Umair Haque / Bubblegeneration
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Design principles for 21st century companies, markets, and economies. Foreword by Gary Hamel. Coming January 4th. Pre-order at Amazon.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Bottom of the Pyramid Debate

I blogged about CK Prahalad's BoP thesis some time ago. There's a renewed debate on that idea, kicked off by Prahalad's colleage Aneel Karnani at Michigan Business School. Indian economist Atanu Dey plays host to an interesting debate on this over at Deeshaa : here and here.

Why is this debate relevant? First, it is important to understand the economic dynamics of how the vast majority of mankind lives in order to bring them into "our" ecosystem. You can see this in the context of Umair's take on what's next for 2.0. Private enterprise can, and must, step in to tackle this Big Hairy Problem.

Another trend that makes it even more imperative for us to tackle this BHP by ourselves, is that the hope of using free trade as powerful macroecon tool to bring prosperity to most of the world has been diminishing over the last few years. This is because the WTO is effectively dead as a mechanism to share trade benefits. Developed countries have been loading up on economic benefits by tilting the playing fields in their favour through multilateral trade agreements for ages, but poor countries have now wisened up and they are now clamouring for getting their fair share. However, there is little chance that entrenched farm and manufacturing lobbies in developed countries will ever allow their ill-deserved subsidies and market entry barriers to be jeaopardised. This is going to lead poor countries to remain isolated from global commerce and make it even more difficult for them to fight poverty. Of course, they are right in refusing a bad deal at the WTO, but unfortunately they don't seem to have a game plan to continue beyond that.

2.0 crowd must step into this vacuum and tackle the BHP head on.

-- Mahashunyam // 7:59 PM // 1 comments


Your readers may be interested in a recent article by CK Prahalad on S+B
// Anonymous Anonymous // 11:13 PM

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