Case Studies in Business Management, Strategy, Economics, Marketing, Leadership, CSR, MBA Case Studies

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IBS Case Development Centre Case Catalyst April Issue 1
Vol. II
April 1st 2009
 New Business Management Case Studies

Exemplifying FedEx and its acquisition of Kinko's, the case study highlights FedEx's struggle to enhance customer service and resolve corporate cultural clashes. With FedEx's decision to drop Kinko's name and rename it as FedEx Office, the case study helps to debate on branding dilemmas – whether to leverage on the brand identity of the acquired company or integrate the same into the existing portfolio of brands.

FedEx Kinko’s to FedEx Office: Brand Management and Cultural Integration Challenges
Video Interviews

Jaswant Singh, former Indian Cabinet Minister for Finance, Defense and External Affairs

Viren Rasquinha, former Indian Hockey Team Captain

Ajay Sinha, Policy Coordinator Young Lives Project in India.

While providing valuable insights on undivided India and on GDP and Gross National Contentment (GNC), Mr. Jaswant Singh shared his personal background and the factors that influenced his political debut.

In the interview, Viren Rasquinha talks about his personal background, his interest in sports, particularly football and hockey from a very young age and his experience as the captain of the Indian Hockey Team. He also expressed his views on Indian sports, management education and his experience at Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, where he is pursuing management programme.

Ajay Sinha from Save the Children's Young Lives Project in India speaks about the need and importance of an NGO, the operating model of an NGO, the Young Lives project and his experience in working on it.
Mahindra & Mahindra (A): Transformation of an Indian Family Business into a Globally Competitive Firm

Known only as an Indian automobile company that manufactures tractors, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has grown to manufacture vehicles with style and substance. This case study mirrors M&M's transformation from an Indian family business into a globally competitive firm. It was one among those companies that withstood the liberalisation challenges of the 1990s and successfully revamped its business into a highly focused, professionalised multinational firm, operating in diversified business segments. Anand Mahindra's leadership led the triumphant corporate transformation at M&M, but will it continue to remain globally competent amid intensifying competition and tough market conditions?

Mahindra & Mahindra (B): An Emerging Global Giant?

As a sequel to Mahindra & Mahindra (A): Transformation of an Indian Family Business into a Globally Competitive Firm, this case study shows how Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has changed the prevailing prejudice that only companies from developed countries remain globally competent. Leveraging on resources like large talent pool at low cost and R&D capabilities, M&M successfully made a mark on the international map by manufacturing vehicles with global standards. But, can a company like M&M from an emerging market like India compete with other international players from developed economies? How far is it justified for M&M to pursue global expansion plans?

Ford’s Bumpy Market Share: A Marketing Makeover?

This case study shows how Ford lost its market leadership as the focus shifted from price towards flaunting vehicles with style, speed and 'muscle'. Highlighting quality, reliability and safety problems of the 'Detroit's Big Three' and soaring gasoline prices, it elaborates on foreign automakers' dominance, particularly the Japanese. With Ford all set to improve sales and brand perception with innovative marketing strategies and promoting 'Americanism', the case study gives many intriguing issues to discuss – like the role of marketing for an automobile company and whether marketing alone can create a market for automobiles.

# Notting Hill

Notting Hill

“Teach me the Magic of Wonder, Give me the Spirit to Fly”

– John Denver

During tough times, nothing would be more refreshing than a 'totally implausible and happily improbable' film like Notting Hill of 1999. A romantic comedy starred by Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, the film influences positive attitudes in people. Grant's character portrays amazing inner strength and self-awareness and shows how he moves on with his individuality, not getting crushed by the down times. The film also has lots to say about fame and how it impinges on the lives of normal as well as famous people.

Watch the charming love story for the intimate glimpses into the human heart and how two opposites stay together forever in the complex world of publicity and disposable relationships.

Forthcoming Case Studies in Business Management, Strategic Management, Business Ethics, Business Strategy 
Managing Downturn without Downsizing (B): Innovative Job Saving Schemes

Are layoffs a temporary solution to handle the ongoing troubled times or do they wreck the long- term prospects of the company (would the company get any negative image that might result in not attracting any good talent in good times)?

A sequel to the case study, Managing Downturn without Downsizing (A): US Financial Crisis and Layoffs, this case study focuses on the impact of layoffs on employee morale and debates on issues like adverse indirect impact of corporate layoffs on the overall economy, whether layoffs are inevitable to sustain the crisis, success probability of innovative job saving schemes and the difficulties of the laid-off employees in finding a new job amid the crisis.

Managing Downturn: Kmart and Other Retailers Innovate Their Operating Model with Click and Pickup Services

What kinds of retailers are likely to survive in these troubled times – retailers with more stores or the ones with fewer stores in a specific geographic location? What is the best way for these retailers to stay afloat in the crisis apart from making minor changes in their operating model?

With a backdrop of evolution of multi-channel retailing, the case study delves into the impact of the financial crisis on the US retailers and the various strategies adopted by them to wade through it. Exemplifying Kmart and other retailers' click and pickup services, the case study discusses how the new operating model not only helps in cutting costs in terms of shipping and packaging but also in speedy delivery to the customers.


Social Entrepreneurship – Vol. I

Case Studies on Social Entrepreneurship Vol I

For a business in crisis – there is a turnaround plan to revive the company; for a sinking stock market – there are ways to increase the numbers (or improve the stock value), but when the issues dealt with are about suffering of humans – the solution exists only in mere concepts.

Proving this wrong are an emerging set of people called social entrepreneurs, who are providing solutions to those social causes that the governments and corporates failed to address. Challenging the existing practices of business, these entrepreneurs are revolutionising the way of doing business through powerful and sustainable business models that are fundamentally social-driven, thus reinvigorating the lives of the poor. But, can such businesses thrive as self-sustainable models? The answer is yes.

This book sensitises the would-be-managers, the academia and other readers to understand problems that are not dealt with in a typical management course. The case studies included in the book help the reader to comprehend the concept of social entrepreneurship and try to bridge the gap between theory and practice.

# The Crisis: Mobilizing Boards for Change

To meet the challenges of the economic crisis, corporate boards must change the way they work. As companies grapple with uncertainty of a magnitude that few have experienced before, their boards should begin by questioning fundamental strategic assumptions: Is our view of the market realistic? Does our financing strategy take into account the new conditions? Should we reset the incentive scheme or abandon any approach based on share prices? Can we exploit the current glut of talent? How can we take advantage of the pain our competitors are experiencing?


One of the best selling books of all time, Liar's Poker, captures the events of Wall Street from 1984 through the crash in 1987. The author, Michael Lewis, describes his experiences as a bond salesman on Wall Street during the late 1980s. This book depicts how bond traders and salesmen truly work, their personalities, and their culture. The author captured history of Salomon Brothers (one of the then Wall Street's premier investment firms) especially how the firm single-handedly created a market for mortgage bonds and made the firm wealthy through his personal experience and quotes drawn from interviews with various personalities.

An interview with John P Kotter, a graduate from MIT and Harvard, who is widely regarded as the world's best speaker on topics of leadership and change.

In this interview, Professor Kotter offers valuable insights on leadership and its various debating issues – leadership vs management, leadership as a science and an art, role of an organisation in nurturing and developing leadership talent, the need for leadership to be mandatorily included in the MBA programme curriculum, role of a leader in succession planning, etc. He also applauds world's most successful business leaders like Jack Welch, Herb Kelleher, Konosuje Matsushita, Thomas Watson and Sam Walton.

An interview with Jim Collins, a student and teacher of enduring great companies – how they grow, how they attain superior performance, and how good companies can become great companies.

In this interview, drawing excerpts from his book, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't, Mr. Collins shares his views on the empirical study of comparing companies with good to exceptional performance with those that do not, what he meant by having the right people on the bus – the principle of First Who, The Flywheel effect and the need to set a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG). He further elaborates on Level 5 Leadership involving concepts like hedgehog.

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