Prof C.K. Prahalad Centre for Emerging India, a centre that will focus on research in areas of strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship ‘appropriate to the base of the pyramid', was inaugurated at the Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA).

The centre in memory of Prof Prahalad, an eminent management guru and an alumnus of Loyola College, was inaugurated by Mr M.K. Narayanan, West Bengal Governor, and Mr K.V. Kamath, Chairman, Infosys Ltd.

Fr Casimir Raj, Director of the centre and Founder Director of LIBA, said the centre will primarily work on the philosophy that Prof Prahalad emphasised on promoting entrepreneurship, and focus on women and the marginalised.

The centre will try to address the current gap between idea generation and scaling up into viable business opportunities. It will work on the primary premise of fostering BOP 2.0 (base of the economic pyramid), a more democratic model of the initial concept that will view BOP market as co-creators and co-owners, and as an enormous untapped resource of human capital.

The BOP in India represents 835 million people and $360 billion in disposable income making the biggest chunk of the global BOP market excluding China. The term Bottom of the Pyramid was coined by Prof Prahalad to describe the poor and the underserved section of the market.

Under the BOP, the local communities will get much more than simply new products and services. They will generate jobs, entrepreneurial skills, new income and social development, said Fr Raj.

Paying rich tribute to Prof Prahalad, the West Bengal Governor said, “He was the management guru par excellence, someone who possessed not only a rare intellect but also a passion for common causes. He not only played a significant role as far as India is concerned in instigating policies that have yielded visible benefits but also succeeded his business theories in creating an aura of India in the West, especially in the US, that forced them to recognise the importance of India as a key destination.”

Some of Prof Prahalad's significant ideas such as ‘core competence and Fortune at the Base of the Pyramid have since become buzz words in the corporate world. The paradigm Fortune at the Base of the Pyramid is perhaps one of the most important ideas of contemporary relevance. It has probably had a bigger impact than any other business idea to come from management theorists anywhere, he said.

(This article was published on August 6, 2011)
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