LIBA establishes Prof. C.K Prahalad Center for Emerging India for BOP marketing

 | August 10,2011 10:38 am IST

LIBA (Loyola Institute of Business Administration), announced the establishment of “Prof. CK Prahalad Center for Emerging India’, India’s first research and innovation center focused exclusively on BOP marketing and among the early pioneers across the globe in this space.

The center will be a key landmark to India’s growing BOP market estimated at 835 million and recognized as among the largest globally, besides emerging as the first such focused attempt to fuel the country’s increasing efforts to innovate in this market. The center was formally inaugurated today by M.K Narayanan, West Bengal Governor and K.V Kamath, Chairman, Infosys Limited at a function organized by LIBA. Mrs. Gayathri Prahald, wife of late C.K Prahalad and other prominent business leaders who attended and spoke at the event are Mr. Venketrama Raja, MD & CEO, Ramco Systems Limited; Fr. P. Christie, Director, LIBA; Fr. Casimir Raj, Director, Prof. C.K. Prahalad Centre for Emerging India; Prof. Bala Balachandran, Professor Accounting Information & Management, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Dr M. S. Krishnan, Professor & Chair of Business Information Technology, Michigan Ross School of Business Mr. Gopal Srinivasan, CMD, TVS Capital Funds Limited; Prof. Jay Amaran, Vice President, Global Determinants, Inc. USA; Dr. Sridhar Mitta, MD, Next Wealth Entrepreneurs Pvt. Ltd; Mr. R. Gopalan, Secretary, Economic Affairs, Govt of India; Fr Sebasti L. Raj, SJ, Governing Body Chairman, LIBA , Mr D. Shivakumar, MD & VP Sales, Nokia India and Mr. Bhadrashyam.H. Kothari, Chairman H.C. Kothari Group of Companies, President, Loyola Alumni Association.


Prof. C.K. Prahalad Centre for Emerging India will focus on research in the areas of strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship appropriate to the base of the pyramid and will primarily work towards addressing the current gap between idea generation and scaling up into viable business opportunities. The center will work on the primary premise of fostering BOP 2.0, a more democratic model of the initial concept that will view the BOP market as co-creators and co-owners and as an enormous untapped resource of human capital, vis a vis mere consumers. Under this approach, local communities get much more than simply new products and services; they generate jobs, entrepreneurial skills, new income, economic and social development.


Speaking at the inaugural event, Fr.Casimir Raj, Director of the Center and Founder, Director of LIBA said, “While over 60% of the global BOP market is said to be based out of India and China and there is a lot of progress that both large Indian MNCs as well as entrepreneurs have made in developing innovative products and services to this market, scaling it up into a viable and sustainable business seems to remain a huge challenge. Additionally, while India has made its mark in the global map with respect to BOP innovation in the last decade, there is no one single concerted effort to conduct research and develop a long term growth strategy for businesses in this space. It is this gap and opportunity that we saw while conceptualizing and developing the focus areas for this center. There are huge opportunities for social ventures in the area of food processing, education and self-grooming besides the opportunity to increase the number of women entrepreneurs and the center will encourage and enable to tap this potential.”


Fr. Christie, Director, LIBA added, “The C.K Prahalad Center is among the institute’s efforts to play a role beyond academic education and to play a larger role in creating the global knowledge base and helping develop the long term strategy and platform for growth in certain important areas such as the BOP market. Besides creating a wealth of knowledge on ideas, practices and experiences for sustainable development through research papers, articles, conferences and books, the center will also incubate entrepreneurial ideas focused on the base of the pyramid and promote social venture capital. We are indeed proud to be acknowledging the efforts of one or our most eminent alumni of Loyola College, the late C.K Prahalad and I am happy we will be continuing with his efforts to recognize the fortune at the bottom of the pyramid.”


The BOP is the largest, but poorest socio-economic group. In global terms, there are 3.7 billion people who are largely excluded from formal markets, the group earns less than $2 per day and 60% of the 3.7 billion people live in China and India. Given the enormous attention the concept has attracted, it has the potential to impact the world’s billions of poor people. The BOP in India representing the masses represents 835 million people and $360 billion in disposable income making up the biggest chunk of the global BOP market excluding China.