Research on Consumer Behavioural Practices Shares Valuable Insights on Poverty Alleviation
Doctoral graduate and Marketing and Supply Chain Management Lecturer, Dr Pravina Devpersadh Oodith’s research on consumer behavioural practices and poverty alleviation gives insights into how the goal of poverty alleviation can be achieved.
The thesis titled: “Bottom of the Pyramid: Opportunity and Feasibility Analysis and Strategy Formulation” analysed the consumer behavioural practices and spending patterns of consumers at the bottom of the pyramid (BOP) in South Africa.
‘I was inspired by the research of C. K. Prahalad, an internationally acclaimed business philosopher and corporate strategist who proposed an unorthodox approach to poverty reduction. Through his book entitled, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty through Profits, he promulgated that a joint collaborative effort by government, non-governmental organisations, large domestic firms, multinational corporations and the poverty stricken citizens themselves will simultaneously alleviate poverty and generate profits for businesses that target consumers who are at the bottom of the economic pyramid,’ explained Oodith.
Since her research required Oodith to interact with rural communities, it presented a challenge as far as communication was concerned but her determination motivated her to overcome this obstacle.
‘The participants of this national study reside in rural areas of South Africa so gaining access to these consumers and overcoming the linguistic barriers presented major challenges. My family, friends and supervisor, Prof Sanjana Brijball Parumasur, were my supportive anchors throughout this study and kept me motivated and focused through those frustrating and uncertain moments where my faith was dwindling,’ she said.
As a top achiever who graduated with her BCom degree magna cum laude, BCom Honours degree magna cum laude and her MBA degree cum laude, Oodith uses lessons of determination, perseverance and overcoming challenges to inspire her students to also aspire to greatness.
‘The PhD experience has helped me grow by leaps and bounds, both personally and academically. I have gained immense knowledge from pursuing this qualification and will continue to draw on what I have learnt when delivering lectures to my students,’ she said.