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Untapped:Creating Value in Underserved Markets By John Weiser, Michele Kahane, Steve Rochlin and Jessica Landis

Selected for Harvard Business Review's 2006 Reading List!

Untapped:Creating Value in Underserved Markets By John Weiser, Michele Kahane, Steve Rochlin and Jessica Landis

Selected for Harvard Business Review's 2006 Reading List!

Published 06-20-06

Submitted by Berrett-Koehler Publishers

What if someone told you that markets representing trillions of dollars were being all but virtually ignored? Markets with tremendous production and distribution potential along with a growing workforce and supplier base? What if you were told these markets were in domestic and international "base-of-the-pyramid" communities--composed of low- to moderate-income consumers in developed and developing countries?

Chances are you'd be skeptical. And for good reason. While much has been written in recent years about business opportunities in these underserved markets, little has been available outlining the strategies necessary to turn this business concept into a detailed business model--the practical dos and don'ts every manager needs to know when approaching a new market. Until now.

Based on rigorous research spanning seven years and fifty cases, Untapped: Creating Value in Underserved Markets shows that engaging consumers, workers, and suppliers in low-income communities can address both corporations' needs and the needs of these communities. Corporations will discover a new source of increased sales, qualified workers, and marketable innovations as well as new ways to reduce costs and increase quality. The communities will get better products, more meaningful job opportunities, and an increased market for their own goods and services.

Organized around five key success factors the authors identified during their study of pioneering corporations like IBM, JP Morgan Chase, HP, Texas Instruments, and others, this innovative book clearly outlines how to establish the kinds of win-win partnerships that are vital to succeeding in these complex but potentially rewarding markets. Combining practical tools, case studies, and careful analysis, Untapped provides concrete, grounded guidance for investing in and partnering with underserved communities to create not only significant competitive advantages but also vibrant communities in which to live, work, and do business.

"Trying to do more business in underserved markets can be a Catch 22: If you aren't in those markets, how do you truly get to know their needs and provide the best products or services that will create value for the businesses and markets involved? This book explains complex situations through clear, concise, real world examples that allow the reader to quickly grasp the concepts and see how they can be applied to achieve the desired "Win-Win" outcome: good products and services at fair prices for communities and a long term profitable result for businesses."
--Ed Charlebois, Vice President, Travelers Personal Lines, St. Paul Travelers, former chairman, National Insurance Task Force, winner of the Community Development Corporation of Long Island's Opportunity Award

"The authors, a group of seasoned practitioners, have written a highly readable and practical analysis of how companies from diverse industries have adapted their business models and practices to succeed in markets previously considered unattractive. This book can help readers reach these markets profitably as well as have the satisfaction of making a difference in underserved communities."
--Pamela Flaherty, Senior Vice President for Global Community Relations, Citigroup, winner of the 2005 Corporate Design Award, Global Green USA

"As we engage with communities, there is a constant creative tension in figuring out what we can give, and what we can get. Untapped examines this issue from a corporate perspective-- analyzing the challenges and opportunities in creating value by first empowering an underserved community."
--Russell Simmons, Chairman and CEO, Rush Communications, winner of the NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award

"The authors have taken a complex subject and made it clear and understandable. They describe both success strategies and pitfalls, giving practical advice that will help managers create value for company and community alike. I heartily endorse this book."
--Bob Stiller, President and CEO, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, winner of Forbes magazine's 2001 Entrepreneur of the Year Award


John Weiser is a founding partner in the firm of Brody • Weiser • Burns and an expert on using business strategies to achieve business and social goals. He has written numerous reports and books, including Conversations with Disbelievers.

Michele Kahane is Director of Special Projects for the Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College. Prior to working at the Center, she was a program officer in the Ford Foundation's Economic Development Unit.

Steve Rochlin is Director of Research and Policy Development for the Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College, which helps businesses leverage their social, economic, and human assets to ensure success and a more sustainable world.

Jessica Landis is a research consultant at the Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College.

Untapped: Creating Value in Underserved Markets
By John Weiser, Michele Kahane, Steve Rochlin and Jessica Landis
Published by Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-57675-372-9
Cloth $29.95
Number of Pages: 240
Publication Date: June 2006

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Berrett-Koehler Publishers

Berrett-Koehler Publishers

Berrett-Koehler Publishers is a mission-based, independent publishing company located in Oakland, CA. Berrett-Koehler’s (BK) mission is - Connecting People and Ideas to Create a World that Works for All. BK publishes books in the areas of sustainable business, corporate social responsbility, leadership, social justice, politics, economics, and personal development. BK is both a B-Corp and a Benefit Corporation.

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