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Entrepreneurship

by Publication Date
published: 24 Apr 2015

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Industry: Textile
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
Emerging markets are challenging and require special expertise. India in particular is known to be a tricky business environment. The case follows two senior executives from Alvarez & Marsal’s India practice as they deal with an urgent request from one of their US private equity clients, Sapphire Capital. A former employee is claiming that irregular activities by senior management are at the root of the company’s financial difficulties. The turnaround team needs to act quickly yet must tread carefully in case the accusations prove unfounded. The second part of the case describes how the A&M team deals with the situation and the action they take to restore and restructure the ailing Indian company.

Pedagogical Objectives:
When times are good, (almost) anyone can lead; it is leading at difficult times that separates the wheat from the chaff. This case provides the opportunity for professionals to try their hand at a challenging turnaround situation in which financial distress is exacerbated by allegations of fraud. Add India, the setting, to the mix and it could be described as a 'perfect storm'.

Keywords:
Turnaround, Textile, Cash Flow Management, Emerging Markets, Corporate Governance, India, Distressed Companies, Fraud, Corporate Governance, Investors, Stakeholders and Accountability

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published: 24 Apr 2015

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Abstract:
Emerging markets are challenging and require special expertise. India in particular is known to be a tricky business environment. The case follows two senior executives from Alvarez & Marsal’s India practice as they deal with an urgent request from one of their US private equity clients, Sapphire Capital. A former employee is claiming that irregular activities by senior management are at the root of the company’s financial difficulties. The turnaround team needs to act quickly yet must tread carefully in case the accusations prove unfounded. The second part of the case describes how the A&M team deals with the situation and the action they take to restore and restructure the ailing Indian company.

Pedagogical Objectives:
When times are good, (almost) anyone can lead; it is leading at difficult times that separates the wheat from the chaff. This case provides the opportunity for professionals to try their hand at a challenging turnaround situation in which financial distress is exacerbated by allegations of fraud. Add India, the setting, to the mix and it could be described as a 'perfect storm'.

Keywords:
Turnaround, Textile, Cash Flow Management, Emerging Markets, Corporate Governance, India, Distressed Companies, Fraud, Corporate Governance, Investors, Stakeholders and Accountability, Gpei, Gpei-Case

Prizes won:
- Winner 2015 EFMD Case Writing Competition, Indian Management Issues and Opportunities Category

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published: 19 Dec 2014

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Industry: Online recruitment
  • Region: Middle-East

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Abstract:
The case examines the factors that influenced the founders' decision to establish Bayt.com in Dubai, and how the online job site transformed recruitment practices in the Middle East by facilitating access to skill and talent throughout the MENA region. Among the locational drawbacks the company had to overcome were low internet penetration rates, cultural barriers, and diverse legal and regulatory systems.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case explores the notion of "place surplus" to provide a framework to teach students how technology entrepreneurs can successfully leverage locational factors, and circumvent disadvantages, in order to derive competitive advantage and succeed.

Keywords:
Entrepreneurship, Start-Ups, Place Surplus, Competitive Advantage, Technology, Internet, Bayt, Dubai, Middle East, Mena, Innovation, Social Capital, Adec

published: 23 Jun 2014

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Industry: Consumer electronic goods
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
This is a condensed version of the Handpresso case series #5841. It describes the development from concept to production of the world's first and smallest hand-held espresso machine. It explains the design process and how the product is brought to market. The CEO of Nielsen Innovation, Henrik Nielsen, decides not to license it as he has with other designs but to create a spin-off company for the Handpresso machine. The final chapter finds the team in a quandary, Henrik Nielsen’s untimely death leaves his wife at the helm. With two new machines ready for launch within a couple of months, it describes how the product is brought to market through partnerships and alliances. Having made a conscious decision to take this route, an agreement is signed with leading coffee roaster Lavazza, who in turn negotiates an exclusive agreement with the auto giant Fiat.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The overall objective is to show how to move from a “good idea” to a “good business” – in other words, how to capture value from an innovation and then build this through an alliance portfolio.

Keywords:
Product Innovation, Licensing, Retail, Partnerships, Alliances, Entrepreneurship, Product Design, Business Model Innovation

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published: 24 Mar 2014

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Industry: consumer electronic goods
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
Case A describes the development from concept to production of the world's first and smallest hand-held espresso machine. It shows the importance the role of prototyping plays in developing an innovative product, capturing the phases and decisions involved along the design path. The machine is ready for tooling and the CEO of Nielsen Innovation must decide to bring the product to market. Should it be licensed as they had done with other products they had designed? Or should they create a stand-alone business? Case B describes how and why the team started a spin-off company for the Handpresso machine, and managed to grow the business in a short space of time.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case reviews some simple principles in product innovation. It can be used to discuss the notion of "recombination" of existing ideas and how it leads to novel and useful products. Case A teaches the crucial role of prototyping to communicate ideas among stakeholders in the innovation process (not only within the development team but also with customers and potential partners). It highlights the role of prototyping in enabling design iterations (as an intrinsic part of the innovation process). Case B discusses the options available to capture the value of Handpresso. Taking a structured approach to "monetize" a good idea, it looks at the pros and cons of licensing vs. "do it yourself".

Keywords:
Product Innovation, Licensing, Retail, New Business Development, Protyping, Entrepreneurship, Product Design, Business Model Innovation

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published: 24 Mar 2014

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Industry: Activities of venture and development capital companies
  • Region: Other Regions

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Abstract:
Duxton Asset Management, a specialist agro-business investor, is evaluating an investment in rice farming in Tanzania, Africa. Duxton has a business strategy of investing in operating farmland assets, many of which are in developing or even frontier markets. The case discusses the complexities of investing in an atypical multidimensional asset.

Pedagogical Objectives:
To examine the potential risks and rewards of a farmland investment with strong potential ESG impact in a frontier country. To present a strategically relevant question on the immediate actions available to the asset manager upon a change in circumstances on the financing side. To assess the implications of this decision on the business and operating strategy.

Keywords:
Private Equity, Africa, Agriculture, Responsible Investing, Impact Investing, Growth Capital, Farmland, Frontier Markets, Gpei, Gpei-Case

published: 24 Mar 2014

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Industry: Mobile Gaming; Electronic Entertainment
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
Famous for the hit game "Angry Birds", game developer and entertainment company Rovio is an example of outstanding entrepreneurship. This case analyses the factors that made its base in Espoo, Finland, an attractive place and contributed to the start-up's overall success as it became a world leader in mobile gaming.

Keywords:
Rovio, Entrepreneurship, Start-Ups, Innovation, Technology, Place Surplus, Social Capital, Comparative Advantage, Finland, Adec, European Competitiveness, Europe

published: 24 Mar 2014

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Industry: Telecommunications
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
An Estonian success story, this case examines why Skype's Scandinavian founders chose Tallinn to establish their hi-tech start-up. We investigate the factors that contributed to their choice of location and the subsequent success of the venture. Skype's journey is discussed against the backdrop of post-Soviet Estonia’s economic and industrial resurrection.

Keywords:
Skype, Entrepreneurship, Start-Ups, Innovation, Technology, Place Surplus, Social Capital, Competitive Advantage, Comparative Advantage, Estonia, Adec, European Competitiveness, Europe

published: 24 Mar 2014

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Industry: Music sharing platform/Internet
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
SoundCloud is one of the world's largest audio-share websites and a recent example of successful entrepreneurship to have come out of an unexpected place: Berlin. The case discusses how SoundCloud has flourished by identifying the type of ‘place surplus’ important for it to derive competitive advantage and succeed.

Keywords:
Soundcloud, Berlin, Entrepreneurship, Start-Ups, Technology, Place Surplus, Social Capital, Competitive Advantage, Comparative Advantage, Innovation, Adec, European Competitiveness, Europe

published: 24 Mar 2014

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Industry: Navigation systems
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
This case explores TomTom’s striking success as it evolved into a market leader in navigation systems headquartered in Amsterdam. It addresses the locational factors that have either contributed to or detracted from its success, and discusses how these have affected the company’s ability to innovate and adapt over time.

Keywords:
Tomtom, Entrepreneurship, Start-Ups, Innovation, Technology, Place Surplus, Social Capital, Competitive Advantage, Comparative Advantage, Amsterdam, Adec, European Competitiveness, Europe

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