Moses Lee

CK Prahalad Releases Two New Case Studies

According to Thinkers 50, a biennial ranking of business gurus, C.K. Prahalad is the most influential management thinker in the world. This is the second straight time that Prahalad has topped the list.

“C.K. Prahalad’s influence on the business world is immense,” said Des Dearlove, co-creator of the ranking, in a statement. “He coined the term ’core competencies’ in the 1990s, which set the strategy agenda for a generation of managers. More recently, his work on The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid has shown the role business can play in tackling world poverty.”

Now C.K. Prahalad has released two new BoP case studies: Jaipur Rugs and Bharti Airtel.

Jaipur Rugs: Beginning with the purchase of two rug looms in 1978, Jaipur Rugs CEO, N.K. Chaudhary has built the largest hand knotted rug export company in India, employing 40,000 people across seven states in north India. The Jaipur Rugs business model has successfully connected rural poor with markets of the rich, through the development of a global supply chain, built around mobilizing human capability and skills at the grassroots level and finding steady jobs for rural men and women in the most depressed parts of India. Mr. Chaudhary has defined his leadership style in this way: “Leadership means losing oneself. The more someone loses himself, the more he can understand about society. The more I lose my ego, the more I can see the talent in my people and the society.”

(Note: Jennifer Anderson, Nina Henning, Marion Ntiru and Shara Senior prepared this case under the supervision of C.K. Prahalad)

Bharti Airtel: This case study on India’s wireless giant shows how the firm exemplifies many of the tenets set forth in Prahalad’s book, The New Age of Innovation. Case A presents the history of India’s wireless telecommunications industry and the unique challenges faced by operators in that environment. It also gives the background on Airtel, introduces its leaders, and describes some of the biggest challenges facing the company. Case B presents varied strategies that Airtel has pursued to become one of the most profitable wireless telecommunications companies in the world, despite the fact that it operates in one of the poorest countries on Earth. Airtel changed the industry by moving away from such standard metrics as Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) and has employed alternative measurements for success. It has also relied heavily on outsourcing non-core functions and designed unique Value-Added Services for its varied customer base.

(Note: Sam Bryson, Joshua Katz and Sheel Mohnot prepared this case under the supervision of C.K. Prahalad and M.S. Krishnan.)

To read and purchase the cases, visit The William Davidson Institute’s website,GlobaLens or click on the following direct links:

Note: Prahalad has a number of other case studies on the way. Check back on NextBillion or follow Globalens on Twitter @globalens