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The New Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid

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The New Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid

Profound changes are closing the gap between the world’s poorest consumers and others, offering an unprecedented opportunity for businesses to create – and share in – prosperity.

Strategy+business,

5 min read
4 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

What’s good for the “bottom of the pyramid” can be good for the bottom line, too.


Editorial Rating

9

Qualities

  • Eye Opening
  • Engaging
  • Inspiring

Recommendation

The dramatic decrease in extreme poverty globally represents a signal achievement of the past half century, and it’s not only benefiting the billion-plus people whose lives have been transformed. Business is benefiting, too. A new optimism is emerging – that what’s good for the “bottom of the pyramid” can be good for the bottom line. Writing for Strategy+business, Deepa Prahalad, an expert on innovation in emerging markets, describes the burgeoning vibrancy of the world’s poorer markets and explains why some business leaders are seeing profit in reducing poverty.

Summary

Economic, technological and social changes are transforming the poor into consumers.

Three trends are causing the world’s poor to emerge as modern consumers. First, extreme poverty has significantly decreased globally, and many emerging markets are growing rapidly. The number of people living in extreme poverty has decreased by more than one billion since 1990, and the trend is continuing. Second, technology is bringing communication, education and commerce within reach of the poor around the world. In particular, the near ubiquity of cellphones is giving poor people access to information, products, services and entrepreneurship. Third, a general expectation has grown that businesses should reach out to the poor to help improve their lives. Business...

About the Author

Deepa Prahalad is a speaker, design strategist and expert on innovation in emerging markets.


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