The Base of the Pyramid (BOP) comprises the majority of the world population. However, the majority seemed to be neglected by multinational companies, until recently. Since the landmark publications of Prahalad & Hart much more attention is attributed to the BOP.
This research examines the attention some multinational ICT companies have given to the BOP so far. A case study research was conducted of 5 projects involving multinational ICT companies, which were studied as separate case studies for this thesis, all in the geographical space of Africa.
Qualitative data was collected using the multiple case study method and the data was analyzed for emerging patterns. The cases were analyzed on three main units of analysis, namely the BOP businesses model & strategy, the products & services and the partnerships needed for engaging with the BOP community.
It was found that regarding BOP businesses model & strategy an assessment of the BOP business model qualities is useful. The study revealed in all cases a hybrid view of market creation and socio-economic development by (ICT) companies engaging with the BOP, dubbed a hybrid form of BOP 1.0 & 2.0 strategies. The research also suggests that for successful BOP ventures alignment is needed between “BOP Business model & strategy”, “Partnership” and the “BOP Product & Service development”. The BOP products and services development confirmed the presence of disruptive innovation and innovation blowback. It was found that problems with partnerships revolve around six core categories namely driving force factors, skill factors, input-output factors, socio-cultural factors, systems factors, and trust factors.
This thesis research was conducted by Anand Sheombar