Annual Case Writing Competition on Inclusive Business Models
Since 2009, the GIM Initiative is sponsoring a new category on inclusive business models in the framework of the case writing competition organized each year by the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), a GIM Advisory Board member.
Each year, about 10 case studies are submitted under this category. The 2009 winning case, “Essilor’s Base of the Pyramid Strategy in India”, written by Professor Bernard Garrette from HEC Paris, presents an inclusive business model that Essilor, the world leader in ophthalmic lenses with €3bn sales, has been implementing in India. Essilor mobile optical shops visit poor villages in rural India, in order to prescribe and sell corrective spectacles at very low prices (around 175 rupees or €3) to people suffering from visual disorders. Essilor does not view this project as a charity but as a potentially profitable business. Prices, as low as they are, must cover both production and distribution costs. In the longer term, Essilor also aims at capturing a strong position in a potentially huge market which, up to now, has been deemed insolvent. The objective of the case discussion is to make students formulate recommendations to Essilor on whether and how to grow its Indian BOP initiative into a fully-fledged business.