|At a time when "inclusive growth" is taking centrestage in India, a report by the World Resources Institute and International Finance Corporation provides some food for thought. The report, "The Next 4 Billion", focusses on developing a market strategy for the millions of people living in relative poverty; what it calls "base of the pyramid" (BOP). |
It defines BOP as people with incomes below $3,000 in local purchasing power. The report says that together as a group, the BOP has substantial purchasing power with a global consumer market of the size of $5 trillion.
The report advocates building customised business solutions and developing new products and services to meet the needs of these people. It says this method could be used to reduce poverty, in place of the traditional approach which is based on the assumption that the poor cannot help themselves and hence need charity or state assistance.
Though the idea is not new and has been successfully implemented by Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh through his Grameen Bank concept, it needs to be replicated at a larger scale to improve the various social and economic indicators through greater corporate partnership. Maybe a different public private partnership model is required for this purpose.