Pioneer Hi-Bred International is a division of DuPont that develops and sells high-quality hybrid seeds that optimize desired traits and lead to maximum crop yield and grain quality. Pioneer has been providing seed and agronomy assistance to U.S. farmers since its inception as a company, playing a major role in the “American Green Revolution,” which saw corn yields increased by 50% during the 1930s alone. With a well-established market position in the U.S., Pioneer and its parent company DuPont recognize that emerging markets represent the next major business opportunity for the company. For three years, Pioneer has been developing and piloting a strategy to provide seed, agronomy and other market development services to underserved farmers in emerging countries such as India, Kenya, the Philippines, and Thailand.
This case presents Pioneer’s challenge of how to most effectively and efficiently measure its emerging markets growth strategy and attract partners and funding that will enable it to bring these initiatives to larger scale. Through this case, students may gain insight into the strategies, challenges, and partnership approaches of serving the needs of low-income, or “base of the pyramid,” markets in developing countries.