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Lustrum Symposium Sustainable Solutions, Focus on Africa. Affordable Healthy Food for the Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP) . Geert Verhoeven Delft, 1 November 2007. Friesland Foods. Multinational company
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Sustainable Solutions, Focus on Africa
Delft, 1 November 2007
“The aspiring poor present a prodigious
opportunity for the world’s wealthiest
companies. But it requires a radical new
approach to business strategy”
C.K. Prahalad and Stuart Hart
“The fortune at the bottom of the pyramid”
Strategy+Business, January 2002
Emerging Middle Class (MOP)
(Prahalad & Hart, 2002; Hart & Christensen, 2002;
London & Hart, 2004; Prahalad & Hammond, 2002)
4,000Of 6.5 bil. people approximately 4 bil. earn less than $2 per day ...
Saturation of current markets
Population in millions
Parity in U.S. dollars
Existing capability; New market
New capability;New market
Warden Rd. (Suburb)
Cost of Credit (Annual Interest)
600 – 1000%
12 – 18 %
60 – 75 X
Municipal Grade Water (cu.m)
Phone Call (per minute)
$.04 - .05
Rice (per kg)
1.2 XThe poor live in high cost economies
Source: C.K. Prahalad and A. Hamond,
‘SERVING THE POOR, PROFITABLY’
Teams in Indonesia, Vietnam and Nigeria
130 children in one roomAge of children?
Many elements influence this feeling of chaos and insecurity and it is very difficult to pinpoint cause and effect of extreme poverty. The teams have all referred to the situation as a revolving circle, a maze where the exit is hard to find. We recognise the following dimensions in this vicious circle…
Lack of initiative
Hard working but
often no job
Lack of LMT
Lack of education
Lack of protection
No Peace of Mind
DisempoweringVicious circle of life at the BOP
BoP people avoid governmental, non governmental institutions,
Distrust, anticipated costs, physical distance, need for planning, lack of anticipated benefit, lack of self confidence …
Implication: whereas collaboration with government, NGO, Schools and medical facilities will be necessary to scale up it will not suffice. An extra dimension of bringing the solution to the community, every single day, will have to be build in.
Modern families but disempowered women…
Women are often more entrepreneurial than men. Still: men take up an authority position
Implication: the need for “completing” the family income and the more entrepreneurial pre-disposition make women the obvious target for implementing BOP solutions. This could and should imply an empowerment of women but only to a level where the role of women does not threaten the authority position of men. It is important to look for solutions that are inclusive to both men and women and to portray women as partners
Power to the children
Children have serious responsibilities; are a source of hope to their parents. They have an appetite for learning
Implication: defining children +2 as the target group for using future solutions is one thing. The BOP reality also makes us consider children ( 6-12) a target group to contribute to the solution. Their openness to change and the hope they bring to the parents could make them advocates for changing eating habits. The already existing practice of helping to provide some income for the family could offer opportunities for making them agents of change.
Findings up to now: