Sustainable Development at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Norwegian Initiatives in India

University essay from Lunds universitet/Ekonomisk-historiska institutionen

Abstract: The inclusion of the poor in the economy is of key importance to the global sustainable development agenda. However, the integration of low-income communities in the economy requires new approaches to innovation, management and sustainability. This thesis aims to investigate how Norwegian initiatives contribute to sustainable and inclusive development in India by analysing the experiences and outcomes of Norwegian case studies that target low-income markets. The research employs a qualitative multiple-case study approach. Six case studies were identified during an observation period with Innovation Norway in New Delhi, India. Additional data was collected through interviews with stakeholders whose expertise is unique for the Indo-Norwegian context. The results indicate that Norwegian Bottom of the Pyramid initiatives in India are in the preliminary stages of market entry and experience barriers and opportunities in the institutional, political and legal Indo-Norwegian landscape. The findings suggest that Norwegian initiatives contribute to sustainable development at the Bottom of the Pyramid by facilitating knowledge-exchanges through the implementation of commercial models. This is mobilised through inclusive innovation, institutional support, understanding cultural barriers, technology penetration among low-income communities and the vision of environmental and social sustainability. The viability of Norwegian initiatives in India can be improved by supportive policies and the utilisation of cross-sector partnerships to enable sustainable development through the innovation ecosystem for the Bottom of the Pyramid.

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