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The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid by C. K. Prahalad, Harvey C. Fruehauf

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Chapter I. The Market at the Bottom of the Pyramid

The first question that most people ask is this: Is there a market at the BOP? The answer is a resounding “Yes.” The two stories that follow represent the potential of this market.

Casas Bahia is a Brazilian retailer. Started by Samuel Klein in 1952, Casas Bahia has become one of the largest retailers in Brazil. It employs 20,000 people, operates 330 stores, and has a current customer list of over 10 million consumers. Yet it only operates in the deprived areas of Brazil. Its customers are primarily from the favelas—the shanty towns. It is a case of a big business, one with sales of R$4.2 billion (US $1.2 billion), built on converting the BOP into consumers. Samuel Klein learned very early that ...

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