Grameen Danone Foods: A Social Business Enterprise

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Case Details:

Case Code : BECG073
Case Length : 15 Pages
Period : 2005-2007
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Grameen Danone Foods
Industry : FMCG
Countries : Bangladesh

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Introduction Contd...

Through this initiative, Danone, however, also expected to expand the market for its products. It was to introduce nutritious products that were reasonably priced. This way it would meet the needs of people at the bottom of the pyramid (BOP)6, who otherwise would have remained outside the scope of its business.

While most organizations had corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs that were primarily philanthropic in nature, such as giving away a percent of their profits to charity or funding causes through NGOs, Danone's JV with the Grameen Bank seemed to integrate a social cause with its primary business.

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For Dr. Yunus, the venture was another step in giving shape to his concept of SBEs, and something that could also inspire other companies to consider setting up SBEs of their own.


Groupe Danone
Groupe Danone's origins lay in Danone, a small business set up in Barcelona, Spain, in 1919 by Isaac Carasso (Carasso) and named after his son, Daniel.

Initially, Carasso sold yoghurt - a dietary staple in the Balkans, where he had lived in his early years. He became aware of new advances being made relating to fermented milk at the Pasteur Institute (PI) in Paris. Carasso then came up with an industrial manufacturing process, which was a combination of the traditional method and the cultures developed at the PI, to produce yoghurt. In 1929, Daniel established Danone in France. During the Second World War, Daniel migrated to the US along with Joe Metzger (Metzger), an associate. In 1942, he established Dannon Milk Products Inc., America's first yoghurt company, in Bronx, New York. He named the company Dannon so that it would sound more 'American'...

Excerpts >>

6] The bottom of the pyramid refers to the largest but poorest group of people. As defined by C.K.Prahlad of the University of Michigan, it is made up of people who live on less than US$ 2 per day.


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