Case Studies

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Google Glass: Development, Marketing and User Acceptance

by Assoc Prof Thompson S.H. Teo, Mr Kian Teck Chua (BBA graduated student), Mr Zhiyi Yong (BBA  student), Mr Timothy Dao Sheng Lim (BBA graduated student) and Mr Jonathan Jun Jie Boon (BBA graduated student)

Publication Date: 21/12/2015

This case introduces the key features of Google’s wearable technology product “Glass” and illustrates the tensions that Google faced over the development and marketing of this product. The case goes on to highlight the growing backlash that Google experienced when promoting Glass.

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

Standard Chartered Bank: Valuation and Capital Structure

by Assoc Prof Ruth S. K. Tan, Dr Zsuzsa R. Huszar and Dr Weina Zhang

Publication Date: 08/12/2015

Following a turbulent 2014 for Standard Chartered Bank, the bank’s largest shareholder, Temasek Holdings, began showing indications that it was seriously considering offloading at least a portion of its massive shareholdings in Standard Chartered Bank. This case seeks to provide a fair valuation of Standard Chartered Bank’s intrinsic value, as well as rationalize the most appropriate way for Standard Chartered Bank to raise funds to satisfy the higher capital requirements under Basel III regulatory rules. Assuming that Standard Chartered Bank decided to hold on to its significant bank investments and to raise funds to satisfy the higher capital requirements, what could be some possible financing alternatives? Would it help to attract more bank deposits, raise debt, or go for a seasoned offering? What would be the impact of these financing alternatives? Finally, what would be a suitable recommendation on how to raise the funds if one took the valuation results into consideration?

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

Korean Air: The "Nut Rage" Incident

by Assoc Prof Thompson S.H. Teo and Ms Mei Jie Zhao (BBA Double degree graduated student)

Publication Date: 30/11/2015

In December 2014, after receiving poor service on a flight, a senior vice president at Korean Air lashed out at the flight attendants and delayed the flight’s departure until the chief attendant was returned to the gate. Following a tepid apology from her father, Korean Air’s chief executive officer, her actions drew a public backlash because they exposed the sense of entitlement prevalent among rich family conglomerates in South Korea. How should she have reacted in the face of the service failure? Why had she become the target of a public backlash? What could Korean Air do to mitigate the negative effects of this incident?

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

Suntech Power: Competition and Financing in China's Solar Industry

by Dr Sunil Gupta and Dr Emir Hrnjić

Publication Date: 16/10/2015

In 2011, Suntech Power, the world’s largest solar panel manufacturer, found itself in a highly problematic position. Recent developments in the Chinese solar power industry had negatively impacted the company’s operations. As the industry had matured, the demand for Suntech Power’s products had become highly volatile. Changing policy regulations, the ambiguous financial structure of the firm and a shift in consumers’ perceptions of the product were only some of the issues that further compounded the problem. As a result of these changing dynamics within the global solar power industry, the company’s share price had plummeted by roughly 90 per cent. To remedy the problem, in May 2011, the founder and chief executive officer of Suntech Power hired a new chief financial officer and they faced the arduous task of turning the company around. How should they tackle changing political and economic conditions? What decisions needed to be made to maintain the position of the company in the global solar energy market?

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

Fairfax and Thomas Cook India: Permanent Capital, Private Equity and Public Markets

by Dr Emir Hrnjić, Ms Nupur Pavan Bang, Dr Vikram Kuriyan and Dr Sanjay Bakshi

Publication Date: 08/10/2015

In March 2012, the CEO of Fairbridge Capital considered the pros and cons of the potential acquisition of Thomas Cook India. He believed that Thomas Cook India’s two business segments (travel/related services and financial services) had different potential in terms of growth and cash flow generation. Analysts predicted tremendous growth potential in the travel business (although it would require additional investment), while the foreign exchange segment had limited growth potential but generated significant cash flow. Thomas Cook India had changed ownership several times in a short time period, and the stock price had fallen substantially. Would acquiring Thomas Cook India fit the value-investing philosophy rigorously followed by Fairbridge Capital and its parent company, Fairfax Financial? If so, how much should Fairbridge bid? Was Thomas Cook India worth more with two segments or was it better off split into two? Finally, should Fairbridge delist Thomas Cook India or keep it public?

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

7-Eleven Indonesia Innovating in Emerging Markets

by Assoc Prof Marleen Dieleman, Assoc Prof Ishtiaq Mahmood and Mr Peter Darmawan

Publication Date: 15/09/2015

The global convenience store brand 7-Eleven entered Indonesia in 2009, with local player PT Modern International as the master franchisor. To differentiate the stores from other convenience stores and to cater to emerging market customers in Indonesia, the CEO combined the idea of a restaurant and a convenience store in his new 7-Eleven outlets. The 7-Eleven stores provided an affordable and convenient location for youth to hang out and have a quick bite to eat. They also offered wireless Internet and a range of services and products like fresh food and beverages. The case requires students to outline the innovative elements that explain 7-Eleven’s success in Indonesia, reflect on its scalability and sustainability, and also to advise the CEO on further strategies to strengthen 7-Eleven in Indonesia.

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

Olam: Accounting for Biological Assets

by Prof Yew Kee Ho, Prof Teo Chee Khiang and Mr Sitoh Kheng Hoe

Publication Date: 25/08/2015

In 2012, an equity research firm based in California accused Singapore-based Olam International Limited (Olam) of engaging in potentially misleading and dangerous accounting practices. The firm — Muddy Waters Research — further stated that Olam was on the verge of bankruptcy. The primary complaint made against Olam by Muddy Waters was that Olam allegedly made aggressive use of “non-cash accounting gains,” particularly when reporting on Olam’s biological assets. Olam’s share price tumbled after the accusations were made public. Olam defended itself by asserting that it had applied Singapore Financial Reporting Standard (FRS) 41 — Agriculture appropriately and that the fair value gains of the biological assets were justifiably derived. FRS 41, equivalent to International Financial Accounting Standards 41 — Agriculture, required Singapore-listed companies to use fair value in the measurement of biological assets. This case examines the complex challenges that valuators face when presented with different valuation models, the application of financial reporting standards and the fine balance between reliability and relevance in the accounting of assets in the real world.

Singapore Airlines: In Talks to Invest in Jeju Air

by Assoc Prof Ruth S. K. Tan, Dr Zsuzsa R. Huszar and Dr Weina Zhang

Publication Date: 26/08/2015

Jeju Air is a market leader in the South Korean low-cost carrier industry, operating more than 20 domestic and international air routes in Asian countries. In the midst of rising economic activity and the opening of more air routes in North Asia, Jeju Air is planning an initial public offering to seek capital to grow its China business.

Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines is in discussions to purchase a 20 per cent equity investment in Jeju Air. Is this investment a wise decision for Singapore Airlines? Additionally, what is Singapore Airlines’ future outlook in terms of its existing underperforming subsidiaries?

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

OCBC Versus Elliott Management: Acquisition of Wing Hang Bank

by Dr Emir Hrnjić and Mr Han Dong (BBA student)

Publication Date: 15/07/2015

A Singapore-based financial services company, the second largest lender in Southeast Asia, offered to acquire a Hong Kong bank, the eighth largest lender in the country, for a premium price per share. Three months later, a multi-billion hedge fund firm based in the United States had accumulated close to 8 per cent of the Hong Kong bank’s shares. According to Hong Kong’s securities law, the Singapore-based financial institution would have to acquire 90 per cent of the Hong Kong bank’s shares to successfully take the bank private, and there were only 25 days left for the company to meet this requirement. The hedge fund firm’s unspoken message was clear: raise your bid price to buy our shares or we will keep the company public at your expense.

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

NUS Museum: Developing Branding Strategies

by Dr Wu Pei Chuan, Ms Joyce Ka Mun Ho (BBA Hons graduated student), Mr Nicodemus We Ming Ler (BBA Hons graduated student) and Ms Shirlyn Wanxia Tan (BBA Hons graduated student)

Published Date: 14/07/2015

This case addresses the challenges that the NUS Museum faces regarding its awareness amongst the NUS Community. Trina, as the new Outreach Assistant Manager, had to update herself on the NUS Museum’s current situation. Apparently, the NUS Museum’s visitorship has remained stagnant since 2008, despite consistent programming efforts. The NUS Museum is the first university museum in Singapore and was established in 1955. It is located within the main Kent Ridge campus of National University of Singapore in southwest Singapore. The NUS Museum has over 8,000 artifacts and artworks divided across four permanent collections. Donors to the collection include Lee Seng Tee and the late Ng Eng Teng. With such rich and diverse Collections to boast, what could be the factors leading to the lack of awareness amongst the NUS Community? What steps should Trina take to increase awareness amongst the NUS Community?


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