IIMA - Course Catalogue
Bottom of the Pyramid Markets
Prof. Anand Kumar Jaiswal
Course Description & Objectives
Bottom of the pyramid (BOP) is generally defined as the population living in lower tiers of the economic pyramid or those earning less than US$ 2 per day. It is estimated that more than 4 billion living in poverty, constituting the BOP markets. The majority of the BOP population lives in developing countries, in rural areas and in urban slums within them.
Ever since BOP concept was proposed in 2002 by Prahalad and colleagues, firms are increasingly interested in exploiting the opportunities offered by the BOP markets. The BOP approach advocates involvement of the corporates and entrepreneurs in the lowincome markets. The key proposition of BOP is that by participating in these markets, firms can combine profit with purpose and, therefore, can simultaneously create economic and social value. The BOP focuses on a market-based solution for alleviating poverty, solving income equality and addressing social challenges.
For firms and entrepreneurs aiming to win these markets, it is imperative for them to develop a good understanding of these consumers and markets. Keeping in mind the market context and existing challenges, they need to develop appropriate marketing strategies designed to address the unique needs of BOP consumers.
The course will focus on the following topics:
• Introduction and overview of bottom of the pyramid:
• Social and commercial entrepreneurship
• Design for BOP
• Consumption behaviour of the BOP population
• New Business Model and Financial Inclusion
• Hybrid business models
• Organizational form and structures
• Innovation for the bottom of the pyramid markets
• Competition, cooperation and Marketing Challenges at BOP markets
• Scaling and assessing social impact
• Marketing to Vulnerable Consumers: Care and Caution at the BOP
The course has the following objectives:
To develop a deeper level of understanding of BOP markets among the course participants.
To understand and appreciate the context of consumers in the BOP environment and the challenges which they face in everyday life and develop appropriate solutions for them from the perspective of marketing and business management.
To expose the participants to various theoretical concepts and frameworks relevant to the BOP markets.
To impart and hone participants marketing competence and analytical skills required for exploiting BOP markets and for creating economic and social value.
The course will use case studies, classroom discussions and group projects as the key pedagogical tools. Case and/or reading material are assigned for each session.
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