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Remembering CK Prahalad

Source | https://yourstory.com

Its 7 years since the sudden demise of CK Prahalad. We remember him this day. Here are some great pearls of wisdom.

Coimbatore Krishnarao Prahalad (known as ‘CK’ among friends) was born in 1941 in Tamil Nadu, where he studied at a local Tamil-medium school. He graduated from Loyola Collegein Chennai, University of Madras, IIM Ahmedabad and Harvard Business School. His path-breaking books include ‘The New Age of Innovation,’ ‘The Future of Competition,’ ‘The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP),’ and ‘Competing for the Future.’ He received the Distinguished University Professor award from the University of Michigan, Faculty Pioneer Lifetime Achievement Award from the Aspen Institute and the Lal Bahadur Shastri Award for Excellence in Management.

Prahalad successfully bridged the world of academia and business leadership, and served on several corporate boards, including NCR Corporation, Hindustan Unilever and TVS Capital. He consulted for a range of companies such as Oracle and AT&T, and played an important role in the revitalisation of companies like Philips.

A true patriot of India, he traveled across the country for decades, delivering inspirational talks to business leaders and college students alike. He mentored and consulted for many of India’s business leaders and helped set ambitious targets and visions for industry bodies like CII, AssoCham, FICCI, TiE and NASSCOM. His vision document for India@75 (download PDF here) is a must-read for all those interested in the opportunities, challenges and roadmaps for India in year 2022.

Prahalad was a strong champion of entrepreneurial and inclusive approaches as a solution for economic and social problems in emerging economies like India, and his seminal work has been captured in the book ‘C.K. Prahalad: The Mind of the Futurist’ by Benedict Paramanand. I recall attending Prahalad’s mesmerising talks at TiE events in Bangalore and Delhi, and his workshop at IIIT-Bangalore on ‘India as a Source of Managerial Innovations: A Researcher’s Candy Store?’

We share here a sample of Prahalad’s 35 quotes, and celebrate his dedication to the spirit of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.

BoP consumer problems cannot be solved with old technologies.

Customers are now active participants who actually co-create the value they receive.

Don’t expect respect from what’s been done by your ancestors.

Executives are constrained not by resources, but by their imagination.

Everyone will be nice to you when you are doing well; remember the people who were nice to you when you were not.

Every time we have had clarity of thought, and true effort behind its execution, India showed it can deliver.

How we ask the question is extremely important to how we find the answer.

How you achieve results defines the kind of person you become.

Humility in success and courage in failure are hallmarks of a good leader.

Identify new opportunities by focusing on the weak signals.

I believe India is going to re-write the meaning of manufacturing quality with intelligent components.

If we stop thinking of the poor as victims or as a burden and start recognising them as resilient and creative entrepreneurs and value conscious consumers, a whole new world of opportunity will open up.

If you give 100 per cent to everything, probably you will enjoy 200 per cent of the benefits.


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