The fortune at the bottom of the pyramid


Fortune at the bottom of the pyramid Book coverWhile reading Richard Branson’s latest book, Screw Business As Usual, I came across an interesting concept : the fortune at the bottom of the pyramid. The term refers to the basic goods and services to sell to the poorest people.

To a report from the World Resources Institute quoted in Branson’s book,  the Bottom of the Pyramid in Asia and the Middle East represent no less than 2.8 Billion people, with a total income of  $3.47 Trillion.

Counting in Africa, South America and Eastern Europe, this amounts to a $5 Trillion market which can be addressed ethycally by companies.

To the late C K Prahalad who coined the expression,  the lack of these basic goods and services – something as simple as soap – keep these people in poverty as without hygiene comes diseases and death.

To date there are still hundreds of millions of people who lack

  • basic sanitation : 2.6 billion people, over a third of Mankind ;
  • electricity : over 1.3 billion people, around a fifth of Mankind ;
  • and food, over 800 million people...

As you can imagine, these needs have to be addressed as we won’t have a truly sustainable development until everyone see these needs being met.

This theory was developed an eponymous book which I may read in the near future, so stay tuned.

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