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  • 5. Best Buy – China

    Posted on October 22nd, 2009 Hank 17 comments


    One month after Best Buy Inc. (Best Buy), the largest retailer of consumer electronics in the United States, acquired Five Star, the third-largest retailer of appliances and consumer electronics in China, in May 2006, the management of Best Buy is weighing its branding options. Should Best Buy retain the Five Star brand and let the two brands —  Five Star and Best Buy —  compete with each other in  the Chinese market? Or should Five Star lose its brand identity and be hereafter marketed as Best Buy?

    The options have a sense of déjà vu: when Best Buy first stepped out of its home  turf in January 2002, by acquiring Future  Shop, the largest  consumer electronics  retailer in Canada,  it had  been facing a  similar dilemma. The  company had decided, at  the time, in favor of  a dual-brand strategy, and had  thus retained Future  Shop  as a  brand  in  its  own right.  The  strategy  had  worked. There  had  been  no evidence  of  cannibalization —  the single  largest risk  in dual branding.  Both Best  Buy and  Future Shop  had grown  together as independent brands.

    Will the  dual-brand strategy  work  in China  for  Best Buy  with  regard  to Five  Star?  How should  the  company make it work? These questions are the focus of the case study.

    1. What are the conceptual underpinnings of a dual-brand strategy?
    2. What did Best Buy learn from its experience with dual-brand strategy in Canada?
    3. How does the Best Buy situation in China differ from its situation in Canada?
    4. Does a dual-brand strategy provide Best Buy with a core competitive advantage as it expands into new global markets?

  • 4. Cherries With Charm

    Posted on October 22nd, 2009 Hank 13 comments


    Kerim Taner,  chief  executive officer  (CEO) and  owner of  Alara Agri,  a major Turkish cherry and  fig producer, wants  to convince retailers in  Belgium and Germany (and  eventually other parts of  Europe) to move cherries from a bulk product to a higher-end luxury product packaged in small carry bags. The move from bulk  to  small packages  has been  highly  successful in  the  United Kingdom,  where retailers  both reduced waste and  increased margins. The German and Belgian retailers are resisting the change, claiming greater price sensitivity in their consumer base. Taner is considering the need for a detailed test  marketing plan to offer to selected retailers.


    1. Should Taner engage in consumer research for Alara Agri’s prepackaged cherries or should he attempt to persuade German and Belgian retailers to conduct some test marketing in their stores?
    2. If you think consumer research is appropriate, what are the specifics of your research plan?
    3. If you think test marketing by retail customers is appropriate, what are the specifics of your research
    4. Do you have any other recommendations for Mr. Taner?

  • 3. Nano Tata-Logy

    Posted on October 22nd, 2009 Hank 3 comments


    The  case illustrates the  opportunities, challenges  and trade-offs involved  in the  design, prototyping and marketing  of the  Nano —  the  so-called people’s  car  —  by Tata  Motors  Ltd.  (TML), a  Tata  Group company. The case takes place nine months after the company’s chairman, Ratan Tata, launched the Nano, on January 10, 2008, at  the 9th Auto  Expo in Pragati Maidan,  an exhibition center in  New Delhi, India. The case  asks  students to  take  the position  of  Ravi Kant,  the  company’s managing  director, in  early September 2008,  as he  faces  multiple dilemmas  that could  lead to  the temporary  closure of  the  Nano manufacturing facility  in   Singur,  West  Bengal:  increasing  competition,  rising   manufacturing  costs, aggressive moves by local and global competitors, and stakeholder pressures.


    1. How sustainable is the  Nano? How  would you  rate the  Nano in  terms of  its economic,  social and environmental consequences (i.e. net  gains, net losses,  trade-offs, etc.)? What are  the key sources of
    these gains or losses? What are the differences in the short-term versus the long-term economic, social and environmental footprints?
    2. Is the Nano a disruptive innovation,  or is it an innovation whose  time has come? What are  the short- and long-term  implications of its launch?  What key tensions  surround the introduction of  the Nano?
    What competitive or political motivations maintain these tensions?
    3. How does the introduction of  the Nano influence  sustainability at TML  and within the  Tata Group? What questions does  the Nano raise or answer  as TML aspires to a  global position in the automotive
    sector? How does the introduction  of the people’s car square  with luxury corporate acquisitions (e.g.  the UK-based Jaguar)?
    4. What are the implications  of stakeholder tensions in  Singur? What steps  should TML (or  the Tatas) take?  Should TML have  done things  differently in the  past? What  stakeholder engagement strategy
    would you recommend to TML going forward?

  • 2. Dabur India LTD.

    Posted on October 21st, 2009 Hank 6 comments

    Dabur logo

    Dabur logo


    Set in  June 2007, the  case is  about an  Indian enterprise attempting  what few  other consumer packaged  goods (CPG) companies from emerging markets have attempted to do: move beyond national geographical boundaries to the  global  arena.  In  most emerging  markets,  including India,  CPG  is  a  local business  characterized  by indigenous players  aspiring to  rule at  provincial levels.  Very few graduate  to national status. Having acquired a place  among the top 10 CPG companies in  India, Dabur India Ltd. (Dabur) has taken the next step forward. The case examines whether global expansion, uncommon  among its genre, is logical  for Dabur.  It  looks at  the issues  not  only in  the  context of  Dabur’s  unique positioning  in the domestic  market,  which itself  is  growing,  but  with  particular reference  to  the  ongoing  expansion in Nigeria.

    Selected Case Issues:

    1. Should Dabur build scale first in India before investing in global operations?
    2. Does global expansion detract the company from its core market?
    3. What are the reasons why Duggal and his team are expanding globally?
    4. What are the domestic competencies that Dabur can leverage in a global market?
    5. Is the company’s template for globalization workable?
    6. Why is the template not working in Nigeria?
    7. How should Dabur address the Nigerian market?

  • 1. Guest-Tek

    Posted on October 21st, 2009 Hank 4 comments


    The chief  executive officer  (CEO) of  Calgary-based Guest-Tek Interactive  Entertainment Ltd. (Guest-Tek) considered whether and how his company should grow its business overseas. Ninety-seven per cent of Guest-Tek’s  FY2003 revenue was  derived from North  American hotels —  a market he knew would eventually become saturated. Guest-Tek had listed publicly several weeks earlier,  in  January  2004.  Both internal and  external  investors now  demanded  results.  Other geographic markets held the promise of new growth and competitors were already pursuing those opportunities. The CEO had to decide on a course of action.


    The CEO needs to decide whether or not  to pursue one or more international markets,  and if so, how to go about it. On a  process level, he needs to decide how to make these decisions — whom to involve and how.

    SUGGESTED Minimum Presentation Points to Address:

    Managerial Decision Making

    1. If you were coaching the CEO, what would you see as the strengths and weaknesses in  the way he is thinking about entering overseas markets?
    2. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the key decision-making team at Guest-Tek?
    3. What advice would you give to  the CEO about  managing the  decision-making process for expanding GlobalSuite sales in overseas markets?
    4. If you were  facilitating a  decision-making retreat  to help  the Guest-Tek  team make  these decisions, how  would you structure the meeting? What questions would  you guide the group through? What biases and opportunities would you expect to observe?

    Information Requirements

    1. What information should Guest-Tek gather?
    2. What sources are available for gathering this information?
    3. How confident are you that the information will be complete and useful?
    4. What techniques would you use to verify the information?

    Positioning Strategy and Management of an Internationally Diverse Company

    1. If you were the CEO, would you expand GlobalSuite sales in overseas markets? If so, which markets? Why?
    2. If you chose  to expand  GlobalSuite sales in  overseas markets,  which countries  or regions would you develop first, and how quickly?
    3. Again, if you chose to expand GlobalSuite sales in overseas markets, how would you structure the expanded organization in terms of channels and  management? How would  you allocate decision-making and management responsibilities for each of the new regions? Why?
    4. What should the CEO’s next steps be?