Max Oliva, Associate Director, Social Impact Management
HBS Working Knowledge has just interviewed Professor Kasturi (Kash) Rangan on his latest book, Business Solutions for the Global Poor, which includes the conclusions of the December 2005 Conference on Global Poverty: Business Solutions and Approaches.
“To the degree that these ventures empower the poor—either by improving their quality of life (clean water, for example), providing them with productivity tools and services (cell phones, for example), or creating jobs—that’s where the goals of poverty reduction and economic profit can align.”
According to Kash Rangan, there are three major challenges when considering the BoP:
• Cultural distance between corporate decision makers and the poor
• Lack of infrastructure in poor markets that can make operating at the base of the pyramid difficult, and potentially costly.
• Companies are challenged to find ways to bring BOP initiatives to scale and sustainability within the time frames dictated by traditional corporate targets. In many BOP ventures, the true profit driver lies in volume rather than in profit margins
Read the whole Q&A session here.
Interested in Improving Health for the Poor?, read the Q&A session with HBS Professor Michael Chu.
Last but not least, the Q&A session in regards to The Corporate Value Shift with Professor Lynn Paine, who argues that companies can’t consider themselves amoral or apart from society anymore—that the relationship between companies and society at large necessitates bringing a moral dimension to decision making.


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