Doing business at the base of the pyramid: The reality of emerging markets

Abraham, R (2012) Doing business at the base of the pyramid: The reality of emerging markets. Field Actions Science Report, 6 (4). pp. 89-96. ISSN 1867-8521

[thumbnail of Open Access Publication]
Text (Open Access Publication)

Download (1MB) | Preview


The role of business has traditionally been ignored in the global debates around economic development and poverty alleviation. The recent global success of the mobile telephony industry, and the rapid growth in emerging markets over the last two decades has, however, forced a rethink. Instead of top-down, development aid-driven strategies, more discussions now focus on providing goods and services profitably to the base of the economic pyramid (BOP), like mobile phone companies have. Research teams at the Centre for Emerging Markets Solutions (CEMS)1 have found that while it is possible to profitably serve BOP markets, it requires some departure from strategies advocated in the traditional BOP literature. In particular, it requires addressing issues around the macro-economic and business climate of the country; mispricing of risk; entrepreneurship; and a shift of focus away from multi-national corporations to the small business sector, and the transaction costs that bedevil it. This piece also examines a few commercially sustainable business models that have worked in these markets, and investigates a few sectors that commercial capital will find highly attractive and investable. Finally, we look at how to structure and commercialize the huge business opportunities that exist in addressing the inefficiencies of BOP markets, using a combination of business model innovation (especially around reduced cost structures), research, entrepreneurship, and patient capital

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Business and Management
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2014 05:18
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2023 20:05

Actions (login required)

View Item
View Item