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Showing posts from December 13, 2009

Business model intimacy

Courtesy: NobelPrize.org
The Grameen Bank success story continues to be researched and written about. Other companies have tried to repeat the Bank's model. Is there a fundamental difference between the original innovation and the followers? In MIT Sloan Management Review (Summer 2009), Erik Simanis and Stuart Hart compare the original model with that of India-based Hindustan Unilever's model and point out a crucial difference.

Grameen Bank was a result of personal bond and shared vision between Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus and Bangladeshi farmers/villagers. Yunus and the villagers spent quality time together as a community before the innovator launched the bank. While Grameen Bank became a profitable and scalable village bank, the authors say that Hindustan Unilever's project is "unlikely to grow into anything more than a new distribution channel." While Grameen Bank generated a "groundswell" of demand," Hindustan Unilver's entrepreneur turnov…