The phrase “bottom of the pyramid” was used by U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt in his April 7, 1932 radio address, The Forgotten Man, in which he said “These unhappy times call for the building of plans that rest upon the forgotten, the unorganized but the indispensable units of economic power…that build from the bottom up and not from the top down, that put their faith once more in the forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid.”
The more current usage refers to the billions people living on less than $2 per day, as first defined in 1998 by Legendary Professor and Management proponent Late C.K. Prahalad and expanded upon further in his book: The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid. Prahalad proposes that businesses, governments, and donor agencies stop thinking of the poor as victims and instead start seeing them as resilient and creative entrepreneurs as well as value- demanding consumers. That’s the value proposition and the spirit behind the movement called www.mymistri.com.
The idea is to create a platform empowering the Royal Mason or the Raj Mistris as we address them, and providing them the reach of a modernised, technologically enabled and well connected market mechanism. We plan to become the friend, philosopher and guide to the Masons and intend to partner with them in providing:-
- the relevant and practical information on their work domain;
- help them in benchmarking the building materials with the jobs in hand; and
- the matured and dependable market mechanism that provides them the steady job queries.
While the companies will continue to spend on sales and marketing initiatives based on past spends on traditional channels and means, our web and mobile portal will provide unique value proposition to the companies in the Building Material sector by providing them the reach to these skilled and informed users of their products. For any soft launch of new product or service, mapping, identifying and reaching out to the target audience is just a click away. Community building along the brand or products lines also ensures the loyalty and repeat business for the businesses.
The proposed business plan will also draw lot of synergies and co-operation from various Government and private sector initiatives in related domains. Besides our own efforts for registration of the workforce, it is proposed to take assistance of the UID Scheme for seeking registrations on PAN India basis. Further, the registrations can also be drawn from the workforce registered with MANREGA Scheme and offer them work for the unguaranteed time period of 200 + days under MANREGA. Additionally, for providing education, skill development and training in the construction and infrastructure sector, it is proposed to co-operation of National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC) as well as National Institute of Construction Management (NICMAR). Lastly, our business model shall also cater to the social security to the workforce under the proposed pension plan scheme of the Government of India for the unorganised sector for a very meagre contribution. In fact we will automatically become agents for this purpose for the GOI.
Investing in the stakeholders community not only helps in acquiring and retaining business, it also fulfils the Corporate Social Responsibility. Whether CSR initiatives fulfil the PR goals and bring the social goodwill and the same can be leveraged to bring in good business in the long run. Can we convert CSR initiatives into profit centre by drawing marketing collaterals and establishing alternate channels for sales and marketing.
While we propose a small fee from Masons for the market reach especially the job queries, the bulk of the revenues will come from advertisements and sales and branding campaigns for the companies in the building construction materials businesses intending to reach out to actual users of their products. What we propose is the use of CSR budgets/ initiatives to demonstrate the power of stakeholders involvement in sustainable business.
As our founder Rajiv Batia explains :-
“What started as brain storming exercise and out of box thinking approach in my erstwhile assignment has matured into a sustainable business model.”
He acknowledges the contribution of JK group in shaping his thoughts and business model and will like to request the role of Mentor Investor in this initiative to Mr. Yadupati Singhania.