Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: A Mirage

Ross School of Business Paper No. 1035

California Management Review, Forthcoming

42 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2006  

Aneel G. Karnani

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Abstract

The popular 'bottom of the pyramid' (BOP) proposition argues that large companies can make a fortune by selling to poor people and simultaneously help eradicate poverty. While a few market opportunities do exist, the market at the BOP is generally too small monetarily to be very profitable for most multinationals. At the same time, the private sector can play a key role in poverty alleviation by viewing the poor as producers, and emphasize buying from them, rather than selling to them.

Keywords: Poverty, Bottom of the pyramid, Selling to the poor, social responsibility

JEL Classification: I30, M10

Suggested Citation

Karnani, Aneel G., Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: A Mirage. Ross School of Business Paper No. 1035; California Management Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=914518

Aneel G. Karnani (Contact Author)

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI MI 48109
United States

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