r Venkatesh Mannar of the Micronutrient Initiative opened the last session of the day, the first of its kind at any meeting of the Micronutrient Forum or its predecessors to bring together representatives from private industry in an open discussion forum. He began by sharing the results from a recent SIGHT AND LIFE survey of companies engaged in the food and nutrition sectors, which focused on social innovation and approaches to reach the “bottom of the pyramid”. Mr Mannar highlighted three key questions: 1) Has the “bottom of the pyramid” marketing strategy or the concept of “social innovation” contributed to your business product development efforts; 2) what were the challenges that have impacted this strategy; and 3) what are the costs and benefits of investing in socially innovative business strategies? In response to the first question, companies emphasized that marketing to the bottom of the pyramid benefits both society and share- holders. As this is such a large market, it is an area where companies can “do well by doing good.” The private sector is uniquely poised to develop innovative strategies and bring to the table their business knowledge and practices. The private sector can also utilize their broad distribution networks to connect with those who are not easily reached by governments or others in the public sector.
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