6. Raising the Base of the Pyramid

The poorest populations present a prodigious new managerial challenge for the world’s wealthiest companies. Indeed, over the past few years, it has become apparent that there is a large prospective market to be served in the BoP. It has also become clear that the prospect transcends mere market potential: The opportunity is to use commerce as a driving force for human betterment and environmental restoration—to literally raise the base of the pyramid. Attempts to adapt the top of the pyramid model for use at the base, however, appear destined to fail. Only through a concerted focus on the base of the pyramid will it be possible for large corporations to combine a humanitarian, even activist, orientation with ...

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