Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Revised and Updated 5th Anniversary Edition, The

Wharton School
CK Prahalad  
Total pages
October 2009
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Drawing on Prahalad's breakthrough insights in The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, great companies worldwide have sought to identify, build, and profit from new markets amongst the world's several billion poorest people, while at the same time helping to alleviate poverty. Five years after its first publication, this book's ideas are no longer "theory": they are proven, profitable reality. In the 5th Anniversary Edition, Prahalad thoroughly updates his book to reveal all that's been learned about competing and profiting "at the bottom of the pyramid." Prahalad outlines the latest strategies and tactics that companies are utilizing to succeed in the developing world. He interviews several innovative CEOs to discuss what they've learned from their own initiatives, including the Unilever business leader who's built a billion-dollar business in India. You'll find a new case study on Jaipur Rugs' innovative new global supply chain; updates to earlier editions' key cases; and up-to-the-minute information on the evolution of key industries such as wireless, agribusiness, healthcare, consumer goods, and finance. Prahalad also offers an up-to-date assessment of the key questions his ideas raised: Is there truly a market? Is there scale? Is there profit? Is there innovation? Is this a global opportunity? Five years ago, executives could be hopeful that the answers to these questions would be positive. Now, as Prahalad demonstrates, they can be certain of it.

Table of Contents

Preface   xiii

Guide to Readers   xx

Part I   Private Sector and Poverty: Progress During 2004-2009   1

New Introduction: Private Sector and Poverty: Progress During 2004-2009   3

Part II  The Original Text of the Book   25

Chapter 1 The Market at the Bottom of the Pyramid   27

Chapter 2   Products and Services for the BOP   47

Chapter 3   BOP: A Global Opportunity   73

Chapter 4   The Ecosystem for Wealth Creation   89

Chapter 5   Reducing Corruption: Transaction Governance Capacity   103

Chapter 6   Development as Social Transformation   125

Part III CEO Reactions to the Concept and the Book   141

Microsoft   143

Bharti Airtel--Empowering the Villages of India   145

Reuters Market Light and The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid   147

Royal DSM   151

ING   153

GlaxoSmithKline   157

Unilever   159

Philips Electronics--Improving Health and Well-Being at the Base of the Pyramid   161

University of Maastricht   165

Acumen Fund   169

Part IV Case Studies and CEO Comments   171

Jaipur Rugs: Connecting Rural India to Global Markets   175

Casas Bahia: Retail for the Poor   207

CEMEX: Homes for the Poor   219

Hindustan Unilever: Lifebuoy Soap   249

Hindustan Unilever: Iodized Salt (Annapurna Salt)   261

Jaipur Foot: Prosthetics for the Poor   275

Aravind Eye Care: The Most Precious Gift   283

ICICI: Financial Services for the Poor   299

ITC e-Choupal: Technology for the Poor   321

Voxiva: Health Alerts for All   345

E+Co: Energy for Everyone   357

Biographies of the Researchers and Writers of the Success Case Studies from The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid   373

Part V  Video Clips (links)

Jaipur Rugs

Casas Bahia


Annapurna Salt

Hindustan Lever Limited

Jaipur Foot

Aravind Eye Care


ITC e-Choupal

EID Parry



Andhra Pradesh


Index   385

Back Cover

“C.K. Prahalad argues that companies must revolutionize how they do business in developing countries if both sides of that economic equation are to prosper. Drawing on a wealth of case studies, his compelling new book offers an intriguing blueprint for how to fight poverty with profitability.”

--Bill Gates, Chairman and Chief Software Architect, Microsoft (2004)

 An idea can change the world...


  • How to serve the world's poorest people and make a profit
  • New strategies and tactics for building
    winning businesses in today's emerging markets
  • New bottom of the pyramid trends in technology, healthcare, consumer goods, finance, and beyond
  • Insights from top CEOs succeeding in emerging markets
  • New and updated case studies--from Jaipur Rugs' revolutionary supply chain to Reuters' data services for farmers

Five years ago, C.K. Prahalad's The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid showed companies how they could reignite profits and growth by serving the world's five billion poorest people. Hundreds of firms have successfully taken that path--building large, profitable businesses that are reducing poverty and eliminating human misery at the same time.


Now, Prahalad has updated his extraordinary book to reflect the lessons of the past five years: business-building strategies, techniques, and innovations proven to work in emerging markets. The fortune at the bottom of the pyramid: doing well by doing good or doing good by doing well!


Inspired by C.K. Prahalad's breakthrough insights in the original edition of The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, a wide variety of firms are identifying, building, and profiting from new markets among the world's poorest people--while at the same time helping eliminate poverty and human misery. Five years after this book's first publication, Prahalad's ideas are no longer isolated instances of innovations.  They are proven, widely practiced “reality.”


In this 5th Anniversary Edition, Prahalad updates his book to give readers a picture of how this idea is being implemented in poor regions around the world.


Prahalad also offers an up-to-the-minute assessment of key questions such as: Is there truly a market? Is there scale? Is there profit? Is there innovation? Is this a global opportunity? Five years ago, executives could be hopeful that the answers to these questions would be positive. Now, as Prahalad demonstrates, they can be certain of it.


  • Solving the unique problems faced by bottom of pyramid customers
    How to make a profit by helping people escape poverty and misery
  • Breakthrough forms of innovation for emerging markets
    From rugs to cellphones, finance to energy, supply chains to state-of-the-art technology
  • Building new ecosystems for wealth creation
    You can't do it alone--but you can do it together
  • Scaling up to impact the enterprise--and society
    Beyond “micro-businesses” and prototypes: large presence, large wins

The CD included with the book includes video case studies and three bonus PDF case studies. Bonus videos and case studies, in addition to those on the CD, can be found on the book's website,


C.K. Prahalad is Paul and Ruth McCracken Distinguished University Professor of Strategy at the Ross School of Business, The University of Michigan. He is a globally recognized management thinker. Times of London and Suntop Media elected him as the most influential management thinker alive today in 2007. He is coauthor of bestsellers in management such as Competing for the Future, The Future of Competition, and The New Age of Innovation. He has won the McKinsey Prize for the best article four times. He has received several honorary doctorates, including one from the University of London and the Stevens School of Technology. He has worked with CEOs and senior management at many of the world's top companies. He is also a member of the Board of NCR Corporation, Pearson PLC., Hindustan Unilever Ltd., The World Resources Institute, and The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE).