There can be no growth for business if peoples’ basic needs aren’t met.
Carlos Rodríguez-Pastor, CEO of Intercorp, came to IDEO with an audacious goal: to address the most fundamental needs of his country’s people and grow his business at the same time. He’d been introduced to IDEO while attending business school in the U.S. and explained that he waited until he had a challenge that felt big enough to knock on our door. Together we built a high-quality school system that would cost just $100 per month—affordable for the middle class. That project convinced Rodríguez-Pastor and his colleagues of the power of human-centered design. Our blended teams launched an innovation hub to introduce new ways of working with the conglomerate’s 90,000 employees. And as we collaborated with Intercorp’s businesses in finance, retail, health care, and education, we learned more about how to serve the everyday needs of Peruvian families. Somewhere along the way, the ultimate design project became the organization itself.
And while Rodríguez-Pastor’s company has grown dramatically, he’s not one to rest on laurels. Instead, the company is becoming more ambitious: upskilling the country’s workforce through an online platform, and fulfilling its climate strategy by investing in Peru’s green economy. (The coastal nation is the world’s third most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.) While the pandemic dealt a blow to Peru’s economy, Intercorp remains steadfast in its commitment to supporting businesses that help the middle class thrive.