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Selected Case

published: 29 Jan 2018

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Food
  • Region: Asia

Abstract:
Mrida (Sanskrit for soil), a fledgling social business venture, uses the ‘Earthspired’ brand to sell products made from high-value plants and herbs – sourced sustainably from small farmers in India – to middle-class consumers. Mrida’s founders have ambitions to grow the brand in India and internationally but need to address several interconnected questions: What should the value proposition for Earthspired be and how should it be communicated? What is the most appropriate distribution channel – direct selling, retail, or on-line sales? What should be the business strategy to scale the Earthspired brand in view of the limited resources available?

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case has been successfully taught to both MBA and executive audiences. It can be used in courses/modules on doing business at the bottom of the pyramid (BOP) to explore the challenges of engaging with the BOP sustainably as a part of the supply chain, by helping BOP members leverage their limited assets more effectively. It also offers an opportunity to think through branding/marketing strategy challenges holistically from a business perspective. The case context – a small and resource-strapped start-up – underlines how branding is not just for large, well-funded companies with large marketing budgets. Branded businesses can be built through the careful deployment of limited resouces across business activities.

Keywords:
Social Venture, Sustainability, Bop, Bottom of the Pyramid, Branding, India, Entrepreneurship, Business Model Innovation, Marketing Strategy, Business Strategy, Emerging Markets, Start-Up, Sme, Small Business


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