Six years ago, General Motors, the biggest, most powerful corporation in the world, was brought to its knees by failing to react quickly and effectively to competition from Japanese imports, which were smaller, more fuel efficient, and cheaper cars.

Companies like Walmart, Coca-Cola, and Microsoft will soon face the same do-or-die crossroads General Motors did if they don’t react quickly and effectively to the challenge of earning attractive profits at scale from emerging markets. This will require nothing less than a revolution in how businesses currently design, price, market, and distribute their products. I plan to spend the rest of my life helping foment that revolution.

It’s time for a revolution in how corporations design, price, market and distribute their products. Tweet This Quote

Thirty million people shop at Walmart every day. But, there are three billion people in the world who will never set foot inside a Walmart store. They include 2.6 billion potential customers who live on less than two dollars a day. Most live in rural areas in developing countries and earn their livelihoods from one or two acre farms.

Many more live in urban slums and live on what they can earn from informal enterprises, like small shops selling consumer items or tailoring enterprises. I’ve had long personal conversations over the past 30 years with more than 3,000 of these customers who are routinely bypassed by existing markets, and they have become my teachers and my friends.

Coca-Cola sells what amounts to aspirational branded fizzy sugar-water for about 25 cents a bottle in villages all over India. In those same villages, 50 percent of the children are malnourished. What would happen to Coca-Cola if a well-financed Chinese company started selling a nutritious soft drink at a nickel a pop in millions of villages around the world? I believe Coca-Cola could quickly find itself in the same position General Motors faced four years ago.

The opportunities to create profitable businesses serving 3 billion bypassed customers are almost limitless. Tweet This Quote

The Gates Foundation has helped millions of people move out of poverty, and improved the health and education of millions more. But as far as I know, Microsoft, the parent company, does not make a single product that sells to the 2.6 billion people in the world who live on less than $2 a day.

The opportunities to create profitable businesses serving three billion bypassed customers are almost limitless. For example, there are a billion people who will never connect to electricity. That’s about the same as the total population of the United States and Europe combined. There are another billion people who don’t have access to safe drinking water. Many of them get sick and some of them die because of it.

Why aren’t existing businesses successfully involved in emerging markets? There are three main reasons:

  1. They don’t see a profit in it.
  2. They don’t have a clue how to design the radically affordable products and services that poor people need.
  3. They don’t know how to design and operate profitable last-mile supply chains.

Future corporations will remain competitive by creating vibrant new markets serving 2 dollar a day customers at scale. Tweet This Quote

Three key practical strategies need to be incorporated by businesses serving 2 dollar a day customers:

  1. Small margin x large volume = attractive bottom line profits. Supermarkets used this formula to replace mom and pop grocery stores, and Walmart improved on it. For emerging markets, it’s really the Walmart strategy x 100.
  2. Design for radical affordability. A movement, called design for the other 90 percent, gained a lot of momentum. It means learning to design things that are affordable enough for people who live on less than 2 USD a day and that are also income generating.
  3. Implement profitable last-mile supply chainsSpring Health, the company I started with my partners in India, will, if successful, create a model platform for profitable last mile supply chains to small rural villages in India.

Designing for the other 90 percent means things that are radically affordable and income generating. Tweet This Quote

The mission of Spring Health is to sell safe drinking water at scale to people who don’t have access to it now. There are some 300 million people in eastern India alone that don’t have access to safe drinking water. Most of them live in small villages with 100 to 300 families, and those villages have little in the way of markets. But every one of these small villages has three or more mom-and-pop shops. They sell everything from cigarettes to soap to candy to cookies and all kinds of consumable household items.

This design revolution will create millions of jobs and help more than a billion people move out of poverty. Tweet This Quote

What Spring Health did is build a 3,000 liter cement tank for about 100 USD next to each shop, purifying the water in it using a radically affordable water purifier liquid. The shopkeeper sells the purified water at a cost of less than half a cent a liter to people in the village. Our customers, most of whom live on less than 2 dollars a day, report they are experiencing a major drop in illnesses and medical bills—each family estimates they pay between 25 and 250 USD a year for medicines to stop diarrhea, visits to clinics and doctors, electrolyte replacements, IVs, and hospital stays to treat the illnesses they get from drinking bad water.

I believe there are thousands of opportunities, like the one Spring Health saw in India, for creating new markets and new companies to serve the three billion customers in the world who are bypassed by current markets. It will take nothing less than a revolution to accomplish this. But the outcome of this revolution will be to create millions of new jobs, help more than a billion people move out of poverty, and take a giant step toward ending environmental imbalance on the planet.

Paul’s TEDxMileHigh Talk in Denver, Colorado

A version of this post originally published on in December 2013. It has been updated and reposted to inspire further conversation.

About the author

Paul Polak

Paul Polak

Dr. Polak is Founder and CEO of Windhorse International, a for-profit social venture leading a revolution in how companies design, price, market and distribute products to benefit the 2.6 billion customers who live on less than $2 a day. He is an author of The Business Solution To Poverty and Designing Products and Services for Three Billion New Customers.

  • Carolina

    I feel this idea is very innovating and useful. Its allowing
    for more people to have jobs. The author believe that with these new market it
    can benefit a lot of people by providing people in poverty with jobs. This could benefit many.

  • Peyton Howard

    This is an extremely innovative and beneficial idea. It would provide those who live in poverty with job opportunities in a new market that can benefit numerous people. It is a brilliant idea.

  • sam_rye

    Thanks for sharing this Paul – more of these stories need to be told to bend the long arc of social change, and speed up the adoption of radical market-based strategies to widespread social & environmental problems.

    I wonder what Coca-Cola would look like if they actually focused their business goals on their marketing spin? Instead of creating a lifestyle brand around their damaging product, what would it look like to create better products guided by core values like “Happiness” and “Sharing”? It seems like one of the most important shifts they need to take to stop being a force for health problems, and start being a force for Wellbeing.

  • Tolla

    Thank you Paul for your insights with your years of experience working with these population

  • Courtlyn Carpenter

    I really enjoyed reading about all of the work your organization has done to help provide safe drinking water to rural villages in India. I do have a few questions about this article, though. First of all, I agree that supplying jobs in developing nations to boost economies is a good idea, but I would like to see more of a focus on the right way to do this. I appreciated how your organization focuses on directly implementing water tanks to already existing “mom and pop” shops, and I would worry that following a similar plan to Wal-Mart’s plan could promote large businesses taking over and unfairly paid jobs without delivering important services. Also, I was curious about how this proposal affects the environment. In the conclusion of your paper, you mentioned that this plan for businesses could help aide in “ending the environmental imbalance on the planet,” but you did not elaborate on this much in your article. I was just curious how this point tied into the rest and how delivering more products and jobs to developing nations would be beneficial for the planet. Thank you for posting such a great article, though. I am very impressed with the work Spring Health is doing in India!

  • Angela Hoch

    I also agree that this idea is very useful and allowing more people to obtain jobs. This new market can benefit a lot of people, and help change the poverty level. This article proved that by helping others, having an open mind, and being unselfish can truly make a world of a difference and create a stable consumer market. I wish more people would read this article to realize how beneficial this could truly be, and how creating these new markets could change our country for the better. This article could be so useful, and beneficial if more people were aware of this website! Time to re post and share! 🙂

  • kristinwagner32

    I completely agree with you and the author! This market not only benefits people but focuses on other aspects besides just making a profit. I think more upcoming businesses will need to look at the bypassed market if they want to survive in the future with a standing business; unlike General Motors. Thank you Paul for this blog!!

  • lepkowskjj29

    Thank you for this article. I agree that we need to start moving toward providing for the 3 billion people that are on an income of $2/day. I really liked the point of Microsoft needing to react before they end up like General Motors. My only concern is how do you make a product that is affordable for people on an income of $2/day and still make a profit for the company?

  • Willie

    Your insight is very keen and thoughtful. With that being said it is very easy to say these people need help but how and what can we really do to help them? Where do we even start? Also how do we reach people who are long distances away?

  • DuCharmeDR11

    Sam, after reading your comment about the article and the marketing tactics behind Coca-Cola, I continuously was nodding my head in agreement. Marketers and salesmen/women are great at what they do, but how much more powerful and purpose-driven could their jobs be if they looked at the big picture, with a broader goal outside of gaining profit, and really impacting the lives of others in a guilt-free aspect? Being a marketing major myself, this blog has inspired me to make sure and be passionate about whatever product/service I wish to involve myself with. Thank you for igniting a spark in which I plan to challenge others with.

  • GrycowskAJ17

    This was my exact thought. I couldn’t think of a way for people to make/sell a product cheap enough for those people, yet have enough of a profit margin to even surprise. I really wish there was a way, but just don’t see it.

  • WolfgramKA06

    This is such an inspiring article. I really enjoyed, not only how you stated the benefits of this idea, but also how to go about doing it. I feel like this could be a great idea for future businesses. I know I would love to work for a company like this. One that is concerned with the wellness of places with poverty. My question to you is, where would you start a business like this first? Which country would you think needs something like this the most?

  • katie yanke

    I am glad there are some companies out there that actually care about people rather than just making money. It is sad that some of us think we can not live without the new iPhone while people in India and Africa are dying from unclean water something many of us take for granted. I hope more businesses will shift their focus from profits to changing the world. Thanks for the article!

  • DrivenbySuccess

    Katie, thats so true. I have had both bad and good experiences with companies that cared and did not care and it was interesting to see both sides of things. I think that people are going to people and money is the most important things to people so changing the world will have to come from a different angle.

  • Marian326

    Thank you for your radical approach to helping the 90% of the world through simply changing your perspective, and allowing yourself to do a paradigm shift. You are the epitome of an options person, and options are what is needed when approaching the problems in our world.
    I am very impressed with your water tank idea, and I’m pleased to hear how peoples lives have been improved. As a student of Health, I am drawn to projects that meet people where they are, and betters their overall health and wellness.
    What other projects do you have in the works for the 90%?

  • ghilonipt09

    I agree with you 100% the market is becoming more and more competitive. You need to have that one thin which makes people want to come into your business rather than the business that is your competitor.

  • kristinwagner32

    Exactly. You need that spark or something that stands out from all the other companies/businesses.

  • Angela Killpack

    I think it should be a priority to get clean drinking water around the world. There are still countries that don’t have filters when I think those can be pretty cheap. I’ve also heard of that billboard in Mexico that takes water from the clouds and turns it into drinking water.

  • Brittney Glende

    I completely agree with you as well Angela, the idea here is to help more people obtain jobs. Knowing that the market is becoming more and more competitive, you will need that spark so that people choose your company over another.

  • Caitlin Donohue

    Very interesting article! Thank you for this advice. What’s one way to get existing businesses to see a profit involved in emerging markets?

  • Willie

    I totally agree very inspiring. Id like to think big corporations and business should already be concerned with the wellness of the population and community because without the consumers these companies wouldn’t be anything, yet their only motive is to suck you dry and take all of your money by any means.

  • Angela Hoch


    I also agree that this idea is very useful and allowing more people to obtain
    jobs. This new market can benefit a lot of people, and help change the poverty
    level. This article proved that by helping others, having an open mind, and
    being unselfish can truly make a world of a difference and create a stable
    consumer market. I wish more people would read this article to realize how
    beneficial this could truly be, and how creating these new markets could change
    our country for the better. This article could be so useful, and beneficial if
    more people were aware of this website! Time to re post and share! 🙂

  • lex_alwaysMIA

    This is something that our economy needs now. Forget competition for a moment and focus on getting individuals to work for your company.

  • yencheskcj27

    Great article. Its great to see someone highlight that there can be profitability for a business that helps “the other 90 percent”. Most often the people who want to start a business that helps people focus too much on the traditional view of the bottom line. If they instead look at it in the way the author presented, (small margin x large consumer base) they will realize that a company focused on helping people obtain important products such as clean drinking water is not only feasible but profitable.

  • AmberDraina

    Instead of selling death to people to make profit we must realize that there is potential to make profit and make people healthier.

  • Kelly Martin

    This is a wonderful article. It gives help to not only people without jobs currently, but to people who have no money to even have clean water. With all of these recent advancements all over the world, the market just keeps growing. The fact that there is still room for growth means that there are many benefits coming to this world in years to come.

  • Trista Radloff

    Yes I agree! I think it’s interesting to learn that coca-cola sells coke in malnutritioned villages. Considering soda isn’t the most nutritious chioce I would like that water bottle companie would be more beneficial for the villages and potentially make more money because the health benefits are better that hopefully people would see that.

  • Lilla McMillan

    I think this article is awesome. But I still feel really frustrated after reading it. I understand that it’s about moving around these huge corporations and doing things for the greater good which in turn will generate massive profits for those who can implement necessary tech innovations quickly and effectively while also at low costs to the consumer. I thought the article skimmed over the potential for creating jobs for the people they are also targeting as the hypothetical market. I think the key is to solve problems like malnutrition, education, and equality there needs to be a holistic approach taken. We can’t just target these people and give them water to rid them of illnesses and disease, we also have to include these people as potentially new business owners, a form of advertisement, etc.

  • Hillary12

    I really liked how this article predicted that large corporations may end up losing to smaller more innovated companies. Based on how many people in the world are in need of clean water, like mentioned in the article, it is very easy to see how organizations like Spring Health can end up taking the upper hand. The whole idea behind Spring Health is amazing. It’s giving many people clean drinking water for minimal price and greatly reducing health issues. Imagine if a company like Walmart or Coca-Cola invested in something like this; there would be potential of getting clean drinking water to every person on earth.

  • mywa4360

    At one point in time, survival of the fittest meant that those who were at the highest level of physical capability were able to survive and pass on their genes. We have since lost this most fundamental part of our existence, relying instead on markets to help prove our “fitness” as an entity, where our capabilities are represented in the number of commas in our bank accounts. It is my belief that these companies, Coca-Cola and others, should abide by this new natural order. If there is a corporation that is able to provide these nutrition soft drinks at a fifth of the cost, then by all means we should be supporting these new, innovative organizations. What we should should not be doing is hoping for Coca-Cola to eventually come to their senses and “catch up” with the trend. Their century long practices have proven their mindset as a monolith with narrowly focused goals in mind [profit at the expense of beneficial public policy, a deviation from Monsanto relations, mass pollution/ resource extraction from plastic bottles, etc]. I feel that instead of pushing Coca-Cola or any other deep-rooted corporation to provide for these products, we should be supporting new corporations to come into the market and fill these unmet needs. Supporting a new industry gives us a greater ability to shape its structure, its stakeholders, its mission, and its goals far more than we can RE-shape and existing corporation that has proven itself inadequate at meeting these needs.

  • Justin Mulligan

    You are amazing Dr. Paul! I truly enjoyed reading your article. It is amazing how impactful your company design and plan is. Thank you for the added inspiration and new ways to see potential for big change.

  • cdcraig

    Those reasons why existing businesses aren’t involved in emerging markets seem like excuses. I think if this idea were to be implemented by those powerhouse companies, many economies would prosper. As stated above, this initiative would provide more jobs to then decrease the amount of individuals stricken with poverty. These companies have the tools they just need to use them.

  • dcanonic

    If big business were to focus on the $2 a day population they will find a huge economic boost in the global market. It will take innovation and research spending, but will more than pay for itself in the long run.

  • hirthjp18

    That is really interesting that there are still untapped markets that haven’t been utilized. It’ll be really interesting to see big names companies in the future. It hard to think that if big companies like coca-cola might not be as big or even struggling because they haven’t reached new markets. Thanks for sharing this information.

  • Camillewuensch

    What you have done with your company is amazing. I honestly think that more of the bigger corporations around the US should be coming up with more plans on how to reach the poorer places in third world countries. It would look so good for the company and if I knew that they were helping out billions of people that live off of $2 a day I would be more likely to shop there more. Just because most Americans live well off doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be trying to reach to the others out there they can’t get to a better health or financial place.

  • tyler

    This was a very good article, thank you for sharing. It seems like your organization has done so much to help others. I loved reading about it. This seems like a really great idea that would ultimately make so much of a change. I am sure it would mean so much to those people in India, and it would be just such a great way to help others. It would also create job opportunities, and help to expand the job market. It is great to hear about other businesses that are concerned with other people, and the well being of other people than just making a profit. Our priorities are a little messed up because we have it so good over here, but those people are really struggling and need our help. This article really made me reflect and makes me want to get out there and help! How could a regular ol average person help is my question for you?

  • Kyle moore

    This idea is great for the 21st century because of the unemployment rate and how jobs seem to be scarce. The idea of providing the people in poverty essentially a second chance to work and become an acting member of society is nevertheless interesting. What can the people who may be uneducated because they dropped out of school at an early age do? They will most likely have street smarts but the ideas instilled in people throughout school teach us more than that.

  • thomas kearney

    This is such an inspiring article. I really enjoyed, not only how you stated the benefits of this idea, but also how to go about doing it. I feel like this could be a great idea for future businesses. I know I would love to work for a company like this. One that is concerned with the wellness of places with poverty. My question to you is, where would you start a business like this first?

  • ReneeBinder

    This article features a new side of entrepreneurship. I think it is really interesting and there is a lot of potential for growth in these markets. His tips are valuable for people hoping to create something for the emerging markets.

  • Vanessa Roman

    This will benefit so many families that fall below the poverty line. There should be more companies that benefit these families.


    I agree, Carolina. I wholeheartedly believe that everybody deserves safe drinking water, and I think this is an excellent business model to achieve that. This model improves health and provides jobs, so I think it’s extremely positive for the people of India.

  • Sara_Kay0316

    Maybe we can utilize this idea to help people in poverty get a solid income. This will create better living situations for their families. Also, children will likely perform better in school if they are raised in households with more income.

  • CPanella1

    I love the point of coke selling nutritious drinks at a cheaper cost to villages in India because although they may feel good because the kids don’t go thirsty, these kids do face nutrition issues because of all the sugar intake. Instead of giving them a positive impact with a negative one, give them a double positive. If we had more of that in the world, we would be in a much better place!

  • CPanella1

    I completely agree with you and just because you make a profit off of selling them harmful products, how about you do us all a favor and make a profit off something that benefits the human race and makes us a healthier world!

  • Travis Mattice

    I agree. Just because they are drinking something does not mean they are getting anything out of it. I like when you said make it a double positive because that should be the first priority. The world would be much better if that happened.

  • Will Ettl

    This is such a huge benefit to the world and to so many communities. This will help out so many problems and could help areas where it is hard for people to get the right nutrition and make things so much better off for them.

  • keyser03

    These are overwhelming, but very important facts. Society is growing faster than ever, and companies are trying harder and harder to outdo eachother and be the best. Why are we putting money towards that when there are companies like this that are helping real issues. You can walk into walmart and find just about any food you are interested in, meanwhile people are drinking contaminated water just around the world from us. Earth isn’t as big as we think it is.

  • Jessica

    I think this idea of multi-billion dollar companies facing the potential of failure is something that we, as human beings, turn our heads from. We have this preconceived idea that Coca-Cola will NEVER disappear, and Wal-Mart will ALWAYS be popping up everywhere. While this could be true, it is also important to remember exactly what Dr. Polak brings up in this article; we are living in a world where innovation does not just have to be new ideas, but new ways of expanding the same ideas. A “knock off” brand is always coming out for every product, there are many “knock off” versions of Coca-Cola already… I’ve always agreed with the idea Dr. Polak discusses– lower prices (that those living off of less than $2 per day can afford) are going to bring in larger revenue amounts. This article brings up an important thought process that needs to be remembered as the world keeps changing, otherwise companies we have grown to know and love for our entire lives will no longer be part of them.

  • @paul polak, how do you feel major corporations will best enter BOP markets? Do you think they will learn how to do it themselves (i.e. like Coke did initially) or do you think they will look to acquire companies led by entrepreneurs who have already cracked a business model relevant to their own business?

  • Daniel Hartman

    I agree that not being apart of this untapped market is one large short coming of current corporations, but I am unsure that if a company were to come and take all of the business out of India, Coca Cola would still thrive in the United States where it gets most of its revenue anyways. I would be a beautiful thing to see less developed parts of the world in the spotlight, with innovation changing the way they live, but I don’t see this opportunity as the downfall of large corporations such as Walmart.

  • Logan Coffman

    If the largest American corporations want to remain relevant in the new era of globalization and radical technological growth across all nations, they will have to look beyond the borders of developed nations. Paul and Unreasonable readers, I’m curious as to what you think has remained the biggest barrier of entry for these corporations to enter these underserved markets. Many have already entered, but many more haven’t. Is it a cultural barrier ie a lack of understanding of how to market to the respective culture, a lack of capital to setup distribution in these countries, an aversion to the risk of trying to capture an entirely new market? Thoughts?

  • David Kidd

    I refute that the negligent view existing corporations have regarding the 3 billion that earn less than $2 a day will not lead to their downfall. Contrary to your General Motors example I believe Company’s like Microsoft, Coca Cola, and Walmart should not directly enter and try to control new markets. These potential markets, as exemplified as the impoverished 3 billion, should serve to promote innovation throughout new small businesses rather than profit for existing powerhouses. In my opinion entreprenourship and innovation has the potential to improve poverty around the world, but not-without the premise that profit still exists within these impoverished markets.

  • Sarah Nelson

    This article really changed my perspective on these large corporations and made me realize that they have not reached their full potential. To change the lives of many more, these big corporations need to create jobs in the developing countries and help these people make more than $2 a day. Overall these companies need to tap into new markets to stay relevant in the future.

  • Karis NuNyambe Balôck

    Am I the only one who doesn’t see how o coca-cola in the race could be a good thing? We need local producer to their own markets, not economic imperialists and monsters to bring the money of the poorest to those who have already taken everything from them

  • Amanda

    While I can see why you believe the money should be going directly to local producers, Coca Cola already has the resources and capital to produce a nutritious drink. If they actually focused on reaching the three billion people out there while maintaining a low price, Coca Cola could make a profit and help better the lives of those in poverty.

  • Hjordis Robinson

    After reading this article, I am far more aware of the large percentage of consumers that large businesses and corporations are not currently using their immense popularity and power to help. Those who live on $2 a day could greatly benefit from multibillion dollar companies if they dedicated more resources to new and innovative products that directly affect less-developed areas. Specifically, I absolutely loved the idea of Coca-Cola providing an affordable and nutritious drink in the same places that their cheap and less nutritious soft drinks are heavily advertised. These industries need to begin focusing more heavily on improving the situations of a large population instead of focusing on enhancing their own lavish lifestyles.

  • Hunter Ward

    I totally agree with this article when it says that companies will have to evolve with the changing markets. My question is would a small company coming into African villages and selling cheaper soda than Coca-Cola have the same effect that the Japanese companies had on General Motors? If so why? This seems like it wouldn’t be as drastic because I would guess that these type of Coca-Cola sales in these villages, aren’t as major as the rest of their sales around the world.

  • Sierra Stein

    This is an interesting concept. I think that in some circumstances large corporations could be heading down a path of bankruptcy if they don’t adapt to differing markets. However, companies like Microsoft and Walmart are operating in such a manner that they will continue to be successful regardless of adapting to the emerging markets. I agree with Paul, the idea of social entrepreneurship and impact business is becoming vital in society. Sual Garlik with Think Impact has a different business model based around design thinking that I find really inspiring. He took Think Impact from a non-profit to a for-profit company that focuses on not only student development but also native development in third world countries. Through design thinking the students on global treks immerse themselves in the local environment and use what they’ve learned in class to help the locals formulate their problems and as a result a solution to those problems, that may even be turned into a business model. Although not every company can go into a growing country and try and make change, the movement to increase the amount of certified B-corporations is putting the businesses in our country on the right track to do good by their work!

  • Kunal Patel

    This article was a piece to use as an eye opener to the general public that as much as we believe in corporations, they are still not at their highest efficiency. Instead of focusing solely on profits, like few of the other comments on this post, I believe Coca-Cola and other large companies do have the capital and resources that it would take to produce certain products which would be available to those living way under the line of poverty and should try to focus on that point but I do agree not themselves, they should give incentive and help out local and smaller businesses to help build their business and ultimately provide a whole village with resources. That way profit can be made by the larger corporations as well as the smaller business and local shops that were given a front or deal.

  • Ruiz Estrada

    I do believe one day we’ll solve the economic imbalance of the world through various small companies investing in the economies of developing countries while also solving their health issues such as Spring Health is doing. Truly try to fathom 1 BILLION people though. Companies like Spring Health may be helping millions but they’re barely scratching the seemingly long list of problems these developing countries are facing. It’s going to take more than 10 years of fixing the world that was caused by centuries worth of greed (to say the least). To say these corporations will go the route General Motors did in 10 years is a bit far fetched in my opinion. Yes a lot can happen in 10 years but not the downfall of these major corporations who have a relatively strong grip in the western world. No I’m not trying to defend these big corporations, but what I am saying is that it can be a reality to see impoverished countries rise out of poverty but not the down fall of these corporations in the next 10 years. In my opinion, it doesn’t seem to be a reality.

  • Reid Trauernicht

    As much as I see the benefits of having major corporations enter these emerging markets (from a business standpoint), I don’t think they’ll solve these issues in poverty stricken areas. It’s incredibly difficult for companies like General Motors and Microsoft to make products that these people can afford and use effectively. I understand that these companies could be innovative and diversify their product lines to serve these areas, but that’s difficult and very time consuming to do so in the highly competitive industries they already participate in. They also don’t understand the magnitude of the issues these people face. I think these companies would rather wait with open arms as these emerging markets can begin to afford the products they already sell.

  • Tommy Moore

    I understand the importance of companies taking actions like these to reach consumers who live off of $2 a day, however, there is the question of how much profit do these companies make? They are creating social value, which is great for the world, but companies enter industries to make money, and this does not seem like a very profitable business. This leads me to believe that, while we may see an increase of companies like this in the future, this is definitely not how all companies will be in the future. Most companies are going to be same profit-seeking firms they always have been for the most part, they do not care enough about reaching a wider consumer base as long as their company is already making steady profits.

  • Gregory Clemmons

    While I agree that this is the right direction for companies to be headed, I feel as though the driving factor behind this suggested “business revolution” should not be competition from foreign companies (as implied in the article). The business need to change not to survive themselves, but help others survive. The $2 per day market is enormous and if business can service the needs of those disadvantaged people at a low cost, they should do so with the intention to help a disadvantaged group rather than to generate profit or control a market.

  • Alessandra Orlandini

    I not only found this article empowering but also innovative. The mission of spring hill is to provide clean and safe drinking water for people who cannot access it. I think this is a great thing because in creating this it will also help create millions of jobs to help get people out of poverty. If you can give people better access to clean water while also providing jobs which both over all help with a better life than I believe this to be a great mission and idea. Entrepreneurship is something that I believe our country lives and grows off of so seeing people who create missions like this one is a way to empower people.

  • Charlee Riggio

    This a really great economic decision as far as allowing shop owners to provide this water purification system as an income for themselves and also for the consumers to have access to this resource. This allows the consumers to invest in their health and welfare.

    There are so many studies that show when things are given away for free people don’t value it. If someone gave you a pair of sunglasses you might not feel bad that they break or that you lose them, but if you had to save and work hard for those same sunglasses you would be more inclined to ensure they are taken care of. I think this theory is the same with something such as water. We should all in theory have access to clean water, but unfortunately that is not the reality. By providing the option to people to invest in their health is something even more valuable in my option.

  • danlorusso

    I think what spring health did to provide these villages with safe and clean drinking water is an amazing thing. It is difficult to imagine big corporations like Coca-Cola making efforts to provide people living in poverty with a product they can afford unless there is a profit incentive. I think the only way we would see a company like Coca-Cola do this is if a company began selling a similar product at a cheaper price. If a company did do this to compete with Coca-Cola in small villages in India would Coca-Cola even bother to stay in that market and compete with the cheaper brand?

  • Noah Green

    Very good argument here. I agree with the economic idea that competition is key and people will migrate toward the lowest cost. I could never see an oligopolistic company such as Coca-Cola running out of business. If a “magical fizzy drink” could provide nutrition for a population and this started running Coke out of business, they would probably develop a product that is similar and competitive. They already have the machinery and other materials to produce volume at a low price. As the world develops I predict lower poverty due to technology and improved ideas. I see more companies broadening their business tactics to better serve a larger target market such as those living on two dollars a day.

  • Danielle Devereux

    I really like this idea of trying to help those who cannot afford to buy the things they really need. Most corporations are just money hungry and do not care about the less fortunate who cannot afford their products. I think Spring Health is doing a great thing for India, and I believe that a lot of corporations need to look to them by example.