AllerCare: Penetrating Singapore's Allergy Prevention Market

Jochen Wirtz, Tan Soo Jiuan and Christopher H. Lovelock

Penetrating Singapore’s Allergy Prevention Market. Despite having performed reasonably well since its establishment, AllerCare, a company marketing allergy prevention products, was still barely profitable. Sales dipped each time the haze caused by forest fires cleared. In addition, the recent economic crisis was beginning to take its toll on sales, as consumers cut back their spending on consumer products. To worsen things, the falling value of the Singapore dollar against the U.S. dollar and major European currencies inflated AllerCare’s costs, as the bulk of the company’s products were imported from the United State and Europe.
In view of the difficult market conditions, Himmat Singh, AllerCare’s new General Manager, decided that it was time to critically re-examine the company’s marketing strategy to cope with the changing market conditions. In particular, the relevance of the market penetration strategy adopted by AllerCare had to be reconsidered in view of its failing profitability. He had to decide between a complete revision of the company’s marketing strategy or to simply cut back on operational costs and ride out the rough patch until the economic crisis cleared.

JointCom Myanmar: Growing an Advertising Agency

May Lwin and Jochen Wirtz

In June 1998, U Mya Win, managing director of JointCom, an advertising agency in Myanmar, reflected on the company’s latest performances in view of the Asian economic crisis. News and reports from all over the country showed the nation’s and the region’s economic performances to be declining, and short- to medium-term forecasts pointed towards tough times ahead. The advertising industry in the region had already been facing a drastic budget reduction in the amount of planned advertising and promotional activities. U Mya Win met the management team to address how JointCom should respond to these challenges in planning for the next fiscal year. The discussion saw the emergence of very different viewpoints. On the one hand, JointCom could easily join many of its major competitors in reduceing its staff strength and introducing other cost cutting measures. On the other hand, some of the managers felt that it was possible for JointCom to seize the opportunity to improve its servicing capabilities, and even expand its operations to Mandalay in Upper Myanmar. A decision on the basic direction of the business plan had to be made.

Solar Bronze Company

Ilkka Kauranen and Barbara Igel

Solar Bronze was a Thai-European joint venture company that manufactured metallic powders. Founded in 1989, Solar Bronze had been successful in setting up a low-cost production system, establishing the competitiveness of its technology, and had survived for several years in a highly competitive international business environment. But the long-term financial success of Solar Bronze remained to be seen as it made it first profit only in 1995. The key question for the partners was how to turn all the effort and money invested into good profit? What should Solar Bronze do in the future?

The Pen and The Needle: Partner Diversity in International Subcontractor Relationships

Poul Houman Andersen and Poul Rind Christensen

This case describes the initiation, development and management of collaborative activities between Novo, a Danish MNC and Nissho, a Japanese subcontractor, concerning the technical develop-ment of NovoPen, a convenient device for the disposal and injection of insulin. The collaboration between Nissho and Novo has functioned for more than 16 years, and has provided both parties with technological and collaborative skills. The case gives a detailed account of the development of this relationship, including processes of cultural affiliation and how these have affected the structuring of collaboration.

The Take-over Saga of Yeo Hiap Seng Ltd.

Lan Luh Luh

Yeo Hiap Seng Ltd. was one of the most successful family controlled listed companies in Singapore until 1994. Unhappiness and politics within the Yeo clan led to the falling out of some of the key family members. Ownership and management control of the listed company eventually changed hands after a bitter court battle and no less than three take-over attempts. The case looks at some of the legal issues involved in the process.

To Serve with Love: The Case of Annalakshmi Restaurant

Saroja Subrahmanyan

Annalakshmi, a vegetarian restaurant in Singapore was unique in that it was not only a not-for-profit restaurant that supported the fine arts and charitable activities, but was also run by volunteers. The restaurant had been in operation from 1986. By 1998, the restaurant had seen an overall steady growth in customers and revenue and had also opened another branch at Terminal 2 of Singapore’s Changi airport.
By mid-1998, Annalakshmi experienced a drop in its sales. This was unsurprising given that it was an upmarket restaurant  experiencing the effects of Asia’s financial crisis. The restaurant had to consider various means of bringing a steady stream of customers without compromising their mission.

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