PM recalls Prahalad`s bottom of pyramid vision for India

Be it India`s telecom success, the Nano car or low cost airlines, world renowned corporate strategy Professor C K Prahalad saw them as India`s inclusive innovation.

Last Updated: Jul 08, 2010, 22:46 PM IST

New Delhi: Be it India`s telecom success,
the Nano car or low cost airlines, world renowned corporate
strategy Professor C K Prahalad saw them as India`s inclusive
innovation.

This was how Prime Minister Manmohan Singh paid rich
tributes to the distinguished Professor of strategy at the
Michigan University, Prahalad, who passed away in April this
year at the age 69.

"Be it Aravind eye hospitals (based at Madurai) which he
introduced to the world as the `McDonalds of eye care`, the
Indian telecom industry that offered call rates at a fraction
of the global costs, the Nano or the low-cost Deccan airlines,
Dr Prahalad saw these as efforts at inclusive innovation that
India was uniquely capable of," Singh said at the memorial
service organised by CII here.

In one of his bestsellers, `The Future at the Bottom of
the Pyramid` Prahalad had explained how corporates can make
profits and also help eradicate poverty.

"His belief in the Indian capacity for innovation, given
its diversity and interrogative intellectual traditions made
him celebrate Indian achievement and achievers," the Prime
Minister said in the presence of Prahalad`s family and
friends.

Singh said the distinguished professor of corporate
strategy had demonstrated that innovation should focus on the
poor. "He taught business to include those presently not in
the market, and create new markets. Many companies have
profited by putting these ideas into practice," Singh said.

Prahalad had said that India`s future was linked to
making at least 500 million youth skilled and the government
adopted his vision as a target for the Skill Development
Corporation of India.

"He (Prahalad) felt that we must set a target unmatched
by current resources so that we innovate to reach our goal.
He believed India cannot afford incrementalism and we need
radical game changers," the Prime Minister said.

A country with a billion people should not look outward
for "best practices" but innovate "next practices", the Prime
Minister quoted Prahalad who was one of the most sought after
corporate advisors.

PTI