You Can Hear Me Now: How Microloans and Cell Phones are Connecting the World's Poor To the Global Economy
February 2007, Jossey-Bass
GrameenPhone—a partnership between Norway's Telenor and Grameen Bank, co-winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize—defines a new approach to building business opportunities in the developing world. You Can Hear Me Now offers a compelling account of what Sullivan calls the "external combustion engine"—a combination of forces that is sparking economic growth and lifting people out of poverty in countries long dominated by aid-dependent governments. The "engine" comprises three forces: information technology, imported by native entrepreneurs trained in the West, backed by foreign investors.
The Author xv
Introduction: The Three Forces of xvii
Part I: The GrameenPhone Story
1. Connectivity Is Productivity 3
2. Dish-Wallahs of Delhi (and Other 17 Early Models)
3. Cell Phone as Cow: A New Paradigm in Search of Investors 35
4. On the Money Trail in Scandinavia 51
5. Building a Company 71
6. Building a Network 87
Part II: Transformation Through Technology
7. Wildfire at the Bottom of the Pyramid 107
8. Cell Phone as Wallet 125
9. Wealth Creation and Rural Income Opportunities 145
10. Beyond Phones: In Search of a New “Cow” 161
11. Eyeing the Dhaka Stock Exchange 181
- Shows how private investment is reinvigorating the economies of aid-dependent countries, which have long been stifled by corrupt and autocratic governments
- Describes an inclusive capitalism that engages people at the ‘bottom of the pyramid’, focusing on fast-growing companies like Bangladesh’s GrameenPhone
- Informs followers of globalization and development on how this new means of economic development can address unmet human needs on a macro scale
—Caroline Geck, Kean Univ. Lib., Union, NJ (Library Journal, February 2007)
"…describes an inclusive capitalism that engages and enables many of the three billion people living on $1 a day" (Credit Control, June 2007)"Grameen Bank has an impact on the poor, GrameenPhone on the entire economy."
—Muhammad Yunus,winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize
"You Can Hear Me Now is a powerful proof of the roles
that the private sector can play in economic development. Sullivan,
by picking one industry—wireless—and cleverly weaving
the economics and the growth of the industry with the human
dimension, provides a distinctively new perspective on what is
possible. A must-read for all those who are concerned about
eradicating poverty. Equally, a must-read for managers who are
looking for new engines of growth."
—C.K. Prahalad, Paul and Ruth McCracken Distinguished University Professor, The Ross School of Business, the University of Michigan; author, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid
"With the growing interest in how business can better serve the
'bottom of the pyramid' there is great need for both practical
examples of how to do it and better understanding of how such
strategies can truly benefit those caught in the poverty trap. This
book delivers on both counts."
—Stuart L. Hart, S.C. Johnson Chair of Sustainable Global Enterprise, Cornell University; author, Capitalism at the Crossroads
"You Can Hear Me Now describes the human drama of the
poor adopting technology to enhance their productivity.
Well-researched and engaging, it expertly walks the reader through
one surprising maze after another."
—V. Kasturi Rangan, Malcolm P. McNair Professor of Marketing, Harvard Business School; coauthor, Business Solutions for the Global Poor
"The stories of GrameenPhone in Bangladesh, legendary in
development capital circles, and Celtel in Africa, among others,
read as colorfully as any of the stories of the Gold Rush in the
U.S. in the 1840s. Nicholas Sullivan has recounted the struggle and
subsequent success in an easy-to-read but factual manner that shows
risks countered by perseverance and guts—proving that you can
do well by doing good."
—Alan Patricof, co-founder, Apax Partners and founder, Greycroft Partners
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