Base of the Pyramid Protocol & How the Solae Company Tested it in India

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR292
Case Length : 15 Pages
Period : 2006-2008
Pub Date : 2008
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : The Solae Company
Themes: Business Model
Industry : Food and Beverage
Countries : India, Global

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Introduction Contd...

The propounders of the BoP Protocol say that MNCs could identify sustainable new products and businesses by understanding and partnering with BoP consumers and developing products targeted at them. According to Prahalad, "The aspiring poor present a prodigious opportunity for the world's wealthiest companies. But it requires a radical new approach to business strategy."1

The Beginning

In 2002, the BoP learning lab was launched by a consortium of companies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and academic institutions including SC Johnson & Son Inc. (SC Johnson)2,

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E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont)3, Hewlett-Packard Company (HP)4, Tetra Pak5, Cornell University6, the University of Michigan7, the World Resources Institute8, and The Johnson Foundation.

The BoP Protocol was envisaged after the companies involved in the BoP learning lab expressed concern about their inability to understand and serve the BoP communities.

Bop Protocol aimed at identifying and developing sustainable new products and business models in association with BoP communities for low-income markets.

According to Hart, "The Base of the Pyramid Protocol is a model for business co-creation that marries a multinational corporation's capabilities, resources, and technologies with those of Base of the Pyramid communities."9

 Excerpts >>

1] CK Prahalad, Stuart L Hart, "The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid (Strategy + Business),"www,, January 2002.
2] SC Johnson & Son Inc. is a US-based manufacturer of household cleaning products and consumer chemicals. The company's products are sold in more than 70 countries.
3] US-based E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont) is the third largest chemical company in the world. The company employed around 60,000 people and the revenues stood at US$ 28.98 billion in 2006.
4] US-based HP is involved in computing, printing, digital imaging, software and services. In the year ending October 2006, the company's revenue stood at US$ 91.7 billion and net income was at US$ 6.2 billion.
5] Sweden-based Tetra Pak, a part of the Tetra Laval group, is a leading supplier of carton packaging. The company is also involved in manufacturing machinery used in food packaging and processing.
6] New York, US-based Cornell University is a private university and a member of the Ivy League.
7] University of Michigan is a US-based university.
8] World Resources Institute, launched in 1982, is a non-profit organization that works with the mission of protecting the environment and improving the lives of the people.
9] "Cornell's Johnson School and SC Johnson Pilot Base of the Pyramid (TM) Protocol in Kenya,", November 3, 2006.

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