C. K. Prahalad

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C.K. Prahalad at WEForum 2009.

Coimbatore Krishnarao Prahalad (8 August 1941 – 16 April 2010) was an Indian American organizational theorist and Professor of Corporate Strategy at the University of Michigan, who was one of the most influential management gurus in his time. He was the co-author of "Core Competence of the Corporation" with Gary Hamel and "The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid" with Stuart L. Hart.


  • "With wolves, solidarity is first but when they hunt, they change roles. The implicit hierarchy depends on who does what. In an organization one unique person makes a difference, but you need teamwork to make it happen."
    • C. K. Prahalad quoted in "Can C. K. Prahalad Past the Test?" Fast Company July 31, 2001
  • Imagining the future may be more important than analyzing the past I daresay companies today are not resource-bound, they are imagination-bound.
    • C. K. Prahalad, cited in: David A. Aaker (2001), Strategic Market Management, p. 76
  • The lackluster nature of most multinational corporations emerging market strategies over the past decade does not change the magnitude of the opportunity. The real source of market promise is not the wealthy few in the developing world, or even the emerging middle-income consumers: It is the billions of aspiring poor who are joining the market economy for the first time.
    • C. K. Prahalad & Stuart L Hart, cited in: Jeffrey E. Garten (2002), The Politics of Fortune: A New Agenda for Business Leaders, p. 125
  • The future lies with those companies who see the poor as their customers.
    • C.K. Prahlad, cited in: Bibek Debroy, ‎Amir Ullah Khan (2004), Integrating the Rural Poor Into Markets. p. 17
  • Strategy is about stretching limited resources to fit ambitious aspirations.
    • C. K. Prahalad, cited in: Don Soderquist (2005), The Wal-Mart Way, p. 178
  • Executives are constrained not by resources but by their imagination.
    • C.K. Prahalad in a column Harvard Business Review, April 2010.
  • Assume responsibility for outcomes as well as for the processes and people you work with. How you achieve results will shape the kind of person you become.
    • C. K. Prahalad, cited in: Simone P. Joyaux (2011), Strategic Fund Development, p. 7

"The Core Competence of the Corporation," 1990

See Gary Hamel#"The Core Competence of the Corporation," 1990

Competing for the Future, 1996

See Gary Hamel#Competing for the Future, 1996

The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, 2009

Bottom of the pyramid (BoP) consumer problems cannot be solved with old technologies.
- Prahalad, 2009

C.K. Prahalad, (2009) The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Revised and Updated 5th Anniversary Edition: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits.

  • Democratization of commerce is based on everyone having the right to exercise their roles as micro consumers, micro producers, micro entrepreneurs, micro investors, and micro innovators. Access to information removes the first impediment to building this brave, new world. Information asymmetry has always been at the heart of poverty.
    • p. 22
  • If we stop thinking of the poor as victims or as a burden and start recognizing them as resilient and creative entrepreneurs and value-conscious consumers, a whole new world of opportunity can open up.
    • p. 25
  • BoP consumer problems cannot be solved with old technologies.
    • p. 26
  • I have no doubt that the elimination of poverty and deprivation is possible by 2020.
    • p. 138
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