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December 15, 2004

News & Opinion: Selling to the poor

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 12:59 AM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Another book I'm plowing through at the moment is C.K. Prahalad's The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid. I'd call it thoughtful and important but it's a tough slog. Four hundred dense pages.
His argument, in two sentences, is this: "The real source of market promise is not the wealthy few in the developing world, or even the emerging middle-income consumers. It is the billions of aspiring poor who are joining the market economy for the first time." Prahalad has uncovered all kinds of innovative practices at the BOP--the Mexican cement market Cemex building houses for the poor, the remarkable Aravind Eye Care system in India, Hindustan Lever's sale of soap in India which helps combat the critical health issue of diarrheal disease.
If you can't read the book, don't miss a chance to hear C.K. talk. He's a brilliant thinker and a good guy.