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The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits, Revised and Updated 5th Anniversary Edition Hardcover – September 3, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Wharton School Publishing; Revised edition (September 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0137009275
  • ISBN-13: 978-0137009275
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #460,101 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

C.K. Prahalad is Paul and Ruth McCracken Distinguished University Professor of Strategy at the Ross School of Business, The University of Michigan. He is a globally recognized management thinker. Times of London and Suntop Media elected him as the most influential management thinker alive today in 2007. He is coauthor of bestsellers in management such as Competing for the Future, The Future of Competition, and The New Age of Innovation. He has won the McKinsey Prize for the best article four times. He has received several honorary doctorates, including one from the University of London and the Stevens School of Technology. He has worked with CEOs and senior management at many of the world’s top companies. He is also a member of the Board of NCR Corporation, Pearson PLC., Hindustan Unilever Ltd., The World Resources Institute, and The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE).


More About the Author

C.K. Prahalad was Paul and Ruth McCracken Distinguished University Professor of Strategy at the Ross School of Business, The University of Michigan. He was a globally recognized management thinker. Times of London and Suntop Media elected him as the most influential management thinker alive today in 2007. He coauthored bestsellers in management such as Competing for the Future, The Future of Competition, and The New Age of Innovation. He won the McKinsey Prize for the best article four times and received several honorary doctorates, including one from the University of London and the Stevens School of Technology. He worked with CEOs and senior management at many of the world's top companies and was also a member of the Board of NCR Corporation, Pearson PLC., Hindustan Unilever Ltd., The World Resources Institute, and The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE).

Customer Reviews

I have to say that I really enjoyed reading this book, however weigthy at time.
W. Bison
Great for business profesiionals, entrepreneurs, or anyone seeking new opportunities in emerging markets.
Kanishk Rastogi
It'll really open your mind and force you to think about the poor in an all new way.
Enjolras

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Peter G. Keen VINE VOICE on November 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a difficult book to evaluate especially since it is built around an earlier one, reprinted in the original with cases and affidavits added. It is really two books, one successful and one weak. The original was published in 2004 and made a powerful case that challenged much of the conventional thinking about economic and social development. It wasn't perhaps as original as it claimed in its argument that the two billion people at the "bottom of the pyramid" were both an opportunity for enlightened capitalism, a source of energy and creativity, and a breakout opportunity to bootstrap business growth that would substantially reduce poverty. But it did draw attention to a way of thinking that got away from the top-down, infrastructure-focused programs that the World Bank and development agencies had funded with very limited success. It was part of a shift in view that saw the poor not as uneducated, lazy and needing wise guidance but as entrepreneurial, receptive to new ideas and able to build effective business initiatives on the ground.

If you (or your students - this is very much textbook type didactics) are unfamiliar with what has been happening in Asia and Africa via the combination of large companies like Coca Cola, Cemex and Unilever meeting the consumer needs of the poor and small domestic businesses thriving in market and job building, then this is still a good book and one that has many truly exciting examples in it. Since it was first published, microfinance has grown as a widespread and very effective model for stimulating and funding village entrepreneurship. Mobile phones have created new markets in handling remittances and managing cash among poor families. The basic case Prahalad made in 2004 holds up well today.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Debbie on October 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While I thoroughly appreciate this book, I was disappointed that the kindle edition of this book is not the 5th anniversary edition but the original version of this book. The kindle edition does not include the updated introduction and analysis of the past 5 years. Definitely a disappointment, as the kindle edition is linked to from the 5th anniversary page :(
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Terrance S. VINE VOICE on November 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It appears that many of the reviews for this book are actually based on the original version. This review is based specifically on the hard cover 5th Anniversary Edition. The core argument, that money can be made given the proper business model while catering to the world's poorest, remains the same. In the updated edition, the original text remains intact but a few more chapters are added in the beginning and additional follow-up is provided for the original case studies.

Overall, I believe that this book delivers an excellent value. The book's binding and material are of high quality, and the inclusion of a CD with supplemental material (additional case studies) and videos is greatly appreciated. More importantly, the subject matter, while not quite revolutionary anymore, provides an insightful framework into a new way of doing business.

The term "emerging markets" seems almost like a clichéd catch phrase, but this book takes an honest and detailed look into what an emerging market is and what it takes to be successful in one. It offers a rare level of depth and perspective that acts as an enabler to ponder viability and strategy for potential services in the future. While I don't necessarily agree with the author on all points, especially the seeming omission of the high-risk nature and relatively hostile environments where the members of the bottom of the pyramid are found, the part that resonated most with me is the drive towards a common form of social justice. It should be noted that even Bill Gates said that it might not always be possible to make money serving the bottom of the pyramid, but a proxy to profits might simply be recognition.

A minor gripe I had with the book is that it didn't feel immediately accessible to me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dan Bergevin VINE VOICE on June 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
How can you make a profit by selling your products and services to the poor? By giving the poor the ability to grow rich (and not just in terms of money).

Prahalad's insightful book takes this idea and explores it from a business strategy perspective. By the end you will have the tools to actually make it happen.

This book will increase your ability to sell your products and services in places you wouldn't ordinarily dream of. And it will enable you to change the world in the process.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By N. Wallach VINE VOICE on February 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book when it was originally published, ushered in a lot of thinking and planning on how to serve the people who are poor and considered to be at the economic bottom of the pyramid. The bottom of the pyramid is defined in this book to be people who earn less than $2 per day on average and therefore are not the typical consumers that most companies tend to target. This edition of the book is a reprise of it, five years later.

It would not do to simply reprint the exact same book as the economy moves fast and what made sense at one time, may not be valid any more five years later. On the other hand, some things would not have changed. So, how do you combine both possibilities into one? The approach taken here is to reprint the original book, but also add to it numerous updates. So, for instance, there is a brand new introduction section that speaks of the evolution and practical results that happened in the interim. Also, the book had case studies when originally published and each of these case studies has been updated via a short additional set of paragraphs. Finally, the original book listed attempts being made by several companies to already serve this segment of the population, so a whole new section was added in which the CEOs or executives in charge of those divisions added their own words to what took place over the five years that have passed. In this way we can read the original thoughts and see how they evolved as practical experience came in over the interim.

For those who are not familiar with the original work, the author, C.K. Prahalad posits that there is an economic pyramid in effect throughout the world.
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