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

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Vol. II
May 19th 2009
New Case studies

LIFEBOUY IN INDIA: Product Life Cycle Strategies How can a product having a life cycle of more than 100 years survive in the consumer market?

This case study presents the highs and lows of Hindustan Unilever Ltd.’s (HUL) Lifebuoy brand to become a nimble and good citizen brand of India, reaching millions of rural customers with a promise of ‘health and hygiene’. It highlights how Lifebuoy extended its brand life cycle by rejuvenating the brand over the years and implementing prudent marketing strategies. It also provides intriguing issues to debate on – difference between a product and a brand and how brands can extend their life cycle even after the death of PLC.


In tune with changing trends in management education, IBSCDC introduced for the first time in the world, a novel product, Executive Brief, on its website.

The first video case study, 'From Executive to Entrepreneur' chronicles the journey of a technological entrepreneur, Udayan Bose, founder and CEO of We believe that these executive briefs would definitely be worthy add-ons to case studies to enhance student learning.

IBSCDC created a blog, where one can find updates on various business issues to discuss and debate on.

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Dell in India Targeting SMB Market: The Differentiation

When a company goes global, especially to an emerging economy like India, should it continue to operate with its tried and tested business mode and continue to target the same old market segments or should it rejig each of this?

Presenting Dell Computers’ entry into India, this case study highlights its differentiation strategies in targeting Indian Small and Medium Business (SMB) segment. However, armed with clear positioning, differentiation strategies and global advertising budget of $4.5 billion over the next 3 years for SMB market, will Dell’s Indian experiment that is largely considered a big gamble, pay off?

Inflation Measure: CPI or WPI?

Inflation has been a nagging problem plaguing the economies across the world at various times. This case study delves into an in-depth understanding of negative impact of inflation, adoption of various anti-inflationary policies and above all how inflation affects decision-making in business. It then helps in resolving the dilemma – which is a better measure of inflation: Consumer Price Index (CPI) or Wholesale Price Index (WPI) and debates on issues like – implications of these two measures on managerial decisions and the role of anti-inflationary policy in containing inflation.

Forthming Business Management Case studies TATA TEA'S JAAGO RE CAMPAIGN: The Social-Cause Marketing Initiatives and Long-Term Branding Initiatives

At what stage of the brand life cycle does it make sense for any company to come out of its traditional advertising model (the usual, emotional and physical characters of the product/brand) and focus on intellectual and self-actualisation issues?

Marketing, once a core activity that only meant to sell products to customers, is now a messiah that is making its customers socially aware and responsible. Social-cause marketing is now catching up in India. Tata Tea’s Jaago Re campaign is a fine example of social marketing. This case study explores Tata Tea’s Jaago Re campaign and other social marketing initiatives – the possible themes and problems. It also helps debate on the need for social cause marketing when companies already have CSR as a key part of their mission and values, and whether social marketing initiatives and CSR initiatives would further enhance the brand image of the companies. Finally, it discusses on the emerging trend of corporates partnering with NGOs for cause-related marketing and possibilities for a win-win situation.

Video Interviews

In May 2009, IBSCDC conducted video interviews with Oscar Fernandes, a senior Indian National Congress Leader, AICC General Secretary and UPA government’s Union Minister of State for Labour and Employment and Reuben Abraham, a professor and director of the Emerging Markets Solutions Initiative (EMSI) at the Indian School of Business.

Oscar Fernandes, in the interview, speaks about his childhood, education, values in public life, journey into politics, child labour reforms in India, child labour laws, their implementation and challenges.

In this video interview, Prof. Reuben speaks about BOP labs and their achievements, how BOP labs merged into a larger centre called ‘Emerging Market Solutions’ that focuses on four major aspects – small businesses, urbanisation, healthcare and education. He also speaks about micro finance, BOP market in India and its characteristics.
Forthcoming Case Study - Engage The India Inc: The Young Brigade Leads The Way

Do young executives have the right experience and exposure to take up the job of a CEO at that age? What happens when someone becomes CEO at the age of 40s/50s?

With an overview on the evolution of executive career in Indian corporate sector, this case study presents an elaborate view of the new age Indian CEOs and how the role of a CEO has changed over the years, more so as the fast changing business environment is becoming less and less predictable. It also explores debating issues – how and why are organisations looking at relatively younger people to take over at the helm and the larger societal issues arising out of younger CEOs running the show. But, don’t grey hair and experience count any longer?

Can success be measured in terms of making money? Do people set limits which they would not cross to make an extra buck? Or do they go to any extent – including selling their soul and sacrificing their identity? Can it be called ‘true success’ in the absence of ethics and integrity?

The 1996 blockbuster film explores Jerry Maguire (Jerry), a high-powered sports agent’s race for money and his inner feelings of guilt about his life and career. Starred by Tom Cruise, the film portrays how Jerry puts down his mission statement and reorganises his career by reestablishing parameters, setting new priorities – all with prime importance to conscience, ethics and integrity. Watch the film, Jerry Maguire that well-depicts the challenge of money vs morality and a high profile professional’s times of reflection over his life and career.

Casebooks Corporate Transformation

Corporate transformation echoes in our ears the word – ‘problem’. Whenever a company is transformed, Case Studies on Corporate Transformationit must have been to resolve a problem. But is it so? Many companies in the past were transformed as it was the need of the hour. However, as troubled businesses are multiplying by the day, reinvention has become the norm. To stay on the top and grow further, companies have to constantly improve ways to run the show, be it strategic, operational, organisational or financial. However, how easy is it to transform a company that has been running in a particular way for years? History records many corporates that have been victims of failed transformations. If resistance from employees is common, costs involved in restructuring are also sometimes humongous. Experience suggests that successful transformation requires long term rather than quick fix solutions and a sensible vision. Above all, successful transformation calls for a leader who can identify the key problems, strengths, weaknesses and resources of the company. It requires a leader who knows the science and art of corporate transformation.

A compilation of 14 case studies, this casebook provides insights on the art of corporate transformation, a short theoretical framework and how companies have successfully repositioned themselves amidst problems and obstacles.

Consulting classic

Core competence – the idea that a company can succeed without a structural competitive advantage by becoming the best at a few key skills or in a few knowledge areas – has enjoyed enormous popularity. But despite all the attention this concept has received, its tangible impact on corporate performance has been mixed. We are left with a conundrum. Core competence is clearly an important concept, and some companies seem to be able to make it work. But for most, it is like a mirage: something that from a distance appears to offer hope in a hostile environment, but that turns to sand when approached.

The research paper offers valuable insights on intricacies of core competencies and how to ensure sustainable growth by developing them.

John C Camillus

An interview with Dr. Elaine Eisenman , Dean of Babson Executive Education. In this role, she is a member of the Babson President’s Cabinet and is responsible for the growth of the Executive Education Division, currently rated #6 for global executive education programmes by the Financial Times. Eisenman is also responsible for the management of the top-rated Babson Executive Conference Center.

In this interview, Dr Elaine talks about her new book, I Didn’t See It Coming: The Only Book You’ll Ever Need to Avoid Being Blindsided in Business and Babson Executive Education. She shares her views on prospects of executive education during troubled times and its potential through business schools. She also gives her valuable perspectives on the changing role of women in business and women leaders, downsizing during downturn, new role of HR as a leading and influential medium in business response to economic downturn and the role of leadership therein.

Consulting classic Pour Your Heart Into It
Pour Your Heart Into It:
How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time

 A book of passion and inspiration, Pour Your Heart Into It by the chairman and CEO of Starbucks Howard Schultz (Schultz) and Dori Jones Yang, depicts the inside story of the rise of Starbucks. Beginning with Schultz and his early years, his discovery of coffee and the acquisition of Starbucks, the book takes the reader through the journey of Starbucks – the highs and lows – and the lessons that can be learnt from its success. It portrays the success story of Starbucks not just as an outcome of an innovative idea and brilliant marketing but as one that is built on a foundation of values and principles that are seldom found in corporate America – as much importance to employees as to profits and as much attention to creativity as to growth. It offers valuable lessons on various aspects like pursuing a bold vision, importance of passion, leadership, pushing boundaries and above all valuing company employees.

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