The Park Hotels: Designing Communications  

Seema Gupta & J. Ramachandran 

The case describes how Priya Paul, the Chairperson of The Park Hotel (TPH), and her team created a uniquely Indian boutique hotel network — infusing each property with local ethos and a charming distinction; emphasizing intimate and personalized service, and positioning each hotel as an entertainment destination for customers. The case invites students to consider the communication choices open to the TPH management in 2010 as they cope with growing competition from the entry of international majors (Hyatt, Starwood Hotels and JW Marriott) and the expansion plans of domestic giants (The Taj, Oberoi and ITC Welcomgroup) while seeking to retain the distinctiveness and individuality of each of the properties in the network.

The case describes the communication strategy adopted by TPH and elaborates on the various channels of communication used such as personal selling, advertising, public relations, and social media. The rich exhibits of the case allow for analysis of creative as well as media strategy. The case will enable participants to understand the challenges in integrating the different elements of marketing communications and the challenges in communicating experiences as opposed to products or services.


The Entrepreneur’s Dilemma: Case of TMT Toughened Glass Pvt. Ltd.   

Manu Amitabh

TMT Toughened Glass Company is in the glass processing industry. This industry requires a high level of innovation and expertise to process glass which is a very fragile and unworkable material. Customers typically want complete and technically sound solutions to their security, structural, design and architectural needs where glass is a material of choice. Shiv Prasad, the Managing Director of TMT Toughened Glass Company Pvt. Ltd., likes to call himself a “Glass Fabricator” and has been the pioneer in finding innovative solutions to glass processing needs in India.
 
Tempering is the core process in this. Manufacturers of float glass are the suppliers and real estate developers and builders, automobile manufacturers and industrial appliance manufacturers are its buyers. Growth in this industry has been fuelled by the economic boom in India. The industry is largely unregulated. The number of players in the industry has increased to 40 in the same period from a mere 10. While the demand in the glass processing industry is growing at a steady rate of 30%, the capacity is growing at a compound annual growth rate of almost 80%. 

Prasad’s competence is in engineering and design innovation. The dilemma he faces is whether to carry on with his time-tested strategy of innovation led growth or follow what other industry players are doing. Prasad has the option of concentrating his resources on doing what he does best — finding innovative solutions to the glass processing needs of his customers. The central question for Prasad is how to ensure that TMT Toughened Glass outperforms others on a sustained basis. Out of several options, this case explores the option of expanding the product line to include processed glass for the passenger car segment.


Gazi and the Shock Absorber Market in Thailand

Rawiporn Koojaroenpaisan & Paul Patterson

Siam Suspension Innovation Co. Ltd. (SSI) in 2004 manufactured the first local brand of shock absorber for motor cycles (GAZI brand) in Thailand.  This case documents how several entrepreneurs with a passion for motorcycles grasped an opportunity to invent, manufacture and successfully brand a decorative shock absorber for the ubiquitous motorcycle riders of Thailand.  Prior to the development of the GAZI brand, shock absorbers were simply just another OEM (original equipment manufacturer) component on a motor bike that was typically only replaced when it was worn out. Shock absorbers were differentiated on their performance characteristics of smoothness of ride.  Siam Suspension Company (SSI) changed all that with their decorative GAZI brand that had a mass appeal to consumers under 25 years who possessed a 125-150 cc motorcycle (by far the largest segment) who simply wanted their motorcycles to look attractive.

Rather than compete in the high volume, low margin standard shock absorber segment, SSI positioned GAZI as a decorative shock absorber. However, because GAZI used a new innovative gas filled technology (all other brands used oil filled cylinders) it also gave a much smoother ride on the rough roads of Thailand. GAZI’s management initially created a “first-mover” advantage by targeting Gen Y consumers and convincing them to use shock absorbers to decorate their motorcycles.  Hence a replacement market was born for decorative shock absorbers, with many riders replacing the OEM shocks as soon as they purchased a new motorcycle.   Sales grew at a rapid pace until other manufacturers of standard shocks saw the success of GAZI.  At this time the barriers to entry were quite low.  As a SME (small to medium size enterprise) with limited capital, the challenge for SSI in 2012 is how to regroup and stay one step ahead of the competition and protect its market share from further erosion.


COSMOS Service Centre: Service Recovery Using Distribution Channels 

Ramendra Singh, Amer Jyothi, Ashish Sinha, Babita Agarwal & Arun Patro

COSMOS is a technology solutions provider offering IT infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services, imaging, and printing for consumers and enterprises.  The company uses a mix of distribution channels (both online and offline) to deliver its products and services. COSMOS uses authorized intermediaries to increase offline reach – both for sales and service.
 
To offer seamless customer service, COSMOS has a complaint website for customer logs. COSMOS service centres have well defined processes and policies to guide them in service delivery. However, this has not helped the case of Amer (the case protagonist), a business graduate student, who has faced multiple issues in service recovery after the purchase of his laptop from COSMOS.
 
Why is Amer facing this slew of problems because of the service failure from COSMOS? Is it because of the negligence of B’Devlop, the COSMOS Service Centre or are COSMOS’s policies and processes flawed? Can COSMOS offer a permanent solution to Amer’s problems? How can COSMOS rectify the situation and prevent it from recurring? What should be the service recovery strategies for the company, and its distribution channel members that have a direct interface with the customers? These are some of the key questions that the case highlights, and can bring up for discussion in the classroom.


Talent Management at Tenaga Nasional Berhad

Rozhan Othman & Wardah Azimah Sumardi

This case describes the talent management practice of Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB). It describes how the company selects and develops future leaders to ensure a smooth succession for important positions. This is done through the creation of a talent pool consisting of high performance-high potential managers. Members of the talent pool are groomed for succession to key leadership positions at the corporate level and critical positions at the divisional level.  Selection for TNB’s talent pool is open for managers and engineers who have served at least 8 years in the company. Members of the talent pool undergo a systematic and rigorous program of talent development. This includes the Accelerated Development Program for preparing managers for succession to the C suite positions (i.e. positions at the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Chief Information Officer and Chief Procurement Officer). The PROSEM and PROGEM are talent development programs for those nominated for the Senior Managers and General Manager positions. The techniques and methodology used for this implementation of the talent management process in Tenaga Nasional are described.


Bajaj Auto Limited: Synergizing Product Engineering and Market Engineering Initiatives

Manit Moshra & S C Sahoo

The case chronicles the rise-fall-rise saga of the Indian two-wheeler major Bajaj Auto Limited from the perspective of product engineering and market engineering initiatives. The Indian two-wheeler industry went through a metamorphosis over the last two decades as consumer preference shifted from inconspicuous scooter to elegant motorcycle. Even as Bajaj implemented product and market engineering initiatives to satisfy changing consumer tastes, its market share was not a reflection of its efforts until it integrated these two vital domains. The case elucidates upon the decision situations encountered by the top management of Bajaj in its quest to attain consumer centricity through synergistic assimilation of product engineering skills and market engineering acumen.
 
The case is divided into eight sections. The introduction section traces the history of Indian two-wheeler industry from the product and market engineering perspective and elucidates upon the challenge of creating a customer-centred company through synergistic assimilation of both these vital domains. The second section offers a view of the present two-wheeler industry landscape; critically evaluates the consumer value system to reveal the different benefit-based customer segments; and, documents the shifting loyalty of Indian consumers from archaic scooters to aesthetic motorcycles. The third section maps the industry in terms of price and engine capacity so as to sketch out the competitive scenario. The fourth section highlights the trials and tribulations that the organization has undergone on its way to learning the ropes towards better integration of product engineering and market engineering initiatives.

The fifth section provides a description of the various product innovation measures taken by Bajaj in the decade gone by to win back its lost glory. The sixth section delineates Bajaj’s endeavour in the last decade to harness latent consumer needs, wants and desires to its advantage. The section on competitors’ product and market engineering strategies puts into perspective the product engineering and market engineering strategies of Bajaj’s key competitors — Hero Honda and TVS. The case culminates with the conclusion section wherein the authors have discussed how the synergy achieved between the product engineering and market engineering initiatives in the last decade has catapulted Bajaj back into reckoning as a proactive player in the Indian two-wheeler industry.


FamilyMart: Responses to Competitive Rivalry in the Convenience Store Market in Taiwan

Yu-Ching Chiao, Keng-Hsiang Cheng & Shu-Mei Hsu

At the end of April 2005, the 7-Eleven Corporation, with 6 months preparation, invested around $200 million N.T. dollars (NTD) ($6.35 million USD) to implement an innovative and integrated in-store marketing campaign by rewarding customers with an exquisite 3D Hello Kitty magnet and coupons for 118 commodity items when they spent as much as $77 NTD ($2.44 USD). This distinguishing competitive action gained much feedback in the market. In less than 1 month, 7-Eleven had distributed 40 million Hello Kitty magnets to customers. Further, 7-Eleven forecasted that its revenue in May would reach its highest peak in recent years. In contrast, other convenience store chains had faced a 20% decline in estimated returns. Considering these challenges, how can one analyze the competitive environment in convenience store industry faced by the FamilyMart? How should FamilyMart react to 7-Eleven’s promotion?


Mortein: Finalizing the Theme and Creative Idea

Debasis Pradhan & Divya Agrawal

Mortein, one of the top pest repellant brands in India, was facing a stagnant market share for the past three years. Although the brand in itself stood for “power”, consumers did not perceive the vaporizer to have the same power as competitors’ products. Deepak Sinha, the brand manager for Mortein, had formulated a business strategy to capture share from competition through a brand relaunch with an improved and more effective product, Mortein PowerGard. Deepak had come up with the proposal for a 360-degree activation for Mortein.

Deepak had to approve the advertising copy designed and developed by a management trainee. He wanted to be doubly-sure about the target audience for the communication campaign and the decision-making units for the purchase of a mosquito repellent. There was a debate on this at Reckitt-Benckiser (hereafter referred to as RB) He wanted to be scientific about decisions like target audience selection and the appropriateness of the message strategy which was also part of the copy strategy. Deepak and the trainee had to convince the top management at RB on certain decisions that were taken and some others that were being contemplated upon.


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