Rob Katz

Prahalad: Scale Up or You’re Nothing

Christine Bowers of PSD Blog reports that C.K. Prahalad delivered his standard bottom of the pyramid talk to an audience at World Bank headquarters yesterday.? According to her post, Prahalad took a not-so-subtle shot at the Sachs/Easterly school of development, and failed to cite any non-Indian examples–a flaw with which Bowers takes issue.? Her analysis is well worth a read; excerpted below:

In another treat for World Bankers at headquarters, management guru CK Prahalad gave an engaging lecture yesterday on “Democratizing Commerce”…He made what I took as a veiled dig at William Easterly when he said: “You cannot solve the problem [of poverty] with highly localized, small-scale experiments. If you can’t touch the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, it doesn’t matter.”Prahalad spoke at length about the scalability of these solutions and repeatedly emphasized that the examples above reach millions of people… With deep respect for Prahalad, I’d like to see more examples of bottom of the pyramid solutions in smaller developing countries. Surely we’re interested in more than the Indian or Chinese or Brazilian pyramid.