IBAICM 2016 - Bottom of Pyramid: Emerging Markets Picture Gallery

IBAICM 2016 - Bottom of Pyramid: Emerging Markets

Dec 19-20: The Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi held the Academic Track of the 3rd International Conference on Marketing (IBAICM 2016) at the University of Malaya (UM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Themed 'Bottom of Pyramid: Emerging Markets', the conference was co-hosted by the IBA Karachi, oldest business school outside North America and University of Malaya- the oldest university in Malaysia. The IBAICM aims to further develop the marketing landscape in Pakistan, by bridging the gap between research and practice.

Distinguished academics from leading international universities graced the conference with their deep insightful keynote sessions, namely Prof. Dr. Russel Belk, Schulich School of Business, York University, Canada; Prof. Dr. G├╝liz Ger-Director Center for Research in Transitional Societies, Bilkent University, Turkey; Prof. Dr. Amna Kirmani, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Consumer Psychology and Professor of Marketing, University of Maryland; Prof. Dr. Harvinder Singh Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Dubai. Meanwhile the presenters from a myriad of countries including Pakistan, Malaysia, China, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia presented their research papers on the Bottom of Pyramid (BOP) Market, Marketing Communication, Green Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Brand Management, Consumer Behaviour, Research Methodology and Marketing & Innovation. This diversity allowed the attendants to learn from a range of experiences shared at the conference.

The MoC, Dr. Aijaz A Mian- Marketing Faculty IBA started the proceedings and said it was a delightful collaboration between IBA & UM, which will result in academic exchange and mutual research collaborations in the future. Furthermore he introduced IBA to the audience and said that both Pakistan and Malaysia are developing countries, hence they should collaborate for business and marketing research.

'Bottom of the pyramid', refers to the bottom of the wealth or the bottom of the income pyramid. It is the largest, but poorest socio-economic group. In global terms, this is the four billion people, who live on less than $3,000 per year. Several articles have been written on the potential market including 'The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid' by C.K. Prahalad, University of Michigan.

Dr. Huma Amir, Chairperson Marketing IBA and the Conference Convener, welcomed the participants and expressed her appreciation for University of Malaya's remarkable assistance in making the conference a reality. She extended thanks to Deputy Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Awang Bulgiba Bin Awang Mahmud, Dean Faculty of Business and Accountancy, Prof. Dr. Che Ruhana Dean, Associate Deans Dr. Rosita, Dr. Zakia and Chairperson Marketing Dr. Yusniza and the entire team. Dr. Huma said, 'Conducting research for the BOP target market is itself a challenge, as research doesn't always predict what the consumer's perception of a product is. There is no perfect profile for this audience, their day to day wage varies and they make expenditures accordingly; affordability is the most important factor to them.

Dr. Farrukh Iqbal thanked University of Malaya for co-hosting the event. He also extended his thanks to Prof. Dr. Awang and his team. He said he was impressed by Malaysia's rapid development from the 1980s to the present. Dr. Farrukh talked about how the conference aims to minimize assumptions and errors in the increasingly vital arena of marketing, through the integration of standardized marketing research practices within the discipline. While developed economies have been able to turn market research into a dependable and elaborate science, countries belonging to the developing and underdeveloped world are still struggling with the idea. Furthermore, he elaborated upon concepts, such as marketing to the BOP, global income distribution, poverty and the elephant chart.

Chief guest, Deputy Vice Chancellor Dr. Awang Bulgiba Bin Awang Mahmud, welcomed Dr. Farrukh and the participants. He shared a few words of wisdom with the audience regarding the theme and its importance in today's global world. Then he introduced University of Malaya, which became a research institution in 2006 with 30800 papers published; making it a top research university in Malaysia. UM has 2000 academic staff, 10500 students, a teaching hospital and a presence of every discipline except agriculture. Dr. Awang congratulated both teams on the successful execution of the 3rd conference on Marketing. He said, 'We'd like to form further international collaborations, as we already have MoUs & MoAs with 700 countries from around the globe and this conference will lead to further enriching experiences and mutual research collaborations.

IBAICM 2016 - Bottom of Pyramid: Emerging Markets

The first keynote session was by Professor Dr. Russel Belk, Schulich School of Business, York University, Canada. A distinguished professor in the world of marketing with significant contributions to the academia, Dr. Belk elaborated on 'Technology Luxury & the Poor'. He discussed that the poor often bypassed necessities for luxuries, like buying a fridge and then being unable to buy food. He also discussed the plights of the poorest of the poor, such as maids and drivers in developing countries like Pakistan, India, Vietnam, parts of Africa etc. His research showed that technology is not as easily available to the poor as it is to the privileged. He elaborated on consumption patterns and how the poor engage in consumption; luxury is substituted by counterfeit goods (pseudo luxury) because they can't afford the real thing but they still want to be fashionable.

Professor Dr. Harvinder Singh shed light on 'Unlocking the Potential of BOP: The Public Policy Perspective'. He spoke on how the BOP phenomena has transformed since it was coined and said that more people have less income and a few have high income graphs, which is a universal pattern. People at the bottom of the pyramid are divided in to the urban and rural divide; 46% rural and 54% urban. He said ideally, the pyramid should become a cylinder, as that would mean less deprived people at the bottom and more people with a uniform income, resulting in less dissatisfaction. 'If you want commercial organizations to go for a cause, you have to ensure long term sustainability' Professor Dr. Harvinder.

The second part of the conference resumed with the Parallel Sessions, these sessions were focused on four tracks: Marketing Communication, Bottom of the Pyramid, Marketing Strategy, and Green Marketing, chaired by Dr. Salman Bashir, Ms. Farah Baig, Dr. Yusniza Kamarul zaman, and Dr. Amrul Asraf respectively.

The second day of the Conference commenced with the first keynote session by Professor Dr. Guliz Ger, a giant figure in consumer behavior on the topic 'Developing Markets? Understanding the Role of Markets and Development at the Intersection of Macromarketing and Transformative Consumer Research (TCR)'. She said that misdistribution of income and wealth are the main barrier that deter development, she explored different aspects to development, liberalization and world wealth distribution in her address. She said that satisfying consumer wants is not the only goal, there's also wellbeing; self-interest isn't the only driver but also caring and sharing. She also said that researchers should study markets and consumption, where they approach consumers as humans and citizens rather than solely as consumers.

Next keynote speaker Professor Dr. Amna Kirmani, Professor of Marketing, University of Maryland, elaborated on 'Publishing Top Quality Research' and market place immorality. She shed light on how to go about publishing a good research paper and the do's and don'ts of getting a paper published. She also discussed the methodologies behind writing sound research papers and ended her session on 'Competency is what we focus on in the market place and morality is often overlooked'. Dr. Kirmani.

IBAICM 2016 - Bottom of Pyramid: Emerging Markets

Then a panel discussion on 'Addressing flaws in academic research to avoid rejection' ensued. Panelists included: Prof. Dr. Harvinder Singh, Prof. Dr. Amna Kirmani, Prof. Dr. Guliz Ger, Prof. Dr. Russel Belk, while Dr. Wajid Rizvi from IBA was the moderator. The panelists gave many deep insights on improving the flaws in academic research to avoid rejection and agreed that purely empirical papers don't have a chance of getting published at present, whereas a purely conceptual paper has more chances of getting published and that a good research answers questions but it should also raise questions.

The second part of the conference resumed with the Parallel Sessions, these sessions were focused on four tracks: Brand Management, Consumer Behaviour, Research Methodolgy, and Marketing Innovation, chaired by Dr. Ejaz Mian, Dr. Amira Khattak, Dr. Yusniza Kamarul zaman, and Dr. Amrul Asraf respectively.

A total of 35 high quality research papers on various aspects of Marketing were presented and the 'Best Paper Award' was awarded to 'Moving towards sustainable consumption: a study of reduce, reuse and recycle (3Rs) adoption among Malaysians'; authored by Ms. Regina Yan Ginny and Dr. Yusniza Kamarulzaman.

The IBAICM 2016 featured keynote speakers, plenary sessions and parallel sessions, providing a chance to the participants to network with the scholars and practitioners; to gain a wider and clearer perspective of the changing paradigms within the theme of the conference. The conference culminated on a lighter note with Dr. Huma Amir thanking the faculty, staff and organizers from both the IBA and UM. Together the Deans Dr. Farrukh Iqbal and Dr. Che Ruhana distributed tokens of appreciations amongst keynote speakers, participants, organizers and students from both universities.

IBAICM 2016 - Bottom of Pyramid: Emerging Markets

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Pakistan Observer website, January 3 2017

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