Soundview Executive Book Summaries

Remembering Prahalad and His Pyramid

Soundview was saddened by the news Friday of the death of management guru C.K. Prahalad. In addition to his writing and consulting exploits, Prahalad served as a professor at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. While many students benefited from his tutelage, Prahalad treated the globe as his classroom. As noted in this report from The Wall Street Journal, Prahalad was a champion for the poor and viewed the impoverished as a vital part of the future of global commerce. He wrote about this subject at length in his 2004 best-seller The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, a book Soundview reviewed upon its release.

Prahalad was an excellent collaborator and produced two key works summarized by Soundview. He worked with Venkat Ramaswamy to create The Future of Competition, a book that delved into the role of the customer in the value creation process. In more recent times, Prahalad teamed with M.S. Krishnan to produce The New Age of Innovation. This book helped executives handle the crisis of the demand for instant gratification in their companies’ innovation efforts. Customers and resource providers need to be connected in a flawless, real-time solution. In a world where innovation theory shifts with each passing month, Prahalad’s book still retains valuable insights for executives.

Prahalad’s theories and management consultation were a vital part of connecting his native India with the industrialized West. His passing after a brief illness brings to a close a career that left an important imprint on the global management community. Prahalad was 68 years old.


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