By Mariela Govea* : There ´s a book of Marketing that is a classic, and I like it so much that, I often read it again and again. It´s C.K. Prahalad ´s ”The fortune at the base of the pyramid”, a Wharton School Publishing/Pearson Education inc. This book, has became the bible of all the big companies marketing team that are into the massive consume market. Its tips and advices are so good and certain, no other book has been able, in my opinion,to replace it , when it comes to help to diminish poverty in the world.
“What are we doing for the poor of the world?,” This is a question worldly reknown Indian Guru and marketing consultant C.K. Prahalad ( Madras, 1941) asked himself. “ Why is it that, even though we are provided with a lot of technhology, knowledge about administration and inversion capacity, why are we unable to make a little contribution to the problem of global poverty and exclusion? Why we cannot create an inclusive capitalism. Although those questions were not new, to Prahalad they became the first step of his intellectual trip that ended up in a book . A book his that is definitely a must for everyone who wants to help people who have less possibilities of having a good quality of life. And, as Prahalad is indian,- he settled down in the US after finishing his doctorate in Harvard and getting married- the source of inspiration to him was close and very well known, it was his very own country, India. A market inhabited by 1.22 billion people: half of them live in poverty.
“ To solve all the health problems in the world, we should start in India”, D.K..Bose, founder Oglivy Outreach declared. Ogilvy Outreach is a business unit created specifically to satisfy the consumers needs and demands of the bottom of the piramyd. The first program they created aimed to popularize a soap with desinfectant..
It was Prahalad,who woke up the corporative stablishment, and seduced them with the concept of BOP marketing, the base of the pyramid marketing. An idea that seduces and wins over because it´s rentable and political correct. It was him who found out it was not that poor cannot buy goods. The problem was marketing people didn ´t know how to sell them their products and develop a market of many millions of consumers who are eager to buy products and services, wthin their reach.
About the model of the Economics piramyd, I would like to explain, that, according to Prahalad,the pyramid shows that incomes are far from been equal, but it those differences changed, the pyramid would transform into a diamond, which would mean that, a grat proportion of the people belog to middle class. Although Indian economy grew a lot during the last decade, a lot of work still has to be done to complete Prahalad ´s dream .A dream that is also waiting to turn into reality in Latin America where inflation and the branch between poor and rich grows everyday with the 30% annual inflation rhythm we have now in my country, Argentina. Not only th marketing community all over the world should read again this book, also, economists and politicians should refresh their ideas with this classic book and perhaps, it would be possible to connect more ONG ´s with private iniciative and Governments, as well, to help accomplish Prahalad’ s will.
*Mariela Govea is sexologist, psychologist and psychoanalyst. She is president of Círculo Latinoamericano de Sexualidad Femenina. Writer and journalist, she is Buddhist, vegetarian and Tantra Master.