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Multi-National Corporations Marketing at the BOP: Scaling Social Impact

Multi-National Corporations Marketing at the BOP: Scaling Social Impact

How can a global company build innovative business models that create shared value for both the business and the community? Ask Vijay Sharma.

Over the course of his career he has successfully created large scale Base of Pyramid (BOP) operations for multiple organizations in India; Project Shakti embodies this model. Project Shakti (‘strength’ in Sanskrit) trains and empowers underprivileged women in rural India to act as village-level distributors of products from Hindustan Lever Limited (Unilever’s business in India) such as Lifebouy, Lux, Surf and Pond’s. Since its inception in 2000, this initiative has not only increased market share for HLL, it has given 50,000 women in rural India an increased sense of self-worth as well as a living income.

This well-regarded BOP business grew exponentially in a very short time, proving that a Global Fortune 500 company can have a strong positive impact on the community while making a profit.  Currently at GSK Consumer Healthcare, Vijay is working on a similar kind of marketing initiative in rural India, now expanding to Bangladesh. Join us as Vijay discusses this important work in emerging markets and how it is contributing to business, society and the environment.

This lecture was jointly sponsored by Yale SOM’s China India Insights ProgramProgram on Social Enterprise and the Center for Business and the Environment. This event is part of the Colloquium on Sustainability Marketing, a speaker series that aims to unravel and address the challenges of creating environmentally sustainable products, services and brands that customers love.


Vijay Sharma

General Manager at GSK Consumer Healthcare

Kate Cooney

Senior Lecturer in Social Enterprise and Management at Yale University School of Management