Towards Linking Disruptive Innovations and BoP Markets

DS 58-3: Proceedings of ICED 09, the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design, Vol. 3, Design Organization and Management, Palo Alto, CA, USA, 24.-27.08.2009

Year: 2009
Editor: Norell Bergendahl, M.; Grimheden, M.; Leifer, L.; Skogstad, P.; Lindemann, U.
Author: Jagtap, Santosh; Kandachar, Prabhu
Series: ICED
Section: Design Organization and Management
Page(s): 13-24


The base of the world economic pyramid consists of 4 billion people typically earning less than 4 USD per day. This population is generally called the base of the pyramid (BoP). Much research on BoP markets focuses on motivating companies to enter these markets to create a win-win situation such that companies can gain benefits and BoP customers can satisfy their unmet or under-served needs. The reviewed literature suggests the need of innovations to successfully deploy products and services in these BoP markets. The reviewed research on disruptive innovations suggests that these innovations provide a good opportunity in new markets in contrast to companies' mainstream markets. This paper presents the findings of the initial phase of our research, and attempts to demonstrate that BoP can present a potential new market for companies to successfully employ disruptive innovations. This is shown by synthesizing the reviewed literature on: (1) design, development, marketing, and distribution of products and services in BoP markets; and (2) disruptive innovations.

Keywords: Base of the pyramid (BoP), innovations, disruptive innovations


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