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.

CasesSivakumar Alur; Durgaprasad M; Sulagna Mukherjee; U Srinivasa Rangan. "Mysore Ghee Stores: Expansion Strategy for Clarified Butter Business", 2018Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >

Discipline: Strategy
Industry: Agribusiness
Length: 17p
Subjects covered: Brand positioning; Expansion; Five forces; Strategic positioning; Strategy
Publication Date: March 01, 2018
Mysore Ghee Store (MGS) produced and marketed ghee (clarified butter) in the city of Hyderabad in India. Most of its ghee sales were B2B to businesses like restaurants and sweetmeat makers that used it for food preparation. Decreasing B2B market margins and increased packed ghee sales to end users through the retail market prompted Satish Kumar, MGS's current owner, to enter the B2C market. He tied up with More (pronounced `moray'), a national retail chain for supplying packed ghee in October 2013. MGS's packed ghee was also made available across multiple retail channels ranging from independent mom and pop stores to regional/local chains' retail outlets and e-retailers. Packed MGS ghee sales through the various retail channels were somewhat encouraging. In April 2016, MGS was looking at two sets of issues. The first was how to proceed with the brand building driven marketing communication effort. The second was to rethink the strategic options in front of MGS and assess the need for and viability of a new strategic direction for the company.

Learning objective:

This case can be used in undergraduate, graduate, and executive education programs. It is best suited for a strategy or an entrepreneurship course in addition to integrated marketing communication course. Executive education programs on marketing aimed at marketing executives in the fast moving consumer goods companies could be another place for the use of this case. Porter's 5 forces model, strategy execution and positioning can be effectively discussed in this case.

CasesVaidyanathan Krishnamurthy; Catherine Xavier. "Air India: Maharaja in Debt Trap", 2018Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >

Discipline: Finance
Industry: Airlines
Length: 17p
Subjects covered: Debt management; Debts; Financing; Long term financing; Restructuring; Turnaround strategies; Turnarounds
Publication Date: Feb 01, 2018
In the year 2016, after more than a decade of loss-making, Air India posted an operating profit of INR 1.05 billion. Over the years, Air India's greatest problem has been its crippling debt. At the end of fiscal 2014-15, the airline had a total debt of INR 513.67 billion. While the airline managed to phase out more than INR 50 billion of debt from its books during the year 2015-16, its total debt still stood at INR 460 billion. In order to facilitate the revival of Air India, Ashwani Lohani, known as the "turnaround man", was appointed Chairman and Managing Director of Air India. As Lohani piloted Air India towards revival, efforts were being made to convert INR 100 billion of Air India's debt into equity, a move that would substantially reduce its interest burden and give banks a major say in its functioning. Lohani was in talks with banks and investors who could play a critical role in Air India's debt restructuring. Lohani mulled over the various options related to debt restructuring. It remained to be seen whether Lohani's image as the "turnaround man" coupled with Air India's operating profits would increase investor confidence and help Air India deal with its debt burden. While Air India's modest operating profit was good news, it remained to be seen if it could provide relief to the sick airline's actual financials. It also remained to be seen whether Lohani's attempts at improving employee relations with the organization and the operational changes he was introducing to Air India could help turn the tide for the ailing airline. As of July, 2017, two questions remained: Had Air India really turned the corner under Lohani's leadership? Could Air India's short-term progress help it to overcome the huge debt that had become the "elephant in the room"?

Learning objective:

  1. Analyze various debt restructuring methods and their effects on corporate control and management.
  2. Analyze and evaluate the effect of corporate restructuring on equity and debt.
  3. Gain a nuanced understanding of turnaround management during debt restructuring.
  4. Illustrate and analyze strategic issues faced by managers and investors during debt restructuring. The case is suitable for MBA and Executive MBA students.


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

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

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

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.

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