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  • General Founder and Publisher:

    Centre of Sociological Research


  • Publishing Partners:

    University of Szczecin (Poland)

    Széchenyi István University, (Hungary)

    Mykolas Romeris University (Lithuania)

    Alexander Dubcek University of Trencín (Slovak Republic)

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    American Sociological Association

    European Sociological Association

    World Economics Association (WEA)




Understanding the Key Characteristics of an Embedded Business Model for the Base of the Pyramid Markets

Vol. 7, No 4, 2014


Sandeep Goyal,

Management Development Institute,

Haryana, India,



Bruno S. Sergi,

Understanding the Key Characteristics

of an Embedded Business Model for the Base

of the Pyramid Markets

University of Messina, Italy,

Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies,

Harvard University,

Cambridge, USA



Amit Kapoor,

Institute for Competitiveness,

Haryana, India,



ABSTRACT. The objective of this article is to understand the significance and key characteristics of the socially embedded business model to achieve the socio-economic success at the base of the pyramid (BoP). The qualitative multi-case based analysis is applied for data collection and analysis. The sampling involves the field interaction with the four social enterprises targeting the energy and healthcare needs of the BoP segment in India. The findings involve conceptualizing the framework comprising the key focus areas and the underlying strategic actions required for an embedded business model across the BoP markets.  The key focus areas include the focus on local capacity building, non-traditional partnerships and grass-root learning based ecosystem for business model innovation. The positive socio-economic impact of these focus areas require the understanding, evaluation and fitment of the corresponding strategic actions. The strategic actions linked to the local capacity building involve designing the social marketing campaigns, enabling the brick-n-mortar presence and engaging the local individuals for last-mile connectivity and reach. The strategic actions linked to the non-traditional partnerships involve collaborating with knowledge institutions, government institutions and social enterprises operating at the grassroot level. Finally, the key strategic actions linked to the grassroot learning ecosystem involve building the community level engagement, conducting field-pilots and prototyping.


Received: July, 2014

1st Revision: October, 2014

Accepted: November, 2014





JEL Classification: L32

Keywords: India, energy, healthcare, social embeddedness; embedded business model; base of the pyramid; social enterprises; BoP markets.