Baleno: Expanding Retail Operations in China.

Sherriff T. K. Luk & Ivy S. N. Chen

Fuelled by impressive economic growth in recent years, consumers’ demand for clothing in China had been increasing. Expenditure on clothing of urban households rose from 374.19 billion yuan in 2004 to 509.29 billion yuan in 2006 (an increase of 36.1%), and for rural households, this increased from 91.66 billion yuan to 118.36 billion yuan (an increase of 29.1%).

Baleno, a casual wear retailer, had used mainly franchising to expand its retail network. This method allowed for rapid expansion but controlling franchisees in China could be problematic. Opening directly managed stores, on the other hand, required more capital. Baleno needed to decide how it should keep up with the growth in demand and with the expansion of its competitors.

Transformation at Foster’s (A), (B) and (C).

Tatiana Zalan & Geoffrey Lewis

Foster’s Group is an Australia-based global alcoholic beverages company which produces a wide range of beer and wine. Case (A), set in February 2008, opens up with damning media reports, questioning the ability of Foster’s CEO Trevor O’Hoy to deliver satisfying financial performance. The case then traces the evolution of Foster’s Group, originally a beer company, and outlines its strategy of internationalisation (in North America, the U.K. and Asia) and corporate strategy based on diversifying acquisitions in wine. The case’s focus is on the last two decades of Foster’s growth under the leadership of two CEOs — Ted Kunkel and Trevor O’Hoy. Case (A) describes the difficulties Trevor O’Hoy experienced in integrating the acquisitions of Beringer (U.S.) and Southcorp (Australia) and pushing a “One Foster’s” multi-beverage strategy.

Cases (B) and (C), set in June and July of 2008, provide follow-up information. Trevor O’Hoy resigns, and Foster’s Board of Directors urgently needs to sort out the company’s future strategy and succession.

The case allows the students to examine central issues in corporate and international strategy, namely internationalisation of a leading domestic company and issues of international acquisitions; corporate strategy, with a focus on diversifying acquisitions, post-merger integration and synergies; and corporate governance issues and the role of the Board in strategy.

Nidan Technologies Private Limited (NTPL): The Entrepreneur’s Conundrum

Jayasimha K. R & Harshvardhan Halve

The case describes the situation faced by the CEO of Nidan Technologies Private Ltd (NTPL), a first generation entrepreneurial firm struggling to ensure the growth and survival of the new venture viz., SMS based railway enquiry system. Spectrum, Nidan’s predecessor which was set up as a small office home office (SOHO) in 1996 had survived for over 8 years by doing small time software development for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Jabalpur. Given that everyone involved with Spectrum were first generation entrepreneurs, survival of the venture had given them enough confidence to keep going.

In its search for bigger, better margin projects that would give steady income, NTPL had set its eyes on government and public utility projects. SMS based railway enquiry system was the first idea which NTPL believed would take it to the next level. NTPL was successful in convincing the Indian railway’s Central West Railway zonal officials about the need for such a system. Though NTPL wanted to tie-up with all the cellular service providers in the circle to offer this service, it could convince only Idea, the largest cellular service provider in the circle in partnering with NTPL for this service. Everything seemed to go well during the nine months trial period. Following an open bid tender, in which NTPL was the sole bidder, commercial operations were started in January 2006. However a year later, it appeared that NTPL was back to square one with around 1.7% of the total rail enquiries in the zone being routed through NTPL’s system, Rail Nidan. Breakeven was nowhere in sight.

After deliberations, Vishal Karendikar had to decide on one of the following options that had emerged in the January 2007 meeting with his four other partners;

a) Bid adieu to the project.
b) Make the venture profitable.
c) Sell it off to a prospective buyer right now or once the project is on the path to profitability?

Dettol: Managing Brand Extensions

Anand Kumar Jaiswal, Arpita Shrivastav & Dhwani Kothari

This case is about evolution of a parent brand and its subsequent extensions into different product categories. Dettol as a brand has immense trust and loyalty from the consumers. Since the 1930s when Dettol was introduced in India, it has occupied a distinct position in the mind of its consumers. To achieve fast growth and leverage the strong brand equity of Dettol, Reckitt Benckiser India Limited (RBIL) rolled out a number of brand extensions. Some of these extensions such as Dettol soap and Dettol liquid hand wash became phenomenal successes, but most others failed to perform. The case deals with the questions of why some extensions achieve great success while others fail miserably.

Rimage: Safeguarding Intellectual Property in China

Janell Kurtz & Jim Q. Chen

Rimage was an on-demand digital publishing company based in Minnesota, USA. Since 1992, Rimage had been internationalizing its business in Europe, Scandinavia, Africa, Middle East, and Russia. By 2004, its products had penetrated Japanese market. Encouraged by its success in Japan, Rimage considered entry into China. The initial market assessment identified opportunities in China, but also risk. As a technology driven company, Rimage’s main management dilemma was how to set up operations in China while keeping its intellectual property secure. Manny Almeida, Rimage’s Chief Operating Officer, carefully pondered the company’s entry into China. Did the opportunities outweigh the risks? This decisional case is based on field research. There is an epilogue detailing the steps Rimage took to protect its intellectual property in China. The case aims to provide insight for international business in safeguarding intellectual property rights.

Adani Wilmar Limited (AWL)

Sarang Deo, Sanjay Kumar Singh, G Raghuram & Sanjay Choudhari

The total size of the edible oils market in India was estimated to be 13 million tons (mt) out of which imports amounted to about 4 mt. This made India the largest importer of edible oils in the world. Various edible oils are consumed in the India depending on the regional tastes and preferences. A differential in the duties on oil seed and oils made it favorable to import edible oils instead of oilseeds. Similarly, a differential duty between the refined oil and the raw oil encouraged the import of raw oil in order to support the domestic refineries.

Adani Wilmar Limited (AWL) was a part of the Adani group, which started as a trading company mainly into exports of commodities. The group had recently entered into the infrastructure sector with the building of the Mundra port. The group had formed a joint venture with Wilmar Trading of Singapore to enter into the edible oil business. The company was setting up a refinery with capacity of 600 tons per day. It planned to sell half of the production as bulk oil and the rest as packed oil. The company viewed supply chain management as one of the important means to get a competitive edge. Approximately 70% of the total logistics cost was accounted for by transportation cost. Some of the key decisions the company faced was the location of the warehouses, mode choice and routing. 

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