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82 case studies

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Abstract:
The case focuses on the challenges facing Arenga Rainforest Sugar, a non-profit organization in Indonesia, as it re-thinks its business model. The product (rainforest sugar) supports sustainable agriculture, unlike traditional plantation-driven models (for palm oil and rubber). In response to growing demand in developed markets for sustainable food products, senior management is keen to deploy the new business model across all aspects of the business. The case describes the context, current strategy, operations and financials. It allow for a forward-looking analysis (less common than ‘with hindsight’) where students assess the current context and recommend strategies with actionable plans. The multi-disciplinary approach brings in issues related to strategy, building a new supply chain and distribution model, creating new brand and product categories, adopting a results-oriented marketing and pricing model or implementing a sound operational model while supporting rainforest conservation.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This is potentially a “capstone” case for many courses, where students apply the learning from the course to develop recommendations going forward (strategies with actionable plans). For example, at the end of a course on distribution channels, students need to conceptualize a distribution plan that allows the company to capture more value (most of which is currently captured by retailers).

Keywords:
Strategy, Supply Chain, Sustainability, Operations, Marketing, Branding, Business Model Innovation, Cost Structure Analysis, Social Enterprise, Entrepreneurship, Alleviate Poverty, Economic Growth, Responsible Production, Pricing

published: 28 Jun 2019

  • Topic: Economics & Finance
  • Region: North America

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Abstract:
The cases deals with the acquisition by Disney of the Murdoch group and the strategies employed by the firms in the media industry to manage disruption.

Keywords:
Disney, Comcast, Murdoch, Family Firm, Media Empire, Disruption, Streaming, M&a, Acquisition, Synergies, Competitiveness, Profitability

published: 28 Jun 2019

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Abstract:
INSEAD alumnus Martin Murray is the inventor of waterdrop™, a cube made up of natural aromas, superfood extracts and vitamins that encourages people to drink more water by adding flavour. Although he initially builds a business on a lean budget, he knows that creating a unique brand is key for the success of his innovation. Not only is waterdrop in a category of its own – ‘a microdrink’ – but, unlike most drinks, the cubes can be sold online. With a product positioning ‘drink more water’, he tests the brand on his native Austrian market. The case follows Martin from the initial idea (prompted by the limited drinks range on-board a flight to Singapore) to recruiting a small team to launch what he believes will be a game-changer in the non-alcoholic beverage industry.

Pedagogical Objectives:
a) Brand identity and positioning for start-ups: How to build a strong brand identity with limited resources, leverage market trends and customer intelligence, and position a brand compared to competitors. b) Digital marketing and branding: How to build a brand across channels on a small budget, create engaging content for target segments, leverage social media for word-of-mouth and community marketing; gamification and mobile strategies. c) Customer-centric strategies: How to leverage consumer insights for new product ideas at low cost, and integrate seamless omni-channel strategies early on. d) Entrepreneurship challenges: Brand or product – deciding which is more important and where to invest resources. The advantages of start-ups (over incumbents) when entering an existing industry. How to grow brands internationally with limited resources; how much brand deviation can be afforded.

Keywords:
Microdrink, Food and Beverage, Digital Disruption, Lean Management, Agile, Entrepreneurship, Brand Identity, Digital Marketing, Digital Branding, Customer Centricity, Sustainability, Health

published: 31 May 2019

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
ByteDance, the Chinese company behind TikTok, the viral short video app, made headline news when its valuation jumped to $75 billion, surpassing Uber ($72 billion) to become the world’s most valuable start-up. ByteDance leveraged capabilities in consumer-focused artificial intelligence (AI) to become one of the first Chinese Big Tech digital platforms to succeed outside China, notably in the US and India. The case focuses on the strategic value of predictive AI on the supply and demand sides of digital content, illustrating how AI-based tools enable the production of viral content and customized delivery and consumption. It compares the Chinese and US approach to AI, drawing a distinction between their implementation and innovative capabilities. Other issues include the internationalization of digital platforms, notably the management of inappropriate and illegal content in the respective institutional settings, and China’s unique approach to content filtering that combines AI with human censors. Competition with China’s other Big Tech companies - Tencent and Baidu - is also discussed. The case can also be used as a general introduction to artificial intelligence, including a brief history of AI (Section 2), categorization of AI applications (Section 3), and a comparison of AI in China and the US (Section 4).

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case teaches important lessons about artificial Intelligence, digital entrepreneurship, digital strategy, managing user-generated content, the globalization of big tech companies, and emerging markets.

Keywords:
Artificial Intelligence, Ai, Digital Entrepreneurship, Digital Strategy, Machine Learning, Emerging Markets, User-Generated Content, Platforms, Video, Mobile Apps, China, India, United States, Big Tech

published: 31 May 2019

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
This case describes the Tata Group’s governance and the role it played in overseeing 150 years of growth of the Tata empire of companies. The Tata Group is one of India’s premier and oldest industrial and services conglomerates in India. The Tata Trusts (charitable foundations) own two thirds of the Group; private investors own the rest of it. The Mistry family is the largest individual private shareholder. This case describes the evolution of the group’s governance and businesses leading up to the 2012 appointment of Cyrus Mistry, the first non-family group chairman, and the transformations he attempted during his four-year reign before he was suddenly fired by the previous group chairman, Ratan Tata, who continues to be chairman of the Tata Trusts.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case illustrates how a business is affected and shaped by its governance, whether by family owners, and family or charitable trusts. It shows how owners define and intervene forcefully in governance for better or for worse. The owners’ primary responsibility is to establish clearly articulated and understood mission, values and governance procedures. Any ambiguity in these vital issues presents a “governance risk” and potential value destruction. This case emphasizes the degree to which key family members, rather than the board, play a decisive role in governing family-run businesses.

Keywords:
Corporate Governance, Industrial Groups, Ownership, Value Creation, Governance Risk, Reputation Risk, Internationalization, M&a, Leadership

published: 31 May 2019

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Region: Middle-East

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Abstract:
In 2018, the Luxury Closest (TLC), an e-commerce marketplace for pre-owned luxury goods based in Dubai, receives Series C investment from two venture capital firms, Middle East Venture Partners and Wamda Capital. CEO Kunal Kapoor needs to evaluate three distinct paths for the company’s expansion over the coming 18 months. The case follows the development of TLC since its founding in 2012, the role of venture capitalists in its growth, and the choices facing the company as it considers how to deploy the funding to expand globally.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Understand (a) the differing perspectives of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists in an early-stage VC investment; (b) how entrepreneurs and venture capitalists co-create an e-commerce start-up venture; and (c) the differences between venture capital in an emerging market like the Middle East and established locations such as Silicon Valley.

Keywords:
Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital, Private Equity, Luxury Goods, E-Commerce, Digital Disruption, Middle East, Start-Up, Scaling, Marketplace, Global Expansion

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Abstract:
The Universidad Privada Boliviana (UPB), the Private University of Bolivia, was founded in 1993. Not long after, in the late 1990s, civil unrest erupted with coca growers battling police in the streets outside the campus. Students and faculty fled, the prior President retired, and UPB was functionally insolvent. Manuel Olave was hired as Rector (President) in 1999 to salvage the struggling school. Charged with turning around the struggling university, Olave realized that head-on competition would not help UPB thrive. Instead of benchmarking against leading universities, Olave formed a team to explore growth opportunities, using blue ocean methodologies like the Buyer Utility Map, Strategy Canvas, and ERRC Grid. Based on insights from the blue ocean shift process, UPB made a series of strategic moves to capture untapped demand for higher education that was more affordable and of higher value for students. Two decades later, UPB is ranked the best private university in Bolivia, enrollment is at capacity, and the school is planning a third campus.

Pedagogical Objectives:
• To explore a real world example of how a struggling education institution can turn around based on the blue ocean shift process. • To learn how a noncustomer analysis can help an organization uncover hidden pain points and create new demand. • To understand how a blue ocean leader can galvanize support and build confidence through the blue ocean shift process.

Keywords:
Education, University, Business School, Blue Ocean Strategy, Blue Ocean Shift, Value Innovation, Turnaround, Bolivia, Universidad Privada Boliviana, Upb Bolivia, Evo Morales, Santa Cruz De La Sierra, Latin America, Non Profit

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published: 22 May 2019

  • Topic: Leadership & Organisations
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case describes the education, career and political strategy of Emmanuel Macron in his ascent to the French presidency.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Discuss the careers of change agents that aim to substantially disrupt the status quo of a system – be it political, organizational or business.

Keywords:
Careers, Leadership, Change Agents, Developmental Relationships, Networking, Power and Influence, France, Emmanuel Macron

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Abstract:
The Universidad Privada Boliviana (UPB), the Private University of Bolivia, was founded in 1993. Not long after, in the late 1990s, civil unrest erupted with coca growers battling police in the streets outside the campus. Students and faculty fled, the prior President retired, and UPB was functionally insolvent. Manuel Olave was hired as Rector (President) in 1999 to salvage the struggling school. Charged with turning around the struggling university, Olave realized that head-on competition would not help UPB thrive. Instead of benchmarking against leading universities, Olave formed a team to explore growth opportunities, using blue ocean methodologies like the Buyer Utility Map, Strategy Canvas, and ERRC Grid. Based on insights from the blue ocean shift process, UPB made a series of strategic moves to capture untapped demand for higher education that was more affordable and of higher value for students. Two decades later, UPB is ranked the best private university in Bolivia, enrollment is at capacity, and the school is planning a third campus.

Pedagogical Objectives:
• To explore a real world example of how a struggling education institution can turn around based on the blue ocean shift process. • To learn how a noncustomer analysis can help an organization uncover hidden pain points and create new demand. • To understand how a blue ocean leader can galvanize support and build confidence through the blue ocean shift process.

Keywords:
Education, University, Business School, Blue Ocean Strategy, Blue Ocean Shift, Value Innovation, Turnaround, Bolivia, Universidad Privada Boliviana, Upb Bolivia, Evo Morales, Santa Cruz De La Sierra, Latin America, Non Profit

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Abstract:
At the BMW Group, Gregor Gimmy, a serial entrepreneur and former consultant, introduces the Venture Client (VCL) model to engage with start-ups and boost corporate innovation. The case discusses its initial success at BMW and the rationale that drove Gimmy to establish a new model of external corporate venturing (ECV). It also provides background information on the key forces shaping the auto industry today, the challenges faced by legacy automakers as technological developments accelerate, and the emergence of new rules and new players.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case can be used for many different audiences and contexts including MBA, executive MBA, undergraduate courses and executive programmes on Competitive Strategy, Innovation Strategy and Process, Digital Disruption, Digital Transformation, Customercentricity, Consumer Behaviour, Smart Ecosystems and Value Creation.

Keywords:
Competitive Strategy, Innovation Strategy, Innovation Process, Digital Disruption, Digital Transformation, Customercentricity, Consumer Behaviour, Smart Ecosystem, Value Creation, Bmw, Automanufacturing, Corporate Venture Capital, Start-Up, External Corporate Venturing

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