Case, Simulation & Pedagogy

The ISB has constantly endeavoured to facilitate teaching excellence and upgrade pedagogy by bringing real-world knowledge into the classroom. One of the important ways it achieves this is through the development of business cases and simulations that enrich understanding of real-life management challenges at every level. In this pursuit, we have partnered with the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario (Ivey), Canada to develop and promote high-quality case studies specific to India and the emerging markets with the support of ISB faculty as well as faculty from other leading B-schools worldwide.

CasesNupur Pavan Bang, Khemchand H. Sakaldeepi, Ramabhadran S. Thirumalai. "The Bombay Stock Exchange: Liquidity Enhancement Incentive Programmes", 2017Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >Issues: liquidity, payment for order, exchanges, market microstructure, stocks
Disciplines:  Finance, International
Industries: Finance and Insurance
Setting: India, Large, 2013
Length: 16 pages (7 pages of text)
Intended Audience: MBA/Postgraduate
Publication Date: December 13, 2016

Abstract:
In 2013, the chief business officer at the Bombay Stock Exchange needed to prepare a recommendation on whether to pursue liquidity enhancement schemes in the equity cash market. The Bombay Stock Exchange, the oldest stock exchange in Asia, had held a monopoly in India until 1994, when the National Stock Exchange was launched. When derivatives were introduced to the Indian stock exchanges in 2000, the Bombay Stock Exchange had been unprepared, and the National Stock Exchange soon captured the entire derivatives market. In 2011, the Securities and Exchange Board of India approved the introduction of the Liquidity Enhancement Incentive Programmes on illiquid securities in the derivatives segment. The Bombay Stock Exchange then introduced the incentives for various illiquid products in the derivatives segment, but lost profit as a result of the incentives it paid out. Had the Liquidity Enhancement Incentive Programmes improved liquidity in the derivatives segment? Was it worth sacrificing profit to gain liquidity and market share? The chief business officer needed to address the long-term benefits of liquidity enhancement schemes and the merits of introducing such schemes to the Bombay Stock Exchange’s equity cash market.

Learning Objective:
This case is appropriate for an undergraduate or graduate course on security markets, with a specific focus on market liquidity and market structure. It may also be used in an undergraduate or graduate course on competitive strategy to illustrate how incentives can change competition, especially across two almost identical products: the National Stock Exchange’s Nifty Index and the Bombay Stock Exchange’s 100 Index. This case provides an alternative scenario to order-driven markets, whereby a stock exchange is able to significantly improve liquidity by incentivizing traders to participate in its derivatives market. The case can also be used to revisit the basic terminologies in derivatives and the unique features of the Indian stock market. After completion of the case, students will be able to
  • debate the importance of liquidity and how stock exchanges compete for liquidity;
  • compare the purchase order concept prevalent in the United States with the liquidity incentives schemes introduced in India;
  • analyze how liquidity incentive schemes can be used for the benefit of the entire securities market; and
  • understand the basic terminology of derivatives and the unique features of Indian stock markets.

     


CasesGhoshal, Tanuka ; Shah, Geetika ; Pereira, Arun . "Reinventing Officer's Choice Whisky: Spoiled for Choice", 2017Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >Discipline: Marketing
Industry: Alcoholic beverages
Length: 14 pages
Subjects covered: Advertising; Advertising campaigns; Brand management; Branding; Market positioning; Market research; Marketing; Marketing communications
Publication Date: December 20, 2016

Description: 
This case is designed to highlight the vital role of promotion, the fourth "P" of the marketing mix, in a brand reinvention exercise. Using the context of the brand reinvention journey of Officer's Choice Whisky (OCW), the case highlights the importance and need for syncing brand objectives and communication objectives so as to build brand relevance in a competitive environment, increase revenue and enhance customer loyalty. The case also highlights the importance of systematic market research in identifying brand weaknesses and providing direction for effective marketing communications.Ahmed Rahimtoola, Head of Marketing at Allied Blenders and Distillers (ABD), was leading the process of conducting an extensive brand reinvention exercise for Officer's Choice. Market research had established the need for brand reinvention, indicating that Officer's Choice had to overcome the challenges of low brand salience, lack of emotional connect with customers, and outdated brand communication. Accordingly, the best advertising agencies in India were invited to come up with creatives that would answer the following question: How should Officer's Choice reposition and repackage itself and reconnect with consumers? ABD had the tough task of choosing the creative that held the magic recipe that would strategically weave brand objectives and communication objectives to yield optimal benefits. In discussing the firm's creative options, the case brings to light the crucial aspects of a brand reinvention process, the role of communication objectives in brand reinvention, and the mechanics of a successful marriage of marketing communication and brand strategy objectives.

Learning objective: 
  1. To illustrate the challenges of brand reinvention and the opportunities provided by marketing communications.
  2. To understand how branding and positioning strategy should stem from consumer behavior insights gathered from market research.
  3. To demonstrate that the selection of ad creatives can be facilitated by using systematic criteria that take into consideration the strategy of the firm, key brand objectives and communication objectives.

     


CasesChakrabarti, Rajesh;  Sujlana, Digvijay Singh . "SREI Sahaj E-Village (A)", 2017Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >Discipline: Service Management
Length: 22 pages
Subjects covered: Business model innovation; Service management
Publication Date: December 22, 2016

Description: 
Sahaj e-Village Limited, an initiative of SREI Infrastructure Finance Ltd, hoped to answer the need of the Indian government's National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) to set up 100,000 Common Service Centres (CSCs) across rural India in 2006. This figure was subsequently revised to 250,000 CSCs in 2009. Sahaj aimed to bridge the digital divide between urban and rural India and set up one of the largest brick and mortar --and human --networks in rural India. With close to 27,000 IT-backed centers in villages with a population of less than 10,000 and 50 critical services in the domains of microinsurance, education, utility and government-to-citizen (G2C) services to over 300,000,000 rural people, Sahaj e-Village was literally taking urban services to the remotest nooks of rural India. Sahaj CSCs would provide rural consumers with direct access to modern, state-of-the-art technological facilities and computer education, thus dovetailing with its long-term plans of providing Internet connectivity across rural India. Case A, set in July 2010, presents the tough challenge that the top management at Sahaj e-Village Ltd had on its hands. It was serving a virtually untouched rural market through a greenfield project with a jittery workforce in place and was justifiably concerned about the viability and sustainability of the business.

Learning objective: 
The case introduces the reader to the fiduciary concerns of social enterprises and the restrictions faced by government-led enterprises when they plan to scale up of their organizations. Students are led to analyze organized and unorganized employment opportunities and challenges. The case lets students analyze and understand the:
  1. Dynamics of the social networking market
  2. e-Village business model and
  3. Importance of an appropriate business model in the rural social entrepreneurship space.


CasesChakrabarti, Rajesh;  Sujlana, Digvijay Singh . "SREI Sahaj E-Village (A)", 2017Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >Discipline: Service Management
Length: 22 pages
Subjects covered: Business model innovation; Service management
Publication Date: December 22, 2016

Description: 
Sahaj e-Village Limited, an initiative of SREI Infrastructure Finance Ltd, hoped to answer the need of the Indian government's National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) to set up 100,000 Common Service Centres (CSCs) across rural India in 2006. This figure was subsequently revised to 250,000 CSCs in 2009. Sahaj aimed to bridge the digital divide between urban and rural India and set up one of the largest brick and mortar --and human --networks in rural India. With close to 27,000 IT-backed centers in villages with a population of less than 10,000 and 50 critical services in the domains of microinsurance, education, utility and government-to-citizen (G2C) services to over 300,000,000 rural people, Sahaj e-Village was literally taking urban services to the remotest nooks of rural India. Sahaj CSCs would provide rural consumers with direct access to modern, state-of-the-art technological facilities and computer education, thus dovetailing with its long-term plans of providing Internet connectivity across rural India. Case A, set in July 2010, presents the tough challenge that the top management at Sahaj e-Village Ltd had on its hands. It was serving a virtually untouched rural market through a greenfield project with a jittery workforce in place and was justifiably concerned about the viability and sustainability of the business.

Learning objective: 
The case introduces the reader to the fiduciary concerns of social enterprises and the restrictions faced by government-led enterprises when they plan to scale up of their organizations. Students are led to analyze organized and unorganized employment opportunities and challenges. The case lets students analyze and understand the:
  1. Dynamics of the social networking market
  2. e-Village business model and
  3. Importance of an appropriate business model in the rural social entrepreneurship space.


CasesChakrabarti, Rajesh;  Sujlana, Digvijay Singh . "SREI Sahaj E-Village (B)", 2017Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >Discipline: Service Management
Length: 14 pages
Subjects covered: Business model innovation; Service management
Publication Date: December 22, 2016

Description: 
Sahaj e-Village Limited, an initiative of SREI Infrastructure Finance Ltd, hoped to answer the need of the Indian government's National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) to set up 100,000 Common Service Centres (CSCs) across rural India in 2006. This figure was subsequently revised to 250,000 CSCs in 2009. Sahaj aimed to bridge the digital divide between urban and rural India and set up one of the largest brick and mortar --and human --networks in rural India. With close to 27,000 IT-backed centers in villages with a population of less than 10,000 and 50 critical services in the domains of microinsurance, education, utility and government-to-citizen (G2C) services to over 300,000,000 rural people, Sahaj e-Village was literally taking urban services to the remotest nooks of rural India. Sahaj CSCs would provide rural consumers with direct access to modern, state-of-the-art technological facilities and computer education, thus dovetailing with its long-term plans of providing Internet connectivity across rural India. Case B moves ahead from the challenge described in Case A and outlines Sahaj's transformation process. Starting August 2010, Sahaj guided its troops through an ideological transformation that would take the organization from being primarily a government service provider to an enterprising business entity capable of fending for itself. In order to achieve this goal, Sahaj took the important first step of understanding the intricacies and dynamics of the relationships among the various stakeholders involved in the project. This, in a sense, proved to be a breakthrough in the organization's transformation process.

Learning objective: 
The case introduces the reader to the fiduciary concerns of social enterprises and the restrictions faced by government-led enterprises when they plan to scale up of their organizations. Students are led to analyze organized and unorganized employment opportunities and challenges. The case lets students analyze and understand the:
  1. Dynamics of the social networking market
  2. e-Village business model and
  3. Importance of an appropriate business model in the rural social entrepreneurship space.


CasesSingh, Davinder;  Sahu, Anuj . "Forbes Technosys Limited (B): Bill Payment Kiosk Business", 2017Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >Issues: business model, mobile, billing
Disciplines:  General Management/Strategy
Industries: Other Services
Setting: India, Medium, 2010
Length: 6 pages (4 pages of text)
Intended Audience: MBA/Postgraduate
Publication Date: December 19, 2016

Abstract:
In May 2010, Forbes Technosys Limited (FTL) was not doing well. After more than a year, the company’s bill payment kiosk business was losing money and no longer seemed viable. The time had come to re-evaluate all aspects of this business line and make decisions regarding FTL’s future course of action. Accordingly, FTL’s chief executive officer proposed an idea regarding prepaid mobile recharges using the existing bill payment kiosks, along with a new technology platform for this purpose. He hoped that handheld terminals could be used by retail-level franchisees to sell recharges to prepaid mobile users. Essentially, FTL had three options: should the company persist with or pivot the service provider business model, or “perish” the complete solution provider idea entirely and revert to being a product manufacturer? Whichever strategy FTL chose, it would have to limit and balance both operating and capital expenses. Use with 9B16M221

Learning Objective:
This case can be used during a course on strategic innovation management, which is usually scheduled in the second half of an MBA/postgraduate program or executive MBA program. It can be used to teach students about the following concepts:
  • Making strategic choices about business models, especially the choice between being a service provider and a product manufacturer while pursuing innovation.
  • Making decisions as to whether to persist, pivot, or perish in a particular business model while pursuing new business opportunities.




CasesSingh, Davinder;  Sahu, Anuj . "Forbes Technosys Limited (A): Bill Payment Kiosk Business", 2017Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >Issues: business model, mobile, billing
Disciplines:  General Management/Strategy
Industries: Other Services
Setting: India, Medium, 2010
Length: 9 pages (7 pages of text)
Intended Audience: MBA/Postgraduate
Publication Date: December 19, 2016

Abstract:
In May 2010, Forbes Technosys Limited (FTL) was not doing well. After more than a year, the company’s bill payment kiosk business was losing money and no longer seemed viable. The time had come to re-evaluate all aspects of this business line and make decisions regarding FTL’s future course of action. Accordingly, FTL’s chief executive officer proposed an idea regarding prepaid mobile recharges using the existing bill payment kiosks, along with a new technology platform for this purpose. He hoped that handheld terminals could be used by retail-level franchisees to sell recharges to prepaid mobile users. Essentially, FTL had three options: should the company persist with or pivot the service provider business model, or “perish” the complete solution provider idea entirely and revert to being a product manufacturer? Whichever strategy FTL chose, it would have to limit and balance both operating and capital expenses.

Learning Objective:
This case can be used during a course on strategic innovation management, which is usually scheduled in the second half of an MBA/postgraduate program or executive MBA program. It can be used to teach students about the following concepts:
  • Making strategic choices about business models, especially the choice between being a service provider and a product manufacturer while pursuing innovation
  • Making decisions as to whether to persist, pivot, or perish in a particular business model while pursuing new business opportunities


Cases Gupta, Pooja;  Sethi, Madhvi , Darroch A. Robertson. "The Game of Financial Ratios", 2017Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >Issues: financial analysis, ratio analysis, financial statement
Disciplines:  Accounting,  International
Setting: India, Large, 2013
Length: 3 pages (1 page of text)
Intended Audience: Undergraduate/MBA
Publication Date: January 16, 2017

Abstract:
his exercise revolves around the rivalry between two financial analysts. Upset by their constant game of one-upmanship, an advisor to the governor of the Reserve Bank of India came up with a challenge for them to prove who was better. He provided them with financial data for the financial year ending March 2014 from 10 anonymous companies and asked them to match the financial data with specific industries given in a list. The challenge was timed, and the winner was to be determined on the basis of who could come up with the right combination first.

Learning Objective:
The case can be taught in a financial accounting or financial management course of an MBA program. It provides students with an exercise in which, with the help of ratio analysis, they identify the industries to which companies belong. It helps students identify unique patterns of operations and asset structures in different industries. After working through the case and the assignment question, students will be able to:
debate the importance of liquidity and how stock exchanges compete for liquidity;
  • understand and interpret financial data from different publicly listed firms in India;
  • infer operating cycles and cash cycles of specific industries in India using information about business operations of different industries; and
  • use financial ratios and pattern analysis to identify industries in India.


Cases Sharma, Ruppal Walia. "Rays Culinary Delights: Building a Start-Up Brand", 2017Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >Issues: building brand identity, branding for starts-ups, brand positioning, launching a brand, restaurant
Disciplines:  Marketing,  Entrepreneurship
Industries: Accommodation & Food Services
Setting: India, Small, 2015
Length: 14 pages (10 pages of text)
Intended Audience: MBA/Postgraduate
Publication Date: January 17, 2017

Abstract:
In April 2015, two years after launching Sattviko, a casual dining restaurant, the venture had three restaurants in Delhi. The two entrepreneurs who had established Sattviko wanted to continue growing but were feeling cash-constrained. Meanwhile, the online technology-based food industry in India was growing with an influx of venture funding. The entrepreneurs could take advantage of this wave and pursue venture capital, but they might have to shift their business focus to do so. Should they shift the Sattviko value proposition and brand positioning to grow their business?

Learning Objective:
This case highlights key decisions faced by start-ups when developing a new brand. It demonstrates how brand values need to be articulated at the start of the planning process, how this forms the basis of the brand’s long-term identity, and what factors need to be considered when evaluating a change in the brand positioning. The case also explains how developing the brand identity and positioning involves not just deciding what to be, but also what not to be. This case is suitable for teaching a brand management or entrepreneurship course in MBA programs. After completing the case, students will understand
debate the importance of liquidity and how stock exchanges compete for liquidity;
  • what constitutes the building blocks of a brand's essence;
  • how to plan a brand's identity;
  • how to define the brand's positioning; and
  • what factors need to be considered when evaluating changes in the brand's positioning strategy.


CasesDamaraju, Naga Lakshmi; Rawal, Prafulla; Singh, Bavneet; Himanshu, Jain; Karthik. "Kamla Nehru Memorial Hospital: Which Way Forward?", 2016Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >Discipline: Strategy
Industry: Health care services
Length: 23p
Subjects covered: Corporate strategy; General management; Organizational structure; Strategy
Publication Date: December 10, 2015

Description: 
Kamla Nehru Memorial Hospital (KNMH) is a non-profit, non-government trust organization that is managed by the Gandhi-Nehru family, India's premier political family which gave the country three generations of prime ministers. Members of the family continue to be at the helm of the board. The hospital specializes in the areas of Obstetrics and Gynecology (O&G) and Oncology and has several supporting departments. It is a very reputed hospital in Allahabad, in the highly populated state of Uttar Pradesh in Northern India, and draws patients from nearby states, primarily from the Eastern part of India where infrastructure is largely underdeveloped, and from other developing countries such as Nepal and Bhutan. The hospital is endowed by the Trust. Due to its reach, it attracts funds from governmental and non-governmental agencies as an implementing agency for several of their health schemes and initiatives. The hospital operated independently and without a formal administrative structure for many years. Consequently, the governance as well as the efficiency of hospital operations had been going downhill for some time, with the result that patients were choosing other hospitals and nursing homes over KNMH. Decreasing revenues and inefficient operations led to operational losses. After the next generation of the Gandhi-Nehru family joined the governing board, there was some rethinking at the top about the way forward for the hospital. They decided that the time had come to manage the hospital professionally in order to be able to serve patients in a more efficient and effective manner. It was in this setting that Dr. Madhu Chandra, a pathologist and PhD, who had served at a corporate hospital (Yashoda Hospitals, Hyderabad), was appointed Chief Executive Officer of KNMH. Her goal was to streamline hospital operations and put it back on a growth trajectory.

Learning objective:
This case could be used in courses related to corporate development and growth to apply the concepts that are primarily taught in the context of profit maximizing public corporations to a non-profit setting. This case can be taught after the class has covered the core concepts of corporate strategy, about mid-way through the course. It can be a good final closing case to test how far students have understood those concepts and whether they can apply them when the context of application changes.

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