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Questions On BOP

Harsha de Silva: Kentaro, you talked about the expenditure and ringtones, but this whole group answered vacation or new car (also new car). That doesn’t seem to be a BOP thing. Helani, you talked about prepaid, but that’s 95%, so not necessarily BOP. So is there anything that’s BOP specific?

Sultanur Reza: CSR, people have different expectations. People in Bangladesh lack so many things. As an operator, if you look at the social point of view, what we can do is tie up the CSR with market development. Everywhere in the world, there is something behind the CSR works. It’s not philanthropy, it’s something related to the business.

Helani: Allowing very small reloads is a BOP strategy.

Kentaro: One thing that happens very frequently is people want to be able to do everything. They want to make revenue, they want coverage, they want to help the bottom of the pyramid. An important thing is to ring-fence the part of the company that’s focused on the BOP. Their goals may be different from the company at large.

One of the reason this Tanzania company’s BOP project is not taking off is because they didn’t allocate specific staff. All of the staff is spending their time on voice and not BOP. You really need to draw a firm line between the part of the organization that’s trying to maximize something else.

Harsha: What about the fortune at the bottom of the pyramid?

Kentaro: I think it’s a myth. There’s a fortune at the middle. At the bottom, if there is, it’s a very difficult one to mine.

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