London’s Class Examines BoP Strategies

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Ted London, who leads WDI?s Base of the Pyramid (BoP) research initiative, will begin teaching an MBA class on this exciting business phenomenon beginning on Nov. 1.

London?s twice-weekly, 90-minute class, BA612 ? Business Strategies for the Base of the Pyramid, will integrate concepts of strategy, international business and sustainable enterprise to stimulate the leadership skills and competitive imagination needed to design strategies for the base of the pyramid.

Through a combination of cases, readings, lectures, videos and outside guests, class sessions will engage students in discussions aimed at identifying the business opportunities associated with base of the pyramid markets and developing the strategies and business models required to productively explore those opportunities.

Rounding out the course design are three guest speakers. Jesse Moore from CARE Canada, Jordan Kassalow from Scojo Vision and Patrick Donohue from BRINQ (and also a member of the BoP Protocol team in Kenya) will discuss their real-world experiences in designing and implementing BoP-oriented enterprises. Each brings a unique perspective on the opportunities at the BoP and will share both their successes and the challenges that they faced.

?I am delighted to have such a thoughtful and experienced set of guest speakers this year,? London said. ?They will bring a wealth of BoP knowledge to the classroom. We are, of course, located in Ann Arbor, so our students cannot visit the base of the pyramid during the class. Having these speakers is a great way to bring the BoP context to the Ross School of Business.?

In addition, London brings his current research into the classroom and has developed, often in collaboration with MBA students, several teaching cases and associated teaching notes. This year he will use two new cases.

One chronicles the challenges CARE faces in developing revenue generating enterprises that serve low-income markets and is being co-authored by current Ross MBA student Gabriela Reyes. The other focuses on the different strategies that Unilever (via its subsidiary Hindustan Lever) has used to serve the BoP in India over the past decade. This case is being co-written by Maulin Vaklin, who was one of London?s students at the University of North Carolina.

At the University of North Carolina?s Kenan-Flagler Business School, London?s course on business strategies for the Base of the Pyramid was consistently ranked near the top of MBA classes by students. In 2004, he received awards from both the Kenan-Flagler Business School and UNC?s Hubert Humphrey scholars program for his teaching in the MBA program.

Source: WDI News (link opens in a new window)