A study of EMNEs serving the base of the pyramid in South Asia: innovative products from EMNEs

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Southern New Hampshire University
The study explores that emerging market multinational enterprises (EMNEs) are serving the base of the pyramid (BOP) in their home market and beyond. EMNEs are growingly recognizing the benefits of serving BOP consumers in other markets, which are not dissimilar to their home market. Appropriate innovations from EMNEs are instrumental in serving BOP consumers in their home market and other similar markets. The study draws upon multiple theories in the areas of innovation, BOP, and internationalization. The study primarily uses a conceptual framework, case studies of Indian EMNEs along with a descriptive statistics model that applies data from the survey performed in South Asia. This study analyzes the trade interaction of EMNEs and product demand of BOP consumers. The theory of product innovation applied to EMNEs points to market similarities, including product affordability, product quality, and product usefulness, among others, as the driving forces of demand for these markets. EMNEs’ products features, targeted towards BOP market are well suited to the demand of the BOP consumers. The findings suggest that EMNEs are largely serving the BOP consumers in their home market and similar markets abroad compared to MNEs from the developed economies. The findings from the research indicate that BOP product elements are directly associated with the consumers’ acceptability of innovative BOP products. The data collected from the field survey strongly supports the findings that the BOP product elements (affordability, multipurpose, simplicity, and usefulness) are important factors in building innovative products to serve the consumer segment. The findings from the research also contribute to the BOP product study by providing insights of innovative BOP product strategies that firms need to implement in serving BOP consumers. (Author abstract)