Business Case Studies, Managing in Troubled Times Case Study, Olympus, 2006

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Managing in Troubled Times Case Study

Case Title:

Olympus in 2006

Publication Year : 2006

Authors:  Anandan Pillai, Dr. A.V Vedpuriswar

Industry: Engineering, Electrical and Electronics


Case Code: TRT0036A

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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Tokyo based, Olympus was the world’s fourth best selling digital camera manufacturer after Canon Inc., Sony Corp. and Eastman Kodak. Olympus also manufactured medical endoscopes and dominated the medical industry with market share of 70%.

The digital camera business suffered from steep price falls, slow industry growth and the increasing popularity of camera phones. In March 2005, Olympus suffered a net loss of 11.8 billion Yen compared to a net income of 33.6 billion Yen in 2004, largely due to the poor performance of the digital camera segment of the imaging business.

Olympus faced various challenges to grab market share, make profits and to innovate the product in a statutory market for its sustenance. Apart from cheap cameras from China, camera phones added more woes to Olympus. In spite of a having a long history of operating in the camera industry, Olympus wasn’t able to sustain the industry and rival pressure. Experts opined that Olympus should engage in contract manufacturing (to China), strengthen its R&D rigorous or let down its business and concentrate on medical endoscopes.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To study the competitive scenario of Olympus
  • To study the challenges faced by Olympus
  • To analyse the future prospects of Olympus.

Keywords :  Olympus Inc.; Digital Photography; Olympus Corp.; Olympus Imaging; Digital Cameras; Camera Phones; Canon; Sony; Eastman Kodak; Managing in Troubled Times Case Study; Digital SLR; Industry Decline


  • Introduction
  • Olympus Corp.
  • The Organization Structure:
  • Industry scenario

  • Competitive Landscape
  • Consumer behavior
  • Financials
  • The Road Ahead

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