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.

CasesMehrotra, Sonia;  Pereira, Arun. "GOQii: Envisioning a New Fitness Future (A)", 2017Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >Discipline: Entrepreneurship
Industry: Apparel accessories, Fitness, Fitness equipment
Length: 14p
Subjects covered: Artificial intelligence; Entrepreneurship; Health care; Technology
Publication Date: December 31, 2016
Gondal, a serial entrepreneur, was supported by top technology experts in GOQii's angel round of funding. Case A details GOQii's journey from its incorporation in 2014 until April 2016. It describes GOQii's product-service offering of wearable fitness band technology supplemented with remote personalized coaching, its launch in the Indian market, and its emergence as a pioneer of a new category of product in the health and lifestyle space that had the ability to integrate human assistance with built-in artificial intelligence. Gondal realized that while people were adopting wearable technology solutions for healthy living, there was still a lack of awareness and an air of hesitancy about the usefulness of and need for wearable devices in India. Gondal's dilemma: whether to continue GOQii's positioning as "wearable technology with personalized coaching" and aggressively expand globally, or consolidate and broaden his present offering by embracing the customer more fully and focusing on the "customer healthcare journey" in India. Case B picks up from October 2016, by which time GOQii had consolidated and broadened its offering by focusing on the "customer journey" in India. It had successfully on-boarded different service providers such as doctors, a diagnostic center chain, a hospital chain, sports and grocery stores and Axis Bank (for payments) on their platform, thus providing a complete health ecosystem to the GOQii user. By the second quarter of 2016, GOQii had achieved the number one spot in the Indian wearables market. The immediate decision that GOQii core team need to make is whether they should tie up with multiple insurance providers or explore the possibility of partnering with a reinsurer to complete the entire health spectrum services offering on their data platform. The two cases allow for an in-depth discussion on the key role of a business model in ensuring the competitive advantage and sustained success of a business venture.

Learning objective:
The cases are structured around the following teaching/ learning objectives: · To identify the various traits of an entrepreneur · To identify the forces on which an entrepreneurial opportunity is dependent. · To appreciate the market attractiveness and future of wearable technology. · To understand the importance of a customer journey and its ability to provide competitive advantage to a brand. · To understand the key role of the choice of business model in ensuring the competitive advantage

CasesShiji Lyndon, S. Venkatesh. "Attrition at Silver Spark Apparel Ltd.", 2017Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >Issues: attrition, absenteeism, employee engagement, employee referral, employee retention, work-life balance, factory, clothing
Disciplines:  Operations Management,  International
Industries: Manufacturing
Setting: India, Medium, 2015
Length: 9 pages (8 pages of text)
Intended Audience: MBA/Postgraduate
Publication Date: March 16, 2017

Silver Spark Apparel Ltd. (SSAL), established in 2004 near Bangalore, India, was a wholly owned subsidiary of Raymond Ltd. The plant had significant expertise in the manufacturing of jackets. SSAL faced a significant challenge when it came to the attraction and retention of workers, with the predominantly female workers often citing family issues as a reason for quitting. In order to combat attrition, SSAL’s head of human resources had initiated various employee engagement initiatives that had helped the company reach fourth place in manufacturing and production among “India’s Best Companies to Work For, 2014.” Nevertheless, the high rate of attrition had not been stemmed, and the data for the first quarter of 2015 was alarming.

Learning Objective:
This case has the following learning objectives:
  • To analyze various employee engagement initiatives formulated to attract and retain talent
  • To come up with innovative alternatives for attracting talent and combating attrition
  • To critically evaluate employee referral as a source of recruitment

CasesDeo; Sarang; ​Devalkar, Sripad;  ​Gokhale, Meghana; ​Vaidya, Akshay . "Atmydoorsteps.Com: Breaking Ground in Online Grocery Market in India", 2017Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >Discipline: Operations Management
Industry: E-commerce
Length: 8p
Subjects covered: E-Commerce entrepreneurialism; Entrepreneurship; Logistics; Supply chain management; Venture capital investors
Publication Date: February 27, 2017
The case describes operations of one of the early entrants in the Online Grocery Delivery industry in India, (AMD). After having run the company for three years, the founder, Sushant Junnarkar, is looking for big ticket funding. As he prepares his pitch, he wonders whether his business is lucrative enough for investors. What changes could be possibly made to the existing model to improve profitability for the company? He intends to revisit some of the strategic and tactical decisions that he had made at the time of inception of AMD. Junnarkar's final decision would determine the fate of his pitch to investors and subsequently the future sustainability of his venture.

Learning objective:
The case allows students to examine the business model of an online grocery delivery start-up from an operational perspective. In particular, students can evaluate tactical decisions such as the choice of product offerings and geographies to serve, along with the number of delivery personnel to employ and the implications that these decisions have for the amount of funding required and the venture's survival until such funding actually becomes available.

CasesMajumdar, Bishakha; Chakrabortty, Rudranil . "Powertech India: Redesigning Workforce Composition", 2017Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >Issues: workforce design, strategic human resources management, performance appraisal
Disciplines:  Organizational Behaviour/Leadership,  Entrepreneurship
Industries: Utilities
Setting: India, Medium, 2013
Length: 8 pages (5 pages of text)
Intended Audience: MBA/Postgraduate
Publication Date: April 28, 2017

In February 2013, the vice-president of human resources at PowerTech India Private Limited (PowerTech India), was in his office at the company’s Gurgaon headquarters studying the organizational chart of his firm with interest. In his seven-year tenure with the company, he had watched the organization grow considerably. What he loved most about his job was the company’s commitment to follow best practices in human resources management and the people-oriented approach that made the work a creative, feel-good, and dynamic process. In this highly competitive power sector, expansion had been the catchphrase of the organization as it strove to carve a niche for itself; now retention of talent was more crucial than ever. But after meeting with PowerTech India’s managing director, the vice-president wondered if the expected turbulent times required a reconsideration of the company’s key human resource policies, which had become a hallmark of the organization. Redesigning the workforce at PowerTech India would be a delicate balancing act.

Learning Objective:
This case is suitable for graduate programs in courses such as strategic human resource management, human resources planning, and people analytics, covering topics including workforce design and performance appraisals. After completion of this case, students will be able to
  • demonstrate the process of workforce design and identify its determinants;
  • discuss the interaction between organizational strategy and HR management; and
  • compare workforce design considerations in a static environment with those of a dynamic environment.

Cases. "Guardian Lifecare: Customer Centricity as a Value Proposition", 2017Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >Issues: customer centricity, value proposition, pharmaceutical industry, e-commerce, organized retail
Disciplines:  Entrepreneurship,  Marketing,  International
Industries: Retail Trade
Setting: India, Large, 2014-15
Length: 12 pages (8 pages of text)
Intended Audience: MBA/Postgraduate
Publication Date: May 18, 2017

In December 2014, Guardian Lifecare Private Limited (Guardian), a pharmacy retail chain in India, was looking for ways to maintain its high growth in India’s emerging market. Riding a surge of growth in organized retailing, Guardian had become the second-largest player in the Indian pharmaceutical retail market within a decade of its launch. This market had been plagued by several structural weaknesses such as widespread sales of spurious and substandard drugs, customers’ lack of education, a poor overall customer experience, and low margins caused by the market’s highly fragmented nature. Placing customer centricity at the core of its value proposition, Guardian had addressed these weaknesses to build a successful retail chain. Now, as it prepared to open more stores as part of its consolidation phase, it needed to address several long-term growth challenges such as poor penetration in rural areas and competition from e-commerce and small local pharmacies.

Learning Objective:
This case is suitable for MBA/postgraduate students taking management courses in strategic marketing, consumer behaviour, retail management, or pharmaceutical marketing. After analyzing the case, students should be able to:
  • Identify the various challenges facing a pharmacy retail chain in the changing market landscape of the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Appreciate the importance of customer-centric strategies for propelling revenue growth in a retail business.
  • Understand the importance of service innovation in a retail business.
  • Describe the challenges involved in scaling up a retail chain.

CasesDutta, Debolina; Padmanabhan, Munwari . "Sushma Industries: The Gordian Knot of Compensation Design", 2017Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >Issues: compensation strategy, reward design, compensation and benefits, change management
Disciplines:  Organizational Behaviour/Leadership,  Entrepreneurship
Industries: Manufacturing
Setting: India, Small, 2016
Length: 11 pages (7 pages of text)
Intended Audience: Undergraduate/MBA
Publication Date: June 19, 2017

Sushma Industries Private Limited (SIPL) wanted to accelerate its growth after two decades as a small enterprise. Enabling growth required having the right talent in place, by first attracting these employees, and then evaluating and appropriately rewarding their performance. The new chief executive officer hired a human resources specialist to design and implement a compensation structure to recognize the changing competitive environment and to align SIPL's human capital strategy with the organization’s strategic goals. The human resources specialist faced the challenges of establishing a new compensation structure in a growing organization, timing the change appropriately in the organization's growth journey, and aligning and positioning it to fit within the current organizational and industry context.

Learning Objective:
The case is suitable for undergraduate, MBA, postgraduate, and executive education core courses in organizational behaviour and human resource management. It is also suitable for elective courses on compensation and benefits, strategic human resource management, and change management. The case offers students the opportunity toIdentify the various challenges facing a pharmacy retail chain in the changing market landscape of the pharmaceutical industry.
  • understand the importance of aligning a compensation reward strategy with an organization's strategic positioning and core capabilities, and with the existing organizational, industrial, and environmental contexts;
  • follow a step-by-step approach to setting up and administering a new compensation and total rewards structure within an organization; and
  • experience the challenges of revising compensation structures and addressing the associated change management issues.

CasesNambudiri, Ranjeet; Ramnarayan, S;  Xavier, Catherine. "Apigee: People Management Practices and the Challenge of Growth", 2017Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >Issues: human resource management, culture scalability, employee empowerment, employee engagement
Disciplines:  Organizational Behaviour/Leadership
Industries: Information, Media & Telecommunications
Setting: India, Medium, 2015
Length: 12 pages (9 pages of text)
Intended Audience: MBA/Undergraduate
Publication Date: June 28, 2017

In late 2015, Apigee, a fast-growing technology firm, faced competitive pressures. It needed to scale up rapidly, which included hiring additional staff. At the regional office in India, some members of the senior leadership team wondered whether the company would need to modify its human resources practices. The firm had been operating in a unique organizational culture that encouraged employees’ openness and freedom, in keeping with its core values of passion, a bias for action, and respect. How could Apigee integrate its unique culture with the organization’s growth plans? The senior leadership team needed to decide how Apigee could retain its personalized approach, culture of freedom, and high levels of employee empowerment, as the company expanded both in size and scope.

Learning Objective:
The case is suitable for MBA and executive MBA classes in talent management or strategic human resource management. Students will discuss the scalability of people management practices in relation to talent acquisition, performance management, training, career management, and employee reward systems. The case can also be used to illustrate the role of human resource management practices in supporting organizational goals. The case has four primary learning objectives:
  • To examine innovative people management practices and their significance as differentiating factors and a source of sustained competitive advantage.
  • To examine how human resource activities can be designed to support an organization’s core values.
  • To evaluate strategies for scaling up people management practices that rely heavily on personalization and empowerment.
  • To critically analyze the role of leadership in driving innovation.

CasesKajari Mukherjee, Michael J. Rouse, Bhuvaneashwar Subramanian. "Hewlett Packard eHealth Center: Healthcare Access Through Technology Convergence", 2017Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >Issues: shared value creation, strategic corporate social responsibility, technology convergence, bottom of pyramid
Disciplines:  General Management/Strategy,  International
Industries: Health Care Services
Setting: India, Large, 2016
Length: 17 pages (11 pages of text)
Intended Audience: MBA/Postgraduate
Publication Date: July 5, 2017

In 2012, eHealth Centers (eHCs) digitally delivered affordable medical care and diagnostic support for patients in villages and remote areas of India where none was otherwise available. The solution was initially conceived and developed as a mandate from Hewlett Packard India’s corporate social responsibility team under the leadership of the chief technology officer. The eHCs design incorporated a self-contained diagnostic centre in a container, operated by a staff of paramedics. Doctors located in urban health hubs provided consulting care through video conferencing, and patients could experience the feeling of being in a doctor’s office in real-time. These eHCs slowly turned out to be a business opportunity for Hewlett Packard India. By early 2016, there were 55 centres in operation. The challenge before the company was to scale up exponentially.

Learning Objective:
The case can be used at an MBA level in a strategy management course to discuss issues such as technology convergence, innovation management, disruptive technology, partnership models, project management, and value generation for the bottom of the customer base pyramid. It can also be used in courses involving shared value creation and using information technology to solve social and human problems. The key objective is understanding the alignment of strategy in the context of the resources and competencies needed to generate and deliver value. After completion of the case, students will be able to
  • understand the shift from traditional corporate social responsibility work to social innovation;
  • understand the challenges faced by a company as it seeks to do well (enhance revenue and profit) by doing good (generate positive social impact); and
  • identify issues regarding partnering with disparate organizations to deliver value to stakeholders.

CasesMital, Amita; Vig, Shrey . "Dilli Haat: Reviving Lost Glory", 2017Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >
Issues: strategic analysis, strategic change, decision analysis, strategy formulation
Disciplines:  General Management/Strategy,  International
Industries: Arts, Entertainment, Sports and Recreation
Setting: India, Small, 2016
Length: 13 pages (9 pages of text)
Intended Audience: MBA/Postgraduate
Publication Date: July 10, 2017

Dilli Haat started in 1994 with the objective of providing infrastructure to craftspeople from across India to sell their traditional crafts in an urban marketplace and prevent their exploitation by intermediaries. The marketplace, set up in the heart of Delhi, the capital of India, was a one-stop shop for visitors seeking authentic India handicrafts and handloomed products. Dilli Haat provided a unique shopping experience in a well-laid-out area, where shopping was combined with cultural extravaganzas and food courts offering cuisine from all the states of India. It became a sought-after destination not only for shopping but also as a meeting place, where families and friends could spend time together. After rising to its glory, Dilli Haat witnessed a decrease in visits and was losing its spirit. In January 2016, the manager was faced with the challenge of restoring Dilli Haat to its former glory.

Learning Objective:
The case is recommended for an MBA course in strategic management in a module on strategic analysis and formulation. It can also be used in a course on strategic change management to enhance students’ understanding of the industry trajectories of change and organizational responses. Students should already be familiar with the fundamental concepts and theories of strategic management. The case focuses on internal and external analyses of organizations and their strategic positioning. After completion of the case, students will be able to
  • assess the general environment of an organization and conduct a competitive analysis;
  • analyze an organization’s strategic positioning and scope;
  • understand the change trajectory and its impact on an organization’s growth; and
  • leverage an organization’s core competence to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.

CasesMohanty, Pitabas;  Mishra, Supriti . "Maruti Suzuki: Good Company or Good Stock (B)", 2017Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >Issues: corporate governance, minority shareholders
Disciplines:  Finance,  International
Industries: Manufacturing
Setting: India, Large, 2015
Length: 15 pages (7 pages of text)
Intended Audience: MBA/Postgraduate
Publication Date: July 31, 2017

Supplement for product 9B17N014.

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