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Next Generation Corporate Growth to come from the World's Poorest People

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com Monday, 5 June 2006

Innovation in nations such as India, with low cost operations and high levels of poverty, can be adapted for the Middle East, according to global business strategist CK Prahalad, one of the speakers at November’s Leaders in Dubai Business Forum.

According to Prahalad, the secret to India’s corporate success is not just the low cost of labour. Instead, it is judicious use of capital investment, a hefty reliance on outsourcing, smart use of technology and creative cost-cutting practices – techniques which can be adapted to other parts of the world.

Named by BusinessWeek as “the most influential thinker on business strategy today”, Prahalad points to the “bottom of the pyramid” as the foundation for future business success. The poorest people in the world, numbering 4 billion, could be worth up to $13.75 trillion annually when corporations understand how to tap their potential.

This market, he says, could be co-created by multinationals, NGOs and the poor themselves, who he believes will become the middle classes of tomorrow.

He claims that poor nations are incubating new business models and innovative uses of technology that will begin to transform entire global industries within the next decade, whether they are in the financial sector or telecom services, through to healthcare and engineering.

This change will be accelerated by globalisation, outsourcing, the Internet, and the spread of cheap wireless telecom. Few Western corporations are truly using these tools to their full extent, Prahalad says, which will put them in danger of being swamped by a new breed of cross-border companies currently operating outside their radar.

The key to business innovation in poorer markets such as India is that the creativity has been generated in highly cost-conscious surroundings, where minimal resources are available but new solutions are being used.

Alan Kelly, project director for Leaders in Dubai Business Forum, said, “CK Prahalad has projected his new business models on corporations such as AT&T, Oracle and Unilever, and will deliver his latest thoughts on corporate strategy at the forum.

“He created the concept of core competencies and is widely acknowledged as one of the world's most significant forces in corporate thinking. Arabian business leaders will be able to hear first-hand how they can harness the bottom of the pyramid for corporate growth.”

With Gary Hamel, Prahalad sparked a management revolution with their 1994 book, Competing for the Future, which says that companies must identify and focus on their core competencies. A decade later he co-wrote The Future of Competition, and his book The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid has been hailed as one of the most important business books in recent years.

The theme for this year’s Leaders in Dubai Business Forum is ‘Change and Innovation’, and the programme’s other six headline speakers are: Michael Eisner, former chairman and CEO of Disney; Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan; Louis V. Gerstner Jr, former head of IBM; Edward de Bono; General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) ex Secretary of State; and Harry S Dent Jr.

Every speaker will appear live on stage at the event, which will be held in the Dubai International Convention Centre, November 28 – 29.

Leaders in Dubai Business Forum is the largest annual meeting of successful like-minded individuals in the region and more than 2,000 delegates are expected to attend and discuss the issues and challenges presented in an era of accelerating change and innovation.

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