Business strategies for the bottom of the pyramid: multiple case studies of large companies in the pacified communities of Rio de Janeiro


  • Fernando Filardi Grupo Ibmec
  • Filippe Delarissa Barros Universidade de São Paulo
  • Adalberto A. Fischmann Grupo Ibmec



Business strategy, Bottom of the pyramid, Emerging markets


The state absence in low-income communities in Rio de Janeiro drove away companies for decades, as they encountered a hostile environment for developing business. However, in recent years, the communities have been undergoing a social and economic reorganization supported by the pacification public policy that aims to reduce social disorder and attract private investment focused on classes C, D and E, described in the literature by Prahalad (2004) as the bottom of the pyramid. In this article, the authors contribute to this literature by broadening and deepening the knowledge about the companies’ strategies for the BOP, intending to analyze the strategies that large companies have been using to operate in these markets. The method was the multiple case studies covering five large companies: Light, L’Oréal, Banco do Brasil, Banco Santander and Sebrae, and the content analysis prescribed by Bardin (2008) guided the analysis using the software Atlas Ti 7.0. The results show that companies are offering new products and services, financial advice, banking services, access to microcredit, development and formalization of consumption and local entrepreneurs, and have been adapting their business models, contributing to the integration of these areas to the rest of the city formally established. However, it is observed that companies that have operated more generously have achieved better results and that initiatives are at an early stage of maturity, lacking more creativity, courage and independence of the state actions.


Download data is not yet available.






Original Articles