Wipro Consulting Services in 2008: Building an Optimal Global Configuration in Business and IT Consulting Industry

Joseph Lampel, Ajay Bhalla & Kaivalya Vishnu

The Wipro Consulting Services (WCS) case charts the evolution of the consulting initiative within Wipro Technologies; the strategic choices the management made during this evolution and the challenges facing the firm once it consolidated the various consulting initiatives to set up Wipro Consulting Services in 2008. The case deals with several questions facing the leadership team, such as the competencies to develop to move up the value chain in delivering consulting services and the extent to which WCS should rely on the parent firm (Wipro) for its next phase of growth.

The case seeks to deal with the issues of new business creation and growth in large organizations. It invites students to explore the domain of technology consulting, the delivery model firms pursue in this industry, and the challenges a firm with corporate centre in an emerging market faces when it seeks to establish itself as a global player. In particular, it also aims to open up discussion on the advantages, disadvantages, and challenges a firm encounters when encouraging new business initiatives while retaining tight co-ordination when this initiative enters growth phase. 

EVA Financial Management at Godrej Consumer Products Ltd

S. R. Vishwanath

Adi Godrej, the chairman of Godrej group, has introduced an Economic Value Added (EVA) program to focus the company on long term shareholder value. The EVA program consists of three elements: EVA centers, EVA drivers and an EVA-based incentive program. The program has been successful in the initial years. The decision focus of the case is whether the program has indeed been successful in achieving its objectives in the long run.

European FDI for Emerging Market: The German Firm Strategy in Russia

Andrei Yu Panibratov

This case focuses on the challenge of the Knauf Group strategy development for the Russian market. Knauf’s active investment policy led to the growth of its brand recognition in the construction materials market and allowed for the creation of a strong premium brand. As a result the company acquired a highly competitive position in the Russian market.

Management had plans to increase investment in Russia, especially in the North-West region of the Russian Federation. However in the year 2005 the company got rid of one of its most successful businesses, the Pobeda Knauf Masonry Mill in Kolpino just outside of St. Petersburg. The decision to focus on the production of gypsum products and related materials was made.

Up to the moment of the sale of the Masonry Mill to a major Russian construction company LSR, the management of the factory had been conducted according to the same principles as were in force in Knauf’s other businesses. The management focused on a strategy of quality, active marketing and improvement of the enterprise’s organizational structure.

After twelve years of success in the Russian construction materials market, Knauf sold its successfully-functioning manufacturing facility to its direct competitor, the Lenstroyrekonstruktsiya Group. This might either be evidence of the fact that Knauf is aspiring to more narrowly define its core competency via staying away from non-core activities, or perhaps, is an indication of the loss of its control over its affiliates and the decrease of its competitive positions in the North-West market of the Russian Federation.

Performance Management System at Gas Company     

A. K. Siti-Nabiha 

The case is about the implementation of a performance management system (PMS) in ALPHA, a gas processing company. ALPHA is also a subsidiary of a multinational company based in Malaysia. The new performance management system was imposed on ALPHA by its parent company.
The PMS integrates the following key management processes, i.e. strategic planning, portfolio management, resource allocation, performance measurement and reporting and executive compensation in the organization. The ultimate aim of the new system is to ensure that the focus of business activities is on economic value creation. At the heart of this system is the use of key performance indicators (KPIs) for each of the management processes coupled with performance targets for all the KPIs.
However, there were various implementation problems in the company. The employees had difficulty in formulating their performance indicators. There was also confusion and anxiety among the organizational members regarding the new system, specifically on how it would impact on their performance appraisal. Consequently, most of the employees formulated two sets of indicators, one to be used for their performance appraisal and another indicator for the performance management system, which is not used in their evaluation system.
Ms. Marinah, the General Manager of the Finance Division and also the person responsible for the implementation of the new performance management system needs to make a decision as to whether to continue the usage of two sets of indicators for the parent company or to brief the managers again about the usage of value based indicators for their appraisal system.

Hunghom Peninsula in Hong Kong (A), (B) & (C): A Realistic Call for Corporate Social Responsibilities

Terence Tsai & Shubo Philip Liu

The residential building complex of Hunghom Peninsula was built under the Hong Kong government’s Private Sector Participation Scheme (PSPS) program that was intended to provide housing for middle-class residents at a discounted price. Due to an economic downturn and a shrinking real estate market threatening property values, Hunghom was later sold to the private property developers who originally built the complex. The developers, New World Development Company Limited (NWD) and Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited (SHKP) came up with a reconstruction proposal for Hunghom Peninsula: demolish and redevelop the area into a luxurious private estate.
However, the intention to demolish the never-occupied Hunghom Peninsula came under heavy criticism from the public in large part because the demolition process would produce extensive pollution to the environment, which violated both social parties and the companies' corporate mission of being responsible to the society. Under these circumstances, the management team had to withdraw the demolition plan and reconsider their decision. After the developers thought twice about all the relevant parties’ interests and took corporate social responsibility into account, they gave up the demolition plan and decided to conduct an extensive internal reconfiguration and renovation to upgrade the property to medium-grade private housing estate standard.
Case (A) describes the backgrounds of Hunghom Peninsular Project and its developers, describes Hong Kong’s business environment and introduces the three options faced by decision makers. Case (B) reveals NWD and SHKP’s choice of the options and the opposition voices against their initial choice. In Case (C) developers give in to pressure from protestors and change their initial decision, in favor of a more environmental option. Case (C) brings the story to a close. 

Atarek Kamil Ibrahim & Co. Chartered Accountants   

Zakiah Muhammaddun Mohamed, Aini Aman, Noradiva Hamzah & Sofiah Md. Auzair

Atarek Kamil Ibrahim & Co. Chartered Accountants (hereafter referred to as AKI) is a public accounting firm named after its founder Tuan Haji Atarek Kamil Ibrahim (hereafter referred to as Atarek). The firm offers a wide range of services to its customers since its establishment in 1989. The head office of AKI is in Kuala Lumpur and it has branches in Melaka, Johor Bahru, Ipoh, Kuala Terrengganu, Kota Baru, Kuching, Miri and Kota Kinabalu. The partners of AKI are planning to expand the company by getting more partners from outside to join AKI. They planned to use a different name, ASNAF Chartered Accountants, from 2009 onwards to replace AKI. They initiated the formation of ASNAF (Association of ASEAN Accounting Firms) to propel AKI into the international scene. Currently ASNAF has 8 members comprising accounting firms from Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Laos, Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia. While the move to expand and rebrand AKI appears to be the only way forward for the company, Atarek must really evaluate whether such move is wise and benefits him and his staff. He must critically assess AKI’s current strengths and weaknesses and possible implication of his decisions. He must consider all the other alternatives that he will forgo which include his dream of becoming the first Islamic public accounting firm in the region. The case will reveal that AKI is still plagued with the common problem of small and medium sized public accounting firms in Malaysia that is short of manpower. AKI is also currently in the midst of organizing its control structures among its branches.

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