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.

Cases Rajesh Panda, Madhvi Sethi, Pooja Gupta. "Swadhaar: Self-Support through Financial Services", 2020Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >

Discipline: Finance, Entrepreneurship
Industry: Finance and Insurance
Length: 16 pages
Subjects covered: microfinance, mission drift, impact investing, sustainable development
Publication Date: January 17, 2020
 
Description: 

Swadhaar FinServe Private Limited (Swadhaar), a non-banking financial company–microfinance institution (NBFC-MFI), was set up in Mumbai, India in 2008 with the objective of providing the urban poor with increased access to financial services. Swadhaar was a leading provider of financial services to clients in several major states of India. Between 2009 and 2013, there were major changes in the regulatory environment; some of these restricted the scope of MFIs and others opened new business opportunities. Although Swadhaar was able to reach financial sustainability with its existing business model, its founder was always looking at growth strategies to achieve her mission. In late 2014, RBL Bank Ltd. offered to become a strategic investor in Swadhaar. In early 2015, Swadhaar’s founder needed to decide whether or not to accept RBL Bank Ltd.’s proposal.

Learning objective:

The case is best suited for a graduate-level course on financial markets and institutions or strategic management. The case can also be used in specialized courses on topics like microfinance, sustainable development, developmental economics, or impact investing. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to do the following:

  • Describe the microfinance environment in India and the role of a non-banking financial company–microfinance institution (NBFC-MFI) in micro lending to urban poor.
  • Define the concept of mission drift, and explain the trade-off between financial sustainability and the social objectives of NBFC-MFIs.
  • Describe the impact of a changing regulatory environment on the strategic choices available to NBFC-MFIs.
  • Identify the motivations of investors in socially responsible businesses like microfinance institutions, and analyze their impact on the investing landscape.


     


CasesBhatnagar, Navneet. "The Survival Battle of the Deccan Chronicle", Sage Publications, 2020Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family EnterpriseRead Description >Close >
This case discusses the growth and governance challenges of the Deccan Chronicle, a family-owned newspaper. The publication was established in 1938 as a partnership firm at Hyderabad, India. Due to high operating costs, the firm accumulated huge debt. In 1977, it was bought by a businessman, T. Chandrasekhar Reddy. Subsequently, his sons joined the business, modernized the printing machinery and launched multiple editions. By 2000, Deccan Chronicle became the tenth most circulated newspaper in India. In 2004, the partnership firm was converted into a public limited company - ‘Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited (DCHL) and made a public offer of shares. With this capital, the company expanded its newspaper business in south India. DCHL also made huge investments in several unrelated businesses. These businesses (viz. a bookstore chain, an air freight venture and a chartered flight service) seemed attractive but DCHL did not have the capabilities and experience in managing those businesses. Poor strategic decisions, extravagant lifestyle of the owner family members and financial mismanagement led the company to bankruptcy. One of its lenders, the Kolkata-based SREI Infrastructure Finance got its loan converted into equity and became the largest shareholder of DCHL. SREI had proposed a plan to take over the company and revive the business. The other creditors were to meet soon to decide the fate of DCHL.
 
Essentially, this case helps the instructor to make the participants understand the importance of family business governance and of calibrating family business growth aspirations with available resources and capabilities.



CasesBhatnagar, Navneet., Ramachandran, Kavil. "The Emami Mission to the Next Orbit", ISBN: 9781529709520, New Delhi, Sage Publications, 2020Thomas Schmidheiny Centre for Family EnterpriseRead Description >Close >This case is about the challenges of professionalisation and succession faced by an Indian, family controlled, personal-care products company, Emami Limited. Emami was setup in 1974 at Kolkata by two childhood friends, Radhe Shyam Agarwal (RSA) and Radhe Shyam Goenka (RSG). They started with a small capital of INR 20,000 and had grown the business to INR 1.8 bn in sales by financial year 2013-14. Emami had earned a reputation for being innovative in development of products based on keen consumer insights. Ever since Emami tasted initial success in business (i.e. within 3-4 years of its inception), the company adopted an inorganic strategy for growth and made several strategic business acquisitions. As the business grew, it implemented organizational changes, brought in functional experts from outside and professionalised its operations.

During the first four decades since it was founded, Emami grew its product portfolio to include ayurvedic formulations and nutraceuticals. Besides, the group diversified in other businesses such as paper, real estate and construction. However, Emami Limited, the personal care company continued to be the group’s flagship that generated most of its wealth. Business growth increased the complexities of Emami’s operations. In order to manage those complexities Emami made efforts to professionalise their systems and processes.

However, as the founders grew older, they had realized the need for succession planning to pass on the leadership to the next generation. They were also cognizant of the need to establish family governance mechanisms and structures to ensure Emami’s sustainability across generations. Another key challenge they faced was how and whom to select as their successor because their children had been brought up together, had similar educational qualifications, business experience and performance record. It was quite hard for them to pick one member over the other.

CasesSonia Mehrotra, Uday Salunkhe. "P.N. Gadgil Jewellers: Managing a Family Brand", 2020Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >

Discipline: General Management/Strategy,  International
Industry: Retail Trade
Length: 13 pages (10 pages of text)
Subjects covered: family business, family business brand, professionalization, business strategy
Publication Date: January 23, 2020

Description:
Swadhaar FinServe Private Limited (Swadhaar), a non-banking financial company–microfinance institution (NBFC-MFI), was set up in Mumbai, India in 2008 with the objective of providing the urban poor with increased access to financial services. Swadhaar was a leading provider of financial services to clients in several major states of India. Between 2009 and 2013, there were major changes in the regulatory environment; some of these restricted the scope of MFIs and others opened new business opportunities. Although Swadhaar was able to reach financial sustainability with its existing business model, its founder was always looking at growth strategies to achieve her mission. In late 2014, RBL Bank Ltd. offered to become a strategic investor in Swadhaar. In early 2015, Swadhaar’s founder needed to decide whether or not to accept RBL Bank Ltd.’s proposal.

Learning objective:
This case is designed for graduate-, postgraduate-, and executive-level courses related to ownership, management, and operation of a family business. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to,

  • discuss the growth of a family business from humble beginnings to a successful global business;
  • discuss the challenges involved in professionalizing a family business operation;
  • understand the importance of branding and its benefits to the internal and external operations of a family business; and
  • analyze the strategic advantages of leveraging the family business brand.


CasesSarang Deo, Geetika Shah. "Tata Memorial Centre: Propagating Excellence in Clinical Operations", 2020Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >Discipline: Operations Management
Industry: Hospitals
Length: 27p
Subjects covered: Operations, Service system design, Administration
Publication Date: Jan 20, 2020
 
Description: 
Evidence based medicine (EBM) requires a level of maturity in the processes, both clinical and non-clinical, which is gained typically over years through consistent deliberate efforts. It is argued that the role of clinical leadership is critical to this. In addition, challenges of implementing EBM are easiest to surmount in single location organizations but complicate considerably when there are multiple distributed locations. While EBM is gaining momentum in health care systems of more developed countries, examples of successful implementation are few in India. Indian institutions face the unique challenge of sorting through multiple bases of foreign evidence (differing guidelines in the UK and U.S.) in addition to domestic evidence covering interventions less frequently used outside of India. The Tata Memorial Centre (TMC) is a pioneer in cancer care and research in India. Over several decades, they have developed an indigenous approach to development and implementation of Evidence based medicine, which has catapulted them into leading cancer hospitals in the world. Set in March 2016, this case study describes TMC's journey thus far with particular emphasis on changes in organizational design as key enablers. TMC's next frontier is to propagate this model of clinical excellence to other cancer hospitals in India through the formation of National Cancer Grid. The key challenge confronting Dr. Rajendra Badwe, Director of TMC, is can these other hospitals accelerate their journey based on the learnings from TMC or whether they will have to customize their approach based on their own operating context. More broadly, which elements of TMC's clinical excellence model are replicable in other hospitals and what organizational changes would be required to implement them.

Learning objective:
To demonstrate how a healthcare delivery organization makes organizational design changes and evaluate if it results in systematic improvement in management of its clinical processes and research capabilities of its faculty; To provide some insights on how to generate and implement evidence-based medicine in large organizations; To highlight the importance and inherent challenges of disseminating best practices across healthcare delivery organizations in the context of resource-limited settings.

Cases Nidheesh Joseph, Abhishek Totawar, Ranjeet Nambudiri. "Mannarkkad Rural Service Co-operative Bank: Innovating at the Edge", 2020Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >

Discipline: Organizational Behaviour/Leadership, Entrepreneurship, International
Industry: Finance and Insurance
Length: 10 pages
Subjects covered: organisational change, innovation, crisis leadership, demonetisation
Publication Date: March 12, 2020

Description:
In November 2016, the secretary of Mannarkkad Rural Service Co-operative Bank Ltd. (MCB) based in Kerala, India, learned that the prime minister of India had announced that large-denomination currency notes would be invalid as of midnight November 8. This demonetisation move was to eradicate unaccounted for “black money” from the nation. Co-operative banks like MCB were excluded from the purview of India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India, and as a primary agricultural credit society providing short-term credit to rural borrowers, MCB stood out from similar institutions by providing best-in-class banking services and constantly innovating to meet its vision of providing “the pleasure of personal banking” to its customers. MCB was the only bank in India to provide 24/7, 365-day banking operations through its overnight counter, and through a series of innovations, it had successfully pushed the boundaries of a rural co-operative bank to provide maximum convenience to its customers. The secretary of MCB now had to make some critical decisions: How should MCB handle the demonetisation crisis with its existing and potential customers? Should MCB keep its overnight counter open? Should the secretary alert the bank’s micro-ATM agents? Would MCB’s parent bank provide funds? How could he address these concerns in a way that would maintain the goodwill MCB had built up among its customers over the past 27 years?
 

Learning objective:
This case is designed for graduate-, postgraduate-, and executive-level courses related to ownership, management, and operation of a family business. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to,

  • discuss the growth of a family business from humble beginnings to a successful global business;
  • discuss the challenges involved in professionalising a family business operation;
  • understand the importance of branding and its benefits to the internal and external operations of a family business; and
  • analyse the strategic advantages of leveraging the family business brand.


CasesNavneet Bhatnagar, Kavil Ramachandran, Andrea Calabro, Sougata Ray. "Merck, Darmstadt: Sustaining Legacy Beyond 350 Years", 2019Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >Discipline: General Management
Industry: Chemicals,Advanced materials,Pharmaceuticals
Length: 30p
Subjects covered: Organizational values, Succession issues, Leadership, Stewardship, Corporate governance, Organizational management, Family businesses, Strategy
Publication Date: October 22, 2018
 
Description: 
This case is about the business, governance and leadership transformation of Merck - a 13th generation, family-owned, German multinational group operating in the pharmaceuticals, performance materials and life science industries. Established in 1668 as a pharmacy in Darmstadt, Germany, Merck ventured into the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and specialty chemicals in 1827. Successfully overcoming several business and family challenges, it continued to grow. By 2017, Merck had a legacy of nearly 350 years of successful business operations, a presence in 66 countries and about 52,000 employees on its rolls. In 2017, Merck was led by Dr. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp (69), an 11th generation member who was the Chairman of the executive board and the family board of E. Merck KG (the group's holding company). With his 70th birthday approaching, Frank wanted to identify an able successor who could help him build the group for the next 100 years and take the Merck legacy forward.

Learning objective:
The case is intended to help the participants understand the essential building blocks of a long-lasting, multi-generational family business and specifically comprehend the role played by
(i) family values,
(ii) strategic vision, and
(iii) the owner family's adherence to their mission in transforming a family business into a long-lasting institution. This case is appropriate for MBA and Executive education programs, in courses like, Family Business Management, Governance and Strategy.

CasesS. Ramnarayan, Sunita Mehta. "Creating and Sustaining a Social Enterprise: The Vittala Story", 2019Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >Discipline: Social Enterprise
Industry: Health care services
Length: 17p
Subjects covered: Organizational behavior, Organizational values, Innovation, Leadership, Social enterprise, Organizational culture, Family businesses, Social responsibility
Publication Date: October 1, 2018
 
Description: 
Vittala International Institute of Ophthalmology (Vittala), a not-for-profit orgnization was involved in providing free/highly subsidized eye care to the rural and the economically underprivileged population in the state of Karnataka, India. The case describes the challenges faced by the founder and his family in building the state-of-the-art institution and sustaining it through its difficult initial years. They had to build awareness of avoidable blindness, make eye care accessible and affordable, and develop the right networks and alliances, all within limited resources. Unlike certain eye care issues such as cataract, Vittala focused on retinal eye care problems that required periodic monitoring and treatment. Diagnosis required sophisticated and expensive equipment, which had to be made available in far-flung small towns and villages, and that posed difficulties. To address the challenges, the organization and its founders executed pioneering innovations in organizational arrangements and processes. The case closes with the dilemma facing Krishna, Director of Vittala, which was to examine how the social enterprise could enhance the revenue streams to increase Vittala's reach in providing eye to the economically disadvantaged citizens. He needs to consider issues like creating the right balance of paying and non-paying patients to ensure sustainable operations, consistent quality of care, keeping technology updated, and attracting and retaining medical staff with right skills and values. The case is significant as it highlights what is required to make healthcare accessible and affordable to the poor, and how policy measures can be executed at the ground level through appropriate organizing efforts. It describes how the founder inculcated a system of values to keep the family members together, thus contributing to the effectiveness and sustainability of the social enterprise.

Learning objective:
To understand the factors influencing the setting up of a not-for-profit enterprise in the health care sector and exposing the students to the realities of present system of health care in India; To explore the process and organizing innovations required to deliver affordable eye care to rural areas; To emphasize the importance of aligning multiple stakeholders to build effective and sustainable operations; To emphasize the importance of values in family run organizations to build togetherness.

CasesVikram Kuriyan, Soumithri Mamudipudi, Geetika Shah, Bitan Chakraborty. "Thomas Cook India: Potential Unleashed - A Journey to Value Creation", 2019Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >Discipline: Finance
Industry: Finance
Length: 21p
Subjects covered: Finance, General Management, Strategy
Publication Date: October 24, 2018
 
Description: 
The case gives students an opportunity to analyze the ways in which the company's management uses Prem Watsa's value investment philosophy to guide its decisions, both in its core business and in its acquisitions. The case also gives students lessons the value investment philosophy offers to investors and managers of firms. The travel industry is beset by structural changes and new paradigms and owners have to respond to the changing environment.

Learning objective:
The changing fortunes of TCI are most apparent in the increase in its share price after making several acquisitions. The case gives students an opportunity to analyze the ways in which the company's management uses Prem Watsa's value investment philosophy to guide its decisions, both in its core business and in its acquisitions. The case also gives students an idea of how travel companies in India have had to adapt to new paradigms and what lessons the value investment philosophy offers.

CasesRuppal Walia Sharma, Mridula S. Mishra. "Greenco Enterprises India Pvt. Ltd.: Market Strategy for Frozen Snacks", 2019Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >Discipline: Marketing,  Entrepreneurship,  International
Industry: Retail Trade
Length: 11p
Subjects covered: Marketing,  Entrepreneurship,  International
Publication Date: November 16, 2018
 
Description: 
In November 2016, the two co-founders of the Delhi-based Greenco Enterprises India Pvt. Ltd. were getting ready to launch a range of frozen snacks in the competitive Indian market. Their strategy was to penetrate the already established non-vegetarian frozen snacks market with fast-moving popular products and grow the vegetarian frozen snacks market with differentiated offerings. As the January 2017 launch date approached, they had to get their pricing and distribution strategy in place. For a new brand with a limited budget, securing shelf space was a challenge. The two founders wondered whether the company should focus all of its efforts on building a retail brand in the business-to-consumer segment, or whether it should consider institutional sales in the business-to-business space. How could the initial investment and running costs be balanced with the need to stay competitive in the market?

Learning objective:
This case is best suited to an undergraduate or graduate marketing management course to discuss different aspects of a strategy for launching a new brand. It can also be used in a management course to discuss pricing and distribution channels. Working through the case will give students the opportunity to
  • identify the issues involved in developing a strategy to launch a new brand;
  • determine various pricing strategies for entering a competitive market and recommend one that is most appropriate; and
  • discuss how to manage the distribution challenges faced by a new brand.


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