Making Your Products Accessible to Underserved Markets

When a certain problem gets overt focus, others tend to get overlooked. Case-in-point: the Bottom of the Pyramid theory, created by Indian-American researcher and author CK Prahalad. Prahalad argued that the world’s poorest people constituted the “bottom of the pyramid” (BoP) and presented a massive opportunity for the world’s wealthiest companies. He posited that this segment was an untapped market opportunity and that companies, by developing products and services accessible to them, could create sustainable and profitable ventures, while also improving the lives of the poor. It brought focus to the money scarcity problem (meaning, products were not reaching low-income groups because they were not designed to cater to them) and helped create new market segments and increase product accessibility. But in doing so, it also drew attention away from other inclusion gaps. This resulted in an “identity problem” with certain other groups getting marginalized on the basis of gender, race, caste, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and ethnicity. Management leaders need a clearly defined Side of the Pyramid (SoP) strategy to optimize the available opportunities and develop more inclusive products and services.


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