Businesses Serving the Poor Need to Get Over Their Unease About Profit


If you’ve ever had anything to do with business initiatives among the world’s poor — the so-called bottom of the economic pyramid — you’ve no doubt heard the advice that enterprises in this space need to aim for low prices, low profit margins, and high sales volumes.

It’s more than just conventional wisdom. It’s practically the law of the land. It’s practically the law of the land. It was laid down by C.K. Prahalad and his colleagues more than a decade ago in a series of articles and books, and it has stuck in the minds of businesspeople, policy makers, and nonprofits despite results that can only be described as dismal.

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