Last one week or so I had been reading C.K. Prahalad’s The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid. The author has popularized both the concept and the book well.
The first thing that strikes me about the book, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid is that it can be one-fourth of its size. In the case study, the author has written everything at least 3-4 times.
My key takes from the book are:
- At bottom of the pyramid (BOP), what is needed most is enabling the people. Also providing them enough dignity for them to be able to self-drive themselves and the communities around themselves.
- Women play the key role in the uplifting of economic standards in this stratum of the society. And this holds true around the world. Whether it is at CEMEX in Mexico, Shakti Ammas at HLL rural reach programs, or self- help groups(SHG) for microfinance initiatives at ICICI. They are the ones who take the changes through the length and breadth of the society by taking care of their families and then the groups that they are a part of.
- Contrary to the popular notion, BOP is a low-risk game. Most of the financial institutions ignore this market time and again. As they think the risk is very high, but the data available actually supports otherwise. Bad debts are as low as they can be. It is a low margin, high-value game, but the risk associated is far less than in the established markets.
It is a landmark book that makes you think about the big markets that exist at the base of society. Book has ample examples from around the world on how some of the people have cracked the code for working for these markets. The research done by Dr. Prahalad and his team is worth admiring.
You may buy this book – The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid Eradicating Poverty through Profits by Dr. C. K. Prahalad at Amazon.
Recommend you read the review of The new age of Innovation by C K Prahalad & M S Krishnan.