Coimbatore Krishnarao (C.K.) Prahalad

C.K. Prahalad was a visionary, colleague, and friend. Over the years, he provided inspiration and guidance to all of the co-authors of this book. C.K.’s tragic passing in April 2010 left us stunned and saddened. We will certainly miss him for the person he was, and for the future contributions he surely would have made to our community.

C.K. was an integral part of the development of this book. In fact, when Ted and Stu initially developed the idea of a co-created book and shared this with our colleagues, C.K. was the first to respond: “Looks like a great idea. Count me in. Let us do something creative.” He then played an instrumental role when the book’s authors convened in Ann Arbor, Michigan in May 2009. He not only presented the ideas for his chapter, but he also offered a compelling vision for the book. He encouraged us to envision a book that would be on the shelf of every manager in the corporate, non-profit, and development sectors who is thinking about BoP ventures. That vision became a core foundation in the development of this work.

In the dedication of the book, you will read an unpublished summary note he wrote in 2006 in response to some pointed criticisms of his pioneering book, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid. We selected this piece—which C.K. had posted on the web—because we think it offers the essence of what made him such a brilliant and influential thinker. We sadly but enthusiastically dedicate the book to his memory.