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Breakthology

Breakthology is a venture of Tarunjit Singh Bachcher, a top organisation performance coach in India. Good to see the shiny new website of Breakthology.

The BOP Debate Rages On!

In my post titled Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid - What I liked and what I didn't I wrote about my impressions on Dr CK Prahalad's work titled 'The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid'.

Frankly when I read the book, I did not come out fully convinced.It all sounded very nice, but not very pursuasive. My curiousity led me to search a bit more on this debate. I came across a paper by Prof. Aneel Karnani published in California Management Review. The paper titled Fortune at the Bottom of Pyramid: A Mirage comes out hard on the BOP concept as enunciated in Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid by Dr Prahalad.

While Dr Prahalad's work focusses on how corporations can make money selling even to the marginal wage earner, Dr Karnani questions the viability of such a proposition, even talks on issues such as affordability of this segment of consumers. He even questions the suitability of the cases used to substantiate the BOP proposition (such as Annapurna salt).Frankly anyone who has been to countryside markets where many of India's marginal earners live and seen the buying behaviour would tend to agree to Dr Karnani's paper. I would recommend that you read Dr. Karnani's paper in entirety.

Dr Karnani's paper also comes down hard on the facts and figures quoted in this book.If one were to believe the BOP work, an Indian housewife send an average of 60 text messages a day(Page 43, paperback edition) on their mobile phones. Frankly, I am not an expert on numbers but find this quite ridiculously high. A tenth of this number would have sounded more convincing.

The good thing is that the debate talks about a segment that is not SEC A which is where most of the strategic thinking generally remains focused. Followers of the BOP school have created a site to carry on the argument and it is interesting to watch this debate growing. Dr. Prahalad's arguments for a change sound defensive, quite indicated by the Ads in Google if you run a search on 'CK Prahalad' which read 'Learn about Prahalad's BOP strategy and his response to criticism'.

Interesting!

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हिन्दी लिखना एक टेढी खीर से कम नहीं, ऐसी आम धारणा है। किन्तु क्या आपने प्रयास भी किया क्या? मैंने हाल में गूगल पर ढूंढा तो पाया कि कुछ अच्छे साइट हैं जहाँ आपकी मदद की सहज व्यवस्था है। रमण कौल की साइट सराहनीय है।यदि हिन्दी लिखना चाहते हों, तो यहाँ जाँए।

TOI Chennai Launch - How would the Hindu react?

Of course this post is speculative in nature but then isn't that the case with lot of things :)

The question is, how will market leader the Hindu react to the Times of India's proposed launch in Chennai:

Do nothing, no one can shake me - 0% probability.
Do nothing on the surface, work on the distribution control - 10 % probability.Start outdoors before the TOI does, buy hoarding spaces - moderate probability.Go for a drastic price cut and start a price war - almost certain to happen ( Do remember price positioning is not good but then you just lost the chance)Make the paper better - which means not saying a leading star hotel in Nungambakkam but saying Taj Coromandal instead- 10 % probability.Start publishing more color photos- 50 % probability.
In all we would be keen to watch whether the Hindu would adopt a defensive strategy and try to save the turf or a very aggressive strategy and try to kill the new edition of the TOI. And how about no strategy as a strategy?

FINALLY, WHO WON GOOGLE WORDMASTERS CONTEST?

Google organized Wordmasters Challenge in several cities in India recently (30th September,2006). Word is that close to 3000 people participated in this event.
(See Harshad's report on the event here) The winners are supposed to be declared today.Wonder who won it and what did the winning entries look like. Does anyone have a clue on this?

Updated:Nov 9 , 2006:I just decided to send a self-addressed-stamped envelope to Google. If and when I get a response, I will update this post.

Updated:Nov 16 , 2006: One week and no response received. Yes, a self-addressed stamped envelope with a covering note was indeed sent to Google's Bangalore office on the address specified in the event leaflet. Snailmailed on 9th Nov. So much for the mission to organise the world's information and make it accessible to everyone :)

Updated: Nov 29, 2006: I did send a second letter to Google, this time by courier, assuming the previous postal mail failed to reach them. The contents of my letter to Googl…