor Nagula

Can Private Sector ?Greed? Manifest Into Transformational Development?

Editor’s Note: This post is one in a series on the Best Ideas of 2010 for the BoP. We asked the NextBillion staff writers and editors to share what they considered to be the year’s most impactful – or potentially impactful – concepts, startups or initiatives that came to fruition in 2010.

Okay, so I’m obviously pining for some exaggeration here, but with the base of the pyramid now seen as a veritable consumer demographic, can 2011 be the year where multinationals really start to delve into the BoP no longer for CSR but for profits?

We’ve seen a handful of firms actually penetrate the market, such as CEMEX and their Patriominio Hoy program, Danone and their nutrient infused yogurt and Gillette and their 11 cent blade, specifically designing products for the BoP with the intent to profit. Success stories have varied up until now, as discussed in Stuart Hart’s Capitalism at Crossroads, but those who have succeeded have not only surpassed financial goals, but more importantly, have made a transformational difference in impact, be it in green tech, consumer goods or financial inclusion. So with books like Portfolios of the Poor illustrating just how financially savvy the consumers are at the BoP, can 2011 be the year where multinational corporations really begin to innovate for the BoP?

(McKinsey rated BoP innovations as one of the top ten tech enabled business trends to watch out for).

Base of the Pyramid, corporate social responsibility