- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (February 2, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0787986097
- ISBN-13: 978-0787986094
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,363,578 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
You Can Hear Me Now: How Microloans and Cell Phones are Connecting the World's Poor to the Global Economy Hardcover – February 2, 2007
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Until recently, the outlook for many of the poorest people inBangladesh was dismal. Despite previous long-term aid from theinternational community to improve the country's infrastructure andeconomy, sustainable development was hampered by corruption andgovernmental inefficiency. This book tells the story ofWestern-trained entrepreneur Iqbal Quadir, the driving force behindthe creation of GrameenPhone, the largest Bangladeshi GSM (GlobalSystem for Mobile) cell-phone operation. Quadir had the innovativeidea of using local Western-trained entrepreneurs to help villagersattain micro-loans funded by foreign investors (and generated byNobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yanus) and then showing villagershow to operate cell-phone leasing businesses. Sullivan refers tothis successful business model as the "external combustion engine"because of its impressive multiplier effects on economic growth.Applications of this model in other poverty-stricken areasworldwide have repeatedly yielded similar results. This book offersvaluable insights about the use of cell phones and technology-basedinvestments to generate wealth and demonstrates thatentrepreneurship may be more fruitful than aid. This valuable workcan be effectively integrated into public administration, globalbusiness, and human resource academic courses.
—Caroline Geck, Kean Univ. Lib., Union, NJ (LibraryJournal, February 2007)
"…describes an inclusive capitalism that engages andenables many of the three billion people living on $1 a day"(Credit Control, June 2007)
"Grameen Bank has an impact on the poor, GrameenPhone on the entireeconomy."
—Muhammad Yunus,winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize
"You Can Hear Me Now is a powerful proof of the rolesthat the private sector can play in economic development. Sullivan,by picking one industry—wireless—and cleverly weavingthe economics and the growth of the industry with the humandimension, provides a distinctively new perspective on what ispossible. A must-read for all those who are concerned abouteradicating poverty. Equally, a must-read for managers who arelooking for new engines of growth."
—C.K. Prahalad, Paul and Ruth McCracken DistinguishedUniversity Professor, The Ross School of Business, the Universityof Michigan; author, The Fortune at the Bottom of thePyramid
"With the growing interest in how business can better serve the'bottom of the pyramid' there is great need for both practicalexamples of how to do it and better understanding of how suchstrategies can truly benefit those caught in the poverty trap. Thisbook delivers on both counts."
—Stuart L. Hart, S.C. Johnson Chair of Sustainable GlobalEnterprise, Cornell University; author, Capitalism at theCrossroads
"You Can Hear Me Now describes the human drama of thepoor adopting technology to enhance their productivity.Well-researched and engaging, it expertly walks the reader throughone surprising maze after another."
—V. Kasturi Rangan, Malcolm P. McNair Professor of Marketing,Harvard Business School; coauthor, Business Solutions for theGlobal Poor
"The stories of GrameenPhone in Bangladesh, legendary indevelopment capital circles, and Celtel in Africa, among others,read as colorfully as any of the stories of the Gold Rush in theU.S. in the 1840s. Nicholas Sullivan has recounted the struggle andsubsequent success in an easy-to-read but factual manner that showsrisks countered by perseverance and guts—proving that you cando well by doing good."
—Alan Patricof, co-founder, Apax Partners and founder,Greycroft Partners
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I didn't feel that the author represented both sides on this issue fairly, but still learned a lot reading it. Hence the 4 stars.
Part 1 - The GrameenPhone Story: Connectivity Is Productivity; Dish-Wallahs of Delhi (and Other Early Models); Cell Phone as Cow - A New Paradigm in Search of Investors; On The Money Trail in Scandinavia; Building a Company; Building a Network
Part 2 - Transformation Through Technology: Wildfile at the Bottom of the Pyramid; Cell Phone as Wallet; Wealth Creation and Rural Income Opportunities; Beyond Phones - In Search of a New "Cow"; Eyeing the Dhaka Stock Exchange
Epilogue; Notes; Resources; Index
The book is split into two parts. The first part covers the story of GrameenPhone's launch in Bangladesh, and the second part is more of a look at the forces behind using technology at the "bottom of the pyramid" (the vast number of people who globally live at poverty level) to connect them to the world's trade economy. Iqbal Quadir was a Bangladeshi who studied and worked in the US and was doing quite well. But he was also concerned about the massive levels of poverty in his home country. Once day he was standing on the street and had an epiphany about communication equaling productivity. His people worked hard, but they had no way to reliably communicate with others except by face to face meetings. All that wasted time meant there was untapped potential just waiting to be utilized. He started talking with Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank (originator of microloan programs) to see how communication technology could be rolled out to the entire country, making a phone available to anyone near a village. Without government aids and grants, Quadir put together a consortium of foreign investors and Grameen Bank to build GrameenPhone, a life-altering company. Using a fiber-optic line already laid next to the country's rail line, they were able to place cell towers in areas to cover all the rural areas of Bangladesh. Then using microloans from Grameen Bank, "phone ladies" could buy a cell phone for the village, offer the phone service, and sell the time in small increments. The cell phone gave a business to the village, in addition to creating subsidiary jobs and opportunities with the communication that was enabled by having phone service throughout the country. It's this use of technology that's advocated in the second part of the book as an example of how business opportunities can remove the grip of poverty from nations and lead to living wages instead of handouts.
You Can Hear Me Now is an inspirational book with plenty of lessons for those who are willing to look outside the normal constraints of what we consider business opportunities.
As an academic book, readers will discover a revolutionary economist in Quadir. He has used traditional economic theories to develop, solidify, and test his own. He is a noted original thinker and a man of action. "Connectivity is productivity" is Quadir's cry. He is changing the world's view of the risk of investment in developing countries. He is a victor of the race to end poverty.
Mr. Sullivan's well-written references to and explanations of economic concepts are clearly written and easy to understand. This book is a must-read for all students of economics, business, and entrepreneurship. If instructors do not require the book, students should be delving into the material on their free time.
Globally, the impact of Quadir's work in Bangladesh has rippled throughout the developing world with his economic practices and business models duplicated successfully. Iqbal Quadir's story brings hope for a better future for millions of people, and personally, his actions inspire me to question what role I play.