C.K. Prahalad Initiative
C.K Prahalad taught at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan from 1977 until his death in 2010. To honor him, the Ross School launched the C.K. Prahalad Initiative that same year. (The C.K. Prahalad Initiative is part of the Ross School’s India Initiatives.) The initiative embodies Prahalad’s guiding philosophy: that the base of the global socioeconomic pyramid can yield profit opportunities for businesses. Prahalad believed this could be achieved by what he termed “next practices”—innovations in strategy and management that would allow businesses to develop competitive advantages—potentially transforming an organization or an industry.
The C.K. Initiative promotes Prahalad’s work by supporting research that creates innovations, new products, and business models for the world’s poorest consumers. The initiative offers field-based learning opportunities for students and research opportunities for faculty. It also seeks business partners from different locations and industries to support innovative work.
In April 2011, the Ross School signed a memo of understanding 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 balance social value and innovative aspirations. While the initial focus is on India, the C.K. Prahalad’s Initiative’s long-term goal is to engage partners and launch projects around the world.