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Case Studies by Jean Wee

27 case studies

published: 29 Jan 2018

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Financial Transactions Processing, Reserve and Clearing House Activities
  • Region: Middle-East

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Abstract:
In 2010, ACTIS embarked on an ambitious project to build a pan-Middle East and Africa (MEA) payments platform. It had purchased Mediterranean Smart Cards Company (MSCC), a bankcard issuer with operations across Africa, and had identified a follow-on target, Visa Jordan Card Services (VJCS) as part of its buy-and-build strategy, and another potential acquisition in South Africa. These could enable the ACTIS platform to capture the entire value chain in the payments business in the MEA region. However, not long after the purchase of MSCC, political turmoil engulfed the Arab world, prompting the ACTIS investment committee in London to question the viability of creating a payments platform in MEA.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case discusses the complexity and risks of investing in emerging markets, specifically “frontier markets”, which have the highest growth potential but involve the most uncertainty and risks. It enables students to understand the challenge of a goal-based investment thesis such as a buy-and-build within the context of emerging markets (i.e. Africa and the Middle East) and the options for mitigating risks.

Keywords:
Middle East, Payments Platform, Payments Processing, Roll Up, Buy and Build, Private Equity

published: 26 May 2015

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
Aarong, the retail arm of BRAC, a non-profit development organization based in Bangladesh, was created in 1978 to provide employment, income generation and social development opportunities for underprivileged women through the revival and promotion of Bangladeshi handicrafts. Profits from Aarong were used to extend such opportunities to more low-income producers and to cross-subsidize BRAC programmes for the poor. In 30 years, from a single shop, Aarong had grown into one of Bangladesh’s biggest retail chains. Its products ranged from clothing, household items, gifts and fashion accessories to children’s toys. The competition, however, was intensifying, both from local retailers in individual categories as well as foreign players, such as from India. How could Aarong compete in a global market? How could it leverage the brand, improve quality to match machine-made consistency, and keep prices competitive, while maintaining its social mission?

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case highlights the challenges of building a social enterprise that harnesses the labor and skills of the poor to provide them with a sustainable livelihood while creating value for consumers and the enterprise. Specifically, how does Aarong reconcile the need to raise wage rates to provide a sustainable livelihood in an ever more expensive world, while changing tastes and mores reduce (or at least flatten) the consumer's willingness to pay.

Keywords:
Retailing, Social Innovation, Social Enterprise, Competitive Positioning, Bangladesh, Emerging Markets, Differentiation, Social Responsibility

published: 26 Aug 2016

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Abstract:
Read a related Knowledge article "Lessons in Digital Transformation from the Hotel Industry" by David Dubois.

The case focuses on AccorHotels’ ambitious digital transformation, aiming to put the customer back at the center of its strategy and operations. Responding to a powerful wave of digital disruptions in the hospitality ecosystem, from the emergence of review websites, online travel agents and active forums to the rise of new competitors such as Airbnb, the transformation entailed: (1) designing and implementing an innovative content marketing strategy (including online content creation or co-creation, curation and dissemination) (2) incorporating e-reputation as a core business objective, and (3) creating and/or adapting organizational structures – from management to operations – to support this new dynamic and maximize value creation.
The case starts in Fall 2015, when Olivier Arnoux, SVP Customer Satisfaction at AccorHotels, and his team, are asked to devise an ambitious plan to address the new challenges facing major players in the hotel industry brought about by digital disruptions. It follows the decision-making process step by step, from (1) understanding the nature and impact of online content in the customer journey, to (2) building a strategic plan to integrate online insights into AccorHotels’ core business objectives (in particular the importance of e-reputation), (3) redefining where and how value is created, and creating incentive structures aligned with the new objectives. Participants have multiple opportunities to put themselves in the shoes of the protagonists so as to understand the logic behind the decisions taken.
What is novel is the systematic articulation of how digital and social media impact the customer journey, as well as the integration of online content into marketing strategy (i.e., content marketing) and organizational design (i.e., team structure, incentive system), underlining how embracing the digital revolution entails breaking traditional silos between functions such as marketing, strategy, finance and human resources.
Detailed information on the consumer, the ecosystem, the firm, marketing and financial indicators is provided. Teaching notes and accompanying PowerPoint presentations suggest appropriate classroom exercises and include supplemental material and databases for group exercises. Videos provide insight on what drove the digital transformation and vividly illustrate its implementation and initial impressive results. They include interviews with Emilie Couton (Vice President Digital Marketing Asia Pacific), a video-recorded session of Olivier Arnoux on the digital transformation at AccorHotels, as well as examples of content created or co-created by AccorHotels.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case offers a forum to discuss what it means for a company to engage its digital transformation in order to foster customer-centricity. A discussion of the nature and role of online content in shifting consumer behavior in the hoteling industry serves as a basis to explore how companies can create value at different points of the customer journey and what these steps entail. The case also touches on a variety of important strategic, organizational and operational decisions that the company must undertake to fully leverage online content and can be used to address the following broad questions (Specific questions are available in the teaching note): 1) How does online content stemming from digital and social media create value in the hoteling industry? 2) How can a company actively manage online content and implement a content strategy? and 3) What aspects of its organizational design a company need to remodel in order to maximize value creation through digital and social media.

Keywords:
Digital Transformation, Content Marketing, Customer Centricity, Hoteling & Tourism, Social Media Marketing, Customer Journey, Consumer Experiences, Digital Disruptions e-Reputation, Reputation Management, Accorhotels Booking Airbnb, Tripadvisor, Online Reviews, Social Media Listening, Digital Organizational Integration, Corporate Governance, Value Creation, Strategy and Implementation

Prizes won:
- 2018 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Marketing
- 2018 Case Awards Winner, Marketing Category, Case Centre
- 2017 Case Centre Best-selling Case in Marketing
- 2017 AFM-CCMP Award for the Best case study in Marketing, Finalist

Related:

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Abstract:
The case focuses on AccorHotels’ ambitious digital transformation, aiming to put the customer back at the center of its strategy and operations. Responding to a powerful wave of digital disruptions in the hospitality ecosystem, from the emergence of review websites, online travel agents and active forums to the rise of new competitors such as Airbnb, the transformation entailed: (1) designing and implementing an innovative content marketing strategy (including online content creation or co-creation, curation and dissemination) (2) incorporating e-reputation as a core business objective, and (3) creating and/or adapting organizational structures – from management to operations – to support this new dynamic and maximize value creation. The case starts in Fall 2015, when Olivier Arnoux, SVP Customer Satisfaction at AccorHotels, and his team, are asked to devise an ambitious plan to address the new challenges facing major players in the hotel industry brought about by digital disruptions. It follows the decision-making process step by step, from (1) understanding the nature and impact of online content in the customer journey, to (2) building a strategic plan to integrate online insights into AccorHotels’ core business objectives (in particular the importance of e-reputation), (3) redefining where and how value is created, and creating incentive structures aligned with the new objectives. Participants have multiple opportunities to put themselves in the shoes of the protagonists so as to understand the logic behind the decisions taken. What is novel is the systematic articulation of how digital and social media impact the customer journey, as well as the integration of online content into marketing strategy (i.e., content marketing) and organizational design (i.e., team structure, incentive system), underlining how embracing the digital revolution entails breaking traditional silos between functions such as marketing, strategy, finance and human resources. Detailed information on the consumer, the ecosystem, the firm, marketing and financial indicators is provided. Teaching notes and accompanying PowerPoint presentations suggest appropriate classroom exercises and include supplemental material and databases for group exercises. Videos provide insight on what drove the digital transformation and vividly illustrate its implementation and initial impressive results. They include interviews with Emilie Couton (Vice President Digital Marketing Asia Pacific), a video-recorded session of Olivier Arnoux on the digital transformation at AccorHotels, as well as examples of content created or co-created by AccorHotels.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case offers a forum to discuss what it means for a company to engage its digital transformation in order to foster customer-centricity. A discussion of the nature and role of online content in shifting consumer behavior in the hoteling industry serves as a basis to explore how companies can create value at different points of the customer journey and what these steps entail. The case also touches on a variety of important strategic, organizational and operational decisions that the company must undertake to fully leverage online content and can be used to address the following broad questions (Specific questions are available in the teaching note): 1) How does online content stemming from digital and social media create value in the hoteling industry? 2) How can a company actively manage online content and implement a content strategy? and 3) What aspects of its organizational design a company need to remodel in order to maximize value creation through digital and social media. Read a related Knowledge article "Lessons in Digital Transformation from the Hotel Industry" by David Dubois.

Keywords:
Digital Transformation, Content Marketing, Customer Centricity, Hoteling & Tourism, Social Media Marketing, Customer Journey, Consumer Experiences, Digital Disruptions E-Reputation, Reputation Management, Accorhotels Booking Airbnb, Tripadvisor, Online Reviews, Social Media Listening, Digital Organizational Integration, Corporate Governance, Value Creation, Strategy and Implementation

Related:

Show details ...

Abstract:
The case focuses on AccorHotels’ ambitious digital transformation, aiming to put the customer back at the center of its strategy and operations. Responding to a powerful wave of digital disruptions in the hospitality ecosystem, from the emergence of review websites, online travel agents and active forums to the rise of new competitors such as Airbnb, the transformation entailed: (1) designing and implementing an innovative content marketing strategy (including online content creation or co-creation, curation and dissemination) (2) incorporating e-reputation as a core business objective, and (3) creating and/or adapting organizational structures – from management to operations – to support this new dynamic and maximize value creation. The case starts in Fall 2015, when Olivier Arnoux, SVP Customer Satisfaction at AccorHotels, and his team, are asked to devise an ambitious plan to address the new challenges facing major players in the hotel industry brought about by digital disruptions. It follows the decision-making process step by step, from (1) understanding the nature and impact of online content in the customer journey, to (2) building a strategic plan to integrate online insights into AccorHotels’ core business objectives (in particular the importance of e-reputation), (3) redefining where and how value is created, and creating incentive structures aligned with the new objectives. Participants have multiple opportunities to put themselves in the shoes of the protagonists so as to understand the logic behind the decisions taken. What is novel is the systematic articulation of how digital and social media impact the customer journey, as well as the integration of online content into marketing strategy (i.e., content marketing) and organizational design (i.e., team structure, incentive system), underlining how embracing the digital revolution entails breaking traditional silos between functions such as marketing, strategy, finance and human resources. Detailed information on the consumer, the ecosystem, the firm, marketing and financial indicators is provided. Teaching notes and accompanying PowerPoint presentations suggest appropriate classroom exercises and include supplemental material and databases for group exercises. Videos provide insight on what drove the digital transformation and vividly illustrate its implementation and initial impressive results. They include interviews with Emilie Couton (Vice President Digital Marketing Asia Pacific), a video-recorded session of Olivier Arnoux on the digital transformation at AccorHotels, as well as examples of content created or co-created by AccorHotels.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case offers a forum to discuss what it means for a company to engage its digital transformation in order to foster customer-centricity. A discussion of the nature and role of online content in shifting consumer behavior in the hoteling industry serves as a basis to explore how companies can create value at different points of the customer journey and what these steps entail. The case also touches on a variety of important strategic, organizational and operational decisions that the company must undertake to fully leverage online content and can be used to address the following broad questions (Specific questions are available in the teaching note): 1) How does online content stemming from digital and social media create value in the hoteling industry? 2) How can a company actively manage online content and implement a content strategy? and 3) What aspects of its organizational design a company need to remodel in order to maximize value creation through digital and social media.

Keywords:
Digital Transformation, Content Marketing, Customer Centricity, Hoteling & Tourism, Social Media Marketing, Customer Journey, Consumer Experiences, Digital Disruptions E-Reputation, Reputation Management, Accorhotels Booking Airbnb, Tripadvisor, Online Reviews, Social Media Listening, Digital Organizational Integration, Corporate Governance, Value Creation, Strategy and Implementation

Related:

published: 24 May 2012

  • Topic: Economics & Finance
  • Industry: Infrastructure
  • Region: Other Regions

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Abstract:
Aquasure - a consortium formed by Macquarie, Degremont and Thiess - won the concession to finance, build, maintain and operate the A$5.72 billion Victorian Desalination plant under a public-private partnership initiative known as Partnerships Victoria. Financing took place during the period of the global financial crisis and there was a subsequent political backlash.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The structure of project finance; how risk is allocated and mitigated within the structure; the pros and cons of public-private partnerships; the discount rate as a measure of the transfer of risk; political risk in PPP.

Keywords:
Public-Private Partnership, Partnerships Victoria, Project Finance, Global Financial Crisis, Public Sector Comparator, Discount Rate, Transfer of Risk, Political Backlash, Corporate Governance, Auditing, Risk Control and Performance

Prizes won:
- Winner of 2011 EFMD Case Writing Competition, Public Sector Innovations Category

published: 27 Oct 2014

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Abstract:
Read a related Knowledge article "From Concept to Sustainable Opportunity at the Base of the Pyramid" by Amitava Chattopadhyay.

With the publication of CK Prahalad’s “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid” (2005), the poor were suddenly seen as a potential market in the eyes of multinational corporations (MNCs). Although poor, the BOP is a large and growing market. The development community tends to focus on meeting the needs of the poorest of the poor (the 1 billion people who live on less than US$1 a day), but there is a larger segment of the low-income population, comprised of 3.8 billion people with incomes between $2 and $5 a day, that could be the focus of a market-oriented approach. They have no bank accounts, no access to modern financial services, no phones, are dependent on informal or subsistence livelihoods, and lack access to amenities and basic healthcare. Influenced by Prahalad’s work, the top management at Novartis decided that it was time to seriously consider the pursuit of commercial opportunities among the world’s poor. The case offers a description of the first steps to setting up the Arogya Parivar initiative by Novartis in India and raises strategic questions like how to improve its supply chain reliability, how to deal with the fact that many consumers were women and yet there were few female health educators, how to make the treatment affordable, whether to launch new brands of medicines for this segment, how to convince consumers to seek medical treatment and ensure compliance with the treatment protocol, etc., going forward.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case can be taught in a variety of courses, such as a strategy course discussing business models, social enterprise courses, courses on marketing strategy, emerging markets, or doing business in India. It highlights Novartis’s decision to explore how to do business sustainably among the worlds’ poor, the challenges of and the requirements for developing a business targeted at the poor in general and the poor in India in particular. It raises the strategic question of how to create a scalable business model with specific questions around supply chain reliability, consumer education and compliance, and product decisions. The TN is packaged with two videos, information about what happened, including the programme's extension to Indonesia, Kenya and Vietnam, and a slide deck that pulls the postscript and conceptual and substantive wrap up together.

Keywords:
Strategy, Csr, Social Enterprise, Emerging Markets, Bottom of Pyramid (bop), Marketing, Innovation, India, Pharma

published: 26 Mar 2015

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
BASIX, headquartered in Hyderabad, was the brand name of a group of entities with 6,000 outlets offering financial and livelihood promotion services throughout rural India. Despite its impressive progress in poverty alleviation, raising funds to continue such work was increasingly challenging, as BASIX found when it sought to raise Rs 2.5 billion in capital from private equity investors in late 2010. Not only did the diffuse nature of its work make valuation complex (the standard method would have been to take the sum of its parts and add a premium for the synergies between the entities using the discounted cash flow method ), but investors preferred simpler business models where the service/goods sold broadly met the same set of needs. One that met such diverse needs and spread across so many sectors was harder to figure out, as well as harder to scale up, making investment less attractive. Without scale it was hard to get capital; without capital it was hard to scale up. The question that BASIX is grappling with is how best to position itself going forward.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case highlights the challenges of building a social enterprise in the context of microfinance. It makes the point that without a complete solution that deals with all the aspects of poverty, the impact of microfinance is limited. Conversely, providing a complete solution creates organizational complexity, making it hard to assess exposure to risk and potential profitability - and thus more difficult to raise capital.

Keywords:
Microfinance, Social Innovation, Social Enterprise, Competitive Positioning, India, Emerging Markets, Differentiation, Social Responsibility

published: 29 Jun 2015

  • Topic: Economics & Finance
  • Industry: Transport
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
In 2013, the long-delayed IPO of the Bangkok Mass Transit System Public Co. Ltd. (BTSC) took place, but in an unusually complex form. Instead of selling the shares of the company that owned the elevated railway concession, what was offered were investment units in Thailand’s first publicly listed infrastructure mutual fund: the BTS Rail Mass Transit Growth Infrastructure Fund (BTSGIF). Proceeds from the IPO were used to acquire from BTSC the rights to the net farebox revenue generated from the railway. The investment exposed investors not only to the operating risk of the railway but to other types such as political risk.

Pedagogical Objectives:
To discuss the complexity of BTSC’s fund raising via BTSGIF and, more generally, the valuation of projects with political risks. Instead of a simple IPO of BTSC, the case looks at the more complicated contractual relationships between BTSG, BTSC and BTSGIF, why such a method of fund raising was chosen, and the pros and cons for the various parties. It also raises issues about investing in infrastructure trusts, particularly in politically volatile emerging markets.

Keywords:
Ipo, Concession, Infrastructure, Political Risk, Railway, Public-Private Partnership (ppp), Infrastructure Fund

published: 15 Dec 2017

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Industry: Local and Suburban Passenger Transportation
  • Region: Middle-East

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Abstract:
Careem, a Dubai-based ride-hailing company, was founded in 2012 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by two ex-McKinsey consultants who saw a gap in the transport market. Started as a web-based car booking service for corporate clients, Careem had evolved into a leading application-based booking service in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with a differentiated business model tailored to the tastes and preferences of Middle Eastern consumers. Fuelled by venture capital funding rounds in September 2013 and December 2014, Careem was again on the fundraising trail in 2015 for a Series C investment round to further scale its existing business and continue its roll-out across MENA. The Abraaj Group, a leading emerging markets private equity investor, was interested, but with Uber competing fiercely in the MENA region, it had to decide whether Careem could compete with its well-funded global competitor.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case helps students understand: • The evolution of a successful start-up, from concept to funding to scaling. • The challenges faced by operators of early-stage companies and the key questions and metrics considered by investors in early-stage companies. • The convergence of traditional venture capital and private equity roles in the late-stage venture capital market. • How private equity investors add value to their portfolio companies and differentiate themselves in the market. • How global business models in the “new economy” can be modified and refined to suit consumer preferences and provide a competitive advantage in emerging markets.

Keywords:
Ride-Hailing, Mena, Smart Devices, Digital Disruption, Smart Apps, Uber, Start-Up, Private Equity


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