|C. K. Prahalad|
|Alma mater||University of Madras
Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad
Coimbatore Krishnarao Prahalad (pronounced as: Pra-huh-laadh) (b. 1941, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India) is an Indian entrepreneur, consultant, and management expert. Paul and Ruth McCracken Distinguished University Professor of Corporate Strategy at the Ross School of Business of the University of Michigan.
He is one of the recipients of Pravasi Bharatiya Sammaan awards in 2009, and was conferred the Padma Bhushan, an Indian civilian award, the same year. In 2009 he was named the world's most influential business thinker on The Thinkers 50 list, published by The Times .
Prahalad is one of nine children born into a Madhva brahmin family. His father was a well-known Sanskrit scholar and judge in Chennai. One of nine children, he was born in 1941. At 19, he joined Union Carbide after a degree in Physics. He was recruited by the manager of the local Union Carbide battery plant after completing his B.Sc degree at the University of Madras. He worked there for four years. Prahalad calls his Union Carbide experience a major inflection point in his life. Four years later, he did his post graduation in management from Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad. He met his wife, Gayatri during this time; they married five years later, and have two children. 
He then returned to India, where he taught at his alma-mater Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad. He returned to the United States, to the Ross School of Business University of Michigan where he is currently a Distinguished University Professor.
C. K. Prahalad is the author of a number of well known works in corporate strategy including The Core Competence of the Corporation (Harvard Business Review, May-June, 1990). He has authored several international bestsellers, including: "Competing for the Future"(with Gary Hamel), 1994, "The Future of Competition," (with Venkat Ramaswamy), 2004 and "The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty through Profits," Wharton School Publishing, 2004. His new book with co-author M. S. Krishnan is called The New Age of Innovation.
He was co-founder and became CEO of Praja Inc ("Praja" from a Sanskrit word "Praja" which means "citizen" or "common people"). The goals of the company ranged from allowing common people to access information without restriction (this theme is related to the "bottom of pyramid" or BOP philosophy) to providing a testbed for various management ideas. The company eventually laid off 1/3rd of its workforce and was sold to TIBCO. He is still on the board of TiE, The Indus Entrepreneurs.
Prahalad has been among top ten management thinkers in every major survey for over ten years. Business Week said of him: "a brilliant teacher at the University of Michigan, he may well be the most influential thinker on business strategy today." He is a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission of the United Nations on Private Sector and Development. He is the first recipient of the Lal Bahadur Shastri Award for contributions to Management and Public Administration presented by the President of India in 2000.