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Democratizing Commerce

Democratizing Commerce

Professor C. K. Prahalad
Professor & Corporate Management Guru

Chair:  Praful Patel, Vice-President, South Asia Region

Tuesday, October 3, 2006
Time:  12:30 - 2:00 p.m.
Venue: Preston Auditorium

The Idea
How do we connect globalization and poverty eradication? Over 4 billion people do not get the benefits of globalization of markets. Even when some countries benefit from globalization such as China and India, the benefits are unevenly distributed. Focusing on the "bottom of the Pyramid" as a market- consumers and producers- have never been more important for social and political stability. In this session, Prof. Prahalad will suggest ways of converting a global problem (poverty) into a global opportunity for growth. He will argue that all of us need to reexamine our assumptions about poverty, and markets and the role of the private sector and civil society.

Democratized commerce has two dimensions. Each of us individuals are consumers and therefore, each of us must have the ability to afford world class products and services as a consumer at affordable prices and have the ability to shape our own experiences. Secondly as a producer, how do I get a fair price for my efforts and how do I get access to global markets for what I have produced. This means we have to seamlessly integrate villages, small towns, large towns and the whole global marketplace.

Most prominent example for democratized commerce in South Asia region is Amul. They process two billion liters of milk in a year, the highest in the world. They are 700 million dollars in sales, they have global marketing opportunities and they have a market around the world. They are certainly the dominant brand in India. But the milk itself comes from highly decentralized villages where women with two buffaloes can participate in national and global market opportunities. It is not about having a farm with 100,000 cattle in one location. It is about understanding how to break the value chain, and how to get scale through decentralized production, and very centralized processing and highly centralized marketing.

Prof. Prahalad

"...the most influential thinker on business strategy today".  The Business Week

Globally renowned as a strategy guru, Prof. Prahalad is the Paul and Ruth McCracken Distinguished University Professor of Corporate Strategy at the University of Michigan Ross Business School, Ann Arbor, in addition to serving on the board of Directors of NCR Corp., Hindustan Lever Ltd., and the World Resources Institute. He has been rated among the top ten management thinkers in every major survey for over ten years including No.3 in Suntop Media’s 50 of the World’s most Influential Business Thinkers and won several awards including the McKinsey Prize, for launching a global movement towards private sector solutions to end global poverty.

Prof. Prahalad is the founding member and CEO of the "The Next Practice"

For queries contact: Parmesh Shah or Vijaysekar Kalavakonda (458-4624)

DVD Video (89 minutes)

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