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C.K. Prahalad Initiative Mission Statement

To bring together passionate people and the resources of the Ross School to pursue fundamental questions at the heart of the role of business in society and how innovation can shape the relationship between profit generation and social value creation.

About the Initiative

The C.K. Prahalad Initiative anchors the India Initiatives with a pioneering perspective that the base of the global socioeconomic pyramid can yield profit opportunities for businesses. Ross School launched the C.K. Prahalad Initiative in 2010 to honor the late C.K. Prahalad, one of the world's most influential business thinkers, who taught at the school from 1977 until his death in 2010.

Prahalad, who helped plant and expand the reach of the Ross School into India, excelled in finding ways to bridge the gap between theory and practice. He brought attention to what he defined as "next practices," innovations in strategy and management that would allow businesses to develop competitive advantages and that might seed the transformation of an organization or industry. Innovation was his mantra. He pushed to explore how businesses could innovate to do more with less for more people.

Under the auspices of the India Initiatives, the C.K. Prahalad Initiative will carry on the work of Prahalad by concentrating on research that generates innovations and creates new products and business models for consumers at the base of the global economic pyramid.

Through the initiative, Ross School will provide field-based learning opportunities for students and research opportunities for faculty. In conjunction with its business partners, it will produce intellectual capital by promoting the pursuit of questions that shaped Prahalad's thinking about the intersection of business practice and social value creation. To generate global conversation, it then will disseminate that intellectual capital to researchers, educators, and practitioners worldwide.

In keeping with Prahalad's prowess in finding pioneering next-practice organizations, the C.K. Prahalad Initiative will seek business partners from many different locations and in widely divergent industries to work with Ross School to identify organizations where exciting innovation is happening.

To further its agenda for action-based learning projects, Ross School signed a memo of understanding in April 2011 with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), India's largest business association. The goal is to co-create action-based learning projects with CII member companies that will balance social value and innovative aspirations.

Although the initial focus is on India, the long-term goal of the C.K. Prahalad Initiative is to engage partners and launch projects throughout the world. In keeping with Prahalad's expansive outlook on where next practices can be found, the C.K. Prahalad Initiative will reach out to organizations both large and small in the U.S. and abroad whose culture and strategies align with the initiative's mission.

Read about the initiative in the Spring 2011 issue of Dividend.

"It is truly a privilege to be part of bringing to life C.K.’s vision of driving meaningful human and economic benefit to the bottom of the pyramid through our MAP projects. Procter & Gamble is deeply committed to helping the C.K. Prahalad Initiative extend this vision through cutting-edge projects aimed at improving lives in this important segment of the world’s consumers."
Robert Fregolle, Jr. // Procter & Gamble

Bharti Airtel // New Delhi, India
The MAP team was assigned a project to study the customer experience and market adoption of "Airtel-Money."

ICICI Bank // Mumbai, India
The MAP student team studied an innovative, cashless ecosystem experiment and identifed the current challenges and potential new markets.

Narayana Hrudayalaya Hospitals // Bangalore, India
The MAP team researched the business process innovations at the hospital and identifed areas for improvement.

UIDAI // New Delhi, India
The MAP team went to the Unique Identification Authority of India to understand the electronic identification number process for building application ecosystems.

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