The “Bottom of the Pyramid” “BOP” defined to include people sustaining on less than US $2 a day is believed to consist of over four billion people. A principal problem facing BOP consumers is lack of access to essential goods and services, due to unavailability (Prahalad 2005) and/or non-affordability. Similarly, BOP producers find it difficult to identify, connect with, and market their products to, potential customers. This research in progress paper examines the research question: How can Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) facilitate market development at the “Bottom of the Pyramid” (BOP) ? Combining concepts from the theory of Market Separations and the Automate-Informate-Transform classification of Information Systems (IS) roles, from the marketing and IS literatures respectively, we develop propositions describing how ICT can reduce particular types of market separations between consumers and producers at the BOP, and thus facilitate market development at the BOP. Our study uses qualitative primary data (interviews with 32 respondents in India) and secondary data. Ongoing analysis indicates that consumers and producers in markets at the BOP are indeed separated from one another due to four types of market separations-spatial, temporal, financial and informational. Application of ICT can reduce these four separations to facilitate exchange and consumption for BOP individuals. Expected contributions and implications are discussed.
Tarafdar, Monideepa and Singh, Ramendra, "A Market Separations Perspective to Analyze the Role of ICT in Development at the Bottom of the Pyramid" (2011). GlobDev 2011. 19.