Prize Ezequiel Reficco wins best ‘social’ paper award
The new faculty member was rewarded for a paper about Nestlé’s successful last-mile distribution venture catered to the needs of the base of the pyramid in an emerging country, which served the interests of its shareholders and those of the poor.
Ezequiel Reficco and Roberto Gutiérrez, from Universidad de Los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia), received the “University of San Diego School of Business Best Paper on Corporate Social Responsibility, Social Impact and Social Innovation” award from the BALAS (Business Association for Latin American Studies) for their paper entitled "Ambidexterity in Last-mile Distribution at the Base of the Pyramid” during their 2022 conference held in Lisbon (Portugal).
Ezequiel Reficco, who joined ESCP Business School as an Associate Professor of management in January 2022, had already been nominated for this award in 2020 and 2014.
A rare occurrence of synergistic integration
The paper examines how a multinational corporation in the periphery of an emerging country’s large city successfully integrated an ad-hoc distribution model specifically targeted to the needs of peri-urban consumers at the base of the pyramid segment, with its mainstream mass-market distribution model. The authors analyzed in depth Nestlé’s Plan Barrio in its Dominican Republic (DR) subsidiary, which emerged from the group’s global initiative called “Popularly Positioned Products” (PPPs) and aimed at the 3 billion lower-income consumers of the emerging world. “Plan Barrio was conceived as part of Nestlé’s vision to bring about Shared Value, benefitting both society and our shareholders,” they quote the subsidiary’s Marketing Manager for Food & Beverages as saying.
In their paper, the authors note that this “rare occurrence of synergistic integration of two different distribution technologies under the same organizational umbrella,” served the interests of its shareholders and those of the poor in Santo Domingo’s periphery (e.g., through entrepreneurship, increased income, investments in valuable durable goods, enhanced quality of life, and increased self-esteem). “While there is an obvious role for public policy to address the misfortunes of low-income urban dwellers, the potential for private firms’ contributions should not be underestimated,” they conclude. “Understanding how to best foster these private contributions holds the promise of producing a significant impact on poverty alleviation.”