INSEAD the business school for the world

Case Studies by Brian Henry

39 case studies

by Publication Date
published: 25 Apr 2017

Show details ...

Abstract:
The case investigates the role of creative directors in the luxury fashion industry. When in October 2015 Raf Simons quit Christian Dior, industry observers wondered why anyone would voluntarily walk away from such an esteemed fashion house, and who would replace him. Beneath the glamorous veneer, the luxury and fashion industry puts tremendous stress on creative directors. Some crack up (John Galliano), other commit suicide (Alexander McQueen), and many launch proprietary labels.!
Please visit the dedicated case website.

Pedagogical Objectives:
After reading and analysing the case, students will be able to
(i) evaluate the role played by creative directors in a luxury fashion house;
(ii) understand the economics of the business and how haute couture drives profitability down and across associated business lines such as ready-to-wear and accessories;
(iii) learn about the growing influence of fast fashion and e-commerce on the fashion calendar that creative directors are expected to live.

Keywords:
Raf Simons, John Galliano, Bernard Arnault, Alexander Mcqueen, Christian Dior, Haute Couture, Creative Director, Luxury Fashion

Related:

published: 25 Apr 2017

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Industry: Transportation services
  • Region: South America

Show details ...

Abstract:
One of the biggest logistics services providers in Colombia, Servientrega started out as a one-man courier operation on the streets of Bogota in 1982. Jesus Guerrero, an enterprising messenger boy, set up his own delivery service at the age of 18. After attracting more clients than he could handle, he persuaded his sister Luz Mary to join the company and invest her savings in exchange for half of the shares. Before long, Servientrega was growing so fast that they employed other siblings. Jesus gave one brother a 5% share in the business, expecting his sister to do the same. However, she held on to her 50% and used her majority shareholder position to take over, forcing her brother out of the CEO job. Jesus began acquiring new logistics operations that he consolidated into the Guerrero Group, which today has 39 subsidiaries (including Servientrega) and employs 28,500 people. The lawsuits that plagued the former partners and put their venture at risk ultimately prompted Jesus to launch a competitor to Servientrega, RedServi.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case offers an opportunity to learn from a family-owned company whose principal shareholders got into a dispute with dramatic consequences for their business. A minor dispute between brother and sister over a 5% shareholding led to a series of lawsuits that put the family-owned firm at risk. Students will be challenged to explain why the brother decided to start a new company to compete with the original company that he founded years earlier. The case illustrates how family conflicts can have unexpected results, such as the formation of a rival business.

Keywords:
Luz Mary Guerrero, Jesus Guerrero, Servientrega, Logistics, Colombia, Bogota, Efecty, Redservi, Latin America, Supply Chain, Warehouse, Courier, Transport, Guerrero Group, Wicfe, Fair Process, Communication, Psychology, Gender

Related:

published: 29 Mar 2017

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Industry: Papers and Allied Products
  • Region: South America

Show details ...

Abstract:
Carvajal traces the 110-year history of one of Colombian’s oldest family-owned firms from a small print shop to one of the largest paper product conglomerates in Latin America. Founded in 1904 by Manuel Carvajal, a Colombian educator and erstwhile politician, the company has contributed to Colombia’s economic and intellectual development ever since. By the 1950s Carvajal was the leading printer and publishing house in Latin America. Although the company benefitted from state protection, a tradition of technical innovation was established – in 1958 it printed the first telephone directory for Bogotá on two-sheet offset press – and thereafter expanded into neighboring countries, diversifying into inter-linked activities. Throughout the 20th century the firm was led by descendants of the founder. In the 21st century, a non-family CEO was hired for the first time.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This strategy-making exercise for a family-run company that has reached a turning point in its 110-year-old history requires students to think about how ‘family assets’ can contribute to the firm during the 21st century. While family firms in Colombia are often associated with conflict and failure, here the challenge is to examine the role of professional management as a force for change. Students also need to consider why many Carvajal next gens have positioned themselves as potential leaders, with skills honed at top international business schools and a deep understanding of the family enterprise. Beyond the leadership issue, discussion can encompass the vision of the Carvajal family as the company expands beyond Latin America. Students of family business in the region will find many lessons to be learned from this exceptional firm and family, and their commitment to its survival.

Keywords:
Carvajal, Carvajal Empaques, Colombian Family Business, Grupo Norma, Publicar, Carpack, Assenda, Propal, Bernardo Quintero Balcázar, Pedro Carvajal, Ricardo Obregón Trujillo, Eugenio Castro Carvajal, Alfredo Carvajal Sinisterra, Adolfo Carvajal Quelquejeu, Wicfe, Succession, Next Generation, Education, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Governance, Parallel Planning, Strategy, Boards

Related:

published: 29 Mar 2017

Show details ...

Abstract:
This case illustrates the key role played by a local distributor in the luxury goods industry in the Middle East. By partnering with the Chalhoub Group, western firms have built a competitive advantage across the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). While not typical of western luxury brands selling to global markets other than the Middle East, their alliances with the Chalhoub Group offer access to a vast network of 650 stores in prime locations in the GCC, many in new shopping malls. Chalhoub has retail outlets in 14 countries in the MENA region. Since its establishment in 1955, the Dubai-based Chalhoub has developed partnerships with Christian Dior, Sephora, Louis Vuitton, Fendi and many others. In so doing it has laid the foundations for the creation of own-concept stores, where it sells its own branded products.
Please visit the dedicated case website to access supplementary material.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case can be taught in executive education and elective MBA courses in luxury management. The focus is on the marketing and distribution of personal luxury goods in the Middle East, a region that outperformed the global luxury market until the collapse of oil prices in 2014. The case examines consumer characteristics in the Middle East, the unique business model of the Chalhoub organization, which employs over 12,000 people in the region – including Saudi Arabia where women play a surprisingly big role in its workforce – and its investment in employee training to a degree rarely seen among retail distributors in the West.

Keywords:
Chalhoub, Beauty, Fashion, Ghawali, Level Kids, Katakeet, Wajooh, Level Shoes, Tanagra, Gcc, Wassim Eid, Fadi Jabbour, Tdesign

published: 29 Mar 2017

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Industry: Transportation services
  • Region: South America

Show details ...

Abstract:
One of the biggest logistics services providers in Colombia, Servientrega started out as a one-man courier operation on the streets of Bogota in 1982. Jesus Guerrero, an enterprising messenger boy, set up his own delivery service at the age of 18. After attracting more clients than he could handle, he persuaded his sister Luz Mary to join the company and invest her savings in exchange for half of the shares. Before long, Servientrega was growing so fast that they employed other siblings. Jesus gave one brother a 5% share in the business, expecting his sister to do the same. However, she held on to her 50% and used her majority shareholder position to take over, forcing her brother out of the CEO job. Jesus began acquiring new logistics operations that he consolidated into the Guerrero Group, which today has 39 subsidiaries (including Servientrega) and employs 28,500 people. The lawsuits that plagued the former partners and put their venture at risk ultimately prompted Jesus to launch a competitor to Servientrega, RedServi.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case offers an opportunity to learn from a family-owned company whose principal shareholders got into a dispute with dramatic consequences for their business. A minor dispute between brother and sister over a 5% shareholding led to a series of lawsuits that put the family-owned firm at risk. Students will be challenged to explain why the brother decided to start a new company to compete with the original company that he founded years earlier. The case illustrates how family conflicts can have unexpected results, such as the formation of a rival business.

Keywords:
Luz Mary Guerrero, Jesus Guerrero, Servientrega, Logistics, Colombia, Bogota, Efecty, Redservi, Latin America, Supply Chain, Warehouse, Courier, Transport, Guerrero Group, Wicfe, Fair Process, Communication, Psychology, Gender

Related:

published: 29 Mar 2017

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Fashion
  • Region: Asia

Show details ...

Abstract:
Shang Xia is a story of a female entrepreneur whose goal is to open the Chinese luxury-goods market to products proudly made in China. It is the story of a young Chinese designer named Jiang Qiong Er who was convinced that the craft of making luxury goods, which had been deeply rooted in ancient Chinese culture, could be revived by Chinese artisans working to her modern designs. By the sheer force of her convictions, the seasoned CEO of Hermès was won over to her business plan. The story starts in 2007, when Shang Xia was first born in a small workshop in Shanghai, and continues to the present day when the brand is expanding its footprint in other cities in China and the surrounding region. Although Shang Xia has not yet turned a profit since it opened its first boutique in Shanghai in 2010, Hermès is patiently convinced that the value proposition is sound and continues to own a 90% stake in the company.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Shang Xia offers students an exciting opportunity to participate in a brand strategy that is challenging perceptions in the fast-growing personal luxury goods sector in China. The case is designed to encourage students to think about the role that country of origin plays in building brand awareness. While luxury goods are most often associated with Western brands, the case challenges students to dig deeper into leadership as a force for change. Benefiting from her education at a well-known Parisian fashion school, Jiang Qiong Er has developed a vision of reverse innovation that is unlike that of any of her contemporaries. In addition to the important role that leadership plays, students will examine the retail strategy of Shang Xia as it expands from an unknown player on the streets of Shanghai already crowded with established retail networks. As Shang Xia opens new retail spaces on the mainland and in nearby cities off mainland, students can consider in real time whether the founder’s limited resources are being best allocated to build market share. Students who are interested in the personal luxury goods sector in China will find this to be an exceptional case putting them in the shoes of an entrepreneur who shows an incredible appetite for innovation.

Keywords:
Shang Xia, Hermès International, Chinese Luxury Goods, Luxury Goods, Lacquer Silk, Zitan Wood, Guimet Museum, Style, Jiang Qiong Er, Patrick Thomas, Axel Dumas, Guillaume Brochard, Bamboo Teaware, Cashmere Felt

published: 30 Jan 2017

Show details ...

Abstract:
Paris-based S.T.Dupont is engaged in the manufacture, marketing and sale of luxury goods for men and women, including lighters, pens, jewelry, leather goods, eyewear, watches, belts, fragrances and casual and formal attire. Founded in 1872 by an entrepreneurial French photographer and carriage-maker, the company began making luxury leather luggage for wealthy aristocrats. It was owned and managed by the same family until the 1970s, when it was sold to the American multinational Gillette. A decade later, it was sold to Hong Kong conglomerate Dickson Concepts. Having largely lost its brand identity, S.T.Dupont languished until 2006, when a new management team based in Paris successfully turned the company around with a unique branding and marketing strategy.
Please visit the dedicated case website to access supplementary material.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case teaches the critical role of brand management in the context of S.T.Dupont, a French luxury brand that was successfully revived by CEO Alain Crevet and his team. Faced with a daunting task on his arrival in 2006 – the company was hemorrhaging money, customers had lost sight of the brand personality, and its craftsmen were no longer producing innovative products – the case outlines Crevet’s journey to resurrect the firm from near bankruptcy. Students are invited to take a holistic view of branding: how a brand can be consistent during a turnaround, why it is essential to identify the key brand pillars across all channels, how to tap into a brand’s heritage and identity. The case offers experiential learning – from the mistakes of the past – as well as branding solutions for the future. Designed for marketing students, it can also be used in luxury management, strategy management and organizational behavior courses.

Keywords:
S.t. Dupont, Handbags, Pens, Cigar Accessories, Brand Equity, Brand Positioning, Brand Strategy, Lighters, Jewellery, Tissot-Dupont, Cricket, Alain Crevet, Brand Identity, Luxury Goods

published: 15 Dec 2016

  • Industry: Technology
  • Region: Europe

Show details ...

Abstract:
On 30 August 2016, Margrethe Vestager, the European Commissioner for Competition, ordered Ireland to recover €13 billion in illegal state aid that the state had granted Apple over a decade from 2003. In allowing Apple to pay close to zero in taxes, she ruled, Ireland had given the foreign company a selective advantage over other businesses paying the regular corporate tax rate of 12.5%. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, and Enda Kenny, the Irish Prime Minister, appealed the ruling, a process that is still ongoing. The case explores this event from five analytical pillars: 1) the role of Ireland’s low corporate tax rate in attracting FDI; 2) Apple’s decision to allocate its earnings to a paper company in Ireland with no physical presence in the country; 3) the repatriation of foreign earnings to the United States; 4) the transfer payments that Apple makes to the US to pay for R&D; 5) the Commissioner’s decision to impose a retroactive tax penalty on a foreign company that acted in accordance with the tax arrangements granted by its host country.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case is designed to encourage students to think about the role of tax policy from the perspective of the company. With the rise of global companies such as Apple whose products are sold all over the world, the question of where they should be taxed becomes a particularly controversial issue. Students will be asked to reflect on tax policy around the following five points: 1) as a national competitive advantage in attracting FDI; 2) on shrewd corporate accounting that renders taxable income to nearly zero sums; 3) on powerful tax disincentives for the repatriation of earnings approaching two trillion dollars to the United States, 4) the political rational behind the current corporate tax principle that states taxes for innovative companies like Apple should be paid in the source country where R&D is carried out; 5) and that supranational entities such as the European Commission should take preventive measures and not corrective punitive measures in dealing with foreign countries who have created thousands of jobs in a particularly vulnerable host country such as Ireland.

Keywords:
Margrethe Vestager, Public Finance, Corporate Tax, Repatriation of Earnings, State Aid, Tax Haven, Ccctb, Apple, European Commission for Competition, Transfer Payments, Enda Kenny, Tax Minimization, United States, International Taxation

Related:

published: 15 Dec 2016

  • Topic: Family Business
  • Region: Global

Show details ...

Abstract:
The study focuses on a select group of family-run firms that have each survived for more than two centuries. The 25 companies profiled in the collection thus qualify for membership of an association called the Hénokiens, including a hostel in Japan that is has been in business for nearly 1,300 years. The analysis is built on four pillars: family assets, roadblocks, succession planning and innovation, and can be used in its entirely or in part. Taking a theoretical approach, the combined cases reveal the essence of why these enduring family firms have thrived for centuries, offering an alternative business model of leadership and longevity.

Pedagogical Objectives:
i) To evaluate the important role played by long-living families in building a multi-generational business. ii) To understand the assets that these families contribute to their firms, the various obstacles faced over the centuries and different ways that they have overcome them. iii) To learn about family succession and the dangers and opportunities presented by the growth in family numbers. The study also uncovers various kinds of innovative activities and entrepreneurial roles in family businesses.

Keywords:
Hénokiens, Family Business, Family Assets, Family Roadblocks, Family Succession, Family Innovation, Multigeneration, Next Generation, Strategy and General Management

published: 15 Dec 2016

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Industry: Fashion
  • Region: Europe

Show details ...

Abstract:
WGSN is the world’s largest fashion trend forecasting agency, supplying services to 95% of the Fortune 500 fashion brands. The case examines the global strategy of WGSN, which strives to enrich its robust online platform while adding more physical presence in the markets where it is growing, particularly in North America and Asia. The case examines the role of style in fashion by focusing of the content it provides to fashion designers, buyers, merchandizers and executives. The flagship market for WGSN, the fashion industry, is divided into 14 product categories each of which require a high level of expertise on the part of the firm’s trend analysts. WGSN covers all aspects of the fashion calendar from the collections to the catwalks, from ads to in-store displays. Clients use WGSN’s curated platform to design, buy and price products in line with market trends. The case also examines a gap in WGSN’s global presence, the French market, where local competitors defend their market share with a combination of trend books and online data. A pure player like WGSN faces strong headwinds in this key location.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case is designed to encourage students to think about the role of style in fashion. Trend forecasting agencies play an increasingly important role for global apparel companies like Inditex (Zara), Nike, Under Armour and many more. Students will examine the users of trend forecasting agencies, including fashion designers, buyer and merchandisers. Creative directors also rely on trend forecasting agencies to shape their strategic choices. With the arrival of big data and quantitative approaches that can better predict trends in the fast-fashion industry, students interested in fashion will find the case a refreshing look at an industry that has grown very quickly.

Keywords:
Wgsn, Trend Books, Trend Forecasting, Fashion House, Catwalks, Collections, Fashion Buyers, Style, Peclers Paris, Lifestyles, Fashion Agencies, Nellyrodi, Fashion Designers, Merchandiser

by Publication Date


Share