Case Studies

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NKF Case: Good Intentions Gone Awry at the National Kidney Foundation

by Assoc Prof Audrey Chia, Assoc Prof Vivien K.G. Lim and Ms Hwee Sing Khoo (PhD student)

Publication Date:  21/04/2010

This case illustrates the rise and fall of the former chief executive officer (CEO) of the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) Singapore, T.T. Durai. In June 2007, Durai was charged with corruption and sentenced to three months in jail. Just less than two years prior, he had been the prolific CEO who had transformed the NKF from a small foundation into Singapore's largest charity, with 21 dialysis centres. Durai spent 37 years of his life volunteering and working with the NKF, and initiated research, marketing and fund-raising strategies for the charity. Under Durai's helm, the charity's revenue grew from $17 million to $116 million. Dialysis centres in other parts of the world sought Durai's expertise to improve their dialysis programs. This case documents the unfolding events that led to surprising revelations in court. These include Durai's leadership style, controversial decisions, bountiful entitlements and debatable actions taken to achieve his aims. In all, the case provides a perceptive insight into how differing perceptions of responsible leadership affected the stakeholders of the NKF, and encourages readers to analyze and propose how things could be improved, or could have turned out differently.


The Ciputra Group: Shaping the City in Asia

by Dr Marleen Dieleman

Published: 08/12/2009

The Ciputra Group was set up by Mr. Ciputra in the 1980s, after a long entrepreneurial career with a vision to provide a business for his children. The case describes the development of this group, which evolved into a prominent and innovative player in the Indonesian property sector. Under Mr. Ciputra's guidance, the company became known for its satellite cities, in which the group combined technical, construction, and urban planning qualities, along with the ability to understand and manoeuvre in the difficult Indonesian environment. This model was later exported to other emerging markets. The case ends with the company facing two sets of interlinked problems. One set is strategic, as the company's business model has proven to be vulnerable, and it is undergoing various changes. The question is what strategic option the company should choose. The second set of issues concerns the leadership and corporate structure of the group. Since Mr. Ciputra is in his late 70s, a generational change in leadership is imminent, and students are asked to reflect on the most appropriate path towards further development of the business from one led by a charismatic entrepreneur towards a professional family business. The two sets of issues are interlinked with each other and pose opportunities and constraints.


The Rodamas Group: Designing Strategies for Changing Realities in Emerging Economies

by Dr Marleen Dieleman and Mr Shawkat Kamal (MSc student) 

Published: 25/06/2009

The case narrates the story of the Rodamas Group, owned by the ethnic Chinese Tan family in Indonesia. The company started as a trading firm in 1951 and over time became a joint venture partner in manufacturing businesses with a range of mainly Japanese partners after Indonesia started to embark on an industrialization program in the late 1960s. In the 1980s, the company was slowly transferred to the second generation leader, and continued to grow and prosper until it became part of the top-20 business groups in Indonesia. The businesses included glass manufacturing (with Asahi), personal care products (with Kao), packaging (with Dai Nippon) and MSG production. The role of Rodamas in these partnerships was to deal with local regulations, hiring local personnel, and distributing the products in Indonesia. When the then President Suharto was toppled in the Asian Crisis in 1998, Indonesia underwent several drastic changes, including the transition to democracy. Its economy became more open, and foreign firms were allowed to operate in the country without having a local partner. In addition, several global business developments, including the tendency of multinationals to rely on lawyers and consultants, rather than local equity partners, threatened the Rodamas business model. In view of this, the current leader, Mr. Mucki Tan, is reconsidering the future of his company and weighing a few options. Students are asked to analyse the company and its environment, decide on a strategic direction and reflect on the consequences.


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