Business and academia come together in a remarkable partnership as John Goodman, CEO, India and South Asia, and Kunal Sinha, Executive Director, Discovery, at Ogilvy & Mather, India collaborate with Professor John Quelch, Senior Associate Dean, Lincoln Filene Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School and Ajay Mookerjee, Executive Director, India Research Center, Harvard Business School on a paper on ‘Marketing to India’s Underserved’.
The paper will be presented by Sinha at a conference on ‘Global Poverty – Business Solutions & Approaches’, on December 1, 2005, at Harvard.
The conference has been organised by Harvard Business School’s Social Enterprise Initiative and sponsored by the Division of Research and Faculty Development. It aims to bring together committed scholars such as Professors George Lodge, Tarun Khanna, David Ellwood, C K Prahalad, Jay Light (Dean, Harvard Business School) and James Austin, corporate leaders such as Robert Hart, CEO, Globeleq; Kurt Hoffman of the Shell Foundation; Monique Maddy of Google; and S Sivakumar, Chief Executive, Agri Business, ITC Ltd; and non-profit and government leaders, including Ray Offenheiser, President Oxfam; Allen Hammond and Djorjija Petkoski of the World Bank; Sanjay Gandhi of UNDP; and Christopher Crane, CEO, Opportunity International to discuss the role of business in poverty alleviation.
The aim of this conference is to explore how serving the poor can be a profitable business
proposition that can help improve the lives of world’s four billion impoverished men and women.
Said Goodman, “The paper mainly discusses marketing at the bottom of the pyramid of the economy. We have done historic work for many of our clients and thus, we are presenting at the conference and it is a great recognition of our work.”
Other papers being presented from India include the ITC e-choupal case and insights from Unilever’s Project Shakti. By examining the social, economic and geographic conditions faced by the poor through case studies and empirical research, the participants and speakers hope to gain a deeper understanding of the many ways in which business can create value at the base of the economic pyramid.
Sinha added, “Ours is the opening paper at the conference, so it is exciting. John Quelnch, who is a member of the WPP board and also one of the organisers of the conference, knows about the work Ogilvy Outreach has done, and he thought it will be an interesting case to present. All the papers presented at the conference will ultimately be published by Jossey Bass and a book will be released.”