Ecosystem revolution

Strategies for bottom of the pyramid

During the past decade, many multinationals have come up short trying to make a profit by solving the pressing needs of low-income communities. Preoccupied with their social missions, companies have optimistically taken on challenging projects, only to be surprised when weak consumer demand and obstacles such as bad roads keep revenues low and costs high. Overstretched and disillusioned, many switch gears and reconstitute their ventures as break-even social investments that are destined to remain small.

Profits are critically important for ventures targeting the bottom of the economic pyramid—the more than 4 billion people who individually earn less than $1,500 per year. Compared with a social responsibility project, a profitable business stands a better chance of being able to increase its scale and impact. It can command resources and be sure of continued support from both the corporate headquarters and the country office.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *