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  • Google, AMD, Brightstar, News Corporation, and Red Hat have signed on to MIT’s low-cost laptop initi

    MIT Media Lab, taking a page out of a revolutionary business book by C.K. Prahalad, is developing a Linux-based, full-color, full-screen laptop that will use innovative power sources -- including batteries or hand crank -- and will be able to do most everything that a standard laptop can do except store large amounts of data. According to MIT, these rugged laptops will be WiFi- and cell phone-enabled, and have USB ports, a 500MHz processor, and 1 gigabyte of storage capacity using flash memory ...

  • Even though Professor CK Prahalad pioneered the notion of companies targeting the lowest rungs of the market way back in the mid 1990s, it was after his book The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid was published about a year back, that the concept gained increasing momentum. His key argument: the so-called Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP) with an estimated 4 billion people who live on less than US$ 1,500 per annum, is a major market opportunity. Not surprisingly, a number of...

    Business Standard (link opens in a new window)
  • Generating Hope by Kevin Bullis

    Drinking water infested with germs and parasites or steeped in toxic chemicals is the number-one health problem in the world. It’s so big, in fact, that the United Nations has proclaimed 2005-2015 to be the Water for Life decade. The UN goal is to get its member nations to honor their commitments to halving the proportion of individuals without access to safe drinking water. But such huge development programs run by international entities such as the UN ar...

    Technology Review (link opens in a new window)
  • At his first media interaction after taking over as Hindustan Lever’s non-executive chairman, Harish Manwani was asked whether the company’s practice of compulsory rural posting for its managers had outlived its utility. The question was relevant in the context of the increasing perception that the FMCG major is fast losing its celebrated status as the Mecca for top B-school students who are now reluctant to go through the mandatory heat and dust of rural postings.

  • The idea is a simple one. Lower the price of a device and you will get more people to buy. Bottom-of-the-pyramid markets - those in the lowest global income band (below USD1500 a year) - provide a tantalising market opportunity. Wharton Business School academic C K Prahalad has argued this case in his book the Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid. This week saw the launch of MIT’s Nicholas Negroponte’s USD100 laptop which makes ambitious claims to becoming more an educa...

    Balancing Act (London) (link opens in a new window)
  • CThe low-cost computer was originally meant for farmers in India or residents of favelas in Brazil. But starting Sunday, U.S. consumers of modest means or those just looking for a good deal can also get a $299 computer. The Personal Internet Communicator, a brainchild of chip company Advanced Micro Devices, went on sale at Radio Shack over the weekend. The deal is a departure for AMD as it was specifically designed for developing countries. AMD first launched the device in India near...

    Red Herring (link opens in a new window)
  • Motorola is to produce 6 million mobile phones each is priced at USD 30 (USD1 = CNY 8.11), and telecom operators of developing countries will assume the responsibility for the product sale. However, the Emerging Market Handset Programme (EMH) does not develop as smooth as expected in China, said Huang Baozhong, Senior Advisor of the GSM Association. In China, telecom carriers are not interested in the programme, and consumers are unwilling to buy such cheap mobile phone...

  • Multichannel Satellite TV Pushes Into the Hinterland to Tap Huge Growth Market

    A satellite-television boom in India is finally pushing multichannel TV into its vast rural hinterland and opening a new commercial battlefield in one of the world’s biggest TV markets. Places like Lodra, a village of two thousand people and a few hundred mud huts, 700 kilometers north of here in Gujarat state, typify the new phenomenon. At dusk, hundreds of people routinely gather around a TV set propped on a wooden table in the village center. They will watch until early morning...

    The Wall Street Journal (link opens in a new window)
    South Asia
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