Indian business leaders mourned global management guru Coimbatore Krishnarao Prahlad at the weekend as a visionary who saw the India Story on the world’s stage much before its own industry leaders realised their own potential.
K.V. Kamath, former ICICI chairman, described Prahalad, who died in San Diego after a brief illness in the early hours of Saturday as “one of the foremost visionaries and creative thinkers of our times.”
“Whether it was the fortune at the bottom of the pyramid or the potential rise of the multinational Indian business, he saw it at least ten years before anyone else,” he added.
Prahalad is known for a number of contributions to the way managers changed their thinking worldwide.
These include a focus on “core competency” of organizations, “co-creation” of products and services with customers and finding a “fortune at the bottom of the pyramid” by courting customers among the less affluent sections of the society.
The distinguished professor who last served at the University of Michigan was a strong advocate of ‘inclusive growth’and is believed to be the inspiration for products such as Tata Nano that are targeted at the base of the income pyramid.
“Prof Prahalad worked towards the development of India and he was truly committed in his work, he was not only a great thinker but was equally good in executing and connecting the dots,” said Gopal Srinivasan, chairman, TVS Capital Funds.
“We have lost an outstanding management guru, a visionary and a great soul who was highly committed to contribute towards India’s growth and development,” said Chandrajit Banerjee, director general, Confederation of Indian Industry.
Mahindra Group vice-chairman Anand Mahindra wrote: “CK will always hold a special place in the hearts of Indian managers as the man who gave us the courage and the confidence to compete, as equals, on a global stage.”