Case Studies

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Xiaomi Corporation: Initial Public Offering

by Prof Allaudeen Hameed, Assoc Prof Ruth Tan, Dr Weina Zhang and Mr Marshall Too (BBA graduated student)

Publication date: 30/06/2019

The initial public offering of the Chinese company, Xiaomi Corporation (Xiaomi), would start trading on the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Market (HKEx) on July 9, 2018. The CEO of Xiaomi argued that the company should be priced like an internet firm, since internet services and internet of things formed a major part of the firm’s strategy and profit, and hence should command a higher valuation. Some analysts, however, attached a lower value to Xiaomi, which was viewed as a smart phone manufacturer since this segment contributed the majority of the firm’s revenue. Hence, this case provides an opportunity for students to value a company that operates in diverse business segments: smartphone manufacturer, internet services and internet of things.

Samsui: Social Return on Investment

By Dr Weina Zhang, Assoc Prof Ruth S.K. Tan, Mr Dingyan Khoo (BBA graduated student) , Mr Gerald Chee Hean Koh (BBA graduated student), Mr Damien Wai Cheong Lam (BBA graduated student), Mr Dehn Wei Jie See Toh (BBA graduated student)

Publication Date: 02/08/2019

Samsui Supplies & Services Private Limited provided 1.8 million meals annually to long-term care facilities in Singapore through the company’s flagship project, Samsui Central Kitchen. The company had won accolades for its work, and in April 2018, the director felt that the time was right to expand the project. He wondered, however, how he would illustrate to the organization’s key stakeholders the social impact Samsui was having in the SG$89 million market of providing meals for long-term care facilities. To gain support for scaling up Samsui’s initiatives and maximizing the social impact the company was delivering, the director needed to quantify the impact of the company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives in a clear and simple message to its various stakeholders.

For NUS Business School: (Faculty only)
To obtain a free copy of the case, please contact Ms Kwok Siew Geok (

FoodXervices and Food Bank: A Call for Integration

by Dr Weina Zhang, Assoc Prof Ruth S.K. Tan, (Mr) Ye Bin Han (BBA graduated student), (Ms) Tian Ning Hoo (BBA graduated student), (Ms) Jia Ning Vivien Ng (BBA graduated student) and (Mr) Chuan Ming Tan (BBA graduated student)

Publication Date: 18/07/2019

In 2012, the founders of food wholesale company FoodXervices Inc. Pte. Ltd. identified a gap between food wastage and food insecurity in Singapore. To reduce this gap, they established a charity arm, The Food Bank Singapore Ltd., which operated as a liaison, collecting near-to-expiry, excess, and unwanted food products from food suppliers, retailers, and restaurants for distribution to beneficiary organizations. When the charity was founded, it was set up to be legally independent to ensure clearer accounts and audits and to prevent false allegations of misuse of food donations. In April 2018, the founders were considering integrating these two now-mature entities to take advantage of potential internal and external synergies. They needed to determine the optimal way to integrate the two entities, while considering the needs of all stakeholders.

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SingTel: Philanthropic or Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility?

by Dr Weina Zhang, Assoc Prof Ruth S.K. Tan, Ms Shirley Jing Min Lim (BBA graduated student), Mr Joan Jia Xin Loke (BBA graduated student), Mr Wei Lim (BBA graduated student) and Mr Su Yuan Liow (BBA graduated student).

Publication Date: 18/06/2019

In 2014, the vice-president of Group Corporate Social Responsibility at Singtel, a Singapore-based provider of telecommunications products and services, was scrutinizing his proposal for the company's corporate social responsibility (CSR) transformation. He wanted to reposition Singtel's CSR approach to create greater social impact while demonstrating greater benefit to the company beyond promoting its branding and reputation. In doing so, he was mindful that the proposal would require greater financial investment on the part of the company. The proposal would also need to leverage the company's capabilities and partnerships and address the possibility of dropping its current beneficiaries. His team needed to convince the board of directors and senior management that the potential benefits of the proposed changes would be worth the financial investment and the possibility of reduced brand exposure.

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CapitaMalls Asia: A Buyout Offer from CapitaLand

by Assoc Prof Ruth S.K. Tan, Dr Zsuzsa R. Huszar (Visiting Professor, Department of Economics and Business, Central European University), Dr Weina Zhang and Mr Shao Yu Hong (MSc graduated student)

Publication Date: 17/06/2019

On April 14, 2014, CapitaLand Limited, a Singapore-based real estate company, launched a voluntary conditional cash offer of SG$2.22 for each share (SG$3.06 billion in total) of its subsidiary commercial property development and management company, CapitaMalls Asia Limited (CMA). CMA’s principal business strategy was to invest in, develop, and manage a diversified portfolio of real estate used primarily for retail purposes in Asia. CapitaLand’s offer represented a 22.3 per cent premium over CMA’s closing price of SG$1.815 on April 11, 2014. The intention was to delist CMA and fully integrate it into CapitaLand. As an investor in CMA, you are seeking a reasonable valuation of CMA based on its past financial performance and other relevant market information. You also need to compute the premium, net present value (NPV), and synergy of the acquisition.

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StarHub Ltd.: Paving the Way for Innovation

by Assoc Prof Sarah Lai-Yin Cheah and Assoc Prof  Foo Maw Der (Nanyang Technological University).

Publication Date: 07/06/2019

In 2018, the Singapore-based telecommunication operator StarHub Ltd. (StarHub) acknowledged that in 2017 its total revenue was relatively flat and its net profit had declined. In the face of rising competition and a slowing global economy, the company needed to explore new sources of revenue growth. Two areas of growth seemed promising. The first area involved the launch of StarHub's smart retail analytics for small and medium enterprises in the retail food and beverages industry, which had been experiencing a high churn rate. The second area would apply StarHub's new robotics and automation solutions in the labour-intensive hospitality industry, which suffered from an oversupply of properties and would likely see exits and consolidation. StarHub needed to choose between the two investment options.

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Microsoft Surface: Accelerating Digital Transformation

by Assoc Prof Sarah L. Y. Cheah and Mr Nigel Koon-Leong Toe (BBA graduated student)

Publication Date: 25/01/2019

In December 2017, the corporate vice-president of Microsoft Corporation’s Devices division was considering two options to chart a strategic course for the next few years. Since first joining Microsoft Corporation in 2004, one of the vice-president's key roles had been to oversee the strategic direction of the personal computing hardware business. The company, which was headquartered in Washington State in the United States, had a multitude of products and services that presented both opportunities and challenges for its future. Microsoft Corporation had to decide between two project options that represented growth in different business areas in Asia Pacific. The first option was to launch new products from the company's Surface division in the Asia Pacific market. This could be Microsoft Corporation’s opportunity to showcase its holistic devices ecosystem to prospective customers in the region. The second option was to intensify efforts to market and sell the firm’s cloud solutions. This could further differentiate Microsoft Corporation as an early mover enabling enterprises to migrate to the cloud.

For NUS Business School: (Faculty only)
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Kapap Academy: A Hermit Warrior's Mission

by Assoc Prof Sarah L. Y. Cheah and Mr Luke Shineng Wu (Manager, SMU Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship)

Publication Date: 16/01/2019

Kapap Academy Pte. Ltd. (Kapap Academy) was established in 2007, following the tragic death of the founder’s older brother, with a mission to empower everyday people to learn realistic self-defence skills. The founder and his apprentice-turned-business partner formulated a simple yet functional brand of self-defence, which they named the Modern Street Combatives method. Kapap Academy’s social mission was evident in its provision of both heavily discounted and completely free training sessions for needy and vulnerable segments of society—in particular, women who were victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault, as well as the elderly. Kapap Academy was able to sustain this social mission with a dual income stream. After its 10th-year anniversary, Kapap Academy was looking to export its brand of Modern Street Combatives overseas. This posed various challenges; in particular, whether to adopt a licensing model or a franchise arrangement. Each model had its pros and cons, but a decision had to be made.

For NUS Business School: (Faculty only)
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Swiggy:: Optimizing Cash Burn

Assoc Prof Singfat Chu and Mr Venkata Praneeth Tammiraju  (FT MBA student)

Publication Date: 21/12/2018

By August 2015, Swiggy, an on-demand food delivery start-up, had been operating for almost one year in Bengaluru, India. The exponential growth of the business was expected to persist. However, Swiggy was incurring a loss, or a cash burn, on each delivery it was making. The company’s current cash reserves were also drying up, and its chief executive officer had been unsuccessful in attracting new venture capital funding to finance the cash burn estimated for the next four quarters. Swiggy must figure out how to pursue its growth without the injection of any fresh funds.

For NUS Business School: (Faculty only)
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Kimly Limited: Initial Public Offering

Assoc Prof Ruth S.K. Tan, Dr Zsuzsa R. Huszar (Visiting Professor, Department of Economics and Business, Central European University), Dr Weina Zhang and Dr Ling Yue (Research Fellow, NUS Risk Management Institute)

Publication Date: 20/12/2018

On March 8, 2017, Singapore-based food outlet operator Kimly Limited (Kimly) announced its intention to go for an initial public offering (IPO). Through this IPO, it aimed to raise SG$43.5 million. Altogether, 173.8 million new shares would be issued at SG$0.25 per share, comprising a retail tranche of 3.8 million shares and a placement tranche of 170 million shares. The chances of successfully getting Kimly’s IPO shares were slim, given the small retail tranche. In addition, the controlling shareholder and other key shareholders were subject to lock-up periods, which would prevent a short-term overhang of the shares. These factors implied that the supply of Kimly’s shares would be scarce in the initial six months after the IPO, which could have a positive impact on the share price. A retail investor, drawn to the issue because of Kimly’s identity as a family firm, applied for the IPO and was also considering purchasing shares in the aftermarket later in March. Was this a worthwhile investment, and if so, what should this investor’s maximum price be? Should such an investor plan to sell immediately or hold for the long term?

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