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141 case studies

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published: 29 Oct 2018

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
K-pop is thriving for industry veterans and entrepreneurs alike, but is a complex industry. This case is about launching a disruptive media brand that helps artists secure lucrative sponsorships and partnerships through strategic integration and content marketing. How should a start-up in the K-pop industry strategize to cater to A-listers and/or the under-served part of the market? Is catering purely to the under-served market a better strategy? While disrupting the existing business model and trying to create a two-sided marketplace, how important is communication and research in the K-pop industry?

Pedagogical Objectives:
- Teaching and applying concepts related to entrepreneurship and new business ventures, using the K-pop industry seen through an insider’s lens (Ian). - Understanding that a new business venture cannot thrive when solely based on relationships established in the past, or by virtue of having worked in the same industry before. - The importance of thorough research before starting a venture and validating the business model, which is critical to making or breaking a new business. In an entrepreneurial course, the case covers the following broad themes, with the K-pop industry as the backdrop: 1. Researching how an industry is set up, the business flow, who does what, who has what, and who plays what role at which point of decision-making. 2. The opportunities and limitations of influencer marketing. 3. The critical need (notwithstanding the ubiquity of ‘disruption’) for careful analysis and planning for new business ventures, whatever the industry.

Keywords:
Social Media, Music, Advertising, Entrepreneurial Ventures, Entrepreneurship, Start-Ups, Startup, Social Media, Markets

published: 29 Oct 2018

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Abstract:
When Alibaba, China’s leading digital platform and cloud-based services company, fails to acquire the US firm Moneygram, CEO Jack Ma decides to go it alone and develop a digital strategy using blockchain technology as the basis for a global remittance service, GCash, within its cloud services business. Alibaba’s financial services affiliate Ant Financial, begins by targeting cross-border money transfers made by domestic workers in Hong Kong who routinely send money to their families in the Philippines. It subsequently forms a strategic alliance with Globe Telecom and Standard Chartered Bank which provide market access and financial intermediation. The case focuses on the value proposition of blockchain in cross-border financial services, particulary in Southeast Asia, and how it fits into Alibaba's "iron triangle" cloud services strategy in the region where there is fierce competition from Google and Digital Ocean. Blockchain technology is utilized to disintermediate the US-based SWIFT system and the dominant remittance service providers, Moneygram and Western Union, that charge high fees. As an illustration of how to launch proprietary cypto- and blockchain-based networks, the case explains how they differ from digital platforms, and how they are complementary, such as network effects and synergies with Alibaba’s installed customer base.
Please visit the dedicated case website to access supplementary material.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case study incorporates important lessons in digital entrepreneurship, digital strategy, blockchain, cloud and web services, fintech, network effects, and diversification across technology platforms.

Keywords:
Digital Entrepreneurship, Blockchain, Cloud, Cloud Service, Fintech, Remittances, Network Effects, Crypto, Alibaba, Web Services, Fintech, Southeast Asia, China, Hong Kong, Philippines, Digital Strategy, Digital Platform, Platforms

published: 29 Oct 2018

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
Constance and Gopal have both quit their jobs at reputed organisations to join the Entrepreneur First (EF) programme to realise their entrepreneurial ambitions. They bring different sets of skills to the table but are united in their desire to do something meaningful at the forefront of technology. They have been admitted to the EF programme in Singapore, which is where their paths first crossed and where they co-founded AIMLedge.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Focusing on the instruction and application of concepts related to entrepreneurship and new business ventures, the case presents the benefits that incubators such as EF offer, as well as the drawbacks, e.g., the fact that the co-founders (Constance and Gopal) barely know each other, the pressure to deliver in a short time span. The case enables students to discuss the following questions and themes: 1. Do I want to become an entrepreneur? 2. How to pick the right co-founder? 3. How to deal with (negative) feedback? 4. Competitive positioning through a customer lens 5. Creating value through business models

Keywords:
Technology, Startup Accelerator, Entrepreneurial Ventures, Entrepreneurship, Start-Ups, Startup, Business Model, Incubator

published: 29 Oct 2018

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
The case explores the possible acquisition by McKinsey &Company of design company LUNAR in response to the new directions management consulting is taking. As of 2014, a new internal unit included ‘McKinsey implementation’ and ‘digital labs’, which explored new opportunities for the Firm and soon became major growth vectors for the consultancy. Targeting new capabilities and expertise, senior leadership asks the heads of the Product Development Practice (PDP) to “shoot big” if an opportunity arises. Design is one such capability, but how should they bring it on board: A partnership with an existing design company? An outright acquisition? Or by developing organically, hiring designers to work within the company? Ultimately, the acquisition option is chosen as a way to secure proven design talent, a brand, a portfolio, infrastructure and culture. A team within the PDP pitch a proposal to acquire a design company to the McKinsey advisory board, which gives the green light for a pilot test. McKinsey&Company asks LUNAR to host a workshop (for the redesign of a storage cabinet for laptop computers) and is more than impressed with the result. Discussions to acquire the design firm begin, but strategic, organizational and operational issues must be ironed out first. Students are required to assess whether the acquisition option will succeed, whether there is a better route (with respective advantages and disadvantages), and what organizational levers can be used to optimize LUNAR’s integration.

Pedagogical Objectives:
a) The strategic reasoning behind building a firm’s capabilities through an acquisition. How to add new organizational capabilities via an acquisition, what form the acquisition should take, and the advantages/disadvantages involved. b) Using organizational levers (e.g. defining career plans) to structure the new firm’s integration. How best to integrate the new capabilities – in this case design – from the acquired company into the established organization.

Keywords:
Knowledge Services, Design Thinking, Organizational Capabilities, Innovation, Design Capabilities, Creativity, Creative Organizations, Mckinsey, Lunar

published: 29 Oct 2018

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
The case reviews how the Japanese company Park24 reinvented the short-stay parking industry in Japan and expanded it over the years, establishing itself as the unchallenged market leader. Hitherto short-stay parking in Japan was largely provided as a public service. Shortage of land and the high price of real estate explained the severe shortage of city parking space was due to land scarcity and lofty prices of land resources. Park24 saw that the solution was not building gigantic multi-storey car parks but making parking lots available everywhere people went and accessible anytime of the day. Drawing insights from the convenience store industry, Park24 looked for small plots near popular destinations and launched a low-cost, secure and automated parking service called Times. Rolled out rapidly across Japan, it fundamentally redrew the landscape of the short-stay parking industry. Park24’s blue ocean move shows how a nondisruptive market-creating approach can open up new value-cost frontiers, new demand and high growth.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The teaching of this case aims to investigate and discuss how Park24: 1) Gained insight into creating a blue ocean from non-customers of the existing short-stay parking industry and analyzing their pain points. 2) Redrew the landscape of short-stay carparks in Japan by borrowing key elements from the convenience store industry. 3) Redefined the industry problem (parking) and provided a new solution, opening up a huge new market via non-disruptive creation.

Keywords:
Parking Industry, Short-Stay Parking, Unattractive Industry, New Market Space, Market Creation, Blue Ocean Strategy, Blue Ocean Shift, Noncustomers, Demand Creation, Market Reconstruction, Nondisruptive Creation, . Car Sharing, Digital Data, Differential Pricing

published: 29 Oct 2018

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Abstract:
For over 60 years, Bluebell, a major actor in the luxury B2B ecosystem, has been helping Western luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Davidoff, Moschino, Manolo Blahnik or Jimmy Choo enter key Asian markets. However, the luxury industry is experiencing digital disruption and increased competition fuelled by the rise of online e-commerce and international travel, along with increasingly connected consumers. While Bluebell’s role as a link between the brand and the local consumer is still vital, it needs to alter its business model to remain in the game. Its adaptability has been the reason for its success so far, but to add value in the future it needs to evolve from a predominantly transactional role centred around distribution to one with greater connectedness, integrating new channels such as social commerce, and anticipating evolving customer tastes.
Please visit the dedicated case website to access supplementary material.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case discusses the transformation of B2B intermediaries operating in the luxury, fashion and premium goods industry in response to novel challenges brought by digital gamechangers that have enabled brands to directly reach end-consumers (cutting out the middleman), put power in the consumer’s hands, reduce prices, and increase the number of brands while shortening their lifespan. In a sector characterized by (a) an increasing reliance on digital tools – both as ways to talk about and buy luxury products, and (b) emerging marketplaces (more brands, more tiers, more status products), the case articulates the threats and opportunities associated with these game-changers and the issues Bluebell must address to deliver long-term value to its partners, notably: • How digital disruption challenges B2B ecosystems and traditional business models • How incumbent B2B players respond to and integrate digital game-changers and re-legitimise themselves by redefining where and how they add value • How digital channels redefine the role of curator and require stakeholders to acquire new skills and develop digital capabilities • How to design a digital transformation (where to start and how to prioritize) • The role of digital disruption in shifting the dynamics between brands, retailers and consumers in B2C markets • The evolving role of B2B players between brands and consumers in luxury markets • How luxury brands implement successful strategies to attract the Asian consumer (today and tomorrow)

Keywords:
Luxury, Digital Disruption, Social Media, S-Commerce, Omni-Channel, Marketing, Distributor, Digital Transformation, Brands

published: 24 Sep 2018

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Abstract:
The case focuses on the ill-fated relationship between the LIA, Libya’s new sovereign wealth fund, and Goldman Sachs, and the ultimately disastrous $1.2 billion derivatives (elephant) trades the LIA entered into in early 2008 on Goldman’s advice. The analysis deals with basic derivative instruments, terminology and concepts (e.g., leverage, counterparty risk) as well as valuation issues both intuitive (e.g., put-call parity, arbitrage-based valuation bounds) and technical (binomial trees, Black-Scholes formula, Monte Carlo simulations, volatility and dividend yield calibration). It also discusses the pricing and hedging of exotic derivatives. Epilogue: In a subsequent lawsuit brought by the LIA, Goldman Sachs was accused of having exploited the lack of finance acumen of LIA staff to lure them into trades whose riskiness they did not understand. In October 2016, a London court ruled against the LIA.
Please visit the dedicated case website to access supplementary material.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The main issues covered: • Basic derivative instruments: forwards, puts, calls, and combinations thereof. • Payoff diagrams, with and without the effect of prices and trade fees. • Key concepts in derivatives (e.g., leverage effect, counterparty risk). • The impact of maturity, strike price and early exercise on a derivative’s value. • The put-call parity relationship. • Arbitrage-based valuation bounds. • The valuation of derivatives using binomial trees, the Black-Scholes formula and Monte Carlo simulations. • Volatility and dividend yield calibration. • Pricing and hedging exotic derivatives Target Audience: • Requiring only a basic knowledge of derivatives, the case is suited to undergraduates, MBAs or executives, as a core course introduction to derivatives or the first session of an elective. Students with a basic knowledge of the binomial model can also learn how to adjust it to handle dividends and exotic options, and how to calibrate parameters using input options. • The case covers both the basics of options (definitions, payoffs, etc.) and valuation (binomial tree, Black-Scholes). It can be taught as part of a longer course in different configurations: • One session: “option basics” at the start of a course as an introduction to options • Two sessions: “option basics” at the start of a course, “valuation” towards the end • One session: “valuation” going quickly over option basics • Two sessions: both “option basics” and “valuation” in practice as a wrap-up on options • It can also be the sole case in a short course on options. Session 1 requires a lecture on option basics and Session 2 a lecture on binomial tree valuation (and possibly one on Black-Scholes).

Keywords:
Derivatives: Forwards, Puts, Calls, Exotic Options, Put-Call Parity, Option Valuation, Binomial Model, Black-Scholes Formula, Dividends, Volatility, Leverage, Risk, Counterparty Risk, Lawsuit, Sovereign Wealth Fund, Derivatives Mis-Selling, Payoff Diagrams, Impact of Maturity, Strike Price and Early Exercise on a Derivative’s Value, Arbitrage-Based Valuation Bounds, Binomial Trees, Volatility Estimation, Dividend Yield Calibration, Monte Carlo Simulations, Hedging, Speculation, Toxic Instruments

published: 24 Sep 2018

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: financial services
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
Kiva is an online platform that sources crowdfunding for low-income borrowers. By 2018 it has facilitated $1.1 billion in loans to 2.5 million borrowers worldwide. However, as questions are raised about the adverse effects of microcredit worldwide, Kiva must adapt its strategy to demonstrate maximum impact on improving the lives of the poor, while continuing to grow the user base and ensure financial sustainability.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case is well-suited for modules related to social enterprise strategy, microfinance, financial inclusion, crowdfunding, technology for good, scaling up, venture philanthropy, impact investing and impact evaluation. It demonstrates how “good intentions” are not the same as “maximizing impact”, and how an enterprise can contribute to, as well as learn from, cumulative knowledge on how impact is best achieved in a given sector.

Keywords:
Microfinance, Financial Inclusion, Venture Philanthropy, Base of the Pyramid (bop), Impact Investing, Business Model Innovation, Social Enterprise, Crowdfunding, Sustainability, Social Impact, Impact Evaluation, Access to Finance, Entrepreneurship, Economic Development

published: 24 Sep 2018

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Housing
  • Region: South America

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Abstract:
CEMEX is a leading global player in the cement industry. Seeing an opportunity to increase its social impact while growing its emerging market business by addressing the latent demand for housing solutions among the low-income population, it launched a unique business initiative. A few years on, with data on the financial performance and growth of that unit, the time has come to decide whether or not to scale up in a big way.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case provides an opportunity to discuss the commercial and impact potential as well as the unique challenges of trying to build a for-profit business initiative at the base of the pyramid, and how business model innovation can enable success. The case also provides rich financial data to carry out a full financial analysis of the initiative.

Keywords:
Creating Shared Value, Emerging Market Strategy, Corporate Social Responsibility, Base of the Pyramid (bop), Sustainability, Business Model Innovation, Marketing, Sales & Distribution, Intrapreneurship, Microfinance, Financial Inclusion, Social Impact, Housing, Economic Development

published: 31 Aug 2018

  • Topic: Strategy
  • Industry: Aircraft Leasing
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case describes the meteoric rise of Avolon in the aircraft leasing industry – from a private-equity-backed start-up to IPO and M&A activity, resulting in a top three industry position only seven years after its foundation. It is the first to offer an overview of the history of the aircraft leasing industry, from its largely Irish roots to a global phenomenon that has secured major Asian investment. It follows the career highs and lows of a daring entrepreneur who overcomes multiple obstacles to ultimately build a global player from scratch. Throughout the different phases of Avolon’s strategic growth, it highlights the power of embedding corporate values that fuel the company culture and its competitiveness.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case has the potential to bring together a range of topics – from strategy, general management and entrepreneurship. As such it can be used in MBA and executive education classes, for introductory, industry analysis or final capstone purposes. It can also serve as an introduction to the aircraft leasing industry.

Keywords:
Industry Analysis, Entrepreneurship, Growth Strategy, Mergers and Acquisitions, Private Equity, Strategy Process, Strategy Execution, Agility, Founder’s Mentality, Corporate Culture, Euro-Asian Business Partnerships, Strategic Positioning

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