Hailing from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, Prahalad did his graduation in Science from the Loyola College in Madras (now Chennai) and did his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.
After his doctorate from Harvard Business School, the well-known corporate thinker had been associated with the University of Michigan.
C. K. Prahalad coined the phrase "core competency", a standard in business operations around the globe now, which allowed lot of business revival in India (and in the west prior to that), when it opened up from its staleness of socialism and statism. In fact, one can trace the entire outsourcing based industry, IT and BPO, that India benefits from, from that management concept of focusing resources on core competency. Prahalad provided a management concept around that principle.
Prahalad also encouraged entrepreneurs to not just focus on the rich and raising middle class in poor countries, like India, but to build symbiotic businesses that provides goods and services "profitably" to the poor around the world, so that poor also have access to goods and services that they normally don't have.
The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Revised and Updated 5th Anniversary Edition: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits by C. K. Prahalad (Hardcover - Sept. 3, 2009)
This is, of course, different from the cacophony of self-serving NGOs, not all of them but many, the charity model, and only government can provide model that continues to be in vogue to help the poor live a decent life.
And he contributed plenty more to the study of management and he for good business management and governance.