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Corpotare Social Responsibility Case Study

Case Title:

Coca-Cola's Manual Distribution Centers in Africa: An Inclusive Business Model

Publication Year : 2010

Authors: Syed Abdul Samad under the guidance of Dr.Nagendra V. Chowdary

Industry: Manufacturing


Case Code: CSR0059

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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Coca-Cola, the world’s largest non-alcoholic beverage maker, has been quietly putting laudable efforts to discharge its duties as a responsible corporate house. Since World War II, the company is engaged in welfare of the deprived population in the markets that it operates. Its CSR practices are well known and benchmarked across several industries. One such endeavour devoid of publicity, is the Manual Distribution Centers of Africa. Borne definitely out of a business imperative, the MDC experiment ended up creating a social innovation. This case study highlights Coke’s inclusive business model in the African nations. The model’s economic and social impact has been quite pronouncing. However, the scalability of this model can trigger a rigorous debate.

'Business Call to Action', an event hosted in 2008 by United Nations Development Programme in London, had a high-level dialogue about the role businesses can play in meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to reduce poverty in the developing world. Among the initiatives highlighted, Coke’s Manual Distribution Center (MDC) distribution model – in use since the past 5 years – was selected as a best practice to strengthen the local economies.

The company hopes to create around 1,300–2,000 additional distribution centers, 5,300–8,400 new jobs and additional revenue of $320 million–$520 million in the next 3 years. In collaboration with the local bottler, Coca-Cola Kwanza, the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative (CSRI) at the Harvard Kennedy School and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the company ventured to investigate, review and discover new opportunities to enhance the socio-economic impact of the model. The case study tries to analyse the imperatives of the company’s ‘inclusive business model’.

Pedagogical Objectives:

    The case study facilitates the students to understand and analyse:

  • Inclusive business models and the business imperatives
  • The social impact of the business model
  • The working of Coca-Cola’s MDCs
  • The social and business impact of MDCs.

Keywords : Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Citizens, Global Corporate Citizens, Inclusive Business Model, Social Innovation, Socially Relevant Business Models, Manual Distribution Centres (MDCs) in Africa, Coca-Cola's MDCs in Africa, Millennium Development Goals, Poverty Alleviation Programs in Africa, Poverty Alleviation in Africa and MNCs, Coca-Cola's Corporate Social Responsibility, Social Impact of MDCs

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