Entering the base of the pyramid market in India: a corporate social entrepreneurship perspective

Misagh Tasavori, Pervez N. Ghauri, Reza Zaefarian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
388 Downloads (Pure)


– The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the international market expansion of multinational corporations (MNCs) to the base of the pyramid (BoP). The authors employ the corporate social entrepreneurship (CSE) perspective to reveal how MNCs can enter this market, the key enabling factors and the benefits they can gain. CSE is related to entrepreneurial and marketing strategies that are inspired by social responsibility.

– An exploratory, qualitative multiple-case study has been employed. In-depth interviews were conducted with managers from three MNCs that have entered the BoP market in India.

– The findings of this research confirm that successful entry into the BoP requires the pursuit of social responsibility and the adaptation of marketing strategies. In addition, MNCs should identify the key environmental factors (demand conditions and socio-political actors’ expectations) and develop organisational characteristics (management support, network orientation towards non-governmental organisations and availability of financial resources) to match. The findings of this research show that engagement in CSE in countries with considerable BoP populations can bring firms legitimacy and sustainable profitability.

Research limitations/implications
– This research is based on interviews with a limited number of MNCs in India. Future studies could generalise the findings of this research to a larger number of corporations in other countries.

– This research brings new insights to the field of international marketing by integrating the corporate social responsibility, marketing and entrepreneurship disciplines. The findings of this research offer empirical support for CSE and its role in international marketing strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-579
JournalInternational Marketing Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2016


  • International marketing
  • India
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Corporate social entrepreneurship
  • Base of the pyramid (BoP)


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