Think of BOP as innovators: Acharya


Speaking after inaugurating the T A Pai Centre for Inclusive Growth and a conference on ‘Serving the Bottom of Pyramid Customers’ organised by T A Pai Management Institute (TAPMI) at the TAPMI campus here on Saturday, he said that the theme of the conference is relevant not only to the industry, but also to all stakeholders in the society. Specifically to the government, it is something that connects with poverty alleviation and objectives of empowering the poor, he said.

The term BOP refers to the 4 billion people living on less than $ 2 per day and a large chunk of this population resides in India. Under the BOP initiative, we stop thinking of the poor as victims but see them as creative entrepreneurs as well as value demanding consumers. There are tremendous benefits for the industry in serving these markets.
However, there are also poverty reducing benefits if industry works with civil society organisations and local governments to create new local business models. This would result in the cooperation of business and markets that mutually benefit the companies and the communities. This is market based approach that focuses on poverty alleviation and is an integral part of sustainable development, he said.

An example of BOP is the growing micro credit market in India. With technology being more affordable and accessible, it is becoming possible to lend small amounts of money to people with even smaller assets. The e-Choupal in rural India enabled individual farmers to check the market trading price of their produce and sell it directly to ITC, Dr Acharya informed.

Manipal University Pro-Chancellor Dr H S Ballal and others were present.

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