Call for Papers

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Join us in Malaysia on the 19th & 20th December 2016 for IBA's 3rd International Conference on Marketing!

Conference Theme: Marketing to the Bottom of Pyramid in Emerging Markets

'Bottom of the pyramid,' (BOP), a term first used by President Roosevelt in 1932, was popularized by C.K. Prahalad (2002). Today, it is a part of mainstream research in business (Gollakota, et al., 2010; Karamchandani, et al., 2011; Olsen & Boxenbaum, 2009) and has taken up several research streams. For example, Prahalad's "fortune at the bottom of the pyramid" may be studied from different perspectives: Fortune Finding (Prahalad and Hamel, 1990), or catering to the needs of the poorest populations; Fortune Creating (London and Hart, 2011) or future creating with four billion people; Fortune Sharing or corporate social responsibility based on the stewardship and charity principle (Berkman, 2010; Davidson, 2009); and Fortune Stealing or robbing the poor of their technologies without giving compensation (Shiva, 2011).

The basic concept of BOP marketing, as proposed by Prahalad and Hammond (2002), emphasizes a progressive path to develop underserved markets such that micro-ventures and micro-entrepreneurs are activated and there is a domino effect resulting in better employment opportunities and living standards. However, there are multiple challenges associated with establishing a presence in the BOP segment, such as lack of established distribution systems characteristic of developing markets, and under-developed infrastructure (Anderson and Billou, 2007); customer affordability (Chikweche and Fletcher, 2012) and striking a balance between the demanded price point and business profitability (Karnani 2007); and other marketing mix decisions related to product, packaging, communication, and supply chain, to name a few. Customer habits need to be studied and products created to not only fit their lifestyles but also offer relevance to the target market (Payaud 2014). Furthermore, high inflation, low gross domestic product, low income and poor governance complicate the establishment of a firm's presence in the BOP segment (Chikweche 2013).

While there are multiple scholars pointing towards the bounties of the 'low hanging fruit' in the form of BOP segments, there are others that have criticised the practice. For instance, Karnani (2007) has rejected the idea of inclusive capitalism proposed by C.K. Prahalad, where selling to the poor can be profitable for the firm on one hand and can tackle issues of poverty on the other. According to Karnani (2007), poverty can be alleviated only when people at the BOP are made producers rather than consumers.

Acknowledging the importance of BOP segments and the resultant opportunities as well as challenges, IBA Karachi ( is holding an international conference inviting research from academics across the globe. In addition to providing a platform for networking and an opportunity for national/international collaborative research, the conference will be an avenue for promoting research, disseminating knowledge among academics, and facilitating the identification of best practices for practitioners. The conference is being hosted by the University of Malaya and is set out to offer its participants an overall fruitful and engaging experience.

The 2-day conference includes the following tracks:

Advertising and Promotion Chronic Resource Shortage Competition – Branded and Unbranded
Consumer Behaviour Corporate Social Responsibility Cross-Cultural Studies
Digital Marketing Entrepreneurial Marketing Ethical Marketing
Green Field Marketing Infrastructure and Distribution International Marketing
Marketing Analytics Marketing – General Market Policy
Market Strategy New Model Expansion New Product Development
Packaging – the new SKU Pricing in Emerging Markets Product & Design
Social Marketing Social Media Marketing Socio Political Governance
Supply Chain Management The New Rural Consumer Women Entrepreneurship

All submissions will be subject to a double blind-review. Selected best papers will be considered for publication in IBA "Business Review", the 'X' category journal published by IBA, and the "Asian Journal of Business & Accountancy" (AJBA), a journal published by the University of Malaya and indexed in the Emerging Sources Citation Index, Scopus, ERa 2012, Asean Citation Index and MyCite. Approved publications in AJBA will be subjected to an editorial fee payable by the author/s. Full papers will be published in the proceedings unless otherwise instructed by the authors, in which case only the abstract will be published. The proceedings will be sent for approval of inclusion in the Conference Proceedings Citation Index – an integrated index within Web of Science (Thomson Reuters). PKP, Google Scholar, Index Copernicus and IDEAS.