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The Business Solution to Poverty by Mal Warwick, Paul Polak

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Chapter 6

THE RUTHLESS PURSUIT OF AFFORDABILITY

When we say “affordable,” we mean really, really cheap — and we’ll lay out 12 guidelines for getting there.

No, we’re not talking about elbowing people aside to get through a department-store door for a 7 a.m. sale. This chapter is about designing products and services that will fit within the meager means of folks who live on $2 a day or less.

There is a misplaced perception that the marketplace serving bottom-of-the-pyramid customers requires products that work poorly, break quickly, and look cheap, and that high-quality products and services can only be given away as charity or heavily subsidized. Nothing could be further from the truth. Products that are attractive to poor customers must indeed ...

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