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 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.


CasesSharma, Kirti; Sapra, Puneet . "Dulux TileShield: Relaunching a Brand", 2017Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >Issues: consumer behavior, pricing, brand relaunch, positioning, paint
Disciplines:  International,  Marketing
Industries: Other Services
Setting: India, Large, 2012
Length: 16 pages (8 pages of text)
Intended Audience: MBA/Postgraduate
Publication Date: February 28, 2017

Abstract:
In 2012, the marketing department at AkzoNobel India Ltd., a major paints company, faced a key decision concerning the possible relaunch of TileShield, a premium roof tile paint in the company’s exterior paints division. Since its inception, TileShield had led the market, especially in the southern part of India, but despite growth in the demand for roof tile paints, TileShield sales had stagnated in 2011–12. Faced with falling sales and intense competition, the company had to decide whether to maintain the status quo or draft a relaunch for the brand. The marketing department would have to make some quick decisions on value proposition and pricing.

Learning Objective:
The case can be used in the core marketing management course of an MBA program to illustrate the concepts of pricing, consumer behaviour, and product positioning. More specifically, it can be used to accomplish the following tasks:
  • Investigate product pricing and consumer behaviour in the exterior paints market.
  • Analyze the options of changing the value proposition of a brand, relaunching a brand, and using the existing brand equity of other brands in the product line to enhance sales.
  • Identify the positioning point in the existing category.
 


CasesPanda, Abinash;  ​Jain, Anshul;  ​Mishra, Samir. "Schneider Electric India: Leadership Challenges", 2017Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >Issues: leadership, adaptive leadership, plant-level leadership, power, hydro
Disciplines:  Entrepreneurship, Organizational Behaviour/Leadership
Industries: Manufacturing
Setting: India, Medium, 2015
Length: 16 pages (7 pages of text)
Intended Audience: MBA/Postgraduate
Publication Date: March 7, 2017

Abstract:
In May 2015, the new director at Schneider Electric’s plant in Rudrapur, India, faced a challenging situation. The company had an ongoing struggle with quality issues and consistently missed its production targets. From a human relations perspective, employee engagement and morale were low and the shop-floor workers had very little respect for the plant’s management team. The new director quickly launched a program of human resource initiatives aimed to turn the plant around, but in the midst of his efforts, a sister plant submitted a high-volume order that seemed well beyond Rudrapur’s production capabilities. Against the advice of his superiors, and in the face of some resistance from his staff at the plant, the plant director accepted the order and used an adaptive leadership approach to implement several plant-level changes in the production processes at Rudrapur. While the team had made a lot of progress in improving the overall function of the Rudrapur plant, there was still a long way to go and a huge production hurdle to be crossed. Were the director’s interventions likely to succeed? Should he adopt a different approach to meet the challenges?

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.
     


CasesMathew, Jones;  Dey, Banasree. "The Vanca: Reworking Digital Marketing Strategy", 2017Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >Issues: digital marketing, online traffic building, digital strategy, online apparel retail
Disciplines:  Marketing,  Entrepreneurship,  International
Industries: Other Services
Setting: India, Medium, 2016
Length: 16 pages (9 pages of text)
Intended Audience: MBA/Postgraduate
Publication Date: March 13, 2017

Abstract:
Since its inception in 2011, The Vanca, an Indian e-commerce brand selling women’s Western apparel, had come a long way. After overcoming initial problems typical of many entrepreneurial start-ups, The Vanca made significant progress in terms of sales. However, its brand-building activities had not been very successful. Having concentrated entirely on online digital marketing, the company did not see the expected results. The digital space offered many opportunities, but it was replete with cases of promising companies facing failure. In addition to the dynamic nature of the online retail space, there were new government regulations in India as of March 2016, which restricted online retailers in many ways, in an attempt to bring order to the previously unregulated industry. Accordingly, in May 2016, The Vanca hired a specific digital marketing manager with the goal of reworking the brand’s digital strategy. The company's management knew that multiple marketing issues needed to be addressed in order for The Vanca to achieve success.

Learning Objective:
This case is suitable for postgraduate courses on digital marketing. It asks students to analyze an Internet brand whose digital marketing efforts are not working as expected. The case presents many questions regarding the role of a digital marketing manager in the pursuit of an integrated digital marketing approach to convert web traffic into customers, and to build brand awareness. After completion of this case, students will be able to
  • appreciate the opportunities and challenges in adopting an integrated approach to digital brand marketing;
  • understand that website traffic alone is not enough, that conversions are equally important;
  • value the power of Google search pages in helping a brand enter the consumer’s consideration set;
  • focus on product, promotion, and place to counter restrictions on discounting (price); and
  • assess the role of a digital marketing manager in building a brand.


CasesMody, Pallavi; Chittoor, Raveendra. "Attaining the Next Orbit: Dilemmas of a Family Managed Business - Natural Ice Cream", 2017Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >Discipline: Entrepreneurship
Industry: Dairy products
Length: 12p
Subjects covered: Entrepreneurship; Family businesses; Innovation
Publication Date: December 31, 2016
 
Description: 
The case is about the concerns of second generation entrepreneurs in a family managed business who aspire to attain the next orbit, the next level of success in the business. Natural Ice Cream was started by the father in 1980s. The passionate ice cream maker made two small innovations; one, a product innovation in the form of using only natural ingredients. He was so creative that he could come up with 125 combinations of fresh and dried fruits in ice cream. Two, a marketing innovation in the form of selling ice cream only in exclusive ice cream parlours. Both were novel ideas of the time and became the 'Unique Selling Propositions' (USPs). The business expanded over the three decades and with the help of his sons changed the scale and adapted best practices of management. The expansion path was carefully drawn up by preserving the USPs of the business. The franchise route for expansion was used. Manufacturing remained at a central location to keep strict quality control. Having taken their business from a small dream to INR 1 billion niche brand in the artisan ice cream segment, the owners at Naturals were dreaming big. They were restless and anxious to enter the next orbit and aspired to become a pan-India and global brand.

Learning objective:
  1. To understand the significance of passion and 'follow your dream' attitude in entrepreneurs.
  2. To understand the importance of 'small innovations' in product or marketing that turn into USP and critical success factor in small businesses.
  3. To understand the role of professional management to take the family managed business to the next orbit
  4. To appreciate the importance of conflict resolution between the generations in family business.


CasesDamaraju; Naga Lakshmi,  Khangura; Navneet Kaur. "Modak Analytics: Shaping the Future in Digital India?", 2017Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >Discipline: Strategy
Length: 16p
Subjects covered: Analytics; Corporate strategy; Data; Data warehouses; Entrepreneurship; Organizational development
Publication Date: January 31, 2017
 
Description: 
In 2008, Aarti Joshi, founder and CEO of Modak Analytics, returned to India after working in the data analytics space in the US for seven years. At that time, India's SMEs were unaware of the benefits of using their POS data to differentiate themselves from competition. Hence, Modak Analytics was incorporated to serve these SMEs. However, soon the CEO realized the diminished potential of this target market, which was plagued by wafer thin profit margins, lack of long term strategy for their companies, and lack of awareness towards the benefits of big data analytics. Modak Analytics then started targeting the more attractive BFSI segment. The company soon developed advanced analytics products for this sector. Major ones included Enterprise Data Warehouse, RapidETL product, Master Data Management and Campaign Management System. Modak Analytics' MDM software could help banks to achieve desired differentiation in the marketplace. This was possible due to the unique customer and household profiles that MDM helped create for the bank. The next step in the company's growth ladder came when Modak Analytics was asked by a bank to create profiles of not only its current customers, but also its potential customers. The exercise that started as data collection within the city of Hyderabad in India soon converted into a mammoth exercise when a pan-India political party approached Modak Analytics to do the voter profile analysis for the whole country. This was a herculean task as it involved deciphering the PDFs collected from electoral commission, which were in various languages and very heterogeneous from one state to another. At the time of the case, Modak Analytics was at a crossroads with respect to its future business strategy. Modak Analytics can either specialize in data integration and target the big markets of Europe and the US or it can aim to become a leading data aggregating company in India, given its huge repository of Indian voter profiles.

Learning objective:
  1. Understand how to define a relevant industry and how to determine which industry (industries) or industry segments are more or less attractive given the resources and capabilities of this organization.
  2. Demonstrate that the ideas of coherence in corporate strategy also apply (with relevantly defined objectives) in the context of entrepreneurial organizations where the seeds of future corporation are being sown.


CasesMehta, Sunita; Sharma, Surya Kant; Pereira, Arun. "Bhagwati Products Limited - Making in India for Micromax", 2017Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >Discipline: Strategy
Industry: Computers & electronics
Length: 22p
Subjects covered: Capabilities; Competitive advantage; Cost leadership strategy; Industry analysis; Related diversification; Strategy
Publication Date: December 26, 2016
 
Description: 
Emerging markets have become an attractive destination for multinationals as they provide these companies with high growth potential due to low product penetration and also help them in reducing costs of production due to reduced labor costs. The case brings out the trajectory of growth of Micromax Informatics Limited which started as a company depending on China and Taiwan for manufacturing of their handsets because of better technological infrastructure, stronger supply chain and cost effective workforce. As the government enhanced import duty on CBU (Completely Built Unit) electronic products and reduced excise duty and import duty on SKD (Semi Knocked Down) units required for manufacturing of electronic products, Micromax started its production facility, Bhagwati Products Limited in India and reduced import of finished electronic products to a large extent. To keep the cost low all across the value chain, it focused on development of indigenous design and manufacturing capabilities to achieve higher localization. This helped Micromax in keeping the cost of the products low and thus being a cost leader in the market. The case also brings out how costs can be kept low by utilizing central and state government initiatives in providing subsidies that helped the company build competitive advantage and how these specific actions resulted in creation of a vibrant electronics industry in the country. This case focuses on the specific issues faced by Bhagwati Products Limited, the production arm of Micromax in production of mobile phones locally, with regard to sourcing of raw material, manpower, research and development, competition and reduction in cost of production.

The case also discusses the decision dilemma faced by the chairman on diversification of products to consumer electronics or to move into new territories with the core product in context of increased competition from multinationals in India.

Learning objective:
To understand Micromax's growth trajectory. -To provide insights into the electronic industry and information about main competitors in India. -To understand the relevance and significance of government policies in emerging economies. -To assess positioning of Micromax and analyze growth strategies of Micromax/BPL. -To set appropriate context for students to take decisions and evaluate alternatives available to Micromax/BPL to formulate strategies in context of increased competition from MNCs.

CasesMehrotra, Sonia;  Pereira, Arun. "GOQii: Envisioning a New Fitness Future (B)", 2017Centre for Learning and Management PracticeRead Description >Close >Discipline: Entrepreneurship
Industry: Apparel accessories, Fitness, Fitness equipment
Length: 6p
Subjects covered: Artificial intelligence; Entrepreneurship; Health care; Technology
Publication Date: December 31, 2016
 
Description: 
Supplement to case ISB079. 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

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
 
Description: 
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

Abstract:
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


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