We Must See India As One – Prahalad
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
When Coimbatore Krishnarao Prahalad and his colleague Stuart Hart wrote an article on the bottom of the pyramid (BOP) in 1998, no management journal accepted it. Unconvincing, they said. In 2002, Strategy+Business agreed to publish it and that one idea changed the way multinationals thought.
Suddenly, everyone was looking at poor people across the world as a lucrative market. Prahalad followed his idea up with the bestselling title The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid. The fifth anniversary edition of the book — with a new case study on Jaipur Rugs and CEO comments on the application of the concept — is due for release in October. In this interview with Forbes India, Prahalad talks about how the concept of the BOP has evolved over the years:
How have you seen your own idea of the concept evolve over the last five years?
There has been a big change in the acceptance of the concept. There have been significant efforts in many industries to tap micro consumers and micro producers at the BOP. Perhaps the most visible change has been in the wireless industry. Today 400 million people are connected in India. These are mostly micro consumers. There is competition to serve this market. The companies that are serving this segment are making significant profits and are valued highly as seen in their market capitalisation. Airtel has 100 million consumers.