Right from the morning of 17 April, Twitter was abuzz with the sad demise of Prof. Coimbatore Krishnarao Prahalad at the age of 69. The news was confirmed later in the evening. In his passing away, the world has lost an eminent management guru whose bottom of the pyramid theory is perhaps the tipping point for social entrepreneurship activism seen of late. His thinking and work is sure to inspire the next generation of management thinkers, entrepreneurs, strategy consultants, and a broad spectrum of people to whom his research holds relevance.
Prof. Prahalad was born in 1941. His early roots were in Chennai where he got B.Sc. from Loyola College in 1960 and went on to study MBA at IIM-A (1966). His research on multinational management in just two and a half years won him a Doctor of Business Administration from Harvard Business School (1975). After serving IIM-A as a professor in 1976-77, he joined the University of Michigan.
According to the University of Michigan website, Prof. Prahalad, The Paul and Ruth McCracken Distinguished University Professor of Strategy at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, US, is a globally known figure and has consulted with the top management of many of the world's foremost companies. His research specializes in corporate strategy and the role and value added of top management in large, diversified, multinational corporations.
Prof. Prahalad has been among top ten management thinkers in every major survey for over ten years. Business Week said of him: "a brilliant teacher at the University of Michigan, he may well be the most influential thinker on business strategy today."
Prof. C.K. Prahalad is the author of a number of well-known works in corporate strategy including The Core Competence of the Corporation (Harvard Business Review, May-June, 1990). He authored several international bestsellers, including Competing for the Future (with Gary Hamel), 1994, The Future of Competition (with Venkat Ramaswamy), 2004 and The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty through Profits, Wharton School Publishing, 2004. His last book with co-author M. S. Krishnan is called The New Age of Innovation. At the time of his passing he was still on the board of TiE, The Indus Entrepreneurs.
He was the first recipient of the Lal Bahadur Shastri Award for contributions to Management and Public Administration presented by the President of India in 2000. He was honored with Padma Bhushan by Government of India in 2009. The Times voted him to be the most influential management thinker on its Thinkers 50 list in 2009.
Prof. Prahalad might have passed into history but his influence on us will continue for a long time to come.
-- Contributed by Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy, Chief Evangelist, YourStory