A Tribute to C.K.Prahalad

One of the greatest strategy thinkers the world has ever witnessed, C.K.Prahalad’s position in the management world is beyond words. He died on April 16th after a brief illness at the age of 68. But his three main pillar concepts of management that have changed the outlook of business and management are three immortal gems viz. Core Competency, Bottom of the pyramid and Co-Creation.

Born to a Sanskrit Scholar and Judge in Chennai, CK’s formative years played an important role in his upbringing. With a Science degree from a reputed college in Chennai, CK entered the corporate world with Union Carbide. He rates his first job experience as his most effective and important experience. He went on to get a PGDM from Indian Institute of Management Ahmadabad, which catapulted his already blooming career. His Doctorate studies at Harvard brought him to limelight and made him a globally renowned figure. After studies, he did a lot of teaching in IIM Ahmadabad, Stephen M Ross school of Business and the University of Michigan. Apart from his major books on the aforementioned management concepts, he has authored various articles for the Harvard Business Review magazine. He championed the notion that state of the art management ideas emanated from India and he was coauthoring a book on the same lines with HBR Editor Anand Raman.

Nevertheless, CK was a part of many strategic decisions taken by many Indian business honchos including the Tatas, the Birlas and the Ambanis: his latest and most remarkable influence being on the idea of Tata Nano for Indian markets. He concentrated on uplifting the poor and downtrodden and his theories centered on including them in the development of a business or a nation. He was keen to bring a paradigm change to management principles and ideas so as to include the large populace below the poverty line.

A very famous HBR Columnist, brilliant strategist, brisk and energetic individual, C.K Prahalad is a loss to the management world whatsoever. His was an extraordinary journey and his contributions to this world are many. He was rightly awarded with the Padma Bhushan by the Indian government in 2009 and in the same year, he was named as the world’s most influential business thinker by The Times. As a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission of the United Nations, CK contributed to Public Administration, Private Sector and development.

Management Guru was an apt title given to him by experts worldwide. He invested a lot of time in analyzing the position of Indian companies in the market and he was very passionate about the Pharma and Healthcare industry. He was a person who was way ahead of time in his thinking and his role in the development of the rural sector is a pearl in the ocean of his achievements. His dream was to see India as an economic powerhouse in 2075 and may his soul rest in peace as his dream takes its shape.

Pradeep Sekhar