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OPERATION MANAGEMENT IIBMS EXAM ANSWER

OPERATION MANAGEMENT IIBMS EXAM ANSWER

OPERATION MANAGEMENT IIBMS EXAM ANSWER PROVIDED

IIBMS MBA EXAM ANSWER

IIBMS DMS EXAM ANSWER

IIBMS MBA EXAM QUESTION AND ANSWER PROVIDED

IIBMS MBA EXAM CASE STUDY ANSWER

CONTACT:

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Attempt Only Eight Question:-

  1. How would operations strategy for a service industry be different if any from that for a manufacturing industry ? (Its an example & explain)
  2. Consider the following two mutually exclusive projects. The net cash flows are given below:
YEAR NET CASH FLOWS FROM PROJECT A NET CASH FLOWS FROM PROJECT B
0 –  Rs. 1,00,000 – Rs. 1,00,000/-
1 + Rs. 30,000 + Rs. 15,000/-
2 + Rs. 35,000 + Rs. 17,500/-
3 + Rs. 40,000 + Rs. 20,000/-
4 + Rs. 45,000 + Rs. 22,500/-
5   + Rs. 25,000/-
6   + Rs. 27,500/-
7   + Rs. 30,000/-
8   + Rs. 32,500/-

 

 

If the desired rate of return is 10% which project should be chosen?

  1. What are the levels of aggregation in forecasting for a manufacturing organization? How should this hierarchy of forecasts be linked and used ?
  2. How would forecasting be useful for operations in a BPO (Business processes outsourcing) unit ? What factors may be important for this industry ?  Discuss .
  3. A good work study should be followed by good supervision for getting good results. Explain with an example.
  4. What is job evaluation ? Can it be alternatively used as job ranking ?  How does one ensure that job evaluation evaluates the job and not the man ?  Explain with examples ?
  5. What is the impact of technology on jobs ? What are the similarities between job enlargement  & job rotation ?  Discuss the importance of training in the content of job redesign ?  Explain with examples ?
  6. What is an internet connectivity ? How is it important in to days business would with respect to materials requirement planning & purchasing.  Explain with examples ?
  7. Would a project management organization be different from an organization for regular manufacturing in what ways. Examples.
  8. How project evaluation different from project appraisal? Explain with examples.

 


BANKING MANAGEMENT IIBMS EXAM ANSWER

BANKING MANAGEMENT IIBMS EXAM ANSWER

BANKING MANAGEMENT IIBMS EXAM ANSWER PROVIDED

IIBMS MBA EXAM ANSWER SHEETS

IIBMS DMS EXAM ANSWER SHEETS

IIBMS MBA EXAM QUESTION AND ANSWER

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CONTACT

 

PRASANTH BE BBA MBA PH.D. MOBILE / WHATSAPP: +91 9924764558 OR +91 9447965521 EMAIL: prasanththampi1975@gmail.com WEBSITE: www.casestudyandprojectreports.com

 

ATTEMPT ANY TEN QUESTIONS

 

  1. Explain different types of plans in banks in brief.
  2. State the reasons for computerization in banks.
  3. Explain briefly the product life cycle concept with reference to a banks product. Selection development and launching a product are equally important comment.

 

  1. What are the advantages of packaging? Illustrate in banking context.

 

  1. Explain the concept of transfer pricing in banks and its relevance on pricing/profit. Explain briefly various methods of pricing products.

 

  • Discuss the evaluation criteria used in banks.

 

  1. Draw an approach for e-banking deployment for retail customers and explain

 

  1. Explain how a digital signature is generated? Explain its use with examples.

 

  1. How can Indian banks use legal recognition of digital signature for development of business.

 

  1. What is market segmentation? Why is it important to advertisers? How is it useful for banking.

 

  1. Explain briefly the product life cycle concept with reference to a banks product. Selection development and launching a product are equally important comment.

 

  1. What are the advantages of packaging? Illustrate in banking context.

 

 


IIBMS DMS EXAM ANSWERS 2020

 

IIBMS DMS EXAM ANSWERS APRIL 2020

IIBMS DMS EXAM APRIL 2020 ANSWERS

IIBMS DMS EXAM ANSWER SHEETS

IIBMS EXAM ANSWER SHEETS

IIBMS DMS EXAM CASE STUDY ANSWERS

IIBMS DMS FINANCE MANAGEMENT ANSWER SHEETS

Attempt Any Four Case Study

 

Case 1: Zip Zap Zoom Car Company

          

Zip Zap Zoom Company Ltd is into manufacturing cars in the small car (800 cc) segment.  It was set up 15 years back and since its establishment it has seen a phenomenal growth in both its market and profitability.  Its financial statements are shown in Exhibits 1 and 2 respectively.

The company enjoys the confidence of its shareholders who have been rewarded with growing dividends year after year.  Last year, the company had announced 20 per cent dividend, which was the highest in the automobile sector.  The company has never defaulted on its loan payments and enjoys a favorable face with its lenders, which include financial institutions, commercial banks and debenture holders.

The competition in the car industry has increased in the past few years and the company foresees further intensification of competition with the entry of several foreign car manufactures many of them being market leaders in their respective countries.  The small car segment especially, will witness entry of foreign majors in the near future, with latest technology being offered to the Indian customer.  The Zip Zap Zoom’s senior management realizes the need for large scale investment in up gradation of technology and improvement of manufacturing facilities to pre-empt competition.

Whereas on the one hand, the competition in the car industry has been intensifying, on the other hand, there has been a slowdown in the Indian economy, which has not only reduced the demand for cars, but has also led to adoption of price cutting strategies by various car manufactures.   The industry indicators predict that the economy is gradually slipping into recession.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exhibit 1 Balance sheet as at March 31,200 x

(Amount in Rs. Crore)

 

Source of Funds

Share capital                                        350

Reserves and surplus                           250                              600

Loans :

Debentures (@ 14%)               50

Institutional borrowing (@ 10%)        100

Commercial loans (@ 12%)    250

Total debt                                                                                            400

Current liabilities                                                                                 200

1,200

 

Application of Funds

Fixed Assets

Gross block                                                     1,000

Less : Depreciation                                            250

Net block                                                           750

Capital WIP                                                       190

Total Fixed Assets                                                                              940

Current assets :

Inventory                                                           200

Sundry debtors                                                    40

Cash and bank balance                                        10

Other current assets                                 10

Total current assets                                                                 260

-1200

 

Exhibit 2 Profit and Loss Account for the year ended March 31, 200x

(Amount in Rs. Crore)

Sales revenue (80,000 units x Rs. 2,50,000)                                       2,000.0

Operating expenditure :

Variable cost :

Raw material and manufacturing expenses    1,300.0

Variable overheads                                                        100.0

Total                                                                                                                1,400.0

Fixed cost :

R & D                                                                                          20.0

Marketing and advertising                                               25.0

Depreciation                                                                   250.0

 

Personnel                                                                          70.0

Total                                                                                                                   365.0

 

Total operating expenditure                                                                1,765.0

Operating profits (EBIT)                                                                                   235.0

Financial expense :

Interest on debentures                                                            7.7

Interest on institutional borrowings                        11.0

Interest on commercial loan                                    33.0                     51.7

Earnings before tax (EBT)                                                                                          183.3

Tax (@ 35%)                                                                                                                 64.2

Earnings after tax (EAT)                                                                                            119.1

Dividends                                                                                                                     70.0

Debt redemption (sinking fund obligation)**                                                              40.0

Contribution to reserves and surplus                                                                  9.1

*          Includes the cost of inventory and work in process (W.P) which is dependent on demand (sales).

**        The loans have to be retired in the next ten years and the firm redeems Rs. 40 crore every year.

The company is faced with the problem of deciding how much to invest in up

gradation of its plans and technology.  Capital investment up to a maximum of Rs. 100

crore is required.  The problem areas are three-fold.

  • The company cannot forgo the capital investment as that could lead to reduction in its market share as technological competence in this industry is a must and customers would shift to manufactures providing latest in car technology.
  • The company does not want to issue new equity shares and its retained earning are not enough for such a large investment.  Thus, the only option is raising debt.
  • The company wants to limit its additional debt to a level that it can service without taking undue risks.  With the looming recession and uncertain market conditions, the company perceives that additional fixed obligations could become a cause of financial distress, and thus, wants to determine its additional debt capacity to meet the investment requirements.

Mr. Shortsighted, the company’s Finance Manager, is given the task of determining the additional debt that the firm can raise.  He thinks that the firm can raise Rs. 100 crore worth debt and service it even in years of recession.  The company can raise debt at 15 per cent from a financial institution.  While working out the debt capacity.  Mr. Shortsighted takes the following assumptions for the recession years.

  1. A maximum of 10 percent reduction in sales volume will take place.
  2. A maximum of 6 percent reduction in sales price of cars will take place.

Mr. Shorsighted prepares a projected income statement which is representative of the recession years.  While doing so, he determines what he thinks are the “irreducible minimum” expenditures under

 

recessionary conditions.  For him, risk of insolvency is the main concern while designing the capital structure.  To support his view, he presents the income statement as shown in Exhibit 3.

 

Exhibit 3 projected Profit and Loss account

(Amount in Rs. Crore)

Sales revenue (72,000 units x Rs. 2,35,000)                                       1,692.0

Operating expenditure

Variable cost :

Raw material and manufacturing expenses    1,170.0

Variable overheads                                                          90.0

Total                                                                                                                1,260.0

Fixed cost :

R & D                                                                                          —

Marketing and advertising                                               15.0

Depreciation                                                                   187.5

Personnel                                                                          70.0

Total                                                                                                                   272.5

Total operating expenditure                                                                1,532.5

EBIT                                                                                                                  159.5

Financial expenses :

Interest on existing Debentures                                        7.0

Interest on existing institutional borrowings      10.0

Interest on commercial loan                                30.0

Interest on additional debt                                             15.0                  62.0

EBT                                                                                                                      97.5

Tax (@ 35%)                                                                                                        34.1

EAT                                                                                                                     63.4

Dividends                                                                                                              —

Debt redemption (sinking fund obligation)                                             50.0*

Contribution to reserves and surplus                                                       13.4

 

* Rs. 40 crore (existing debt) + Rs. 10 crore (additional debt)

Assumptions of Mr. Shorsighted

  • R & D expenditure can be done away with till the economy picks up.
  • Marketing and advertising expenditure can be reduced by 40 per cent.
  • Keeping in mind the investor confidence that the company enjoys, he feels that the company can forgo paying dividends in the recession period.

 

He goes with his worked out statement to the Director Finance, Mr. Arthashatra, and advocates raising Rs. 100 crore of debt to finance the intended capital investment.  Mr. Arthashatra  does not feel comfortable with the statements and calls for the company’s financial analyst, Mr. Longsighted.

Mr. Longsighted carefully analyses Mr. Shortsighted’s assumptions and points out that insolvency should not be the sole criterion while determining the debt capacity of the firm.  He points out the following :

  • Apart from debt servicing, there are certain expenditures like those on R & D and marketing that need to be continued to ensure the long-term health of the firm.
  • Certain management policies like those relating to dividend payout, send out important signals to the investors.  The Zip Zap Zoom’s management has been paying regular dividends and discontinuing this practice (even though just for the recession phase) could raise serious doubts in the investor’s mind about the health of the firm.  The firm should pay at least 10 per cent dividend in the recession years.
  • Mr. Shortsighted has used the accounting profits to determine the amount available each year for servicing the debt obligations.  This does not give the true picture.  Net cash inflows should be used to determine the amount available for servicing the debt.
  • Net Cash inflows are determined by an interplay of many variables and such a simplistic view should not be taken while determining the cash flows in recession.  It is not possible to accurately predict the fall in any of the factors such as sales volume, sales price, marketing expenditure and so on.  Probability distribution of variation of each of the factors that affect net cash inflow should be analyzed.  From  this analysis, the probability distribution of variation in net cash inflow should be analysed (the net cash inflows follow a normal probability distribution).  This will give a true picture of how the company’s cash flows will behave in recession conditions.

 

The management recognizes that the alternative suggested by Mr. Longsighted rests on data, which are complex and require expenditure of time and effort to obtain and interpret.  Considering the importance of capital structure design, the Finance Director asks Mr. Longsighted to carry out his analysis.  Information on the behaviour of cash flows during the recession periods is taken into account.

The methodology undertaken is as follows :

  • Important factors that affect cash flows (especially contraction of cash flows), like sales volume, sales price, raw materials expenditure, and so on, are identified and the analysis is carried out in terms of cash receipts and cash expenditures.

 

  • Each factor’s behaviour (variation behaviour) in adverse conditions in the past is studied and future expectations are combined with past data, to describe limits (maximum favourable), most probable and maximum adverse) for all the factors.
  • Once this information is generated for all the factors affecting the cash flows, Mr. Longsighted comes up with a range of estimates of the cash flow in future recession periods based on all possible combinations of the several factors. He also estimates the probability of occurrence of each estimate of cash flow.

 

Assuming a normal distribution of the expected behaviour, the mean expected

value of net cash inflow in adverse conditions came out to be Rs. 220.27 crore with standard deviation of Rs. 110 crore.

Keeping in mind the looming recession and the uncertainty of the recession behaviour, Mr. Arthashastra feels that the firm should factor a risk of cash inadequacy of around 5 per cent even in the most adverse industry conditions.  Thus, the firm should take up only that amount of additional debt that it can service 95 per cent of the times, while maintaining cash adequacy.

To maintain an annual dividend of 10 per cent, an additional Rs. 35 crore has to be kept aside.  Hence, the expected available net cash inflow is Rs. 185.27 crore (i.e. Rs. 220.27 – Rs. 35 crore)

Question:

Analyse the debt capacity of the company.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE – 2   GREAVES LIMITED

 

Started as trading firm in 1922, Greaves Limited has diversified into manufacturing and marketing of high technology engineering products and systems. The company’s mission is “manufacture and market a wide range of high quality products, services and systems of world class technology to the total satisfaction of customers in domestic and overseas market.”

Over the years Greaves has brought to India state of the art technologies in various engineering fields by setting up manufacturing units and subsidiary and associate companies. The sales of Greaves Limited has increased from Rs 214 crore in 1990 to Rs 801 crore in 1997. The sales of Greaves Limited has increased from Rs 214 crore in 1990 to Rs 801 crore in 1997. Profits before interest and tax (PBIT) of the company increased from Rs 15 crore to Rs 83 crore in 1997. The market price of the company’s share has shown ups and downs during 1990 to 1997. How has the company performed? The following question need answer to fully understand the performance of the company:

 

Exhibit 1

 

GREAVES LTD.

Profit and Loss Account ending on 31 March          (Rupees in crore)

1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997
Sales

Raw Material and Stores

Wages and Salaries

Power and fuel

Other Mfg. Expenses

Other Expenses

Depreciation

Marketing and Distribution

Change in stock

214.38

170.67

13.54

0.52

0.61

11.85

1.85

4.86

1.18

253.10

202.84

15.60

0.70

0.49

15.48

1.72

5.67

3.10

287.81

230.81

18.03

1.11

0.88

16.35

1.52

5.14

4.93

311.14

213.79

37.04

3.80

2.37

25.54

4.62

5.17

0.48

354.25

245.63

37.96

4.43

2.36

31.60

5.99

9.67

– 1.13

521.56

379.83

48.24

6.66

3.57

41.40

8.53

10.81

5.63

728.15

543.56

60.48

7.70

4.84

45.74

9.30

12.44

11.86

801.11

564.35

69.66

9.23

5.49

48.64

11.53

16.98

– 5.87

Total Op Expenses 202.72 239.40 268.91 291.85 338.77 493.41 672.20 731.75
 

Operating Profit

Other Income

Non-recurring Income

 

11.61

2.14

1.30

 

13.70

3.69

2.28

 

18.90

4.97

0.10

 

19.29

4.24

10.98

 

15.48

7.72

16.44

 

28.15

14.35

0.46

 

55.95

11.35

0.52

 

69.36

13.08

1.75

PBIT   15.10   19.67   23.97   34.51   39.64   42.98   65.67   82.64
Interest     5.56     6.77   11.92   19.62   17.17   21.48   28.25   27.54
PBT     9.54   12.90   12.05   14.89   22.47   21.50   37.42   55.10
Tax

PAT

Dividend

Retained Earnings

    3.00

6.54

1.80

4.74

    3.60

9.30

2.00

7.30

    4.90

7.15

2.30

4.85

    0.00

14.89

4.06

10.83

    4.00

18.47

7.29

11.18

    7.00

14.50

8.58

5.92

    8.60

28.82

12.85

15.97

  15.80

39.30

14.18

25.12

 

Exhibit 2

 

GREAVES LTD.

Balance Sheet                                (Rupees in crore)

1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997
ASSETS

Land and Building

Plant and Machinery

Other Fixed Assets

Capital WIP

Gross Fixed Assets

Less: Accu. Depreciation

Net Tangible Fixed Assets

Intangible Fixed Assets

 

3.88

11.98

3.64

0.09

19.59

12.91

6.68

0.21

 

4.22

12.68

4.14

0.26

21.30

14.56

6.74

0.19

 

4.96

12.98

4.38

10.25

23.57

15.79

7.78

0.05

 

21.70

33.49

5.18

11.27

71.64

19.84

51.80

4.40

 

30.82

50.78

6.95

34.84

123.39

25.74

97.65

22.03

 

39.71

75.34

8.53

14.37

137.95

33.90

104.05

22.45

 

42.34

92.49

8.87

13.92

157.62

42.56

115.06

20.04

 

43.07

104.45

10.35

14.36

172.23

53.87

118.86

21.11

Net Fixed Assets     6.89     6.93     7.83   56.20 119.68 126.50 135.10 139.97
 

Raw Materials

Finished Goods

Inventory

Accounts Receivable

Other Receivable

Investments

Cash and Bank Balance

Current Assets

Total Assets

LIABILITIES AND CAPITAL

Equity Capital

Preference Capital

Reserves and Surplus

 

5.26

29.37

34.63

38.16

32.62

3.55

8.36

117.32

124.21

 

9.86

0.20

27.60

 

6.91

33.72

40.63

53.24

40.47

14.95

8.91

158.20

165.13

 

9.86

0.20

32.57

 

7.26

38.65

45.91

67.97

49.19

15.15

12.71

190.93

198.76

 

9.86

0.20

37.42

 

21.05

53.39

74.44

93.30

24.54

27.58

13.29

233.15

289.35

 

18.84

0.20

100.35

 

28.13

52.26

80.39

122.20

59.12

73.50

18.38

353.59

473.27

 

29.37

0.20

171.03

 

44.03

58.09

102.12

133.45

64.32

75.01

30.08

404.98

531.48

 

29.44

0.20

176.88

 

53.62

69.97

123.59

141.82

76.57

75.07

33.46

450.51

585.61

 

44.20

0.20

175.41

 

50.94

64.09

115.03

179.92

107.31

76.45

48.18

526.89

666.86

 

44.20

0.20

198.79

Net Worth   37.66   42.63   47.48 119.39 200.60 206.52 219.81 243.19
Bank Borrowings

Institutional Borrowings

Debentures

Fixed Deposits

Commercial Paper

Other Borrowings

Current Portion of LT Debt

  14.81

4.13

4.77

12.31

0.00

2.33

0.00

  19.45

3.43

16.57

14.45

0.00

3.22

0.00

  26.51

9.17

19.99

15.03

0.00

3.10

0.08

  24.82

38.09

4.56

14.08

0.00

3.18

0.12

  55.12

38.76

4.37

15.57

15.00

17.08

15.08

  64.97

69.69

4.37

17.75

0.00

1.97

0.02

  70.08

89.26

2.92

20.81

0.00

2.36

1.49

118.28

63.60

1.49

19.29

0.00

2.57

1.57

Borrowings   38.35   57.12   73.72   84.61 130.82 158.73 183.94 203.66
Sundry Creditors

Other Liabilities

Provision for tax, etc.

Proposed Dividends

Current Portion of LT Dept

  37.52

5.70

3.18

1.80

0.00

  49.40

10.16

3.82

2.00

0.00

  59.34

10.70

5.14

2.30

0.08

  77.27

3.59

0.31

4.06

0.12

113.66

1.42

4.40

7.29

15.08

148.13

1.99

7.70

8.58

0.02

153.63

1.70

12.19

12.85

1.49

179.79

3.04

21.43

14.18

1.57

Current Liabilities   48.20   65.38   77.56   85.35 141.85 166.42 181.86 220.01
TOTAL LIABILITIES

Additional information:

Share premium reserve

Revaluation reserve

Bonus equity capital

124.21

 

 

 

8.51

165.13

 

 

 

8.51

198.76

 

 

 

8.51

289.35

 

47.69

8.91

8.51

473.27

 

107.40

8.70

8.51

531.67

 

107.91

8.50

8.51

585.61

 

93.35

8.31

23.25

666.86

 

93.35

8.15

23.25

 

Exhibit 3

 

GREAVES LTD.

Share Price Data

  1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997
 Closing share price (Rs)

Yearly high share price (Rs)

Yearly low share price (Rs)

Market capitalization (Rs crore

EPS (Rs)

Book value (Rs)

  27.19

29.25

26.78

65.06

4.79

35.64

34.74

45.28

21.61

67.77

6.82

37.22

121.27

121.27

34.36

236.56

9.73

42.54

  66.67

126.33

48.34

274.84

1.93

57.75

  78.34

90.00

42.67

346.35

2.66

40.61

  71.67

100.01

68.34

316.87

7.16

64.98

  47.5

90.00

45.00

210.02

5.03

45.35

  48.25

85.00

43.75

213.34

9.01

50.73

 

 

 

 

Questions

 

  1. How profitable are its operations? What are the trends in it? How has growth affected the profitability of the company?
  2. What factors have contributed to the operating performance of Greaves Limited? What is the role of profitability margin, asset utilisation, and non-operating income?
  3. How has Greaves performed in terms of return on equity? What is the contribution of return on investment, the way of the business has been financed over the period?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE – 3   CHOOSING BETWEEN PROJECTS IN ABC COMPANY

 

ABC Company, has three projects to choose from. The Finance Manager, the operations manager are discussing and they are not able to come to a proper decision. Then they are meeting a consultant to get proper advice. As a consultant, what advice you will give?

 

The cash flows are as follows. All amounts are in lakhs of Rupees.

 

Project 1:

Duration 5 Years

Beginning cash outflow = Rs. 100

Cash inflows (at the end of the year)

Yr. 1 – Rs 30; Yr. 2 – Rs 30; Yr. 3 – Rs 30; Yr.4 – 10; Yr.5 – 10

 

Project 2:

Duration 5 Years

Beginning Cash outflow Rs. 3763

Cash inflows (at the end of the year)

Yr. 1 – 200; Yr. 2 – 600; Yr. 3 – 1000; Yr. 4 – 1000; Yr. 5 – 2000.

 

Project 3:

Duration 15 Years

Beginning Cash Outflow – Rs. 100

Cash Inflows (at the end of the year)

Yrs. 1 to 10 – Rs. 20 (for 10 continuous years)

Yrs. 11 to 15 – Rs. 10 (For the next 5 years)

 

Question:

If the cost of capital is 8%, which of the 3 projects should the ABC Company accept?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE – 4   STAR ENGINEERING COMPANY

 

Star Engineering Company (SEC) produces electrical accessories like meters, transformers, switchgears, and automobile accessories like taximeters and speedometers.

SEC buys the electrical components, but manufactures all mechanical parts within its factory which is divided into four production departments Machining, Fabrication, Assembly, and Painting—and three service departments—Stores, Maintenance, and Works Office.

Though the company prepared annual budgets and monthly financial statements, it had no formal cost accounting system. Prices were fixed on the basis of what the market can bear. Inventory of finished stocks was valued at 90 per cent of the market price assuming a profit margin of 10 per cent.

In March, the company received a trial order from a government department for a sample transformer on a cost-plus-fixed-fee basis. They took up the job (numbered by the company as Job No 879) in early April and completed all manufacturing operations before the end of the month.

Since Job No 879 was very different from the type of transformers they had manufactured in the past, the company did not have a comparable market price for the product. The purchasing officer of the government department asked SEC to submit a detailed cost sheet for the job giving as much details as possible regarding material, labour and overhead costs.

SEC, as part of its routine financial accounting system, had collected the actual expenses for the month of April, by 5th of May. Some of the relevant data are given in Exhibit A.

The company tried to assign directly, as many expenses as possible to the production departments. However, It was not possible in all cases. In many cases, an overhead cost, which was common to all departments had to be allocated to the various departments using some rational basis. Some of the possible bases were collected by SEC’s accountant. These are presented in Exhibit B.

He also designed a format to allocate the overhead to all the production and service departments. It was realized that the expenses of the service departments on some rational basis. The accountant thought of distributing the service departments’ costs on the following basis:

  1. Works office costs on the basis of direct labour hours.
  2. Maintenance costs on the basis of book value of plant and machinery.
  3. Stores department costs on the basis of direct and indirect materials used.

The accountant who had to visit the company’s banker, passed on the papers to you for the required analysis and cost computations.

 

 

REQUIRED

 

Based on the data given in Exhibits A and B, you are required to:

 

  1. Complete the attached “overhead cost distribution sheet” (Exhibit C).
    Note: Wherever possible, identify the overhead costs chared directly to the production and service departments. If such direct identification is not possible, distribute the costs on some “rational basis.
  2. Calculate the overhead cost (per direct labour hour) for each of the four producing departments. This should include share of the service departments’ costs.
  3. Do you agree with:
    a.   The procedure adopted by the company for the distribution of overhead costs?
    b.   The choice of the base for overhead absorption, i.e. labour-hour rate?

 

 

Exhibit A

 

STAR ENGINEERING COMPANY

Actual Expenses(Manufacturing Overheads) for April

RS RS
Indirect Labour and Supervisions:

Machining

Fabrication

Assembly

Painting

Stores

Maintenance

 

Indirect Materials and Supplies

Machining

Fabrication

Assembly

Painting

Maintenance

 

Others

Factory Rent

Depreciation of Plant and Machinery

Building Rates and Taxes

Welfare Expenses

(At 2 per cent of direct labour wages and Indirect labour and supervision)

Power

(Maintenance—Rs 366; Works Office Rs 2,200, Balance to Producing Departments)

Works Office Salaries and Expenses

Miscellaneous Stores Department Expenses

 

33,000

22,000

11,000

7,000

44,000

32,700

 
2,200

1,100

3,300

3,400

2,800

 

 

1,68,000

44,000

2,400

19,400

 

 

68,586

 

 

1,30,260

1,190

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,49,700

 

 

 

 

 

 

12,800

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4,33,930

5,96,930

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exhibit B

STAR ENGINEERING COMPANY

Projected Operation Data for the Year

Department Area

(sq.m)

Original Book of Plant & Machinery

Rs

Direct Materials

Budget

 

Rs

Horse

Power

Rating

Direct

Labour

Hours

Direct

Labour

Budget

 

Rs

Machining

Fabrication

Assembly

Painting

Stores

Maintenance

Works Office

Total

 

13,000

11,000

8,800

6,400

4,400

2,200

2,200

48,000

26,40,000

13,20,000

6,60,000

2,64,000

1,32,000

1,98,000

68,000

52,80,000

62,40,000

21,60,000

 

10,80,000

 

 

 

94,80,000

20,000

10,000

1,000

2,000

 

 

 

33,000

14,40,000

5,28,000

7,20,000

3,30,000

 

 

 

30,18,000

52,80,000

25,40,000

13,20,000

6,60,000

 

 

 

99,00,000

 

Note

 

The estimates given in this exhibit are for the budgeted year January to December where as the actuals in Exhibit A are just one month—April of the budgeted year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exhibit C

STAR ENGINEERING COMPANY

Actual Overhead Distribution Sheet for April

Departments

Overhead Costs

Production Departments Service Departments Total Amount Actuals for April (Rs) Basis for Distribution
A. Allocation of Overhead to all departments

A.1 Indirect Labour and Supervision

 

 

 

1,49,700

A.2 Indirect materials and supplies  

12,800

A.3 Factory Rent 1,68,000
A.4 Depreciation of Plant and Machinery  

44,000

A.5 Building Rates and Taxes

 

 

2,400

 

A.6 Welfare Expenses

 

 

19,494

    A.7 Power   68,586
A.8 Works Office Salaries and Expenses  

1,30,260

 

 

 

A.9 Miscellaneous Stores Expenses

 

1,190

A. Total (A.1 to A.9) 5,96,430
B. Reallocation of Service Departments Costs to Production Departments
B.1 Distribution of Works Office Costs
B.2 Distribution of Maintenance Department’s Costs
B.3 Distribution of Stores Department’s Costs
Total Charged to Producing

C. Departments (A+B)

 

 

5,96,430

D. Labour Hours Actuals for April  

1,20,000

 

44,000

 

60,000

 

27,500

E. Overhead Rate/Per Hour (D)

 

 

 

 

Case 5: EASTERN MACHINES COMPANY

 

Raj, who was in charge production felt that there are many problems to be attended to. But Quality Control was the main problem, he thought, as he found there were more complaints and litigations as compared to last year. With the demand increasing, he does not want to take any chances.

 

So he went down to assembly line, but was greeted by an unfamiliar face. He introduced himself.

 

Raj: I am in charge of checking the components, which we use, when we assemble the machines for customers. For most of the components, suppliers are very reliable and we assume that there will not be any problem. When we generally test the end product, we don’t have failures.

 

Namdeo: I am Namdeo. I was in another dept. and has been transferred recently to this dept.

 

Raj: Recently we have been having problems, and there has been some complaint or other about the machines we have supplied. I am worried and would like to check the components used. I would like to avoid lot of expensive rework.

 

Namdeo: But it would be very expensive to test every one of them. It will take at least half an hour for each machine. I neither have the staff nor the time. It will be rather pointless as majority of them will pass the test.

 

Raj: There has been more demand than supply for these machines in last 2 years. We have been buying many components from many suppliers. We have been producing more with extra shifts. We are trying to capture the market and increase our market share.

 

Namdeo: We order for components from different places, and sometimes we do not have time to check all. There is a time lag between order and supply of components, and we cannot wait as production will stop. We use whatever comes soon as we want to complete our orders.

 

Raj: Oh! Obviously we need some kind of checking. Some sampling technique to check the quality of the components. We need to get a sample from each shipment from our component suppliers. But I do not know how many we should test.

 

Namdeo: We should ask somebody from our statistics dept. to attend to this problem.

 

As a Statistician, advice what kind of Sampling schemes can we consider, and what factors will influence choice of scheme. What are the questions we should ask Mr. Namdeo, who works in the assembly line?

           

 

     IIBMS                 Subject – General Management

                                 Marks – 100

 

 

Attempt Any Four Case Study

 

CASE – 1   Your Job and Your Passion—You Can Pursue Both!

 

The 21st century offers many challenges to every one of us. As more firms go global, as more economies interconnect, and as the Web blasts away boundaries to communication, we become more informed citizens. This interconnectedness means that the organizations you work for will require you to develop both general and specialized knowledge—such as speaking multiple languages, using various software applications, or understanding details of financial transactions. You will have to develop general management skills to foster your ability to be self-reliant and thrive in a changing market-place. And here’s the exciting part: As you build both types of knowledge, you may be able to integrate your growing expertise with the causes or activities you care most about. Or, your career adventure may lead you to a new passion.

Former presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton are well known for combining their management skills—running a country—with their passion for helping people around the world. Together they have raised funds to assist disaster victims, those with HIV/AIDS, and others in need. Jake Burton turned his love of snow sports into an entire industry when he founded Burton Snowboards. Annie Withey poured her business and marketing knowledge into her two famous business ventures: Smart food and Annie’s Homegrown. Both products were the result of her passion for healthful foods made from organic ingredients.

As you enter the workforce, you may have no idea where your career path will lead. You may be asking yourself, “How will I fit in?” “Where will I live?” “How much will I earn?” “Where will my business and personal careers evolve as the world continuous to change at such a fast pace?” If you are feeling nervous because you don’t know the answers to these questions yet, relax. A career is a journey, not a single destination. You may have one type of career or several. It is likely you will work for several organisations, or you may run one or more businesses of your own.

As you ask yourself what you want to do and where you want to be, take a few minutes to review the chapter and its main topics. Think about your personality, what you like and dislike, what you know and what you want to learn, what you fear and what you dream. Then try the following exercise.

 

Questions

 

  1. Create a three-column chart in which the first column lists nonmanagement skills you have. Are you good at travel? Do you know how to build furniture? Are you a whiz at sports statistics? Are you an innovative cook? Do you play video games for hours? In the second column, list the causes or activities about which you are passionate. These may dovetail with the first list, but they might not.
  2. Once you have you two columns complete, draw lines between entries that seem compatible. If you are good at building furniture, you might have also listed a concern about families who are homeless. Remember that not all entries will find a match—the idea is to begin finding some connections.
  3. In the third column, generate a list of firms or organizations you know about that reflect your interests. If you are good at building furniture, you might be interested working for the Habitat for Humanity organization, or you might find yourself gravitating towards a furniture retailer like Ikea or Ethan Allen. You can do further research on organizations via Internet or business publications.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE – 2   Biyani – Pioneering a Retailing Revolution in India

 

“I use people as hands and legs. I prefer to do thinking around here.”

 

─ Kishore Biyani, CEO & MD, Pantaloon Retail (India) Ltd.

 

Kishore Biyani (Biyani), CEO& MD of Pantaloon Retail (India) Ltd., planned to have 30 Food Bazaar outlets, 22 outlets in Big Bazaar, 21 Pantaloons outlets, and four seamless malls under the Central logo, by the end of 2005. He also planned to launch at least three businesses every year and had already selected music, footwear and car accessories as his next areas of investments. He was already the top retailer in India followed by Raghu Pillai of RPG. As of 2004, Biyani headed a company that had a turnover of Rs 6,500 million and operated 13 Pantaloon apparel stores, 9 Big Bazaars, 13 Food Bazaars, and 3 seamless malls (Central), one each located in Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Pune.

Biyani’s journey from a person who looked after his family business to India’s top retailer in 1987, when he launched Manz Wear Pvt. Ltd. The company launched one of the first readymade trousers brands – ‘Pantaloon’ – in the country. The company also launched its first jeans brand called ‘Bare’ in 1989. On September 20, 1991, Manz Wear Pvt. Ltd. went public and on September 25, 1992, it changed its name to Pantaloon Fashions (India) Limited (PFIL). ‘John Miller’ was the first formal shirt brand from PFIL.

The company opened its first apparel stores, called ‘Pantaloons’ at Kolkata in August 1997. The stores generated Rs 70 million. Biyani then realized the potential of the Indian market and started to aggressively tap it. Accordingly, Biyani decided to expand into other segments of retailing besides apparel. To reflect this change in focus, the company changed its name to Pantaloon Retail (India) Limited (PRIL) in July 1999 and set itself a target of achieving Rs 10 billion in sales by June 2005. In course of time he launched three other retail formats — Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar, and Central.

Biyani didn’t believe in copying ideas from western retailers. He was critical of his peers who felt just copied ideas form the west without making any effort to mold them to Indian conditions. He ensured that his store formats such as Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar, and Pantaloons were all suited to the purchasing style of Indian consumers.

Biyani was a huge risk taker and his planning was always different from the conventional way of doing business. This was also one of the factors that had prompted Biyani to move away from his father’s conventional way of doing business. During the initial stages of his success, his risk-taking attitude sometimes had the effect of turning away financiers. The biggest risk that Biyani took was in opening Big Bazaar in Mumbai in 2001. The company needed money to expand Big Bazaar’s operations. However, it had profits of only Rs 40 million with a low share price at eighteen rupees. Therefore, Biyani could not raise money through equity. In light of this situation, Biyani took a loan of Rs 1,200 million from ICICI for launching the operations of Big Bazaar, which increased his debt exposure. However, Big Bazaar proved to be a resounding success with 100,000 customer visits in its first week of operations. According to analysts, if Big Bazaar had failed, Biyani would have landed in a severe debt crisis. The success of Big Bazaar not only increased the company profits, it also changed the perception of investors.

Many people criticized Biyani for not delegating authority and Biyani himself accepted the criticism. He said, “I use people as hands and legs. I prefer to do the thinking around here.” He preferred taking individual decision on activities like strategic planning, ideas for other ventures, and other important issues. It was because of this that managers like Kush Medhora of Westside were initially apprehensive about joining Biyani’s business. However, Biyani changed his attitude gradually with the launch of Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar, and Central and appointed different people for managing different business units.

Biyani believed in leading a simple life and in being simply dressed. His vision came from his diverse reading connected to retailing and other areas. He made it a point to visit each of his stores across the country. He aimed to spend at least seven hours a week at the stores. In the stores, he would stand at a corner and observe people. He also walked on streets, met common people, and talked to local leaders to plan and put up new products in his stores. Each of his stores was set with a weekly target, which was reviewed every Monday. Whenever a new store was opened, the details of its operations during the first 45 days were to be sent to him. Sometimes, he suggested remedies to some problems. Biyani believed in extensive advertising to make more people know about the product. His decision making was quick and devoid of unnecessary delays. Biyani was also a good learner and learned quickly from his mistakes. He planned to improve inventory management through responding effectively to the demands of the customers rather than forecasting them, as he felt that forecasting would pile up the inventory in this dynamic market.

 

Questions

 

  1. The tremendous success of the ‘Pantaloons’, ‘Big Bazaar’ and ‘Food Bazaar’ retailing formats, easily made PRIL the number one retailer in India by early 2004, in terms of turnover and retail area occupied by its outlets. Explain how Biyani is further planning to consolidate his businesses.
  2. “Our striving toward looking at the Indian market differently and strategizing with the evolving customer helped us perform better.” What other qualities of Kishore Biyani do you think were instrumental in making him top retailer of India?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE – 3   The New Frontier for Fresh Foods Supermarkets

 

Fresh Foods Supermarket is a grocery store chain that was established in the Southeast 20 years ago. The company is now beginning to expand to other regions of the United States. First, the firm opened new stores along the eastern seaboard, gradually working its way up through Maryland and Washington, DC, then through New York and New jersey, and on into Connecticut and Massachusetts. It has yet to reach the northern New England states, but executives have decided to turn their attention to the Southwest, particularly because of the growth of population there.

Vivian Noble, the manager of one of the chain’s most successful stores in the Atlanta area, has been asked to relocate to Phoenix, Arizona, to open and run a new Fresh Foods Supermarket. She has decided to accept the job, but she knows it will be a challenge. As an African American woman, she has faced some prejudice during her career, but she refuses to be stopped by a glass ceiling or any other barrier. She understands that she will be living and working in an area where several cultures combine and collide, and she will be hiring and managing a diverse workforce. Noble has the support of top management at Fresh Foods, which wants the store to reflect the surrounding community—in both staff makeup and product selection. So she will be looking to hire employees with Hispanic and Native American roots, as well as older workers who can relate to the many retired residents in the area. And she will be seeking their inputs on the selection of certain food products, including ethnic brands, so that customers know they can buy what they need and want a Fresh Foods.

In addition, Noble wants to make sure that Fresh Foods provides services above and beyond those of a standard supermarket to attract local consumers. For instance, she wants the store to offer free delivery of groceries to home-bound customers who are either senior citizens or physically disabled. She wants to be sure that the store has enough bilingual employees to translate for and otherwise assist customers who speak little or no English. Noble believes that she is a pioneer of sorts, guiding Fresh Foods Supermarkets into a new frontier. “The sky is almost blue here,” she says of her new home state. “And there’s no glass ceiling between me and the sky.”

Questions

 

  1. What steps can Vivian Noble take to recruit and develop her new workforce?
  2. What other ways can Noble help her company reach out to the community?
  3. How will Fresh Foods Supermarkets as whole benefit from successfully moving into this new region of the country?

CASE – 4   The Law Offices of Jeter, Jackson, Guidry, and Boyer

 

THE EVOLUTION OF THE FIRM

 

David Jeter and Nate Jackson started a small general law practice in 1992 near Sacramento, California. Prior to that, the two had spent five years in the district attorney’s office after completing their formal schooling. What began as a small partnership—just the two attorneys and a paralegal/assistant—had now grown into a practice that employed more than 27 people in three separated towns. The current staff included 18 attorneys (three of whom have become partners), three paralegals, and six secretaries.

For the first time in the firm’s existence, the partners felt that they were losing control of their overall operation. The firm’s current caseload, number of employees, number of clients, travel requirements, and facilities management needs had grown far beyond anything that the original partners had ever imagined.

Attorney Jeter called a meeting of the partners to discuss the matter. Before the meeting, opinions about the pressing problems of the day and proposed solutions were sought from the entire staff. The meeting resulted in a formal decision to create a new position, general manager of operations. The partners proceeded to compose a job description and job announcement for recruiting purposes.

Highlights and responsibilities of the job description include:

  • Supervising day-to-day office personnel and operations (phones, meetings, word processing, mail, billings, payroll, general overhead, and maintenance).
  • Improving customer relations (more expeditious processing of cases and clients).
  • Expanding the customer base.
  • Enhancing relations with the local communities.
  • Managing the annual budget and related incentive programs.
  • Maintaining annual growth in sales of 10 percent while maintaining or exceeding the current profit margin.

 

The general manager will provide an annual executive summary to the partners, along with specific action plans for improvement and change. A search committee was formed, and two months later the new position was offered to Brad Howser, a longtime administrator from the insurance industry seeking a final career change and a return to his California roots. Howser made it clear that he was willing to make a five-year commitment to the position and would then likely retire.

Things got off to a quiet and uneventful start as Howser spent few months just getting to know the staff, observing day-today operations; and reviewing and analyzing assorted client and attorney data and history, financial spreadsheets, and so on.

About six months into the position, Howser became more outspoken and assertive with the staff and established several new operational rules and procedures. He began by changing the regular working hours. The firm previously had a flex schedule in place that allowed employees to begin and end the workday at their choosing within given parameters. Howser did not care for such a “loose schedule” and now required that all office personnel work from 9:00 to 5:00 each day. A few staff member were unhappy about this and complained to Howser, who matter-of-factly informed them that “this is the new rule that everyone is expected to follow, and anyone who could or would not comply should probably look for another job.” Sylvia Bronson, an administrative assistant who had been with the firm for several years, was particularly unhappy about this change. She arranged for a private meeting with Howser to discuss her child care circumstances and the difficulty that the new schedule presented. Howser seemed to listen half-heartedly and at one point told Bronson that “assistance are essentially a-dime-a-dozen and are readily available.” Bronson was seen leaving the office in tears that day.

Howser was not happy with the average length of time that it took to receive payments for services rendered to the firm’s clients (accounts receivable). A closer look showed that 30 percent of the clients paid their bills in 30 days or less, 60 percent paid in 30 to 60 days, and the remaining 10 percent stretched it out to as  many as 120 days. Howser composed a letter that was sent to all clients whose outstanding invoices exceeded 30 days. The strongly worded letter demanded immediate payment in full and went on to indicate that legal action might be taken against anyone who did not respond in timely fashion. While a small number of “late” payments were received soon after the mailing, the firm received an even larger number of letters and phone calls from angry clients, some of whom had been with the firm since its inception.

Howser was given an advertising and promotion budget for purposes of expanding the client base. One of the paralegals suggested that those expenditures should be carefully planned and that the firm had several attorneys who knew the local markets quite well and could probably offer some insights and ideas on the subject. Howser thought about this briefly and then decided to go it alone, reasoning that most attorneys know little or nothing about marketing.

In an attempt to “bring all of the people together to form a team,” Howser established weekly staff meetings. These mandatory, hour-long sessions were run by Howser, who presented a series of overhead slides, handouts, and lectures about “some of the proven management techniques that were successful in the insurance industry.” The meetings typically ran past the allotted time frame and rarely if ever covered all of the agenda items.

Howser spent some of his time “enhancing community relations.” He was very generous with many local groups such as the historical society, the garden clubs, the recreational sports programs, the middle-and high-school band programs, and others. In less than six months he had written checks and authorized donations totaling more than $25,000. He was delighted about all this and was certain that such gestures of goodwill would pay off handsomely in the future.

As for the budget, Howser carefully reviewed each line item in search of ways to increase revenues and cut expenses. He then proceeded to increase the expected base or quota for attorney’s monthly billable hours, thus directly affecting their profit sharing and bonus program. On the other side, he significantly reduced the attorneys’ annual budget for travel, meals, and entertainment. He considered these to be frivolous and unnecessary. Howser decided that one of the two full-time administrative assistant positions in each office should be reduced to part-time with no benefits. He saw no reason why the current workload could not be completed within this model. Howser wrapped up his initial financial review and action plan by posting notices throughout each office with new rules regarding the use of copy machines, phones, and supplies.

Howser completed the first year of his tenure with the required executive summary report to the partners that included his analysis of the current status of each department and his action plan. The partners were initially impressed with both Howser’s approach to the new job and with the changes that he made. They all seemed to make sense and were directly in line with the key components of his job description. At the same time, “the office rumor mill and grape vine” had “heated up” considerably. Company morale, which had been quite high, was now clearly waning. The water coolers and hallways became the frequent meeting places of disgruntled employees.

As for the marketplace, while the partner did not expect to see an immediate influx of new clients, they certainly did not expect to see shrinkage in their existing client base. A number of individual and corporate clients took their business elsewhere, still fuming over the letter they had received.

The partners met with Howser to discuss the situation. Howser urged them to “sit tight and ride out the storm.” He had seen this happen before and had no doubt that in the long run the firm would achieve all of its goals. Howser pointed out that people in general are resistant to change. The partners met for drinks later that day and looked at each other with a great sense of uncertainty. Should they ride out the storm as Howser suggested? Had they done the right thing in creating the position and hiring Howser? What had started as a seemingly, wise, logical, and smooth sequence of events had now become a crisis.

 

Questions

 

  1. Do you agree with Howser’s suggestion to “sit tight and ride out the storm,” or should the partners take some action immediately? If so, what actions specifically?
  2. Assume that the creation of the GM—Operation position was a good decision. What leadership style and type of individual would you try to place in this position?
  3. Consider your own leadership style. What types of positions and situations should you seek? What types of positions and situation should you seek to avoid? Why?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE – 5   The Grizzly Bear Lodge

 

Diane and Rudy Conrad own a small lodge outside Yellowstone National Park. Their lodge has 15 rooms that can accommodate up to 40 guests, with some rooms set up for families. Diane and Rudy serve a continental breakfast on weekdays and a full breakfast on weekends, included in the room they charge. Their busy season runs from May through September, but they remain open until Thanksgiving and reopen in April for a short spring season. They currently employ one cook and two waitpersons for the breakfasts on weekends, handling the other breakfasts themselves. They also have several housekeeping staff members, a groundkeeper, and a front-desk employee. The Conrads take pride in the efficiency of their operation, including the loyalty of their employees, which they attribute to their own form of clan control. If a guest needs something—whether it’s a breakfast catered to a special diet or an extra set of towels—Grizzly Bear workers are empowered to supply it.

The Conrads are considering expanding their business. They have been offered the opportunity to buy the property next door, which would give them the space to build an annex containing an additional 20 rooms. Currently, their annual sales total $300,000. With expenses running $230,000—including mortgage, payroll, maintenance, and so forth—the Conrads’ annual income is $70,000. They want to expand and make improvements without cutting back on the personal service they offer to their guests. In fact, in addition to hiring more staff to handle the larger facility, they are considering collaborating with more local business to offer guided rafting, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding trips. They also want to expand their food service to include dinner during the high season, which means renovating the restaurant area of the lodge and hiring more kitchen and wait staff. Ultimately, the Conrads would like the lodge to open year-round, offering guests opportunities to cross-country ski, ride snow-mobiles, or hike in winter. They hope to offer holiday packages for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s celebrations in the great outdoors. The Conrads report that their employees are enthusiastic about their plans and want to stay with them through the expansion process. “This is our dream business,” says Rudy. “We’re only at the beginning.”

Questions

 

  1. Discuss how Rudy and Diane can use feedforward, concurrent, and feedback controls both now and in future at the Grizzly Bear Lodge to ensure their guests’ satisfaction.
  2. What might be some of the fundamental budgetary considerations the Conrads would have as they plan the expansion of their logic?

Describe how the Conrads could use market controls plans and implement their expansion

 

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ZIP ZAP ZOOM CAR COMPANY

 

 ZIP ZAP ZOOM CAR COMPANY  CASE STUDY SOLUTION

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Case 1: Zip Zap Zoom Car Company

          

Zip Zap Zoom Company Ltd is into manufacturing cars in the small car (800 cc) segment.  It was set up 15 years back and since its establishment it has seen a phenomenal growth in both its market and profitability.  Its financial statements are shown in Exhibits 1 and 2 respectively.

The company enjoys the confidence of its shareholders who have been rewarded with growing dividends year after year.  Last year, the company had announced 20 per cent dividend, which was the highest in the automobile sector.  The company has never defaulted on its loan payments and enjoys a favorable face with its lenders, which include financial institutions, commercial banks and debenture holders.

The competition in the car industry has increased in the past few years and the company foresees further intensification of competition with the entry of several foreign car manufactures many of them being market leaders in their respective countries.  The small car segment especially, will witness entry of foreign majors in the near future, with latest technology being offered to the Indian customer.  The Zip Zap Zoom’s senior management realizes the need for large scale investment in up gradation of technology and improvement of manufacturing facilities to pre-empt competition.

Whereas on the one hand, the competition in the car industry has been intensifying, on the other hand, there has been a slowdown in the Indian economy, which has not only reduced the demand for cars, but has also led to adoption of price cutting strategies by various car manufactures.   The industry indicators predict that the economy is gradually slipping into recession.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exhibit 1 Balance sheet as at March 31,200 x

(Amount in Rs. Crore)

 

Source of Funds

Share capital                                        350

Reserves and surplus                           250                              600

Loans :

Debentures (@ 14%)               50

Institutional borrowing (@ 10%)        100

Commercial loans (@ 12%)    250

Total debt                                                                                            400

Current liabilities                                                                                 200

1,200

 

Application of Funds

Fixed Assets

Gross block                                                     1,000

Less : Depreciation                                            250

Net block                                                           750

Capital WIP                                                       190

Total Fixed Assets                                                                              940

Current assets :

Inventory                                                           200

Sundry debtors                                                    40

Cash and bank balance                                        10

Other current assets                                 10

Total current assets                                                                 260

-1200

 

Exhibit 2 Profit and Loss Account for the year ended March 31, 200x

(Amount in Rs. Crore)

Sales revenue (80,000 units x Rs. 2,50,000)                                       2,000.0

Operating expenditure :

Variable cost :

Raw material and manufacturing expenses    1,300.0

Variable overheads                                                        100.0

Total                                                                                                                1,400.0

Fixed cost :

R & D                                                                                          20.0

Marketing and advertising                                               25.0

Depreciation                                                                   250.0

 

Personnel                                                                          70.0

Total                                                                                                                   365.0

 

Total operating expenditure                                                                1,765.0

Operating profits (EBIT)                                                                                   235.0

Financial expense :

Interest on debentures                                                            7.7

Interest on institutional borrowings                        11.0

Interest on commercial loan                                    33.0                     51.7

Earnings before tax (EBT)                                                                                          183.3

Tax (@ 35%)                                                                                                                 64.2

Earnings after tax (EAT)                                                                                            119.1

Dividends                                                                                                                     70.0

Debt redemption (sinking fund obligation)**                                                              40.0

Contribution to reserves and surplus                                                                  9.1

*          Includes the cost of inventory and work in process (W.P) which is dependent on demand (sales).

**        The loans have to be retired in the next ten years and the firm redeems Rs. 40 crore every year.

The company is faced with the problem of deciding how much to invest in up

gradation of its plans and technology.  Capital investment up to a maximum of Rs. 100

crore is required.  The problem areas are three-fold.

  • The company cannot forgo the capital investment as that could lead to reduction in its market share as technological competence in this industry is a must and customers would shift to manufactures providing latest in car technology.
  • The company does not want to issue new equity shares and its retained earning are not enough for such a large investment.  Thus, the only option is raising debt.
  • The company wants to limit its additional debt to a level that it can service without taking undue risks.  With the looming recession and uncertain market conditions, the company perceives that additional fixed obligations could become a cause of financial distress, and thus, wants to determine its additional debt capacity to meet the investment requirements.

Mr. Shortsighted, the company’s Finance Manager, is given the task of determining the additional debt that the firm can raise.  He thinks that the firm can raise Rs. 100 crore worth debt and service it even in years of recession.  The company can raise debt at 15 per cent from a financial institution.  While working out the debt capacity.  Mr. Shortsighted takes the following assumptions for the recession years.

  1. A maximum of 10 percent reduction in sales volume will take place.
  2. A maximum of 6 percent reduction in sales price of cars will take place.

Mr. Shorsighted prepares a projected income statement which is representative of the recession years.  While doing so, he determines what he thinks are the “irreducible minimum” expenditures under

 

recessionary conditions.  For him, risk of insolvency is the main concern while designing the capital structure.  To support his view, he presents the income statement as shown in Exhibit 3.

 

Exhibit 3 projected Profit and Loss account

(Amount in Rs. Crore)

Sales revenue (72,000 units x Rs. 2,35,000)                                       1,692.0

Operating expenditure

Variable cost :

Raw material and manufacturing expenses    1,170.0

Variable overheads                                                          90.0

Total                                                                                                                1,260.0

Fixed cost :

R & D                                                                                          —

Marketing and advertising                                               15.0

Depreciation                                                                   187.5

Personnel                                                                          70.0

Total                                                                                                                   272.5

Total operating expenditure                                                                1,532.5

EBIT                                                                                                                  159.5

Financial expenses :

Interest on existing Debentures                                        7.0

Interest on existing institutional borrowings      10.0

Interest on commercial loan                                30.0

Interest on additional debt                                             15.0                  62.0

EBT                                                                                                                      97.5

Tax (@ 35%)                                                                                                        34.1

EAT                                                                                                                     63.4

Dividends                                                                                                              —

Debt redemption (sinking fund obligation)                                             50.0*

Contribution to reserves and surplus                                                       13.4

 

* Rs. 40 crore (existing debt) + Rs. 10 crore (additional debt)

Assumptions of Mr. Shorsighted

  • R & D expenditure can be done away with till the economy picks up.
  • Marketing and advertising expenditure can be reduced by 40 per cent.
  • Keeping in mind the investor confidence that the company enjoys, he feels that the company can forgo paying dividends in the recession period.

 

He goes with his worked out statement to the Director Finance, Mr. Arthashatra, and advocates raising Rs. 100 crore of debt to finance the intended capital investment.  Mr. Arthashatra  does not feel comfortable with the statements and calls for the company’s financial analyst, Mr. Longsighted.

Mr. Longsighted carefully analyses Mr. Shortsighted’s assumptions and points out that insolvency should not be the sole criterion while determining the debt capacity of the firm.  He points out the following :

  • Apart from debt servicing, there are certain expenditures like those on R & D and marketing that need to be continued to ensure the long-term health of the firm.
  • Certain management policies like those relating to dividend payout, send out important signals to the investors.  The Zip Zap Zoom’s management has been paying regular dividends and discontinuing this practice (even though just for the recession phase) could raise serious doubts in the investor’s mind about the health of the firm.  The firm should pay at least 10 per cent dividend in the recession years.
  • Mr. Shortsighted has used the accounting profits to determine the amount available each year for servicing the debt obligations.  This does not give the true picture.  Net cash inflows should be used to determine the amount available for servicing the debt.
  • Net Cash inflows are determined by an interplay of many variables and such a simplistic view should not be taken while determining the cash flows in recession.  It is not possible to accurately predict the fall in any of the factors such as sales volume, sales price, marketing expenditure and so on.  Probability distribution of variation of each of the factors that affect net cash inflow should be analyzed.  From  this analysis, the probability distribution of variation in net cash inflow should be analysed (the net cash inflows follow a normal probability distribution).  This will give a true picture of how the company’s cash flows will behave in recession conditions.

 

The management recognizes that the alternative suggested by Mr. Longsighted rests on data, which are complex and require expenditure of time and effort to obtain and interpret.  Considering the importance of capital structure design, the Finance Director asks Mr. Longsighted to carry out his analysis.  Information on the behaviour of cash flows during the recession periods is taken into account.

The methodology undertaken is as follows :

  • Important factors that affect cash flows (especially contraction of cash flows), like sales volume, sales price, raw materials expenditure, and so on, are identified and the analysis is carried out in terms of cash receipts and cash expenditures.

 

  • Each factor’s behaviour (variation behaviour) in adverse conditions in the past is studied and future expectations are combined with past data, to describe limits (maximum favourable), most probable and maximum adverse) for all the factors.
  • Once this information is generated for all the factors affecting the cash flows, Mr. Longsighted comes up with a range of estimates of the cash flow in future recession periods based on all possible combinations of the several factors. He also estimates the probability of occurrence of each estimate of cash flow.

 

Assuming a normal distribution of the expected behaviour, the mean expected

value of net cash inflow in adverse conditions came out to be Rs. 220.27 crore with standard deviation of Rs. 110 crore.

Keeping in mind the looming recession and the uncertainty of the recession behaviour, Mr. Arthashastra feels that the firm should factor a risk of cash inadequacy of around 5 per cent even in the most adverse industry conditions.  Thus, the firm should take up only that amount of additional debt that it can service 95 per cent of the times, while maintaining cash adequacy.

To maintain an annual dividend of 10 per cent, an additional Rs. 35 crore has to be kept aside.  Hence, the expected available net cash inflow is Rs. 185.27 crore (i.e. Rs. 220.27 – Rs. 35 crore)

Question:

Analyse the debt capacity of the company.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE – 2   GREAVES LIMITED

 

Started as trading firm in 1922, Greaves Limited has diversified into manufacturing and marketing of high technology engineering products and systems. The company’s mission is “manufacture and market a wide range of high quality products, services and systems of world class technology to the total satisfaction of customers in domestic and overseas market.”

Over the years Greaves has brought to India state of the art technologies in various engineering fields by setting up manufacturing units and subsidiary and associate companies. The sales of Greaves Limited has increased from Rs 214 crore in 1990 to Rs 801 crore in 1997. The sales of Greaves Limited has increased from Rs 214 crore in 1990 to Rs 801 crore in 1997. Profits before interest and tax (PBIT) of the company increased from Rs 15 crore to Rs 83 crore in 1997. The market price of the company’s share has shown ups and downs during 1990 to 1997. How has the company performed? The following question need answer to fully understand the performance of the company:

 

Exhibit 1

 

GREAVES LTD.

Profit and Loss Account ending on 31 March          (Rupees in crore)

  1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997
Sales

Raw Material and Stores

Wages and Salaries

Power and fuel

Other Mfg. Expenses

Other Expenses

Depreciation

Marketing and Distribution

Change in stock

214.38

170.67

13.54

0.52

0.61

11.85

1.85

4.86

1.18

253.10

202.84

15.60

0.70

0.49

15.48

1.72

5.67

3.10

287.81

230.81

18.03

1.11

0.88

16.35

1.52

5.14

4.93

311.14

213.79

37.04

3.80

2.37

25.54

4.62

5.17

0.48

354.25

245.63

37.96

4.43

2.36

31.60

5.99

9.67

– 1.13

521.56

379.83

48.24

6.66

3.57

41.40

8.53

10.81

5.63

728.15

543.56

60.48

7.70

4.84

45.74

9.30

12.44

11.86

801.11

564.35

69.66

9.23

5.49

48.64

11.53

16.98

– 5.87

Total Op Expenses 202.72 239.40 268.91 291.85 338.77 493.41 672.20 731.75
 

Operating Profit

Other Income

Non-recurring Income

 

11.61

2.14

1.30

 

13.70

3.69

2.28

 

18.90

4.97

0.10

 

19.29

4.24

10.98

 

15.48

7.72

16.44

 

28.15

14.35

0.46

 

55.95

11.35

0.52

 

69.36

13.08

1.75

PBIT   15.10   19.67   23.97   34.51   39.64   42.98   65.67   82.64
Interest     5.56     6.77   11.92   19.62   17.17   21.48   28.25   27.54
PBT     9.54   12.90   12.05   14.89   22.47   21.50   37.42   55.10
Tax

PAT

Dividend

Retained Earnings

    3.00

6.54

1.80

4.74

    3.60

9.30

2.00

7.30

    4.90

7.15

2.30

4.85

    0.00

14.89

4.06

10.83

    4.00

18.47

7.29

11.18

    7.00

14.50

8.58

5.92

    8.60

28.82

12.85

15.97

  15.80

39.30

14.18

25.12

 

Exhibit 2

 

GREAVES LTD.

Balance Sheet                                (Rupees in crore)

  1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997
ASSETS

Land and Building

Plant and Machinery

Other Fixed Assets

Capital WIP

Gross Fixed Assets

Less: Accu. Depreciation

Net Tangible Fixed Assets

Intangible Fixed Assets

 

3.88

11.98

3.64

0.09

19.59

12.91

6.68

0.21

 

4.22

12.68

4.14

0.26

21.30

14.56

6.74

0.19

 

4.96

12.98

4.38

10.25

23.57

15.79

7.78

0.05

 

21.70

33.49

5.18

11.27

71.64

19.84

51.80

4.40

 

30.82

50.78

6.95

34.84

123.39

25.74

97.65

22.03

 

39.71

75.34

8.53

14.37

137.95

33.90

104.05

22.45

 

42.34

92.49

8.87

13.92

157.62

42.56

115.06

20.04

 

43.07

104.45

10.35

14.36

172.23

53.87

118.86

21.11

Net Fixed Assets     6.89     6.93     7.83   56.20 119.68 126.50 135.10 139.97
 

Raw Materials

Finished Goods

Inventory

Accounts Receivable

Other Receivable

Investments

Cash and Bank Balance

Current Assets

Total Assets

LIABILITIES AND CAPITAL

Equity Capital

Preference Capital

Reserves and Surplus

 

5.26

29.37

34.63

38.16

32.62

3.55

8.36

117.32

124.21

 

9.86

0.20

27.60

 

6.91

33.72

40.63

53.24

40.47

14.95

8.91

158.20

165.13

 

9.86

0.20

32.57

 

7.26

38.65

45.91

67.97

49.19

15.15

12.71

190.93

198.76

 

9.86

0.20

37.42

 

21.05

53.39

74.44

93.30

24.54

27.58

13.29

233.15

289.35

 

18.84

0.20

100.35

 

28.13

52.26

80.39

122.20

59.12

73.50

18.38

353.59

473.27

 

29.37

0.20

171.03

 

44.03

58.09

102.12

133.45

64.32

75.01

30.08

404.98

531.48

 

29.44

0.20

176.88

 

53.62

69.97

123.59

141.82

76.57

75.07

33.46

450.51

585.61

 

44.20

0.20

175.41

 

50.94

64.09

115.03

179.92

107.31

76.45

48.18

526.89

666.86

 

44.20

0.20

198.79

Net Worth   37.66   42.63   47.48 119.39 200.60 206.52 219.81 243.19
Bank Borrowings

Institutional Borrowings

Debentures

Fixed Deposits

Commercial Paper

Other Borrowings

Current Portion of LT Debt

  14.81

4.13

4.77

12.31

0.00

2.33

0.00

  19.45

3.43

16.57

14.45

0.00

3.22

0.00

  26.51

9.17

19.99

15.03

0.00

3.10

0.08

  24.82

38.09

4.56

14.08

0.00

3.18

0.12

  55.12

38.76

4.37

15.57

15.00

17.08

15.08

  64.97

69.69

4.37

17.75

0.00

1.97

0.02

  70.08

89.26

2.92

20.81

0.00

2.36

1.49

118.28

63.60

1.49

19.29

0.00

2.57

1.57

Borrowings   38.35   57.12   73.72   84.61 130.82 158.73 183.94 203.66
Sundry Creditors

Other Liabilities

Provision for tax, etc.

Proposed Dividends

Current Portion of LT Dept

  37.52

5.70

3.18

1.80

0.00

  49.40

10.16

3.82

2.00

0.00

  59.34

10.70

5.14

2.30

0.08

  77.27

3.59

0.31

4.06

0.12

113.66

1.42

4.40

7.29

15.08

148.13

1.99

7.70

8.58

0.02

153.63

1.70

12.19

12.85

1.49

179.79

3.04

21.43

14.18

1.57

Current Liabilities   48.20   65.38   77.56   85.35 141.85 166.42 181.86 220.01
TOTAL LIABILITIES

Additional information:

Share premium reserve

Revaluation reserve

Bonus equity capital

124.21

 

 

 

8.51

165.13

 

 

 

8.51

198.76

 

 

 

8.51

289.35

 

47.69

8.91

8.51

473.27

 

107.40

8.70

8.51

531.67

 

107.91

8.50

8.51

585.61

 

93.35

8.31

23.25

666.86

 

93.35

8.15

23.25

 

Exhibit 3

 

GREAVES LTD.

Share Price Data

    1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997
 Closing share price (Rs)

Yearly high share price (Rs)

Yearly low share price (Rs)

Market capitalization (Rs crore

EPS (Rs)

Book value (Rs)

  27.19

29.25

26.78

65.06

4.79

35.64

34.74

45.28

21.61

67.77

6.82

37.22

121.27

121.27

34.36

236.56

9.73

42.54

  66.67

126.33

48.34

274.84

1.93

57.75

  78.34

90.00

42.67

346.35

2.66

40.61

  71.67

100.01

68.34

316.87

7.16

64.98

  47.5

90.00

45.00

210.02

5.03

45.35

  48.25

85.00

43.75

213.34

9.01

50.73

 

 

 

 

Questions

 

  1. How profitable are its operations? What are the trends in it? How has growth affected the profitability of the company?
  2. What factors have contributed to the operating performance of Greaves Limited? What is the role of profitability margin, asset utilisation, and non-operating income?
  3. How has Greaves performed in terms of return on equity? What is the contribution of return on investment, the way of the business has been financed over the period?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE – 3   CHOOSING BETWEEN PROJECTS IN ABC COMPANY

 

ABC Company, has three projects to choose from. The Finance Manager, the operations manager are discussing and they are not able to come to a proper decision. Then they are meeting a consultant to get proper advice. As a consultant, what advice you will give?

 

The cash flows are as follows. All amounts are in lakhs of Rupees.

 

Project 1:

Duration 5 Years

Beginning cash outflow = Rs. 100

Cash inflows (at the end of the year)

Yr. 1 – Rs 30; Yr. 2 – Rs 30; Yr. 3 – Rs 30; Yr.4 – 10; Yr.5 – 10

 

Project 2:

Duration 5 Years

Beginning Cash outflow Rs. 3763

Cash inflows (at the end of the year)

Yr. 1 – 200; Yr. 2 – 600; Yr. 3 – 1000; Yr. 4 – 1000; Yr. 5 – 2000.

 

Project 3:

Duration 15 Years

Beginning Cash Outflow – Rs. 100

Cash Inflows (at the end of the year)

Yrs. 1 to 10 – Rs. 20 (for 10 continuous years)

Yrs. 11 to 15 – Rs. 10 (For the next 5 years)

 

Question:

If the cost of capital is 8%, which of the 3 projects should the ABC Company accept?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE – 4   STAR ENGINEERING COMPANY

 

Star Engineering Company (SEC) produces electrical accessories like meters, transformers, switchgears, and automobile accessories like taximeters and speedometers.

SEC buys the electrical components, but manufactures all mechanical parts within its factory which is divided into four production departments Machining, Fabrication, Assembly, and Painting—and three service departments—Stores, Maintenance, and Works Office.

Though the company prepared annual budgets and monthly financial statements, it had no formal cost accounting system. Prices were fixed on the basis of what the market can bear. Inventory of finished stocks was valued at 90 per cent of the market price assuming a profit margin of 10 per cent.

In March, the company received a trial order from a government department for a sample transformer on a cost-plus-fixed-fee basis. They took up the job (numbered by the company as Job No 879) in early April and completed all manufacturing operations before the end of the month.

Since Job No 879 was very different from the type of transformers they had manufactured in the past, the company did not have a comparable market price for the product. The purchasing officer of the government department asked SEC to submit a detailed cost sheet for the job giving as much details as possible regarding material, labour and overhead costs.

SEC, as part of its routine financial accounting system, had collected the actual expenses for the month of April, by 5th of May. Some of the relevant data are given in Exhibit A.

The company tried to assign directly, as many expenses as possible to the production departments. However, It was not possible in all cases. In many cases, an overhead cost, which was common to all departments had to be allocated to the various departments using some rational basis. Some of the possible bases were collected by SEC’s accountant. These are presented in Exhibit B.

He also designed a format to allocate the overhead to all the production and service departments. It was realized that the expenses of the service departments on some rational basis. The accountant thought of distributing the service departments’ costs on the following basis:

  1. Works office costs on the basis of direct labour hours.
  2. Maintenance costs on the basis of book value of plant and machinery.
  3. Stores department costs on the basis of direct and indirect materials used.

The accountant who had to visit the company’s banker, passed on the papers to you for the required analysis and cost computations.

 

 

REQUIRED

 

Based on the data given in Exhibits A and B, you are required to:

 

  1. Complete the attached “overhead cost distribution sheet” (Exhibit C).
    Note: Wherever possible, identify the overhead costs chared directly to the production and service departments. If such direct identification is not possible, distribute the costs on some “rational basis.
  2. Calculate the overhead cost (per direct labour hour) for each of the four producing departments. This should include share of the service departments’ costs.
  3. Do you agree with:
    a.   The procedure adopted by the company for the distribution of overhead costs?
    b.   The choice of the base for overhead absorption, i.e. labour-hour rate?

 

 

Exhibit A

 

STAR ENGINEERING COMPANY

Actual Expenses(Manufacturing Overheads) for April

  RS RS
Indirect Labour and Supervisions:

Machining

Fabrication

Assembly

Painting

Stores

Maintenance

 

Indirect Materials and Supplies

Machining

Fabrication

Assembly

Painting

Maintenance

 

Others

Factory Rent

Depreciation of Plant and Machinery

Building Rates and Taxes

Welfare Expenses

(At 2 per cent of direct labour wages and Indirect labour and supervision)

Power

(Maintenance—Rs 366; Works Office Rs 2,200, Balance to Producing Departments)

Works Office Salaries and Expenses

Miscellaneous Stores Department Expenses

 

33,000

22,000

11,000

7,000

44,000

32,700

 

 
2,200

1,100

3,300

3,400

2,800

 

 

1,68,000

44,000

2,400

19,400

 

 

68,586

 

 

1,30,260

1,190

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,49,700

 

 

 

 

 

 

12,800

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4,33,930

 
5,96,930

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exhibit B

STAR ENGINEERING COMPANY

Projected Operation Data for the Year

Department Area

(sq.m)

Original Book of Plant & Machinery

Rs

Direct Materials

Budget

 

Rs

Horse

Power

Rating

Direct

Labour

Hours

Direct

Labour

Budget

 

Rs

Machining

Fabrication

Assembly

Painting

Stores

Maintenance

Works Office

Total

 

13,000

11,000

8,800

6,400

4,400

2,200

2,200

48,000

26,40,000

13,20,000

6,60,000

2,64,000

1,32,000

1,98,000

68,000

52,80,000

62,40,000

21,60,000

 

10,80,000

 

 

 

94,80,000

20,000

10,000

1,000

2,000

 

 

 

33,000

14,40,000

5,28,000

7,20,000

3,30,000

 

 

 

30,18,000

52,80,000

25,40,000

13,20,000

6,60,000

 

 

 

99,00,000

 

Note

 

The estimates given in this exhibit are for the budgeted year January to December where as the actuals in Exhibit A are just one month—April of the budgeted year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exhibit C

STAR ENGINEERING COMPANY

Actual Overhead Distribution Sheet for April

Departments

Overhead Costs

Production Departments Service Departments Total Amount Actuals for April (Rs) Basis for Distribution
             
A. Allocation of Overhead to all departments

A.1 Indirect Labour and Supervision

               

 

 

1,49,700

 
A.2 Indirect materials and supplies                

12,800

 
A.3 Factory Rent               1,68,000  
A.4 Depreciation of Plant and Machinery                

44,000

 
A.5 Building Rates and Taxes

 

               

2,400

 

 
A.6 Welfare Expenses

 

               

19,494

 
    A.7 Power                 68,586  
A.8 Works Office Salaries and Expenses                

1,30,260

 

 

 

A.9 Miscellaneous Stores Expenses

               

1,190

 
A. Total (A.1 to A.9)               5,96,430  
B. Reallocation of Service Departments Costs to Production Departments                  
B.1 Distribution of Works Office Costs                  
B.2 Distribution of Maintenance Department’s Costs                  
B.3 Distribution of Stores Department’s Costs                  
Total Charged to Producing

C. Departments (A+B)

               

 

5,96,430

 
D. Labour Hours Actuals for April  

1,20,000

 

44,000

 

60,000

 

27,500

         
E. Overhead Rate/Per Hour (D)                  

 

 

 

 

Case 5: EASTERN MACHINES COMPANY

 

Raj, who was in charge production felt that there are many problems to be attended to. But Quality Control was the main problem, he thought, as he found there were more complaints and litigations as compared to last year. With the demand increasing, he does not want to take any chances.

 

So he went down to assembly line, but was greeted by an unfamiliar face. He introduced himself.

 

Raj: I am in charge of checking the components, which we use, when we assemble the machines for customers. For most of the components, suppliers are very reliable and we assume that there will not be any problem. When we generally test the end product, we don’t have failures.

 

Namdeo: I am Namdeo. I was in another dept. and has been transferred recently to this dept.

 

Raj: Recently we have been having problems, and there has been some complaint or other about the machines we have supplied. I am worried and would like to check the components used. I would like to avoid lot of expensive rework.

 

Namdeo: But it would be very expensive to test every one of them. It will take at least half an hour for each machine. I neither have the staff nor the time. It will be rather pointless as majority of them will pass the test.

 

Raj: There has been more demand than supply for these machines in last 2 years. We have been buying many components from many suppliers. We have been producing more with extra shifts. We are trying to capture the market and increase our market share.

 

Namdeo: We order for components from different places, and sometimes we do not have time to check all. There is a time lag between order and supply of components, and we cannot wait as production will stop. We use whatever comes soon as we want to complete our orders.

 

Raj: Oh! Obviously we need some kind of checking. Some sampling technique to check the quality of the components. We need to get a sample from each shipment from our component suppliers. But I do not know how many we should test.

 

Namdeo: We should ask somebody from our statistics dept. to attend to this problem.

 

As a Statistician, advice what kind of Sampling schemes can we consider, and what factors will influence choice of scheme. What are the questions we should ask Mr. Namdeo, who works in the assembly line?


MANAGERIAL ECONOMICS CASE STUDY

           MANAGERIAL ECONOMICS CASE STUDY FOR IIBMS MBA EXAM

 

    FOR SOLUTIONS CONTACT:

DR. PRASANTH BE BBA MBA PH.D. MOBILE / WHATSAPP: +91 9924764558 OR +91 9447965521 EMAIL: prasanththampi1975@gmail.com WEBSITE: www.casestudyandprojectreports.com

 

                Subject – Managerial Economics

                                 Marks – 100

 

 

Attempt Any Four Case Study

 

CASE – 1   Dabur India Limited: Growing Big and Global

 

Dabur is among the top five FMCG companies in India and is positioned successfully on the specialist herbal platform. Dabur has proven its expertise in the fields of health care, personal care, homecare and foods.

The company was founded by Dr. S. K. Burman in 1884 as small pharmacy in Calcutta (now Kolkata), India. And is now led by his great grandson Vivek C. Burman, who is the Chairman of Dabur India Limited and the senior most representative of the Burman family in the company. The company headquarters are in Ghaziabad, India, near the Indian capital New Delhi, where it is registered. The company has over 12 manufacturing units in India and abroad. The international facilities are located in Nepal, Dubai, Bangladesh, Egypt and Nigeria.

S.K. Burman, the founder of Dabur, was trained as a physician. His mission was to provide effective and affordable cure for ordinary people in far-flung villages. Soon, he started preparing natural remedies based on Ayurved for diseases such as Cholera, Plague and Malaria. Due to his cheap and effective remedies, he became to be known as ‘Daktar’ (Indianised version of ‘doctor’). And that is how his venture Dabur got its name—derived from Daktar Burman.

The company faces stiff competition from many multi national and domestic companies. In the Branded and Packaged Food and Beverages segment major companies that are active include Hindustan Lever, Nestle, Cadbury and Dabur. In case of Ayurvedic medicines and products, the major competitors are Baidyanath, Vicco, Jhandu, Himani and other pharmaceutical companies.

 

 

 

Vision, Mission and Objectives

 

Vision statement of Dabur says that the company is “dedicated to the health and well being of every household”. The objective is to “significantly accelerate profitable growth by providing comfort to others”. For achieving this objective Dabur aims to:

  • Focus on growing core brands across categories, reaching out to new geographies, within and outside India, and improve operational efficiencies by leveraging technology.
  • Be the preferred company to meet the health and personal grooming needs of target consumers with safe, efficacious, natural solutions by synthesising deep knowledge of ayurveda and herbs with modern science.
  • Be a professionally managed employer of choice, attracting, developing and retaining quality personnel.
  • Be responsible citizens with a commitment to environmental protection.
  • Provide superior returns, relative to our peer group, to our shareholders.

 

Chairman of the company

 

Vivek C. Burman joined Dabur in 1954 after completing his graduation in Business Administration from the USA. In 1986 he was appointed Managing Director of Dabur and in 1998 he took over as Chairman of the Company.

Under Vivek Burman’s leadership, Dabur has grown and evolved as a multi-crore business house with a diverse product portfolio and a marketing network that traverses the whole of India and more than 50 countries across the world. As a strong and positive leader, Vivek C. Burman has motivated employees of Dabur to “do better than their best”—a credo that gives Dabur its status as India’s most trusted nature-based products company.

 

Leading brands

 

More than 300 diverse products in the FMCG, Healthcare and Ayurveda segments are in the product line of Dabur. List of products of the company include very successful brands like Vatika, Anmol, Hajmola, Dabur Amla Chyawanprash, Dabur Honey and Lal Dant Manjan with turnover of Rs.100 crores each.

Strategic positioning of Dabur Honey as food product, lead to market leadership with over 40% market share in branded honey market; Dabur Chyawanprash is the largest selling Ayurvedic medicine with over 65% market share. Dabur is a leader in herbal digestives with 90% market share. Hajmola tablets are in command with 75% market share of digestive tablets category. Dabur Lal Tail tops baby massage oil market with 35% of total share.

CHD (Consumer Health Division), dealing with classical Ayurvedic medicines has more than 250 products sold through prescription as well as over the counter. Proprietary Ayurvedic medicines developed by Dabur include Nature Care Isabgol, Madhuvaani and Trifgol.

However, some of the subsidiary units of Dabur have proved to be low margin business; like Dabur Finance Limited. The international units are also operating on low profit margin. The company also produces several “me – too” products. At the same time the company is very popular in the rural segment.

Questions

 

  1. What is the objective of Dabur? Is it profit maximisation or growth maximisation? Discuss.
  2. Do you think the growth of Dabur from a small pharmacy to a large multinational company is an indicator of the advantages of joint stock company against proprietorship form? Elaborate.

 

CASE – 2   IT Industry: Checkered Growth

 

IT industry is now considered as vital for the development of any economy. Developing countries value the importance of this industry due to its capacity to provide much needed export earnings and support in the development of other industries. Especially in Indian context, this industry has assumed a significant position in the overall economy, due to its exemplary potentials in creating high value jobs, enhancing business efficiency and earning export revenues. The IT revolution has brought unexpected opportunities for India, which is emerging as an increasingly preferred location for customised software development. Experts are estimating the global IT industry to grow to US$1.6 million over the coming six years and exports to reach Rs. 2000 billion by 2008. It is envisaged that Indian IT industry, though a very small portion of the global IT pie, has tremendous growth prospects.

 

Stock Taking

 

The decade of 1970 may be taken as the stage of introduction of the Indian IT industry. The early years were marked by 75 per cent of software development taking place overseas and the rest 25 per cent in India. Exports of Indian software until the mid-1970s was mainly Eastern Europe, followed by US. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) was among the pioneers in selling its services outside India, by working for IBM Labs in the US. The hardware segment lagged behind its software counterpart. With instances of exports worth US$ 4 million in 1980, the software segment of the industry has shown an uneven profile. It was not until 1980s that vigorous and sustained growth in software exports begun, as MNCs like Texas Instruments started to take serious interest in India as a centre of software production. Destinations of export also underwent changes, with US dominating the main export market with 75 per cent of the exports. The IT Enabled Services (ITeS) segment, however, had not emerged at this stage.

It was also during the mid to late 1980s that computer firms shifted focus from mainframe computers (the mainstay of MNCs) to Personal Computers (PCs). In March 1985, Minicomp installed the first ever PC at CSI, Delhi; this changed the entire industry for good. With the entry of networking and applications like CAD/CAM, PC sales soared in 1987-88, touching 50,000 units.

From a modest growth in the mid-1980s software exports moved up to Rs. 3.8 billion in 1991-92. Since then, it grew at an incredible rate, up to 115 per cent in 1993. The hardware could also register an annual growth of 40 per cent in this period, backed by a surging demand for PCs and networking. Growth of the industry was also driven by the emergence and rapid growth of the ITeS segment.

IT sector’s share of GDP rose steadily in this period, rate of increase being the highest at 44.91 per cent in 2000-01. It was in the same year that the size of the total IT market was the biggest in the decade, at Rs. 56,592 crore. The overall IT market was also found to increase till 2000-01. The overall IT market was also found to increase till 2000-01, with the only exception of 1998-99. The domestic market also showed an overall increase till 2000-01, registering a spectacular CAGR of 50.39 per cent. Aggregate output of software and services also increased in this period, though at an uneven rate. Of approximately $1 billion worth of sales in 1991-1992, domestic hardware sales constituted 37.2 per cent (13.4 per cent growth over the previous year), exports of hardware 6.6 per cent.

During 2000-01 the growth in the hardware segment was driven mainly by PCs, which contributed about 58 per cent of the total hardware market. This period also witnessed the phenomenon of increasing share of Tier 2 and cities in PC sales, thereby indicating PC penetration into the hinterland. PC shipments had increased by 35 per cent every year from 1997 till 2000-01 when it reached 1.8 million PCs. The commercial PC market saw a growth of 23.5 per cent mainly due to slashing of prices by major vendors.

It was in 2001-02 that the industry had a sharp fall in rate of growth of its share of GDP to 5.90 per cent, from 44.91 per cent in the previous year. The total IT market also showed a fall in growth rate from 56.42 per cent in 2000-01 to a mere 16.24 per cent in the next year, growing further at the rate of 16.25 per cent in the next year. Software export was also affected, registering a low growth of 28.74 per cent and failed to maintain its growth rate of 65.30 per cent in the previous year. It got further lowered to 26.30 per cent in 2002-03. CAGR of total output of software and services (in Rs. crore) came down to 25.61 in 2001-02 and further to 25.11 in 2002-03. The domestic market showed a steep decline in growth to 3 per cent in 2001-02 from an outstanding 50.39 per cent in 2000-01. It could, however, recover by growing at 4.11 per cent in the next year.

 

 

Table 1: Indian IT Industry: 1996-97 to 2002-03

 

Year A* B* C* D* E*
1996-97

1997-98

1998-99

1999-00

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

 

 

1.22

1.45

1.87

2.71

2.87

3.09

 

 

18,641

25,307

36,179

56,592

65,788

76,482

 

3,900

6,530

10,940

17,150

28,350

36,500

46,100

 

6,594

10,899

16,879

23,980

37,350

47,532

59,472

 

9,438

12,055

14,227

18,837

28,330

29,181

30,382

 

 

*A: share of GDP of the Indian IT market, B: size of the Indian IT market (in Rs. crore), C: software and services exports (in Rs. crore), D: size of software and services (in Rs. crore), E: size of the domestic market (in Rs. crore)

 

 

Questions

 

1.                  Try to identify various stages of growth of IT industry on basis of information given in the case and present a scenario for the future.
2.                  Study the table given. Apply trend projection method on the figures and comment on the trend.
3.                  Compute a 3 year moving average forecast for the years 1997-98 through 2003-04.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE – 3   Outsourcing to India: Way to Fast Track

 

By almost any measure, David Galbenski’s company Contract Counsel was a success. It was a company Galbenski and a law school buddy, Mark Adams, started in 1993; it helps companies find lawyers on a temporary contract basis. The growth over the past five years had been furious. Revenue went from less than $200,000 to some $6.5 million at the end of 2003, and the company was placing thousands of lawyers a year.

At then the revenue growth began to flatten; the company grew just 8% in 2004 despite a robust market for legal services estimated at about $250 billion in the United States alone. Frustrated and concerned, Galbenski stepped back and began taking a hard look at his business. Could he get it back on the fast track? “Most business books say that the hardest threshold to cross is that $10 million sales mark,” he says. “I knew we couldn’t afford to grow only 10% a year. We needed to blow right through that number.”

For that to happen, Galbenski knew he had to expand his customer base beyond the Midwest into large legal supermarkets such as Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C. He also knew that in doing so, he could run into stiff competition from larger publicly traded rivals. Contract Counsel’s edge has always been its low price, Clients called when dealing with large-scale litigation or complicated merger and acquisition deals, either of which can require as many as 100 lawyers to manage the discovery process and the piles of documents associated with it. Contract Counsel’s temps cost about $75 an hour, roughly half of what a law firm would charge, which allowed the company to be competitive despite its relatively small size. Galbenski was counting on using the same strategy as he expanded into new cities. But would that be enough to spur the hyper growth that he craved for?

At that time, Galbenski had been reading quite a bit about the growing use of offshore employees. He knew companies like General Electric, Microsoft and Cisco were saving bundles by setting up call and data centers in India. Could law firms offshore their work? Galbenski’s mind raced with possibilities. He imagined tapping into an army of discount-priced legal minds that would mesh with his existing talent pool in the U.S. The two work forces could collaborate over the Web and be productive on a 24-7 basis. And the cost could be massive.

Using offshore workers was a risk, but the payoff was potentially huge. Incidentally Galbenski and his eight-person management team were preparing to meet for their semiannual review meeting. The purpose of the two-day event was to decide the company’s goals for the coming year. Driving to the meeting, Galbenski struggled to figure out exactly what he was going to say. He was still undecided about whether to pursue an incremental and conservative national expansion or take a big gamble on overseas contractors.

 

The Decision

 

The next morning Galbenski kicked off the management meeting. Galbenski laid out the facts as he saw them. Rather than look at just the next five years of growth, look at the next 20, he said. He cited a Forrester Research prediction that some 79,000 legal jobs, totaling $5.8 billion in wages, would be sent offshore by 2015. He challenged his team to be pioneers in creating a new industry, rather than stragglers racing to catch up. His team applauded. Returning to the office after the meeting, Galbenski announced the change in strategy to his 20 full-timers.

Then he and his team began plotting a global action plan. The first step was to hire a company out of Indianapolis, Analysts International, to start compiling a list of the best legal services providers in countries where people had comparatively strong English skills. The next phase was vetting the companies in person. In February 2005, just three months after the meeting in Port Huron, Galbenski found himself jetting off on a three months trip to scout potential contractors in India, Dubai, and Sri Lanka. Traveling to cities like Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad, he interviewed executives from more than a dozen companies, investigating their day-to-day operations firsthand.

India seemed like the best bet. With more than 500 law schools and about 200,000 law students graduating each year, it had no shortage or attorneys. What amazed Galbenski, however, was that thanks to the Web, lawyers in India had access to the same research tools and case summaries as any associate in the U.S. Sure, they didn’t speak American English. “But they were highly motivated, highly intelligent, and extremely process-oriented,” he says. “They were also eager to tackle the kinds of tasks that most new associated at law firms look down upon” such as poring over and coding thousands of documents in advance of a trial. In other words, they were perfect for the kind of document-review work he had in mind.

After a return visit to India in August 2005, Galbenski signed a contract with two legal services companies: QuisLex, in Hyderabad, and Manthan Services in Bangalore. Using their lawyers and paralegals, Galbenski figured he could cut his document-review rates to $50 an hour. He also outsourced the maintenance of the database used to store the contact information for his thousands of contractors. In all, he spent about 12 months and $250,000 readying his newly global company. Convincing U.S. based clients to take a chance on the new service hasn’t been easy. In November, Galbenski lined up pilot programs with four clients (none of which are ready to publicise their use of offshore resources). To help get the word out, he launched a website (offshore-legal-services.com), which includes a cache of white papers and case studies to serve as a resource guide for companies interested in outsourcing.

Questions

 

1.                  As money costs will decrease due to decision to outsource human resource, some real costs and opportunity costs may surface. What could these be?
2.                  Elaborate the external and internal economies of scale as occurring to Contract Counsel.
3.                  Can you see some possibility of economies of scope from the information given in the case? Discuss.

 

CASE – 4   Indian Stock Market: Does it Explain Perfect Competition?

 

The stock market is one of the most important sources for corporates to raise capital. A stock exchange provides a market place, whether real or virtual, to facilitate the exchange of securities between buyers and sellers. It provides a real time trading information on the listed securities, facilitating price discovery.

Participants in the stock market range from small individual investors to large traders, who can be based anywhere in the world. Their orders usually end up with a professional at a stock exchange, who executes the order. Some exchanges are physical locations where transactions are carried out on a trading floor. The other type of exchange is of a virtual kind, composed of a network of computers and trades are made electronically via traders.

By design a stock exchange resembles perfect competition. Large number of rational profit maximisers actively competing with each other, trying to predict future market value of individual securities comprises the main feature of any stock market. Important current information is almost freely available to all participants. Price of individual security is determined by market forces and reflects the effect of events that have already occurred and are expected to occur. In the short run it is not easy for a market player to either exit or enter; one cannot exit and enter for few days in those stocks which are under no delivery. For example Tata Steel was in no delivery from 29/10/07 to 02/11/07. Similarly one cannot enter or exit on those stocks which are in upper or lower circuit for few regular trading sessions. Therefore a player has to depend wholly on market price for its profit maximizing output (in this case stock of securities). In the long run players may exit the market if they are not able to earn profit, but at the same time new investors are attracted by rise in market price.

As on 01/11/07 total market capital at Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) is $1589.43 billion (source: Business Standard, 1/11/2007); out of this individual investors account for only $100bn. In spite of the fact that individual investors exist in a very large number, their capital base is less than 7% of total market capital; rest of capital is owned by foreign institutional investor and domestic institutional investors (FIIs and DIIs), which are very small in number. Average capital owned by a single large player is huge in comparison to small investor. This situation seems to have prompted Dr Dash of BSE to comment ‘The stock market activity is increasingly becoming more centralised, concentrated and non competitive, serving interest of big players only.” Table 2 shows the impact of change in FII on National Stock Exchange movement during three different time periods.

 

Table 2: Impact of FIIs’ Investment on NSE

 

 

Wave

 

 

Date

 

 

Nifty

close

 

Change in Nifty Index

 

FLLS Net Investment

(Rs.Cr.)

 

Change in Market Capitalisation

(Rs.Cr.)

Wave 1

From

To

 

17/05/04

26/10/05

 

1388.75

2408.50

 

 

1019.75

 

 

59520

 

 

5,40,391

Wave 2

From

To

 

27/10/05

11/05/06

 

2352.90

3701.05

 

 

1348.15

 

 

38258

 

 

6,20,248

Wave 3

From

To

 

12/05/06

13/06/06

 

3650.05

2663.30

 

 

-986.75

 

 

-9709

 

 

-4,60,149

 

By design, an Indian Stock Market resembles perfect competition, not as a complete description (for no markets may satisfy all requirements of the model) but as an approximation.

 

 

 

 

 

Questions

 

  1. Is stock market a good example of perfect competition? Discuss.
  2. Identify the characteristics of perfect competition in the stock market setting.
  3. Can you find some basic aspect of perfect competition which is essentially absent in stock market?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE – 5   The Indian Audio Market

 

The Indian audio market pyramid is featured by the traditional radios forming its lower bulk. Besides this, there are four other distinct segments: mono recorders (ranking second in the pyramid), stereo recorders, midi systems (which offer the sound amplification of a big system, but at a far lower price and expected to grow at 25% per year) and hi-fis (minis and micros, slotted at the top end of the market).

Today the Indian audio market is abound with energy and action as both national and international majors are trying to excel themselves and elbow the others, ushering in new concepts, like CD sound, digital tuners, full logic tape deck, etc. The main players in the Indian audio market are Philips, BPL and Videocon. Of these, Philips is one of the oldest and is considered at the leading national brands. In fact it was the first company to introduce a range of international products such as CD radio cassette recorder, stand alone CD players and CD mini hi-fi systems. With the easing of the entry barriers, a number of new international players like Panasonic, Akai, Sansui, Sony, Sharp, Goldstar, Samsung and Aiwa have also entered the arena. This has led to a sea of changes in the industry and resulted in an expanded market and a happier customer, who has access to the latest international products at competitive prices. The rise in the disposable income of the average Indian, especially the upper-income section, has opened up new vistas for premium products and has provided a boost to companies to launch audio systems priced as high as Rs. 50,000 and beyond.

 

Pricing across Segments

 

Super Premium Segment: This segment of the market is largely price-insensitive, as consumers are willing to pay a premium in order to obtain products of high quality. Sonodyne has positioned itself in this segment by concentrating on products that are too small for large players to operate in profitably. It has launched a range of systems priced between Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 60,000. National Panasonic has launched its super premium range of systems by the name of Technics.

 

Premium Segment: Much of the price game is taking place in this segment, in which systems are priced around Rs. 25,000. Even the foreign players ensure that the pricing is competitive. Entry barriers of yester years compelled the demand by this segment to be partially met by the grey market. With the opening up of the market, the premium segment is witnessing a rapid growth and is currently estimated to be worth Rs. 30 crores. Growth of this segment is also being driven by consumers who want to upgrade their old music systems. Another major stimulating factor is the plethora of financing options available, bringing more and more consumers to the market.

Philips has understood the Indian listener well enough to dictate the basic principles of segmentation. It projects its products as high quality at medium price. In fact, Philips had successfully spotted an opportunity in the wide price gap between portable cassette players and hi-fi systems and pioneered the concept of a midi system (a three-in-one containing radio, tape deck and amplifier in one unit). Philips has also realised that there is a section of the rich consumer which values not just power but also clarity and is willing to pay for it. The pricing strategy of Philips was to make the most of its image as a technology leader. To this end, it used non-price variables by launching of a range of state of art machines like the FW series, and CD players. Moreover, it came up with the punch line in its advertisements as, “We Invent For You”.

BPL stands second only to Philips in the audio market and focuses on technology as its USP. Its kingpin in the marketing mix is its high technology superior quality product. It is thus at being the product-quality leader. BPL’s proposition of fidelity is translated in its punchline for its audio systems as, ‘e-fi your imagination’ (d-fi stands for digital fidelity). The company follows a market skimming strategy. When a new product was launched, it was placed in the top end of the market, and priced accordingly. The company offers a range of products in all price segments in the market without discounting the brand.

Another major player, Videocon, has managed to price its products lower even in the premium segment. The success of the Powerhouse (a 160 watt midi launched by Philips in 1990) had prompted Videocon to launch the Select Sound range of midi stereo systems at a slightly lower price. At the premium end, Videocon is making efforts to upgrade its image to being “quality-driven” by associating itself with the internationally reputed brand name of Sansui from Japan, and following a perceived value pricing method.

Sony is another brand which is positioning itself as a premium product and charges a higher price for the superior quality of sound it offers. Unlike indulging into price wars, Sony’s ad-campaigns project the message that nothing can beat Sony in the quality and intensity of sound. National Panasonic is another player that has three products in the top end of the market, priced in the Rs. 21,000 to Rs. 32,000 range.

 

Monos and Stereos: Videocon has 21% share I the overall audio market, but has been a major player only in personal stereos and two-in-ones. Its history is written with instances where it has offered products of similar quality, but at much lower prices than its competitors. In fact, Videocon launched the Sansui brand of products with a view to transform its image from that of being a manufacturer of cheap products to that of being a company that primes quality, and also to obtain a share of the hi-fi segment. Sansui is being positioned as a premium brand, targeting the higher middle, upper income groups and also the sensitive middle class Indian consumer.

The objective of Philips in this segment is to achieve higher sales volumes and hence its strategy is to expand its range and have a product in every segment of the market. The pricing method used by Philips in this segment is providing value for money.

National Panasonic offers products in the lower end of the market, apart from the top of the range. In fact, it reduced the price of one of its small two-in-ones from Rs. 3,500 to Rs. 2,400, with the logic that a forte in the lower end of the market would help in building brand reliability across a wider customer base. The company is also guided by the logic that operating in the price sensitive region of the market will help it reach optimum levels of efficiency. Panasonic has also entered the market for midis.

These apart, there also exists a sector in the Indian audio industry, with powerful regional brands in mono and stereo segments, having a market share of 59% in mono recorders and 36% in stereo recorders. This sector has a strong influence on price performance.

 

 

Questions

 

  1. What major pricing strategies have been discussed in the case? How effective these strategies have been in ensuring success of the company?
  2. Is perceived value pricing the dominant strategy of major players?
  3. Which products have reached maturity stage in audio industry? Do you think that product bundling can be effectively used for promoting sale of these products?

 

 

 

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INDUSTRIAL MANAGEMENT IIBMS EXAM ANSWER

FOR ANSWER SHEET CONTACT:

DR. PRASANTH BE BBA MBA PH.D. MOBILE / WHATSAPP: +91 9924764558 OR +91 9447965521 EMAIL: prasanththampi1975@gmail.com WEBSITE: www.casestudyandprojectreports.com

Note: Solve any 8 Questions

 

 

  1. To compare three sites, the various factors are listed, as given below. Select the optimal location and give reasons for your choice:

 

  Site A

Rs.

Site B

Rs.

Site C

Rs.

Rent 20,000 10,000 10,000
Labour 1,35,000 1,30,000 1,60,000
Freight Charges 81,000 64,000 28,000
Taxes Nil 3,500 2,000
Power 6,000 6,000 6,000
Community attitude Indifferent Want business Indifferent
Employee Housing Excellent Adequate Poor

 

 

  1. What are the principal considerations for location of:
  1. Steel industry around Bihar
  2. Zinc smelter Plant at Udaipur (Rajasthan)

ANSWER

 

  1. Steel industry around Bihar

 

  • Easy to procure raw material
  • Should not be a residential area
  • Near to the port
  • Frequent transporting facility
  • Facility for dispose waste

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Zinc smelter Plant at Udaipur (Rajasthan)

 

  • Should be remote area, away from residential area
  • Near to any river for discharge treated chemical liquid waste
  • Transport facility for heavy vehicle

 

iii. Plastic industry in Bombay

 

  • Easy availability of raw material
  • Should be a industrial area
  • Access for transportation of commercial vehicle

 

  1. Khetri Copper Project in Rajasthan

 

– Free availability of raw material for production

– Area should be hot and have less moisture

– Should not be a residential area

– Should be able to dispose waste

– Need transportation facility

 

 

 

  1. Textile industry at Bombay and Ahmedabad

 

  • Easy availability of manpower
  • Availability of public transport facility
  • Near to any town
  • Should be an industrial area

 

  1. Sugar industry in Maharashtra and U.P.

 

  • Frequent availability of raw material
  • Nearer to cane cultivation
  • Should be industrial area
  • Easy access to commercial vehicle
  • Near to any river for disposal of treated liquid waste

 

vii. Glass and Bangle industry at Firozabad

 

  • Easy availability of quality manpower
  • Availability of public transport facility
  • Near to any commercial area
  • Access for transportation

 

viii. Woollen carpets at Mirzapur

 

  • Easy availability of raw material
  • Availability of manpower
  • Transportation facility

 

  • Plastic industry in Bombay
  1. Khetri Copper Project in Rajasthan
  2. Textile industry at Bombay and Ahmedabad
  3. Sugar industry in Maharashtra and U.P.
  • Glass and Bangle industry at Firozabad
  • Woollen carpets at Mirzapur
  1. Silken sarees at Kanjiwaram ( Tamil Nadu )
  2. YMCA Institute of Engineering at Faridabad
  3. Indian Oil Refinery at Mathura
  • Iron foundaries at Agra
  • Brass sheet industry at Moradabad
  • Bed sheet industry at Sholapur.
  1. Escort Tractors Ltd. At Faridabad.

 

  1. a. What do you understand by “Centralised Production Planning and Control”?   Give its advantages.

 

  1. What is the position of P.P.C. in a works organization? Show it with the help of a chart.

 

  1. a. What do you understand by the ‘Follow up’ function of production planning and control? Explain

 

  1. Give a specimen of “Gantt Chart” which is normally used in the production planning and control department and describe briefly how it could be used for checking the actual progress of a job against the schedule

 

 

  1. a. What are the various Indirect Expenses which are essential in estimating the total cost? Explain

 

  1. What do you understand by depreciation? Explain

 

 

  1. a. What is the purpose of Work Measurement? Enumerate its uses

 

  1. What are the various allowances considered in Time Study?

 

  1. Define “Rating”. What is its necessity?

 

 

  1. a. What are the techniques of work measurement? Explain each of them briefly.

 

  1. Why is a job broken down into elements and what are the general rules for selection of elements?

 

 

  1. a. How ‘management functions’ differ from ‘administrative functions’ specially in the context of ‘differentiation’ and ‘integration’ activities involved in realising the organizational objectives?

 

  1. Distinguish between ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ type of communication system.

 

  1. Considering a manufacturing organization as a ‘socio-technical’ system indicate how the four principal functions of management are interrelated.

 

  1. a. Explain the assumption underlying PERT and CPM network models applied in Project Management.

 

  1. How is PERT different from CPM? Explain their fields of application

 

  1. A project is composed of seven activities whose time estimates are listed in the following table. Activities are identified by their beginning(i) and ending(j) mode numbers:

 

Activity Estimated duration in weeks
I j Optimistic Most Likely Pessimistic
1 2 1 1 7
1 3 1 4 7
1 4 2 2 8
2 5 1 1 1
3 5 2 5 14
4 6 2 5 0
5 6 3 6 15

 

  1. Draw the project network and identify all paths for its completion.
    1. Find the expected duration and variance for the project
  • Calculate the early and let occurrence time for each mode. Calculate expected project length.
  1. Calculate the stack for each activity

 

 

  1. What are the basic differences between
  1. Operation process chart
  2. Flow process chart
  • Flow diagram, and
  1. String Diagram.

 

Draw sample charts with a specific product in mind to explain the characteristics of these techniques of Work Study.


HRM IIBMS MBA CASE STUDY

HRM IIBMS MBA CASE STUDY

FOR SOLUTION CONTACT:

DR. PRASANTH BE BBA MBA PH.D. MOBILE / WHATSAPP: +91 9924764558 OR +91 9447965521 EMAIL: prasanththampi1975@gmail.com WEBSITE: www.casestudyandprojectreports.com

 

Note: Solve any 4 Cases Study’s

 

CASE: I    Conceptualise and Get Sacked

 

HSS Ltd. is a leader in high-end textiles having headquarters in Bangalore.

The company records a turnover of Rs 1,000 cr. Plus a year. A year back, HSS set up a unit at Hassan (250 km away from Bangalore) to spin home textiles. The firm hired Maniyam as GM-HR and asked him to operationalise the Hassan unit.

Maniyam has a vision. Being a firm believer in affirmative actions, he plans to reach out to the rural areas and tap the potentials of teenaged girls with plus two educational background. Having completed their 12th standard, these girls are sitting at homes, idling their time, watching TV serials endlessly and probably dreaming about their marriages. Junior colleges are located in their respective villages and it is easy for these girls to get enrolled in them. But degree colleges are not nearby. The nearest degree college is minimum 10 km and no parents dare send their daughters on such long distances and that too for obtaining degrees, which would not guarantee them jobs but could make searching for suitable boys highly difficult.

These are the girls to whom Maniyam wants to reach out. How to go about hiring 1500 people from a large number who can be hired? And Karnataka is a big state with 27 districts. The GM-HR studies the geography of all the 27 districts and zeroes in on nine of them known for backwardness and industriousness.

Maniyam then thinks of the principals of Junior Colleges in all the nine districts as contact persons to identify potential candidates. This route is sure to ensure desirability and authenticity of the candidates. The girls are raw hands. Except the little educational background, they know nothing else. They need to be trained. Maniyam plans to set up a training centre at Hassan with hostel facilities for new hires. He even hires Anil, an MBA from UK, to head the training centre.

All is set. It is bright day in October 2006. MD and the newly hired VP-HR came to Hassan from Bangalore. 50 principals from different parts of the nine districts also came on invitation from Maniyam and Anil. Discussions, involving all, go on upto 2 PM. At that time, MD and VP-HR ask Maniyam to meet them at the guest house to discuss some confidential matter.

In this meeting, Maniyam is told that his style of functioning does not jell with the culture of HSS. He gets the shock of life. He responds on expected by submitting his papers.

Back in his room, Maniyam wonders what has gone wrong. Probably, the VP-HR being the same age as he is, is feeling jealous and insecure since the MD has all appreciation for the concept and the way things are happening. Maniyam does not have regrets. On the contrary he is happy that his concept is being followed though he has been sacked. After all, HSS has already hired 500 girls. With Rs 3,000 plus a month each, these girls and their parents now find it easy to find suitable boys.

 

 

Question:

 

  1. What mad the MD change his mind and go against Maniyam? What role might the VP-HR have played in the episode?
  2. If you were Maniyam, what would you do?

 

 

 

 

CASE: II  A Tale of Twists and Turns

 

Rudely shaken, Vijay came home in the evening. He was not in a mood to talk to his wife. Bolted inside, he sat in his room, lit a cigarette, and brooded over his experience with a company he loved most.

Vijay, an M.Com and an ICWA, joined the finance department of a Bangalore-based electric company (Unit 1), which boasts of an annual turnover of Rs. 400 crores. He is smart, intelligent, but conscientious. He introduced several new systems in record-keeping and was responsible for cost reduction in several areas. Being a loner, Vijay developed few friends in and outside the organization. He also missed promotions four times though he richly deserved them.

G.M. Finance saw to it that Vijay was shifted to Unit 2 where he was posted in purchasing. Though purchasing was not his cup of tea, Vijay went into it whole hog, streamlined the purchasing function, and introduced new systems, particularly in vendor development. Being honest himself, Vijay ensured that nobody else made money through questionable means.

After two years in purchasing, Vijay was shifted to stores. From finance to purchasing to stores was too much for Vijay to swallow.

He burst out before the unit head, and unable to control his anger, Vijay put in his papers too. The unit head was aghast at this development but did nothing to console Vijay. He forwarded the papers to the V.P. Finance, Unit 1.

The V.P. Finance called in Vijay, heard him for a couple of hours, advised him not to lose heart, assured him that his interests would be taken care of and requested him to resume duties in purchasing Unit 2. Vijay was also assured that no action would be taken on the papers he had put in.

Six months passed by. Then came the time to effect promotions. The list of promotees was announced and to his dismay, Vijay found that his name was missing. Angered, Vijay met the unit head who coolly told Vijay that he could collect his dues and pack off to his house for good. It was great betrayal for Vijay.

 

Question:

 

  1. What should Vijay do?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE: III  Mechanist’s Indisciplined Behaviour

 

Dinesh, a machine operator, worked as a mechanist for Ganesh, the supervisor. Ganesh told Dinesh to pick up some trash that had fallen from Dinesh’s work area, and Dinesh replied, “I won’t do the janitor’s work.”

Ganesh replied, “when you drop it, you pick it up”. Dinesh became angry and abusive, calling Ganesh a number of names in a loud voice and refusing to pick up the trash. All employees in the department heard Dinesh’s comments.

Ganesh had been trying for two weeks to get his employees to pick up trash in order to have cleaner workplace and prevent accidents. He talked to all employees in a weekly departmental meeting and to each employee individually at least once. He stated that he was following the instructions of the general manager. The only objection came from Dinesh.

Dinesh has been with the company for five years, and in this department for six months. Ganesh had spoken to him twice about excessive alcoholism, but otherwise his record was good. He was known to have quick temper.

This outburst by Dinesh hurt Ganesh badly, Ganesh told Dinesh to come to the office and suspended him for one day for insubordination and abusive language to a supervisor. The decision was within company policy, and similar behaviours had been punished in other departments.

After Dinesh left Ganesh’s office, Ganesh phoned the HR manager, reported what he had done, and said that he was sending a copy of the suspension order for Dinesh’s file.

 

Question:

 

  1. How would you rate Dinesh’s behaviour? What method of appraisal would you use? Why?
  2. Do you assess any training needs of employees? If yes, what inputs should be embodied in the training programme?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE: IV   A Case of Misunderstood Message

 

Indane Biscuits is located in an industrial area. The biscuit factory employs labour on a daily basis. The management does not follow statutory regulations, and are able to get away with violations by keeping the concerned inspectors in good books.

The factory has a designated room to which employees are periodically called either to hire or to fire.

On the National Safety Day, the Industries Association, of which Indane Biscuits is a member, decided to celebrate collectively at a central place. Each of the member was given a specific task. The Personnel Manager, Indane Biscuits, desired to consult his supervisors and to inform everybody through them about the safety day celebrations. He sent a memo requesting them to be present in the room meant for hiring and firing. As soon as the supervisors read the memo, they all got panicky thinking that now it was their turn to get fired. They started having ‘hush-hush’ consultations. The workers also learnt about it, and since they had a lot of scores to settle with the management they extended their sympathy and support to the supervisors. As a consequence, everybody struck work and the factory came to a grinding halt.

In the meantime, the personnel manager was unaware of the developments and when he came to know of it he went immediately and tried to convince the supervisors about the purpose of inviting them and the reason why that particular room was chosen. To be fair to the Personnel Manager, he selected the room because no other room was available. But the supervisors and the workers were in no mood to listen.

The Managing Director, who rushed to the factory on hearing about the strike, also couldn’t convince the workers.

The matter was referred to the labour department. The enquiry that followed resulted in all irregularities of the factory getting exposed and imposition of heavy penalties. The Personnel Manager was sacked.  The factory opened after prolonged negotiations and settlements.

 

Question:

 

  1. In the case of the Indane Biscuits, bring out the importance of ‘context’ and ‘credibility’ in communication.
  2. List the direct and indirect causes for the escalation of tension at Indane Biscuits.
  3. If you were the Personnel Manager what would you do?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE: V  Rise and Fall

 

Jagannath (Jaggu to his friends) is an over ambitious young man. For him ends justify means.

With a diploma in engineering. Jaggu joined, in 1977, a Bangalore-based company as a Technical Assistant. He got himself enrolled as a student in a evening college and obtained his degree in engineering in 1982. Recognising his improved qualification, Jaggu was promoted as Engineer-Sales in 1984.

Jaggu excelled himself in the new role and became the blue-eyed boy of the management. Promotions came to him in quick succession. He was made Manager-Sales in 1986 and Senior Manager-Marketing in 1988.

Jaggu did not forget his academic pursuits. After being promoted as Engineer-Sales, he joined an MBA (part-time) programme. After completing MBA, Jaggu became a Ph.D. scholar and obtained his doctoral degree in 1989.

Functioning as Senior Manager-Marketing, Jaggu eyed on things beyond his jurisdiction. He started complaining Suresh—the Section Head and Phahalad the Unit Chief (both production) with Ravi, the EVP (Executive-Vice President). The complaints included delay in executing orders, poor quality and customer rejections. Most of the complaints were concocted.

Ravi was convinced and requested Jaggu to head the production section so that things could be straightened up there. Jaggu became the Section head and Suresh was shifted to sales.

Jaggu started spreading wings. He prevailed upon Ravi and got sales and quality under his control, in addition to production. Suresh, an equal in status, was now subordinated to Jaggu. Success had gone to Jaggu’s head. He had everything going in his favour—position, power, money and qualification. He divided workers and used them as pawns. He ignored Prahalad and established direct link with Ravi. Unable to bear the humiliation, Prahalad quit the company. Jaggu was promoted as General Manager. He became a megalomaniac.

Things had to end at some point. It happened in Jaggu’s life too. There were complaints against him. He had inducted his brother-in-law, Ganesh, as an engineer. Ganesh was by nature corrupt. He stole copper worth Rs.5 lakh and was suspended. Jaggu tried to defend Ganesh but failed in his effort. Corruption charges were also leveled against Jaggu who was reported to have made nearly Rs.20 lakh himself.

On the new-year day of 1993, Jaggu was reverted to his old position—sales. Suresh was promoted and was asked to head production. Roles got reversed. Suresh became the boss to Jaggu.

Unable to swallow the insult, Jaggu put in his papers.

From 1977 to 1993, Jaggu’s career graph has a steep rise and sudden fall. Whether there would be another hump in the curve is a big question.

 

 

Question:

 

  1. Bring out the principles of promotion that were employed in promoting

 

  1. What would you do if you were (i) Suresh, (ii) Prahalad or (iii) Ravi?

 

  1. Bring out the ethical issues involved in Jaggu’s behaviour.

 

 

 

 

CASE: VI   Chairman and CEO Seeking a Solution and Finding It

 

Sitting on 50-plus year old ION Tyres, the Kolkata-based tyres and tubes manufacturing company with a turnover of more than Rs.1,000 crore, both A.K. Mathur, and Raman Kumar, the CEO are searching for solutions to problems which their company started unfolding.

Financial performance of ION Tyres, is poor as reflected in its falling PBT. Performance gap between the top performer in tyres and tubes and ION Tyres ranges from 4 per cent to 5 per cent. The company has aging managerial people and equally old plant and equipment. High cost of production keeps the company in a disadvantaged position. “Boss is always right” culture has permeated everywhere. Common thread binding all the departments is missing. Each department is a stand alone entity.

There are positives nevertheless. ION Tyres and tubes are famous world-wide for durability, and superior quality. The company offers a wide range of bias tyres and tubes catering to all users segments like heavy and light commercial vehicles, motorbikes, scooters, and autos. The firm has state-of-the-art radial plant. The client list of ION comprises several big guns in Indian corporate sector. Tata Motors, Hero Honda, TVS Motors, Mahindra and Mahindra, L&T, Eicher, Swaraj Mazda, Maruti Udyog and Bajaj are the regularly buying ION’s tyres and tubes.

ION seems to have everything going in its favour. It is the market leader in the Indian market enjoying 19 per cent of the market share; manufactures 5.6 m tyres per year, has a network of 50 regional offices with over 4,000 dealers and 180 C&F agents.

Suddenly both Chairman and CEO have realised that there are too many road blocks ahead of them and the journey to be rough and bumpy.

Realisation dawned on Mathur and Raman Kumar way back in 2001 when they both attended a two-day seminar on “Enhancing Organisational Capability through Balanced Scorecard” organised by CII at Kolkotta. The duo had personal talk with Sanjeev Kumar, the then Chairman of CII. They are now convinced that Balanced Score card is ideal performance assessment tool that could be used in ION with greater benefits.

Mathur and Raman Kumar acted fast. They soon organised a workshop on “Balanced Score” to educate in-house managers about the concept and the procedural aspects of its implementation. There was initial resistance to accept the scorecard as the managers felt that they were already burdened since they were busy implementing other quality improvement initiatives. Deliberations in the workshop changed them. They are now convinced and enthusiastic about the positives of the scorecard. They are ready to implement the system.

A two member task force was constituted comprising Director—HRD and G.M.—Strategy and Planning. The task force travelled to all three factories as well as zonal headquarters to unfold the implementation of scorecard. The scorecard principles were implemented successfully from November 2002 and completed by March 2003. Figures 1 to 4 show the scorecards adopted by ION Tyres.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Financial
“To succeed financially how should we appear to our shareholder Objectives Measure Target Initiatives
To achieve turnover of Rs.1850 crs by FY05 ·      Sales turnover

·      PBIDT

·      To achieve turnover of Rs.1850 crs by FY05

·      PBIDT of Rs.150 crs (FY05)

·      Decrease in conversion cost from Rs.25 to Rs.21/kg in Bhopal plant and Rs.25/kg in Mysore plant

·      Develop acceptable 1000-20 lug tyres

·      Increasing number of sales offices from 180 to 220

·      7 day work week to be introduced at Bhopal plant

·      Improve fuel wastage and ensure lower power

·      VP Technology and MD to initiate technology tie-ups

 

Fig. 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Customer
“To achieve our vision, how should we appear to out customers” Objectives Measure Target Initiatives
Improvement in customer satisfaction ·  Customer satisfaction survey (by external agency) ·      To improve from 65% to 70%

·   Customer engagement at 30%

·    Claim settlement to be reduced from 8 to 2 days

·    Improvement of casing value of used tyres, atleast by 15%

·    Cost per Kilometer of tyre comparable to competitors

 

Fig. 2

 

Outcomes of scorecard implementation have been very encouraging. PBT improved and the gap between ION Tyres and the toppers in the industry reduced by 50 per cent. A transparent and objective performance assessment system came to be kept in place. With inertia and the ennui being broken, both Mathur and Kumar felt galvanized and realised that the road ahead of them was no more bumpy and rough. Thus, solutions to the problems were found.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learning and Growth
“To achieve our vision, how will we sustain our ability to change an improve” Objectives Measure Target Initiatives
Identification of “high-fliers”; Talents to be identified through development workshops ·      Job enrichment, job enlargement,  job rotation

·      Competency Assessment

·      Potential Appraisals

·   Career planning for the High-Fliers (expected to be around 30 managers)

·   Successions planning for all key positions

·   5 manday’s training/manager/year

·    Move people within same functions, in the first two years and at the year two move them to another function

·    Variable pay component in the ration 1:4 for the “high-fliers”

·    Non-financial rewards

·    Felicitation by company chairman in presence of family members for recognizing extraordinary contributions

 

Fig. 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Internal Business Processes
“To satisfy our shareholders and customers, what business processes must we excel at” Objectives Measure Target Initiatives
Introduction of new products in the commercial tyre segment

Reduction of development time

Quarterly reconciliation of accounts receivables from dealers

Annual increases on-time to employees

·  Introduction of 3-4 new products per year in commercial tyre segment

·  Reduction of development time from 18 months to 6 months

·  Achieve 100% reconciliation

·  Annual increases by on time by 1st July

·   Introduction of 3-4 new products per year in commercial tyre segment

·   Reduction of development time from 18 months to 6 months

·   Achieve 100% reconciliation

·   Annual increases by on time by 1st July

·    Regular quarterly review of performance

·    KRA targets to be ready by 1st April

·    European certification for tyres

 

 

Fig.4

Question:

  1. Do you agree with the conclusion drawn at the end of the case that scorecard system has galvanised ION Tyres? In other words, does scorecard system deserve all the credit?
  2. Will quality improvement initiatives clash with scorecard implementation? If yes, how to avoid the clashes?

 

 

 

 

 

 


BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT IIBMS EXAM ANSWERS

BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT IIBMS EXAM ANSWERS

 

FOR ALL IIBMS EXAM ANSWER SHEETS CONTACT:

DR. PRASANTH BE BBA MBA PH.D. MOBILE / WHATSAPP: +91 9924764558 OR +91 9447965521 EMAIL: prasanththampi1975@gmail.com WEBSITE: www.casestudyandprojectreports.com

Business Environment

 

Note: Attempt any five questions (question no. 1. is compulsory)

 

  1. Attempt any four of the following questions:

(a) Explain the relevance of ecological issues to business environment.

 

 ANSWER

Ecological environment refers to all living and non living thing around us within which we live and work. People have a two way relationship with the ecological environment. An individual lives and work is affected by the ecological environment he or she lives in. At the same time ecological environment gets affected by the people in it.

Relevance of ecological environment on the business is very similar to it relevance to individual. After all, business can be considered as the activities of of people organized in bigger group. The activities of an average business is carried out on much larger scale than an average individual. Thus business and ecological environment influence each other in much bigger way than individuals.

In recent years the business activities, particularly the ones involving intensive use of energy, release of harmful effluents, and using harmful substances are threatening to damage our environment irreversible to a state in which life itself will become unbearable for human beings because of phenomenon like global warming.

Industrialization in general involves, urbanization. This not only changes the life of people because of living in urban areas but also causes deforestation.

Some industry such as paper and furniture are fast destroying the substantially depleted forests. This has not only contributed to global warming, but also destroyed many varieties of flora and fauna.

Of course there scan be a positive side of business also. business can, because of its economic power and its relationship with its employees, customers and other stakeholders, play an important part in protecting and improve our ecological environment.

 

 

 

(b) Analyze the social responsibility of business towards employees.

 

 

 

(c) State the basic objectives of regulating business.

 

 

Regulation means providing rules and frameworks for business and other activity. Some aspects of business activity are self-regulating – for example the Advertising Standards Authority provides a voluntary code of practice for the regulation of advertising in this country. However, in many areas it is important to establish some form of compulsory regulation backed up by legal sanctions such as fines, and even prison sentences for directors (and employees) for malpractice.

 

Today we are bound by European Union regulations which are directly binding on all Member States without the need for national legislation to put them in place.

Regulation takes place:

  • to guarantee minimum standards e.g. of consumer protection, health and safety at work etc
  • to protect the weak against the strong e.g. small companies against larger companies or groups of companies that work together to fix prices
  • to provide benchmarks of good practice for business to set as minimum standards
  • to provide an appropriate framework for ethical business behaviour
  • to create standards where none exist.

In a number of industries that were formerly under government control, regulators have been appointed to make sure that prices are fair, and that there are no restrictive practices carried out by the newly privatised businesses that operate in these markets e.g. OFWAT is the official regulator for the water industry.

 

 

 

(d) Describe the basic instruments of fiscal policy in lndia

 ANSWER

Some of the major instruments of fiscal policy are as follows: A. Budget B. Taxation C. Public Expenditure D. Public Works E. Public Debt.

  1. Budget:

The budget of a nation is a useful instrument to assess the fluctuations in an economy.

  1. Taxation:

Taxation is a powerful instrument of fiscal policy in the hands of public authorities which greatly effect the changes in disposable income, consumption and investment. An anti- depression tax policy increases disposable income of the individual, promotes consumption and investment. Obviously, there will be more funds with the people for consumption and investment purposes at the time of tax reduction.

This will ultimately result in the increase in spending activities i.e. it will tend to increase effective demand and reduce the deflationary gap. In this regard, sometimes, it is suggested to reduce the rates of commodity taxes like excise duties, sales tax and import duty. As a result of these tax concessions, consumption is promoted. Economists like Hansen and Musgrave, with their eye on raising private investment, have emphasized upon the reduction in corporate and personal income taxation to overcome contractionary tendencies in the economy.

  1. Public Expenditure:

The active participation of the government in economic activity has brought public spending to the front line among the fiscal tools. The appropriate variation in public expenditure can have more direct effect upon the level of economic activity than even taxes. The increased public spending will have a multiple effect upon income, output and employment exactly in the same way as increased investment has its effect on them. Similarly, a reduction in public spending, can reduce the level of economic activity through the reverse operation of the government expenditure multiplier.

  1. Public Works:

Keynes General Theory highlighted public works programme as the most significant anti-depression device. There are two forms of expenditure i.e., Public Works and ‘Transfer Payments. Public Works according to Prof. J.M. Clark, are durable goods, primarily fixed structure, produced by the government.

They include expenditures on public works as roads, rail tracks, schools, parks, buildings, airports, post offices, hospitals, irrigation canals etc. Transfer payments are the payments such like interest on public debt, subsidy, pension, relief payment, unemployment, insurance and social security benefits etc. The expenditure on capital assets (public works) is called capital expenditure.

 

 

 

  1. Discuss how does the environment acts as a stimulant to business. Analyze why business often does little for physical environment preservation despite the fact that it is significant for business activity.

 ANSWER

A good environment is a constitutional right of the Indian Citizens. Environmental Protection has been given the constitutional status. Directive Principles of State Policy states that, it is the duty of the state to ‘protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country’. It imposes Fundamental duty on every citizen ‘to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife’. In India, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) is the apex  administrative body for :- (i) regulating and ensuring environmental protection; (ii) formulating the environmental policy framework in the country; (iii) undertaking conservation & survey of flora, fauna, forests and wildlife; and (iv) planning, promotion, co-ordination and overseeing the implementation of environmental and forestry  programmes. The Ministry is also the Nodal agency in the country for the United Nations Environment Programme  (UNEP). The organizational structure of the Ministry covers number of Divisions, Directorate, Board, Subordinate Offices, Autonomous Institutions, and Public Sector Undertakings to assist it in achieving all these objectives. Besides, the responsibility for prevention and control of industrial pollution is primarily executed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) at the Central Level, which is a statutory authority, attached to the MoEF. The State Departmentsof Environment and State Pollution Control Boards are the designated agencies toperform this function at the State Level. Because of their impact on the environment, businesses have an obligation to try to mitigate the effects of their activities in an effort to protect the land and water resources. Many businesses act voluntarily to reduce their environmental impact. Industries that use or produce hazardous waste are mandated by law to regulate their businesses. In any case, reducing their environmental impact is a sensible approach to business that can have many benefits……………………

 

 

  1. Analyze the fourfold role of the government in business. Also explain in what respects the role of government has been redefined in lndia during the 1990s.

 

 ANSWER 

Though the government’s role has increased over time, the business community still enjoys considerable freedom. The government exercises its authority several ways.

 

The fourfold role of the government in business are

 

 

 

  1. “The Industrial Policy of 1991 makes a clear departure from the Industrial Policy of 1956” Comment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Describe the recent export promotion measures of the Government of India.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  1. Discuss the role of SEBI in regulating Indian Capital Market.

ANSWER

SEBI is regulator to control Indian capital market. Since its establishment in 1992, it is doing hard work for protecting the interests of Indian investors. SEBI gets education from past cheating with naive investors of India. Now, SEBI is more strict with those who commit frauds in capital market.
The role of security exchange board of India (SEBI) in regulating Indian capital market is very important because government of India can only open or take decision to open new stock exchange in India after getting advice from SEBI.

If SEBI thinks that it will be against its rules and regulations, SEBI can ban on any stock exchange to trade in shares and stocks.

Now, we can explain role of SEBI in regulating Indian Capital Market more deeply with following points:

1. Power to make rules for controlling stock exchange :

SEBI has power to make new rules for controlling stock exchange in India. For example, SEBI fixed the time of  trading 9 AM and 5 PM in stock market.

2. To provide license to dealers and brokers :

SEBI has power to provide license to dealers and brokers of capital market. If SEBI sees that any financial product is of capital nature, then SEBI can also control to that product and its dealers. One of main example is ULIPs case. SEBI said, ” It is just like mutual funds and all banks and financial and insurance companies who want to issue it, must take permission from SEBI.”

3. To Stop fraud in Capital Market

  1. Discuss the basic problems of Industrial finance in India

ANSWER

Foregoing analysis shows that India has made sufficient achievement in industrial development during the last five decades and has emerged as the tenth largest industrialized country of the world. But considering the size of the country this development is far from satisfactory.

There are many areas where despite requisite facilities industrial development is either insufficient or completely absent. The pace of industrial progress has been very slow and the growth has always lagged behind the target (except in 7th Five Year Plan). Despite industrial progress self- sufficiency is a distant dream and import substitu­tion a major problem. Under utilization of existing capacity is another major problem which is due to lack of power, raw material and demand.

  1. Write short notes on the following (Any Three)
  2. i) Corporate disasters
  3. ii) Corporate ethics

iii) Managers and professionalism

  1. iv) Role played by SEBI in avoiding, corporate disasters, ethics ,and also describe CSR initiatives of corporate world.

 

  1. Explain Principles of Corporate Governance .

ANSWER

Business Roundtable has been recognized for decades as an authoritative voice on matters affecting American business corporations and meaningful and effective corporate governance practices.

Since Business Roundtable last updated Principles of Corporate Governance in 2012, U.S. public companies have continued to adapt and refine their governance practices within the framework of evolving laws and stock exchange rules. Business Roundtable CEOs continue to believe that the United States has the best corporate governance, financial reporting and securities markets systems in the world. These systems work because they give public companies not only a framework of laws and regulations that establish minimum requirements but also the flexibility to implement customized practices that suit the companies’ needs and to modify those practices in light of changing conditions and standards.

  1. Explain the Guidelines issued by SEBI towards Corporate Governance.

 

  1. Explain the underlying assumptions of the Black and Scholes option pricing model and why are they needed? Explain in detail Black Scholes option pricing model .

 

  1. Discuss the relationship between the financing decision and investment decision in a firm

 

  1. Discuss RAD and CE approach

 

  1. Explain the advantages of Decision tree approach in investment decisions

 

  1. .Discuss the factors which exercise influence on the demand for working capital in a manufacturing concern

 

  1. Discuss the role of Commercial bank as financial intermediaries

 

  1. What do you mean by share capital? Explain the different forms of share can a company issue?

 

  1. Explain the role of EXIM Bank Financing of exports

 

  1. Explain the relevance which is associated with the financing decision and investment in the organization.

ABOUT CORPORATE FINANCE

Corporate finance is the division of finance that deals with financing, capital structuring, and investment decisions. Corporate finance is primarily concerned with maximizing shareholder value through long and short-term financial planning and the implementation of various strategies. Corporate finance activities range from capital investment decisions to investment banking.

 

Understanding Corporate Finance

Corporate finance departments are charged with governing and overseeing their firms’ financial activities and capital investment decisions. Such decisions include whether to pursue a proposed investment and whether to pay for the investment with equity, debt, or both.

Types of Corporate Finance Tasks

Capital Investments

Corporate finance tasks include making capital investments and deploying a company’s long-term capital. The capital investment decision process is primarily concerned with capital budgeting. Through capital budgeting, a company identifies capital expenditures, estimates future cash flows from proposed capital projects, compares planned investments with potential proceeds, and decides which projects to include in its capital budget.

Making capital investments is perhaps the most important corporate finance task that can have serious business implications. Poor capital budgeting (e.g., excessive investing or under-funded investments) can compromise a company’s financial position, either because of increased financing costs or inadequate operating capacity.

Corporate financing includes the activities involved with a corporation’s financing, investment, and capital budgeting decisions.

Capital Financing

Corporate finance is also responsible for sourcing capital in the form of debt or equity. A company may borrow from commercial banks and other financial intermediaries or may issue debt securities in the capital markets through investment banks (IB). A company may also choose to sell stocks to equity investors, especially when need large amounts of capital for business expansions.

Capital financing is a balancing act in terms of deciding on the relative amounts or weights between debt and equity. Having too much debt may increase default risk, and relying heavily on equity can dilute earnings and value for early investors. In the end, capital financing must provide the capital needed to implement capital investments.

Short-Term Liquidity

Corporate finance is also tasked with short-term financial management, where the goal is to ensure that there is enough liquidity to carry out continuing operations. Short-term financial management concerns current assets and current liabilities or working capital and operating cash flows. A company must be able to meet all its current liability obligations when due. This involves having enough current liquid assets to avoid disrupting a company’s operations. Short-term financial management may also involve getting additional credit lines or issuing commercial papers as liquidity back-ups.

FINANCE MANAGEMENT

Attempt any Eight questions

  • Explain the role of financial planning in financial management?

 

  • “Wealth maximization is an important objective of financial management.” Explain briefly.

 

  • What is meant by financial management? Explain its role.

 

  • Explain the factors affecting the financing decisions.

 

  • Explain objectives of financial management?

 

 

  • Write a short note on finance function.

 

  • What do you mean by the term “Trading on equity?” How it can be used by an organization?

 

 

  • What is meant by financial management? Explain any EIGHT decisions involved in the financial management.

 

  • Explain by giving any SIX, why capital budgeting decisions are important?

 

 

  • Explain the factors affecting the capital budgeting decisions.

 

  • A company wants to establish a new unit in which a machinery of worth Rs. 100000 is involve. Identify the decision involved in financial management?

 

  • Explain by giving any four reasons, why capital budgeting decisions are important?

 

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     IIBMS QUESTION PAPER

                  Subject – General Management

                                 Marks – 100

 

 

Attempt Any Four Case Study

 

CASE – 1   Your Job and Your Passion—You Can Pursue Both!

 

The 21st century offers many challenges to every one of us. As more firms go global, as more economies interconnect, and as the Web blasts away boundaries to communication, we become more informed citizens. This interconnectedness means that the organizations you work for will require you to develop both general and specialized knowledge—such as speaking multiple languages, using various software applications, or understanding details of financial transactions. You will have to develop general management skills to foster your ability to be self-reliant and thrive in a changing market-place. And here’s the exciting part: As you build both types of knowledge, you may be able to integrate your growing expertise with the causes or activities you care most about. Or, your career adventure may lead you to a new passion.

Former presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton are well known for combining their management skills—running a country—with their passion for helping people around the world. Together they have raised funds to assist disaster victims, those with HIV/AIDS, and others in need. Jake Burton turned his love of snow sports into an entire industry when he founded Burton Snowboards. Annie Withey poured her business and marketing knowledge into her two famous business ventures: Smartfood and Annie’s Homegrown. Both products were the result of her passion for healthful foods made from organic ingredients.

As you enter the workforce, you may have no idea where your career path will lead. You may be asking yourself, “How will I fit in?” “Where will I live?” “How much will I earn?” “Where will my business and personal careers evolve as the world continuous to change at such a fast pace?” If you are feeling nervous because you don’t know the answers to these questions yet, relax. A career is a journey, not a single destination. You may have one type of career or several. It is likely you will work for several organisations, or you may run one or more businesses of your own.

As you ask yourself what you want to do and where you want to be, take a few minutes to review the chapter and its main topics. Think about your personality, what you like and dislike, what you know and what you want to learn, what you fear and what you dream. Then try the following exercise.

 

 

 

Questions

 

  1. Create a three-column chart in which the first column lists nonmanagement skills you have. Are you good at travel? Do you know how to build furniture? Are you a whiz at sports statistics? Are you an innovative cook? Do you play video games for hours? In the second column, list the causes or activities about which you are passionate. These may dovetail with the first list, but they might not.
  2. Once you have you two columns complete, draw lines between entries that seem compatible. If you are good at building furniture, you might have also listed a concern about families who are homeless. Remember that not all entries will find a match—the idea is to begin finding some connections.
  3. In the third column, generate a list of firms or organizations you know about that reflect your interests. If you are good at building furniture, you might be interested working for the Habitat for Humanity organization, or you might find yourself gravitating towards a furniture retailer like Ikea or Ethan Allen. You can do further research on organizations via Internet or business publications.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE – 2   Biyani – Pioneering a Retailing Revolution in India

 

       “I use people as hands and legs. I prefer to do thinking around here.”

 

      ─ Kishore Biyani, CEO & MD, Pantaloon Retail (India) Ltd.

 

Kishore Biyani (Biyani), CEO& MD of Pantaloon Retail (India) Ltd., planned to have 30 Food Bazaar outlets, 22 outlets in Big Bazaar, 21 Pantaloons outlets, and four seamless malls under the Central logo, by the end of 2005. He also planned to launch at least three businesses every year and had already selected music, footwear and car accessories as his next areas of investments. He was already the top retailer in India followed by Raghu Pillai of RPG. As of 2004, Biyani headed a company that had a turnover of Rs 6,500 million and operated 13 Pantaloon apparel stores, 9 Big Bazaars, 13 Food Bazaars, and 3 seamless malls (Central), one each located in Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Pune.

Biyani’s journey from a person who looked after his family business to India’s top retailer in 1987, when he launched Manz Wear Pvt. Ltd. The company launched one of the first readymade trousers brands – ‘Pantaloon’ – in the country. The company also launched its first jeans brand called ‘Bare’ in 1989. On September 20, 1991, Manz Wear Pvt. Ltd. went public and on September 25, 1992, it changed its name to Pantaloon Fashions (India) Limited (PFIL). ‘John Miller’ was the first formal shirt brand from PFIL.

The company opened its first apparel stores, called ‘Pantaloons’ at Kolkata in August 1997. The stores generated Rs 70 million. Biyani then realized the potential of the Indian market and started to aggressively tap it. Accordingly, Biyani decided to expand into other segments of retailing besides apparel. To reflect this change in focus, the company changed its name to Pantaloon Retail (India) Limited (PRIL) in July 1999 and set itself a target of achieving Rs 10 billion in sales by June 2005. In course of time he launched three other retail formats — Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar, and Central.

Biyani didn’t believe in copying ideas from western retailers. He was critical of his peers who felt just copied ideas form the west without making any effort to mold them to Indian conditions. He ensured that his store formats such as Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar, and Pantaloons were all suited to the purchasing style of Indian consumers.

Biyani was a huge risk taker and his planning was always different from the conventional way of doing business. This was also one of the factors that had prompted Biyani to move away from his father’s conventional way of doing business. During the initial stages of his success, his risk-taking attitude sometimes had the effect of turning away financiers. The biggest risk that Biyani took was in opening Big Bazaar in Mumbai in 2001. The company needed money to expand Big Bazaar’s operations. However, it had profits of only Rs 40 million with a low share price at eighteen rupees. Therefore, Biyani could not raise money through equity. In light of this situation, Biyani took a loan of Rs 1,200 million from ICICI for launching the operations of Big Bazaar, which increased his debt exposure. However, Big Bazaar proved to be a resounding success with 100,000 customer visits in its first week of operations. According to analysts, if Big Bazaar had failed, Biyani would have landed in a severe debt crisis. The success of Big Bazaar not only increased the company profits, it also changed the perception of investors.

Many people criticized Biyani for not delegating authority and Biyani himself accepted the criticism. He said, “I use people as hands and legs. I prefer to do the thinking around here.” He preferred taking individual decision on activities like strategic planning, ideas for other ventures, and other important issues. It was because of this that managers like Kush Medhora of Westside were initially apprehensive about joining Biyani’s business. However, Biyani changed his attitude gradually with the launch of Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar, and Central and appointed different people for managing different business units.

Biyani believed in leading a simple life and in being simply dressed. His vision came from his diverse reading connected to retailing and other areas. He made it a point to visit each of his stores across the country. He aimed to spend at least seven hours a week at the stores. In the stores, he would stand at a corner and observe people. He also walked on streets, met common people, and talked to local leaders to plan and put up new products in his stores. Each of his stores was set with a weekly target, which was reviewed every Monday. Whenever a new store was opened, the details of its operations during the first 45 days were to be sent to him. Sometimes, he suggested remedies to some problems. Biyani believed in extensive advertising to make more people know about the product. His decision making was quick and devoid of unnecessary delays. Biyani was also a good learner and learned quickly from his mistakes. He planned to improve inventory management through responding effectively to the demands of the customers rather than forecasting them, as he felt that forecasting would pile up the inventory in this dynamic market.

 

 

 

 

 

Questions

 

  1. The tremendous success of the ‘Pantaloons’, ‘Big Bazaar’ and ‘Food Bazaar’ retailing formats, easily made PRIL the number one retailer in India by early 2004, in terms of turnover and retail area occupied by its outlets. Explain how Biyani is further planning to consolidate his businesses.

ANSWER

Biyani didn’t believe in copying ideas from western retailers. He was critical of his peers who felt just copied ideas form the west without making any effort to mold them to Indian conditions. He ensured that his store formats such as Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar, and Pantaloons were all suited to the purchasing style of Indian consumers.

Biyani was a huge risk taker and his planning was always different from the conventional way of doing business. This was also one of the factors that had prompted Biyani to move away from his father’s conventional way of doing business. During the initial stages of his success, his risk-taking attitude sometimes had the effect of turning away financiers. The biggest risk that Biyani took was in opening Big Bazaar in Mumbai in 2001. The company needed money to expand Big Bazaar’s operations………

  1. “Our striving toward looking at the Indian market differently and strategizing with the evolving customer helped us perform better.” What other qualities of Kishore Biyani do you think were instrumental in making him top retailer of India?

 

 

CASE – 3   The New Frontier for Fresh Foods Supermarkets

 

Fresh Foods Supermarket is a grocery store chain that was established in the Southeast 20 years ago. The company is now beginning to expand to other regions of the United States. First, the firm opened new stores along the eastern seaboard, gradually working its way up through Maryland and Washington, DC, then through New York and New jersey, and on into Connecticut and Massachusetts. It has yet to reach the northern New England states, but executives have decided to turn their attention to the Southwest, particularly because of the growth of population there.

Vivian Noble, the manager of one of the chain’s most successful stores in the Atlanta area, has been asked to relocate to Phoenix, Arizona, to open and run a new Fresh Foods Supermarket. She has decided to accept the job, but she knows it will be a challenge. As an African American woman, she has faced some prejudice during her career, but she refuses to be stopped by a glass ceiling or any other barrier. She understands that she will be living and working in an area where several cultures combine and collide, and she will be hiring and managing a diverse workforce. Noble has the support of top management at Fresh Foods, which wants the store to reflect the surrounding community—in both staff makeup and product selection. So she will be looking to hire employees with Hispanic and Native American roots, as well as older workers who can relate to the many retired residents in the area. And she will be seeking their inputs on the selection of certain food products, including ethnic brands, so that customers know they can buy what they need and want a Fresh Foods.

In addition, Noble wants to make sure that Fresh Foods provides services above and beyond those of a standard supermarket to attract local consumers. For instance, she wants the store to offer free delivery of groceries to home-bound customers who are either senior citizens or physically disabled. She wants to be sure that the store has enough bilingual employees to translate for and otherwise assist customers who speak little or no English. Noble believes that she is a pioneer of sorts, guiding Fresh Foods Supermarkets into a new frontier. “The sky is almost blue here,” she says of her new home state. “And there’s no glass ceiling between me and the sky.”

 

 

 

Questions

 

  1. What steps can Vivian Noble take to recruit and develop her new workforce?
  2. ANSWER

The first step Vivian can take, the most critical for success, is secure top management support. By getting the leadership to support the program the rest of the company will follow suit.   A great way for the leadership to show their commitment to the program, inside the company and outside, is by incorporating it into to their mission statement and their strategic planning.   The next Vivian should take is establishing……….

  1. What other ways can Noble help her company reach out to the community?
  2. How will Fresh Foods Supermarkets as whole benefit from successfully moving into this new region of the country?

 

 

CASE – 4   The Law Offices of Jeter, Jackson, Guidry, and Boyer

 

THE EVOLUTION OF THE FIRM

 

David Jeter and Nate Jackson started a small general law practice in 1992 near Sacramento, California. Prior to that, the two had spent five years in the district attorney’s office after completing their formal schooling. What began as a small partnership—just the two attorneys and a paralegal/assistant—had now grown into a practice that employed more than 27 people in three separated towns. The current staff included 18 attorneys (three of whom have become partners), three paralegals, and six secretaries.

For the first time in the firm’s existence, the partners felt that they were losing control of their overall operation. The firm’s current caseload, number of employees, number of clients, travel requirements, and facilities management needs had grown far beyond anything that the original partners had ever imagined.

Attorney Jeter called a meeting of the partners to discuss the matter. Before the meeting, opinions about the pressing problems of the day and proposed solutions were sought from the entire staff. The meeting resulted in a formal decision to create a new position, general manager of operations. The partners proceeded to compose a job description and job announcement for recruiting purposes.

Highlights and responsibilities of the job description include:

  • Supervising day-to-day office personnel and operations (phones, meetings, word processing, mail, billings, payroll, general overhead, and maintenance).
  • Improving customer relations (more expeditious processing of cases and clients).
  • Expanding the customer base.
  • Enhancing relations with the local communities.
  • Managing the annual budget and related incentive programs.
  • Maintaining annual growth in sales of 10 percent while maintaining or exceeding the current profit margin.

 

The general manager will provide an annual executive summary to the partners, along with specific action plans for improvement and change. A search committee was formed, and two months later the new position was offered to Brad Howser, a longtime administrator from the insurance industry seeking a final career change and a return to his California roots. Howser made it clear that he was willing to make a five-year commitment to the position and would then likely retire.

Things got off to a quiet and uneventful start as Howser spent few months just getting to know the staff, observing day-today operations; and reviewing and analyzing assorted client and attorney data and history, financial spreadsheets, and so on.

About six months into the position, Howser became more outspoken and assertive with the staff and established several new operational rules and procedures. He began by changing the regular working hours. The firm previously had a flex schedule in place that allowed employees to begin and end the workday at their choosing within given parameters. Howser did not care for such a “loose schedule” and now required that all office personnel work from 9:00 to 5:00 each day. A few staff member were unhappy about this and complained to Howser, who matter-of-factly informed them that “this is the new rule that everyone is expected to follow, and anyone who could or would not comply should probably look for another job.” Sylvia Bronson, an administrative assistant who had been with the firm for several years, was particularly unhappy about this change. She arranged for a private meeting with Howser to discuss her child care circumstances and the difficulty that the new schedule presented. Howser seemed to listen half-heartedly and at one point told Bronson that “assistance are essentially a-dime-a-dozen and are readily available.” Bronson was seen leaving the office in tears that day.

Howser was not happy with the average length of time that it took to receive payments for services rendered to the firm’s clients (accounts receivable). A closer look showed that 30 percent of the clients paid their bills in 30 days or less, 60 percent paid in 30 to 60 days, and the remaining 10 percent stretched it out to as  many as 120 days. Howser composed a letter that was sent to all clients whose outstanding invoices exceeded 30 days. The strongly worded letter demanded immediate payment in full and went on to indicate that legal action might be taken against anyone who did not respond in timely fashion. While a small number of “late” payments were received soon after the mailing, the firm received an even larger number of letters and phone calls from angry clients, some of whom had been with the firm since its inception.

Howser was given an advertising and promotion budget for purposes of expanding the client base. One of the paralegals suggested that those expenditures should be carefully planned and that the firm had several attorneys who knew the local markets quite well and could probably offer some insights and ideas on the subject. Howser thought about this briefly and then decided to go it alone, reasoning that most attorneys know little or nothing about marketing.

In an attempt to “bring all of the people together to form a team,” Howser established weekly staff meetings. These mandatory, hour-long sessions were run by Howser, who presented a series of overhead slides, handouts, and lectures about “some of the proven management techniques that were successful in the insurance industry.” The meetings typically ran past the allotted time frame and rarely if ever covered all of the agenda items.

Howser spent some of his time “enhancing community relations.” He was very generous with many local groups such as the historical society, the garden clubs, the recreational sports programs, the middle-and high-school band programs, and others. In less than six months he had written checks and authorized donations totaling more than $25,000. He was delighted about all this and was certain that such gestures of goodwill would pay off handsomely in the future.

As for the budget, Howser carefully reviewed each line item in search of ways to increase revenues and cut expenses. He then proceeded to increase the expected base or quota for attorney’s monthly billable hours, thus directly affecting their profit sharing and bonus program. On the other side, he significantly reduced the attorneys’ annual budget for travel, meals, and entertainment. He considered these to be frivolous and unnecessary. Howser decided that one of the two full-time administrative assistant positions in each office should be reduced to part-time with no benefits. He saw no reason why the current workload could not be completed within this model. Howser wrapped up his initial financial review and action plan by posting notices throughout each office with new rules regarding the use of copy machines, phones, and supplies.

Howser completed the first year of his tenure with the required executive summary report to the partners that included his analysis of the current status of each department and his action plan. The partners were initially impressed with both Howser’s approach to the new job and with the changes that he made. They all seemed to make sense and were directly in line with the key components of his job description. At the same time, “the office rumor mill and grape vine” had “heated up” considerably. Company morale, which had been quite high, was now clearly waning. The water coolers and hallways became the frequent meeting places of disgruntled employees.

As for the marketplace, while the partner did not expect to see an immediate influx of new clients, they certainly did not expect to see shrinkage in their existing client base. A number of individual and corporate clients took their business elsewhere, still fuming over the letter they had received.

The partners met with Howser to discuss the situation. Howser urged them to “sit tight and ride out the storm.” He had seen this happen before and had no doubt that in the long run the firm would achieve all of its goals. Howser pointed out that people in general are resistant to change. The partners met for drinks later that day and looked at each other with a great sense of uncertainty. Should they ride out the storm as Howser suggested? Had they done the right thing in creating the position and hiring Howser? What had started as a seemingly, wise, logical, and smooth sequence of events had now become a crisis.

 

Questions

 

  1. Do you agree with Howser’s suggestion to “sit tight and ride out the storm,” or should the partners take some action immediately? If so, what actions specifically?
  2. ANSWER
  3. In fact, Howser’s suggestion seems to be unreasonable, taking into consideration the fact that he has already provoked a severe crisis within the company. To put it more precisely, his actions have provoked the deterioration of relationships within the company, the schedule did not meet employees’ needs and expectations and Howser’s policies provoked a number of other problems. In such a situation, the partners should fire…………………………..
  4. Assume that the creation of the GM—Operation position was a good decision. What leadership style and type of individual would you try to place in this position?
  5. Consider your own leadership style. What types of positions and situations should you seek? What types of positions and situation should you seek to avoid? Why?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE – 5   The Grizzly Bear Lodge

 

Diane and Rudy Conrad own a small lodge outside Yellowstone National Park. Their lodge has 15 rooms that can accommodate up to 40 guests, with some rooms set up for families. Diane and Rudy serve a continental breakfast on weekdays and a full breakfast on weekends, included in the room they charge. Their busy season runs from May through September, but they remain open until Thanksgiving and reopen in April for a short spring season. They currently employ one cook and two waitpersons for the breakfasts on weekends, handling the other breakfasts themselves. They also have several housekeeping staff members, a groundkeeper, and a front-desk employee. The Conrads take pride in the efficiency of their operation, including the loyalty of their employees, which they attribute to their own form of clan control. If a guest needs something—whether it’s a breakfast catered to a special diet or an extra set of towels—Grizzly Bear workers are empowered to supply it.

The Conrads are considering expanding their business. They have been offered the opportunity to buy the property next door, which would give them the space to build an annex containing an additional 20 rooms. Currently, their annual sales total $300,000. With expenses running $230,000—including mortgage, payroll, maintenance, and so forth—the Conrads’ annual income is $70,000. They want to expand and make improvements without cutting back on the personal service they offer to their guests. In fact, in addition to hiring more staff to handle the larger facility, they are considering collaborating with more local business to offer guided rafting, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding trips. They also want to expand their food service to include dinner during the high season, which means renovating the restaurant area of the lodge and hiring more kitchen and wait staff. Ultimately, the Conrads would like the lodge to open year-round, offering guests opportunities to cross-country ski, ride snow-mobiles, or hike in winter. They hope to offer holiday packages for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s celebrations in the great outdoors. The Conrads report that their employees are enthusiastic about their plans and want to stay with them through the expansion process. “This is our dream business,” says Rudy. “We’re only at the beginning.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions

 

  1. Discuss how Rudy and Diane can use feedforward, concurrent, and feedback controls both now and in future at the Grizzly Bear Lodge to ensure their guests’ satisfaction.
  2. What might be some of the fundamental budgetary considerations the Conrads would have as they plan the expansion of their logic?
  3. Describe how the Conrads could use market controls plans and implement their expansion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


IIBMS MBA FIRST SEMESTER EXAM CASE STUDY ANSWER

           IIBMS MBA FIRST SEMESTER EXAM CASE STUDY ANSWER 

FOR FULL AND DETAILED ANSWERS AS PER REQUIREMENT CONTACT

 DR. PRASANTH BE BBA MBA PH.D. MOBILE / WHATSAPP: +91 9924764558 OR +91 9447965521 EMAIL: prasanththampi1975@gmail.com WEBSITE: www.casestudyandprojectreports.com

     IIBMS QUESTION PAPER

                  Subject – General Management

                                 Marks – 100

 

 

Attempt Any Four Case Study

 

CASE – 1   Your Job and Your Passion—You Can Pursue Both!

 

The 21st century offers many challenges to every one of us. As more firms go global, as more economies interconnect, and as the Web blasts away boundaries to communication, we become more informed citizens. This interconnectedness means that the organizations you work for will require you to develop both general and specialized knowledge—such as speaking multiple languages, using various software applications, or understanding details of financial transactions. You will have to develop general management skills to foster your ability to be self-reliant and thrive in a changing market-place. And here’s the exciting part: As you build both types of knowledge, you may be able to integrate your growing expertise with the causes or activities you care most about. Or, your career adventure may lead you to a new passion.

Former presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton are well known for combining their management skills—running a country—with their passion for helping people around the world. Together they have raised funds to assist disaster victims, those with HIV/AIDS, and others in need. Jake Burton turned his love of snow sports into an entire industry when he founded Burton Snowboards. Annie Withey poured her business and marketing knowledge into her two famous business ventures: Smartfood and Annie’s Homegrown. Both products were the result of her passion for healthful foods made from organic ingredients.

As you enter the workforce, you may have no idea where your career path will lead. You may be asking yourself, “How will I fit in?” “Where will I live?” “How much will I earn?” “Where will my business and personal careers evolve as the world continuous to change at such a fast pace?” If you are feeling nervous because you don’t know the answers to these questions yet, relax. A career is a journey, not a single destination. You may have one type of career or several. It is likely you will work for several organisations, or you may run one or more businesses of your own.

As you ask yourself what you want to do and where you want to be, take a few minutes to review the chapter and its main topics. Think about your personality, what you like and dislike, what you know and what you want to learn, what you fear and what you dream. Then try the following exercise.

 

 

 

Questions

 

  1. Create a three-column chart in which the first column lists nonmanagement skills you have. Are you good at travel? Do you know how to build furniture? Are you a whiz at sports statistics? Are you an innovative cook? Do you play video games for hours? In the second column, list the causes or activities about which you are passionate. These may dovetail with the first list, but they might not.
  2. Once you have you two columns complete, draw lines between entries that seem compatible. If you are good at building furniture, you might have also listed a concern about families who are homeless. Remember that not all entries will find a match—the idea is to begin finding some connections.
  3. In the third column, generate a list of firms or organizations you know about that reflect your interests. If you are good at building furniture, you might be interested working for the Habitat for Humanity organization, or you might find yourself gravitating towards a furniture retailer like Ikea or Ethan Allen. You can do further research on organizations via Internet or business publications.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE – 2   Biyani – Pioneering a Retailing Revolution in India

 

       “I use people as hands and legs. I prefer to do thinking around here.”

 

      ─ Kishore Biyani, CEO & MD, Pantaloon Retail (India) Ltd.

 

Kishore Biyani (Biyani), CEO& MD of Pantaloon Retail (India) Ltd., planned to have 30 Food Bazaar outlets, 22 outlets in Big Bazaar, 21 Pantaloons outlets, and four seamless malls under the Central logo, by the end of 2005. He also planned to launch at least three businesses every year and had already selected music, footwear and car accessories as his next areas of investments. He was already the top retailer in India followed by Raghu Pillai of RPG. As of 2004, Biyani headed a company that had a turnover of Rs 6,500 million and operated 13 Pantaloon apparel stores, 9 Big Bazaars, 13 Food Bazaars, and 3 seamless malls (Central), one each located in Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Pune.

Biyani’s journey from a person who looked after his family business to India’s top retailer in 1987, when he launched Manz Wear Pvt. Ltd. The company launched one of the first readymade trousers brands – ‘Pantaloon’ – in the country. The company also launched its first jeans brand called ‘Bare’ in 1989. On September 20, 1991, Manz Wear Pvt. Ltd. went public and on September 25, 1992, it changed its name to Pantaloon Fashions (India) Limited (PFIL). ‘John Miller’ was the first formal shirt brand from PFIL.

The company opened its first apparel stores, called ‘Pantaloons’ at Kolkata in August 1997. The stores generated Rs 70 million. Biyani then realized the potential of the Indian market and started to aggressively tap it. Accordingly, Biyani decided to expand into other segments of retailing besides apparel. To reflect this change in focus, the company changed its name to Pantaloon Retail (India) Limited (PRIL) in July 1999 and set itself a target of achieving Rs 10 billion in sales by June 2005. In course of time he launched three other retail formats — Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar, and Central.

Biyani didn’t believe in copying ideas from western retailers. He was critical of his peers who felt just copied ideas form the west without making any effort to mold them to Indian conditions. He ensured that his store formats such as Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar, and Pantaloons were all suited to the purchasing style of Indian consumers.

Biyani was a huge risk taker and his planning was always different from the conventional way of doing business. This was also one of the factors that had prompted Biyani to move away from his father’s conventional way of doing business. During the initial stages of his success, his risk-taking attitude sometimes had the effect of turning away financiers. The biggest risk that Biyani took was in opening Big Bazaar in Mumbai in 2001. The company needed money to expand Big Bazaar’s operations. However, it had profits of only Rs 40 million with a low share price at eighteen rupees. Therefore, Biyani could not raise money through equity. In light of this situation, Biyani took a loan of Rs 1,200 million from ICICI for launching the operations of Big Bazaar, which increased his debt exposure. However, Big Bazaar proved to be a resounding success with 100,000 customer visits in its first week of operations. According to analysts, if Big Bazaar had failed, Biyani would have landed in a severe debt crisis. The success of Big Bazaar not only increased the company profits, it also changed the perception of investors.

Many people criticized Biyani for not delegating authority and Biyani himself accepted the criticism. He said, “I use people as hands and legs. I prefer to do the thinking around here.” He preferred taking individual decision on activities like strategic planning, ideas for other ventures, and other important issues. It was because of this that managers like Kush Medhora of Westside were initially apprehensive about joining Biyani’s business. However, Biyani changed his attitude gradually with the launch of Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar, and Central and appointed different people for managing different business units.

Biyani believed in leading a simple life and in being simply dressed. His vision came from his diverse reading connected to retailing and other areas. He made it a point to visit each of his stores across the country. He aimed to spend at least seven hours a week at the stores. In the stores, he would stand at a corner and observe people. He also walked on streets, met common people, and talked to local leaders to plan and put up new products in his stores. Each of his stores was set with a weekly target, which was reviewed every Monday. Whenever a new store was opened, the details of its operations during the first 45 days were to be sent to him. Sometimes, he suggested remedies to some problems. Biyani believed in extensive advertising to make more people know about the product. His decision making was quick and devoid of unnecessary delays. Biyani was also a good learner and learned quickly from his mistakes. He planned to improve inventory management through responding effectively to the demands of the customers rather than forecasting them, as he felt that forecasting would pile up the inventory in this dynamic market.

 

 

 

 

 

Questions

 

  1. The tremendous success of the ‘Pantaloons’, ‘Big Bazaar’ and ‘Food Bazaar’ retailing formats, easily made PRIL the number one retailer in India by early 2004, in terms of turnover and retail area occupied by its outlets. Explain how Biyani is further planning to consolidate his businesses.

ANSWER

Biyani didn’t believe in copying ideas from western retailers. He was critical of his peers who felt just copied ideas form the west without making any effort to mold them to Indian conditions. He ensured that his store formats such as Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar, and Pantaloons were all suited to the purchasing style of Indian consumers.

Biyani was a huge risk taker and his planning was always different from the conventional way of doing business. This was also one of the factors that had prompted Biyani to move away from his father’s conventional way of doing business. During the initial stages of his success, his risk-taking attitude sometimes had the effect of turning away financiers. The biggest risk that Biyani took was in opening Big Bazaar in Mumbai in 2001. The company needed money to expand Big Bazaar’s operations…………………………………………………..

  1. “Our striving toward looking at the Indian market differently and strategizing with the evolving customer helped us perform better.” What other qualities of Kishore Biyani do you think were instrumental in making him top retailer of India?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE – 3   The New Frontier for Fresh Foods Supermarkets

 

Fresh Foods Supermarket is a grocery store chain that was established in the Southeast 20 years ago. The company is now beginning to expand to other regions of the United States. First, the firm opened new stores along the eastern seaboard, gradually working its way up through Maryland and Washington, DC, then through New York and New jersey, and on into Connecticut and Massachusetts. It has yet to reach the northern New England states, but executives have decided to turn their attention to the Southwest, particularly because of the growth of population there.

Vivian Noble, the manager of one of the chain’s most successful stores in the Atlanta area, has been asked to relocate to Phoenix, Arizona, to open and run a new Fresh Foods Supermarket. She has decided to accept the job, but she knows it will be a challenge. As an African American woman, she has faced some prejudice during her career, but she refuses to be stopped by a glass ceiling or any other barrier. She understands that she will be living and working in an area where several cultures combine and collide, and she will be hiring and managing a diverse workforce. Noble has the support of top management at Fresh Foods, which wants the store to reflect the surrounding community—in both staff makeup and product selection. So she will be looking to hire employees with Hispanic and Native American roots, as well as older workers who can relate to the many retired residents in the area. And she will be seeking their inputs on the selection of certain food products, including ethnic brands, so that customers know they can buy what they need and want a Fresh Foods.

In addition, Noble wants to make sure that Fresh Foods provides services above and beyond those of a standard supermarket to attract local consumers. For instance, she wants the store to offer free delivery of groceries to home-bound customers who are either senior citizens or physically disabled. She wants to be sure that the store has enough bilingual employees to translate for and otherwise assist customers who speak little or no English. Noble believes that she is a pioneer of sorts, guiding Fresh Foods Supermarkets into a new frontier. “The sky is almost blue here,” she says of her new home state. “And there’s no glass ceiling between me and the sky.”

 

 

 

Questions

 

  1. What steps can Vivian Noble take to recruit and develop her new workforce?

ANSWER

The first step Vivian can take, the most critical for success, is secure top management support. By getting the leadership to support the program the rest of the company will follow suit.   A great way for the leadership to show their commitment to the program, inside the company and outside, is by incorporating it into to their mission statement and their strategic planning.   The next Vivian should take is establishing an ongoing assessment of the organizations culture, policies and practices in the areas of recruitment

2.What other ways can Noble help her company reach out to the community?

  1. How will Fresh Foods Supermarkets as whole benefit from successfully moving into this new region of the country?

 

 

 

 

 

CASE – 4   The Law Offices of Jeter, Jackson, Guidry, and Boyer

 

THE EVOLUTION OF THE FIRM

 

David Jeter and Nate Jackson started a small general law practice in 1992 near Sacramento, California. Prior to that, the two had spent five years in the district attorney’s office after completing their formal schooling. What began as a small partnership—just the two attorneys and a paralegal/assistant—had now grown into a practice that employed more than 27 people in three separated towns. The current staff included 18 attorneys (three of whom have become partners), three paralegals, and six secretaries.

For the first time in the firm’s existence, the partners felt that they were losing control of their overall operation. The firm’s current caseload, number of employees, number of clients, travel requirements, and facilities management needs had grown far beyond anything that the original partners had ever imagined.

Attorney Jeter called a meeting of the partners to discuss the matter. Before the meeting, opinions about the pressing problems of the day and proposed solutions were sought from the entire staff. The meeting resulted in a formal decision to create a new position, general manager of operations. The partners proceeded to compose a job description and job announcement for recruiting purposes.

Highlights and responsibilities of the job description include:

  • Supervising day-to-day office personnel and operations (phones, meetings, word processing, mail, billings, payroll, general overhead, and maintenance).
  • Improving customer relations (more expeditious processing of cases and clients).
  • Expanding the customer base.
  • Enhancing relations with the local communities.
  • Managing the annual budget and related incentive programs.
  • Maintaining annual growth in sales of 10 percent while maintaining or exceeding the current profit margin.

 

The general manager will provide an annual executive summary to the partners, along with specific action plans for improvement and change. A search committee was formed, and two months later the new position was offered to Brad Howser, a longtime administrator from the insurance industry seeking a final career change and a return to his California roots. Howser made it clear that he was willing to make a five-year commitment to the position and would then likely retire.

Things got off to a quiet and uneventful start as Howser spent few months just getting to know the staff, observing day-today operations; and reviewing and analyzing assorted client and attorney data and history, financial spreadsheets, and so on.

About six months into the position, Howser became more outspoken and assertive with the staff and established several new operational rules and procedures. He began by changing the regular working hours. The firm previously had a flex schedule in place that allowed employees to begin and end the workday at their choosing within given parameters. Howser did not care for such a “loose schedule” and now required that all office personnel work from 9:00 to 5:00 each day. A few staff member were unhappy about this and complained to Howser, who matter-of-factly informed them that “this is the new rule that everyone is expected to follow, and anyone who could or would not comply should probably look for another job.” Sylvia Bronson, an administrative assistant who had been with the firm for several years, was particularly unhappy about this change. She arranged for a private meeting with Howser to discuss her child care circumstances and the difficulty that the new schedule presented. Howser seemed to listen half-heartedly and at one point told Bronson that “assistance are essentially a-dime-a-dozen and are readily available.” Bronson was seen leaving the office in tears that day.

Howser was not happy with the average length of time that it took to receive payments for services rendered to the firm’s clients (accounts receivable). A closer look showed that 30 percent of the clients paid their bills in 30 days or less, 60 percent paid in 30 to 60 days, and the remaining 10 percent stretched it out to as  many as 120 days. Howser composed a letter that was sent to all clients whose outstanding invoices exceeded 30 days. The strongly worded letter demanded immediate payment in full and went on to indicate that legal action might be taken against anyone who did not respond in timely fashion. While a small number of “late” payments were received soon after the mailing, the firm received an even larger number of letters and phone calls from angry clients, some of whom had been with the firm since its inception.

Howser was given an advertising and promotion budget for purposes of expanding the client base. One of the paralegals suggested that those expenditures should be carefully planned and that the firm had several attorneys who knew the local markets quite well and could probably offer some insights and ideas on the subject. Howser thought about this briefly and then decided to go it alone, reasoning that most attorneys know little or nothing about marketing.

In an attempt to “bring all of the people together to form a team,” Howser established weekly staff meetings. These mandatory, hour-long sessions were run by Howser, who presented a series of overhead slides, handouts, and lectures about “some of the proven management techniques that were successful in the insurance industry.” The meetings typically ran past the allotted time frame and rarely if ever covered all of the agenda items.

Howser spent some of his time “enhancing community relations.” He was very generous with many local groups such as the historical society, the garden clubs, the recreational sports programs, the middle-and high-school band programs, and others. In less than six months he had written checks and authorized donations totaling more than $25,000. He was delighted about all this and was certain that such gestures of goodwill would pay off handsomely in the future.

As for the budget, Howser carefully reviewed each line item in search of ways to increase revenues and cut expenses. He then proceeded to increase the expected base or quota for attorney’s monthly billable hours, thus directly affecting their profit sharing and bonus program. On the other side, he significantly reduced the attorneys’ annual budget for travel, meals, and entertainment. He considered these to be frivolous and unnecessary. Howser decided that one of the two full-time administrative assistant positions in each office should be reduced to part-time with no benefits. He saw no reason why the current workload could not be completed within this model. Howser wrapped up his initial financial review and action plan by posting notices throughout each office with new rules regarding the use of copy machines, phones, and supplies.

Howser completed the first year of his tenure with the required executive summary report to the partners that included his analysis of the current status of each department and his action plan. The partners were initially impressed with both Howser’s approach to the new job and with the changes that he made. They all seemed to make sense and were directly in line with the key components of his job description. At the same time, “the office rumor mill and grape vine” had “heated up” considerably. Company morale, which had been quite high, was now clearly waning. The water coolers and hallways became the frequent meeting places of disgruntled employees.

As for the marketplace, while the partner did not expect to see an immediate influx of new clients, they certainly did not expect to see shrinkage in their existing client base. A number of individual and corporate clients took their business elsewhere, still fuming over the letter they had received.

The partners met with Howser to discuss the situation. Howser urged them to “sit tight and ride out the storm.” He had seen this happen before and had no doubt that in the long run the firm would achieve all of its goals. Howser pointed out that people in general are resistant to change. The partners met for drinks later that day and looked at each other with a great sense of uncertainty. Should they ride out the storm as Howser suggested? Had they done the right thing in creating the position and hiring Howser? What had started as a seemingly, wise, logical, and smooth sequence of events had now become a crisis.

 

Questions

 

  1. Do you agree with Howser’s suggestion to “sit tight and ride out the storm,” or should the partners take some action immediately? If so, what actions specifically?
  2. Assume that the creation of the GM—Operation position was a good decision. What leadership style and type of individual would you try to place in this position?
  3. Consider your own leadership style. What types of positions and situations should you seek? What types of positions and situation should you seek to avoid? Why?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE – 5   The Grizzly Bear Lodge

 

Diane and Rudy Conrad own a small lodge outside Yellowstone National Park. Their lodge has 15 rooms that can accommodate up to 40 guests, with some rooms set up for families. Diane and Rudy serve a continental breakfast on weekdays and a full breakfast on weekends, included in the room they charge. Their busy season runs from May through September, but they remain open until Thanksgiving and reopen in April for a short spring season. They currently employ one cook and two waitpersons for the breakfasts on weekends, handling the other breakfasts themselves. They also have several housekeeping staff members, a groundkeeper, and a front-desk employee. The Conrads take pride in the efficiency of their operation, including the loyalty of their employees, which they attribute to their own form of clan control. If a guest needs something—whether it’s a breakfast catered to a special diet or an extra set of towels—Grizzly Bear workers are empowered to supply it.

The Conrads are considering expanding their business. They have been offered the opportunity to buy the property next door, which would give them the space to build an annex containing an additional 20 rooms. Currently, their annual sales total $300,000. With expenses running $230,000—including mortgage, payroll, maintenance, and so forth—the Conrads’ annual income is $70,000. They want to expand and make improvements without cutting back on the personal service they offer to their guests. In fact, in addition to hiring more staff to handle the larger facility, they are considering collaborating with more local business to offer guided rafting, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding trips. They also want to expand their food service to include dinner during the high season, which means renovating the restaurant area of the lodge and hiring more kitchen and wait staff. Ultimately, the Conrads would like the lodge to open year-round, offering guests opportunities to cross-country ski, ride snow-mobiles, or hike in winter. They hope to offer holiday packages for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s celebrations in the great outdoors. The Conrads report that their employees are enthusiastic about their plans and want to stay with them through the expansion process. “This is our dream business,” says Rudy. “We’re only at the beginning.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions

 

  1. Discuss how Rudy and Diane can use feedforward, concurrent, and feedback controls both now and in future at the Grizzly Bear Lodge to ensure their guests’ satisfaction.
  2. What might be some of the fundamental budgetary considerations the Conrads would have as they plan the expansion of their logic?
  3. Describe how the Conrads could use market controls plans and implement their expansion.

           

 

     IIBMS QUESTION PAPER

          Subject – Human Resource Management

                                 Marks – 100

 

 

Note: Solve any 4 Cases Study’s

 

CASE: I    Enterprise Builds On People

 

When most people think of car-rental firms, the names of Hertz and Avis usually come to mind. But in the last few years, Enterprise Rent-A-Car has overtaken both of these industry giants, and today it stands as both the largest and the most profitable business in the car-rental industry. In 2001, for instance, the firm had sales in excess of $6.3 billion and employed over 50,000 people.

Jack Taylor started Enterprise in St. Louis in 1957. Taylor had a unique strategy in mind for Enterprise, and that strategy played a key role in the firm’s initial success. Most car-rental firms like Hertz and Avis base most of their locations in or near airports, train stations, and other transportation hubs. These firms see their customers as business travellers and people who fly for vacation and then need transportation at the end of their flight. But Enterprise went after a different customer. It sought to rent cars to individuals whose own cars are being repaired or who are taking a driving vacation.

The firm got its start by working with insurance companies. A standard feature in many automobile insurance policies is the provision of a rental car when one’s personal car has been in an accident or has been stolen. Firms like Hertz and Avis charge relatively high daily rates because their customers need the convenience of being near an airport and/or they are having their expenses paid by their employer. These rates are often higher than insurance companies are willing to pay, so customers who these firms end up paying part of the rental bills themselves. In addition, their locations are also often inconvenient for people seeking a replacement car while theirs is in the shop.

But Enterprise located stores in downtown and suburban areas, where local residents actually live. The firm also provides local pickup and delivery service in most areas. It also negotiates exclusive contract arrangements with local insurance agents. They get the agent’s referral business while guaranteeing lower rates that are more in line with what insurance covers.

In recent years, Enterprise has started to expand its market base by pursuing a two-pronged growth strategy. First, the firm has started opening  airport locations to compete with Hertz and Avis more directly. But their target is still the occasional renter than the frequent business traveller. Second, the firm also began to expand into international markets and today has rental offices in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Germany.

Another key to Enterprise’s success has been its human resource strategy. The firm targets a certain kind of individual to hire; its preferred new employee is a college graduate from bottom half of graduating class, and preferably one who was an athlete or who was otherwise actively involved in campus social activities. The rationale for this unusual academic standard is actually quite simple. Enterprise managers do not believe that especially high levels of achievements are necessary to perform well in the car-rental industry, but having a college degree nevertheless demonstrates intelligence and motivation. In addition, since interpersonal relations are important to its business, Enterprise wants people who were social directors or high-ranking officers of social organisations such as fraternities or sororities. Athletes are also desirable because of their competitiveness.

Once hired, new employees at Enterprise are often shocked at the performance expectations placed on them by the firm. They generally work long, grueling hours for relatively low pay.

 

And all Enterprise managers are expected to jump in and help wash or vacuum cars when a rental agency gets backed up. All Enterprise managers must wear coordinated dress shirts and ties and can have facial hair only when “medically necessary”. And women must wear skirts no shorter than two inches above their knees or creased pants.

 

So what are the incentives for working at Enterprise? For one thing, it’s an unfortunate fact of life that college graduates with low grades often struggle to find work. Thus, a job at Enterprise is still better than no job at all. The firm does not hire outsiders—every position is filled by promoting someone already inside the company. Thus, Enterprise employees know that if they work hard and do their best, they may very well succeed in moving higher up the corporate ladder at a growing and successful firm.

 

 

Question:

 

  1. Would Enterprise’s approach human resource management work in other industries?

ANSWER

No, because at the HRM of this enterprise , there is no border between employees and managers , all of them has the same uniform and all. For other industries it is not like this.

I think that Enterprise’s approach to human resource management would very well work in a lot of industries. One example of an industry that would benefit from this type of human resource management would be fast food industries. It allows people who may not have graduated in the top of their class and who may not have had the best GPA in school to still qualify to enter the company with a degree…………………………….

  1. Does Enterprise face any risks from its human resource strategy?
  2. Would you want to work for Enterprise? Why or why not?

 

 

CASE: II    Doing The Dirty Work

 

Business magazines and newspapers regularly publish articles about the changing nature of work in the United States and about how many jobs are being changed. Indeed, because so much has been made of the shift toward service-sector and professional jobs, many people assumed that the number of unpleasant an undesirable jobs has declined.

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Millions of Americans work in gleaming air-conditioned facilities, but many others work in dirty, grimy, and unsafe settings. For example, many jobs in the recycling industry require workers to sort through moving conveyors of trash, pulling out those items that can be recycled. Other relatively unattractive jobs include cleaning hospital restrooms, washing dishes in a restaurant, and handling toxic waste.

Consider the jobs in a chicken-processing facility. Much like a manufacturing assembly line, a chicken-processing facility is organised around a moving conveyor system. Workers call it the chain. In reality, it’s a steel cable with large clips that carries dead chickens down what might be called a “disassembly line.” Standing along this line are dozens of workers who do, in fact, take the birds apart as they pass.

Even the titles of the jobs are unsavory. Among the first set of jobs along the chain is the skinner. Skinners use sharp instruments to cut and pull the skin off the dead chicken. Towards the middle of the line are the gut pullers. These workers reach inside the chicken carcasses and remove the intestines and other organs. At the end of the line are the gizzard cutters, who tackle the more difficult organs attached to the inside of the chicken’s carcass. These organs have to be individually cut and removed for disposal.

The work is obviously distasteful, and the pace of the work is unrelenting. On a good day the chain moves an average of ninety chickens a minute for nine hours. And the workers are essentially held captive by the moving chain. For example, no one can vacate a post to use the bathroom or for other reasons without the permission of the supervisor. In some plants, taking an unauthorised bathroom break can result in suspension without pay. But the noise in a typical chicken-processing plant is so loud that the supervisor can’t hear someone calling for relief unless the person happens to be standing close by.

Jobs such as these on the chicken-processing line are actually becoming increasingly common. Fuelled by Americans’ growing appetites for lean, easy-to-cook meat, the number of poultry workers has almost doubled since 1980, and today they constitute a work force of around a quarter of a million people. Indeed, the chicken-processing industry has become a major component of the state economies of Georgia, North Carolina, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Alabama.

Besides being unpleasant and dirty, many jobs in a chicken-processing plant are dangerous and unhealthy. Some workers, for example, have to fight the live birds when they are first hung on the chains. These workers are routinely scratched and pecked by the chickens. And the air inside a typical chicken-processing plant is difficult to breathe. Workers are usually supplied with paper masks, but most don’t use them because they are hot and confining.

And the work space itself is so tight that the workers often cut themselves—and sometimes their coworkers—with the knives, scissors, and other instruments they use to perform their jobs. Indeed, poultry processing ranks third among industries in the United States for cumulative trauma injuries such as carpet tunnel syndrome. The inevitable chicken feathers, faeces, and blood also contribute to the hazardous and unpleasant work environment.

Question:

 

  1. How relevant are the concepts of competencies to the jobs in a chicken-processing plant?

 

  1. How might you try to improve the jobs in a chicken-processing plant?

 

  1. Are dirty, dangerous, and unpleasant jobs an inevitable part of any economy?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE: III    On Pegging Pay to Performance

 

“As you are aware, the Government of India has removed the capping on salaries of directors and has left the matter of their compensation to be decided by shareholders. This is indeed a welcome step,” said Samuel Menezes, president Abhayankar, Ltd., opening the meeting of the managing committee convened to discuss the elements of the company’s new plan for middle managers.

Abhayankar was am engineering firm with a turnover of Rs 600 crore last year and an employee strength of 18,00. Two years ago, as a sequel to liberalisation at the macroeconomic level, the company had restructured its operations from functional teams to product teams. The change had helped speed up transactional times and reduce systemic inefficiencies, leading to a healthy drive towards performance.

“I think it is only logical that performance should hereafter be linked to pay,” continued Menezes. “A scheme in which over 40 per cent of salary will be related to annual profits has been evolved for executives above the vice-president’s level and it will be implemented after getting shareholders approval. As far as the shopfloor staff is concerned, a system of incentive-linked monthly productivity bonus has been in place for years and it serves the purpose of rewarding good work at the assembly line. In any case, a bulk of its salary will have to continue to be governed by good old values like hierarchy, rank, seniority and attendance. But it is the middle management which poses a real dilemma. How does one evaluate its performance? More importantly, how can one ensure that managers are not shortchanged but get what they truly deserve?”

“Our vice-president (HRD), Ravi Narayanan, has now a plan ready in this regard. He has had personal discussions with all the 125 middle managers individually over the last few weeks and the plan is based on their feedback. If there are no major disagreements on the plan, we can put it into effect from next month. Ravi, may I now ask you to take the floor and make your presentation?”

The lights in the conference room dimmed and the screen on the podium lit up. “The plan I am going to unfold,” said Narayanan, pointing to the data that surfaced on the screen, “is designed to enhance team-work and provide incentives for constant improvement and excellence among middle-level managers. Briefly, the pay will be split into two components. The first consists of 75 per cent of the original salary and will be determined, as before, by factors of internal equity comprising what Sam referred to as good old values. It will be a fixed component.”

“The second component of 25 per cent,” he went on, “will be flexible. It will depend on the ability of each product team as a whole to

show a minimum of 5 per cent improvement in five areas every month—product quality, cost control, speed of delivery, financial performance of the division to which the product belongs and, finally, compliance with safety and environmental norms. The five areas will have rating of 30, 25, 20, 15, and 10 per cent respectively.

“This, gentlemen, is the broad premise. The rest is a matter of detail which will be worked out after some finetuning. Any questions?”

As the lights reappeared, Gautam Ghosh, vice-president (R&D), said, “I don’t like it. And I will tell you why. Teamwork as a criterion is okay but it also has its pitfalls. The people I take on and develop are good at what they do. Their research skills are individualistic. Why should their pay depend on the performance of other members of the product team? The new pay plan makes them team players first and scientists next. It does not seem right.”

“That is a good one, Gautam,” said Narayanan. “Any other questions? I think I will take them all together.”

“I have no problems with the scheme and I think it is fine. But just for the sake of argument, let me take Gautam’s point further without meaning to pick holes in the plan,” said Avinash Sarin, vice-president (sales). “Look at my dispatch division. My people there have reduced the shipping time from four hours to one over the last six months. But what have they got? Nothing. Why? Because the other members of the team are not measuring up.”

“I think that is a situation which is bound to prevail until everyone falls in line,” intervened Vipul Desai, vice president (finance). “There would always be temporary problems in implementing anything new. The question is whether our long term objectives is right. To the extend that we are trying to promote teamwork, I think we are on the right track. However, I wish to raise a point. There are many external factors which impinge on both individual and collective performance. For instance, the cost of a raw material may suddenly go up in the market affecting product profitability. Why should the concerned product team be penalised for something beyond its control?”

“I have an observation to make too, Ravi,” said Menezes, “You would recall the survey conducted by a business fortnightly on ‘The ten companies Indian managers fancy most as a working place’. Abhayankar got top billings there. We have been the trendsetters in executive compensation in Indian industry. We have been paying the best. Will your plan ensure that it remains that way?”

As he took the floor again, the dominant thought in Narayanan’s mind was that if his plan were to be put into place, Abhayankar would set another new trend in executive compensation.

Question:

 

But how should he see it through?

 

CASE: IV Crisis Blown Over

 

November 30, 1997 goes down in the history of a Bangalore-based electric company as the day nobody wanting it to recur but everyone recollecting it with sense of pride.

It was a festive day for all the 700-plus employees. Festoons were strung all over, banners were put up; banana trunks and leaves adorned the factory gate, instead of the usual red flags; and loud speakers were blaring Kannada songs. It was day the employees chose to celebrate Kannada Rajyothsava, annual feature of all Karnataka-based organisations. The function was to start at 4 p.m. and everybody was eagerly waiting for the big event to take place.

But the event, budgeted at Rs 1,00,000 did not take place. At around 2 p.m., there was a ghastly accident in the machine shop. Murthy was caught in the vertical turret lathe and was wounded fatally. His end came in the ambulance on the way to hospital.

The management sought union help, and the union leaders did respond with a positive attitude. They did not want to fish in troubled waters.

Series of meetings were held between the union leaders and the management. The discussions centred around two major issues—(i) restoring normalcy, and (ii) determining the amount of compensation to be paid to the dependants of Murthy.

Luckily for the management, the accident took place on a Saturday. The next day was a weekly holiday and this helped the tension to diffuse to a large extent. The funeral of the deceased took place on Sunday without any hitch. The management hoped that things would be normal on Monday morning.

But the hope was belied. The workers refused to resume work. Again the management approached the union for help. Union leaders advised the workers to resume work in al departments except in the machine shop, and the suggestions was accepted by all.

Two weeks went by, nobody entered the machine shop, though work in other places resumed. Union leaders came with a new idea to the management—to perform a pooja to ward off any evil that had befallen on the lathe. The management accepted the idea and homa was performed in the machine shop for about five hours commencing early in the morning. This helped to some extent. The workers started operations on all other machines in the machine shop except on the fateful lathe. It took two full months and a lot of persuasion from the union leaders for the workers to switch on the lathe.

The crisis was blown over, thanks to the responsible role played by the union leaders and their fellow workers. Neither the management nor the workers wish that such an incident should recur.

As the wages of the deceased grossed Rs 6,500 per month, Murthy was not covered under the ESI Act. Management had to pay compensation. Age and experience of the victim were taken into account to arrive at Rs 1,87,000 which  was the amount to be payable to the wife of the deceased. To this was added Rs 2,50,000 at the intervention of the union leaders. In addition, the widow was paid a gratuity and a monthly pension of Rs 4,300. And nobody’s wages were cut for the days not worked.

Murthy’s death witnessed an unusual behavior on the part of the workers and their leaders, and magnanimous gesture from the management. It is a pride moment in the life of the factory.

 

 

 

Question:

 

  1. Do you think that the Bangalore-based company had practised participative management?

 

  1. If your answer is yes, with what method of participation (you have read in this chapter) do you relate the above case?

 

  1. If you were the union leader, would your behaviour have been different? If yes, what would it be?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE: V    A Case of Burnout

 

When Mahesh joined XYZ Bank (private sector) in 1985, he had one clear goal—to prove his mettle. He did prove himself and has been promoted five times since his entry into the bank. Compared to others, his progress has been fastest. Currently, his job demands that Mahesh should work 10 hours a day with practically no holidays. At least two day in a week, Mahesh is required to travel.

Peers and subordinates at the bank have appreciation for Mahesh. They don’t grudge the ascension achieved by Mahesh, though there are some who wish they too had been promoted as well.

The post of General Manager fell vacant. One should work as GM for a couple of years if he were to climb up to the top of the ladder, Mahesh applied for the post along with others in the bank. The Chairman assured Mahesh that the post would be his.

A sudden development took place which almost wrecked Mahesh’s chances. The bank has the practice of subjecting all its executives to medical check-up once in a year. The medical reports go straight to the Chairman who would initiate remedials where necessary. Though Mahesh was only 35, he too, was required to undergo the test.

The Chairman of the bank received a copy of Mahesh’s physical examination results, along with a note from the doctor. The note explained that Mahesh was seriously overworked, and recommended that he be given an immediate four-week vacation. The doctor also recommended that Mahesh’s workload must be reduced and he must take physical exercise every day. The note warned that if Mahesh did not care for advice, he would be in for heart trouble in another six months.

After reading the doctor’s note, the Chairman sat back in his chair, and started brooding over. Three issues were uppermost in his mind—(i) How would Mahesh take this news? (ii) How many others do have similar fitness problems? (iii) Since the environment in the bank helps create the problem, what could he do to alleviate it? The idea of holding a stress-management programme flashed in his mind and suddenly he instructed his secretary to set up a meeting with the doctor and some key staff members, at the earliest.

 

 

 

 

Question:

 

  1. If the news is broken to Mahesh, how would he react?

 

  1. If you were giving advice to the Chairman on this matter, what would you recommend?

 

 

 

 

CASE: VI    “Whose Side are you on, Anyway?”

 

It was past 4 pm and Purushottam Mahesh was still at his shopfloor office. The small but elegant office was a perk he was entitled to after he had been nominated to the board of Horizon Industries (P) Ltd., as workman-director six months ago. His shift generally ended at 3 pm and he would be home by late evening. But that day, he still had long hours ahead of him.

Kshirsagar had been with Horizon for over twenty years. Starting off as a substitute mill-hand in the paint shop at one of the company’s manufacturing facilities, he had been made permanent on the job five years later. He had no formal education. He felt this was a handicap, but he made up for it with a willingness to learn and a certain enthusiasm on the job. He was soon marked by the works manager as someone to watch out for. Simultaneously, Kshirsagar also came to the attention of the president of the Horizon Employees’ Union who drafted him into union activities.

Even while he got promoted twice during the period to become the head colour mixer last year, Kshirsagar had gradually moved up the union hierarchy and had been thrice elected secretary of the union. Labour-management relations at Horizon were not always cordial. This was largely because the company had not been recording a consistently good performance. There were frequent cuts in production every year because of go-slows and strikes by workmen—most of them related to wage hikes and bonus payments. With a view to ensuring a better understanding on the part of labour, the problems of company management, the Horizon board, led by chairman and managing director Aninash Chaturvedi, began to toy with idea of taking on a workman on the board. What started off as a hesitant move snowballed, after a series of brainstorming sessions with executives and meetings with the union leaders, into a situation in which Kshirsagar found himself catapulted to the Horizon board as work-man-director.

It was an untested ground for the company. But the novelty of it all excited both the management and the labour force. The board members—all functional heads went out of their way to make Kshirsagar comfortable and the latter also responded quite well. He got used to the ambience of the boardroom and the sense of power it conveyed. Significantly, he was soon at home with the perspectives of top management and began to see each issue from both sides.

It was smooth going until the union presented a week before the monthly board meeting, its charter of demands, one of which was a 30 per cent across-the board hike in wages. The matter was taken up at the board meeting as part of a special agenda.

“Look at what your people are asking for,” said Chaturvedi, addressing Kshirsagar with a sarcasm that no one in the board missed. “You know the precarious finances of the company. How could you be a party to a demand that can’t be met? You better explain to them how ridiculous the demands are,” he said.

“I don’t think they can all be dismissed as ridiculous,” said Kshirsagar. “And the board can surely consider the alternatives. We owe at least that much to the union.” But Chaturvedi adjourned the meeting in a huff, mentioning, once to Kshirsagar that he should “advise the union properly”.

When Kshirsagar told the executive committee members of the union that the board was simply not prepared to even consider the demands, he immediately sensed the hostility in the room. “You are a sell out,” one of them said. “Who do you really represent—us or them?” asked another.

“Here comes the crunch,” thought Kshirsagar. And however hard he tried to explain, he felt he was talking to a wall.

A victim of divided loyalities, he himself was unable to understand whose side he was on. Perhaps the best course would be to resign from the board. Perhaps he should resign both from the board and the union. Or may be resign from Horizon itself and seek a job elsewhere. But, he felt, sitting in his office a little later, “none of it could solve the problem.”

 

Question:

  1. What should he do?

 

 

Note: Solve any 4 Cases Study’s

 

CASE: I    Managing the Guinness brand in the face of consumers’ changing tastes

 

1997 saw the US$19 billion merger of Guinness and GrandMet to form Diageo, the world’s largest drinks company. Guinness was the group’s top-selling beverage after Smirnoff vodka, and the group’s third most profitable brand, with an estimated global value of US$1.2 billion. More than 10 million glasses of the popular stout were sold every day, predominantly in Guinness’s top markets: respectively, the UK, Ireland, Nigeria, the USA and Cameroon.

 

However, the famous dark stout with the white, creamy head was causing some strategic concerns for Diageo. In 1999, for the first time in the 241-year of Guinness, sales fell. In early 2002 Diageo CEO Paul Walsh announced to the group’s concerned shareholders that global volume growth of Guinness was down 4 per cent in the last six months of 2001 and, more alarmingly, sales were also down 4 per cent in its home market, Ireland. How should Diageo address falling sales in the centuries-old brand shrouded in Irish mystique and tradition?

 

The changing face of the Irish beer market

 

The Irish were very fond of beer and even fonder of Guinness. With close to 200 litres per capita drunk each year—the equivalent of one pint per person per day—Ireland ranked top in worldwide per capita beer consumption, ahead of the Czech Republic and Germany.

 

Beer accounted for two-thirds of all alcohol bought in Ireland in 2001. Stout led the way in volume sales and accounted for 40 per cent of all beer value sales. Guinness, first brewed in 1759 in Dublin by Arthur Guinness, enjoyed legendary status in Ireland, a national symbol as respected as the green, white and gold flag. It was by far the most popular alcoholic drink in Ireland, accounting for nearly one of every two pints of beer sold. Its nearest competitors were Budweiser and Heineken, which held 13 per cent and 12 per cent of the market respectively.

 

However, the spectacular economic growth of the Irish economy since the mid-1990s had opened up the traditional drinking market to new cultures and influences, and encouraged the travel-friendly Irish to try other drinks. Beer and in particular stout were losing popularity compared with wine or the recently launched RTDs (ready-to-drinks) or FABs (flavoured alcoholic beverages), which the younger generation of drinkers considered trendier and ‘healthier’. As a Euromonitor report explained: Younger consumers consider dark beers and stout to be old fashioned drinks, with the perceived stout or ale drinker being an old, slightly overweight man and thus not in tune with image conscious youth culture.

 

Beer sales, which once accounted for 75 per cent of all alcohol bought in Ireland, were expected to drop to close to 50 per cent by 2006, while stout sales were forecast to decrease by 12 per cent between 2002 and 2006.

 

Giving Guinness a boost in its home market

 

With Guinness alone accounting for 37 per cent of Diageo’s volume in the market, Guinness/UDV Ireland was one of the first to feel the pain caused by the declining popularity of beer and in particular stout. A Euromonitor report in February 2002 explained how the profile of the Guinness drinker, typically men aged 21-plus, was affected: The average age of Guinness drinkers is rising and this is bringing about the worrying fact that the size of the Guinness target audience is falling. The rate of decline is likely to quicken as the number of less brand loyal, non-stout drinking younger consumers increases.

The report continued:

In Ireland, in particular, the consumer base for Guinness is shrinking as the majority of 18 to 24 year olds consistently reject stout as a product relevant to their generation, opting instead to consume lager or spirits.

Effectively, one-third of young Irish men and half of young Irish women had reportedly never tried Guinness. A Guinness employee provided another explanation. Guinness is similar to coffee in that when you’re young you drink it [coffee] with sugar, but when you’re older you drink it without. It’s got a similar acquired taste and once you’re over the initial hurdle, you’ll fall in love with it.

In an attempt to lure young drinkers to the somewhat ‘acquired’ Guinness taste (40 per cent of the Irish population was under the age of 24) Diageo had invested millions in developing product innovations and brand building in Ireland’s 10,000 pubs, clubs and supermarkets.

 

Product innovation

 

Until the mid-1990s most Guinness in Ireland was drunk in a pint glass in the local pub. The launch of product innovations in the form of a new cooling mechanism for draft Guinness and the ‘widget’ technology applied to cans and bottles attempted to modernize the brand’s image and respond to increasing competition from other local and imported stouts and lagers.

 

‘A perfect head’ for canned Guinness

In 1989, and at a cost of more than £10 million, Guinness developed an ingenious ‘widget’ device for its canned draft stout sold in ‘off-trade’ outlets such as supermarkets and off-licences. The widget, placed in the bottom of the can, released a gas that replicated the draft effect.

Although over 90 per cent of beer in Ireland was sold in ‘on-trade’ pubs and bars, sale of beer in the cheaper ‘off-trade’ channel were slowly gaining in importance. The Guinness brand manager at the time, John O’Keeffe, explained how home drinkers could now enjoy a smoother, creamier head similar to the one obtained in a pub thanks to the new widget technology:

When the can is opened, the pressure causes the nitrogen to be released as the widget moves through the beer, creating the classic draft Guinness surge.

 

Nearly 10 years later, in 1997, the ‘floating widget’ was introduced, which improved the effectiveness of the device.

 

A colder pint

In 1997 Guinness Draft Extra Cold was launched in Ireland. An additional chilled tap system could be added to the standard barrel in pubs, allowing the Guinness to be served at 4ºC rather than the normal 6ºC. By serving Guinness at a cooler temperature, Guinness/UDV hoped to mute the bitter taste of the stout and make it more palatable for younger adults, who were increasingly accustomed to drinking chilled lager, particularly in the summer

 

A cooler image for Guinness

In October 1999 the widget technology was applied to long-stemmed bottles of Guinness. The launch was supported by a US$2 million TV and outdoor board campaign. The packaging—with a clear, shiny plastic wrap, designed to look like a pint complete with creamy head—was quite a departure from the traditional Guinness look.

 

The objective was to reposition Guinness alongside certain similarly packaged lagers and RTDs and offer younger adults a more fashionable way to drink Guinness: straight from the bottle. It also gave Guinness easier access to the growing number of clubs and bars that were less likely to serve traditional draft Guinness easier access to the growing number of clubs and bars that were less likely to serve traditional draft Guinness, which could be kept for only six to eight weeks and took two minutes to pour. The RTDs, by contrast, had a shelf-life of more than a year and were drunk straight from the bottle.

 

However, financial analyst remained sceptical about the Guinness product innovations, which had no significant positive impact on sales or profitability:

 

The last news about the success of the recently introduced innovations suggests that they have not had a notably material impact on Guinness brand performance.

 

Brand building

 

Euromonitor estimates that, in 2000, Diageo invested between US$230 and US$250 million worldwide in Guinness advertising and promotions. However, with a cost-cutting objective, the company reduced marketing expenses in both Ireland and the UK up to 10 per cent in 2001 and the number of global Guinness agencies from six to two.

 

Nevertheless, Guinness remained one of the most advertised brands in Ireland. It was the leading cinema advertiser and, in terms of advertising, was second only to the national telecoms provider, Eircom. Guinness was also heavily promoted at leading sporting and music events, in particular those that were popular with the younger age groups.

 

The ultimate tribute to the brand was the opening of the new Guinness Storehouse in Dublin in late 2000, a sort of Mecca for all Guinness fans. The Storehouse was also a fashionable visitor centre with an art gallery and restaurants, and regularly hosted evening events. The company’s design brief highlighted another key objective:

To use an ultramodern facility to breathe life into an ageing brand, to reconnect an old company with young (sceptical) customers.

As the Storehouse’s design firm’s director, Ralph Ardill, explained:

 

Guinness Storehouse had become the top tourist destination in Ireland, attracting more than half a million people and hosting 45,000 people for special events and training.

The Storehouse also had training facilities for Guinness’s bartenders and 3000 Irish employees. The quality of the Guinness pint remained a high priority for the company, which not only developed pub-like classrooms at the Storehouse but also employed teams of draft technicians to teach barmen how to pour a proper pint. The process involved two steps—the pour and the top-up—and took a total of 119.5 seconds. Barmen also needed to learn how to check that the pressure gauges were properly set and that the proportion of nitrogen to carbon dioxide in the gas was correct.

 

 

 

 

The uncertain future of the Guinness brand in Ireland

 

Despite Guinness/DUV’s attempt to appeal to the younger generation of drinkers and boost its fading image, rumours persisted in Ireland about the brand future. The country’s leading and respected newspaper, the Irish times, reported in an article in July 2001:

The uncertainty over its future all adds to the air of crisis that is building around Guinness Ireland Group four months ago…The review is not complete and the assumption is that there is more bad news to come.

In the pubs across Ireland, the traditional Guinness drinkers looked on anxiously as the younger generation drank Bacardi Breezers, Smirnoff Ices or Californian wines. Could the goliath Guinness survive another two centuries? Was the preference for these new drinks just a fad or fashion, or did Diageo need to seriously reconsider how it marketed Guinness?

 

A quick solution?

 

In late February 2002, Diageo CEO Paul Walsh revealed that the company was testing technology to cut the waiting time for a pint of Guinness from 1 minute 59 seconds to 15-25 seconds. Ultrasound could release bubbles in the stout and form the head instantly, making a pint of Guinness that would be indistinguishable from one produced by the slower, traditional method.

‘A two-minute pour is not relevant to our customers today,’ Walsh said. A Guinness spokeswoman continued, ‘We have got to move with the times and the brand must evolve. We must take all the opportunities that we can. In outlets where it is really busy, if you walk in after nine o’clock in the evening there will be a cloth over the Guinness pump because it takes longer to pour than other drinks. Aware that some consumers might not be attracted by the innovation, she added ‘It wouldn’t be put everywhere—only where people want a quick pint with no effect on the quality.’

 

Although still being tested, the ‘quick-pour pint’ was a popular topic of conversation in Dublin pubs, among barmen and customers alike. There were rumours that it would be introduced in Britain only; others thought it would be released worldwide.

 

Some market commentators viewed the quick-pour pint as an innovative way to appeal to the younger, less patient segment in which Guinness had under-performed. Others feared that the young would be unconvinced by the introduction, and loyal customers would be turned off by what they characterized as a ‘marketing u-turn’.

 

 

Question:

 

  1. From a marketing perspective, what has Guinness done to ensure its longevity?
  2. How would you characterize the Guinness brand?
  3. What could Guinness do to attract younger drinkers? And to retain its older loyal customer base? Can both be done at the same time?

 

 

 

 

CASE: II    The grey market

 

Introduction

 

The over-50s market has long been ignored by advertising and marketing firms in favour of the market. The complexity of how to appeal to today’s mature customers, without targeting their age, has proved just too challenging for many companies. But this preoccupation with youth runs counter to demo-graphic changes. The over-50s represent the largest segment of the population, across western developed countries, due largely to the post-Second World War baby boom. The sheer size of this grey market, which will continue to grow as birth and mortality rates fall, coupled with its phenomenal spending power, presents enormous opportunities for business. However, successfully unleashing its potential will depend on companies truly understanding the attitudes, lifestyles and purchasing interests of this post-war generation.

 

Demographic forces

 

Following the Second World War many countries experienced a baby boom phenomenon as returning soldiers began families. This, coupled with a more positive outlook on the future, resulted in the baby boom generation, born between 1946 and 1964. Now beginning to enter retirement, this affluent group globally numbers approximately 532 million. In Western Europe they account for the largest proportion of the total population at 14.9%, followed closely by 14.2% in North America and 13.5 % in Australia.

 

Table 1: Global population aged 45-54 by region: baby boomers as a % of the total population 1990/2002

 

Baby boomers as a % total population 1990 2002 % point change
Western Europe

 

12.9 14.9 2.0
North America 9.9 14.2 4.3
Australasia 10.4 13.5 3.1
Eastern Europe 9.7 13.0 3.3
Asia-Pacific 7.8 9.8 2.0
Latin America 6.6 8.4 1.8
Africa/Middle East 2.6 2.3 20.3
WORLD 7.9 9.5 1.6

 

The grey market is big and getting bigger. Between 1990 and 2002 the global baby boomer population increased by 41%. The rate of growth is predicted to decrease to 35% between 2002 and 2015. Particularly noteworthy is the predicted increase in the proportion of baby boomers in many Western European countries, such as Austria, Spain, Germany, Italy, and the UK. In developed countries, according to the United Nations, the percentage of elderly people (60+) is forecast to rise from one-fifth of the population to one-third by 2050. The growth in the elderly population is exacerbated by falling fertility rates in many developed countries, coupled with a rise in human longevity.

 

The influences and buyer behaviour patterns of baby boomers

 

The members of the baby boomer generation are quite unlike their more conservative parents’ generation. They are the children of the rebellious ‘swinging sixties’, growing up on the sounds of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Better educated than their parents, in a time of greater prosperity, they indulged in more hedonistic lifestyle. It has been said that they were the first ‘me generation’. Now, in later life, they have retained their liberal, adventurous and youthful attitude to life. Aptly termed ‘younger older people’ they abhor antiquated stereotypes of elderly people, preferring to be defined by their attitude rather than their age.

 

Baby boomers are also tend to be very wealthy. Many are property owners and may have gained an inheritance from parents or other relatives. They have higher than average incomes or have retired with private pension plans. With their children having flown the nest they have greater financial freedom and more time to indulge themselves. Having worked all their lives, and educated their children, many baby boomers do not believe it is their responsibility to safeguard the financial future of their children by carefully protecting their children’s inheritance. They are instead liquidating their assets, intent on enjoying their later life to full, often through conspicuous consumption.

 

Based on research conducted by Euromonitor, the main areas of expenditure in the baby boomer market are financial services, tourism, food and drink, luxury cars, electrical/electronic goods, clothing, health products, and DIY and gardening.

 

Table 2: Global population aged 45-54 in thousands by country: developed countries 2002-2015

 

Country 2002 2010 2015 %change 2002/2015
Austria 1,059 1,277 1,371 29
Spain 4,921 5,741 6,189 26
Germany 10,991 12,963 13,508 26
Italy 7,684 8,591 9,347 23
UK 7,786 8,731 9,388 22
New Zealand 521 607 613 21
Ireland 474 529 555 18
Switzerland 997 1,120 1,159 17
Australia 2,661 3,006 3,057 16
Greece 1,359 1,476 1,559 15
Canada 4,505 5,320 5,122 15
Netherlands 2,301 2,492 2,604 14
Portugal 1,334 1,438 1,511 13
Norway 612 640 678 13
Denmark 745 761 802 11
USA 38,951 44,140 42,207 8
Belgium 1,423 1,549 1,526 8
Sweden 1,206 1,179 1,233 2
Japan 18,344 15,661 16,459 -10
Finland 820 749 718 -12
France 8,266 7,626 7,292 -12

 

Figure 1 Global Baby boomer market: % analysis by broad sector 2002 (% value)

 

Note: sectors valued on the basis of estimates by senior managers in major companies in each sector, consumer expenditure and industry sector data.

 

Unsurprisingly the financial sector is the largest in this market. Baby boomers are concerned with being financially secure in their retirement. An ageing population, coupled with a rise in human longevity, is giving rise to a pensions crisis across Western Europe. Baby boomers are therefore right to be preoccupied with how they will maintain their lifestyle over the long term. They are actively engaging in financial planning, both before and after retirement. Popular financial service products include endowments, life insurance, personal pensions, PEPs and ISAs.

 

Baby boomers have adventurous attitudes with a desire to see the world. In their retirement foreign travel is a key expenditure. Given their greater levels of sophistication and education, baby boomers are much more demanding of holidays that suit their lifestyles. This group is very diverse, with holiday interests ranging from action-packed adventures to culturally rich experiences.

 

Baby boomers want to maintain a youthful appearance in line with their youthful way of living. Fear of becoming invisible is a genuine concern among older generations. This image conciousness is reflected in their spending on clothing, cosmetics and anti-ageing products. Luxury cars also a key status symbols for this group.

 

The home is another area of expenditure. Once children have flown the nest, many baby boomers redecorate the home to suit their needs. Electrical and electronic purchases are key indulgences among these technologically savvy consumers. Gardening is another pastime enjoyed by older generations. Health is also a priority. Baby boomers invest in private health insurance and over-the-counter pharmaceutical products to maintain their healthy lives.

 

Business opportunities

The sheer size of the grey market, which is getting bigger in many countries—characterized by consumers with disposable income, ample free time, interest in travel, concern about financial security and health, awareness of youth culture and brands and desire for aspirational living—makes this market enormously attractive to many business sectors. Pharmaceuticals, health and beauty, technology, travel financial services, luxury cars, lavish food and entertainment are key growth sectors for the grey market. However, successfully tapping into this market will depend on companies truly understanding the attitudes, lifestyles and purchasing interests of this post-war generation. Communicating with this group is a tricky business, but, done right, it can be hugely rewarding.

 

When targeting the older consumer it is important to target their lifestyle and not their age. Older people do not want to be reminded, in a patronizing way, of their age or what they should be doing now they are a certain stage in life. With an interest in maintaining a youthful way of life these consumers are interested in similar brands to those that appeal to younger generations. The key for the companies is to find a way of making their brands also appeal to an older consumer without explicitly targeting their age. One tried-and tested method of targeting this group is to use nostalgia. Mercedes Benz used the Janis Joplin song ‘Oh Lord won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz’ to great effect despite the obvious irony in that the song was written to highlight the dangers of materialism! Volkswagen’s new retro-style Beetle has also been popular among this group. In the tourism sector Saga Holidays, the leader in holidays for the over-50s, has changed its product offering to reflect changing trends among this group. In line with the more adventurous attitudes of many older consumers it now offers more action-packed adventure holidays to far-flung destinations.

 

More recently, Thomas Cook has rebranded it over-50s ‘Forever Young’ programme to reflect the diverse interest of its target customers. Its new primetime brochure targets five distinct groups with the following holiday types: ‘Discover’, ‘Learn’, ‘Relax’, ‘Active’ and ‘Enjoy Life’.

 

Conclusion

The over-50s represent the largest segment of the population across Western developed countries. This affluent market is big and getting bigger. Having ignored it for so long marketers are finally beginning to see the enormous opportunities presented by the grey market. But conquering this market will not be easy. The baby boomer generation is quite unlike its predecessors. With a youthful and adventuresome spirit these ‘younger older people’ want to be defined by their attitude and not by their age. Only time will tell whether today’s marketers are up to the challenge.

 

Questions:

  1. Why is the grey market so attractive to business?
  2. Identify the influences on the purchasing behaviour of the over-50s consumer.
  3. Discuss the challenges involved in targeting the grey market.

 

CASE: III   Nivea: managing an umbrella brand

 

‘In many countries consumer are convinced that Nivea is a local brand, a mistake which Beiersdoft, the German makers, take as a compliment.’

(Quoted on leading brand consultancy Wolff-Olins’ website, www.wolff-olins.com)

 

An ode to Nivea’s success

In May 2003, a survey of ‘Global Mega Brand Franchises’ revealed that the Nivea Cosmetics brand had presence in the maximum number of product categories and countries. The survey, conducted by US-based ACNielsen, aimed at identifying those brands that had ‘successfully evolved beyond their original product categories’. A key parameter was the presence of these brands in multiple product categories as well as countries.

 

Nivea’s performance in this study prompted a yahoo.com news article to name it the ‘Queen of Mega Brands’. This title was appropriate since the brand was present in over 14 product categories and was available in more than 150 countries. Nivea was the market leader in skin creams and lotions in 28 countries, in facial cleansing in 23 countries, in facial skin care in 18 countries, and in suntan products in 15 countries. In many of those countries, it was reportedly believed to be a brand of local origin—having been present in them for many decades. This fact went a long way in helping the brand attain leadership status in many categories and countries (see Table 3).

 

Table 3  Nivea: market positions

 

CATEGORY Skin care Baby care Sun protection Men’s care  
COUNTRY
Austria 1 1 2 1  
Belgium 1 1 3 1  
UK 1 3 1  
Germany 1 1 3 1  
France 1 1 1 3  
Italy 1 1 5 1  
Netherlands 1 1 5 1  
Spain 1 4 1  
Switzerland 1 1 4 1  

 

The study covered 200 consumer packaged goods brands from over 50 global manufacturers. The brands had to be available in at least 15 of the countries studied; the same name had to be used in at least three product categories and meet franchise in at least three of the five geographical regions.

 

In its home country Germany, too, many of Nivea’s products were the market leaders in their segments. This market leadership status translated into superior financial performance. Between 1991 and 2001, Nivea posted double-digit growth rates every year. For 2001, the brand generated revenues of €2.5 billion, amounting to 55 per cent of the parent company’s (Beiersdoft) total revenue for the year. The 120-year-old, Hamburg-based Beiersdoft has often been credited with meticulously building the Nivea brand into the world’s number one personal care brand. According to a survey conducted by ACNielsen in the late 1990s, the brand had a 15 per cent share in the global skin care products market. While Nivea had always been the company’s star performer, the 1990s were a period of phenomenal growth for the brand. By successfully extending what was essentially a ‘one-product wonder’ into many different product categories, Beiersdoft had silenced many critics of its umbrella branding decision.

 

The marketing game for Nivea

 

Millions of customers across the world have been familiar with the Nivea brand since their childhood. The visual (colour and packaging) and physical attributes (feel, smell) of the product stayed on in their minds. According to analysts, this led to the formation of a complex emotional bond between customers and the brand, a bond that had strong positive under-tones. According to a superbrands.com. my article, Nivea’s blue colour denoted sympathy, harmony, friendship and loyalty. The white colour suggested external cleanliness as well as inner purity. Together, these colours gave Nivea the aura of an honest brand.

 

To customers, Nivea was more than a skin care product. They associated Nivea with good health, graceful ageing and better living. The company’s association Nivea with many sporting events, fashion events and other lifestyle-related events gave the brand a long-lasting appeal. In 2001, Franziska Schmiedebach, Beiersdoft’s Corporate Vice President (Face Care and Cosmetics), commented that Nivea’s success over the decades was built on the following pillars: innovation, brand extension and globalization (see Table 4 for the brand’s sales growth from 1995-2002)

 

Table 4   Nivea: worldwide sales growth (%)

Sales Growth 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
In Million € 1040 1166 1340 1542 1812 2101 2458 2628
In per cent 9.8 12.1 14.9 15.1 17.5 16.0 17.0 6.9

 

Innovation and brand extensions

 

Innovation and brand extensions went hand in hand for Nivea. Extensions had been made back in the 1930s and had continued in the 1960s when the face care range Nivea Visage was launched. However, the first major initiative to extend the brand to other products came in the 1970s. Naturally, the idea was to cash in on Nivea’s strong brand equity. The first major extension was launch of ‘Nivea For Men’ aftershave in the 1970s. Unlike the other aftershaves available in market, which caused the skin to burn on application, Nivea For Men soothed the skin. As a result, the product became a runaway success.

 

The positive experience with the aftershave extension inspired the company to further explore the possibilities of brand extensions. Moreover, Beiersdoft felt that Nivea’s unique identity, the values it represented (trustworthiness, simplicity, consistency, caring) could easily be used to make the transition to being an umbrella brand. The decision to diversify its product range was also believed to have influenced by intensifying competitive pressures. L’Oreal’s Plenitude range, Procter & Gamble’s Oil of Olay range, Unilever’s Pond’s range, and Johnson & Johnson’s Neutrogena range posed stiff competition to Nivea.

 

Though Nivea was the undisputed market leader in the mass-market face cream segment worldwide, its share was below Oil of Olay’s, Pond’s and Plenitude’s in the US market. While most of the competing brands had a wide product portfolio, the Nivea range was rather limited. To position Nivea as a competitor in a larger number of segments, the decision to offer a wider range inevitable.

 

Beiersdoft’s research centre—employing over 150 dermatological and cosmetics researchers, pharmacists and chemists—supported its thrust on innovations and brand extensions. During the 1990s, Beiersdoft launched many extensions, including men’s care products, deodorants (1991), Nivea Body (1995), and Nivea Soft (1997). Most of these brand extension decisions could be credited to Rolf Kunisch, who became Beiersdoft’s CEO in the early 1990s.  Rolf Kunisch firmly believed in the company’s ‘twin strategy’ of extension and globalization.

 

By the beginning of the twenty-first century, the Nivea umbrella brand offered over 300 products in 14 separate segments of the health and beauty market (see Table 5 and Figure 2 for information on Nivea’s brand extensions). Commenting on Beiersdoft’s belief in umbrella branding, Schmiedebach said, ‘Focusing your energy and investment on one umbrella brand has strong synergetic effects and helps build leading market positions across categories.’ A noteworthy aspect of the brand extension strategy was the company’s ability to successfully translate the ‘skin care’ attributes of the original Nivea cream to the entire gamut of products.

 

Table  5   Nivea: brand portfolio

 

Category           Products
Nivea Bath Care Shower gels, shower specialists, bath foams, bath specialists, soaps, kids’ products, intimate care
Nivea Sun (sun care) Sun protection lotion, anti-ageing sun cream, sensitive sun lotion, sun-spray, children’s sun protection, deep tan, after tan, self –tan, Nivea baby sun protection
Nivea Beaute (colour cosmetics) Face, eyes, lips, nails
Nivea For Men (men’s care) Shaving, after shaving, face care, face cleansing
Nivea Baby (baby care) Bottom cleansing, nappy rash protection, general cleansing, moisturizing, sun protection
Nivea Body (body care) Essential line, performance line, pleasure line
Nivea Crème Nivea crème
Nivea Deodorants Roll-ons, sprays, pump sprays, sticks, creams, wipes, compact
Nivea Hand (hand care) Hand care lotions and creams
Nivea Lip Care Basic care, special care, cosmetic care, extra protection  care
Nivea Visage (face care) Daily cleaning, deep cleaning, facial masks (cleaning/care), make-up remover, active moisture care, advanced repair care, special care
Nivea Vital (mature skin care) Basic face care, specific face care, face cleansing products, body care
Nivea Soft Nivea soft moisturizing cream
Nivea Hair Care Hair care (shampoos, rinse, treatment, sun); hair styling (hairspray and lacquer, styling foams and specials, gels and specials)

 

 

Figure 2   Nivea Universe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The company ensured that each of its products addressed a specific need of consumers. Products in all the 14 categories were developed after being evaluated on two parameters with respect to the Nivea mother brand. First, the new product had to be based on the qualities that the mother brand stood for and, second, it ha to offer benefits that were consistent with those that the mother brand offered. Once a new product cleared the above test, it was evaluated for its ability to meet consumer needs and its scope for proving itself to be a leader in the future. For instance, a Nivea shampoo not only had to clean hair, it also had to be milder and gentler than other shampoos in the same range.

 

Beiersdoft developed a ‘Nivea Universe’ framework for streamlining and executing its brand extension efforts. This framework consisted of a central point,  an inner circle of brands and an outer circle of brands (see Figure 2)

The centre of the model housed the ‘mother brand’, which represented the core values of trustworthiness, honesty and reliability. While the brands in the inner circle were closely related to the core values of the Nivea brand, the brands in the outer circle were seen as extensions of these core values. The inner-circle brands strengthened the existing beliefs and values associated with the Nivea brand. The outer circle brands, however, sought to add new dimensions to the brand’s personality, thereby opening up avenues, for future growth.

 

The ‘global-local’ strategy

 

The Nivea brand retained its strong German heritage and was treated as a global brand for many decades. In the early days, local managers believed that the needs of customers from their countries were significantly different from those of customers in other countries. As a result, Beiersdoft was forced to offer different product formulations an packaging, and different types of advertising support. Consequently, it incurred high costs.

 

It was only in the 1980s that Beiersdoft took a conscious decision to globalize the appeal of Nivea. The aim to achieve a common platform for the brand on a global scale and offer customers from different parts of the world a wider variety of product choices. This was radical departure from its earlier approach, in which product development and marketing efforts were largely focused on the German market. The new decision was not only expected to solve the problems of high costs, it was also expected to further build the core values of the brand.

To globalize the brand, the company formulated strategies with the help of a team of ‘international’ experts with ‘local expertise’. This team developed new products for all the markets. Their responsibilities included, among others, deciding about the way in which international advertising campaigns should be adapted at the local level. The idea was to leave the execution of strategic decisions to local partners. However, Beiersdoft monitored the execution to ensure that it remained in line with the global strategic plan.

 

This way, Beiersdoft ensured that the nuances of consumer behaviour at the local level understood and that their needs were addressed. Company sources claimed that by following the above approach, it was easy to transfer know-how between headquarters and the local offices. In addition, the motivation level of the local partners also remained on the higher side.

 

The company established a set of guidelines that regulated how the marketing mix of a new product/brand was to be developed. These guidelines stipulated norms with respect to product, pricing, promotion, packaging and other related issues. For instance, a guideline regarding advertising read, ‘Nivea advertising is about skin care. It should be present visually and verbally. Nivea advertising is simple, it is unpretentious and human.’

 

Thus all advertisements for any Nivea product depicted images related to ‘skin care’ and ‘unpretentious human life’ in one way or the other. The company consciously decided not to use supermodels to promote its products. The predominant colours in all campaigns remained blue and white. However, local issues were also kept in mind. For instance, in the Middle East, Nivea relied more on outdoor media as it worked out to be much more cost-effective. And since showing skin in the advertisements went against the region’s culture, the company devised ways of advertising skin without showing skin.

 

Many brand management experts have spoken of the perils of umbrella management, such as brand dilution and the lack of ‘change’ for consumers. However, the umbrella branding strategy worked for Beiersdoft. In fact, the company’s growth was the most dynamic since its inception during 1990s—the decade when the brand extension move picked up momentum. The strong yearly growth during the 1990s and the quadrupling of sales were attributed by company sources to the thrust on brand extension.

 

 

 

Questions

 

  1. Discuss the reasons for the success of the Nivea range of products across the world. Why did Beiersdoft decide to extend the brand to different product categories? In the light of Beiersdoft’s brand extension of Nivea, critically comment on the pros and cons of adopting an umbrella branding strategy. Compare the use of such a strategy with the use of an independent branding strategy.
  2. According to you, what are the core values of the Nivea brand? What type of brand extension framework did Beiersdoft develop to ensure that these core values id not get diluted? Do you think the company was able to protect these core values? Why/why not?
  3. What were the essential components of Beiersdoft’s global expansion strategy for Nivea? Under what circumstances would a ‘global-strategy-local execution’ approach be beneficial for a company? When and why should this approach be avoided?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE: IV   Pret a Manger: passionate about food

 

Introduction

 

Pret a Manger (French for ‘ready to eat’) is a chain of coffee shops that sells a range of upmarket, healthy sandwiches and desserts as well as a variety o coffees to an increasingly discerning set of lunchtime customers. Started in London, England, in 1986 by two university graduates, Pret a Manger has more than 120 stores across the UK. In 2002 it sold 25 million sandwiches and 14 million cups of coffee, and had a turnover of over £100 million. Buckingham Palace reportedly orders more than £1000 worth of sandwiches a week and British Prime Minister Tony Blair has had Pret sandwiches delivered  to number 10 Downing Street for working lunches. The company also has ambitious plans to expand further—it already has stores in New York, Hong Kong  and Tokyo, and has set its sights on further international growth.

 

Background and company history

 

In 1986, Pret a Manger was founded with one shop, in central London, and a £17,000 loan, by two property law graduates, Julian Metcalf and Sinclair Beecham, who had been students together at the University of Westminster in the early 1980s. At that time the choice of lunchtime eating in London and other British cities was more limited than it is today. Traditionally, some ate in restaurants while many favoured that well-known British institution, the pub, as a choice for lunchtime eating and drinking. There was, however, a growing awareness among many people of the benefits of healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle, and lunchtime habits were changing. There was a general trend towards taking shorter lunch brakes and, among office workers, to take lunch at their desks. For those who wanted food to take away, the choice in fast food was dominated by the large chains such as McDonald’s, Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken (now KFC) while other types of carry-out food, such as pizzas, were also available.

 

Sandwiches also played an important part in British lunchtime eating. Named after its eighteenth-century inventor, the Earl of Sandwich, the humble sandwich had long been a popular British lunch choice, especially for those with little time to spare. Prior to Pret’s arrival on the scene, sandwiches were sold mainly either pre-packed in supermarkets and high-street variety chain stores such as Marks and Spencer and Boots, or in the many small sandwich bars that were to be found in the business districts of large cities like London, Sandwich bars were usually small, independently owned or family run shops that made sandwiches to order for customers who waited in a queue, often out on to the pavement outside.

 

Dissatisfied with the quality of both the food and service from traditional sandwich bars, Metcalf and Beecham decided that Pret a Manger should offer something different. They wanted Pret’s food to be high quality and healthy, and preservative and additive free. In the beginning, they shopped for the food themselves at local markets and returned to the store where they made the sandwiches each morning. Pret’s offering was based around premium-quality sandwiches and other health-orientated lunches including salads, sushi and a range of desserts, priced higher than at traditional sandwich bars, and sold pre-packed in attractive and convenient packaging ready to go. There was also a choice of different coffees, as well as some healthy alternatives. Service aimed to be fast and friendly go give customers a minimum of queuing time.

 

 

Pret a Manger: ‘Passionate about What We do’

 

Pret a Manger strongly emphasizes the quality of its products. Its promotional material and website claims that it is:

‘passionate about food, rejecting the use of obscure chemicals, additives and preservatives common in so much of the prepared and fast food on the market today…it there’s a secret to our success so far we like to think its determination to focus continually on quality—not just our food, but in every aspect of what we do’.

 

Great importance is also placed on freshness. Unlike those sold in high-street shops or supermarkets, Pret’s sandwiches are all hand-made by staff in each shop starting at 6.30 every morning, rather than being prepared and delivered by a supplier or from a central location. Metcalf and Beecham believe this gives their sandwiches a freshness and distinctiveness. All food that hasn’t been sold in the shops by the end of the day is given away free to local charities.

 

Careful sourcing of supplies for quality has also always been important. Genetically modified ingredients are banned and the tuna Pret buys, for example, must be ‘dolphin friendly’. There is also a drive for constant product improvement and innovation—the company claims that its chocolate brownie dessert has been improved 33 times over the last few years—and, on average, a new product is tried out in the stores every four days. Aware that some of its customers are increasingly health conscious, Pret’s website menu carefully lists not only what is available, but also the ingredients and nutritional values in terms of energy, protein, fats and dietary fibre for each item.

 

The level and quality of service from staff in the shop is a critical factor. The stores are self-service, with customers helping themselves to sandwiches and other products form the supermarket-style refrigerated cabinets. Staff at the counter at the back of the store then serve customers coffee and take payment. Service is friendly, smiling and efficient, in contrast to many retail and restaurant outlets in Britain where, historically, service quality has not always been high. Prêt puts an emphasis on human resource management issues such as effective recruitment and training so as to have frontline staff who can show the necessary enthusiasm and also remain fast and courteous under the pressure of a busy lunchtime sales period. These staff are usually young and enthusiastic, some are students, many are international. The pay they receive is above the fast-food industry average and staff turnover is 98 per cent a year, which sounds high—however, this is against an industry norm of around 150 per cent. In 2001, Pret had 55,000 applications for 1500 advertised vacancies.

 

Recently, Fortune magazine voted Pret one of the top 10 companies to work for in Europe. According to its own promotional recruitment material, Pret is an attractive and fun place to work: ‘We don’t work nights, we wear jeans, we party!’ Service quality is checked regularly by the use of mystery shoppers: if a shop receives a good report, then the staff there receive a 75p an hour bonus in the week of the visit. Head office managers also visit stores on a regular basis and every three or four months every one of these managers works as a ‘buddy’, where they spend a day making sandwiches and working on the floor in one of the shops to help them keep in touch with what is going on. Store employees work in teams and are briefed daily, often on the basis of customer responses that come in from in-store reply cards, telephone calls and the company website. The website, which, lists the names and phone numbers of its senior executives, actively invites customers to comment or complain about their experience with Pret, and encourages them to contact the company. Great importance is placed on this customer feed-back, both positive and negative, which is discussed at weekly management meetings.

 

The design of the stores is also distinctive. Prominently featuring the company logo, they are fitted out in a high-tech with metal cladding and interiors in Pret’s own corporate dark red colour. Each store plays music, helping to create a stylish and lively atmosphere. Although the shops mainly sell carry out food and coffee in the morning and through the lunchtime period, many also have tables and seating where customers can drink coffee and eat inside the store or, weather permitting, on the pavement outside.

 

Growth and competition

 

Three years after the first Pret shop was launched another was opened and, after that, the chain began to grow so that, by 1998, there were 65 throughout London. In the late 1990s stores were also opened in other British cities such as Bristol, Cambridge and Manchester. Although growth in the UK has been rapid—between 2000 and 2002 the company opened 40 new outlets and there are over 120 throughout Britain—Pret’s policy has always been to own and manage all its own stores and not to franchise to other operators. In 2002, £1 million was spent in launching an Internet service that enables customers to order sandwiches online.

 

Plans for international growth have been more cautious. In 2000 the company made its first move overseas when it opened a shop near Wall Street in New York. However, there were problems on several fronts in moving into the USA. Metcalf is quoted saying, ‘As a private company its very difficult to set up abroad. We didn’t know where to begin in New York—we ended up having all the equipment for the shop made here and shipped over.’ There were also staffing and service quality difficulties—Pret reportedly found it difficult to recruit people in New York who had the required friendliness to serve in the stores and had to import British staff. Despite these problems, several other shops in New York have followed and, in 2001, Pret opened its first outlet in Hong Kong.

 

During the 1990s, coffee shops boomed as the British developed a growing taste for drinking coffee in pavement cafes, and competition for Pret grew as other chains entered the fray. Rivals like Coffee Republic, Caffè Nero, Costa Coffee (now owned by leisure group Whitbread) Aroma (owned by McDonald’s) and American worldwide operator Starbucks all came into the market, as well as a number of smaller independents. All these chains offer a wide range of coffees but with varying product offerings in terms of food, pricing and style (Starbucks, for example, offers comfortable arm-chairs around tables, which encourage people to linger or work in a laptop in the store). In a London shopping street it is not uncommon to see three or four rival outlets next door to or within a few yards of each other. However, it quickly became clear that the sector was overcrowded and, apart from Starbucks, some of the other chains reportedly struggled to make a profit. In 2002 Coffee Republic was taken over by Caffè Nero, which also eventually acquired the ailing Aroma chain from McDonald’s. Costa Coffee was the largest chain overall with over 300 shops throughout Britain, while Starbucks was expanding aggressively and aimed to have an eventual 4000 stores worldwide.

 

The future

As work and lifestyles get busier, the demand for convenience and fast foods continues to grow. In 2000, some estimates put the total value of the fast-food market in Britain, excluding sandwiches, at over £6 billion and growing about £200-£300 million a year. While the growth in sales of some types of fast food, like burgers, was showing signs of slowing down, sandwiches continued to increase in popularity so that by 2002 sales wee an estimated £3 billion. Customers are also getting more health conscious and choosy about what they eat and, increasingly, want nutritional information about food from labelling and packaging.

 

In January 2001, in a surprise move, Pret’s two founders sold a 33 per cent stake in the company to fast-food giant McDonald’s for an estimated £25 million. They claim that McDonald’s will not have any influence over what Pret does or the products it sells, but that the investment by McDonald’s will help their plan for future development. According to Metcalf:

 

‘We’ll still be in charge—we’ll have the majority of shares. Pret will continue as it does… The deal wasn’t about money—we could have sold the shares for much more to other buyers but they wouldn’t have provided the support we need.’

 

After a long run of success, Pret has ambitious plans for the future. It hopes to open at least 20 new stores a year in the UK. In late 2002 it opened its first store in Tokyo, Japan, in partnership with McDonald’s. The menu there is described as being 75 per cent ‘classic Pret’ with the remaining 25 per cent designed more to please local tastes. In other international markets, the plan is to move cautiously—Pret’s first move will be to open more stores in New York and Hong Kong, where it has already been successful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions

 

  1. How has Pret a Manger positioned its brand?
  2. Explain how the different elements of the services marketing mix support and contribute to the positioning of Pret a Manger.

 

 

 

Case V   ‘Fast Fashion’: exploring how retailers get affordable fashion on to the high street                                              

 

The term ‘fast fashion’ has become very much de rigueur within the fashion retailing industry. Retailers have to react quickly to changes in the market, possess lean manufacturing operations, and utilize responsive supply chains in order to get the latest fashions to the mass market. Stores such as H&M, Zara, Mango, Top Shop and Benetton have been tremendously successful in being responsive to the fashion needs of the market. Excellent logistical and marketing information systems are seen as key to the implementation of the ‘fast fashion’ concept. ‘Fast fashion’ is the emphasis of putting fashionable and affordable design concepts, which match consumer demand, on to the high street as quickly as possible. These retailers get sought-after fashions into stores in a matter of weeks, rather than the previous industry norm, which relied on production lead times ranging from six months to a year. The concept of ‘fast fashion’ relies of a number of central components: excellent marketing information systems, flexible production and logistics operations, excellent communications within the supply chain, and leveraging advanced IT systems. These components allow stores to track consumer demand, and deliver a rapid response to changes in the marketplace. The results are invigorating for fashion retailers, with ‘fast fashion’ retailers’ sales growing by 11 per cent, compared with the industry norm of 2 per cent.

 

Within the fashion industry a number of different levels exist, the exclusive haute couture ranges (made to measure), the designer ready-to-wear collections, and then copycat designs by mass-market retailers. Fashion has now gone to the high street, becoming more democratic for the mass market.

The traditional fashion- retailing model was seasonal, whereby retailers would typically launch two seasons: spring and autumn collections. Fashion retailers would buy for these collections from their supplier network a year in advance, and allow for between 20-30 per cent of their purchasing budgets open to specific fashion changes in the market. Typically, retailers would have perennial offerings that rarely change as well as catering to the whims of fashion, such as basic T-shirts and jeans.

 

Now, through the ‘fast fashion’ philosophy, new items are being stocked in stores more frequently. These newer product ranges stimulate shoppers into frequenting these stores on a more regular basis, in some cases weekly to see new fashion items. Savvy brand-loyal shoppers know when new stock is being delivered to their favourite store. Through increased stock replenishment of new, fashionable items, consumers are increasing their footfall to these stores, and furthermore these stores are developing brand images as cutting edge, trendy, and fashionable. This increased footfall, where shoppers regularly visit a store, eliminates the need for major expenditure on advertising and promotion. Also the concept of ‘fast fashion’ is helping to improve sales, conversion ratios within these stores. Due to the limited supply of designs available, this creates an aura of exclusivity for these garments, further enhancing the brands of these ‘fast fashion retailers’ as leading fashion brands.

 

Famous for ABBA, Volvos and IKEA, now Sweden has another international success story: H&M. The basic business premise behind H&M is ‘fashion and quality at the best price’. The company now has over 1068 stores in 21 countries. H&M sources 50 per cent of its goods in Europe and the remainder in low-cost Asian countries. Sourcing decisions are dependent on cost, quality, lead times and export regulations. The lead times for items can vary from a minuscule two weeks to six months, dependent on the item itself. H&M believes that having very short lead times can be beneficial in terms of stock control, however it is not the most important criteria for all items. Basic clothing garments can have lead times running into months, due to consistent demand. However, items that are more trend- and fashion-conscious require very short lead times, to match demand. H&M is now also in the process of teaming up with prestigious designers like Karl Lagerfeld to create affordable fashion ranges.

 

The firm utilizes close relationships with its network of production offices and 700 suppliers. Unlike some other clothing retailers, H&M outsources all of its production to independent suppliers. The dyeing of garments is postponed until as late as possible in the production process to allow greater flexibility and adaptation to the whims of the fashion buyer. Items from around the world are shipped to a centralized transit warehouse in Hamburg, Germany, where quality checks are undertaken, and the items are allocated to individual stores or placed in centralized storage. Items that are placed in this ‘call-off warehouse’ are allocated to stores where there is more demand for the particular item. For example, if pairs of a particular style of jeans are selling well in London, more jeans are shipped from Hamburg to H&M’s London stores.

 

Table 6:   Some of the key players in apparel industry

 

H&M Next Benetton
Originated in Sweden Originated in the UK Originated in Italy
Chain has 1069 stores in 21 countries Has 380 stores in the UK and Ireland and has 80 franchise stores overseas Has a presence in 120 countries and uses a retail network o 5000 stores
Originally called Hennes & Mauritz, renamed as H&M. Sells women’s and men’s apparel. Doesn’t own any manufacturing resources. Motto—‘Fashion and quality at the best price’. Sells women’s wear, men’s wear and homeware. The firm has a very successful catalogue business. Targets the top end of the mass market, focusing on fashionable moderately priced clothing Sell under brand name such as Benetton, Playlife, Sisley and Killer Loop. Uses a network of franchises/partner stores. Established huge brand awareness through its infamous ad campaigns.
Zara Mango Arcadia
Originated in Spain Originated in Spain Originated in the UK
Chain has 729 Zara stores Chain has 770 stores in 70 countries Chain has over 2000 stores
Zara is the main part of the Spanish Inditex group and is valued at nearly €14 billion. Operates under the mantra of affordable fashion, and adopts the principle of market-driven supply. Operates a successful franchise operation (more than half are franchises). The company specializes exclusively in targeting the young female mid-market. Operates several different fascia, targeting different types of customer, with stores such as Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Wallis, Top Shop, Top Man, Miss Selfridge and Outfit. Owner Philip Green also owns BHS stores and Etam UK

 

Sourcing low-cost garments with quick response times is a vital element of the concept. Many of the ‘fast fashion’ retailers utilize a vast network of suppliers, so that their stores are replenished with latest designs. Some firms are entirely vertically integrated, where the retailer owns and controls the entire supply chain. For example, Zara buys its fabric from a company owned by its parent, Inditex, and buys dyes from another company also within the group. Retailers source their goods from countries such as China, North Africa, Turkey and low-cost eastern European countries. If cost were the sole basis for supplier selection, then the vast majority of products would be sourced from the Far East. However, the lead times for delivery of goods are quite substantial in comparison to sourcing garments in Eastern Europe (e.g. shipping goods from China can take sex weeks, whereas from Hungary takes two days). As a result of this, retailers are using a hybrid approach, sourcing closer to markets for more fashion-orientated lines. The drive towards reduced lead times is allowing companies to be more responsive to market changes. The benefits of such a quick response to market changes are reduced costs, lean inventories, faster merchandise flow and closer collaborative supply chain relationships.

 

The concept of ‘postponement’ is a key strategy used within the fashion retailing industry. It is the delayed configuration of a garment’s final design until the final market destination and/or customer requirement is known and, once this is known, the garment is assembled or customized. The material and styles are kept generic for a long as possible, before final customization. A classic illustration of the concept of postponement is its usage by Benetton. Colours can come in and out of fashion.  Benetton delays when its garments are finally product differentiated, so that this matches what is selling. For example, a Benetton sweater would be stitched and assembled from its original grey yarn and then, based on feedback from Benetton’s distribution network as to what colours were selling, the sweater would be dyed at the very final stage of production. The concept of postponement allows greater inventory cost saving, and increased flexibility in matching actual demand.

 

The production and logistics facilities for these ‘fast fashion’ retailers are colossal in that each design may have several colour variants, and the retailer needs to produce an array of garments in a number of different sizes. The number of stock keeping units (SKUs) is therefore staggering. As a result, companies require a very reliable and sophisticated information system—for example, Zara has to deal with over 300,000 new SKUs every year. Benetton has a fully automated sorting and shipping system, managing over 110 million items a year, with a staff of only 24 employees in its centralized distribution centres. Mango, another successful Spanish fashion chain, also utilizes a high-tech distribution system, which can sort and pack 12,000 folded items an hour and 7000 hanging garments an hour.

 

Many in the industry see Zara as the classic illustration of the concept of ‘fast fashion’ in operation. The company can get a garment from design, through production and ultimately on to the shelf in a mere 15 days. The norm for the industry has typically run to several months. The group’s basic business philosophy is to seduce customers with the latest fashion at attractive prices. It has grown rapidly as a fashion retail powerhouse by adopting four central strategies: creativity and innovation; having an international presence; utilizing a multi-format strategy; and through vertically integrating its entire supply chain. For the ‘fast fashion’ concept to be successful, it requires close relationships between suppliers and retailers, information sharing and utilization of technology. Information is utilized along the entire supply chain, according to the demand. It controls design, production and the logistics elements of the business. Real-time demand feeds the production systems.

 

Zara is part of the Inditex group of fashion retail brands. This group adopts a multi-format strategy with different store brands targeting different types of customers. Zara is its key fashion-retailing brand. Zara opened its first store in 1975 in Spain and has now become a fashion powerhouse, operating in four continents, with 729 stores, located in over 54 countries. It has become very hip all over the world, for its value for money and stylish designs. The chain is building large numbers of brand devotees because of its fashionable designs, which are in tune with the very latest trends, and a very convincing price-quality offering. Each of the different store brands (outlined in Table- 7) needs to be strongly differentiated in order for the strategy to work effectively.

 

Table 7   Number of Inditex stores by fascia

 

Zara 729
Pull and Bear 373
Massimo Dutti 330
Bershka 305
Stradivarius 228
Oysho 106
Zara Home 63
Kiddy’s Class 131
TOTAL 2265

 

Figure  3  Zara’s market-led supply

 

 

 

 

Zara does not undertake any conventional advertising, except as a vehicle for announcing a new store opening, the start of sales of seasons. The company uses the stores themselves as its main promotional strategy, to convey its image. Zara tries to locate its stores in prime commercial areas. Deep inside the lairs of its corporate headquarters, 25 full-scale store windows are set up, whereby Zara window designers can experiment with design layouts and lighting. The approved design layouts are shipped out to all Zara’s stores, so that a Zara shop front in London will be the same as in Lisbon and throughout the entire chain. The store itself is the company’s main promotional vehicle.

 

One of Zara’s key philosophies was the realization that fashion, much like food, has a ‘best before’ date: that fashion trends change rapidly. What style consumers want this month may not be same in two months’ time. Fashion retailers have to adapt to what the marketplace wants for the here and now. The company is guilty of under-stocking garments, as it does not want to be left with obsolete or out-of-fashion items. The key driving force behind its success is to minimize inventory levels, getting product out on to the retail floor space, and by being responsive to the needs of the market. Zara uses its stores to find out what consumers really want, designs are selling, what colours are in demand, which items are hot sellers and which are complete flops. It uses a sophisticated marketing information system to provide feedback to headquarters and allow it to respond to what the marketplace wants. Similarly, Mango uses a computerized logistical system that allows the matching of clothes designs to particular stores based on personality traits and even climate variances (i.e. ‘It this garment suitable for the Mediterranean Summer?). This sophisticated IT infrastructure allows for more responsive market-led retailing, matching suitable clothing lines to compatible stores.

 

At the end of each day, Zara sales assistants report to the store manager using wireless headsets, to communicate inventory levels. The stores then report back to Zara’s design and distribution departments on what consumers are buying, asking for or avoiding. Both hard sales data and soft data (i.e. customer feedback on the latest designs) are communicated directly back to the company’s headquarters, through open channels of communication. Zara’s 250 designers use market feedback for their next creations. Designers work hand in hand with market analyst, in cross-functional teams, to pick up on the latest trends. Garments are produced in comparatively small production runs, so as not to be over-exposed if a particular item is a very poor seller. If a product is a poor seller, it is removed after as little as two weeks. Roughly 10 per cent of stock falls into this unsold category, in direct contrast to industry norms of between 17 and 20 per cent. Zara produces nearly 11,000 designs a year. Stock items are seen as assets that are extremely perishable and, if they are sitting on shelves or racks in a warehouse, they are simply not making money for the organization.

 

In the course of one year alone, Zara has been able to launch 24 different collections into its network of stores. After designs have been approved, fabrics are dyed and cut by highly automated production lines. These pre-cut pieces are then sent out of nearly 350 workshops in northern Spain and Portugal. These workshops employ nearly 11,000 ‘grey economy’ workers mainly women, who may want to supplement their income. Seamstresses stitch the pre-cut pieces into garments using easy-to-follow instructions supplied by Zara. The typical seamstress’s wage in Zara’s workshop network is extremely competitive when compared with those in ‘third world’ countries where other fashion retailers mainly outsource their production. Furthermore, the proximity of these workshops allows for greater flexibility and control, Zara achieves greater control over its supply chain through having a high degree of integration within the supply chain. By owning suppliers, Zara has greater control production capacities, quality and scheduling. This is in stark contrast to Benetton, which is close to being a virtual organization, outsourcing production to third-party suppliers and directly owning only a handful of its stores, the majority being franchises or partner stores.

 

The finished garments are then sent back to Zara’s colossal state-of-the-art logistics centre. Here they are electronically tagged, quality control double-checks them, and then they are sorted into distribution lots, ensuring the items arrive at their ultimate destinations. Each item is tagged with pricing information. There is no pan-European pricing for Zara’s products: prices are different in each national market. Zara believes each national market has its own particular nuances, such as higher salaries or higher taxation, therefore it has to adjust the price of each garment to make it suitable in each country and to reflect these differences. Shipments leave La Coruňa bound for every one of the Zara stores in over 54 countries twice a week, every week. The company’s average turnaround time from designing to delivery of a new garment takes on average 10 to 15 days, and delivery of goods takes a maximum of 21 days, which is unparalleled in an industry where lead times are usually months, not days. Zara’s business model tries to fulfil real-time fashion retailing and not second-guessing what consumers’ needs are for next season, which may be six months away. As a result of Zara utilizing this ultra-responsive supply chain, 85 per cent of its entire product range obtains full ticket price, whereas the industry norm is between 60 and 70 per cent.

 

The successful adoption of the ‘fast fashion’ concept by these international retailers has drastically altered the competitive landscape in apparel retailing. Consumers’ expectations are also rising with these improved retail offerings. Clothes shoppers are seeking out the latest fashions at value-for-money prices in enticing store environments. Now other well-established high-street fashion retailers have to adapt to these challenges, by being more responsive, cost efficient, speedy and flexible in their operations. The rag trade is churning out the latest value-for-money fashions at breakneck speed. ‘Fast fashion’ is what the marketplace is demanding.

 

 

Questions

 

  1. Discuss how supply chain management can contribute to the marketing success of these retailers.
  2. Discuss the central components necessary for the fast fashion concept to work effectively.
  3. Critically evaluate the concept of ‘market-driven supply’, discussing the merits and pitfalls of its implementation in fashion retailing.

 

 

           

 

    

 

 

 

 


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FINANCE MANAGEMENT

Attempt Any Four Case Study

 

Case 1: Zip Zap Zoom Car Company

          

Zip Zap Zoom Company Ltd is into manufacturing cars in the small car (800 cc) segment.  It was set up 15 years back and since its establishment it has seen a phenomenal growth in both its market and profitability.  Its financial statements are shown in Exhibits 1 and 2 respectively.

The company enjoys the confidence of its shareholders who have been rewarded with growing dividends year after year.  Last year, the company had announced 20 per cent dividend, which was the highest in the automobile sector.  The company has never defaulted on its loan payments and enjoys a favorable face with its lenders, which include financial institutions, commercial banks and debenture holders.

The competition in the car industry has increased in the past few years and the company foresees further intensification of competition with the entry of several foreign car manufactures many of them being market leaders in their respective countries.  The small car segment especially, will witness entry of foreign majors in the near future, with latest technology being offered to the Indian customer.  The Zip Zap Zoom’s senior management realizes the need for large scale investment in up gradation of technology and improvement of manufacturing facilities to pre-empt competition.

Whereas on the one hand, the competition in the car industry has been intensifying, on the other hand, there has been a slowdown in the Indian economy, which has not only reduced the demand for cars, but has also led to adoption of price cutting strategies by various car manufactures.   The industry indicators predict that the economy is gradually slipping into recession.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exhibit 1 Balance sheet as at March 31,200 x

(Amount in Rs. Crore)

 

Source of Funds

Share capital                                        350

Reserves and surplus                           250                              600

Loans :

Debentures (@ 14%)               50

Institutional borrowing (@ 10%)        100

Commercial loans (@ 12%)    250

Total debt                                                                                            400

Current liabilities                                                                                 200

1,200

 

Application of Funds

Fixed Assets

Gross block                                                     1,000

Less : Depreciation                                            250

Net block                                                           750

Capital WIP                                                       190

Total Fixed Assets                                                                              940

Current assets :

Inventory                                                           200

Sundry debtors                                                    40

Cash and bank balance                                        10

Other current assets                                 10

Total current assets                                                                 260

-1200

 

Exhibit 2 Profit and Loss Account for the year ended March 31, 200x

(Amount in Rs. Crore)

Sales revenue (80,000 units x Rs. 2,50,000)                                       2,000.0

Operating expenditure :

Variable cost :

Raw material and manufacturing expenses    1,300.0

Variable overheads                                                        100.0

Total                                                                                                                1,400.0

Fixed cost :

R & D                                                                                          20.0

Marketing and advertising                                               25.0

Depreciation                                                                   250.0

 

Personnel                                                                          70.0

Total                                                                                                                   365.0

 

Total operating expenditure                                                                1,765.0

Operating profits (EBIT)                                                                                   235.0

Financial expense :

Interest on debentures                                                            7.7

Interest on institutional borrowings                        11.0

Interest on commercial loan                                    33.0                     51.7

Earnings before tax (EBT)                                                                                          183.3

Tax (@ 35%)                                                                                                                 64.2

Earnings after tax (EAT)                                                                                            119.1

Dividends                                                                                                                     70.0

Debt redemption (sinking fund obligation)**                                                              40.0

Contribution to reserves and surplus                                                                  9.1

*          Includes the cost of inventory and work in process (W.P) which is dependent on demand (sales).

**        The loans have to be retired in the next ten years and the firm redeems Rs. 40 crore every year.

The company is faced with the problem of deciding how much to invest in up

gradation of its plans and technology.  Capital investment up to a maximum of Rs. 100

crore is required.  The problem areas are three-fold.

  • The company cannot forgo the capital investment as that could lead to reduction in its market share as technological competence in this industry is a must and customers would shift to manufactures providing latest in car technology.
  • The company does not want to issue new equity shares and its retained earning are not enough for such a large investment.  Thus, the only option is raising debt.
  • The company wants to limit its additional debt to a level that it can service without taking undue risks.  With the looming recession and uncertain market conditions, the company perceives that additional fixed obligations could become a cause of financial distress, and thus, wants to determine its additional debt capacity to meet the investment requirements.

Mr. Shortsighted, the company’s Finance Manager, is given the task of determining the additional debt that the firm can raise.  He thinks that the firm can raise Rs. 100 crore worth debt and service it even in years of recession.  The company can raise debt at 15 per cent from a financial institution.  While working out the debt capacity.  Mr. Shortsighted takes the following assumptions for the recession years.

  1. A maximum of 10 percent reduction in sales volume will take place.
  2. A maximum of 6 percent reduction in sales price of cars will take place.

Mr. Shorsighted prepares a projected income statement which is representative of the recession years.  While doing so, he determines what he thinks are the “irreducible minimum” expenditures under

 

recessionary conditions.  For him, risk of insolvency is the main concern while designing the capital structure.  To support his view, he presents the income statement as shown in Exhibit 3.

 

Exhibit 3 projected Profit and Loss account

(Amount in Rs. Crore)

Sales revenue (72,000 units x Rs. 2,35,000)                                       1,692.0

Operating expenditure

Variable cost :

Raw material and manufacturing expenses    1,170.0

Variable overheads                                                          90.0

Total                                                                                                                1,260.0

Fixed cost :

R & D                                                                                          —

Marketing and advertising                                               15.0

Depreciation                                                                   187.5

Personnel                                                                          70.0

Total                                                                                                                   272.5

Total operating expenditure                                                                1,532.5

EBIT                                                                                                                  159.5

Financial expenses :

Interest on existing Debentures                                        7.0

Interest on existing institutional borrowings      10.0

Interest on commercial loan                                30.0

Interest on additional debt                                             15.0                  62.0

EBT                                                                                                                      97.5

Tax (@ 35%)                                                                                                        34.1

EAT                                                                                                                     63.4

Dividends                                                                                                              —

Debt redemption (sinking fund obligation)                                             50.0*

Contribution to reserves and surplus                                                       13.4

 

 

* Rs. 40 crore (existing debt) + Rs. 10 crore (additional debt)

Assumptions of Mr. Shorsighted

  • R & D expenditure can be done away with till the economy picks up.
  • Marketing and advertising expenditure can be reduced by 40 per cent.
  • Keeping in mind the investor confidence that the company enjoys, he feels that the company can forgo paying dividends in the recession period.

 

He goes with his worked out statement to the Director Finance, Mr. Arthashatra, and advocates raising Rs. 100 crore of debt to finance the intended capital investment.  Mr. Arthashatra  does not feel comfortable with the statements and calls for the company’s financial analyst, Mr. Longsighted.

Mr. Longsighted carefully analyses Mr. Shortsighted’s assumptions and points out that insolvency should not be the sole criterion while determining the debt capacity of the firm.  He points out the following :

  • Apart from debt servicing, there are certain expenditures like those on R & D and marketing that need to be continued to ensure the long-term health of the firm.
  • Certain management policies like those relating to dividend payout, send out important signals to the investors.  The Zip Zap Zoom’s management has been paying regular dividends and discontinuing this practice (even though just for the recession phase) could raise serious doubts in the investor’s mind about the health of the firm.  The firm should pay at least 10 per cent dividend in the recession years.
  • Mr. Shortsighted has used the accounting profits to determine the amount available each year for servicing the debt obligations.  This does not give the true picture.  Net cash inflows should be used to determine the amount available for servicing the debt.
  • Net Cash inflows are determined by an interplay of many variables and such a simplistic view should not be taken while determining the cash flows in recession.  It is not possible to accurately predict the fall in any of the factors such as sales volume, sales price, marketing expenditure and so on.  Probability distribution of variation of each of the factors that affect net cash inflow should be analyzed.  From  this analysis, the probability distribution of variation in net cash inflow should be analysed (the net cash inflows follow a normal probability distribution).  This will give a true picture of how the company’s cash flows will behave in recession conditions.

 

The management recognizes that the alternative suggested by Mr. Longsighted rests on data, which are complex and require expenditure of time and effort to obtain and interpret.  Considering the importance of capital structure design, the Finance Director asks Mr. Longsighted to carry out his analysis.  Information on the behaviour of cash flows during the recession periods is taken into account.

The methodology undertaken is as follows :

  • Important factors that affect cash flows (especially contraction of cash flows), like sales volume, sales price, raw materials expenditure, and so on, are identified and the analysis is carried out in terms of cash receipts and cash expenditures.

 

  • Each factor’s behaviour (variation behaviour) in adverse conditions in the past is studied and future expectations are combined with past data, to describe limits (maximum favourable), most probable and maximum adverse) for all the factors.
  • Once this information is generated for all the factors affecting the cash flows, Mr. Longsighted comes up with a range of estimates of the cash flow in future recession periods based on all possible combinations of the several factors. He also estimates the probability of occurrence of each estimate of cash flow.

 

Assuming a normal distribution of the expected behaviour, the mean expected

value of net cash inflow in adverse conditions came out to be Rs. 220.27 crore with standard deviation of Rs. 110 crore.

Keeping in mind the looming recession and the uncertainty of the recession behaviour, Mr. Arthashastra feels that the firm should factor a risk of cash inadequacy of around 5 per cent even in the most adverse industry conditions.  Thus, the firm should take up only that amount of additional debt that it can service 95 per cent of the times, while maintaining cash adequacy.

To maintain an annual dividend of 10 per cent, an additional Rs. 35 crore has to be kept aside.  Hence, the expected available net cash inflow is Rs. 185.27 crore (i.e. Rs. 220.27 – Rs. 35 crore)

Question:

Analyse the debt capacity of the company.

ANSWER

 

           

 

     

                Subject – International Business

                                 Marks – 100

 

         Note: Solve any 4 Cases Study’s

 

CASE: I    ARROW AND THE APPAREL INDUSTRY

 

Ten years ago, Arvind Clothing Ltd., a subsidiary of Arvind Brands Ltd., a member of the Ahmedabad based Lalbhai Group, signed up with the 150- year old Arrow Company, a division of Cluett Peabody & Co. Inc., US, for licensed manufacture of Arrow shirts in India. What this brought to India was not just another premium dress shirt brand but a new manufacturing philosophy to its garment industry which combined high productivity, stringent in-line quality control, and a conducive factory ambience.

Arrow’s first plant, with a 55,000 sq. ft. area and capacity to make 3,000 to 4,000 shirts a day, was established at Bangalore in 1993 with an investment of Rs 18 crore. The conditions inside—with good lighting on the workbenches, high ceilings, ample elbow room for each worker, and plenty of ventilation, were a decided contrast to the poky, crowded, and confined sweatshops characterising the usual Indian apparel factory in those days. It employed a computer system for translating the designed shirt’s dimensions to automatically mark the master pattern for initial cutting of the fabric layers. This was installed, not to save labour but to ensure cutting accuracy and low wastage of cloth.

The over two-dozen quality checkpoints during the conversion of fabric to finished shirt was unique to the industry. It is among the very few plants in the world that makes shirts with 2 ply 140s and 3 ply 100s cotton fabrics using 16 to 18 stitches per inch. In March 2003, the Bangalore plant could produce stain-repellant shirts based on nanotechnology.

The reputation of this plant has spread far and wide and now it is loaded mostly with export orders from renowned global brands such as GAP, Next, Espiri, and the like. Recently the plant was identified by Tommy Hilfiger to make its brand of shirts for the Indian market. As a result, Arvind Brands has had to take over four other factories in Bangalore on wet lease to make the Arrow brand of garments for the domestic market.

In fact, the demand pressure from global brands which want to outsource form Arvind Brands is so great that the company has had to set up another large factory for export jobs on the outskirts of Bangalore. The new unit of 75,000 sq. ft. has cost Rs 16 crore and can turn out 8,000 to 9,000 shirts per day. The technical collaborators are the renowned C&F Italia of Italy.

Among the cutting edge technologies deployed here are a Gerber make CNC fabric cutting machine, automatic collar and cuff stitching machines, pneumatic holding for tasks like shoulder joining, threat trimming and bottom hemming, a special machine to attach and edge stitch the back yoke, foam finishers which use air and steam to remove creases in the finished garment, and many others. The stitching machines in this plant can deliver up to 25 stitches per inch. A continuous monitoring of the production process in the entire factory is done through a computerised apparel production management system, which is hooked to every machine. Because of the use of such technology, this plant will need only 800 persons for a capacity which is three times that of the first plant which employs 580 persons.

Exports of garments made for global brands fetched Arvind Brands over Rs 60 crore in 2002, and this can double in the next few years, when the new factory goes on full stream. In fact, with the lifting of the country-wise quota regime in 2005, there will be surge in demand for high quality garments from India and Arvind is already considering setting up two more such high tech export-oriented factories.

It is not just in the area of manufacture but also retailing that the Arrow brand brought a wind of change on the Indian scene. Prior to its coming, the usual Indian shirt shop used to be a clutter of racks with little by way of display. What Arvind Brands did was to set up exclusive showrooms for Arrow shirts in which the functional was combined with aesthetic. Stuffed racks and clutter eschewed. The product were displayed in such a manner the customer could spot their qualities from a distance. Of course, today this has become standard practice with many other brands in the country, but Arrow showed the way. Arrow today has the largest network of 64 exclusive outlets across India. It is also present in 30 retail chains. It branched into multi-brand outlets in 2001, and is present in over 200 select outlets.

From just formal dress shirts in the beginning, the product range of Arvind Brands has expanded in the last ten years to include casual shirts, T-shirts, and trousers. In the pipeline are light jackets and jeans engineered for the middle-aged paunch. Arrow also tied up with the renowned Italian designer, Renato Grande, who has worked with names like Versace and Marlboro, to design its Spring / Summer Collection 2003. The company has also announced its intention to license the Arrow brand for other lifestyle accessories like footwear, watches, undergarments, fragrances, and leather goods. According to Darshan Mehta, President, Arvind Brands Ltd., the current turnover at retail prices of the Arrow brand in India is about Rs 85 crore. He expects the turnover to cross Rs 100 crore in the next few years, of which about 15 per cent will be from the licensed non-clothing products.

In 2005, Arvind Brands launched a major retail initiative for all its brands. Arvind Brands licensed brands (Arrow, Lee and Wrangler) had grown at a healthy 35 per cent rate in 2004 and the company planned to sustain the growth by increasing their retail presence. Arvind Brands also widened the geographical presence of its home-grown brands, such as Newport and Ruf-n Tuf, targeting small towns across India. The company planned to increase the number of outlets where its domestic brands would be available, and draw in new customers for readymades. To improve its presence in the high-end market, the firm started negotiating with an international brand and is likely to launch the brand.

The company has plans to expand its retail presence of Newport Jeans, from 1200 outlets across 480 towns to 3000 outlets covering 800 towns.

For a company ranked as one of the world’s largest manufactures of denim cloth and owners of world famous brands, the future looks bright and certain for Arvind Brands Ltd.

 

Company profile

 

Name of the Company              :Arvind Mills

Year of Establishment              :1931

Promoters                                   : Three brothers–Katurbhai, Narottam Bhai, and Chimnabhai

Divisions                                    :Arvind Mills was split in 1993 into Units—textiles, telecom and garments. Arvind Ltd. (textile unit) is 100 per cent                          subsidiary of Arvind Mills.

Growth Strategy                             :Arvind Mills has grown through buying-up of sick units, going global and acquisition of German and US brand             names.

 

Questions

 

  1. Why did Arvind Mills choose globalization as the major route to achieve growth when the domestic market was huge?

ANSWER

When businesses decide to expand through global marketing there are certain issues of concern, for example, where a product will be most productive with consumers or how to promote the product in another country and is the demand for the product large enough that it will bring in enough profits for the business. Marketers of a company must create a marketing strategy that will influence consumers locally but also internationally. For example, The Bank of North Carolina was a local bank but wanted to extend the company but needed a marketing strategy that would introduce the company to a global market. The best way to approach this situation was merger with one of the highest respecting banks in the nation Bank of America. From the merger it brought recognition to the local bank and also has consumers in other parts of the world. Merging with other well known establishments is one way of putting local businesses out on the market.

 

  1. How does lifting of ‘Country-wise quota regime’ help Arvind Mills?
  2. What lessons can other Indian businesses learn form the experience of Arvind Mills?

 

 

 

 

CASE: II    THE ECONOMY OF KENYA

 

Kenya’ economy has been beset by high rates of unemployment and underemployment for many years. But at no time has it been more significant and more politically dangerous than in the late 1990s as an authoritarian beset by corruption, cronyism and economic plunder threatened the economic stability of this once proud nation. Yet Kenya still has great potential. Located in East Africa, it has a diverse geographic and climatic endowment. Three-fifths of the nation is semiarid desert (mostly in the north), and the resulting infertility of this land has dictated the location of 85 per cent of the population (30 million in 2000) and almost all economic activity in the southern two-fifths of the country. Kenya’s rapidly growing population is composed of many tribes and is extremely heterogeneous (including traditional herders, subsistence and commercial farmers, Arab Muslims, and cosmopolitan residents of Nairobi). The standard of living at least in major cities, is relatively high compared to the average of other sub-Saharan African countries.

However, widespread poverty (per capita US$360), high unemployment, and growing income inequality make Kenya a country of economic as well as geographic diversity. Agriculture is the most important economic activity. About three quarters of the population still lives in rural areas and about 7 million workers are employed in agriculture, accounting for over two-thirds of the total workforce.

Despite many changes in the democratic system, including the switch from a federal to a republican government, the conversion of the prime ministerial system into a presidential one, the transition to a unicameral legislature, and the creation of a one-party state, Kenya has displayed relatively high political stability (by African standards) since gaining independence from Britain in 1963. Since independence, there have been only two presidents. However, this once stable and prosperous capitalist nation has witnessed widespread ethnic violence and political upheavals since 1992 as a deteriorating economy, unpopular one-party rule, and charges of government corruption create a tense situation.

An expansionary economic policy characterised by large public investments, support of small agricultural production units, and incentives for private (domestic and foreign) industrial investment played an important role in the early 7 per cent rate of GDP growth in the first decade after independence. In the following seven years (1973-80), the oil crisis let to a lower GDP growth to an annual rate of 5 per cent. Along with the oil price shock, lack of adequate domestic saving and investment slowed the growth of the economy. Various economic policies designed to promote industrial growth led to a neglect of agriculture and a consequent decline in farm prices, farm production, and farmer incomes. As peasant farmers became poorer, more migrated to Nairobi, swelling an already overcrowded city and pushing up an existing high rate of urban unemployment. Very high birthrates along with a steady decline in death rates (mainly through lower infant mortality) led Kenya’s population growth to become the highest in the world (4.1 per cent per year) in 1988. Population growth fell to a still high rate of 2.4 per cent for the period 1990-2000.

The slowdown in GDP growth persisted in the following five years (1980-85), when the annual average was 2.6 per cent. It was a period of stabilization in which political shakiness of 1982 and the severe drought in 1984 contributed to a slowdown in industrial growth. Interest rates rose and wages fell in the public and private sectors. An improvement in the budget deficit and current account trade deficit, obtained through cuts in development expenditures and recessive policies aimed at reducing imports, contributed to lower economic growth. By 1990, Kenya’s per capita income was 9 per cent lower than it was in 1980–$370 compared to $410. It continued to decline in the 1990s. In fact, GDP per capita fell at an annual average rate of 0.3 per cent throughout the decade. At the same time, the urban unemployment rate rose to 30 per cent.

Comprising 23 per cent of 2000 GDP AND 77 per cent of merchandise exports, agricultural production is the backbone of the Kenyan economy. Because of its importance, the Kenyan government has implemented several policies to nourish the agricultural sector. Two such policies include fixing attractive producer prices and making available increasing amounts of fertilizer. Kenya’s chief agricultural exports are coffee, tea, sisal, cashew nuts, pyrethrum, and horticultural products. Traditionally, coffee has been Kenya’s chief earner in foreign exchange.

Although Kenya is chiefly agrarian, it is still the most industrialised country in eastern Africa. Public and private industry accounted for 16 per cent of GDP in 2000. Kenya’s chief manufacturing activities are food processing and the production of beverages, tobacco, footwear, textiles, cement, metal products, paper, and chemicals.

Kenya currently faces a multitude of problems. These include a stagnating economy, growing political unrest, a huge budget deficit, high unemployment, a substantial balance of payments problem, and a stubbornly high population growth rate.

With the unemployment rate already at 30 per cent and its population growing, Kenya faces the major task of employing its burgeoning labour force. Yet only 10-15 per cent of seekers land jobs in the modern industrial sector. The remainder must find jobs in the self-employment sector; in the agricultural sector, where wages are low and opportunities are scarce; or join the masses of the unemployed.

In addition to the unemployment problem, Kenya must always be concerned with how to feed its growing population. An increase in population means an increasing demand for food. Yet only 20 per cent of Kenya’s land is arable. This implies that the land must become increasingly productive. Unfortunately, several factors work to constrain Kenya’s food output, among them fragmented landholdings, increasing environmental degradation, the high cost of agricultural inputs, and burdensome governmental involvement in the purchase, sale, and pricing of agricultural output.

For the fiscal year 1995, the Kenyan budget deficit was $362 million, well above the government’s target rate. Dealing with a high budget deficit is a second problem Kenya currently faces. Following the collapse of the East African Common Market, Kenya’s industrial growth rate has declined; as a result the government’s tax base has diminished. To supplement domestic savings, Kenya has had to turn to external sources of finance, including foreign aid grants from Western governments. Its highly protected public enterprises have been turning in a poor performance, thus absorbing a large chunk of the government budget. To pay for its expenses, Kenya has had to borrow from international banks in addition to foreign aid. In recent years, government borrowing from the international banking system rose dramatically and contributed to a rapid growth in money supply. This translated into high inflation and pinched availability of credit.

Kenya has also had a chronic international balance of payments problem. Decreasing prices for its exports, combined with increasing prices for its imports, left Kenya importing almost twice as much as it exported in 2000, at $3,200 million in imports and only $1,650 million in exports. World demand for coffee, Kenya‘s predominant exports, remains below supply. In 2001-01, a dramatic surge in coffee exports from Vietnam hurt Kenya further. Hence Kenya cannot make full use of its comparative advantage in coffee production, and its stock of coffee has been increasing. Tea, another main export, has also had difficulties. In 1987, Pakistan, the second largest importer of Kenyan tea, slashed its purchases. Combined with a general oversupply in the world market, this fall in demand drove the price of tea downward. Hence Kenya experienced both a lower dollar value and quantity demanded for one of its principal exports.

Kenya faces major challenges in the years ahead as the economy tries to recover. Current is expected to be no more than 1 to 2 per cent annually. Heavy rains have spoiled crops and washed away roads, bridges, and telephone lines. Foreign exchange earnings from tourism, once promising, dropped by 40 per cent in the mid-1990s, then suffered again after the August 7, 1998, terrorist bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi. Even more frightening, however, is the prospect of growing hunger as Kenya’s maize (corn) crop has failed to meet rising internal demand and dwindling foreign exchange reserves have to be spent to import food. Corruption is perceived to be so widespread that the International Monetary Fund and World Bank suspended $292 million in loans to Kenyan in the summer of 1997 while insisting on tough new austerity measures to control public spending and weed out economic cronyism. As a result, the economy went into a tailspin, foreign investors fled the country, and inflation accelerated markedly.

Unfortunately, needed structural adjustments resulting form the World Bank—and IMF—induced austerity demands usually take a long time. Whether the Kenyan political and economic system can withstand any further deterioration in living conditions is a major question. Public protests for greater democracy and a growing incidence of ethnic violence may be harbingers of things to come.

 

Fig 1  Continuum of Economic Systems

 

 

Pure Market                                                                                   Pure Centrally Planned Economy

Economy

 

 

 

 

 

        The US                                         France                                India  China

                        Canada                                  Brazil                                                           Cuba

                                             UK                                                                                                     North Korea

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions

 

  1. Is the economic environment of Kenya favourable to international business? Yes or no—substantiate.

ANSWER

No, economic environment of Kenya is not favourable to international business.

 

Kenya’ economy has been beset by high rates of unemployment and underemployment for many years. But at no time has it been more significant and more politically dangerous than in the late 1990s as an authoritarian beset by corruption, cronyism and economic plunder threatened the economic stability of this once proud nation

  1. In the continuum of economic systems (see Fig 1), where do you place Kenya and why?

 

Case III: LATE MOVER ADVANTAGE?

 

Though a late entrant, Toyota is planning to conquer the Indian car market. The Japanese auto major wants to dispel the notion that the first mover enjoys an edge over the rivals who arrive late into a market.

Toyota entered the Indian market through the joint venture route, the partner being the Bangalore based Kirloskar Electric Co. Know as Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM), the plant was set up in 1998 at Bidadi near Bangalore.

To start with, TKM released its maiden offer—Qualis. Qualis is not a newly conceived, designed, and brought out vehicle. Rather it is the new avatar of Kijang under which brand the vehicle was sold in markets like Indonesia.

Qualis virtually had no competition. Telco’s Sumo was not a multi-utility vehicle like Qualis. Rather, it was mini-truck converted into a rugged all-purpose van. More importantly, Toyota proved that even its old offering, but decked up for India, could offer better quality than its competitor. Backed by a carefully thought out advertising campaign that communicated Toyota’s formidable global reputation, Qualis went on a roll and overtook Tata Sumo within two years of launch.

Sumo sold 25,706 vehicles during 2000-2001, compared to a 3 per cent growth over the previous year, compared to 25,373 of Qualis. But during 2001-2002, it was a different story. Qualis had been clocking more than 40 per cent share of the market. At the end of Sept 2001, Qualis had sold over 25,000 units, compared to Sumo’s 18000 plus.

The heady initial success has made TKM think of the future with robust confidence. By 2010, TKM wants to make and sell one million vehicles per year and garner one-third share of the Indian market.

The firm is planning to introduce a wide range of vehicle—a sub-compact, a sedan, a luxury car and a new multi-utility vehicle to replace Qualis. A significant percentage of the vehicles will be exported.

But Toyota is not as lucky in China. Its strategy of ‘late entry’ in China seems to have back fired. In 2005, it sold just 1,83,000 cars in China, the fastest growing auto market in the world. Toyota ranks ninth in the market, far behind Volkswagen, General Motors, Hyundai and Honda.

Toyota delayed producing cars in China until 2002, when it entered a joint venture with a local company, the First Auto Works Group (FAW). The first car manufactured by Toyota-FAW, the Vios, failed to attract much of a market, as, despite its unremarkable design, it was three times as expensive as most cars sold in China.

Late start was not the only problem. There were other lapses too. Toyota assumed the Chinese market would be similar to the Japanese market. But Chinese market, in reality, resembled the American market.

Sales personnel in Japan are paid salaries. They succeeded in building a loyal clientele for Toyota by providing first-class service to them. Likewise, most Japanese auto dealers sell a single brand, thereby ensuring their loyalty to it. Japan is a relatively a well-knit country with an ethnically homogeneous population. Accordingly, Toyota used nationwide advertising to market its products in its home country.

But China is different. Sales people are paid commissions and most dealers sell multiple brands. Obviously, loyalty plays little role in motivating either the sales staff or the dealers, who will ignore a slow selling product should a more profitable one turn up. Besides, China is a large, diverse country. A standardised ad campaign will not do. Luckily, Toyota is learning its lessons.

Competition in the Chinese market is tough, and Toyota’s success in reaching its goal of selling a million cars a year, by 2010, is uncertain. But, its chances are brighter as the company is able to transfer lessons learned in the American market to its operations in China.

 

 

Questions

 

  1. Why has the ‘late corner’s strategy’ of Toyota failed in China, though it succeeded in India?
  2. Why has Toyota failed to capture the Chinese market? Why is it trailing behind its rivals?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE: IV   DELVING DEEP INTO USER’S MIND

 

Whirlpool is an American brand alright, but has succeeded in empowering the Indian housewife with just the tools she would have designed for herself. A washing machine that doesn’t expect her to get ‘ready for the show’ (Videocon’s old jingle), nor adapt her plumbing, power supply, dress sense, values, attitudes and lifestyle to suit American standards.

That, in short, is the reason that Whirlpool White Magic, in just three years since its launch in 1999, has become the choice of the discerning Indian housewife. Also worth noting is how quickly the brand’s sound mnemonic, ‘Whirlpool, Whirlpool’, has established itself.

 

Whiteboard beginning

 

As a company, the US-based white goods major Whirlpool had entered India in 1989, in a joint venture with the TVS group. Videocon, which had pioneered washing machines in India, was the market leader with its range of low-priced ‘washers’ (spinning tubs) and semi-automatic machines, which required manual supervision and some labour. The brand’s TV commercial, created by Pune-based SJ Advertising, has evoked considerable interest with its jingle (‘It washes, it rinses, it even dries your clothes, in just a few minutes…and you’re ready for the show’). IFB-Bosch’s front-loading, fully automatic machines, which could be programmed and left to do their job, were the labour-free option. But they were considered expensive and unsuited to Indian conditions. So Videocon faced competition from me-too machines such as BPL-Sanyo’s. TVS Whirlpool was something of an also-ran.

The market’s sophistication started rising in the 1990s and there was a growing opportunity in the price-performance gap between expensive automatics and laborious semi-automatics. In 1995, Whirlpool gained a majority control of TVS Whirlpool, which was then renamed Whirlpool Washing Machines Ltd (WMML). Meanwhile, the parent bought Kelvinator of India, and merged the refrigerator business in 1996 with WMML to create Whirlpool of India (WOI), to market both fridges and washing machines. Whirlpool’s ‘Flexigerator’ fridge hit the market in 1997. Two years later, WOI launched its star White Magic range of washing machines.

Whitemagic was late to the market, but WOI converted this to a ‘knowledge advantage’ by using the 1990s to study the Indian market intensely, through qualitative and quantitative market research (MR) tools, with the help of IMRB and MBL India. The research team delved deep into the psyche of the Indian housewife, her habits, her attitude towards life, her schedule, her every day concerns and most importantly, her innate ‘laundry wisdom’.

If Ashok Bhasin, vice-president marketing, WOI, was keen on understanding the psychodynamics of Indian clothes washing, it was because of his belief that people’s attitudes and perceptions of categories and brands are formed against the backdrop of their bigger attitudes in life, which could be shaped by broader trends. It was intuitive, to begin with, that the housewife wanted to gain direct control over crucial household operations. It was found that clothes washing was the daily activity for the Indian housewife, whether it was done personally, by a maid, or by a machine.

The key finding, however, was the pride in self-done washing. To the CEO of the Indian household, there was no displacing the hand wash as the best on quality. And quality was to be judged in terms of ‘whiteness’. Other issues concerned water consumption, quantity of detergent used, and fabric care—also something optimized best by herself. A thorough wash, done with gentle agility, was what the magic was all about.

That was the break-through insight used by Whirlpool for the design of all its washing machines, which adopted a ‘1-2, 1-2 Hand Wash Agitator System’ to mimic the preferred handwash technique. With a consumer so particular about washing, one could expect her to be value-conscious on other aspects too. Sure enough, WOI found the housewife willing to pay a premium for a product designed the way she wanted it. Even for a fully automatic, she wanted a top-loader; this way, she doesn’t fear clothes getting trapped in if the power fails, and retains the ability to lift the shutter to take clothes out (or add to the wash) even while the machine is in the midst of its job.

The target consumer, defined psychographically as the Turning Modernist (TM), was decided upon only after the initial MR exercise was concluded. This was also the stage at which the unique selling proposition (USP)—‘whitest white’—was thrashed out.

WOI first launched a fully automatic machine, with the hand-wash agitator. Then came the deluxe model with a ‘hot wash’ function. The product took off well, but WOI felt that a large chunk of the TM segment was also budget-bound. And was quite okay with having to supervise the machine. This consumer’s identity as a ‘home-maker’ was important to her, an insight that Whirlpool was using for the brand overall, in every product category.

So WOI launched a semi-automatic washing machine, with ‘Agisoak’ as a catchword to justify a 10—15 per cent premium over other brand’s semi-automatics available in India.

The advertising, WOI was clear, had to flow from the same stream of reasoning. It had to be responsive, caring, modern, stylish, and warm, and had to portray the victory of the Homemaker. FCB-Ulka, which had bagged Whirlpool’s account in March 1997 from contract (in a global alignment shift), worked with WOI to coin the sub-brand Whitemagic, to break into consumer mindspace with the whiteness proposition.

The launch commercial on TV, in August 1999, scored a big success with its ‘Whirlpool, Whirlpool’ jingle…and a mother’s fantasy of her daughter’s clothes wowing others. A product demonstration sequence took the ‘1-2, 1-2’ message home, reassuring the consumer that the wash would be just as good as that of her own hand. The net benefit, of course, was an unharried home life.

 

Second Wave

 

Sadly, the Indian market for washing machines has been in recession for the past two years, with overall volumes declining. This makes it a fight for market share, with the odds stacked against premium players.

Even though Whirlpool has sought to nudge the market’s value perception upwards, Videocon remains the largest selling brand in volume terms with its competitively priced machines. Washers have been displaced by semi-automatics, which are now the market’s mainstay (in the Rs 7,000-12,000 price range). In fact, these account for three-fourths of the 1.2 million units the Indian market sold in 2000. With a share of 17 per cent, Whirlpool is No. 2 in this voluminous segment.

Whirlpool’s bigger success has been in the fully automatic segment (Rs 12,000-36,000 range). This is smaller with sales of 177,600 units in 2000, but is predicted to become the dominant one as Indian GDP per head reaches for the $1,000 mark. With a 26 per cent share, Whirlpool has attained leadership of this segment.

That places WOI at the appropriate juncture to plot the value curve to be ascended over the new decade.

According to IMRB data, Whirlpool finds itself in the consideration set of 54 per cent of all prospective washing machine buyers, and has an ad recall of close to 85 per cent. This indicates the medium-term potential of Whitemagic, a Rs20.5 crore on a turnover of Rs1,042.8 crore, one-fifth of which was on account of washing machines.

The innovations continue. Recently, Whirlpool has launched semi-automatic machines with ‘hot wash’. The brand’s ‘magic’ isn’t showing signs of wearing off either. The current ‘mummy’s magic’ campaign on TV is trying to sell Whitemagic as a competent machine even for heavy duty washing such as ketchup stains on a white tablecloth.

The Homemaker, of course, remains the focus of attention. And she remains as vivacious, unruffled, and in control as ever. The attitude: you can sling the muckiest of stuff on to white cloth, but sparkling white is what it remains for its her hand that’ll work the magic, with a little help from some friends… such as Whirlpool.

 

 

Questions

 

  1. What product strategy did WOI adopt? And why? Global standardisation? Local customisaton?
  2. What pricing strategy did WOI follow? What, according to you, could have been the appropriate strategy?
  3. What lessons can other white goods manufacturers learn from WOI?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE V: CONSCIENCE OR COMPETITIVE EDGE

 

The plane touched down at Mumbai airport precisely on time. Olivia Jones made her way through the usual immigration bureaucracy without incident and was finally ushered into a waiting limousine, complete with uniformed chauffeur and soft black leather seats. Her already considerable excitement at being in India for the first time was mounting. As she cruised the dark city streets, she asked her chauffeur why so few cars had their headlights on at night. The driver responded that most drivers believed that headlights use too much petrol! Finally, she arrived at her hotel, a black marble monolith, grandiose and decadent in its splendour, towering above the bay.

The goal of her four-day trip was to sample and select swatches of woven cotton from the mills in and around Mumbai, to be used in the following season’s youth-wear collection of shirts, trousers, and underwear. She was thus treated with the utmost deference by her hosts, who were invariably Indian factory owners or British agents for Indian mills. For three days she was ferried from one air-conditioned office to another, sipping iced tea or chilled lemonade, poring over leather-bound swatch catalogues, which featured every type of stripe and design possible. On the fourth day, Jones made a request that she knew would cause some anxiety in the camp. “I want to see a factory,” she declared.

After much consultation and several attempts at dissuasion, she was once again ushered into a limousine and driven through a part of the city she had not previously seen. Gradually, the hotel and the Western shops dissolved into the background and Jones entered downtown Mumbai. All around was a sprawling shantytown, constructed from sheets of corrugated iron and panels of cardboard boxes. Dust flew in spirals everywhere among the dirt roads and open drains. The car crawled along the unsealed roads behind carts hauled by man and beast alike, laden to overflowing with straw or city refuse—the treasure of the ghetto. More than once the limousine had to halt and wait while a lumbering white bull crossed the road.

Finally, in the very heart of the ghetto, the car came to a stop. “Are you sure you want to do this?” asked her host. Determined not be faint-hearted, Jones got out the car.

White-skinned, blue-eyed, and blond, clad in a city suit and stiletto-heeled shoes, and carrying a briefcase, Jones was indeed conspicuous. It was hardly surprising that the inhabitants of the area found her an interesting and amusing subject, as she teetered along the dusty street and stepped gingerly over the open sewers.

Her host led her down an alley, between the shacks and open doors and inky black interiors. Some shelters, Jones was told, were restaurants, where at lunchtime people would gather on the rush mat floors and eat rice together. In the doorway of one shack there was a table that served as a counter, laden with ancient cans of baked beans, sardines, and rusted tins of fluorescent green substance that might have been peas. The eyes of the young man behind the counter were smiling and proud as he beckoned her forward to view his wares.

As Jones turned another corner, she saw an old man in the middle of the street, clad in a waist cloth, sitting in a large bucket. He had a tin can in his hand with which he poured water from the bucket over his head and shoulders. Beside him two little girls played in brilliant white nylon dresses, bedecked with ribbons and lace. They posed for her with smiling faces, delighted at having their photograph taken in their best frocks. The men and women around her with great dignity and grace, Jones thought.

Finally, her host led her up a precarious wooden ladder to a floor above the street. At the top Jones was warned not to stand straight, as the ceiling was just five feet high. There, in a room not 20 feet by 40 feet, 20 men were sitting at treadle sewing machines, bent over yards of white cloth. Between them on the floor were rush mats, some occupied by sleeping workers awaiting their next shift. Jones learned that these men were on a 24-hour rotation, 12 hours on and 12 hours off, every day for six months of the year. For the remaining six months they returned to their families in the countryside to work the land, planting and building with the money they had earned in the city. The shirts they were working on were for an order she had placed four weeks earlier in London, an order of which she had been particularly proud because of the low price she had succeeded in negotiating. Jones reflected that this sight was the most humbling experience of her life. When she questioned her host about these conditions, she was told that they were typical for her industry—and most of the Third World, as well.

Eventually, she left the heat, dust and din to the little shirt factory and returned to the protected, air-conditioned world of the limousine.

“What I’ve experienced today and the role I’ve played in creating that living hell will stay with me forever,” she thought. Later in the day, she asked herself whether what she had seen was an inevitable consequence of pricing policies that enabled the British customer to purchase shirts at £12.99 instead of £13.99 and at the same time allowed the company to make its mandatory 56 percent profit margin. Were her negotiating skills—the result of many years of training—an indirect cause of the terrible conditions she has seen?

Once Jones returned to the United Kingdom, she considered her position and the options open to her as a buyer for a large, publicly traded, retail chain operating in a highly competitive environment. Her dilemma was twofold: Can an ambitious employee afford to exercise a social conscience in his or her career? And can career-minded individuals truly make a difference without jeopardising their future? Answer her.

 

 

 

CASE – 1   Dabur India Limited: Growing Big and Global

 

Dabur is among the top five FMCG companies in India and is positioned successfully on the specialist herbal platform. Dabur has proven its expertise in the fields of health care, personal care, homecare and foods.

The company was founded by Dr. S. K. Burman in 1884 as small pharmacy in Calcutta (now Kolkata), India. And is now led by his great grandson Vivek C. Burman, who is the Chairman of Dabur India Limited and the senior most representative of the Burman family in the company. The company headquarters are in Ghaziabad, India, near the Indian capital New Delhi, where it is registered. The company has over 12 manufacturing units in India and abroad. The international facilities are located in Nepal, Dubai, Bangladesh, Egypt and Nigeria.

S.K. Burman, the founder of Dabur, was trained as a physician. His mission was to provide effective and affordable cure for ordinary people in far-flung villages. Soon, he started preparing natural remedies based on Ayurved for diseases such as Cholera, Plague and Malaria. Due to his cheap and effective remedies, he became to be known as ‘Daktar’ (Indianised version of ‘doctor’). And that is how his venture Dabur got its name—derived from Daktar Burman.

The company faces stiff competition from many multi national and domestic companies. In the Branded and Packaged Food and Beverages segment major companies that are active include Hindustan Lever, Nestle, Cadbury and Dabur. In case of Ayurvedic medicines and products, the major competitors are Baidyanath, Vicco, Jhandu, Himani and other pharmaceutical companies.

 

Vision, Mission and Objectives

 

Vision statement of Dabur says that the company is “dedicated to the health and well being of every household”. The objective is to “significantly accelerate profitable growth by providing comfort to others”. For achieving this objective Dabur aims to:

  • Focus on growing core brands across categories, reaching out to new geographies, within and outside India, and improve operational efficiencies by leveraging technology.
  • Be the preferred company to meet the health and personal grooming needs of target consumers with safe, efficacious, natural solutions by synthesising deep knowledge of ayurveda and herbs with modern science.
  • Be a professionally managed employer of choice, attracting, developing and retaining quality personnel.
  • Be responsible citizens with a commitment to environmental protection.
  • Provide superior returns, relative to our peer group, to our shareholders.

 

Chairman of the company

 

Vivek C. Burman joined Dabur in 1954 after completing his graduation in Business Administration from the USA. In 1986 he was appointed Managing Director of Dabur and in 1998 he took over as Chairman of the Company.

Under Vivek Burman’s leadership, Dabur has grown and evolved as a multi-crore business house with a diverse product portfolio and a marketing network that traverses the whole of India and more than 50 countries across the world. As a strong and positive leader, Vivek C. Burman has motivated employees of Dabur to “do better than their best”—a credo that gives Dabur its status as India’s most trusted nature-based products company.

 

Leading brands

 

More than 300 diverse products in the FMCG, Healthcare and Ayurveda segments are in the product line of Dabur. List of products of the company include very successful brands like Vatika, Anmol, Hajmola, Dabur Amla Chyawanprash, Dabur Honey and Lal Dant Manjan with turnover of Rs.100 crores each.

Strategic positioning of Dabur Honey as food product, lead to market leadership with over 40% market share in branded honey market; Dabur Chyawanprash is the largest selling Ayurvedic medicine with over 65% market share. Dabur is a leader in herbal digestives with 90% market share. Hajmola tablets are in command with 75% market share of digestive tablets category. Dabur Lal Tail tops baby massage oil market with 35% of total share.

CHD (Consumer Health Division), dealing with classical Ayurvedic medicines has more than 250 products sold through prescription as well as over the counter. Proprietary Ayurvedic medicines developed by Dabur include Nature Care Isabgol, Madhuvaani and Trifgol.

However, some of the subsidiary units of Dabur have proved to be low margin business; like Dabur Finance Limited. The international units are also operating on low profit margin. The company also produces several “me – too” products. At the same time the company is very popular in the rural segment.

 

 

 

Questions

 

  1. What is the objective of Dabur? Is it profit maximisation or growth maximisation? Discuss.

ANSWER

Objectives are:

  • Focus on growing core brands across categories, reaching out to new geographies, within and outside India, and improve operational efficiencies by leveraging technology.
  • Be the preferred company to meet the health and personal grooming needs of target consumers with safe, efficacious, natural solutions by synthesising deep knowledge of ayurveda and herbs with modern science.
  • Be a professionally managed employer of choice, attracting, developing and retaining quality personnel.
  • Be responsible citizens with a commitment to environmental protection.
  • Provide superior returns, relative to our peer group, to our shareholders.

 

 

 

  1. Do you think the growth of Dabur from a small pharmacy to a large multinational company is an indicator of the advantages of joint stock company against proprietorship form? Elaborate.

ANSWER

Yes I think the growth of Dabur from a small pharmacy to a large multinational company is an indicator of the following advantages of joint stock company.

 

 

 

 

CASE – 2   IT Industry: Checkered Growth

 

IT industry is now considered as vital for the development of any economy. Developing countries value the importance of this industry due to its capacity to provide much needed export earnings and support in the development of other industries. Especially in Indian context, this industry has assumed a significant position in the overall economy, due to its exemplary potentials in creating high value jobs, enhancing business efficiency and earning export revenues. The IT revolution has brought unexpected opportunities for India, which is emerging as an increasingly preferred location for customised software development. Experts are estimating the global IT industry to grow to US$1.6 million over the coming six years and exports to reach Rs. 2000 billion by 2008. It is envisaged that Indian IT industry, though a very small portion of the global IT pie, has tremendous growth prospects.

 

Stock Taking

 

The decade of 1970 may be taken as the stage of introduction of the Indian IT industry. The early years were marked by 75 per cent of software development taking place overseas and the rest 25 per cent in India. Exports of Indian software until the mid-1970s was mainly Eastern Europe, followed by US. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) was among the pioneers in selling its services outside India, by working for IBM Labs in the US. The hardware segment lagged behind its software counterpart. With instances of exports worth US$ 4 million in 1980, the software segment of the industry has shown an uneven profile. It was not until 1980s that vigorous and sustained growth in software exports begun, as MNCs like Texas Instruments started to take serious interest in India as a centre of software production. Destinations of export also underwent changes, with US dominating the main export market with 75 per cent of the exports. The IT Enabled Services (ITeS) segment, however, had not emerged at this stage.

It was also during the mid to late 1980s that computer firms shifted focus from mainframe computers (the mainstay of MNCs) to Personal Computers (PCs). In March 1985, Minicomp installed the first ever PC at CSI, Delhi; this changed the entire industry for good. With the entry of networking and applications like CAD/CAM, PC sales soared in 1987-88, touching 50,000 units.

From a modest growth in the mid-1980s software exports moved up to Rs. 3.8 billion in 1991-92. Since then, it grew at an incredible rate, up to 115 per cent in 1993. The hardware could also register an annual growth of 40 per cent in this period, backed by a surging demand for PCs and networking. Growth of the industry was also driven by the emergence and rapid growth of the ITeS segment.

IT sector’s share of GDP rose steadily in this period, rate of increase being the highest at 44.91 per cent in 2000-01. It was in the same year that the size of the total IT market was the biggest in the decade, at Rs. 56,592 crore. The overall IT market was also found to increase till 2000-01. The overall IT market was also found to increase till 2000-01, with the only exception of 1998-99. The domestic market also showed an overall increase till 2000-01, registering a spectacular CAGR of 50.39 per cent. Aggregate output of software and services also increased in this period, though at an uneven rate. Of approximately $1 billion worth of sales in 1991-1992, domestic hardware sales constituted 37.2 per cent (13.4 per cent growth over the previous year), exports of hardware 6.6 per cent.

During 2000-01 the growth in the hardware segment was driven mainly by PCs, which contributed about 58 per cent of the total hardware market. This period also witnessed the phenomenon of increasing share of Tier 2 and cities in PC sales, thereby indicating PC penetration into the hinterland. PC shipments had increased by 35 per cent every year from 1997 till 2000-01 when it reached 1.8 million PCs. The commercial PC market saw a growth of 23.5 per cent mainly due to slashing of prices by major vendors.

It was in 2001-02 that the industry had a sharp fall in rate of growth of its share of GDP to 5.90 per cent, from 44.91 per cent in the previous year. The total IT market also showed a fall in growth rate from 56.42 per cent in 2000-01 to a mere 16.24 per cent in the next year, growing further at the rate of 16.25 per cent in the next year. Software export was also affected, registering a low growth of 28.74 per cent and failed to maintain its growth rate of 65.30 per cent in the previous year. It got further lowered to 26.30 per cent in 2002-03. CAGR of total output of software and services (in Rs. crore) came down to 25.61 in 2001-02 and further to 25.11 in 2002-03. The domestic market showed a steep decline in growth to 3 per cent in 2001-02 from an outstanding 50.39 per cent in 2000-01. It could, however, recover by growing at 4.11 per cent in the next year.

 

 

 

Table 1: Indian IT Industry: 1996-97 to 2002-03

 

Year A* B* C* D* E*
1996-97

1997-98

1998-99

1999-00

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

 

 

1.22

1.45

1.87

2.71

2.87

3.09

 

 

18,641

25,307

36,179

56,592

65,788

76,482

 

3,900

6,530

10,940

17,150

28,350

36,500

46,100

 

6,594

10,899

16,879

23,980

37,350

47,532

59,472

 

9,438

12,055

14,227

18,837

28,330

29,181

30,382

 

 

*A: share of GDP of the Indian IT market, B: size of the Indian IT market (in Rs. crore), C: software and services exports (in Rs. crore), D: size of software and services (in Rs. crore), E: size of the domestic market (in Rs. crore)

 

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.                  Try to identify various stages of growth of IT industry on basis of information given in the case and present a scenario for the future.

 

 

 

2.                  Study the table given. Apply trend projection method on the figures and comment on the trend.

 

 

 

3.                  Compute a 3 year moving average forecast for the years 1997-98 through 2003-04.

 

 

CASE – 3   Outsourcing to India: Way to Fast Track

 

By almost any measure, David Galbenski’s company Contract Counsel was a success. It was a company Galbenski and a law school buddy, Mark Adams, started in 1993; it helps companies find lawyers on a temporary contract basis. The growth over the past five years had been furious. Revenue went from less than $200,000 to some $6.5 million at the end of 2003, and the company was placing thousands of lawyers a year.

At then the revenue growth began to flatten; the company grew just 8% in 2004 despite a robust market for legal services estimated at about $250 billion in the United States alone. Frustrated and concerned, Galbenski stepped back and began taking a hard look at his business. Could he get it back on the fast track? “Most business books say that the hardest threshold to cross is that $10 million sales mark,” he says. “I knew we couldn’t afford to grow only 10% a year. We needed to blow right through that number.”

For that to happen, Galbenski knew he had to expand his customer base beyond the Midwest into large legal supermarkets such as Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C. He also knew that in doing so, he could run into stiff competition from larger publicly traded rivals. Contract Counsel’s edge has always been its low price, Clients called when dealing with large-scale litigation or complicated merger and acquisition deals, either of which can require as many as 100 lawyers to manage the discovery process and the piles of documents associated with it. Contract Counsel’s temps cost about $75 an hour, roughly half of what a law firm would charge, which allowed the company to be competitive despite its relatively small size. Galbenski was counting on using the same strategy as he expanded into new cities. But would that be enough to spur the hyper growth that he craved for?

At that time, Galbenski had been reading quite a bit about the growing use of offshore employees. He knew companies like General Electric, Microsoft and Cisco were saving bundles by setting up call and data centers in India. Could law firms offshore their work? Galbenski’s mind raced with possibilities. He imagined tapping into an army of discount-priced legal minds that would mesh with his existing talent pool in the U.S. The two work forces could collaborate over the Web and be productive on a 24-7 basis. And the cost could be massive.

Using offshore workers was a risk, but the payoff was potentially huge. Incidentally Galbenski and his eight-person management team were preparing to meet for their semiannual review meeting. The purpose of the two-day event was to decide the company’s goals for the coming year. Driving to the meeting, Galbenski struggled to figure out exactly what he was going to say. He was still undecided about whether to pursue an incremental and conservative national expansion or take a big gamble on overseas contractors.

 

The Decision

 

The next morning Galbenski kicked off the management meeting. Galbenski laid out the facts as he saw them. Rather than look at just the next five years of growth, look at the next 20, he said. He cited a Forrester Research prediction that some 79,000 legal jobs, totaling $5.8 billion in wages, would be sent offshore by 2015. He challenged his team to be pioneers in creating a new industry, rather than stragglers racing to catch up. His team applauded. Returning to the office after the meeting, Galbenski announced the change in strategy to his 20 full-timers.

Then he and his team began plotting a global action plan. The first step was to hire a company out of Indianapolis, Analysts International, to start compiling a list of the best legal services providers in countries where people had comparatively strong English skills. The next phase was vetting the companies in person. In February 2005, just three months after the meeting in Port Huron, Galbenski found himself jetting off on a three months trip to scout potential contractors in India, Dubai, and Sri Lanka. Traveling to cities like Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad, he interviewed executives from more than a dozen companies, investigating their day-to-day operations firsthand.

India seemed like the best bet. With more than 500 law schools and about 200,000 law students graduating each year, it had no shortage or attorneys. What amazed Galbenski, however, was that thanks to the Web, lawyers in India had access to the same research tools and case summaries as any associate in the U.S. Sure, they didn’t speak American English. “But they were highly motivated, highly intelligent, and extremely process-oriented,” he says. “They were also eager to tackle the kinds of tasks that most new associated at law firms look down upon” such as poring over and coding thousands of documents in advance of a trial. In other words, they were perfect for the kind of document-review work he had in mind.

After a return visit to India in August 2005, Galbenski signed a contract with two legal services companies: QuisLex, in Hyderabad, and Manthan Services in Bangalore. Using their lawyers and paralegals, Galbenski figured he could cut his document-review rates to $50 an hour. He also outsourced the maintenance of the database used to store the contact information for his thousands of contractors. In all, he spent about 12 months and $250,000 readying his newly global company. Convincing U.S. based clients to take a chance on the new service hasn’t been easy. In November, Galbenski lined up pilot programs with four clients (none of which are ready to publicise their use of offshore resources). To help get the word out, he launched a website (offshore-legal-services.com), which includes a cache of white papers and case studies to serve as a resource guide for companies interested in outsourcing.

 

 

 

Questions

 

1.                  As money costs will decrease due to decision to outsource human resource, some real costs and opportunity costs may surface. What could these be?
ANSWER

Companies choose outsourcing to reduce costs, minimize business risks, and hasten product market entry. The cost reduction may result from improved organizational effectiveness, shorter product development cycles, greater access to high technology, or restructured and improved use of resources. Outsourcing often leads to enhanced effectiveness by permitting the company to focus on core competencies and lessen its demands on tangible resources.

 

 

2.                  Elaborate the external and internal economies of scale as occurring to Contract Counsel.

ANSWER

These are real economies which are related to the distribution of the product. These may be due to advertisement, large-scale sales promotion, exclusive agreements with distributors, and change in the model or style of the product.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.                  Can you see some possibility of economies of scope from the information given in the case? Discuss.

ANSWER

Economies of scope are changes in average costs because of changes in the mix of output between two or more products. This refers to the potential cost savings from joint production – even if the products are not directly related to each other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE – 4   Indian Stock Market: Does it Explain Perfect Competition?

 

The stock market is one of the most important sources for corporates to raise capital. A stock exchange provides a market place, whether real or virtual, to facilitate the exchange of securities between buyers and sellers. It provides a real time trading information on the listed securities, facilitating price discovery.

Participants in the stock market range from small individual investors to large traders, who can be based anywhere in the world. Their orders usually end up with a professional at a stock exchange, who executes the order. Some exchanges are physical locations where transactions are carried out on a trading floor. The other type of exchange is of a virtual kind, composed of a network of computers and trades are made electronically via traders.

By design a stock exchange resembles perfect competition. Large number of rational profit maximisers actively competing with each other, trying to predict future market value of individual securities comprises the main feature of any stock market. Important current information is almost freely available to all participants. Price of individual security is determined by market forces and reflects the effect of events that have already occurred and are expected to occur. In the short run it is not easy for a market player to either exit or enter; one cannot exit and enter for few days in those stocks which are under no delivery. For example Tata Steel was in no delivery from 29/10/07 to 02/11/07. Similarly one cannot enter or exit on those stocks which are in upper or lower circuit for few regular trading sessions. Therefore a player has to depend wholly on market price for its profit maximizing output (in this case stock of securities). In the long run players may exit the market if they are not able to earn profit, but at the same time new investors are attracted by rise in market price.

As on 01/11/07 total market capital at Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) is $1589.43 billion (source: Business Standard, 1/11/2007); out of this individual investors account for only $100bn. In spite of the fact that individual investors exist in a very large number, their capital base is less than 7% of total market capital; rest of capital is owned by foreign institutional investor and domestic institutional investors (FIIs and DIIs), which are very small in number. Average capital owned by a single large player is huge in comparison to small investor. This situation seems to have prompted Dr Dash of BSE to comment ‘The stock market activity is increasingly becoming more centralised, concentrated and non competitive, serving interest of big players only.” Table 2 shows the impact of change in FII on National Stock Exchange movement during three different time periods.

 

Table 2: Impact of FIIs’ Investment on NSE

 

 

Wave

 

 

Date

 

 

Nifty

close

 

Change in Nifty Index

 

FLLS Net Investment

(Rs.Cr.)

 

Change in Market Capitalisation

(Rs.Cr.)

Wave 1

From

To

 

17/05/04

26/10/05

 

1388.75

2408.50

 

 

1019.75

 

 

59520

 

 

5,40,391

Wave 2

From

To

 

27/10/05

11/05/06

 

2352.90

3701.05

 

 

1348.15

 

 

38258

 

 

6,20,248

Wave 3

From

To

 

12/05/06

13/06/06

 

3650.05

2663.30

 

 

-986.75

 

 

-9709

 

 

-4,60,149

 

By design, an Indian Stock Market resembles perfect competition, not as a complete description (for no markets may satisfy all requirements of the model) but as an approximation.

 

 

 

Questions

 

  1. Is stock market a good example of perfect competition? Discuss.
    ANSWER

The stock market is an example of perfect competition in that everyone has the same chances of ups and downs in a certain market. Laws also help to ensure it’s perfect competition by making insider trading illegal.

 

  1. Identify the characteristics of perfect competition in the stock market setting.

 

ANSWER

 

  1. Can you find some basic aspect of perfect competition which is essentially absent in stock market?

ANSWER

Some basic aspect of perfect competition which is essentially absent in stock market are:

 

 

 

 

 

CASE – 5   The Indian Audio Market

 

The Indian audio market pyramid is featured by the traditional radios forming its lower bulk. Besides this, there are four other distinct segments: mono recorders (ranking second in the pyramid), stereo recorders, midi systems (which offer the sound amplification of a big system, but at a far lower price and expected to grow at 25% per year) and hi-fis (minis and micros, slotted at the top end of the market).

Today the Indian audio market is abound with energy and action as both national and international majors are trying to excel themselves and elbow the others, ushering in new concepts, like CD sound, digital tuners, full logic tape deck, etc. The main players in the Indian audio market are Philips, BPL and Videocon. Of these, Philips is one of the oldest and is considered at the leading national brands. In fact it was the first company to introduce a range of international products such as CD radio cassette recorder, stand alone CD players and CD mini hi-fi systems. With the easing of the entry barriers, a number of new international players like Panasonic, Akai, Sansui, Sony, Sharp, Goldstar, Samsung and Aiwa have also entered the arena. This has led to a sea of changes in the industry and resulted in an expanded market and a happier customer, who has access to the latest international products at competitive prices. The rise in the disposable income of the average Indian, especially the upper-income section, has opened up new vistas for premium products and has provided a boost to companies to launch audio systems priced as high as Rs. 50,000 and beyond.

 

Pricing across Segments

 

Super Premium Segment: This segment of the market is largely price-insensitive, as consumers are willing to pay a premium in order to obtain products of high quality. Sonodyne has positioned itself in this segment by concentrating on products that are too small for large players to operate in profitably. It has launched a range of systems priced between Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 60,000. National Panasonic has launched its super premium range of systems by the name of Technics.

 

Premium Segment: Much of the price game is taking place in this segment, in which systems are priced around Rs. 25,000. Even the foreign players ensure that the pricing is competitive. Entry barriers of yester years compelled the demand by this segment to be partially met by the grey market. With the opening up of the market, the premium segment is witnessing a rapid growth and is currently estimated to be worth Rs. 30 crores. Growth of this segment is also being driven by consumers who want to upgrade their old music systems. Another major stimulating factor is the plethora of financing options available, bringing more and more consumers to the market.

Philips has understood the Indian listener well enough to dictate the basic principles of segmentation. It projects its products as high quality at medium price. In fact, Philips had successfully spotted an opportunity in the wide price gap between portable cassette players and hi-fi systems and pioneered the concept of a midi system (a three-in-one containing radio, tape deck and amplifier in one unit). Philips has also realised that there is a section of the rich consumer which values not just power but also clarity and is willing to pay for it. The pricing strategy of Philips was to make the most of its image as a technology leader. To this end, it used non-price variables by launching of a range of state of art machines like the FW series, and CD players. Moreover, it came up with the punch line in its advertisements as, “We Invent For You”.

BPL stands second only to Philips in the audio market and focuses on technology as its USP. Its kingpin in the marketing mix is its high technology superior quality product. It is thus at being the product-quality leader. BPL’s proposition of fidelity is translated in its punchline for its audio systems as, ‘e-fi your imagination’ (d-fi stands for digital fidelity). The company follows a market skimming strategy. When a new product was launched, it was placed in the top end of the market, and priced accordingly. The company offers a range of products in all price segments in the market without discounting the brand.

Another major player, Videocon, has managed to price its products lower even in the premium segment. The success of the Powerhouse (a 160 watt midi launched by Philips in 1990) had prompted Videocon to launch the Select Sound range of midi stereo systems at a slightly lower price. At the premium end, Videocon is making efforts to upgrade its image to being “quality-driven” by associating itself with the internationally reputed brand name of Sansui from Japan, and following a perceived value pricing method.

Sony is another brand which is positioning itself as a premium product and charges a higher price for the superior quality of sound it offers. Unlike indulging into price wars, Sony’s ad-campaigns project the message that nothing can beat Sony in the quality and intensity of sound. National Panasonic is another player that has three products in the top end of the market, priced in the Rs. 21,000 to Rs. 32,000 range.

 

Monos and Stereos: Videocon has 21% share I the overall audio market, but has been a major player only in personal stereos and two-in-ones. Its history is written with instances where it has offered products of similar quality, but at much lower prices than its competitors. In fact, Videocon launched the Sansui brand of products with a view to transform its image from that of being a manufacturer of cheap products to that of being a company that primes quality, and also to obtain a share of the hi-fi segment. Sansui is being positioned as a premium brand, targeting the higher middle, upper income groups and also the sensitive middle class Indian consumer.

The objective of Philips in this segment is to achieve higher sales volumes and hence its strategy is to expand its range and have a product in every segment of the market. The pricing method used by Philips in this segment is providing value for money.

National Panasonic offers products in the lower end of the market, apart from the top of the range. In fact, it reduced the price of one of its small two-in-ones from Rs. 3,500 to Rs. 2,400, with the logic that a forte in the lower end of the market would help in building brand reliability across a wider customer base. The company is also guided by the logic that operating in the price sensitive region of the market will help it reach optimum levels of efficiency. Panasonic has also entered the market for midis.

These apart, there also exists a sector in the Indian audio industry, with powerful regional brands in mono and stereo segments, having a market share of 59% in mono recorders and 36% in stereo recorders. This sector has a strong influence on price performance.

 

 

Questions

 

  1. What major pricing strategies have been discussed in the case? How effective these strategies have been in ensuring success of the company?

ANSWER

Much of the price game is taking place in this segment, in which systems are priced around Rs. 25,000. Even the foreign players ensure that the pricing is competitive. Entry barriers of yester years compelled the demand by this segment to be partially met by the grey market. With the opening up of the market, the premium segment is witnessing a rapid growth and is currently estimated to be worth Rs. 30 crores. Growth of this segment is also being driven by consumers who want to upgrade their old music systems. Another major stimulating factor is the plethora of financing options available, bringing more and more consumers to the market

 

 

  1. Is perceived value pricing the dominant strategy of major players?

ANSWER

Yes value pricing the dominant strategy of major players,

Value pricing, or value optimized pricing, is a pricing strategy. It sets prices primarily, but not exclusively, on the value, perceived or estimated, to the customer rather than on the cost of the product or historical prices.

 

  1. Which products have reached maturity stage in audio industry? Do you think that product bundling can be effectively used for promoting sale of these products?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Attempt Any Four Case Study

Case Study 1 : Structuring global companies

 

As the chapter illustrates, to carry out their activities in pursuit of their objectives, virtually all organisations adopt some form of organisational structure. One traditional method of organisation is to group individuals by function or purpose, using a departmental structure to allocate individuals to their specialist areas (e.g. Marketing, HRM and so on ). Another is to group activities by product or service, with each product group normally responsible for providing its own functional requirements. A third is to combine the two in the form of a matrix structure with its vertical and horizontal flows of responsibility and authority, a method of organisation much favoured in university Business Schools.

What of companies with a global reach: how do they usually organise them-
selves?

Writing in the Financial Times in November 2000 Julian Birkinshaw, Associate Professor of Strategic and International Management at London Business School, identifies four basic models of global company structure:

  • The International Division – an arrangement in which the company establishes a
    separate division  to  deal  with  business  outside  its  own  country.  The
    International Division would typically be concerned with tariff and trade issues,
    foreign agents/partners and other aspects involved in selling overseas. Normally
    the division does not make anything itself, it is simply responsible for interna-
    tional sales. This arrangement tends to be found in medium-sized companies
    with limited international sales.

The Global Product Division – a product-based structure with managers responsible
for their product line globally. The company is split into a number of global busi-
nesses arranged by product (or service) and usually overseen by their own
president. It has been a favoured structure among large global companies such as
BP, Siemens and 3M.

  • The Area Division – a geographically based structure in which the major line of
    authority lies with the country (e.g. Germany) or regional (e.g. Europe) manager who
    is responsible for the different product offerings within her/his geographical area.
    ● The Global Matrix – as the name suggests a hybrid of the two previous structural
    types. In the global matrix each business manager reports to two bosses, one
    responsible for the global product and one for the country/region. As we indi-
    cated in the previous edition of this book, this type of structure tends to come
    into and go out of fashion. Ford, for example, adopted a matrix structure in the
    later 1990s, while a number of other global companies were either streamlining
    or dismantling theirs (e.g. Shell, BP, IBM).

As Professor Birkinshaw indicates, ultimately there is no perfect structure and organisations tend to change their approach over time according to changing circumstances,  fads,  the  perceived  needs  of  the  senior  executives  or  the predispositions of powerful individuals. This observation is no less true of universities than it is of traditional businesses.

Case study questions

  1. Professor Birkinshaw’s article identifies the advantages and disadvantages of being a global business. What are his major arguments?

ANSWER

 

 

  1. In your opinion what are likely to be the key factors determining how a global company will organise itself?

 

Case 2 : Resource prices

 

As we saw in Chapter 1, resources such as labour, technology and raw materials
constitute inputs into the production process that are utilised by organisations to
produce outputs. Apart from concerns over the quality, quantity and availability of
the different factors of production, businesses are also interested in the issue of
input prices since these represent costs to the organisation which ultimately have
to be met from revenues if the business is to survive. As in any other market, the
prices of economic resources can change over time for a variety of reasons, most, if
not all, of which are outside the direct control of business organisations. Such fluc-
tuations in input prices can be illustrated by the following examples:

  • Rising labour costs – e.g. rises in wages or salaries and other labour-related costs
    (such as pension contributions or healthcare schemes) that are not offset by
    increases in productivity or changes in working practices. Labour costs could rise
    for a variety of reasons including skills shortages, demographic pressures, the
    introduction of a national minimum wage or workers seeking to maintain their
    living standards in an inflationary period.
  • Rising raw material costs – e.g. caused by increases in the demand for certain raw
    materials and/or shortages (or bottlenecks) in supply. It can also be the result of
    the need to switch to more expensive raw material sources because of customer
    pressure, environmental considerations or lack of availability.
  • Rising energy costs – e.g. caused by demand and/or supply problems as in the oil
    market in recent years, with growth in India and China helping to push up
    demand and coinciding with supply difficulties linked to events such as the war
    in Iraq, hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico or decisions by OPEC.
    ● Increases in the cost of purchasing new technology/capital equipment – e.g.
    caused by the need to compete with rivals or to meet more stringent government
    regulations in areas such as health and safety or the environment.

As the above examples illustrate, rising input prices can be the result of factors operating at both the micro and macro level and these can range from events which are linked to natural causes to developments of a political, social and/or economic kind. While many of these influences in the business environment are uncontrollable, there are steps business organisations can (and do) often take to address the issue of rising input prices that may threaten their competitiveness. Examples include the following:

  • Seeking cheaper sources of labour (e.g. Dyson moved its production of vacuum
    cleaners to the Far East).
  • Abandoning salary-linked pension schemes or other fringe benefits (e.g. com-
    pany cars, healthcare provisions, paid holidays).
  • Outsourcing certain activities (e.g. using call centres to handle customer com-
    plaints, or outsourcing services such as security, catering, cleaning, payroll, etc.). ● Switching raw materials or energy suppliers (e.g. to take advantage of discounts

by entering into longer agreements to purchase).

 

  • Energy-saving measures (e.g. through better insulation, more regular servicing of
    equipment, product and/or process redesign).
  • Productivity gains (e.g. introducing incentive schemes).

In addition to measures such as these, some organisations seek cost savings through
divestment of parts of the business or alternatively through merger or takeover
activity. In the former case the aim tends to be to focus on the organisation’s core
products/services and to shed unprofitable and/or costly activities; in the latter the
objective is usually to take advantage of economies of scale, particularly those asso-
ciated with purchasing, marketing, administration and financing the business.

 

 

Case study questions

  1. If a company is considering switching production to a country where wage costs
    are lower, what other factors will it need to take into account before doing so?

 

  1. Will increased environmental standards imposed by government on businesses
    inevitably result in higher business costs?

 

Case 3 : Government and business – friend or foe?

 

As we have seen, governments intervene in the day-to-day working of the economy
in a variety of ways in the hope of improving the environment in which industrial
and commercial activity takes place. How far they are successful in achieving this
goal is open to question. Businesses, for example, frequently complain of over-
interference  by  governments  and  of  the  burdens  imposed  upon  them  by
government legislation and regulation. Ministers, in contrast, tend to stress how
they have helped to create an environment conducive to entrepreneurial activity
through the different policy initiatives and through a supportive legal and fiscal
regime. Who is right?

While there is no simple answer to this question, it is instructive to examine the
different surveys which are regularly undertaken of business attitudes and condi-
tions in different countries. One such survey by the European Commission – and
reported by Andrew Osborn in the Guardian on 20 November 2001 – claimed that
whereas countries such as Finland, Luxembourg, Portugal and the Netherlands
tended to be regarded as business-friendly, the United Kingdom was perceived as
the most difficult and complicated country to do business with in the whole of
Europe. Foreign firms evidently claimed that the UK was harder to trade with than
other countries owing to its bureaucratic procedures and its tendency to rigidly
enforce business regulations. EU officials singled out Britain’s complex tax formali-
ties, employment regulations and product conformity rules as particular problems
for foreign companies – criticisms which echo those of the CBI and other represen-
tative bodies who have been complaining of the cost of over-regulation to UK firms
over a considerable number of years.

The news, however, is not all bad. The Competitive Alternatives study (2002) by
KPMG of costs in various cities in the G7 countries, Austria and the Netherlands
indicated that Britain is the second cheapest place in which to do business in the
nine industrial countries (see www.competitivealternatives.com). The survey, which
looked at a range of business costs – especially labour costs and taxation -, placed
the UK second behind Canada world-wide and in first place within Europe. The
country’s strong showing largely reflected its competitive labour costs, with manu-
facturing costs estimated to be 12.5 per cent lower than in Germany and 20 per
cent lower than many other countries in continental Europe. Since firms frequently
use this survey to identify the best places to locate their business, the data on rela-
tive costs are likely to provide the UK with a competitive advantage in the battle for
foreign inward investment (see Mini case, above).

 

Case study questions

  1. How would you account for the difference in perspective between firms who often
    complain of government over-interference in business matters and ministers who
    claim that they have the interests of business at heart when taking decisions?

 

  1. To what extent do you think that relative costs are the critical factor in determining
    inward investment decisions?

 

 

Case 4 : The end of the block exemption

 

As we have seen in the chapter, governments frequently use laws and regulations to promote competition within the marketplace in the belief that this has significant benefits for the consumer and for the economy generally. Such interventions occur not only at national level, but also in situations where governments work together to provide mutual benefits, as in the European Union’s attempts to set up a ‘Single Market’ across the member states of the EU.

While few would deny that competitive markets have many benefits, the search
for increased competition at national level and beyond can sometimes be
restrained by the political realities of the situation, a point underlined by a previous
decision of the EU authorities to allow a block exemption from the normal rules of
competition in the EU car market. Under this system, motor manufacturers operat-
ing within the EU were permitted to create networks of selective and exclusive dealerships and to engage in certain other activities normally outlawed under the competition provisions of the single market. It was argued that the system of selective and exclusive distribution (SED) benefited consumers by providing them with a cradle-to-grave service, alongside what was said to be a highly competitive supply situation within the heavily branded global car market.

Introduced in 1995, and extended until the end of September 2002, the block
exemption was highly criticised for its impact on the operation of the car market in
Europe. Following a critical report by the UK competition authorities in April 2000,
the EU published a review (in November 2000) of the workings of the existing
arrangement for distributing and servicing cars, highlighting its adverse conse-
quences for both consumers and retailers and signalling the need for change. Despite
intensive lobbying by the major car manufacturers, and by some national govern-
ments, to maintain the current rules largely intact, the European Commission
announced its intention of replacing the block exemption regulation when it expired
in September, subject of course to consultation with interested parties.

In essence the Commission’s proposals aimed to give dealers far more independ-
ence from suppliers by allowing them to solicit for business anywhere in the EU
and to open showrooms wherever they want; they would also be able to sell cars
supplied by different manufacturers under the same roof. The plan also sought to
open up the aftersales market by breaking the tie which existed between sales and
servicing. The proposal was that independent repairers would in future be able to
get greater access to the necessary spare parts and technology, thereby encouraging
new entrants to join the market with reduced initial investment costs.

While these proposals were broadly welcomed by groups representing consumers
(e.g. the Consumer Association in the UK), some observers felt that the planned
reforms did not go far enough to weaken the power of the suppliers over the market
(see e.g. the editorial in the Financial Times, 11 January 2002). For instance it
appeared to be the case that while manufacturers would be able to supply cars to
supermarkets and other new retailers, they would not be required by law to do so,
suggesting that a market free-for-all was highly unlikely to emerge in the foreseeable
future. Equally the Commission’s plans appeared to do little to protect dealers from
threats to terminate their franchises should there be a dispute with the supplier.

In the event the old block exemption scheme expired at the end of September
2002 and the new rules began the next day. However, the majority of the provisions
under the EC rules did not come into effect until the following October (2003) and
the ban on ‘location clauses’ – which limit the geographical scope of dealer opera-
tions – only came into effect two years later. Since October 2005 dealers have been
free to set up secondary sales outlets in other areas of the EU, as well as their own
countries. This is expected to stengthen competition between dealers across the
Single Market to the advantage of consumers (e.g. greater choice and reduced prices).

 

 

Case study questions

  1. Can you suggest any reasons why the European Commission was willing to grant
    the block exemption in the first place, given that it ran counter to its proposals for
    a Single Market?

 

  1. Why might the new reforms make cars cheaper for European consumers?

 

Case 5 : The sale of goods on the Internet

 

The sale of consumer goods on the Internet (particularly those between European member states) raises a number of legal issues. First, there is the issue of trust, with-
out which the consumer will not buy; they will need assurance that the seller is genuine, and that they will get the goods that they believe they have ordered.
Second, there is the issue of consumer rights with respect to the goods in question: what rights exist and do they vary across Europe? Last, the issue of enforcement: what happens should anything go wrong?

 

Information and trust

Europe recognises the problems of doing business across the Internet or telephone
and it has attempted to address the main stumbling blocks via Directives. The
Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 attempts to address the
issues of trust in cross-border consumer sales, which may take place over the
Internet (or telephone). In short, the consumer needs to know quite a bit of infor-
mation, which they may otherwise have easy access to if they were buying face to
face. Regulation 7 requires inter alia for the seller to identify themselves and an
address must be provided if the goods are to be paid for in advance. Moreover, a
full description of the goods and the final price (inclusive of any taxes) must also
be provided. The seller must also inform the buyer of the right of cancellation available under Regulations 10-12, where the buyer has a right to cancel the contract for seven days starting on the day after the consumer receives the goods or services. Failure to inform the consumer of this right automatically extends the period to three months. The cost of returning goods is to be borne by the buyer, and the seller is entitled to deduct the costs directly flowing from recovery as a restocking fee. All of this places a considerable obligation on the seller; however, such data should stem many misunderstandings and so greatly assist consumer faith and confidence in non-face-to-face sales.

Another concern for the consumer is fraud. The consumer who has paid by
credit card will be protected by section 83 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, under
which a consumer/purchaser is not liable for the debt incurred, if it has been run
up by a third party not acting as the agent of the buyer. The Distance Selling
Regulations extend this to debit cards, and remove the ability of the card issuer to
charge the consumer for the first £50 of loss (Regulation 21). Moreover, section 75
of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 also gives the consumer/buyer a like claim against
the credit card company for any misrepresentation or breach of contract by the
seller. This is extremely important in a distance selling transaction, where the seller
may disappear.

 

What quality and what rights?

The next issue relates to the quality that may be expected from goods bought over
the Internet. Clearly, if goods have been bought from abroad, the levels of quality
required in other jurisdictions may vary. It is for this reason that Europe has
attempted to standardise the issue of quality and consumer rights, with the
Consumer Guarantees Directive (1999/44/EC), thus continuing the push to encour-
age cross-border consumer purchases. The implementing Sale and Supply of Goods
to Consumer Regulations 2002 came into force in 2003, which not only lays down
minimum quality standards, but also provides a series of consumer remedies which
will be common across Europe. The Regulations further amend the Sale of Goods
Act 1979. The DTI, whose job it was to incorporate the Directive into domestic law
(by way of delegated legislation) ensured that the pre-existing consumer rights were
maintained, so as not to reduce the overall level of protection available to con-
sumers. The Directive requires goods to be of ‘normal’ quality, or fit for any
purpose made known by the seller. This has been taken to be the same as our pre-
existing ‘reasonable quality’ and ‘fitness for purpose’ obligations owed under
sections 14(2) and 14(3) of the Sale of Goods Act 1979. Moreover, the pre-existing
remedy of the short-term right to reject is also retained. This right provides the
buyer a short period of time to discover whether the goods are in conformity with
the contract. In practice, it is usually a matter of weeks at most. After that time has
elapsed, the consumer now has four new remedies that did not exist before, which
are provided in two pairs. These are repair or replacement, or price reduction or
rescission. The pre-existing law only gave the consumer a right to damages, which
would rarely be exercised in practice. (However, the Small Claims Court would
ensure a speedy and cheap means of redress for almost all claims brought.) Now
there is a right to a repair or a replacement, so that the consumer is not left with an
impractical action for damages over defective goods. The seller must also bear the
cost of return of the goods for repair. So such costs must now be factored into any

business sales plan. If neither of these remedies is suitable or actioned within a ‘rea-
sonable period of time’ then the consumer may rely on the second pair of
remedies. Price reduction permits the consumer to claim back a segment of the pur-
chase price if the goods are still useable. It is effectively a discount for defective
goods. Rescission permits the consumer to reject the goods, but does not get a full
refund, as they would under the short-term right to reject. Here money is knocked
off for ‘beneficial use’. This is akin to the pre-existing treatment for breaches of
durability, where goods have not lasted as long as goods of that type ought reason-
ably be expected to last. The level of compensation would take account of the use
that the consumer has (if any) been able to put the goods to and a deduction made
off the return of the purchase price. However, the issue that must be addressed is as
to the length of time that goods may be expected to last. A supplier may state the
length of the guarantee period, so a £500 television set guaranteed for one year
would have a life expectancy of one year. On the other hand, a consumer may
expect a television set to last ten years. Clearly, if the set went wrong after six
months, the consumer would only get £250 back if the retailer’s figure was used,
but would receive £475 if their own figure was used. It remains to be seen how this
provision will work in practice.

One problem with distance sales has been that of liability for goods which arrive
damaged. The pre-existing domestic law stated that risk would pass to the buyer once
the goods were handed over to a third-party carrier. This had the major problem in
practice of who would actually be liable for the damage. Carriers would blame the
supplier and vice versa. The consumer would be able to sue for the loss, if they were
able to determine which party was responsible. In practice, consumers usually went
uncompensated and such a worry has put many consumers off buying goods over the
Internet. The Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumer Regulations also modify the
transfer of risk, so that now the risk remains with the seller until actual delivery. This
will clearly lead to a slight increase in the supply of goods to consumers, with the
goods usually now being sent by insured delivery. However, this will avoid the prob-
lem of who is actually liable and should help to boost confidence.

 

Enforcement

Enforcement for domestic sales is relatively straightforward. Small-scale consumer
claims can be dealt with expeditiously and cheaply under the Small Claims Court.
Here claims under £5000 for contract-based claims are brought in a special court
intended to keep costs down by keeping the lawyers’ out of the court room, as a vic-
torious party cannot claim for their lawyers’ expenses. The judge will conduct the
case in a more ‘informal’ manner, and will seek to discover the legal issues by ques-
tioning both parties, so no formal knowledge of the law is required. The total cost of
such a case, even if it is lost, is the cost of issuing the proceedings (approximately

10 per cent of the value claimed) and the other side’s ‘reasonable expenses’. Expenses
must be kept down, and a judge will not award value which has been deliberately run
up, such first-class rail travel and stays in five star hotels. Residents of Northampton
have hosted a trial of an online claims procedure, so that claims may now be made
via the Internet. (www.courtservice.gov.uk outlines the procedure for MCOL, or
Money Claims Online.) Cases will normally be held in the defendant’s court, unless the complainant is a consumer and the defendant a business.

 

Enforcement is the weak point in the European legislation, for there is, as yet, no
European-wide Small Claims Court dealing with transnational European transac-
tions. The consumer is thus forced to contemplate expensive civil action abroad in a
foreign language, perhaps where no such small claims system exists – a pointless
measure for all but the most expensive of consumer purchases. The only redress lies
in EEJ-Net, the European Extra-Judicial Network, which puts the complainant in
touch with any applicable professional or trade body in the supplier’s home member
state. It does require the existence of such a body, which is unlikely if the transac-
tion is for electrical goods, which is one of the most popular types of Internet
purchase. Therefore, until Europe provides a Euro Small Claims Court, the consumer
cross-border buyer may have many rights, but no effective means of enforcement.
Until then it would appear that section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, which
gives the buyer the same remedies against their credit card company as against the
seller, is the only effective means of redress.

 

Case study questions

  1. Consider the checklist of data which a distance seller must provide to a consumer
    Is this putting too heavy a burden on sellers?

 

  1. Is a consumer distance buyer any better off after the European legislation?
  2. Are there any remaining issues that must be tackled to increase European cross-
    border consumer trade?

Attempt Any Four Case Studies

Case I

PROVIDE ADVICE TO AN ENTREPRENEUR ABOUT INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PROTECTION

 

Locked doors and a security system protect your equipment, inventory and payroll. But what protects your business’s most valuable possessions? IP laws can protect your trade secrets, trademarks and product design, provided you take the proper steps. Chicago attorney Kara E.F. Cenar of Welsh and Katz, an IP firm, contends that businesses should start thinking about these issues earlier than most do. “Small businesses tend to delay securing IP protection because of the expense,” Cenar says. “They tend not to see the value of IP until a competitor infringes.” But a business that hasn’t applied for copyrights or patents and actively defended tem will likely have trouble making its case in court.

 

One reason many business owners don’t protect their intellectual property is that they don’t recognize the value of the intangibles they own. Cenar advises business owners to take their business plans to an experienced IP attorney and discuss how to deal with these issues. Spending money upfront for legal help can save a great deal later by giving you strong copyright or trademark rights, which can deter competitors from infringing and avoid litigation later.

 

Once you’ve figured out what’s worth protecting, you have to decide how to protect it. That isn’t always obvious. Traditionally, patents prohibit others from copying new devices and processes, while copyrights do the same for creative endeavors such as books, music and software. In many cases, though, the categories overlap. Likewise, trademark law now extends to such distinctive elements as a product’s color and shape. Trade dress laws concerns how the product is packaged and advertised. You might be able to choose what kind of protection to seek.

For instance, one of Welsh & Katz’s clients is Ty Inc., maker of plush toys. Before launching the Beanie Baby line, Cenar explains, the owners brought in business and marketing plans to discuss IP issues. The plan was for a limited number of toys in a variety of styles, and no advertising except word-of-mouth. Getting a patent on a plush toy might have been impossible and would have taken several years, too long for easily copied toys. Trademark and trade dress protection wouldn’t help much, because the company planned a variety of styles. But copyrights are available for sculptural art, and they’re inexpensive and easy to obtain. The company chose to register copyrights and defend them vigorously. Cenar’s firm has fended off numerous knockoffs.

 

That’s the next step: monitoring the market-place for knockoffs and trademark infringement, and taking increasingly firm steps to enforce your rights. Efforts typically begin with a letter of warning and could end with a court-ordered cease-and-desist order or even an award of damages. “If you don’t take the time to enforce [your trademark], it becomes a very weak mark,” Cenar says. But a strong mark deters infringement, wins lawsuits and gets people to settle early.” Sleep on your rights, and you’’’ lose them. Be proactive, and you’ll protect them – and save money in the long run.

An inventor with a newly invented technology comes to you for advice on the following matters:

 

Questions:

 

  1. In running this new venture, I need to invest al available resources in producing the products and attracting customers. How important is it for me to divert money from those efforts to protect my intellectual property?

 ANSWER

Protecting your intellectual property is crucial to the success of your business. Intellectual property consists of items that you have created that are unique and that provide you with an economic benefit. Intellectual property includes inventions, designs, original works of authorship and trade secrets. How to protect intellectual property depends on  types of intellectual property.

Patents

Inventions are crucial to the success of many businesses. If your business has developed a new and better product or process that is unique, useful, and non-obvious you will want to protect the competitive advantage this gives you by obtaining a patent. The holder of a patent can stop third parties from making, using or selling his invention for a period of years depending on the type of invention. Obtaining a patent can be complicated, so you may want to hire an attorney with experience in patent law to help you.

  1. I have sufficient resources to obtain intellectual property protection, but how effective is that protection without a large stock of resources to invest in going after those that infringe on my rights? If I do not have the resources to defend a patent, is it worth obtaining one in the first place?

 ANSWER

Intellectual Property is the know-how that comes from our creative thought processes. It is the knowledge of how to do something better. And, that “something better” may very well be worth a fortune if we can successfully commercialize the IP while at the same time preventing others from doing the same thing. So, how do we prevent someone from doing the same thing? There aren’t many options open to us: we don’t disclose our know-how (i.e. keep it secret), we obtain some form of legal protection or we sell the idea. Sometimes secrecy is the best way. This is especially true if we think that the patent idea can be easily worked around, e.g. as may be the case with an electronic circuit design, or if we believe that the life of the innovation is short or perhaps if its potential is limited. A good way to decide on the method of protection is to examine how others in our particular field are operating.

  1. Are there circumstances when it is better for me not to be an innovator but rather produce “knock-offs” of other innovations?

 

 

Case II – Provide advice to an entrepreneur about firing employees

 

Firing an employee is a messy business. Just the thought of having to recruit, train and manage a new sales soul is enough to keep some sales managers from following through with the task. But holding on to a salesperson who’s not performing or who’s disruptive to the team is guaranteed to exacerbate matters down the road. But how do you know when it’s time to say “you’ve gotta go”? It’s simple, according to Tricia Timkin: “Lack of production, lack of production, lack of production,” says the president of Padigent, a Carol Stream, Illinois, human resources consulting firm for emerging companies.

 

Dave Anderson, president of Dave Anderson’s Learn to Lead, concurs that performance is one criterion for firing. Anderson, whose Los Altos, California, company offers sales, management and leadership consulting, thinks reps who are “dishonest, selfish or disrespectful” should face the axe.

 

You may fear firing a rep will cause a morale dip in the troops. After all, someone’s buddy is getting shown the door. But making a tough choice can bolster the spirits of your sales squad. Says Tamkin: “Firing can positively affect morale [because] it sends a message that the company will take strong measures to ensure the success of the organization. Poor performers lower the morale of the team, and they continually break momentum and diminish the credibility of the sales manager.

Before firing, however, steps must be taken to legally protect your business. It’s crucial that the employee has been warned in advance in writing. Coaching sessions with failing sales people will help protect you when it comes time to separate. Tamkin advises that documentation must be developed in advance of the firing, and that when it comes time for the employee to go, the manger should conduct an exit interview. Though firing will never be a savory part of a manager’s job description, it’s short – term pain for long – term gain. “Managers have to realize that when they keep the wrong person,” Anderson says, “there’s more damage to the company than just lack of production.”

 

Here are some firing guidelines from William Skip Miller’s ProActive Sales Management (AMACOM):

  1. Never in your office: if it’s your office, you can’t leave if the employee wants to stay and talk.
  2. Short and Sweet: As you walk in the door, say, “The reason I’m here is to tell this is your last day of employment with this company.” Just get it out.
  3. Never on a Friday: If fired on a Friday, the employee can’t start the process of feeling good. All he or she can do is stew about it over the weekend.
  4. Outside help: If the employee says he or she has consulted an attorney or other legal counsel, stop the conversation immediately and consult your HR department or attorney, whoever helped you draft your company policy.
  5. No hanging around: Personal effects can be retrieved, but have the person leave the building.

 

Advice to an entrepreneur:

An entrepreneur, whose business has stopped growing, has read the above article and comes to you for advice:

 

  1. Gee, these managers discussed in the article are a bit rough. Even if one particular person is not producing as expected, doesn’t this person still deserve to be treated with respect?

 

  1. It appears that the automatic assumption is that the employee is at fault for not performing and therefore should be fired. But shouldn’t the responsibility fall on me as the manager and the system that I have introduced? Maybe the person is performing as well as the situation allows?

 

  1. How am I to build team spirit within my small company when I single out one person for lack of production and fire him or her?


Case III – Provide advice to an entrepreneur about small business investment companies

 

It started out as a straightforward consulting project for Mahendra Vora and research partner Sundar Kadaya. They were analyzing software trends and perusing market research studies to assess the size of various software markets. But after spending 40 hours looking for information that should have taken 10 minutes to access, the pair concluded that more advanced tools were needed to search the internet and databases of public information. Within months, they launched Intelliseek Inc., providing software to capture, track and analyze information for use in strategic planning, market research, product development and brand marketing. Vora, 39, was no stranger to start-ups. By the time he co-founded Intelliseek in 1997, he already had three business launches under his belt. He sold all three to Fortune 500 firms, providing capital for Intelliseek. His initial investment of a few million dollars supported operations the first couple of years and through two major product launches.

 

By 1999, the Cincinnati Company was laying the groundwork for its first round of venture capital.Vora had had two years to contemplate his dream investor. Foremost, size did matter: The venture capitalist should have the wherewithal for ongoing financing, but not be so large that it shunned all but elaborate business models. Finding an investor with a broad network of investing partners also was important to the $10million company. “If you become wildly successful and plan to raise $50 million someday, then [the investor] should have access to the big investors. The network is also important because it can [introduce] you to customers,” says Vora, whose clients include CBS, Ford Motor Co. and Nokia. Finally, Vora was looking for operational experience. “A lot of VCs are phenomenal in advising you about what to do, but they’ve never done it themselves,” he observes. Vora ultimately found his venture match in Cincinnati-based River Cities Capital Funds, a small business investment company. While River Cities was not large, it was well-connected and managed by industry veterans with extensive professional experience.

 

Starting Small

Licensed and regulated by the SBA, SBICs are generally organized and operated like any other venture capital fund. But unlike traditional funds, SBICs use their own capital and long-term loans to small companies. On the whole, SBICs tend to be more risk-tolerant than banks or traditional venture capitalists….Inteliseek’s SBIC banker removed barriers to reaching larger, mainstream investors. Led by river cities capital funds, the initial $6 million investment included capital from the venture arm of Nokia; later investors included Ford Motor Co. and General Atlantic Partners LLC. “once you get a VC like River Cities, it is much easier to get access to bigger VCs,” says Vora. “They can go to VCs and say ‘One of our companies is doing so well, we’re going to put in more money, and you guys should come in’.”

Down But Not Out

SBICs invested roughly $2.8 billion in about 2,100 companies in the 12-month period ending September 30, 2002 down from $4.6 billion invested in 2,254 companies in the same period one year earlier. Like mainstream investors, they have had to adjust to deteriorating economic conditions.  “Valuations have come down on deals, and due diligence periods have increased,” says Patrick Hamner, vice resident of Capital Southwest Corp., a Dallas-based SBIC. “People are being far more discriminating in how they invest their capital.”

“The bar has been raised even more for small businesses trying to get capital,” he continues. “As opposed to the overall venture industry, which has had a very marked decline in financing activity, SBICs are down but still active.”

Nor has quality been an overriding concern, even as SBICs engage in riskier deals than their mainstream counterparts. “Part of what has happened with the bursting of the bubble is that the ideas being proposed are based on more substantive models,” says Edwin Robinson, managing director of River Cities Capital Funds. “A lot of the excess is being wrung out the system.” While the venture shakeup has impacted conventional the way some SBICs operate. “During the bubble years, there was probably more of an inclination to overfund,” says NASBICs Mercer. “I don’t mean in  the sense that money might not be justified, but to make the unconditional investment. I suspect that what you’re seeing now is a lot more investing on a milestone basis.” For instance, a company that requires $3 million over three years is likely to receive $1 million upfront, getting the rest after meeting revenue and growth targets. Fewer venture dollars, coupled with the banking industry’s reticence to lend to small businesses, has contributed to an overall capital shortage, adds Mercer. “Banks that had been out a little bit further on the risk curve than they probably normally do,” he says. “The banks’ own proclivity and the regulators kind of forced a pullback, so there has been a tremendous pullback in bank credit availability even for small businesses that have had long time banking relationships.”

 

The SBIC program, meanwhile, is attracting mainstream investors having difficulty raising capital for venture-backed investments. The increased interest bodes well for the small firms that SBICs target: companies with a net worth of less than $18 million and average after-tax earning of less than $6 million for the past two years.

 

Advice to an entrepreneur

An entrepreneur, who is an owner manager of a small business and looking to raise $4,00,000, has read the above article and comes to you for advice:

  1. What are the advantages of going to an SBIC over and above a business angle or venture capitalist?
  2. What are the disadvantages and how can they be minimized?


Case IV -Provide advice to an entrepreneur about being more innovative

 

When Neil Franklin began offering round-the-clock telephone customer service in 1998, customers loved it. The offering fit the strategic direction Franklin had in mind for Dataworkforce, his Dallas-based telecommunications – engineer staffing agency, so he invested in a phone system to route after hours calls to his 10 employees’ home and mobile phones. Today, Franklin, 38, has nearly 50 employees and continues to explore ways to improve Dataworkforce’s service. Twenty-four-hour phone service has stayed, but other trials have not. One failure was developing individual Web sites for each customer. “We took it too far and spent $30,000 then abandoned it,” Franklin recalls. A try at globally extending the brand by advertising in major world cities was also dropped. “It worked pretty well,” Franklin says, “until you added up the cost.”

Franklin’s efforts are similar to an approach called “portfolios of initiatives” strategy. The idea, according to Lowell Bryan, a principal in McKinney & Co., the NYC consulting firm that developed it, is to always have a number of efforts underway to offer new products and services, attack new markets or otherwise implement strategies, and to actively manage these experiments so you don’t miss an opportunity or over commit to an unproven idea.

 

The portfolio of initiatives approach addresses a weakness of conventional business plans-that they make assumptions about uncertain future developments, such as market and technological trends, customer responses, sales and competitor reactions. Bryan compares the portfolio of initiatives strategy to the ship convoys used in World War II to get supplies across oceans. By assembling groups of military and transport vessels and sending them in a mutually supportive group, planners could rely on at least some reaching their destination. In the same way, entrepreneurs with a portfolio of initiatives can expect some of them to pan out.

 

Making a Plan

Three steps define the portfolio of initiatives approach. First, you search for initiatives in which you have or can readily acquire a familiarity advantage – meaning you know more than competitors about a business. You can gain familiarity advantage using low-cost pilot programs and experiments, or by partnering with more knowledgeable allies. Avoid business in which you can’t acquire a familiarity advantage, Bryan says.

After you identify familiarity-advantaged initiatives, began investing in them using a disciplined, dynamic management approach. Pay attention to how initiatives relate to each other. They should be diverse enough that the failure of one wont endanger the others, but should also all fit into your overall strategic direction. Investments, represented by product development efforts, pilot programs, market tests and the like, should start small and increase only as they prove themselves. Avoid over investing before initiatives have proved themselves. The third step is to pull the plug on initiatives that aren’t working out, and step up investment in others. A portfolio of initiatives will work in any size company. Franklin pursues 20 to 30 at any time, knowing 90 percent wont pan out, “The main idea is to keep those initiatives running,” he says. “If you don’t, you’re slowing down.”

 

Advice to an entrepreneur

An entrepreneur, who wants his firm to be more innovative, has read the above article and come to you for advice:

 

  1. This whole idea of experimentation seems to make sense, but all those little failures can add up, and if there enough of them, then this could lead to one big failure-the business going down the drain. How can I best get the advantages of experimentation in terms of innovation while also reduction the costs so that I don’t run the risk of losing my business?
  2. My employees, buyers, and suppliers like working for my company because we have a lot of wins. I am not sure how they will take it when our company begins to have a lot more failures (even if those failures are small)- it is a psychological thing. How can I handle this trade-off?
  3. Even if everyone else accepts it, I am not sure how I will cope. When projects fail it hits me pretty hard emotionally. Is it just that I am not cut out for this type of approach?

 

 

 

Case V – PROVIDE ADVICE TO AN ENTREPRENEUR ABOUT NONTRADITIONAL FINANCING

 

When Lissa D’Aquanni created a gourmet chocolate business in her Albany, New York, basement in 1998, she had not only a passion for candy-making, but also a knack for spurring citizen involvement. The former nonprofit executive had worked for women’s advocacy groups, most recently promoting breast cancer awareness. If there was one thing she knew, it was how to rally community support.

 

Her ability to leverage local resources would be invaluable as she made her business a fixture of her Albany neighborhood. And in no area were those skills as critical as in financing last year, D’Aquanni wanted to move her business, the chocolate Gecko, to an abandoned building three blocks away, she needed $25,000.” Volunteers also helped renovate the building, cutting project costs form an estimated $3,00,000.

 

Check out D’Aquanni’s unorthodox and creative financing plan: An economic development group, the Albany Local Development Corp., loaned her $95,000 to buy the building. D’Aquanni obtained a $1,00,000 government guaranteed loan from a local credit union to renovate the structure. Façade improvements were funded through a matching grant program to encourage commercial development in Albany. A local community development financial institution used a state program to fund energy-efficient upgrades, including new windows, light fixtures, furnaces and siding. Says D’Aquanni, “ There were lots of different pieces of the puzzle to identify and figure out how to access.”

 

Conventional financing wasn’t an option. “I was looking at a business that did about $44,000 in sales doing a $260,000 project, and the traditional funders were apprehensive,” explains D’Aquanni, 37. They urged her to rent a storefront rather than buy the rundown building. Undeterred, D’Aquanni met with a neighborhood group to develop her expansion plan. It wasn’t the first time the community had helped out. In 1999, the cashstrapped chocolatier needed molds and a temperer for the Christmas rush. Recalling a strategy she had seen in a magazine, she sold discounted gift certificates to raise capital. D’Aquanni offered customers $25 in free chocolates for every $100 in gift certificates purchase. “A lot of folks mailed them as gifts to friends, family and co-workers,” D’Aquanni says. “ And most of those people ordered chocolates. My customer base expanded.”

 

Indeed, many entrepreneurs successfully launch a business only to encounter funding hardships as they attempt to grow. The ability to think outside the box, experts say, is critical for firms short on funding. “There are pockets of money out there, whether it be municipalities, counties, chambers of commerce,” says Bill Brigham, Director of the Small Business Development Center in Albany. “Those are the loan programs that no one seems to have information about. A lot of these programs will not require the collateral and cash that is typical of traditional [loans]. They may be a little more lenient as far as credit history goes. That’s one of the key roles we can play-what entrepreneur is going to think [he or she] can qualify for HUD money?

 

Advice to an entrepreneur

 

An entrepreneur, who is looking to expand but has limited access to traditional financing, has read the above article and comes to you for advice:

 

  1. I want to find a little pot of gold like Lissa D’Aquanni. Where should I look?
  2. I like the gift certificate idea to raise money and build my business. What other types of products do you think that approach will work for?
  3. Over the years I have paid a lot of taxes. Should I feel guilty for accessing government – subsidized monies to build my business, or should I feel justified?

GENERAL MANAGEMENT

Attempt Any Four Case Study

 

CASE – 1   Your Job and Your Passion—You Can Pursue Both!

 

The 21st century offers many challenges to every one of us. As more firms go global, as more economies interconnect, and as the Web blasts away boundaries to communication, we become more informed citizens. This interconnectedness means that the organizations you work for will require you to develop both general and specialized knowledge—such as speaking multiple languages, using various software applications, or understanding details of financial transactions. You will have to develop general management skills to foster your ability to be self-reliant and thrive in a changing market-place. And here’s the exciting part: As you build both types of knowledge, you may be able to integrate your growing expertise with the causes or activities you care most about. Or, your career adventure may lead you to a new passion.

Former presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton are well known for combining their management skills—running a country—with their passion for helping people around the world. Together they have raised funds to assist disaster victims, those with HIV/AIDS, and others in need. Jake Burton turned his love of snow sports into an entire industry when he founded Burton Snowboards. Annie Withey poured her business and marketing knowledge into her two famous business ventures: Smartfood and Annie’s Homegrown. Both products were the result of her passion for healthful foods made from organic ingredients.

As you enter the workforce, you may have no idea where your career path will lead. You may be asking yourself, “How will I fit in?” “Where will I live?” “How much will I earn?” “Where will my business and personal careers evolve as the world continuous to change at such a fast pace?” If you are feeling nervous because you don’t know the answers to these questions yet, relax. A career is a journey, not a single destination. You may have one type of career or several. It is likely you will work for several organisations, or you may run one or more businesses of your own.

As you ask yourself what you want to do and where you want to be, take a few minutes to review the chapter and its main topics. Think about your personality, what you like and dislike, what you know and what you want to learn, what you fear and what you dream. Then try the following exercise.

 

Questions

 

  1. Create a three-column chart in which the first column lists nonmanagement skills you have. Are you good at travel? Do you know how to build furniture? Are you a whiz at sports statistics? Are you an innovative cook? Do you play video games for hours? In the second column, list the causes or activities about which you are passionate. These may dovetail with the first list, but they might not.
  2. Once you have you two columns complete, draw lines between entries that seem compatible. If you are good at building furniture, you might have also listed a concern about families who are homeless. Remember that not all entries will find a match—the idea is to begin finding some connections.
  3. In the third column, generate a list of firms or organizations you know about that reflect your interests. If you are good at building furniture, you might be interested working for the Habitat for Humanity organization, or you might find yourself gravitating towards a furniture retailer like Ikea or Ethan Allen. You can do further research on organizations via Internet or business publications.

 

 

CASE – 2   Biyani – Pioneering a Retailing Revolution in India

 

“I use people as hands and legs. I prefer to do thinking around here.”

 

─ Kishore Biyani, CEO & MD, Pantaloon Retail (India) Ltd.

 

Kishore Biyani (Biyani), CEO& MD of Pantaloon Retail (India) Ltd., planned to have 30 Food Bazaar outlets, 22 outlets in Big Bazaar, 21 Pantaloons outlets, and four seamless malls under the Central logo, by the end of 2005. He also planned to launch at least three businesses every year and had already selected music, footwear and car accessories as his next areas of investments. He was already the top retailer in India followed by Raghu Pillai of RPG. As of 2004, Biyani headed a company that had a turnover of Rs 6,500 million and operated 13 Pantaloon apparel stores, 9 Big Bazaars, 13 Food Bazaars, and 3 seamless malls (Central), one each located in Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Pune.

Biyani’s journey from a person who looked after his family business to India’s top retailer in 1987, when he launched Manz Wear Pvt. Ltd. The company launched one of the first readymade trousers brands – ‘Pantaloon’ – in the country. The company also launched its first jeans brand called ‘Bare’ in 1989. On September 20, 1991, Manz Wear Pvt. Ltd. went public and on September 25, 1992, it changed its name to Pantaloon Fashions (India) Limited (PFIL). ‘John Miller’ was the first formal shirt brand from PFIL.

The company opened its first apparel stores, called ‘Pantaloons’ at Kolkata in August 1997. The stores generated Rs 70 million. Biyani then realized the potential of the Indian market and started to aggressively tap it. Accordingly, Biyani decided to expand into other segments of retailing besides apparel. To reflect this change in focus, the company changed its name to Pantaloon Retail (India) Limited (PRIL) in July 1999 and set itself a target of achieving Rs 10 billion in sales by June 2005. In course of time he launched three other retail formats — Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar, and Central.

Biyani didn’t believe in copying ideas from western retailers. He was critical of his peers who felt just copied ideas form the west without making any effort to mold them to Indian conditions. He ensured that his store formats such as Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar, and Pantaloons were all suited to the purchasing style of Indian consumers.

Biyani was a huge risk taker and his planning was always different from the conventional way of doing business. This was also one of the factors that had prompted Biyani to move away from his father’s conventional way of doing business. During the initial stages of his success, his risk-taking attitude sometimes had the effect of turning away financiers. The biggest risk that Biyani took was in opening Big Bazaar in Mumbai in 2001. The company needed money to expand Big Bazaar’s operations. However, it had profits of only Rs 40 million with a low share price at eighteen rupees. Therefore, Biyani could not raise money through equity. In light of this situation, Biyani took a loan of Rs 1,200 million from ICICI for launching the operations of Big Bazaar, which increased his debt exposure. However, Big Bazaar proved to be a resounding success with 100,000 customer visits in its first week of operations. According to analysts, if Big Bazaar had failed, Biyani would have landed in a severe debt crisis. The success of Big Bazaar not only increased the company profits, it also changed the perception of investors.

Many people criticized Biyani for not delegating authority and Biyani himself accepted the criticism. He said, “I use people as hands and legs. I prefer to do the thinking around here.” He preferred taking individual decision on activities like strategic planning, ideas for other ventures, and other important issues. It was because of this that managers like Kush Medhora of Westside were initially apprehensive about joining Biyani’s business. However, Biyani changed his attitude gradually with the launch of Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar, and Central and appointed different people for managing different business units.

Biyani believed in leading a simple life and in being simply dressed. His vision came from his diverse reading connected to retailing and other areas. He made it a point to visit each of his stores across the country. He aimed to spend at least seven hours a week at the stores. In the stores, he would stand at a corner and observe people. He also walked on streets, met common people, and talked to local leaders to plan and put up new products in his stores. Each of his stores was set with a weekly target, which was reviewed every Monday. Whenever a new store was opened, the details of its operations during the first 45 days were to be sent to him. Sometimes, he suggested remedies to some problems. Biyani believed in extensive advertising to make more people know about the product. His decision making was quick and devoid of unnecessary delays. Biyani was also a good learner and learned quickly from his mistakes. He planned to improve inventory management through responding effectively to the demands of the customers rather than forecasting them, as he felt that forecasting would pile up the inventory in this dynamic market.

 

Questions

 

  1. The tremendous success of the ‘Pantaloons’, ‘Big Bazaar’ and ‘Food Bazaar’ retailing formats, easily made PRIL the number one retailer in India by early 2004, in terms of turnover and retail area occupied by its outlets. Explain how Biyani is further planning to consolidate his businesses.

ANSWER

Biyani didn’t believe in copying ideas from western retailers. He was critical of his peers who felt just copied ideas form the west without making any effort to mold them to Indian conditions. He ensured that his store formats such as Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar, and Pantaloons were all suited to the purchasing style of Indian consumers.

Biyani was a huge risk taker and his planning was always different from the conventional way of doing business. This was also one of the factors that had prompted Biyani to move away from his father’s conventional way of doing business. During the initial stages of his success, his risk-taking attitude sometimes had the effect of turning away financiers. The biggest risk that Biyani took was in opening Big Bazaar in Mumbai in 2001. The company needed money to expand Big Bazaar’s operations. However, it had profits of only Rs 40 million with a low share price at eighteen rupees. Therefore, Biyani could not raise money through equity. In light of this situation, Biyani took a loan of Rs 1,200 million from ICICI for launching the operations of Big Bazaar, which increased his debt exposure. However, Big Bazaar proved to be a resounding success with 100,000 customer visits in its first week of operations. According to analysts, if Big Bazaar had failed, Biyani would have landed in a severe debt crisis. The success of Big Bazaar not only increased the company profits, it also changed the perception of investors.

  1. “Our striving toward looking at the Indian market differently and strategizing with the evolving customer helped us perform better.” What other qualities of Kishore Biyani do you think were instrumental in making him top retailer of India?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE – 3   The New Frontier for Fresh Foods Supermarkets

 

Fresh Foods Supermarket is a grocery store chain that was established in the Southeast 20 years ago. The company is now beginning to expand to other regions of the United States. First, the firm opened new stores along the eastern seaboard, gradually working its way up through Maryland and Washington, DC, then through New York and New jersey, and on into Connecticut and Massachusetts. It has yet to reach the northern New England states, but executives have decided to turn their attention to the Southwest, particularly because of the growth of population there.

Vivian Noble, the manager of one of the chain’s most successful stores in the Atlanta area, has been asked to relocate to Phoenix, Arizona, to open and run a new Fresh Foods Supermarket. She has decided to accept the job, but she knows it will be a challenge. As an African American woman, she has faced some prejudice during her career, but she refuses to be stopped by a glass ceiling or any other barrier. She understands that she will be living and working in an area where several cultures combine and collide, and she will be hiring and managing a diverse workforce. Noble has the support of top management at Fresh Foods, which wants the store to reflect the surrounding community—in both staff makeup and product selection. So she will be looking to hire employees with Hispanic and Native American roots, as well as older workers who can relate to the many retired residents in the area. And she will be seeking their inputs on the selection of certain food products, including ethnic brands, so that customers know they can buy what they need and want a Fresh Foods.

In addition, Noble wants to make sure that Fresh Foods provides services above and beyond those of a standard supermarket to attract local consumers. For instance, she wants the store to offer free delivery of groceries to home-bound customers who are either senior citizens or physically disabled. She wants to be sure that the store has enough bilingual employees to translate for and otherwise assist customers who speak little or no English. Noble believes that she is a pioneer of sorts, guiding Fresh Foods Supermarkets into a new frontier. “The sky is almost blue here,” she says of her new home state. “And there’s no glass ceiling between me and the sky.”

 

 

 

Questions

 

  1. What steps can Vivian Noble take to recruit and develop her new workforce?
  2. What other ways can Noble help her company reach out to the community?
  3. How will Fresh Foods Supermarkets as whole benefit from successfully moving into this new region of the country?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE – 4   The Law Offices of Jeter, Jackson, Guidry, and Boyer

 

THE EVOLUTION OF THE FIRM

 

David Jeter and Nate Jackson started a small general law practice in 1992 near Sacramento, California. Prior to that, the two had spent five years in the district attorney’s office after completing their formal schooling. What began as a small partnership—just the two attorneys and a paralegal/assistant—had now grown into a practice that employed more than 27 people in three separated towns. The current staff included 18 attorneys (three of whom have become partners), three paralegals, and six secretaries.

For the first time in the firm’s existence, the partners felt that they were losing control of their overall operation. The firm’s current caseload, number of employees, number of clients, travel requirements, and facilities management needs had grown far beyond anything that the original partners had ever imagined.

Attorney Jeter called a meeting of the partners to discuss the matter. Before the meeting, opinions about the pressing problems of the day and proposed solutions were sought from the entire staff. The meeting resulted in a formal decision to create a new position, general manager of operations. The partners proceeded to compose a job description and job announcement for recruiting purposes.

Highlights and responsibilities of the job description include:

  • Supervising day-to-day office personnel and operations (phones, meetings, word processing, mail, billings, payroll, general overhead, and maintenance).
  • Improving customer relations (more expeditious processing of cases and clients).
  • Expanding the customer base.
  • Enhancing relations with the local communities.
  • Managing the annual budget and related incentive programs.
  • Maintaining annual growth in sales of 10 percent while maintaining or exceeding the current profit margin.

 

The general manager will provide an annual executive summary to the partners, along with specific action plans for improvement and change. A search committee was formed, and two months later the new position was offered to Brad Howser, a longtime administrator from the insurance industry seeking a final career change and a return to his California roots. Howser made it clear that he was willing to make a five-year commitment to the position and would then likely retire.

Things got off to a quiet and uneventful start as Howser spent few months just getting to know the staff, observing day-today operations; and reviewing and analyzing assorted client and attorney data and history, financial spreadsheets, and so on.

About six months into the position, Howser became more outspoken and assertive with the staff and established several new operational rules and procedures. He began by changing the regular working hours. The firm previously had a flex schedule in place that allowed employees to begin and end the workday at their choosing within given parameters. Howser did not care for such a “loose schedule” and now required that all office personnel work from 9:00 to 5:00 each day. A few staff member were unhappy about this and complained to Howser, who matter-of-factly informed them that “this is the new rule that everyone is expected to follow, and anyone who could or would not comply should probably look for another job.” Sylvia Bronson, an administrative assistant who had been with the firm for several years, was particularly unhappy about this change. She arranged for a private meeting with Howser to discuss her child care circumstances and the difficulty that the new schedule presented. Howser seemed to listen half-heartedly and at one point told Bronson that “assistance are essentially a-dime-a-dozen and are readily available.” Bronson was seen leaving the office in tears that day.

Howser was not happy with the average length of time that it took to receive payments for services rendered to the firm’s clients (accounts receivable). A closer look showed that 30 percent of the clients paid their bills in 30 days or less, 60 percent paid in 30 to 60 days, and the remaining 10 percent stretched it out to as  many as 120 days. Howser composed a letter that was sent to all clients whose outstanding invoices exceeded 30 days. The strongly worded letter demanded immediate payment in full and went on to indicate that legal action might be taken against anyone who did not respond in timely fashion. While a small number of “late” payments were received soon after the mailing, the firm received an even larger number of letters and phone calls from angry clients, some of whom had been with the firm since its inception.

Howser was given an advertising and promotion budget for purposes of expanding the client base. One of the paralegals suggested that those expenditures should be carefully planned and that the firm had several attorneys who knew the local markets quite well and could probably offer some insights and ideas on the subject. Howser thought about this briefly and then decided to go it alone, reasoning that most attorneys know little or nothing about marketing.

In an attempt to “bring all of the people together to form a team,” Howser established weekly staff meetings. These mandatory, hour-long sessions were run by Howser, who presented a series of overhead slides, handouts, and lectures about “some of the proven management techniques that were successful in the insurance industry.” The meetings typically ran past the allotted time frame and rarely if ever covered all of the agenda items.

Howser spent some of his time “enhancing community relations.” He was very generous with many local groups such as the historical society, the garden clubs, the recreational sports programs, the middle-and high-school band programs, and others. In less than six months he had written checks and authorized donations totaling more than $25,000. He was delighted about all this and was certain that such gestures of goodwill would pay off handsomely in the future.

As for the budget, Howser carefully reviewed each line item in search of ways to increase revenues and cut expenses. He then proceeded to increase the expected base or quota for attorney’s monthly billable hours, thus directly affecting their profit sharing and bonus program. On the other side, he significantly reduced the attorneys’ annual budget for travel, meals, and entertainment. He considered these to be frivolous and unnecessary. Howser decided that one of the two full-time administrative assistant positions in each office should be reduced to part-time with no benefits. He saw no reason why the current workload could not be completed within this model. Howser wrapped up his initial financial review and action plan by posting notices throughout each office with new rules regarding the use of copy machines, phones, and supplies.

Howser completed the first year of his tenure with the required executive summary report to the partners that included his analysis of the current status of each department and his action plan. The partners were initially impressed with both Howser’s approach to the new job and with the changes that he made. They all seemed to make sense and were directly in line with the key components of his job description. At the same time, “the office rumor mill and grape vine” had “heated up” considerably. Company morale, which had been quite high, was now clearly waning. The water coolers and hallways became the frequent meeting places of disgruntled employees.

As for the marketplace, while the partner did not expect to see an immediate influx of new clients, they certainly did not expect to see shrinkage in their existing client base. A number of individual and corporate clients took their business elsewhere, still fuming over the letter they had received.

The partners met with Howser to discuss the situation. Howser urged them to “sit tight and ride out the storm.” He had seen this happen before and had no doubt that in the long run the firm would achieve all of its goals. Howser pointed out that people in general are resistant to change. The partners met for drinks later that day and looked at each other with a great sense of uncertainty. Should they ride out the storm as Howser suggested? Had they done the right thing in creating the position and hiring Howser? What had started as a seemingly, wise, logical, and smooth sequence of events had now become a crisis.

 

Questions

 

  1. Do you agree with Howser’s suggestion to “sit tight and ride out the storm,” or should the partners take some action immediately? If so, what actions specifically?
  2. Assume that the creation of the GM—Operation position was a good decision. What leadership style and type of individual would you try to place in this position?
  3. Consider your own leadership style. What types of positions and situations should you seek? What types of positions and situation should you seek to avoid? Why?

 

 

 

 

 

CASE – 5   The Grizzly Bear Lodge

 

Diane and Rudy Conrad own a small lodge outside Yellowstone National Park. Their lodge has 15 rooms that can accommodate up to 40 guests, with some rooms set up for families. Diane and Rudy serve a continental breakfast on weekdays and a full breakfast on weekends, included in the room they charge. Their busy season runs from May through September, but they remain open until Thanksgiving and reopen in April for a short spring season. They currently employ one cook and two waitpersons for the breakfasts on weekends, handling the other breakfasts themselves. They also have several housekeeping staff members, a groundkeeper, and a front-desk employee. The Conrads take pride in the efficiency of their operation, including the loyalty of their employees, which they attribute to their own form of clan control. If a guest needs something—whether it’s a breakfast catered to a special diet or an extra set of towels—Grizzly Bear workers are empowered to supply it.

The Conrads are considering expanding their business. They have been offered the opportunity to buy the property next door, which would give them the space to build an annex containing an additional 20 rooms. Currently, their annual sales total $300,000. With expenses running $230,000—including mortgage, payroll, maintenance, and so forth—the Conrads’ annual income is $70,000. They want to expand and make improvements without cutting back on the personal service they offer to their guests. In fact, in addition to hiring more staff to handle the larger facility, they are considering collaborating with more local business to offer guided rafting, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding trips. They also want to expand their food service to include dinner during the high season, which means renovating the restaurant area of the lodge and hiring more kitchen and wait staff. Ultimately, the Conrads would like the lodge to open year-round, offering guests opportunities to cross-country ski, ride snow-mobiles, or hike in winter. They hope to offer holiday packages for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s celebrations in the great outdoors. The Conrads report that their employees are enthusiastic about their plans and want to stay with them through the expansion process. “This is our dream business,” says Rudy. “We’re only at the beginning.”

 

 

 

Questions

 

  1. Discuss how Rudy and Diane can use feedforward, concurrent, and feedback controls both now and in future at the Grizzly Bear Lodge to ensure their guests’ satisfaction.
  2. What might be some of the fundamental budgetary considerations the Conrads would have as they plan the expansion of their logic?
  3. Describe how the Conrads could use market controls plans and implement their expansion.

 

 


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Case 1: Zip Zap Zoom Car Company

          

Zip Zap Zoom Company Ltd is into manufacturing cars in the small car (800 cc) segment.  It was set up 15 years back and since its establishment it has seen a phenomenal growth in both its market and profitability.  Its financial statements are shown in Exhibits 1 and 2 respectively.

The company enjoys the confidence of its shareholders who have been rewarded with growing dividends year after year.  Last year, the company had announced 20 per cent dividend, which was the highest in the automobile sector.  The company has never defaulted on its loan payments and enjoys a favorable face with its lenders, which include financial institutions, commercial banks and debenture holders.

The competition in the car industry has increased in the past few years and the company foresees further intensification of competition with the entry of several foreign car manufactures many of them being market leaders in their respective countries.  The small car segment especially, will witness entry of foreign majors in the near future, with latest technology being offered to the Indian customer.  The Zip Zap Zoom’s senior management realizes the need for large scale investment in up gradation of technology and improvement of manufacturing facilities to pre-empt competition.

Whereas on the one hand, the competition in the car industry has been intensifying, on the other hand, there has been a slowdown in the Indian economy, which has not only reduced the demand for cars, but has also led to adoption of price cutting strategies by various car manufactures.   The industry indicators predict that the economy is gradually slipping into recession.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exhibit 1 Balance sheet as at March 31,200 x

(Amount in Rs. Crore)

 

Source of Funds

Share capital                                        350

Reserves and surplus                           250                              600

Loans :

Debentures (@ 14%)               50

Institutional borrowing (@ 10%)        100

Commercial loans (@ 12%)    250

Total debt                                                                                            400

Current liabilities                                                                                 200

1,200

 

Application of Funds

Fixed Assets

Gross block                                                     1,000

Less : Depreciation                                            250

Net block                                                           750

Capital WIP                                                       190

Total Fixed Assets                                                                              940

Current assets :

Inventory                                                           200

Sundry debtors                                                    40

Cash and bank balance                                        10

Other current assets                                 10

Total current assets                                                                 260

-1200

 

Exhibit 2 Profit and Loss Account for the year ended March 31, 200x

(Amount in Rs. Crore)

Sales revenue (80,000 units x Rs. 2,50,000)                                       2,000.0

Operating expenditure :

Variable cost :

Raw material and manufacturing expenses    1,300.0

Variable overheads                                                        100.0

Total                                                                                                                1,400.0

Fixed cost :

R & D                                                                                          20.0

Marketing and advertising                                               25.0

Depreciation                                                                   250.0

 

Personnel                                                                          70.0

Total                                                                                                                   365.0

 

Total operating expenditure                                                                1,765.0

Operating profits (EBIT)                                                                                   235.0

Financial expense :

Interest on debentures                                                            7.7

Interest on institutional borrowings                        11.0

Interest on commercial loan                                    33.0                     51.7

Earnings before tax (EBT)                                                                                          183.3

Tax (@ 35%)                                                                                                                 64.2

Earnings after tax (EAT)                                                                                            119.1

Dividends                                                                                                                     70.0

Debt redemption (sinking fund obligation)**                                                              40.0

Contribution to reserves and surplus                                                                  9.1

*          Includes the cost of inventory and work in process (W.P) which is dependent on demand (sales).

**        The loans have to be retired in the next ten years and the firm redeems Rs. 40 crore every year.

The company is faced with the problem of deciding how much to invest in up

gradation of its plans and technology.  Capital investment up to a maximum of Rs. 100

crore is required.  The problem areas are three-fold.

  • The company cannot forgo the capital investment as that could lead to reduction in its market share as technological competence in this industry is a must and customers would shift to manufactures providing latest in car technology.
  • The company does not want to issue new equity shares and its retained earning are not enough for such a large investment.  Thus, the only option is raising debt.
  • The company wants to limit its additional debt to a level that it can service without taking undue risks.  With the looming recession and uncertain market conditions, the company perceives that additional fixed obligations could become a cause of financial distress, and thus, wants to determine its additional debt capacity to meet the investment requirements.

Mr. Shortsighted, the company’s Finance Manager, is given the task of determining the additional debt that the firm can raise.  He thinks that the firm can raise Rs. 100 crore worth debt and service it even in years of recession.  The company can raise debt at 15 per cent from a financial institution.  While working out the debt capacity.  Mr. Shortsighted takes the following assumptions for the recession years.

  1. A maximum of 10 percent reduction in sales volume will take place.
  2. A maximum of 6 percent reduction in sales price of cars will take place.

Mr. Shorsighted prepares a projected income statement which is representative of the recession years.  While doing so, he determines what he thinks are the “irreducible minimum” expenditures under

 

recessionary conditions.  For him, risk of insolvency is the main concern while designing the capital structure.  To support his view, he presents the income statement as shown in Exhibit 3.

 

Exhibit 3 projected Profit and Loss account

(Amount in Rs. Crore)

Sales revenue (72,000 units x Rs. 2,35,000)                                       1,692.0

Operating expenditure

Variable cost :

Raw material and manufacturing expenses    1,170.0

Variable overheads                                                          90.0

Total                                                                                                                1,260.0

Fixed cost :

R & D                                                                                          —

Marketing and advertising                                               15.0

Depreciation                                                                   187.5

Personnel                                                                          70.0

Total                                                                                                                   272.5

Total operating expenditure                                                                1,532.5

EBIT                                                                                                                  159.5

Financial expenses :

Interest on existing Debentures                                        7.0

Interest on existing institutional borrowings      10.0

Interest on commercial loan                                30.0

Interest on additional debt                                             15.0                  62.0

EBT                                                                                                                      97.5

Tax (@ 35%)                                                                                                        34.1

EAT                                                                                                                     63.4

Dividends                                                                                                              —

Debt redemption (sinking fund obligation)                                             50.0*

Contribution to reserves and surplus                                                       13.4

 

* Rs. 40 crore (existing debt) + Rs. 10 crore (additional debt)

Assumptions of Mr. Shorsighted

  • R & D expenditure can be done away with till the economy picks up.
  • Marketing and advertising expenditure can be reduced by 40 per cent.
  • Keeping in mind the investor confidence that the company enjoys, he feels that the company can forgo paying dividends in the recession period.

 

He goes with his worked out statement to the Director Finance, Mr. Arthashatra, and advocates raising Rs. 100 crore of debt to finance the intended capital investment.  Mr. Arthashatra  does not feel comfortable with the statements and calls for the company’s financial analyst, Mr. Longsighted.

Mr. Longsighted carefully analyses Mr. Shortsighted’s assumptions and points out that insolvency should not be the sole criterion while determining the debt capacity of the firm.  He points out the following :

  • Apart from debt servicing, there are certain expenditures like those on R & D and marketing that need to be continued to ensure the long-term health of the firm.
  • Certain management policies like those relating to dividend payout, send out important signals to the investors.  The Zip Zap Zoom’s management has been paying regular dividends and discontinuing this practice (even though just for the recession phase) could raise serious doubts in the investor’s mind about the health of the firm.  The firm should pay at least 10 per cent dividend in the recession years.
  • Mr. Shortsighted has used the accounting profits to determine the amount available each year for servicing the debt obligations.  This does not give the true picture.  Net cash inflows should be used to determine the amount available for servicing the debt.
  • Net Cash inflows are determined by an interplay of many variables and such a simplistic view should not be taken while determining the cash flows in recession.  It is not possible to accurately predict the fall in any of the factors such as sales volume, sales price, marketing expenditure and so on.  Probability distribution of variation of each of the factors that affect net cash inflow should be analyzed.  From  this analysis, the probability distribution of variation in net cash inflow should be analysed (the net cash inflows follow a normal probability distribution).  This will give a true picture of how the company’s cash flows will behave in recession conditions.

 

The management recognizes that the alternative suggested by Mr. Longsighted rests on data, which are complex and require expenditure of time and effort to obtain and interpret.  Considering the importance of capital structure design, the Finance Director asks Mr. Longsighted to carry out his analysis.  Information on the behaviour of cash flows during the recession periods is taken into account.

The methodology undertaken is as follows :

  • Important factors that affect cash flows (especially contraction of cash flows), like sales volume, sales price, raw materials expenditure, and so on, are identified and the analysis is carried out in terms of cash receipts and cash expenditures.

 

  • Each factor’s behaviour (variation behaviour) in adverse conditions in the past is studied and future expectations are combined with past data, to describe limits (maximum favourable), most probable and maximum adverse) for all the factors.
  • Once this information is generated for all the factors affecting the cash flows, Mr. Longsighted comes up with a range of estimates of the cash flow in future recession periods based on all possible combinations of the several factors. He also estimates the probability of occurrence of each estimate of cash flow.

 

Assuming a normal distribution of the expected behaviour, the mean expected

value of net cash inflow in adverse conditions came out to be Rs. 220.27 crore with standard deviation of Rs. 110 crore.

Keeping in mind the looming recession and the uncertainty of the recession behaviour, Mr. Arthashastra feels that the firm should factor a risk of cash inadequacy of around 5 per cent even in the most adverse industry conditions.  Thus, the firm should take up only that amount of additional debt that it can service 95 per cent of the times, while maintaining cash adequacy.

To maintain an annual dividend of 10 per cent, an additional Rs. 35 crore has to be kept aside.  Hence, the expected available net cash inflow is Rs. 185.27 crore (i.e. Rs. 220.27 – Rs. 35 crore)

Question:

Analyse the debt capacity of the company.

 

ANSWER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE – 2   GREAVES LIMITED

 

Started as trading firm in 1922, Greaves Limited has diversified into manufacturing and marketing of high technology engineering products and systems. The company’s mission is “manufacture and market a wide range of high quality products, services and systems of world class technology to the total satisfaction of customers in domestic and overseas market.”

Over the years Greaves has brought to India state of the art technologies in various engineering fields by setting up manufacturing units and subsidiary and associate companies. The sales of Greaves Limited has increased from Rs 214 crore in 1990 to Rs 801 crore in 1997. The sales of Greaves Limited has increased from Rs 214 crore in 1990 to Rs 801 crore in 1997. Profits before interest and tax (PBIT) of the company increased from Rs 15 crore to Rs 83 crore in 1997. The market price of the company’s share has shown ups and downs during 1990 to 1997. How has the company performed? The following question need answer to fully understand the performance of the company:

 

Exhibit 1

 

GREAVES LTD.

Profit and Loss Account ending on 31 March          (Rupees in crore)

  1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997
Sales

Raw Material and Stores

Wages and Salaries

Power and fuel

Other Mfg. Expenses

Other Expenses

Depreciation

Marketing and Distribution

Change in stock

214.38

170.67

13.54

0.52

0.61

11.85

1.85

4.86

1.18

253.10

202.84

15.60

0.70

0.49

15.48

1.72

5.67

3.10

287.81

230.81

18.03

1.11

0.88

16.35

1.52

5.14

4.93

311.14

213.79

37.04

3.80

2.37

25.54

4.62

5.17

0.48

354.25

245.63

37.96

4.43

2.36

31.60

5.99

9.67

– 1.13

521.56

379.83

48.24

6.66

3.57

41.40

8.53

10.81

5.63

728.15

543.56

60.48

7.70

4.84

45.74

9.30

12.44

11.86

801.11

564.35

69.66

9.23

5.49

48.64

11.53

16.98

– 5.87

Total Op Expenses 202.72 239.40 268.91 291.85 338.77 493.41 672.20 731.75
 

Operating Profit

Other Income

Non-recurring Income

 

11.61

2.14

1.30

 

13.70

3.69

2.28

 

18.90

4.97

0.10

 

19.29

4.24

10.98

 

15.48

7.72

16.44

 

28.15

14.35

0.46

 

55.95

11.35

0.52

 

69.36

13.08

1.75

PBIT   15.10   19.67   23.97   34.51   39.64   42.98   65.67   82.64
Interest     5.56     6.77   11.92   19.62   17.17   21.48   28.25   27.54
PBT     9.54   12.90   12.05   14.89   22.47   21.50   37.42   55.10
Tax

PAT

Dividend

Retained Earnings

    3.00

6.54

1.80

4.74

    3.60

9.30

2.00

7.30

    4.90

7.15

2.30

4.85

    0.00

14.89

4.06

10.83

    4.00

18.47

7.29

11.18

    7.00

14.50

8.58

5.92

    8.60

28.82

12.85

15.97

  15.80

39.30

14.18

25.12

 

Exhibit 2

 

GREAVES LTD.

Balance Sheet                                (Rupees in crore)

  1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997
ASSETS

Land and Building

Plant and Machinery

Other Fixed Assets

Capital WIP

Gross Fixed Assets

Less: Accu. Depreciation

Net Tangible Fixed Assets

Intangible Fixed Assets

 

3.88

11.98

3.64

0.09

19.59

12.91

6.68

0.21

 

4.22

12.68

4.14

0.26

21.30

14.56

6.74

0.19

 

4.96

12.98

4.38

10.25

23.57

15.79

7.78

0.05

 

21.70

33.49

5.18

11.27

71.64

19.84

51.80

4.40

 

30.82

50.78

6.95

34.84

123.39

25.74

97.65

22.03

 

39.71

75.34

8.53

14.37

137.95

33.90

104.05

22.45

 

42.34

92.49

8.87

13.92

157.62

42.56

115.06

20.04

 

43.07

104.45

10.35

14.36

172.23

53.87

118.86

21.11

Net Fixed Assets     6.89     6.93     7.83   56.20 119.68 126.50 135.10 139.97
 

Raw Materials

Finished Goods

Inventory

Accounts Receivable

Other Receivable

Investments

Cash and Bank Balance

Current Assets

Total Assets

LIABILITIES AND CAPITAL

Equity Capital

Preference Capital

Reserves and Surplus

 

5.26

29.37

34.63

38.16

32.62

3.55

8.36

117.32

124.21

 

9.86

0.20

27.60

 

6.91

33.72

40.63

53.24

40.47

14.95

8.91

158.20

165.13

 

9.86

0.20

32.57

 

7.26

38.65

45.91

67.97

49.19

15.15

12.71

190.93

198.76

 

9.86

0.20

37.42

 

21.05

53.39

74.44

93.30

24.54

27.58

13.29

233.15

289.35

 

18.84

0.20

100.35

 

28.13

52.26

80.39

122.20

59.12

73.50

18.38

353.59

473.27

 

29.37

0.20

171.03

 

44.03

58.09

102.12

133.45

64.32

75.01

30.08

404.98

531.48

 

29.44

0.20

176.88

 

53.62

69.97

123.59

141.82

76.57

75.07

33.46

450.51

585.61

 

44.20

0.20

175.41

 

50.94

64.09

115.03

179.92

107.31

76.45

48.18

526.89

666.86

 

44.20

0.20

198.79

Net Worth   37.66   42.63   47.48 119.39 200.60 206.52 219.81 243.19
Bank Borrowings

Institutional Borrowings

Debentures

Fixed Deposits

Commercial Paper

Other Borrowings

Current Portion of LT Debt

  14.81

4.13

4.77

12.31

0.00

2.33

0.00

  19.45

3.43

16.57

14.45

0.00

3.22

0.00

  26.51

9.17

19.99

15.03

0.00

3.10

0.08

  24.82

38.09

4.56

14.08

0.00

3.18

0.12

  55.12

38.76

4.37

15.57

15.00

17.08

15.08

  64.97

69.69

4.37

17.75

0.00

1.97

0.02

  70.08

89.26

2.92

20.81

0.00

2.36

1.49

118.28

63.60

1.49

19.29

0.00

2.57

1.57

Borrowings   38.35   57.12   73.72   84.61 130.82 158.73 183.94 203.66
Sundry Creditors

Other Liabilities

Provision for tax, etc.

Proposed Dividends

Current Portion of LT Dept

  37.52

5.70

3.18

1.80

0.00

  49.40

10.16

3.82

2.00

0.00

  59.34

10.70

5.14

2.30

0.08

  77.27

3.59

0.31

4.06

0.12

113.66

1.42

4.40

7.29

15.08

148.13

1.99

7.70

8.58

0.02

153.63

1.70

12.19

12.85

1.49

179.79

3.04

21.43

14.18

1.57

Current Liabilities   48.20   65.38   77.56   85.35 141.85 166.42 181.86 220.01
TOTAL LIABILITIES

Additional information:

Share premium reserve

Revaluation reserve

Bonus equity capital

124.21

 

 

 

8.51

165.13

 

 

 

8.51

198.76

 

 

 

8.51

289.35

 

47.69

8.91

8.51

473.27

 

107.40

8.70

8.51

531.67

 

107.91

8.50

8.51

585.61

 

93.35

8.31

23.25

666.86

 

93.35

8.15

23.25

 

Exhibit 3

 

GREAVES LTD.

Share Price Data

    1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997
 Closing share price (Rs)

Yearly high share price (Rs)

Yearly low share price (Rs)

Market capitalization (Rs crore

EPS (Rs)

Book value (Rs)

  27.19

29.25

26.78

65.06

4.79

35.64

34.74

45.28

21.61

67.77

6.82

37.22

121.27

121.27

34.36

236.56

9.73

42.54

  66.67

126.33

48.34

274.84

1.93

57.75

  78.34

90.00

42.67

346.35

2.66

40.61

  71.67

100.01

68.34

316.87

7.16

64.98

  47.5

90.00

45.00

210.02

5.03

45.35

  48.25

85.00

43.75

213.34

9.01

50.73

 

 

 

 

Questions

 

  1. How profitable are its operations? What are the trends in it? How has growth affected the profitability of the company?

ANSWER

After clocking stellar rates of 9.7% in 1995-96 and 9% in 1996-97, India`s

economic growth decelerated to 6.7% in the year 1998-99. This drastic fall

was  due  to  the  collapse of the US Financial market and  its  contagion

impact  on  all economies across the world. In our country all sectors  of

the  economy  with  the  notable  exception  of  agriculture,  mining  and

quarrying, experienced a slowdown. There was a significant drop in exports

and increase in commodity prices. Credit availability disappeared as banks

reduced  exposure.  On  the whole, most companies faced  serious  downward

pressures on their top-line.

  1. What factors have contributed to the operating performance of Greaves Limited? What is the role of profitability margin, asset utilisation, and non-operating income?

ANSWER

In  order  to  ensure  a  better focus on our markets  and  to  streamline

operations,  the  business of the Company has recently  been  restructured

into five divisions:

 

*   Agricultural   Equipment  Division-manufacturing   and   marketing   of

agricultural equipment like engines, pump-sets, power tillers,  harvesters

etc.

  1. How has Greaves performed in terms of return on equity? What is the contribution of return on investment, the way of the business has been financed over the period?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE – 3   CHOOSING BETWEEN PROJECTS IN ABC COMPANY

 

ABC Company, has three projects to choose from. The Finance Manager, the operations manager are discussing and they are not able to come to a proper decision. Then they are meeting a consultant to get proper advice. As a consultant, what advice you will give?

 

The cash flows are as follows. All amounts are in lakhs of Rupees.

 

Project 1:

Duration 5 Years

Beginning cash outflow = Rs. 100

Cash inflows (at the end of the year)

Yr. 1 – Rs 30; Yr. 2 – Rs 30; Yr. 3 – Rs 30; Yr.4 – 10; Yr.5 – 10

 

Project 2:

Duration 5 Years

Beginning Cash outflow Rs. 3763

Cash inflows (at the end of the year)

Yr. 1 – 200; Yr. 2 – 600; Yr. 3 – 1000; Yr. 4 – 1000; Yr. 5 – 2000.

 

Project 3:

Duration 15 Years

Beginning Cash Outflow – Rs. 100

Cash Inflows (at the end of the year)

Yrs. 1 to 10 – Rs. 20 (for 10 continuous years)

Yrs. 11 to 15 – Rs. 10 (For the next 5 years)

 

Question:

If the cost of capital is 8%, which of the 3 projects should the ABC Company accept?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE – 4   STAR ENGINEERING COMPANY

 

Star Engineering Company (SEC) produces electrical accessories like meters, transformers, switchgears, and automobile accessories like taximeters and speedometers.

SEC buys the electrical components, but manufactures all mechanical parts within its factory which is divided into four production departments Machining, Fabrication, Assembly, and Painting—and three service departments—Stores, Maintenance, and Works Office.

Though the company prepared annual budgets and monthly financial statements, it had no formal cost accounting system. Prices were fixed on the basis of what the market can bear. Inventory of finished stocks was valued at 90 per cent of the market price assuming a profit margin of 10 per cent.

In March, the company received a trial order from a government department for a sample transformer on a cost-plus-fixed-fee basis. They took up the job (numbered by the company as Job No 879) in early April and completed all manufacturing operations before the end of the month.

Since Job No 879 was very different from the type of transformers they had manufactured in the past, the company did not have a comparable market price for the product. The purchasing officer of the government department asked SEC to submit a detailed cost sheet for the job giving as much details as possible regarding material, labour and overhead costs.

SEC, as part of its routine financial accounting system, had collected the actual expenses for the month of April, by 5th of May. Some of the relevant data are given in Exhibit A.

The company tried to assign directly, as many expenses as possible to the production departments. However, It was not possible in all cases. In many cases, an overhead cost, which was common to all departments had to be allocated to the various departments using some rational basis. Some of the possible bases were collected by SEC’s accountant. These are presented in Exhibit B.

He also designed a format to allocate the overhead to all the production and service departments. It was realized that the expenses of the service departments on some rational basis. The accountant thought of distributing the service departments’ costs on the following basis:

  1. Works office costs on the basis of direct labour hours.
  2. Maintenance costs on the basis of book value of plant and machinery.
  3. Stores department costs on the basis of direct and indirect materials used.

The accountant who had to visit the company’s banker, passed on the papers to you for the required analysis and cost computations.

 

 

REQUIRED

 

Based on the data given in Exhibits A and B, you are required to:

 

  1. Complete the attached “overhead cost distribution sheet” (Exhibit C).
    Note: Wherever possible, identify the overhead costs chared directly to the production and service departments. If such direct identification is not possible, distribute the costs on some “rational basis.
  2. Calculate the overhead cost (per direct labour hour) for each of the four producing departments. This should include share of the service departments’ costs.
  3. Do you agree with:
    a.   The procedure adopted by the company for the distribution of overhead costs?
    b.   The choice of the base for overhead absorption, i.e. labour-hour rate?

 

 

Exhibit A

 

STAR ENGINEERING COMPANY

Actual Expenses(Manufacturing Overheads) for April

  RS RS
Indirect Labour and Supervisions:

Machining

Fabrication

Assembly

Painting

Stores

Maintenance

 

Indirect Materials and Supplies

Machining

Fabrication

Assembly

Painting

Maintenance

 

Others

Factory Rent

Depreciation of Plant and Machinery

Building Rates and Taxes

Welfare Expenses

(At 2 per cent of direct labour wages and Indirect labour and supervision)

Power

(Maintenance—Rs 366; Works Office Rs 2,200, Balance to Producing Departments)

Works Office Salaries and Expenses

Miscellaneous Stores Department Expenses

 

33,000

22,000

11,000

7,000

44,000

32,700

 

 
2,200

1,100

3,300

3,400

2,800

 

 

1,68,000

44,000

2,400

19,400

 

 

68,586

 

 

1,30,260

1,190

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,49,700

 

 

 

 

 

 

12,800

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4,33,930

 
5,96,930

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exhibit B

STAR ENGINEERING COMPANY

Projected Operation Data for the Year

Department Area

(sq.m)

Original Book of Plant & Machinery

Rs

Direct Materials

Budget

 

Rs

Horse

Power

Rating

Direct

Labour

Hours

Direct

Labour

Budget

 

Rs

Machining

Fabrication

Assembly

Painting

Stores

Maintenance

Works Office

Total

 

13,000

11,000

8,800

6,400

4,400

2,200

2,200

48,000

26,40,000

13,20,000

6,60,000

2,64,000

1,32,000

1,98,000

68,000

52,80,000

62,40,000

21,60,000

 

10,80,000

 

 

 

94,80,000

20,000

10,000

1,000

2,000

 

 

 

33,000

14,40,000

5,28,000

7,20,000

3,30,000

 

 

 

30,18,000

52,80,000

25,40,000

13,20,000

6,60,000

 

 

 

99,00,000

 

Note

 

The estimates given in this exhibit are for the budgeted year January to December where as the actuals in Exhibit A are just one month—April of the budgeted year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exhibit C

STAR ENGINEERING COMPANY

Actual Overhead Distribution Sheet for April

Departments

Overhead Costs

Production Departments Service Departments Total Amount Actuals for April (Rs) Basis for Distribution
             
A. Allocation of Overhead to all departments

A.1 Indirect Labour and Supervision

               

 

 

1,49,700

 
A.2 Indirect materials and supplies                

12,800

 
A.3 Factory Rent               1,68,000  
A.4 Depreciation of Plant and Machinery                

44,000

 
A.5 Building Rates and Taxes

 

               

2,400

 

 
A.6 Welfare Expenses

 

               

19,494

 
    A.7 Power                 68,586  
A.8 Works Office Salaries and Expenses                

1,30,260

 

 

 

A.9 Miscellaneous Stores Expenses

               

1,190

 
A. Total (A.1 to A.9)               5,96,430  
B. Reallocation of Service Departments Costs to Production Departments                  
B.1 Distribution of Works Office Costs                  
B.2 Distribution of Maintenance Department’s Costs                  
B.3 Distribution of Stores Department’s Costs                  
Total Charged to Producing

C. Departments (A+B)

               

 

5,96,430

 
D. Labour Hours Actuals for April  

1,20,000

 

44,000

 

60,000

 

27,500

         
E. Overhead Rate/Per Hour (D)                  

 

 

 

 

Case 5: EASTERN MACHINES COMPANY

 

Raj, who was in charge production felt that there are many problems to be attended to. But Quality Control was the main problem, he thought, as he found there were more complaints and litigations as compared to last year. With the demand increasing, he does not want to take any chances.

 

So he went down to assembly line, but was greeted by an unfamiliar face. He introduced himself.

 

Raj: I am in charge of checking the components, which we use, when we assemble the machines for customers. For most of the components, suppliers are very reliable and we assume that there will not be any problem. When we generally test the end product, we don’t have failures.

 

Namdeo: I am Namdeo. I was in another dept. and has been transferred recently to this dept.

 

Raj: Recently we have been having problems, and there has been some complaint or other about the machines we have supplied. I am worried and would like to check the components used. I would like to avoid lot of expensive rework.

 

Namdeo: But it would be very expensive to test every one of them. It will take at least half an hour for each machine. I neither have the staff nor the time. It will be rather pointless as majority of them will pass the test.

 

Raj: There has been more demand than supply for these machines in last 2 years. We have been buying many components from many suppliers. We have been producing more with extra shifts. We are trying to capture the market and increase our market share.

 

Namdeo: We order for components from different places, and sometimes we do not have time to check all. There is a time lag between order and supply of components, and we cannot wait as production will stop. We use whatever comes soon as we want to complete our orders.

 

Raj: Oh! Obviously we need some kind of checking. Some sampling technique to check the quality of the components. We need to get a sample from each shipment from our component suppliers. But I do not know how many we should test.

 

Namdeo: We should ask somebody from our statistics dept. to attend to this problem.

 

As a Statistician, advice what kind of Sampling schemes can we consider, and what factors will influence choice of scheme. What are the questions we should ask Mr. Namdeo, who works in the assembly line?

ANSWER

Sampling scheme we can consider is

Multi-Stage Sampling: Sometimes the population is too large and scattered for it to be practical to make a list of the entire population from which to draw a SRS. For instance, when the a polling organization samples US voters, they do not do a SRS. Since voter lists are compiled by counties, they might first do a sample of the counties and then sample within the selected counties. This illustrates two stages. In some instances, they might use even more stages. At each stage, they might do a stratified random sample on sex, race, income level, or any other useful variable on which they could get information before sampling.

                            

CASE : 01

COOKING LPG LTD

DETERMINATION OF WORKING CAPTIAL

Introduction

Cooking LPG Ltd, Gurgaon, is a private sector firm dealing in the bottling and supply of domestic LPG for household consumption since 1995. The firm has a network of distributors in the districts of Gurgaon and Faridabad. The bottling plant of the firm is located on National Highway – 8 (New Delhi – Jaipur), approx. 12 kms from Gurgaon.  The firm has been consistently performing we.”  and plans to expand its market to include the whole National Capital Region.

The production process of the plant consists of receipt of the bulk LPG through tank trucks, storage in tanks, bottling operations and distribution to dealers.   During the bottling process, the cylinders are subjected to pressurized filling of LPG followed by quality control and safety checks such as weight, leakage and other defects.  The cylinders passing through this process are sealed and dispatched to dealers through trucks.  The supply and distribution section of the plant prepares the invoice which goes along with the truck to the distributor.

Statement of the Problem :

Mr. I. M. Smart, DGM(Finance) of the company, was analyzing the financial performance of the company during the current year.  The various profitability ratios and parameters of the company indicated a very satisfactory performance.  Still, Mr. Smart was not fully content-specially with the management of the working capital by the company.  He could recall that during the past year, in spite of stable demand pattern, they had to, time and again, resort to bank overdrafts due to non-availability of cash for making various payments.  He is aware that such aberrations in the finances have a cost and adversely affects the performance of the company.  However, he was unable to pinpoint the cause of the problem.

He discussed the problem with Mr. U.R. Keenkumar, the new manager (Finance).  After critically examining the details, Mr. Keenkumar realized that the working capital was hitherto estimated only as approximation by some rule of thumb without any proper computation based on sound financial policies and, therefore, suggested a reworking of the working capital (WC) requirement.  Mr. Smart assigned the task of determination of WC to him.

Profile of Cooking LPG Ltd.

1)      Purchases : The company purchases LPG in bulk from various importers ex-Mumbai and Kandla, @ Rs. 11,000 per MT.  This is transported to its Bottling Plant at Gurgaon through 15 MT capacity tank trucks (called bullets), hired on annual contract basis.  The average transportation cost per bullet ex-either location is Rs. 30,000.  Normally, 2 bullets per day are received at the plant.  The company make payments for bulk supplies once in a month, resulting in average time-lag of 15 days.

2)      Storage and Bottling : The bulk storage capacity at the plant is 150 MT (2 x 75 MT storage tanks)  and the plant is capable of filling 30 MT LPG in cylinders per day.  The plant operates for 25 days per month on an average.  The desired level of inventory at various stages is as under.

  • LPG in bulk (tanks and pipeline quantity in the plant) – three days average production / sales.
  • Filled Cylinders – 2 days average sales.
  • Work-in Process inventory – zero.

3)      Marketing : The LPG is supplied by the company in 12 kg cylinders, invoiced @ Rs. 250 per cylinder.  The rate of applicable sales tax on the invoice is 4 per cent.  A commission of Rs. 15 per cylinder is paid to the distributor on the invoice itself.  The filled cylinders are delivered on company’s expense at the distributor’s godown, in exchange of equal number of empty cylinders.  The deliveries are made in truck-loads only, the capacity of each truck being 250 cylinders.  The distributors are required to pay for deliveries through bank draft.  On receipt of the draft, the cylinders are normally dispatched on the same day.  However, for every truck purchased on pre-paid basis, the company extends a credit of 7 days to the distributors on one truck-load.

4)      Salaries and Wages : The following payments are made :

  • Direct labour – Re. 0.75 per cylinder (Bottling expenses) – paid on last day of the month.
  • Security agency – Rs. 30,000 per month paid on 10th of subsequent month.
  • Administrative staff and managers – Rs. 3.75 lakh per annum, paid on monthly basis on the last working day.

5)      Overheads :

  • Administrative (staff, car, communication etc) – Rs. 25,000 per month – paid on the 10th of subsequent month.
  • Power (including on DG set) – Rs. 1,00,000 per month paid on the 7th Subsequent month.
  • Renewal of various licenses (pollution, factory, labour CCE etc.) – Rs. 15,000 per annum paid at the beginning of the year.
  • Insurance – Rs. 5,00,000 per annum to be paid at the beginning of the year.
  • Housekeeping etc – Rs. 10,000 per month paid on the 10th of the subsequent month.
  • Regular maintenance of plant – Rs. 50,000 per month paid on the 10th of every month to the vendors.  This includes expenditure on account of lubricants, spares and other stores.
  • Regular maintenance of cylinders (statutory testing) – Rs. 5 lakh per annum – paid on monthly basis on the 15th of the subsequent month.
  • All transportation charges as per contracts – paid on the 10th subsequent month.
  • Sales tax as per applicable rates is deposited on the 7th of the subsequent month.

6) Sales : Average sales are 2,500 cylinders per day during the year.  However, during the winter months (December to February), there is an incremental demand of 20 per cent.

7) Average Inventories : The average stocks maintained by the company as per its policy guidelines :

  • Consumables (caps, ceiling material, valves etc) – Rs. 2 lakh.  This amounts to 15 days consumption.
  • Maintenance spares – Rs. 1 lakh
  • Lubricants – Rs. 20,000
  • Diesel (for DG sets and fire engines) – Rs. 15,000
  • Other stores (stationary, safety items) – Rs. 20,000

 

8)      Minimum cash balance including bank balance required is Rs. 5 lakh.

9)      Additional Information for Calculating Incremental Working Capital During Winter.

  • No increase in any inventories take place except in the inventory of bulk LPG, which increases in the same proportion as the increase of the demand.  The actual requirements of LPG  for additional supplies are procured under the same terms and conditions from the suppliers.
  • The labour cost for additional production is paid at double the rate during wintes.
  • No changes in other administrative overheads.
  • The expenditure on power consumption during winter increased by 10 per cent.  However, during other months the power consumption remains the same as the decrease owing to reduced production is offset by increased consumption on account of compressors /Acs.
  • Additional amount of Rs. 3 lakh is kept as cash balance to meet exigencies during winter.
  • No change in time schedules for any payables / receivables.
  • The storage of finished goods inventory is restricted to a maximum 5,000 cylinders due to statutory requirements.

 

Suppose you are Mr.Keen Kumar,  the new manager.  What steps will you take for the growth of Cooking LPG Ltd.?

 

ANSWER

CONTACT US

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE : 2

M/S HI-TECH ELECTRONICS

 

M/s. Hi – tech Electronics, a consumer electronics outlet, was opened two years ago in Dwarka, New Delhi. Hard work and personal attention shown by the proprietor, Mr. Sony, has brought success.  However, because of insufficient funds to finance credit sales, the outlet accepted only cash and bank credit cards.  Mr. Sony is now considering a new policy of offering installment sales on terms of 25 per cent down payment and 25 per cent per month for three months as well as continuing to accept cash and bank credit cards.

Mr. Sony feels this policy will boost sales by 50 percent.  All the increases in sales will  be credit sales.  But to follow through a new policy, he will need a bank loan at the rate of 12 percent.  The sales projections for this year without the new policy are given in Exhibit 1.

Exhibit 1 Sales Projections and Fixed costs

Month Projected sales without instalment option Projected sales with instalment option
January Rs. 6,00,000 Rs. 9,00,000
February       4,00,000       6,00,000
March       3,00,000       4,50,000
April      2,00,000     3,00,000
May      2,00,000      3,00,000
June      1,50,000      2,25,000
July      1,50,000      2,25,000
August      2,00,000      3,00,000
September      3,00,000      4,50,000
October      5,00,000      7,50,000
November      5,00,000      15,00,000
December      8,00,000      12,00,000
Total Sales    48,00,000    72,00,000
Fixed cost      2,40,000      2,40,000

 

He further expects 26.67 per cent of the sales to be cash, 40 per cent bank credit card sales on which a 2 per cent fee is paid, and 33.33 per cent on instalment sales.  Also, for short term seasonal requirements, the film takes loan from chit fund to which Mr. Sony subscribes @ 1.8 per cent per month.

Their success has been due to their policy of selling at discount price.  The purchase per unit is 90 per cent of selling price.  The fixed costs are Rs. 20,000 per month.  The proprietor believes that the new policy will increase miscellaneous cost by Rs. 25,000.

The business being cyclical in nature, the working capital finance is done on trade – off basis.  The proprietor feels that the new policy will lead to bad debts of 1 per cent.

(a)    As a financial consultant, advise the proprietor whether he should go for the extension of credit facilities.

(b)    Also prepare cash budget for one year of operation of the firm, ignoring interest.  The minimum desired cash balance & Rs. 30,000, which is also the amount the firm has on January 1.  Borrowings are possible which are made at the beginning of a month and repaid at the end when cash is available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE : 3

SMOOTHDRIVE TYRE LTD

 

Smoothdrive Tyre Ltd manufacturers tyres under the brand name “Super Tread’ for the domestic car market.  It is presently using 7 machines acquired 3 years ago at a cost of Rs. 15 lakh each having a useful life of 7 years, with no salvage value.

After extensive research and development, Smoothdrive Tyre Ltd has recently developed a new tyre, the ‘Hyper Tread’ and must decide whether to make the investments necessary to produce and market the Hyper Tread.  The Hyper Tread would be ideal for drivers doing a large amount of wet weather and off road driving in addition to normal highway usage.  The research and development costs so far total Rs. 1,00,00,000.  The Hyper Tread would be put on the market beginning this year and Smoothdrive Tyrs expects it to stay on the market for a total of three years. Test marketing costing Rs. 50,00,000, shows that there is significant market for a Hyper Tread type tyre.

As a financial analyst at Smoothdrive Tyre, Mr. Mani asked by the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Mr. Tyrewala to evaluate the Hyper-Tread project and to provide a recommendation or whether or not to proceed with the investment.  He has been informed that all previous investments in the Hyper Tread project are sunk costs are only future cash flows should be considered.  Except for the initial investments, which occur immediately, assume all cash flows occur at the year-end.

Smoothedrive Tyre must initially invest Rs. 72,00,00,000 in production equipments to make the Hyper Tread.  They would be depreciated at a rate of 25 per cent as per the written down value (WDV) method for tax purposes.  The new production equipments will allow the company to follow flexible manufacturing technique, that is both the brands of tyres can be produced using the same equipments.  The equipments is expected to have a 7-year useful life and can be sold for Rs. 10,00,000 during the fourth year.  The company does not have any other machines in the block of 25 per cent depreciation.  The existing machines can be sold off at Rs. 8 lakh per machine with an estimated removal cost of one machine for Rs. 50,000.

Operating Requirements

The operating requirements of the existing machines and the new equipment are detailed in Exhibits 11.1 and 11.2 respectively.

Exhibit 11.1 Existing Machines

  • Labour costs (expected to increase 10 per cent annually to account for inflation) :
  • 20 unskilled labour @ Rs. 4,000 per month
  • 20 skilled personnel @ Rs. 6,000 per month.
  • 2 supervising executives @ Rs. 7,000 per month.
  • 2 maintenance personnel @ Rs. 5,000 per month.
    • Maintenance cost :

Years 1-5 : Rs. 25 lakh

Years 6-7 : Rs. 65 lakh

  • Operating expenses : Rs. 50 lakh expected to increase at 5 per cent annually.
  • Insurance cost / premium :

Year 1 : 2 per cent of the original cost of machine

After year 1 : Discounted by 10 per cent.

 

Exhibit 11.2 New production Equipment

  • Savings in cost of utilities : Rs. 2.5 lakh
  • Maintenance costs :

Year 1 – 2 :  Rs. 8 lakh

Year 3 – 4 :  Rs. 30 lakh

  • Labour costs :

9 skilled personnel @ Rs. 7,000 per month

1 maintenance personnel @ Rs. 7,000 per month.

  • Cost of retrenchment of 34 personnel : (20 unskilled, 11 skilled, 2 supervisors and 1 maintenance personnel) : Rs. 9,90,000, that is equivalent to six months salary.
  • Insurance premium

Year 1 : 2 per cent of the purchase cost of machine

After year 1 : Discounted by 10 per cent.

 

         

The opening expenses do not change to any considerable extent for the new equipment and the difference is negligible compared to the scale of operations.

Smoothdrive Tyre intends to sell Hyper Tread of two distinct markets :

  1. The original equipment manufacturer (OEM) market : The OEM market consists primarily of the large automobile companies who buy tyres for new cars. In the OEM market, the Hyper Tread is expected to sell for Rs. 1,200 per tyre. The variable cost to produce each Hyper Tread is Rs. 600.
  2. The replacement market : The replacement market consists of all tyres purchased after the automobile has left the factory. This markets allows higher margins and Smoothdrive Tyre expects to sell the Hyper Tread for Rs. 1.500 per tyre.  The variable costs are the same as in the OEM market.

Smoothdrive Tyre expects to raise prices by 1 percent above the inflation rate.

The variable costs will also increase by 1 per cent above the  inflation rate.  In addition, the Hyper Tread project will incur Rs. 2,50,000 in marketing and general administration cost in the first year which are expected to increase at the inflation rate in subsequent years.

Smoothdrive Tyre’s corporate tax rate is 35 per cent.  Annual inflation is expected to remain constant at 3.25 per cent.  Smoothdrive Tyre uses a 15 per cent discount rate to evaluate new product decisions.

The Tyre Market

Automotive industry analysts expect automobile manufacturers to have a production of 4,00,000 new cars this year and growth in production at 2.5 per year onwards.  Each new car needs four new tyres (the spare tyres are undersized and fall in a different category) Smoothdrive Tyre expects the Hyper Tread to capture an 11  per cent share of the OEM market.

The industry analysts estimate that the replacement tyre market size will be one crore this year and that it would grow at 2 per cent annually.  Smoothdrive Tyre expects the Hyper Tread to capture an 8 per cent market share.

You also decide to consider net working capital (NWC) requirements in this scenario.  The net working capital requirement will be 15 per cent of sales.  Assume that the level of working capital is adjusted at the beginning of the year in relation to the expected sales for the year.  The working capital is to be liquidated at par, barring an estimated loss of Rs. 1.5 crore on account of bad debt. The bad debt will be a tax-deductible expenses.

As a finance analyst, prepare a report for submission to the CFO and the Board of Directors, explaining to them the feasibility of the new investment.

 

 

CASE : 4

COMPUTATION OF COST OF CAPITAL OF PALCO LTD

 

In October 2003, Neha Kapoor, a recent MBA graduate and newly appointed assistant to the Financial Controller of Palco Ltd, was given a list of six new investment projects proposed for the following year.  It was her job to analyse these projects and to present her findings before the Board of Directors at its annual meeting to be held in 10 days.  The new project would require an investment of Rs. 2.4 crore.

          Palco Ltd was founded in 1965 by Late Shri A. V. Sinha. It gained recognition as a leading producer of high quality aluminum, with the majority of its sales being made to Japan.  During the rapid economic expansion of Japan in the 1970s, demand for aluminum boomed, and palco’s sales grew rapidly.  As a result of this rapid growth and recognition of new opportunities in the energy market, Palco began to diversify its products line.  While retaining its emphasis on aluminum production, it expanded operations to include uranium mining and the production of electric generators, and finally, it went into all phases of energy production.  By 2003, Palco’s sales had reached Rs. 14 crore level, with net profit after taxes attaining a record of Rs. 67 lakh.

As Palco expanded its products line in the early 1990s, it also formalized its caital budgeting procedure.  Until 1992, capital investment projects were selected primarily on the basis of the average return on investment calculations, with individual departments submitting these calculations for projects falling within their division.  In 1996, this procedure was replaced by one using present value as the decision making criterion. This change was made to incorporate cash flows rather than accounting profits into the decision making analysis, in addition to adjusting these flows for the time value of money.  At the time, the cost of capital for Palco was determined to be 12 per cent, which has been used as the discount rate for the past 5 years.  This rate was determined by taking a weighted average cost Palco had incurred in raising funds from the capital market over the previous 10 years.

It had originally been Neha’s assignment to update this rate over the most recent 10-year period and determine the net present value of all the proposed investment opportunities using this newly calculated figure.  However, she objected to this procedure, stating that while this calculation gave a good estimate of “the past cost” of capital, changing interest rates and stock prices made this calculation of little value in the present.  Neha suggested that current cost of raising funds in the capital market be weighted by their percentage mark-up of the capital structure.  This proposal was received enthusiastically by the Financial Controller of the Palco, and Neha was given the assignment of recalculating Palco’s cost of capital and providing a written report for the Board of Directors explaining and justifying this calculation.

To determine a weighted average cost of capital for Palco, it was necessary for Neha to examine the cost associated with each source of funding used.  In the past, the largest sources of funding had been the issuance of new equity shares and internally generated funds.  Through conversations with Financial Controller and other members of the Board of Directors, Neha learnt that the firm, in fact, wished to maintain its current financial structure as shown in Exhibit 1.

Exhibit 1 Palco Ltd Balance Sheet for Year Ending March 31, 2003

Assets Liabilities and Equity
Cash

Accounts receivable

Inventories

Total current assets

Net fixed assets

Goodwill

Total assets

Rs.      90,00,000

3,10,00,000

1,20,00,000

5,20,00,000

19,30,00,000

    70,00,000

25,20,00,000

 

Accounts payable

Short-term debt

Accrued taxes

Total current liabilities

Long-term debt

Preference shares

Retained earnings

Equity shares

Total liabilities and equity shareholders fund

 

Rs.      8,50,000

1,00,000

11,50,000

1,20,00,000

7,20,00,000

4,80,00,000

1,00,00,000

  11,00,000

 

25,20,00,000

 

 

She further determined that the strong growth patterns that Palco had exhibited over the last ten years were expected to continue indefinitely because of the dwindling supply of US and Japanese domestic oil and the growing importance of other alternative energy resources.  Through further investigations, Neha learnt that Palco could issue additional equity share, which had a par value of Rs. 25 pre share and were selling at a current market price of Rs. 45.  The expected dividend for the next period would be Rs. 4.4 per share, with expected growth at a rate of 8 percent per year for the foreseeable future.  The flotation cost is expected to be on an average Rs. 2 per share.

 

Preference shares at 11 per cent with 10 years maturity could also be issued with the help of an investment banker with an investment banker with a per value of Rs. 100 per share to be redeemed at par.  This issue would involve flotation cost of 5 per cent.

Finally, Neha learnt that it would be possible for Palco to raise an additional Rs. 20 lakh through a 7 – year loan from Punjab National Bank at 12 per cent.  Any amount raised over Rs. 20 lakh would cost 14 per cent.  Short-term debt has always been usesd by Palco to meet working capital requirements and as Palco grows, it is expected to maintain its proportion in the capital structure to support capital expansion.  Also, Rs. 60 lakh could be raised through a bond issue with 10 years maturity with a 11 percent coupon at the face value.  If it becomes necessary to raise more funds via long-term debt, Rs. 30 lakh more could be accumulated through the issuance of additional 10-year bonds sold at the face value, with the coupon rate raised to 12 per cent, while any additional funds raised via long-term debt would necessarily have a 10 – year maturity with a 14 per cent coupon yield.  The flotation cost of issue is expected to be 5 per cent.  The issue price of bond would be Rs. 100 to be redeemed at par.

In the past, Palco had calculated a weighted average of these sources of funds to determine its cost of capital.  In discussion with the current Financial Controller, the point was raised that while this served as an appropriate calculation for external funds, it did not take into account the cost of internally generated funds.  The Financial Controller agreed that there should be some cost associated with retained earnings and need to be incorporated in the calculations but didn’t have any clue as to what should be the cost.

Palco Ltd is subjected to the corporate tax rate of 40 per cent.

From the facts outlined above, what report would Neha submit to the Board of Directors of palco Ltd ?

 

 

CASE : 5

ARQ LTD

 

ARQ Ltd is an Indian company based in Greater Noida, which manufactures packaging materials for food items.  The company maintains a present fleet of five fiat cars and two Contessa Classic cars for its chairman, general manager and five senior managers.  The book value of the seven cars is Rs. 20,00,000 and their market value is estimated at Rs. 15,00,000.  All the cars fall under the same block of depreciation @ 25 per cent.

A German multinational company (MNC) BYR Ltd, has acquired ARQ Ltd in all cash deal.  The merged company called BYR India Ltd is proposing to expand the manufacturing capacity by four folds and the organization structure is reorganized from top to bottom.  The German MNC has the policy of providing transport facility to all senior executives (22) of the company because the manufacturing plant at Greater Noida was more than 10 kms outside Delhi where most of the executives were staying.

Prices of the cars to be provided to the Executives have been as follows :

Manager (10) Santro King Rs.    3,75,000
DGM and GM (5) Honda City           6,75,000
Director (5) Toyota Corolla           9,25,000
Managing Director (1) Sonata Gold          13,50,000
Chairman (1) Mercedes benz          23,50,000

The company is evaluating two options for providing these cars to executives

Option 1 : The company will buy the cars and pay the executives fuel expenses, maintenance expenses, driver allowance and insurance (at the year – end).  In such case, the ownership of the car will lie with the company.  The details of the proposed allowances and expenditures to be paid are as follows :

  1. a) Fuel expense and maintenance Allowances per month
Particulars Fuel expenses Maintenance allowance
Manager

DGM and GM

Director

Managing Director

Chairman

Rs.    2,500

5,000

7,500

12,000

18,000

Rs.    1,000

1,200

1,800

3,000

4,000

  1. b) Driver Allowance : Rs. 4,000 per month (Only Chairman, Managing Director and Directors are eligible for driver allowance.)
  2. c) Insurance cost : 1 per cent of the cost of the car.

 

The useful life for the cars is assumed to be five years after which they can be sold at 20 per cent salvage value.  All the cars fall under the same block of depreciation @ 25 per cent using written down method of depreciation.  The company will have to borrow to finance the purchase from a bank with interest at 14 per cent repayable in five annual equal instalments payable at the end of the year.

Option 2 : ORIX, The fleet management company has offered the 22 cars of the same make at lease for the period of five years.  The monthly lease rentals for the cars are as follows (assuming that the total of monthly lease rentals for the whole year are paid at the end of each year.

Santro Xing                                        Rs.  9,125

Honda City                                                16,325

Toyota Corolla                                           27,175

Sonata Gold                                              39,250

Mercedes Benz                                          61,250

Under this lease agreement the leasing company, ORIX will pay for the fuel, maintenance and driver expenses for all the cars.  The lessor will claim the depreciation on the cars and the lessee will claim the lease rentals against the taxable income.  BYR India Ltd will have to hire fulltime supervisor (at monthly salary of Rs. 15,000 per month) to manage the fleet of cars hired on  lease. The company will have to bear additional miscellaneous expense of Rs. 5,000 per month for providing him the PC, mobioe phone and so on.

The company’s effective tax rate is 40 per cent and its cost of capital is 15 per cent.

Analyse the financial viability of the two options.  Which option would you recommend ?  Why ?


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CASE – 1: Where Do We Go from Here?

 

As one of the many seminars held to discuss the corporate response of family-owned business to liberalisation and globalisation, the keynote Mr Gurcharan Das concluded his speech by saying, “In the end, I would say that the success of Indian economy would depend on how the Indian industry and business respond to the reform process.”

As the proceedings of the seminar progressed it became clear that there was a difference of opinion in the perception of participants. Those who were supporting the case for letting the family-owned businesses face competition opined that such businesses in India have exhibited financial acumen; its members have generally adopted an austere life style; they have demonstrated an ability to take calculated risks, and an ability to accumulate and manage capital. They have devised unique managerial style and led the creation of the equity cult among Indians. Several of them are low-cost producers.

The participants critical of the role of family business had this is to say: “There has been a tendency to mix up family’s intent with that of businesses managed by them. There is a lack of focus and business strategy. Family businesses have generally adopted a short-term approach to business causing less purposeful investments in specially critical areas such as employee development and product development. Customers and development of marketing skills have been neglected.”

The valedictory session of the Seminar attempted to bring out the issues clearly. It culminated in an agenda for reform by the family businesses. The points highlighted in the agenda are:

  1. Indian family-owned business organisations need to professionalise management,
  2. they need to curtail the diversified of their business groups and impart a sharper focus to their business activities, and
  3. they need to pay greater attention to the development of human capital.

 

 

Question

Suppose you were an observer at the seminar. During tea and lunch breaks you had an occasion to meet several people who were skeptical and felt that the reform process was having only a superficial impact on the corporates. Express your opinion that you form about the issues at the seminar.

 

 

 

CASE – 2   A Healthy Dose of Success

 

Muhammad Majeed represents a typical Indian who has created success out of sheer hard work and commitment through his education and expertise. At the age of 23 years, Majeed, after graduating in pharmacy from Kerala University, went to pursue higher studies in the US. He completed his masters and PhD in industrial chemistry. Armed with high qualifications, he became a research pharmacist and eventually, as most expatriate Indians do, set up his own company, Sabinsa Corporation. Experiencing difficulties with the long-drawn drug approval process of the US Food and Drug Administration and his own dwindling savings, Majeed focussed on ayurvedic products based on natural extracts. He returned to India in 1991 (incidentally, the year when liberalisation started in India) and set up Sami Chemicals and Extracts Ltd, late renamed as Sami Labs Ltd (SLL), Bangalore.

SLL has over three dozen products, and seven US patents. There are 25 European and other country patents pending approval. SLL has four manufacturing units all based in Karnataka. The sales is Rs 44.5 crore and the profit-after-tax is Rs 5.89 crore. It has pioneered specialised products based on Indian herbal extracts relying on the principles of ayurveda. The major thrust is on remedies for cholesterol control, fat reduction, and weight management. As against several Indian companies exporting raw herbs, SLL specialises in value-addition through extractions. The result is encouraging: SLL’s products typically fetch an export price that is more than double the price of raw herbs.

SLL thinks of its business as “manufacturing and selling traditional standardized extracts and nutritional and pharmaceutical fine chemicals”. Sabinsa, its US-based company, secures contracts from the US companies to manufacture certain chemicals in India. Its business plans are quite ambitious. Setting up a product management team, assisting farmers in cultivation of pharmaceutically useful herbs, and international collaborations for developing research-based intellectual property and its commercialisation are some of the strategic actions on the anvil.

SLL looks forward to being a Rs 500-crore company by 2005 when the World Trade Organisation’s patenting regimes comes into force.

 

 

Question

How will you define the business of SLL? Comment on the business of SLL and your opinion on the likelihood of its success.

 

 

 

 

CASE – 3     No Chain, No Gain  

 

Textile industry is one of the oldest industries in India. Several business houses have their origin in this industry. In the mid-1980s, the powerloom sector in the unorganised sector started hurting badly the interests of the composite textile mills of the sector. Their cost structure, with lower overheads and no duties, was less than half of that of mills for equivalent production. While the powerlooms sold cloth as a commodity, the mills tried to establish their products as brands. The post-liberalisation period has seen a large number of foreign brands enter India. It is in this scenario that the Mayur brand of Rajasthan Spinning and Weaving Mills (RSWM) had to carve out a place for itself.

 

RSWM is the flagship company of the LNJ Bhilwara group. It has been the largest producer and trader of yarn in the country and caters to the large demands for blended yarns and grey cloth fabric used for children’s school uniform. In 1994, the yarn business faced a severe crunch owing to overcapacity. From 1995 onward, RSWM became a late follower of the industry trend as other competitors already moved up the value chain.

 

Textile manufacturing is basically constituted of the processes of spinning, weaving, processing, and marketing. More than 50 per cent of the value is concentrated in weaving and processing. Moving up the value chain from spinning involves large investments in machinery and labour. Graduating to marketing requires getting closer to the customers. This is the challenge that a traditional spinning mill like RSWM had to face if it was to sustain itself in a highly competitive market.

 

At another level, for RSWM, it was a matter of cultural transformation of the organisation long used to a conservative, trader mentality. Imagine a company whose main driving force, Shekhar Agarwal, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director having little interest in watching Hindi movies signing up Sharukh Khan at a considerable price for celebrity advertising. From the market side, it has long been troubled with its commitment to the loyal middle-class customers as it had to simultaneously pay attention to the upwardly mobile upper middle class customers. Then there was the dilemma of being too many things to a wide range of audience. RSWM wanted to have a stake in the export markets as well as keep its share in the rural markets. It perceived itself as an efficient producer and wished to become a flamboyant retailer. It excelled in basic textile processing yet dreamt of attaining sophistication in in-house production of readymade garments. And all this while it has been a late mover, losing out to early movers such as Raymonds. No wonder it virtually landed up on the fringes of the industry, far behind formidable competitors like Reliance, Grasim, and S. Kumar.

 

 

Question

 

Suggest how should RSWM manage its value chain effectively. Should it try to imitate the market leaders? If yes, why? If no, why not? What alternatives routes to success do you propose?

 

CASE – 4         A Very Intriguing Package

 

It is not quite often that a positive product feature becomes an albatross around the neck of a company. VIP Industries had held sway for over two decades in the organised Indian luggage market on the basis of the durability of its moulded suitcases. Obviously, the customer perceives value-for-money in the long-lasting, reasonably-priced Alfa brand of VIP suitcases which sells 1.5 lakh pieces a month. But this means that having bought one suitcase the customer can do with it for several years. Market research by the company shows that an average Indian family pulls out the suitcase merely for outstation travel a few times a year. Hence, there is no pressing need for continual replacement of the old luggage.

 

The VIP products are made of virgin polymer as compared to the recycled grade I and II polymers used by the unorganised sector. They are subjected to stringent stress tests for quality control.

 

VIP has a presence in a wide range of the market segments within a price spectrum of Rs 295 to Rs 6,000 apiece. It is her that the competition from the unorganised sector hurts the company most. VIP’s economically-priced brand, Alfa is widely imitated and sold at much lower prices. This enables the unorganised sector to typically sell 20 times more than VIP can. The lower price threshold seems to be Rs 225 which in nearly impossible for VIP to achieve given its cost structure. In the Rs 1500 plus premium range, VIP has to contend with Samsonite which is a formidable competitor.

 

The obvious tactic for VIP has been to cut costs. Distribution and logistics is one area where valiant efforts have been made at cost reduction. VIP has four factories located in heart of India. The average distribution costs come to Rs 7 to Rs 8 apiece. Reduction in cost has been attempted through distributed manufacturing by having vendors making the product at different locations, thereby, avoiding transportation of high-volume suitcases across long distances and reducing inventory build-up in the channel.

 

Severe pressure on sales has resulted in VIP Industries offering discounts and unwittingly entering into a disastrous price war. Promotion of a high visibility product suffered and advertising expenditure has been ruthlessly curtailed from the earlier Rs 11 crore to Rs 2 crore now. Its lead advertising agency is HTA. Action on the promotion front has seen reorganisation of the brand portfolio. Incidentally, earlier its successful and popular Kal bhi aaj bhi campaign served to reinforce its durability theme.

 

There are several roadblocks that the company has to negotiate. Increase in population, rising propensity of Indian to travel, and the insatiable thirst of customers for state-of-the-art technological products with newer designs and innovation, all at an affordable price are the opportunities and challenges before the company. Introduction of new brands, Mantra and Skybags, product range of diversification to include children’s bags and ladies’ bags, strategic alliance with Europe’s leading luggage-maker—Delsey—are some of the steps taken by the company.

 

Yet, caught in its self spun web of past successes, VIP is today faced with an uncertain future.

 

 

Question

 

How should the VIP Industries get out of the bind that it finds itself in? Outline the contours of the marketing plans and policies that VIP needs to formulate and implement?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE – 5     Let There be Light

 

Traditionally, power plants, being capital-intensive, have been set up by the public sector and state electricity boards (SEBs) in India. Everyone agrees today that the energy sector is the major infrastructure bottleneck holding up economic development. A critical aspect of economic reforms thus is the reform of the energy sector.

 

The Madhya Pradesh State Electricity Board (MPSEB) is not much different from its counterparts in other states. It faces similar problems and is opting for identical solutions. The common elements in the power sector reforms are: corporatisation by breaking the SEB into generation, transmission, and distribution; financial restructuring including debt and interest payment rescheduling; reduction of manpower; and improvements in operational efficiency.

 

Public utilities, like SEBS, have to be commercially viable in order to survive. Yet historically, this aspect of SEB as an organisation has been sacrificed at the altar of political expediency. The ruling party, irrespective of whether it is the Congress at present or the Bharatiya Janata Party earlier, have made pre-election promises of supplying free or heavily-subsidised power. Digvijay Singh, the present chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, a populist politician earlier, on longer sees electoral benefit in providing free electricity. “It pays to pay” is his refrain today, whether it is healthcare or electricity.

 

Bold steps—bold, as they still carry the risk of a political fallout with fiery BJP leader Uma Bharti breathing down Digvijay’s neck or the silent schemers of his own party working overtime behind the scenes—have been initiated to reform the energy sector in Madhya Pradesh. MPSEB is to be divided into generation, transmission, and distribution (T&D), and supply companies. Financial management and cash flow management is to be improved. The retirement age of MPSEB employees has been reduced from 60 to 58 years. Effective operational control is sought to be exercised by metering power supply at division / district level to fix responsibility for T & D losses and power thefts. A sustained drive is on to identify non-paying consumers, install meters, and make them pay their bills regularly.

MPSEB’s annual losses are to the tune of a massive Rs 1,600 crore; total liabilities are estimated to be Rs 20,000 crore. Undeniably, are parameters indicating the rot that has corroded the system.

 

At one level, the reform of the energy sector is a political action but at another, and perhaps, a more fundamental level, it is a question of managing an organisation strategically through strategic actions designed to turn around a vital public utility.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Question

 

Analyse the problems of the MPSEB from the strategic management perspective. Do you feel that the actions taken or being contemplated are strategic in nature? Propose what else needs to be done to make the MPSEB a viable organisation.

 

 

 

Note: Solve any 4 Cases Study’s

 

CASE: I    Enterprise Builds On People

 

When most people think of car-rental firms, the names of Hertz and Avis usually come to mind. But in the last few years, Enterprise Rent-A-Car has overtaken both of these industry giants, and today it stands as both the largest and the most profitable business in the car-rental industry. In 2001, for instance, the firm had sales in excess of $6.3 billion and employed over 50,000 people.

Jack Taylor started Enterprise in St. Louis in 1957. Taylor had a unique strategy in mind for Enterprise, and that strategy played a key role in the firm’s initial success. Most car-rental firms like Hertz and Avis base most of their locations in or near airports, train stations, and other transportation hubs. These firms see their customers as business travellers and people who fly for vacation and then need transportation at the end of their flight. But Enterprise went after a different customer. It sought to rent cars to individuals whose own cars are being repaired or who are taking a driving vacation.

The firm got its start by working with insurance companies. A standard feature in many automobile insurance policies is the provision of a rental car when one’s personal car has been in an accident or has been stolen. Firms like Hertz and Avis charge relatively high daily rates because their customers need the convenience of being near an airport and/or they are having their expenses paid by their employer. These rates are often higher than insurance companies are willing to pay, so customers who these firms end up paying part of the rental bills themselves. In addition, their locations are also often inconvenient for people seeking a replacement car while theirs is in the shop.

But Enterprise located stores in downtown and suburban areas, where local residents actually live. The firm also provides local pickup and delivery service in most areas. It also negotiates exclusive contract arrangements with local insurance agents. They get the agent’s referral business while guaranteeing lower rates that are more in line with what insurance covers.

In recent years, Enterprise has started to expand its market base by pursuing a two-pronged growth strategy. First, the firm has started opening  airport locations to compete with Hertz and Avis more directly. But their target is still the occasional renter than the frequent business traveller. Second, the firm also began to expand into international markets and today has rental offices in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Germany.

Another key to Enterprise’s success has been its human resource strategy. The firm targets a certain kind of individual to hire; its preferred new employee is a college graduate from bottom half of graduating class, and preferably one who was an athlete or who was otherwise actively involved in campus social activities. The rationale for this unusual academic standard is actually quite simple. Enterprise managers do not believe that especially high levels of achievements are necessary to perform well in the car-rental industry, but having a college degree nevertheless demonstrates intelligence and motivation. In addition, since interpersonal relations are important to its business, Enterprise wants people who were social directors or high-ranking officers of social organisations such as fraternities or sororities. Athletes are also desirable because of their competitiveness.

Once hired, new employees at Enterprise are often shocked at the performance expectations placed on them by the firm. They generally work long, grueling hours for relatively low pay.

 

And all Enterprise managers are expected to jump in and help wash or vacuum cars when a rental agency gets backed up. All Enterprise managers must wear coordinated dress shirts and ties and can have facial hair only when “medically necessary”. And women must wear skirts no shorter than two inches above their knees or creased pants.

 

So what are the incentives for working at Enterprise? For one thing, it’s an unfortunate fact of life that college graduates with low grades often struggle to find work. Thus, a job at Enterprise is still better than no job at all. The firm does not hire outsiders—every position is filled by promoting someone already inside the company. Thus, Enterprise employees know that if they work hard and do their best, they may very well succeed in moving higher up the corporate ladder at a growing and successful firm.

 

 

Question:

 

  1. Would Enterprise’s approach human resource management work in other industries?
  2. Does Enterprise face any risks from its human resource strategy?
  3. Would you want to work for Enterprise? Why or why not?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE: II    Doing The Dirty Work

Business magazines and newspapers regularly publish articles about the changing nature of work in the United States and about how many jobs are being changed. Indeed, because so much has been made of the shift toward service-sector and professional jobs, many people assumed that the number of unpleasant an undesirable jobs has declined.

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Millions of Americans work in gleaming air-conditioned facilities, but many others work in dirty, grimy, and unsafe settings. For example, many jobs in the recycling industry require workers to sort through moving conveyors of trash, pulling out those items that can be recycled. Other relatively unattractive jobs include cleaning hospital restrooms, washing dishes in a restaurant, and handling toxic waste.

Consider the jobs in a chicken-processing facility. Much like a manufacturing assembly line, a chicken-processing facility is organised around a moving conveyor system. Workers call it the chain. In reality, it’s a steel cable with large clips that carries dead chickens down what might be called a “disassembly line.” Standing along this line are dozens of workers who do, in fact, take the birds apart as they pass.

Even the titles of the jobs are unsavory. Among the first set of jobs along the chain is the skinner. Skinners use sharp instruments to cut and pull the skin off the dead chicken. Towards the middle of the line are the gut pullers. These workers reach inside the chicken carcasses and remove the intestines and other organs. At the end of the line are the gizzard cutters, who tackle the more difficult organs attached to the inside of the chicken’s carcass. These organs have to be individually cut and removed for disposal.

The work is obviously distasteful, and the pace of the work is unrelenting. On a good day the chain moves an average of ninety chickens a minute for nine hours. And the workers are essentially held captive by the moving chain. For example, no one can vacate a post to use the bathroom or for other reasons without the permission of the supervisor. In some plants, taking an unauthorised bathroom break can result in suspension without pay. But the noise in a typical chicken-processing plant is so loud that the supervisor can’t hear someone calling for relief unless the person happens to be standing close by.

Jobs such as these on the chicken-processing line are actually becoming increasingly common. Fuelled by Americans’ growing appetites for lean, easy-to-cook meat, the number of poultry workers has almost doubled since 1980, and today they constitute a work force of around a quarter of a million people. Indeed, the chicken-processing industry has become a major component of the state economies of Georgia, North Carolina, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Alabama.

Besides being unpleasant and dirty, many jobs in a chicken-processing plant are dangerous and unhealthy. Some workers, for example, have to fight the live birds when they are first hung on the chains. These workers are routinely scratched and pecked by the chickens. And the air inside a typical chicken-processing plant is difficult to breathe. Workers are usually supplied with paper masks, but most don’t use them because they are hot and confining.

And the work space itself is so tight that the workers often cut themselves—and sometimes their coworkers—with the knives, scissors, and other instruments they use to perform their jobs. Indeed, poultry processing ranks third among industries in the United States for cumulative trauma injuries such as carpet tunnel syndrome. The inevitable chicken feathers, faeces, and blood also contribute to the hazardous and unpleasant work environment.

Question:

  1. How relevant are the concepts of competencies to the jobs in a chicken-processing plant?
  2. How might you try to improve the jobs in a chicken-processing plant?
  3. Are dirty, dangerous, and unpleasant jobs an inevitable part of any economy?

 

CASE: III    On Pegging Pay to Performance

 

“As you are aware, the Government of India has removed the capping on salaries of directors and has left the matter of their compensation to be decided by shareholders. This is indeed a welcome step,” said Samuel Menezes, president Abhayankar, Ltd., opening the meeting of the managing committee convened to discuss the elements of the company’s new plan for middle managers.

Abhayankar was am engineering firm with a turnover of Rs 600 crore last year and an employee strength of 18,00. Two years ago, as a sequel to liberalisation at the macroeconomic level, the company had restructured its operations from functional teams to product teams. The change had helped speed up transactional times and reduce systemic inefficiencies, leading to a healthy drive towards performance.

“I think it is only logical that performance should hereafter be linked to pay,” continued Menezes. “A scheme in which over 40 per cent of salary will be related to annual profits has been evolved for executives above the vice-president’s level and it will be implemented after getting shareholders approval. As far as the shopfloor staff is concerned, a system of incentive-linked monthly productivity bonus has been in place for years and it serves the purpose of rewarding good work at the assembly line. In any case, a bulk of its salary will have to continue to be governed by good old values like hierarchy, rank, seniority and attendance. But it is the middle management which poses a real dilemma. How does one evaluate its performance? More importantly, how can one ensure that managers are not shortchanged but get what they truly deserve?”

“Our vice-president (HRD), Ravi Narayanan, has now a plan ready in this regard. He has had personal discussions with all the 125 middle managers individually over the last few weeks and the plan is based on their feedback. If there are no major disagreements on the plan, we can put it into effect from next month. Ravi, may I now ask you to take the floor and make your presentation?”

The lights in the conference room dimmed and the screen on the podium lit up. “The plan I am going to unfold,” said Narayanan, pointing to the data that surfaced on the screen, “is designed to enhance team-work and provide incentives for constant improvement and excellence among middle-level managers. Briefly, the pay will be split into two components. The first consists of 75 per cent of the original salary and will be determined, as before, by factors of internal equity comprising what Sam referred to as good old values. It will be a fixed component.”

“The second component of 25 per cent,” he went on, “will be flexible. It will depend on the ability of each product team as a whole to show a minimum of 5 per cent improvement in five areas every month—product quality, cost control, speed of delivery, financial performance of the division to which the product belongs and, finally, compliance with safety and environmental norms. The five areas will have rating of 30, 25, 20, 15, and 10 per cent respectively.

“This, gentlemen, is the broad premise. The rest is a matter of detail which will be worked out after some finetuning. Any questions?”

As the lights reappeared, Gautam Ghosh, vice-president (R&D), said, “I don’t like it. And I will tell you why. Teamwork as a criterion is okay but it also has its pitfalls. The people I take on and develop are good at what they do. Their research skills are individualistic. Why should their pay depend on the performance of other members of the product team? The new pay plan makes them team players first and scientists next. It does not seem right.”

“That is a good one, Gautam,” said Narayanan. “Any other questions? I think I will take them all together.”

“I have no problems with the scheme and I think it is fine. But just for the sake of argument, let me take Gautam’s point further without meaning to pick holes in the plan,” said Avinash Sarin, vice-president (sales). “Look at my dispatch division. My people there have reduced the shipping time from four hours to one over the last six months. But what have they got? Nothing. Why? Because the other members of the team are not measuring up.”

“I think that is a situation which is bound to prevail until everyone falls in line,” intervened Vipul Desai, vice president (finance). “There would always be temporary problems in implementing anything new. The question is whether our long term objectives is right. To the extend that we are trying to promote teamwork, I think we are on the right track. However, I wish to raise a point. There are many external factors which impinge on both individual and collective performance. For instance, the cost of a raw material may suddenly go up in the market affecting product profitability. Why should the concerned product team be penalised for something beyond its control?”

“I have an observation to make too, Ravi,” said Menezes, “You would recall the survey conducted by a business fortnightly on ‘The ten companies Indian managers fancy most as a working place’. Abhayankar got top billings there. We have been the trendsetters in executive compensation in Indian industry. We have been paying the best. Will your plan ensure that it remains that way?”

As he took the floor again, the dominant thought in Narayanan’s mind was that if his plan were to be put into place, Abhayankar would set another new trend in executive compensation.

 

Question:

 

But how should he see it through?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE: IV      Crisis Blown Over

 

November 30, 1997 goes down in the history of a Bangalore-based electric company as the day nobody wanting it to recur but everyone recollecting it with sense of pride.

It was a festive day for all the 700-plus employees. Festoons were strung all over, banners were put up; banana trunks and leaves adorned the factory gate, instead of the usual red flags; and loud speakers were blaring Kannada songs. It was day the employees chose to celebrate Kannada Rajyothsava, annual feature of all Karnataka-based organisations. The function was to start at 4 p.m. and everybody was eagerly waiting for the big event to take place.

But the event, budgeted at Rs 1,00,000 did not take place. At around 2 p.m., there was a ghastly accident in the machine shop. Murthy was caught in the vertical turret lathe and was wounded fatally. His end came in the ambulance on the way to hospital.

The management sought union help, and the union leaders did respond with a positive attitude. They did not want to fish in troubled waters.

Series of meetings were held between the union leaders and the management. The discussions centred around two major issues—(i) restoring normalcy, and (ii) determining the amount of compensation to be paid to the dependants of Murthy.

Luckily for the management, the accident took place on a Saturday. The next day was a weekly holiday and this helped the tension to diffuse to a large extent. The funeral of the deceased took place on Sunday without any hitch. The management hoped that things would be normal on Monday morning.

But the hope was belied. The workers refused to resume work. Again the management approached the union for help. Union leaders advised the workers to resume work in al departments except in the machine shop, and the suggestions was accepted by all.

Two weeks went by, nobody entered the machine shop, though work in other places resumed. Union leaders came with a new idea to the management—to perform a pooja to ward off any evil that had befallen on the lathe. The management accepted the idea and homa was performed in the machine shop for about five hours commencing early in the morning. This helped to some extent. The workers started operations on all other machines in the machine shop except on the fateful lathe. It took two full months and a lot of persuasion from the union leaders for the workers to switch on the lathe.

The crisis was blown over, thanks to the responsible role played by the union leaders and their fellow workers. Neither the management nor the workers wish that such an incident should recur.

As the wages of the deceased grossed Rs 6,500 per month, Murthy was not covered under the ESI Act. Management had to pay compensation. Age and experience of the victim were taken into account to arrive at Rs 1,87,000 which  was the amount to be payable to the wife of the deceased. To this was added Rs 2,50,000 at the intervention of the union leaders. In addition, the widow was paid a gratuity and a monthly pension of Rs 4,300. And nobody’s wages were cut for the days not worked.

Murthy’s death witnessed an unusual behavior on the part of the workers and their leaders, and magnanimous gesture from the management. It is a pride moment in the life of the factory.

 

Question:

 

  1. Do you think that the Bangalore-based company had practised participative management?
  2. If your answer is yes, with what method of participation (you have read in this chapter) do you relate the above case?
  3. If you were the union leader, would your behaviour have been different? If yes, what would it be?

 

CASE: V    A Case of Burnout

 

When Mahesh joined XYZ Bank (private sector) in 1985, he had one clear goal—to prove his mettle. He did prove himself and has been promoted five times since his entry into the bank. Compared to others, his progress has been fastest. Currently, his job demands that Mahesh should work 10 hours a day with practically no holidays. At least two day in a week, Mahesh is required to travel.

Peers and subordinates at the bank have appreciation for Mahesh. They don’t grudge the ascension achieved by Mahesh, though there are some who wish they too had been promoted as well.

The post of General Manager fell vacant. One should work as GM for a couple of years if he were to climb up to the top of the ladder, Mahesh applied for the post along with others in the bank. The Chairman assured Mahesh that the post would be his.

A sudden development took place which almost wrecked Mahesh’s chances. The bank has the practice of subjecting all its executives to medical check-up once in a year. The medical reports go straight to the Chairman who would initiate remedials where necessary. Though Mahesh was only 35, he too, was required to undergo the test.

The Chairman of the bank received a copy of Mahesh’s physical examination results, along with a note from the doctor. The note explained that Mahesh was seriously overworked, and recommended that he be given an immediate four-week vacation. The doctor also recommended that Mahesh’s workload must be reduced and he must take physical exercise every day. The note warned that if Mahesh did not care for advice, he would be in for heart trouble in another six months.

After reading the doctor’s note, the Chairman sat back in his chair, and started brooding over. Three issues were uppermost in his mind—(i) How would Mahesh take this news? (ii) How many others do have similar fitness problems? (iii) Since the environment in the bank helps create the problem, what could he do to alleviate it? The idea of holding a stress-management programme flashed in his mind and suddenly he instructed his secretary to set up a meeting with the doctor and some key staff members, at the earliest.

 

Question:

 

  1. If the news is broken to Mahesh, how would he react?

 

  1. If you were giving advice to the Chairman on this matter, what would you recommend?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE: VI    “Whose Side are you on, Anyway?”

It was past 4 pm and Purushottam Mahesh was still at his shopfloor office. The small but elegant office was a perk he was entitled to after he had been nominated to the board of Horizon Industries (P) Ltd., as workman-director six months ago. His shift generally ended at 3 pm and he would be home by late evening. But that day, he still had long hours ahead of him.

Kshirsagar had been with Horizon for over twenty years. Starting off as a substitute mill-hand in the paint shop at one of the company’s manufacturing facilities, he had been made permanent on the job five years later. He had no formal education. He felt this was a handicap, but he made up for it with a willingness to learn and a certain enthusiasm on the job. He was soon marked by the works manager as someone to watch out for. Simultaneously, Kshirsagar also came to the attention of the president of the Horizon Employees’ Union who drafted him into union activities.

Even while he got promoted twice during the period to become the head colour mixer last year, Kshirsagar had gradually moved up the union hierarchy and had been thrice elected secretary of the union. Labour-management relations at Horizon were not always cordial. This was largely because the company had not been recording a consistently good performance. There were frequent cuts in production every year because of go-slows and strikes by workmen—most of them related to wage hikes and bonus payments. With a view to ensuring a better understanding on the part of labour, the problems of company management, the Horizon board, led by chairman and managing director Aninash Chaturvedi, began to toy with idea of taking on a workman on the board. What started off as a hesitant move snowballed, after a series of brainstorming sessions with executives and meetings with the union leaders, into a situation in which Kshirsagar found himself catapulted to the Horizon board as work-man-director.

It was an untested ground for the company. But the novelty of it all excited both the management and the labour force. The board members—all functional heads went out of their way to make Kshirsagar comfortable and the latter also responded quite well. He got used to the ambience of the boardroom and the sense of power it conveyed. Significantly, he was soon at home with the perspectives of top management and began to see each issue from both sides.

It was smooth going until the union presented a week before the monthly board meeting, its charter of demands, one of which was a 30 per cent across-the board hike in wages. The matter was taken up at the board meeting as part of a special agenda.

“Look at what your people are asking for,” said Chaturvedi, addressing Kshirsagar with a sarcasm that no one in the board missed. “You know the precarious finances of the company. How could you be a party to a demand that can’t be met? You better explain to them how ridiculous the demands are,” he said.

“I don’t think they can all be dismissed as ridiculous,” said Kshirsagar. “And the board can surely consider the alternatives. We owe at least that much to the union.” But Chaturvedi adjourned the meeting in a huff, mentioning, once to Kshirsagar that he should “advise the union properly”.

When Kshirsagar told the executive committee members of the union that the board was simply not prepared to even consider the demands, he immediately sensed the hostility in the room. “You are a sell out,” one of them said. “Who do you really represent—us or them?” asked another.

“Here comes the crunch,” thought Kshirsagar. And however hard he tried to explain, he felt he was talking to a wall.

A victim of divided loyalities, he himself was unable to understand whose side he was on. Perhaps the best course would be to resign from the board. Perhaps he should resign both from the board and the union. Or may be resign from Horizon itself and seek a job elsewhere. But, he felt, sitting in his office a little later, “none of it could solve the problem.”

Question:

  1. What should he do?

 

Note: Solve any 4 Cases Study’s

 

CASE: I    ARROW AND THE APPAREL INDUSTRY

 

Ten years ago, Arvind Clothing Ltd., a subsidiary of Arvind Brands Ltd., a member of the Ahmedabad based Lalbhai Group, signed up with the 150- year old Arrow Company, a division of Cluett Peabody & Co. Inc., US, for licensed manufacture of Arrow shirts in India. What this brought to India was not just another premium dress shirt brand but a new manufacturing philosophy to its garment industry which combined high productivity, stringent in-line quality control, and a conducive factory ambience.

Arrow’s first plant, with a 55,000 sq. ft. area and capacity to make 3,000 to 4,000 shirts a day, was established at Bangalore in 1993 with an investment of Rs 18 crore. The conditions inside—with good lighting on the workbenches, high ceilings, ample elbow room for each worker, and plenty of ventilation, were a decided contrast to the poky, crowded, and confined sweatshops characterising the usual Indian apparel factory in those days. It employed a computer system for translating the designed shirt’s dimensions to automatically mark the master pattern for initial cutting of the fabric layers. This was installed, not to save labour but to ensure cutting accuracy and low wastage of cloth.

The over two-dozen quality checkpoints during the conversion of fabric to finished shirt was unique to the industry. It is among the very few plants in the world that makes shirts with 2 ply 140s and 3 ply 100s cotton fabrics using 16 to 18 stitches per inch. In March 2003, the Bangalore plant could produce stain-repellant shirts based on nanotechnology.

The reputation of this plant has spread far and wide and now it is loaded mostly with export orders from renowned global brands such as GAP, Next, Espiri, and the like. Recently the plant was identified by Tommy Hilfiger to make its brand of shirts for the Indian market. As a result, Arvind Brands has had to take over four other factories in Bangalore on wet lease to make the Arrow brand of garments for the domestic market.

In fact, the demand pressure from global brands which want to outsource form Arvind Brands is so great that the company has had to set up another large factory for export jobs on the outskirts of Bangalore. The new unit of 75,000 sq. ft. has cost Rs 16 crore and can turn out 8,000 to 9,000 shirts per day. The technical collaborators are the renowned C&F Italia of Italy.

Among the cutting edge technologies deployed here are a Gerber make CNC fabric cutting machine, automatic collar and cuff stitching machines, pneumatic holding for tasks like shoulder joining, threat trimming and bottom hemming, a special machine to attach and edge stitch the back yoke, foam finishers which use air and steam to remove creases in the finished garment, and many others. The stitching machines in this plant can deliver up to 25 stitches per inch. A continuous monitoring of the production process in the entire factory is done through a computerised apparel production management system, which is hooked to every machine. Because of the use of such technology, this plant will need only 800 persons for a capacity which is three times that of the first plant which employs 580 persons.

Exports of garments made for global brands fetched Arvind Brands over Rs 60 crore in 2002, and this can double in the next few years, when the new factory goes on full stream. In fact, with the lifting of the country-wise quota regime in 2005, there will be surge in demand for high quality garments from India and Arvind is already considering setting up two more such high tech export-oriented factories.

It is not just in the area of manufacture but also retailing that the Arrow brand brought a wind of change on the Indian scene. Prior to its coming, the usual Indian shirt shop used to be a clutter of racks with little by way of display. What Arvind Brands did was to set up exclusive showrooms for Arrow shirts in which the functional was combined with aesthetic. Stuffed racks and clutter eschewed. The product were displayed in such a manner the customer could spot their qualities from a distance. Of course, today this has become standard practice with many other brands in the country, but Arrow showed the way. Arrow today has the largest network of 64 exclusive outlets across India. It is also present in 30 retail chains. It branched into multi-brand outlets in 2001, and is present in over 200 select outlets.

From just formal dress shirts in the beginning, the product range of Arvind Brands has expanded in the last ten years to include casual shirts, T-shirts, and trousers. In the pipeline are light jackets and jeans engineered for the middle-aged paunch. Arrow also tied up with the renowned Italian designer, Renato Grande, who has worked with names like Versace and Marlboro, to design its Spring / Summer Collection 2003. The company has also announced its intention to license the Arrow brand for other lifestyle accessories like footwear, watches, undergarments, fragrances, and leather goods. According to Darshan Mehta, President, Arvind Brands Ltd., the current turnover at retail prices of the Arrow brand in India is about Rs 85 crore. He expects the turnover to cross Rs 100 crore in the next few years, of which about 15 per cent will be from the licensed non-clothing products.

In 2005, Arvind Brands launched a major retail initiative for all its brands. Arvind Brands licensed brands (Arrow, Lee and Wrangler) had grown at a healthy 35 per cent rate in 2004 and the company planned to sustain the growth by increasing their retail presence. Arvind Brands also widened the geographical presence of its home-grown brands, such as Newport and Ruf-n Tuf, targeting small towns across India. The company planned to increase the number of outlets where its domestic brands would be available, and draw in new customers for readymades. To improve its presence in the high-end market, the firm started negotiating with an international brand and is likely to launch the brand.

The company has plans to expand its retail presence of Newport Jeans, from 1200 outlets across 480 towns to 3000 outlets covering 800 towns.

For a company ranked as one of the world’s largest manufactures of denim cloth and owners of world famous brands, the future looks bright and certain for Arvind Brands Ltd.

 

Company profile

 

Name of the Company         :                          Arvind Mills

Year of Establishment         :                          1931

Promoters                             :                          Three brothers–Katurbhai, Narottam                                                                                                                                        Bhai, and Chimnabhai

Divisions                              :                          Arvind Mills was split in 1993 into

Units—textiles, telecom and garments. Arvind Ltd. (textile unit) is 100 per cent subsidiary of Arvind Mills.

Growth Strategy                  :                          Arvind Mills has grown through buying-up of sick units, going global and acquisition of German and US brand names.

 

Questions

 

  1. Why did Arvind Mills choose globalization as the major route to achieve growth when the domestic market was huge?

 

  1. How does lifting of ‘Country-wise quota regime’ help Arvind Mills?
  2. What lessons can other Indian businesses learn form the experience of Arvind Mills?

 

 

CASE: II    THE ECONOMY OF KENYA

 

Kenya’ economy has been beset by high rates of unemployment and underemployment for many years. But at no time has it been more significant and more politically dangerous than in the late 1990s as an authoritarian beset by corruption, cronyism and economic plunder threatened the economic stability of this once proud nation. Yet Kenya still has great potential. Located in East Africa, it has a diverse geographic and climatic endowment. Three-fifths of the nation is semiarid desert (mostly in the north), and the resulting infertility of this land has dictated the location of 85 per cent of the population (30 million in 2000) and almost all economic activity in the southern two-fifths of the country. Kenya’s rapidly growing population is composed of many tribes and is extremely heterogeneous (including traditional herders, subsistence and commercial farmers, Arab Muslims, and cosmopolitan residents of Nairobi). The standard of living at least in major cities, is relatively high compared to the average of other sub-Saharan African countries.

However, widespread poverty (per capita US$360), high unemployment, and growing income inequality make Kenya a country of economic as well as geographic diversity. Agriculture is the most important economic activity. About three quarters of the population still lives in rural areas and about 7 million workers are employed in agriculture, accounting for over two-thirds of the total workforce.

Despite many changes in the democratic system, including the switch from a federal to a republican government, the conversion of the prime ministerial system into a presidential one, the transition to a unicameral legislature, and the creation of a one-party state, Kenya has displayed relatively high political stability (by African standards) since gaining independence from Britain in 1963. Since independence, there have been only two presidents. However, this once stable and prosperous capitalist nation has witnessed widespread ethnic violence and political upheavals since 1992 as a deteriorating economy, unpopular one-party rule, and charges of government corruption create a tense situation.

An expansionary economic policy characterised by large public investments, support of small agricultural production units, and incentives for private (domestic and foreign) industrial investment played an important role in the early 7 per cent rate of GDP growth in the first decade after independence. In the following seven years (1973-80), the oil crisis let to a lower GDP growth to an annual rate of 5 per cent. Along with the oil price shock, lack of adequate domestic saving and investment slowed the growth of the economy. Various economic policies designed to promote industrial growth led to a neglect of agriculture and a consequent decline in farm prices, farm production, and farmer incomes. As peasant farmers became poorer, more migrated to Nairobi, swelling an already overcrowded city and pushing up an existing high rate of urban unemployment. Very high birthrates along with a steady decline in death rates (mainly through lower infant mortality) led Kenya’s population growth to become the highest in the world (4.1 per cent per year) in 1988. Population growth fell to a still high rate of 2.4 per cent for the period 1990-2000.

The slowdown in GDP growth persisted in the following five years (1980-85), when the annual average was 2.6 per cent. It was a period of stabilization in which political shakiness of 1982 and the severe drought in 1984 contributed to a slowdown in industrial growth. Interest rates rose and wages fell in the public and private sectors. An improvement in the budget deficit and current account trade deficit, obtained through cuts in development expenditures and recessive policies aimed at reducing imports, contributed to lower economic growth. By 1990, Kenya’s per capita income was 9 per cent lower than it was in 1980–$370 compared to $410. It continued to decline in the 1990s. In fact, GDP per capita fell at an annual average rate of 0.3 per cent throughout the decade. At the same time, the urban unemployment rate rose to 30 per cent.

Comprising 23 per cent of 2000 GDP AND 77 per cent of merchandise exports, agricultural production is the backbone of the Kenyan economy. Because of its importance, the Kenyan government has implemented several policies to nourish the agricultural sector. Two such policies include fixing attractive producer prices and making available increasing amounts of fertilizer. Kenya’s chief agricultural exports are coffee, tea, sisal, cashew nuts, pyrethrum, and horticultural products. Traditionally, coffee has been Kenya’s chief earner in foreign exchange.

Although Kenya is chiefly agrarian, it is still the most industrialised country in eastern Africa. Public and private industry accounted for 16 per cent of GDP in 2000. Kenya’s chief manufacturing activities are food processing and the production of beverages, tobacco, footwear, textiles, cement, metal products, paper, and chemicals.

Kenya currently faces a multitude of problems. These include a stagnating economy, growing political unrest, a huge budget deficit, high unemployment, a substantial balance of payments problem, and a stubbornly high population growth rate.

With the unemployment rate already at 30 per cent and its population growing, Kenya faces the major task of employing its burgeoning labour force. Yet only 10-15 per cent of seekers land jobs in the modern industrial sector. The remainder must find jobs in the self-employment sector; in the agricultural sector, where wages are low and opportunities are scarce; or join the masses of the unemployed.

In addition to the unemployment problem, Kenya must always be concerned with how to feed its growing population. An increase in population means an increasing demand for food. Yet only 20 per cent of Kenya’s land is arable. This implies that the land must become increasingly productive. Unfortunately, several factors work to constrain Kenya’s food output, among them fragmented landholdings, increasing environmental degradation, the high cost of agricultural inputs, and burdensome governmental involvement in the purchase, sale, and pricing of agricultural output.

For the fiscal year 1995, the Kenyan budget deficit was $362 million, well above the government’s target rate. Dealing with a high budget deficit is a second problem Kenya currently faces. Following the collapse of the East African Common Market, Kenya’s industrial growth rate has declined; as a result the government’s tax base has diminished. To supplement domestic savings, Kenya has had to turn to external sources of finance, including foreign aid grants from Western governments. Its highly protected public enterprises have been turning in a poor performance, thus absorbing a large chunk of the government budget. To pay for its expenses, Kenya has had to borrow from international banks in addition to foreign aid. In recent years, government borrowing from the international banking system rose dramatically and contributed to a rapid growth in money supply. This translated into high inflation and pinched availability of credit.

Kenya has also had a chronic international balance of payments problem. Decreasing prices for its exports, combined with increasing prices for its imports, left Kenya importing almost twice as much as it exported in 2000, at $3,200 million in imports and only $1,650 million in exports. World demand for coffee, Kenya‘s predominant exports, remains below supply. In 2001-01, a dramatic surge in coffee exports from Vietnam hurt Kenya further. Hence Kenya cannot make full use of its comparative advantage in coffee production, and its stock of coffee has been increasing. Tea, another main export, has also had difficulties. In 1987, Pakistan, the second largest importer of Kenyan tea, slashed its purchases. Combined with a general oversupply in the world market, this fall in demand drove the price of tea downward. Hence Kenya experienced both a lower dollar value and quantity demanded for one of its principal exports.

Kenya faces major challenges in the years ahead as the economy tries to recover. Current is expected to be no more than 1 to 2 per cent annually. Heavy rains have spoiled crops and washed away roads, bridges, and telephone lines. Foreign exchange earnings from tourism, once promising, dropped by 40 per cent in the mid-1990s, then suffered again after the August 7, 1998, terrorist bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi. Even more frightening, however, is the prospect of growing hunger as Kenya’s maize (corn) crop has failed to meet rising internal demand and dwindling foreign exchange reserves have to be spent to import food. Corruption is perceived to be so widespread that the International Monetary Fund and World Bank suspended $292 million in loans to Kenyan in the summer of 1997 while insisting on tough new austerity measures to control public spending and weed out economic cronyism. As a result, the economy went into a tailspin, foreign investors fled the country, and inflation accelerated markedly.

Unfortunately, needed structural adjustments resulting form the World Bank—and IMF—induced austerity demands usually take a long time. Whether the Kenyan political and economic system can withstand any further deterioration in living conditions is a major question. Public protests for greater democracy and a growing incidence of ethnic violence may be harbingers of things to come.

 

Fig 1  Continuum of Economic Systems

 

 

Pure Market                                                                Pure Centrally Planned Economy

Economy

 

 

 

 

 

 

        The US                                  France                     India           China

                        Canada                                   Brazil                                             Cuba

                                         UK                                                                         North Korea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions

 

  1. Is the economic environment of Kenya favourable to international business? Yes or no—substantiate.
  2. In the continuum of economic systems (see Fig 1), where do you place Kenya and why?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Case III: LATE MOVER ADVANTAGE?

 

Though a late entrant, Toyota is planning to conquer the Indian car market. The Japanese auto major wants to dispel the notion that the first mover enjoys an edge over the rivals who arrive late into a market.

Toyota entered the Indian market through the joint venture route, the partner being the Bangalore based Kirloskar Electric Co. Know as Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM), the plant was set up in 1998 at Bidadi near Bangalore.

To start with, TKM released its maiden offer—Qualis. Qualis is not a newly conceived, designed, and brought out vehicle. Rather it is the new avatar of Kijang under which brand the vehicle was sold in markets like Indonesia.

Qualis virtually had no competition. Telco’s Sumo was not a multi-utility vehicle like Qualis. Rather, it was mini-truck converted into a rugged all-purpose van. More importantly, Toyota proved that even its old offering, but decked up for India, could offer better quality than its competitor. Backed by a carefully thought out advertising campaign that communicated Toyota’s formidable global reputation, Qualis went on a roll and overtook Tata Sumo within two years of launch.

Sumo sold 25,706 vehicles during 2000-2001, compared to a 3 per cent growth over the previous year, compared to 25,373 of Qualis. But during 2001-2002, it was a different story. Qualis had been clocking more than 40 per cent share of the market. At the end of Sept 2001, Qualis had sold over 25,000 units, compared to Sumo’s 18000 plus.

The heady initial success has made TKM think of the future with robust confidence. By 2010, TKM wants to make and sell one million vehicles per year and garner one-third share of the Indian market.

The firm is planning to introduce a wide range of vehicle—a sub-compact, a sedan, a luxury car and a new multi-utility vehicle to replace Qualis. A significant percentage of the vehicles will be exported.

But Toyota is not as lucky in China. Its strategy of ‘late entry’ in China seems to have back fired. In 2005, it sold just 1,83,000 cars in China, the fastest growing auto market in the world. Toyota ranks ninth in the market, far behind Volkswagen, General Motors, Hyundai and Honda.

Toyota delayed producing cars in China until 2002, when it entered a joint venture with a local company, the First Auto Works Group (FAW). The first car manufactured by Toyota-FAW, the Vios, failed to attract much of a market, as, despite its unremarkable design, it was three times as expensive as most cars sold in China.

Late start was not the only problem. There were other lapses too. Toyota assumed the Chinese market would be similar to the Japanese market. But Chinese market, in reality, resembled the American market.

Sales personnel in Japan are paid salaries. They succeeded in building a loyal clientele for Toyota by providing first-class service to them. Likewise, most Japanese auto dealers sell a single brand, thereby ensuring their loyalty to it. Japan is a relatively a well-knit country with an ethnically homogeneous population. Accordingly, Toyota used nationwide advertising to market its products in its home country.

But China is different. Sales people are paid commissions and most dealers sell multiple brands. Obviously, loyalty plays little role in motivating either the sales staff or the dealers, who will ignore a slow selling product should a more profitable one turn up. Besides, China is a large, diverse country. A standardised ad campaign will not do. Luckily, Toyota is learning its lessons.

Competition in the Chinese market is tough, and Toyota’s success in reaching its goal of selling a million cars a year, by 2010, is uncertain. But, its chances are brighter as the company is able to transfer lessons learned in the American market to its operations in China.

 

 

Questions

 

  1. Why has the ‘late corner’s strategy’ of Toyota failed in China, though it succeeded in India?
  2. Why has Toyota failed to capture the Chinese market? Why is it trailing behind its rivals?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE: IV   DELVING DEEP INTO USER’S MIND

 

Whirlpool is an American brand alright, but has succeeded in empowering the Indian housewife with just the tools she would have designed for herself. A washing machine that doesn’t expect her to get ‘ready for the show’ (Videocon’s old jingle), nor adapt her plumbing, power supply, dress sense, values, attitudes and lifestyle to suit American standards.

That, in short, is the reason that Whirlpool White Magic, in just three years since its launch in 1999, has become the choice of the discerning Indian housewife. Also worth noting is how quickly the brand’s sound mnemonic, ‘Whirlpool, Whirlpool’, has established itself.

 

Whiteboard beginning

 

As a company, the US-based white goods major Whirlpool had entered India in 1989, in a joint venture with the TVS group. Videocon, which had pioneered washing machines in India, was the market leader with its range of low-priced ‘washers’ (spinning tubs) and semi-automatic machines, which required manual supervision and some labour. The brand’s TV commercial, created by Pune-based SJ Advertising, has evoked considerable interest with its jingle (‘It washes, it rinses, it even dries your clothes, in just a few minutes…and you’re ready for the show’). IFB-Bosch’s front-loading, fully automatic machines, which could be programmed and left to do their job, were the labour-free option. But they were considered expensive and unsuited to Indian conditions. So Videocon faced competition from me-too machines such as BPL-Sanyo’s. TVS Whirlpool was something of an also-ran.

The market’s sophistication started rising in the 1990s and there was a growing opportunity in the price-performance gap between expensive automatics and laborious semi-automatics. In 1995, Whirlpool gained a majority control of TVS Whirlpool, which was then renamed Whirlpool Washing Machines Ltd (WMML). Meanwhile, the parent bought Kelvinator of India, and merged the refrigerator business in 1996 with WMML to create Whirlpool of India (WOI), to market both fridges and washing machines. Whirlpool’s ‘Flexigerator’ fridge hit the market in 1997. Two years later, WOI launched its star White Magic range of washing machines.

Whitemagic was late to the market, but WOI converted this to a ‘knowledge advantage’ by using the 1990s to study the Indian market intensely, through qualitative and quantitative market research (MR) tools, with the help of IMRB and MBL India. The research team delved deep into the psyche of the Indian housewife, her habits, her attitude towards life, her schedule, her every day concerns and most importantly, her innate ‘laundry wisdom’.

If Ashok Bhasin, vice-president marketing, WOI, was keen on understanding the psychodynamics of Indian clothes washing, it was because of his belief that people’s attitudes and perceptions of categories and brands are formed against the backdrop of their bigger attitudes in life, which could be shaped by broader trends. It was intuitive, to begin with, that the housewife wanted to gain direct control over crucial household operations. It was found that clothes washing was the daily activity for the Indian housewife, whether it was done personally, by a maid, or by a machine.

The key finding, however, was the pride in self-done washing. To the CEO of the Indian household, there was no displacing the hand wash as the best on quality. And quality was to be judged in terms of ‘whiteness’. Other issues concerned water consumption, quantity of detergent used, and fabric care—also something optimized best by herself. A thorough wash, done with gentle agility, was what the magic was all about.

That was the break-through insight used by Whirlpool for the design of all its washing machines, which adopted a ‘1-2, 1-2 Hand Wash Agitator System’ to mimic the preferred handwash technique. With a consumer so particular about washing, one could expect her to be value-conscious on other aspects too. Sure enough, WOI found the housewife willing to pay a premium for a product designed the way she wanted it. Even for a fully automatic, she wanted a top-loader; this way, she doesn’t fear clothes getting trapped in if the power fails, and retains the ability to lift the shutter to take clothes out (or add to the wash) even while the machine is in the midst of its job.

The target consumer, defined psychographically as the Turning Modernist (TM), was decided upon only after the initial MR exercise was concluded. This was also the stage at which the unique selling proposition (USP)—‘whitest white’—was thrashed out.

WOI first launched a fully automatic machine, with the hand-wash agitator. Then came the deluxe model with a ‘hot wash’ function. The product took off well, but WOI felt that a large chunk of the TM segment was also budget-bound. And was quite okay with having to supervise the machine. This consumer’s identity as a ‘home-maker’ was important to her, an insight that Whirlpool was using for the brand overall, in every product category.

So WOI launched a semi-automatic washing machine, with ‘Agisoak’ as a catchword to justify a 10—15 per cent premium over other brand’s semi-automatics available in India.

The advertising, WOI was clear, had to flow from the same stream of reasoning. It had to be responsive, caring, modern, stylish, and warm, and had to portray the victory of the Homemaker. FCB-Ulka, which had bagged Whirlpool’s account in March 1997 from contract (in a global alignment shift), worked with WOI to coin the sub-brand Whitemagic, to break into consumer mindspace with the whiteness proposition.

The launch commercial on TV, in August 1999, scored a big success with its ‘Whirlpool, Whirlpool’ jingle…and a mother’s fantasy of her daughter’s clothes wowing others. A product demonstration sequence took the ‘1-2, 1-2’ message home, reassuring the consumer that the wash would be just as good as that of her own hand. The net benefit, of course, was an unharried home life.

 

Second Wave

 

Sadly, the Indian market for washing machines has been in recession for the past two years, with overall volumes declining. This makes it a fight for market share, with the odds stacked against premium players.

Even though Whirlpool has sought to nudge the market’s value perception upwards, Videocon remains the largest selling brand in volume terms with its competitively priced machines. Washers have been displaced by semi-automatics, which are now the market’s mainstay (in the Rs 7,000-12,000 price range). In fact, these account for three-fourths of the 1.2 million units the Indian market sold in 2000. With a share of 17 per cent, Whirlpool is No. 2 in this voluminous segment.

Whirlpool’s bigger success has been in the fully automatic segment (Rs 12,000-36,000 range). This is smaller with sales of 177,600 units in 2000, but is predicted to become the dominant one as Indian GDP per head reaches for the $1,000 mark. With a 26 per cent share, Whirlpool has attained leadership of this segment.

That places WOI at the appropriate juncture to plot the value curve to be ascended over the new decade.

According to IMRB data, Whirlpool finds itself in the consideration set of 54 per cent of all prospective washing machine buyers, and has an ad recall of close to 85 per cent. This indicates the medium-term potential of Whitemagic, a Rs20.5 crore on a turnover of Rs1,042.8 crore, one-fifth of which was on account of washing machines.

The innovations continue. Recently, Whirlpool has launched semi-automatic machines with ‘hot wash’. The brand’s ‘magic’ isn’t showing signs of wearing off either. The current ‘mummy’s magic’ campaign on TV is trying to sell Whitemagic as a competent machine even for heavy duty washing such as ketchup stains on a white tablecloth.

The Homemaker, of course, remains the focus of attention. And she remains as vivacious, unruffled, and in control as ever. The attitude: you can sling the muckiest of stuff on to white cloth, but sparkling white is what it remains for its her hand that’ll work the magic, with a little help from some friends… such as Whirlpool.

 

 

Questions

 

  1. What product strategy did WOI adopt? And why? Global standardisation? Local customisaton?
  2. What pricing strategy did WOI follow? What, according to you, could have been the appropriate strategy?
  3. What lessons can other white goods manufacturers learn from WOI?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE V: CONSCIENCE OR COMPETITIVE EDGE

 

The plane touched down at Mumbai airport precisely on time. Olivia Jones made her way through the usual immigration bureaucracy without incident and was finally ushered into a waiting limousine, complete with uniformed chauffeur and soft black leather seats. Her already considerable excitement at being in India for the first time was mounting. As she cruised the dark city streets, she asked her chauffeur why so few cars had their headlights on at night. The driver responded that most drivers believed that headlights use too much petrol! Finally, she arrived at her hotel, a black marble monolith, grandiose and decadent in its splendour, towering above the bay.

The goal of her four-day trip was to sample and select swatches of woven cotton from the mills in and around Mumbai, to be used in the following season’s youth-wear collection of shirts, trousers, and underwear. She was thus treated with the utmost deference by her hosts, who were invariably Indian factory owners or British agents for Indian mills. For three days she was ferried from one air-conditioned office to another, sipping iced tea or chilled lemonade, poring over leather-bound swatch catalogues, which featured every type of stripe and design possible. On the fourth day, Jones made a request that she knew would cause some anxiety in the camp. “I want to see a factory,” she declared.

After much consultation and several attempts at dissuasion, she was once again ushered into a limousine and driven through a part of the city she had not previously seen. Gradually, the hotel and the Western shops dissolved into the background and Jones entered downtown Mumbai. All around was a sprawling shantytown, constructed from sheets of corrugated iron and panels of cardboard boxes. Dust flew in spirals everywhere among the dirt roads and open drains. The car crawled along the unsealed roads behind carts hauled by man and beast alike, laden to overflowing with straw or city refuse—the treasure of the ghetto. More than once the limousine had to halt and wait while a lumbering white bull crossed the road.

Finally, in the very heart of the ghetto, the car came to a stop. “Are you sure you want to do this?” asked her host. Determined not be faint-hearted, Jones got out the car.

White-skinned, blue-eyed, and blond, clad in a city suit and stiletto-heeled shoes, and carrying a briefcase, Jones was indeed conspicuous. It was hardly surprising that the inhabitants of the area found her an interesting and amusing subject, as she teetered along the dusty street and stepped gingerly over the open sewers.

Her host led her down an alley, between the shacks and open doors and inky black interiors. Some shelters, Jones was told, were restaurants, where at lunchtime people would gather on the rush mat floors and eat rice together. In the doorway of one shack there was a table that served as a counter, laden with ancient cans of baked beans, sardines, and rusted tins of fluorescent green substance that might have been peas. The eyes of the young man behind the counter were smiling and proud as he beckoned her forward to view his wares.

As Jones turned another corner, she saw an old man in the middle of the street, clad in a waist cloth, sitting in a large bucket. He had a tin can in his hand with which he poured water from the bucket over his head and shoulders. Beside him two little girls played in brilliant white nylon dresses, bedecked with ribbons and lace. They posed for her with smiling faces, delighted at having their photograph taken in their best frocks. The men and women around her with great dignity and grace, Jones thought.

Finally, her host led her up a precarious wooden ladder to a floor above the street. At the top Jones was warned not to stand straight, as the ceiling was just five feet high. There, in a room not 20 feet by 40 feet, 20 men were sitting at treadle sewing machines, bent over yards of white cloth. Between them on the floor were rush mats, some occupied by sleeping workers awaiting their next shift. Jones learned that these men were on a 24-hour rotation, 12 hours on and 12 hours off, every day for six months of the year. For the remaining six months they returned to their families in the countryside to work the land, planting and building with the money they had earned in the city. The shirts they were working on were for an order she had placed four weeks earlier in London, an order of which she had been particularly proud because of the low price she had succeeded in negotiating. Jones reflected that this sight was the most humbling experience of her life. When she questioned her host about these conditions, she was told that they were typical for her industry—and most of the Third World, as well.

Eventually, she left the heat, dust and din to the little shirt factory and returned to the protected, air-conditioned world of the limousine.

“What I’ve experienced today and the role I’ve played in creating that living hell will stay with me forever,” she thought. Later in the day, she asked herself whether what she had seen was an inevitable consequence of pricing policies that enabled the British customer to purchase shirts at £12.99 instead of £13.99 and at the same time allowed the company to make its mandatory 56 percent profit margin. Were her negotiating skills—the result of many years of training—an indirect cause of the terrible conditions she has seen?

Once Jones returned to the United Kingdom, she considered her position and the options open to her as a buyer for a large, publicly traded, retail chain operating in a highly competitive environment. Her dilemma was twofold: Can an ambitious employee afford to exercise a social conscience in his or her career? And can career-minded individuals truly make a difference without jeopardising their future? Answer her.

 

 

Note: Solve any 4 Cases Study’s

 

CASE: I    Managing the Guinness brand in the face of consumers’ changing tastes         

 

1997 saw the US$19 billion merger of Guinness and GrandMet to form Diageo, the world’s largest drinks company. Guinness was the group’s top-selling beverage after Smirnoff vodka, and the group’s third most profitable brand, with an estimated global value of US$1.2 billion. More than 10 million glasses of the popular stout were sold every day, predominantly in Guinness’s top markets: respectively, the UK, Ireland, Nigeria, the USA and Cameroon.

 

However, the famous dark stout with the white, creamy head was causing some strategic concerns for Diageo. In 1999, for the first time in the 241-year of Guinness, sales fell. In early 2002 Diageo CEO Paul Walsh announced to the group’s concerned shareholders that global volume growth of Guinness was down 4 per cent in the last six months of 2001 and, more alarmingly, sales were also down 4 per cent in its home market, Ireland. How should Diageo address falling sales in the centuries-old brand shrouded in Irish mystique and tradition?

 

The changing face of the Irish beer market

 

The Irish were very fond of beer and even fonder of Guinness. With close to 200 litres per capita drunk each year—the equivalent of one pint per person per day—Ireland ranked top in worldwide per capita beer consumption, ahead of the Czech Republic and Germany.

 

Beer accounted for two-thirds of all alcohol bought in Ireland in 2001. Stout led the way in volume sales and accounted for 40 per cent of all beer value sales. Guinness, first brewed in 1759 in Dublin by Arthur Guinness, enjoyed legendary status in Ireland, a national symbol as respected as the green, white and gold flag. It was by far the most popular alcoholic drink in Ireland, accounting for nearly one of every two pints of beer sold. Its nearest competitors were Budweiser and Heineken, which held 13 per cent and 12 per cent of the market respectively.

 

However, the spectacular economic growth of the Irish economy since the mid-1990s had opened up the traditional drinking market to new cultures and influences, and encouraged the travel-friendly Irish to try other drinks. Beer and in particular stout were losing popularity compared with wine or the recently launched RTDs (ready-to-drinks) or FABs (flavoured alcoholic beverages), which the younger generation of drinkers considered trendier and ‘healthier’. As a Euromonitor report explained: Younger consumers consider dark beers and stout to be old fashioned drinks, with the perceived stout or ale drinker being an old, slightly overweight man and thus not in tune with image conscious youth culture.

 

Beer sales, which once accounted for 75 per cent of all alcohol bought in Ireland, were expected to drop to close to 50 per cent by 2006, while stout sales were forecast to decrease by 12 per cent between 2002 and 2006.

 

Giving Guinness a boost in its home market

 

With Guinness alone accounting for 37 per cent of Diageo’s volume in the market, Guinness/UDV Ireland was one of the first to feel the pain caused by the declining popularity of beer and in particular stout. A Euromonitor report in February 2002 explained how the profile of the Guinness drinker, typically men aged 21-plus, was affected: The average age of Guinness drinkers is rising and this is bringing about the worrying fact that the size of the Guinness target audience is falling. The rate of decline is likely to quicken as the number of less brand loyal, non-stout drinking younger consumers increases.

The report continued:

In Ireland, in particular, the consumer base for Guinness is shrinking as the majority of 18 to 24 year olds consistently reject stout as a product relevant to their generation, opting instead to consume lager or spirits.

Effectively, one-third of young Irish men and half of young Irish women had reportedly never tried Guinness. A Guinness employee provided another explanation. Guinness is similar to coffee in that when you’re young you drink it [coffee] with sugar, but when you’re older you drink it without. It’s got a similar acquired taste and once you’re over the initial hurdle, you’ll fall in love with it.

In an attempt to lure young drinkers to the somewhat ‘acquired’ Guinness taste (40 per cent of the Irish population was under the age of 24) Diageo had invested millions in developing product innovations and brand building in Ireland’s 10,000 pubs, clubs and supermarkets.

 

Product innovation

 

Until the mid-1990s most Guinness in Ireland was drunk in a pint glass in the local pub. The launch of product innovations in the form of a new cooling mechanism for draft Guinness and the ‘widget’ technology applied to cans and bottles attempted to modernize the brand’s image and respond to increasing competition from other local and imported stouts and lagers.

 

‘A perfect head’ for canned Guinness

In 1989, and at a cost of more than £10 million, Guinness developed an ingenious ‘widget’ device for its canned draft stout sold in ‘off-trade’ outlets such as supermarkets and off-licences. The widget, placed in the bottom of the can, released a gas that replicated the draft effect.

Although over 90 per cent of beer in Ireland was sold in ‘on-trade’ pubs and bars, sale of beer in the cheaper ‘off-trade’ channel were slowly gaining in importance. The Guinness brand manager at the time, John O’Keeffe, explained how home drinkers could now enjoy a smoother, creamier head similar to the one obtained in a pub thanks to the new widget technology:

When the can is opened, the pressure causes the nitrogen to be released as the widget moves through the beer, creating the classic draft Guinness surge.

 

Nearly 10 years later, in 1997, the ‘floating widget’ was introduced, which improved the effectiveness of the device.

 

A colder pint

In 1997 Guinness Draft Extra Cold was launched in Ireland. An additional chilled tap system could be added to the standard barrel in pubs, allowing the Guinness to be served at 4ºC rather than the normal 6ºC. By serving Guinness at a cooler temperature, Guinness/UDV hoped to mute the bitter taste of the stout and make it more palatable for younger adults, who were increasingly accustomed to drinking chilled lager, particularly in the summer

 

A cooler image for Guinness

In October 1999 the widget technology was applied to long-stemmed bottles of Guinness. The launch was supported by a US$2 million TV and outdoor board campaign. The packaging—with a clear, shiny plastic wrap, designed to look like a pint complete with creamy head—was quite a departure from the traditional Guinness look.

 

The objective was to reposition Guinness alongside certain similarly packaged lagers and RTDs and offer younger adults a more fashionable way to drink Guinness: straight from the bottle. It also gave Guinness easier access to the growing number of clubs and bars that were less likely to serve traditional draft Guinness easier access to the growing number of clubs and bars that were less likely to serve traditional draft Guinness, which could be kept for only six to eight weeks and took two minutes to pour. The RTDs, by contrast, had a shelf-life of more than a year and were drunk straight from the bottle.

 

However, financial analyst remained sceptical about the Guinness product innovations, which had no significant positive impact on sales or profitability:

 

The last news about the success of the recently introduced innovations suggests that they have not had a notably material impact on Guinness brand performance.

 

Brand building

 

Euromonitor estimates that, in 2000, Diageo invested between US$230 and US$250 million worldwide in Guinness advertising and promotions. However, with a cost-cutting objective, the company reduced marketing expenses in both Ireland and the UK up to 10 per cent in 2001 and the number of global Guinness agencies from six to two.

 

Nevertheless, Guinness remained one of the most advertised brands in Ireland. It was the leading cinema advertiser and, in terms of advertising, was second only to the national telecoms provider, Eircom. Guinness was also heavily promoted at leading sporting and music events, in particular those that were popular with the younger age groups.

 

The ultimate tribute to the brand was the opening of the new Guinness Storehouse in Dublin in late 2000, a sort of Mecca for all Guinness fans. The Storehouse was also a fashionable visitor centre with an art gallery and restaurants, and regularly hosted evening events. The company’s design brief highlighted another key objective:

To use an ultramodern facility to breathe life into an ageing brand, to reconnect an old company with young (sceptical) customers.

As the Storehouse’s design firm’s director, Ralph Ardill, explained:

 

Guinness Storehouse had become the top tourist destination in Ireland, attracting more than half a million people and hosting 45,000 people for special events and training.

The Storehouse also had training facilities for Guinness’s bartenders and 3000 Irish employees. The quality of the Guinness pint remained a high priority for the company, which not only developed pub-like classrooms at the Storehouse but also employed teams of draft technicians to teach barmen how to pour a proper pint. The process involved two steps—the pour and the top-up—and took a total of 119.5 seconds. Barmen also needed to learn how to check that the pressure gauges were properly set and that the proportion of nitrogen to carbon dioxide in the gas was correct.

 

 

 

 

The uncertain future of the Guinness brand in Ireland

 

Despite Guinness/DUV’s attempt to appeal to the younger generation of drinkers and boost its fading image, rumours persisted in Ireland about the brand future. The country’s leading and respected newspaper, the Irish times, reported in an article in July 2001:

The uncertainty over its future all adds to the air of crisis that is building around Guinness Ireland Group four months ago…The review is not complete and the assumption is that there is more bad news to come.

In the pubs across Ireland, the traditional Guinness drinkers looked on anxiously as the younger generation drank Bacardi Breezers, Smirnoff Ices or Californian wines. Could the goliath Guinness survive another two centuries? Was the preference for these new drinks just a fad or fashion, or did Diageo need to seriously reconsider how it marketed Guinness?

 

A quick solution?

 

In late February 2002, Diageo CEO Paul Walsh revealed that the company was testing technology to cut the waiting time for a pint of Guinness from 1 minute 59 seconds to 15-25 seconds. Ultrasound could release bubbles in the stout and form the head instantly, making a pint of Guinness that would be indistinguishable from one produced by the slower, traditional method.

‘A two-minute pour is not relevant to our customers today,’ Walsh said. A Guinness spokeswoman continued, ‘We have got to move with the times and the brand must evolve. We must take all the opportunities that we can. In outlets where it is really busy, if you walk in after nine o’clock in the evening there will be a cloth over the Guinness pump because it takes longer to pour than other drinks. Aware that some consumers might not be attracted by the innovation, she added ‘It wouldn’t be put everywhere—only where people want a quick pint with no effect on the quality.’

 

Although still being tested, the ‘quick-pour pint’ was a popular topic of conversation in Dublin pubs, among barmen and customers alike. There were rumours that it would be introduced in Britain only; others thought it would be released worldwide.

 

Some market commentators viewed the quick-pour pint as an innovative way to appeal to the younger, less patient segment in which Guinness had under-performed. Others feared that the young would be unconvinced by the introduction, and loyal customers would be turned off by what they characterized as a ‘marketing u-turn’.

 

 

Question:

 

  1. From a marketing perspective, what has Guinness done to ensure its longevity?
  2. How would you characterize the Guinness brand?
  3. What could Guinness do to attract younger drinkers? And to retain its older loyal customer base? Can both be done at the same time?

 

 

 

 

CASE: II    The grey market

 

Introduction

 

The over-50s market has long been ignored by advertising and marketing firms in favour of the market. The complexity of how to appeal to today’s mature customers, without targeting their age, has proved just too challenging for many companies. But this preoccupation with youth runs counter to demo-graphic changes. The over-50s represent the largest segment of the population, across western developed countries, due largely to the post-Second World War baby boom. The sheer size of this grey market, which will continue to grow as birth and mortality rates fall, coupled with its phenomenal spending power, presents enormous opportunities for business. However, successfully unleashing its potential will depend on companies truly understanding the attitudes, lifestyles and purchasing interests of this post-war generation.

 

Demographic forces

 

Following the Second World War many countries experienced a baby boom phenomenon as returning soldiers began families. This, coupled with a more positive outlook on the future, resulted in the baby boom generation, born between 1946 and 1964. Now beginning to enter retirement, this affluent group globally numbers approximately 532 million. In Western Europe they account for the largest proportion of the total population at 14.9%, followed closely by 14.2% in North America and 13.5 % in Australia.

 

Table 1: Global population aged 45-54 by region: baby boomers as a % of the total population 1990/2002

 

Baby boomers as a % total population 1990 2002 % point change
Western Europe

 

12.9 14.9 2.0
North America 9.9 14.2 4.3
Australasia 10.4 13.5 3.1
Eastern Europe 9.7 13.0 3.3
Asia-Pacific 7.8 9.8 2.0
Latin America 6.6 8.4 1.8
Africa/Middle East 2.6 2.3 20.3
WORLD 7.9 9.5 1.6

 

The grey market is big and getting bigger. Between 1990 and 2002 the global baby boomer population increased by 41%. The rate of growth is predicted to decrease to 35% between 2002 and 2015. Particularly noteworthy is the predicted increase in the proportion of baby boomers in many Western European countries, such as Austria, Spain, Germany, Italy, and the UK. In developed countries, according to the United Nations, the percentage of elderly people (60+) is forecast to rise from one-fifth of the population to one-third by 2050. The growth in the elderly population is exacerbated by falling fertility rates in many developed countries, coupled with a rise in human longevity.

 

The influences and buyer behaviour patterns of baby boomers

 

The members of the baby boomer generation are quite unlike their more conservative parents’ generation. They are the children of the rebellious ‘swinging sixties’, growing up on the sounds of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Better educated than their parents, in a time of greater prosperity, they indulged in more hedonistic lifestyle. It has been said that they were the first ‘me generation’. Now, in later life, they have retained their liberal, adventurous and youthful attitude to life. Aptly termed ‘younger older people’ they abhor antiquated stereotypes of elderly people, preferring to be defined by their attitude rather than their age.

 

Baby boomers are also tend to be very wealthy. Many are property owners and may have gained an inheritance from parents or other relatives. They have higher than average incomes or have retired with private pension plans. With their children having flown the nest they have greater financial freedom and more time to indulge themselves. Having worked all their lives, and educated their children, many baby boomers do not believe it is their responsibility to safeguard the financial future of their children by carefully protecting their children’s inheritance. They are instead liquidating their assets, intent on enjoying their later life to full, often through conspicuous consumption.

 

Based on research conducted by Euromonitor, the main areas of expenditure in the baby boomer market are financial services, tourism, food and drink, luxury cars, electrical/electronic goods, clothing, health products, and DIY and gardening.

 

Table 2: Global population aged 45-54 in thousands by country: developed countries 2002-2015

 

Country 2002 2010 2015 %change 2002/2015
Austria 1,059 1,277 1,371 29
Spain 4,921 5,741 6,189 26
Germany 10,991 12,963 13,508 26
Italy 7,684 8,591 9,347 23
UK 7,786 8,731 9,388 22
New Zealand 521 607 613 21
Ireland 474 529 555 18
Switzerland 997 1,120 1,159 17
Australia 2,661 3,006 3,057 16
Greece 1,359 1,476 1,559 15
Canada 4,505 5,320 5,122 15
Netherlands 2,301 2,492 2,604 14
Portugal 1,334 1,438 1,511 13
Norway 612 640 678 13
Denmark 745 761 802 11
USA 38,951 44,140 42,207 8
Belgium 1,423 1,549 1,526 8
Sweden 1,206 1,179 1,233 2
Japan 18,344 15,661 16,459 -10
Finland 820 749 718 -12
France 8,266 7,626 7,292 -12

 

Figure 1 Global Baby boomer market: % analysis by broad sector 2002 (% value)

 

Note: sectors valued on the basis of estimates by senior managers in major companies in each sector, consumer expenditure and industry sector data.

 

Unsurprisingly the financial sector is the largest in this market. Baby boomers are concerned with being financially secure in their retirement. An ageing population, coupled with a rise in human longevity, is giving rise to a pensions crisis across Western Europe. Baby boomers are therefore right to be preoccupied with how they will maintain their lifestyle over the long term. They are actively engaging in financial planning, both before and after retirement. Popular financial service products include endowments, life insurance, personal pensions, PEPs and ISAs.

 

Baby boomers have adventurous attitudes with a desire to see the world. In their retirement foreign travel is a key expenditure. Given their greater levels of sophistication and education, baby boomers are much more demanding of holidays that suit their lifestyles. This group is very diverse, with holiday interests ranging from action-packed adventures to culturally rich experiences.

 

Baby boomers want to maintain a youthful appearance in line with their youthful way of living. Fear of becoming invisible is a genuine concern among older generations. This image conciousness is reflected in their spending on clothing, cosmetics and anti-ageing products. Luxury cars also a key status symbols for this group.

 

The home is another area of expenditure. Once children have flown the nest, many baby boomers redecorate the home to suit their needs. Electrical and electronic purchases are key indulgences among these technologically savvy consumers. Gardening is another pastime enjoyed by older generations. Health is also a priority. Baby boomers invest in private health insurance and over-the-counter pharmaceutical products to maintain their healthy lives.

 

Business opportunities

The sheer size of the grey market, which is getting bigger in many countries—characterized by consumers with disposable income, ample free time, interest in travel, concern about financial security and health, awareness of youth culture and brands and desire for aspirational living—makes this market enormously attractive to many business sectors. Pharmaceuticals, health and beauty, technology, travel financial services, luxury cars, lavish food and entertainment are key growth sectors for the grey market. However, successfully tapping into this market will depend on companies truly understanding the attitudes, lifestyles and purchasing interests of this post-war generation. Communicating with this group is a tricky business, but, done right, it can be hugely rewarding.

 

When targeting the older consumer it is important to target their lifestyle and not their age. Older people do not want to be reminded, in a patronizing way, of their age or what they should be doing now they are a certain stage in life. With an interest in maintaining a youthful way of life these consumers are interested in similar brands to those that appeal to younger generations. The key for the companies is to find a way of making their brands also appeal to an older consumer without explicitly targeting their age. One tried-and tested method of targeting this group is to use nostalgia. Mercedes Benz used the Janis Joplin song ‘Oh Lord won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz’ to great effect despite the obvious irony in that the song was written to highlight the dangers of materialism! Volkswagen’s new retro-style Beetle has also been popular among this group. In the tourism sector Saga Holidays, the leader in holidays for the over-50s, has changed its product offering to reflect changing trends among this group. In line with the more adventurous attitudes of many older consumers it now offers more action-packed adventure holidays to far-flung destinations.

 

More recently, Thomas Cook has rebranded it over-50s ‘Forever Young’ programme to reflect the diverse interest of its target customers. Its new primetime brochure targets five distinct groups with the following holiday types: ‘Discover’, ‘Learn’, ‘Relax’, ‘Active’ and ‘Enjoy Life’.

 

Conclusion

The over-50s represent the largest segment of the population across Western developed countries. This affluent market is big and getting bigger. Having ignored it for so long marketers are finally beginning to see the enormous opportunities presented by the grey market. But conquering this market will not be easy. The baby boomer generation is quite unlike its predecessors. With a youthful and adventuresome spirit these ‘younger older people’ want to be defined by their attitude and not by their age. Only time will tell whether today’s marketers are up to the challenge.

 

Questions:

  1. Why is the grey market so attractive to business?
  2. Identify the influences on the purchasing behaviour of the over-50s consumer.
  3. Discuss the challenges involved in targeting the grey market.

 

CASE: III   Nivea: managing an umbrella brand

 

‘In many countries consumer are convinced that Nivea is a local brand, a mistake which Beiersdoft, the German makers, take as a compliment.’

(Quoted on leading brand consultancy Wolff-Olins’ website, www.wolff-olins.com)

 

An ode to Nivea’s success

In May 2003, a survey of ‘Global Mega Brand Franchises’ revealed that the Nivea Cosmetics brand had presence in the maximum number of product categories and countries. The survey, conducted by US-based ACNielsen, aimed at identifying those brands that had ‘successfully evolved beyond their original product categories’. A key parameter was the presence of these brands in multiple product categories as well as countries.

 

Nivea’s performance in this study prompted a yahoo.com news article to name it the ‘Queen of Mega Brands’. This title was appropriate since the brand was present in over 14 product categories and was available in more than 150 countries. Nivea was the market leader in skin creams and lotions in 28 countries, in facial cleansing in 23 countries, in facial skin care in 18 countries, and in suntan products in 15 countries. In many of those countries, it was reportedly believed to be a brand of local origin—having been present in them for many decades. This fact went a long way in helping the brand attain leadership status in many categories and countries (see Table 3).

 

Table 3  Nivea: market positions

 

CATEGORY Skin care Baby care Sun protection Men’s care  
COUNTRY
Austria 1 1 2 1  
Belgium 1 1 3 1  
UK 1 3 1  
Germany 1 1 3 1  
France 1 1 1 3  
Italy 1 1 5 1  
Netherlands 1 1 5 1  
Spain 1 4 1  
Switzerland 1 1 4 1  

 

The study covered 200 consumer packaged goods brands from over 50 global manufacturers. The brands had to be available in at least 15 of the countries studied; the same name had to be used in at least three product categories and meet franchise in at least three of the five geographical regions.

 

In its home country Germany, too, many of Nivea’s products were the market leaders in their segments. This market leadership status translated into superior financial performance. Between 1991 and 2001, Nivea posted double-digit growth rates every year. For 2001, the brand generated revenues of €2.5 billion, amounting to 55 per cent of the parent company’s (Beiersdoft) total revenue for the year. The 120-year-old, Hamburg-based Beiersdoft has often been credited with meticulously building the Nivea brand into the world’s number one personal care brand. According to a survey conducted by ACNielsen in the late 1990s, the brand had a 15 per cent share in the global skin care products market. While Nivea had always been the company’s star performer, the 1990s were a period of phenomenal growth for the brand. By successfully extending what was essentially a ‘one-product wonder’ into many different product categories, Beiersdoft had silenced many critics of its umbrella branding decision.

 

The marketing game for Nivea

 

Millions of customers across the world have been familiar with the Nivea brand since their childhood. The visual (colour and packaging) and physical attributes (feel, smell) of the product stayed on in their minds. According to analysts, this led to the formation of a complex emotional bond between customers and the brand, a bond that had strong positive under-tones. According to a superbrands.com. my article, Nivea’s blue colour denoted sympathy, harmony, friendship and loyalty. The white colour suggested external cleanliness as well as inner purity. Together, these colours gave Nivea the aura of an honest brand.

 

To customers, Nivea was more than a skin care product. They associated Nivea with good health, graceful ageing and better living. The company’s association Nivea with many sporting events, fashion events and other lifestyle-related events gave the brand a long-lasting appeal. In 2001, Franziska Schmiedebach, Beiersdoft’s Corporate Vice President (Face Care and Cosmetics), commented that Nivea’s success over the decades was built on the following pillars: innovation, brand extension and globalization (see Table 4 for the brand’s sales growth from 1995-2002)

 

Table 4   Nivea: worldwide sales growth (%)

Sales Growth 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
In Million € 1040 1166 1340 1542 1812 2101 2458 2628
In per cent 9.8 12.1 14.9 15.1 17.5 16.0 17.0 6.9

 

Innovation and brand extensions

 

Innovation and brand extensions went hand in hand for Nivea. Extensions had been made back in the 1930s and had continued in the 1960s when the face care range Nivea Visage was launched. However, the first major initiative to extend the brand to other products came in the 1970s. Naturally, the idea was to cash in on Nivea’s strong brand equity. The first major extension was launch of ‘Nivea For Men’ aftershave in the 1970s. Unlike the other aftershaves available in market, which caused the skin to burn on application, Nivea For Men soothed the skin. As a result, the product became a runaway success.

 

The positive experience with the aftershave extension inspired the company to further explore the possibilities of brand extensions. Moreover, Beiersdoft felt that Nivea’s unique identity, the values it represented (trustworthiness, simplicity, consistency, caring) could easily be used to make the transition to being an umbrella brand. The decision to diversify its product range was also believed to have influenced by intensifying competitive pressures. L’Oreal’s Plenitude range, Procter & Gamble’s Oil of Olay range, Unilever’s Pond’s range, and Johnson & Johnson’s Neutrogena range posed stiff competition to Nivea.

 

Though Nivea was the undisputed market leader in the mass-market face cream segment worldwide, its share was below Oil of Olay’s, Pond’s and Plenitude’s in the US market. While most of the competing brands had a wide product portfolio, the Nivea range was rather limited. To position Nivea as a competitor in a larger number of segments, the decision to offer a wider range inevitable.

 

Beiersdoft’s research centre—employing over 150 dermatological and cosmetics researchers, pharmacists and chemists—supported its thrust on innovations and brand extensions. During the 1990s, Beiersdoft launched many extensions, including men’s care products, deodorants (1991), Nivea Body (1995), and Nivea Soft (1997). Most of these brand extension decisions could be credited to Rolf Kunisch, who became Beiersdoft’s CEO in the early 1990s.  Rolf Kunisch firmly believed in the company’s ‘twin strategy’ of extension and globalization.

 

By the beginning of the twenty-first century, the Nivea umbrella brand offered over 300 products in 14 separate segments of the health and beauty market (see Table 5 and Figure 2 for information on Nivea’s brand extensions). Commenting on Beiersdoft’s belief in umbrella branding, Schmiedebach said, ‘Focusing your energy and investment on one umbrella brand has strong synergetic effects and helps build leading market positions across categories.’ A noteworthy aspect of the brand extension strategy was the company’s ability to successfully translate the ‘skin care’ attributes of the original Nivea cream to the entire gamut of products.

 

Table  5   Nivea: brand portfolio

 

Category           Products
Nivea Bath Care Shower gels, shower specialists, bath foams, bath specialists, soaps, kids’ products, intimate care
Nivea Sun (sun care) Sun protection lotion, anti-ageing sun cream, sensitive sun lotion, sun-spray, children’s sun protection, deep tan, after tan, self –tan, Nivea baby sun protection
Nivea Beaute (colour cosmetics) Face, eyes, lips, nails
Nivea For Men (men’s care) Shaving, after shaving, face care, face cleansing
Nivea Baby (baby care) Bottom cleansing, nappy rash protection, general cleansing, moisturizing, sun protection
Nivea Body (body care) Essential line, performance line, pleasure line
Nivea Crème Nivea crème
Nivea Deodorants Roll-ons, sprays, pump sprays, sticks, creams, wipes, compact
Nivea Hand (hand care) Hand care lotions and creams
Nivea Lip Care Basic care, special care, cosmetic care, extra protection  care
Nivea Visage (face care) Daily cleaning, deep cleaning, facial masks (cleaning/care), make-up remover, active moisture care, advanced repair care, special care
Nivea Vital (mature skin care) Basic face care, specific face care, face cleansing products, body care
Nivea Soft Nivea soft moisturizing cream
Nivea Hair Care Hair care (shampoos, rinse, treatment, sun); hair styling (hairspray and lacquer, styling foams and specials, gels and specials)

 

 

Figure 2   Nivea Universe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The company ensured that each of its products addressed a specific need of consumers. Products in all the 14 categories were developed after being evaluated on two parameters with respect to the Nivea mother brand. First, the new product had to be based on the qualities that the mother brand stood for and, second, it ha to offer benefits that were consistent with those that the mother brand offered. Once a new product cleared the above test, it was evaluated for its ability to meet consumer needs and its scope for proving itself to be a leader in the future. For instance, a Nivea shampoo not only had to clean hair, it also had to be milder and gentler than other shampoos in the same range.

 

Beiersdoft developed a ‘Nivea Universe’ framework for streamlining and executing its brand extension efforts. This framework consisted of a central point,  an inner circle of brands and an outer circle of brands (see Figure 2)

The centre of the model housed the ‘mother brand’, which represented the core values of trustworthiness, honesty and reliability. While the brands in the inner circle were closely related to the core values of the Nivea brand, the brands in the outer circle were seen as extensions of these core values. The inner-circle brands strengthened the existing beliefs and values associated with the Nivea brand. The outer circle brands, however, sought to add new dimensions to the brand’s personality, thereby opening up avenues, for future growth.

 

The ‘global-local’ strategy

 

The Nivea brand retained its strong German heritage and was treated as a global brand for many decades. In the early days, local managers believed that the needs of customers from their countries were significantly different from those of customers in other countries. As a result, Beiersdoft was forced to offer different product formulations an packaging, and different types of advertising support. Consequently, it incurred high costs.

 

It was only in the 1980s that Beiersdoft took a conscious decision to globalize the appeal of Nivea. The aim to achieve a common platform for the brand on a global scale and offer customers from different parts of the world a wider variety of product choices. This was radical departure from its earlier approach, in which product development and marketing efforts were largely focused on the German market. The new decision was not only expected to solve the problems of high costs, it was also expected to further build the core values of the brand.

To globalize the brand, the company formulated strategies with the help of a team of ‘international’ experts with ‘local expertise’. This team developed new products for all the markets. Their responsibilities included, among others, deciding about the way in which international advertising campaigns should be adapted at the local level. The idea was to leave the execution of strategic decisions to local partners. However, Beiersdoft monitored the execution to ensure that it remained in line with the global strategic plan.

 

This way, Beiersdoft ensured that the nuances of consumer behaviour at the local level understood and that their needs were addressed. Company sources claimed that by following the above approach, it was easy to transfer know-how between headquarters and the local offices. In addition, the motivation level of the local partners also remained on the higher side.

 

The company established a set of guidelines that regulated how the marketing mix of a new product/brand was to be developed. These guidelines stipulated norms with respect to product, pricing, promotion, packaging and other related issues. For instance, a guideline regarding advertising read, ‘Nivea advertising is about skin care. It should be present visually and verbally. Nivea advertising is simple, it is unpretentious and human.’

 

Thus all advertisements for any Nivea product depicted images related to ‘skin care’ and ‘unpretentious human life’ in one way or the other. The company consciously decided not to use supermodels to promote its products. The predominant colours in all campaigns remained blue and white. However, local issues were also kept in mind. For instance, in the Middle East, Nivea relied more on outdoor media as it worked out to be much more cost-effective. And since showing skin in the advertisements went against the region’s culture, the company devised ways of advertising skin without showing skin.

 

Many brand management experts have spoken of the perils of umbrella management, such as brand dilution and the lack of ‘change’ for consumers. However, the umbrella branding strategy worked for Beiersdoft. In fact, the company’s growth was the most dynamic since its inception during 1990s—the decade when the brand extension move picked up momentum. The strong yearly growth during the 1990s and the quadrupling of sales were attributed by company sources to the thrust on brand extension.

 

 

 

Questions

 

  1. Discuss the reasons for the success of the Nivea range of products across the world. Why did Beiersdoft decide to extend the brand to different product categories? In the light of Beiersdoft’s brand extension of Nivea, critically comment on the pros and cons of adopting an umbrella branding strategy. Compare the use of such a strategy with the use of an independent branding strategy.
  2. According to you, what are the core values of the Nivea brand? What type of brand extension framework did Beiersdoft develop to ensure that these core values id not get diluted? Do you think the company was able to protect these core values? Why/why not?
  3. What were the essential components of Beiersdoft’s global expansion strategy for Nivea? Under what circumstances would a ‘global-strategy-local execution’ approach be beneficial for a company? When and why should this approach be avoided?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE: IV   Pret a Manger: passionate about food

 

Introduction

 

Pret a Manger (French for ‘ready to eat’) is a chain of coffee shops that sells a range of upmarket, healthy sandwiches and desserts as well as a variety o coffees to an increasingly discerning set of lunchtime customers. Started in London, England, in 1986 by two university graduates, Pret a Manger has more than 120 stores across the UK. In 2002 it sold 25 million sandwiches and 14 million cups of coffee, and had a turnover of over £100 million. Buckingham Palace reportedly orders more than £1000 worth of sandwiches a week and British Prime Minister Tony Blair has had Pret sandwiches delivered  to number 10 Downing Street for working lunches. The company also has ambitious plans to expand further—it already has stores in New York, Hong Kong  and Tokyo, and has set its sights on further international growth.

 

Background and company history

 

In 1986, Pret a Manger was founded with one shop, in central London, and a £17,000 loan, by two property law graduates, Julian Metcalf and Sinclair Beecham, who had been students together at the University of Westminster in the early 1980s. At that time the choice of lunchtime eating in London and other British cities was more limited than it is today. Traditionally, some ate in restaurants while many favoured that well-known British institution, the pub, as a choice for lunchtime eating and drinking. There was, however, a growing awareness among many people of the benefits of healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle, and lunchtime habits were changing. There was a general trend towards taking shorter lunch brakes and, among office workers, to take lunch at their desks. For those who wanted food to take away, the choice in fast food was dominated by the large chains such as McDonald’s, Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken (now KFC) while other types of carry-out food, such as pizzas, were also available.

 

Sandwiches also played an important part in British lunchtime eating. Named after its eighteenth-century inventor, the Earl of Sandwich, the humble sandwich had long been a popular British lunch choice, especially for those with little time to spare. Prior to Pret’s arrival on the scene, sandwiches were sold mainly either pre-packed in supermarkets and high-street variety chain stores such as Marks and Spencer and Boots, or in the many small sandwich bars that were to be found in the business districts of large cities like London, Sandwich bars were usually small, independently owned or family run shops that made sandwiches to order for customers who waited in a queue, often out on to the pavement outside.

 

Dissatisfied with the quality of both the food and service from traditional sandwich bars, Metcalf and Beecham decided that Pret a Manger should offer something different. They wanted Pret’s food to be high quality and healthy, and preservative and additive free. In the beginning, they shopped for the food themselves at local markets and returned to the store where they made the sandwiches each morning. Pret’s offering was based around premium-quality sandwiches and other health-orientated lunches including salads, sushi and a range of desserts, priced higher than at traditional sandwich bars, and sold pre-packed in attractive and convenient packaging ready to go. There was also a choice of different coffees, as well as some healthy alternatives. Service aimed to be fast and friendly go give customers a minimum of queuing time.

 

 

Pret a Manger: ‘Passionate about What We do’

 

Pret a Manger strongly emphasizes the quality of its products. Its promotional material and website claims that it is:

‘passionate about food, rejecting the use of obscure chemicals, additives and preservatives common in so much of the prepared and fast food on the market today…it there’s a secret to our success so far we like to think its determination to focus continually on quality—not just our food, but in every aspect of what we do’.

 

Great importance is also placed on freshness. Unlike those sold in high-street shops or supermarkets, Pret’s sandwiches are all hand-made by staff in each shop starting at 6.30 every morning, rather than being prepared and delivered by a supplier or from a central location. Metcalf and Beecham believe this gives their sandwiches a freshness and distinctiveness. All food that hasn’t been sold in the shops by the end of the day is given away free to local charities.

 

Careful sourcing of supplies for quality has also always been important. Genetically modified ingredients are banned and the tuna Pret buys, for example, must be ‘dolphin friendly’. There is also a drive for constant product improvement and innovation—the company claims that its chocolate brownie dessert has been improved 33 times over the last few years—and, on average, a new product is tried out in the stores every four days. Aware that some of its customers are increasingly health conscious, Pret’s website menu carefully lists not only what is available, but also the ingredients and nutritional values in terms of energy, protein, fats and dietary fibre for each item.

 

The level and quality of service from staff in the shop is a critical factor. The stores are self-service, with customers helping themselves to sandwiches and other products form the supermarket-style refrigerated cabinets. Staff at the counter at the back of the store then serve customers coffee and take payment. Service is friendly, smiling and efficient, in contrast to many retail and restaurant outlets in Britain where, historically, service quality has not always been high. Prêt puts an emphasis on human resource management issues such as effective recruitment and training so as to have frontline staff who can show the necessary enthusiasm and also remain fast and courteous under the pressure of a busy lunchtime sales period. These staff are usually young and enthusiastic, some are students, many are international. The pay they receive is above the fast-food industry average and staff turnover is 98 per cent a year, which sounds high—however, this is against an industry norm of around 150 per cent. In 2001, Pret had 55,000 applications for 1500 advertised vacancies.

 

Recently, Fortune magazine voted Pret one of the top 10 companies to work for in Europe. According to its own promotional recruitment material, Pret is an attractive and fun place to work: ‘We don’t work nights, we wear jeans, we party!’ Service quality is checked regularly by the use of mystery shoppers: if a shop receives a good report, then the staff there receive a 75p an hour bonus in the week of the visit. Head office managers also visit stores on a regular basis and every three or four months every one of these managers works as a ‘buddy’, where they spend a day making sandwiches and working on the floor in one of the shops to help them keep in touch with what is going on. Store employees work in teams and are briefed daily, often on the basis of customer responses that come in from in-store reply cards, telephone calls and the company website. The website, which, lists the names and phone numbers of its senior executives, actively invites customers to comment or complain about their experience with Pret, and encourages them to contact the company. Great importance is placed on this customer feed-back, both positive and negative, which is discussed at weekly management meetings.

 

The design of the stores is also distinctive. Prominently featuring the company logo, they are fitted out in a high-tech with metal cladding and interiors in Pret’s own corporate dark red colour. Each store plays music, helping to create a stylish and lively atmosphere. Although the shops mainly sell carry out food and coffee in the morning and through the lunchtime period, many also have tables and seating where customers can drink coffee and eat inside the store or, weather permitting, on the pavement outside.

 

Growth and competition

 

Three years after the first Pret shop was launched another was opened and, after that, the chain began to grow so that, by 1998, there were 65 throughout London. In the late 1990s stores were also opened in other British cities such as Bristol, Cambridge and Manchester. Although growth in the UK has been rapid—between 2000 and 2002 the company opened 40 new outlets and there are over 120 throughout Britain—Pret’s policy has always been to own and manage all its own stores and not to franchise to other operators. In 2002, £1 million was spent in launching an Internet service that enables customers to order sandwiches online.

 

Plans for international growth have been more cautious. In 2000 the company made its first move overseas when it opened a shop near Wall Street in New York. However, there were problems on several fronts in moving into the USA. Metcalf is quoted saying, ‘As a private company its very difficult to set up abroad. We didn’t know where to begin in New York—we ended up having all the equipment for the shop made here and shipped over.’ There were also staffing and service quality difficulties—Pret reportedly found it difficult to recruit people in New York who had the required friendliness to serve in the stores and had to import British staff. Despite these problems, several other shops in New York have followed and, in 2001, Pret opened its first outlet in Hong Kong.

 

During the 1990s, coffee shops boomed as the British developed a growing taste for drinking coffee in pavement cafes, and competition for Pret grew as other chains entered the fray. Rivals like Coffee Republic, Caffè Nero, Costa Coffee (now owned by leisure group Whitbread) Aroma (owned by McDonald’s) and American worldwide operator Starbucks all came into the market, as well as a number of smaller independents. All these chains offer a wide range of coffees but with varying product offerings in terms of food, pricing and style (Starbucks, for example, offers comfortable arm-chairs around tables, which encourage people to linger or work in a laptop in the store). In a London shopping street it is not uncommon to see three or four rival outlets next door to or within a few yards of each other. However, it quickly became clear that the sector was overcrowded and, apart from Starbucks, some of the other chains reportedly struggled to make a profit. In 2002 Coffee Republic was taken over by Caffè Nero, which also eventually acquired the ailing Aroma chain from McDonald’s. Costa Coffee was the largest chain overall with over 300 shops throughout Britain, while Starbucks was expanding aggressively and aimed to have an eventual 4000 stores worldwide.

 

The future

As work and lifestyles get busier, the demand for convenience and fast foods continues to grow. In 2000, some estimates put the total value of the fast-food market in Britain, excluding sandwiches, at over £6 billion and growing about £200-£300 million a year. While the growth in sales of some types of fast food, like burgers, was showing signs of slowing down, sandwiches continued to increase in popularity so that by 2002 sales wee an estimated £3 billion. Customers are also getting more health conscious and choosy about what they eat and, increasingly, want nutritional information about food from labelling and packaging.

 

In January 2001, in a surprise move, Pret’s two founders sold a 33 per cent stake in the company to fast-food giant McDonald’s for an estimated £25 million. They claim that McDonald’s will not have any influence over what Pret does or the products it sells, but that the investment by McDonald’s will help their plan for future development. According to Metcalf:

 

‘We’ll still be in charge—we’ll have the majority of shares. Pret will continue as it does… The deal wasn’t about money—we could have sold the shares for much more to other buyers but they wouldn’t have provided the support we need.’

 

After a long run of success, Pret has ambitious plans for the future. It hopes to open at least 20 new stores a year in the UK. In late 2002 it opened its first store in Tokyo, Japan, in partnership with McDonald’s. The menu there is described as being 75 per cent ‘classic Pret’ with the remaining 25 per cent designed more to please local tastes. In other international markets, the plan is to move cautiously—Pret’s first move will be to open more stores in New York and Hong Kong, where it has already been successful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Questions

 

  1. How has Pret a Manger positioned its brand?
  2. Explain how the different elements of the services marketing mix support and contribute to the positioning of Pret a Manger.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Case V   ‘Fast Fashion’: exploring how retailers get affordable fashion on to the high street                                              

 

The term ‘fast fashion’ has become very much de rigueur within the fashion retailing industry. Retailers have to react quickly to changes in the market, possess lean manufacturing operations, and utilize responsive supply chains in order to get the latest fashions to the mass market. Stores such as H&M, Zara, Mango, Top Shop and Benetton have been tremendously successful in being responsive to the fashion needs of the market. Excellent logistical and marketing information systems are seen as key to the implementation of the ‘fast fashion’ concept. ‘Fast fashion’ is the emphasis of putting fashionable and affordable design concepts, which match consumer demand, on to the high street as quickly as possible. These retailers get sought-after fashions into stores in a matter of weeks, rather than the previous industry norm, which relied on production lead times ranging from six months to a year. The concept of ‘fast fashion’ relies of a number of central components: excellent marketing information systems, flexible production and logistics operations, excellent communications within the supply chain, and leveraging advanced IT systems. These components allow stores to track consumer demand, and deliver a rapid response to changes in the marketplace. The results are invigorating for fashion retailers, with ‘fast fashion’ retailers’ sales growing by 11 per cent, compared with the industry norm of 2 per cent.

 

Within the fashion industry a number of different levels exist, the exclusive haute couture ranges (made to measure), the designer ready-to-wear collections, and then copycat designs by mass-market retailers. Fashion has now gone to the high street, becoming more democratic for the mass market.

The traditional fashion- retailing model was seasonal, whereby retailers would typically launch two seasons: spring and autumn collections. Fashion retailers would buy for these collections from their supplier network a year in advance, and allow for between 20-30 per cent of their purchasing budgets open to specific fashion changes in the market. Typically, retailers would have perennial offerings that rarely change as well as catering to the whims of fashion, such as basic T-shirts and jeans.

 

Now, through the ‘fast fashion’ philosophy, new items are being stocked in stores more frequently. These newer product ranges stimulate shoppers into frequenting these stores on a more regular basis, in some cases weekly to see new fashion items. Savvy brand-loyal shoppers know when new stock is being delivered to their favourite store. Through increased stock replenishment of new, fashionable items, consumers are increasing their footfall to these stores, and furthermore these stores are developing brand images as cutting edge, trendy, and fashionable. This increased footfall, where shoppers regularly visit a store, eliminates the need for major expenditure on advertising and promotion. Also the concept of ‘fast fashion’ is helping to improve sales, conversion ratios within these stores. Due to the limited supply of designs available, this creates an aura of exclusivity for these garments, further enhancing the brands of these ‘fast fashion retailers’ as leading fashion brands.

 

Famous for ABBA, Volvos and IKEA, now Sweden has another international success story: H&M. The basic business premise behind H&M is ‘fashion and quality at the best price’. The company now has over 1068 stores in 21 countries. H&M sources 50 per cent of its goods in Europe and the remainder in low-cost Asian countries. Sourcing decisions are dependent on cost, quality, lead times and export regulations. The lead times for items can vary from a minuscule two weeks to six months, dependent on the item itself. H&M believes that having very short lead times can be beneficial in terms of stock control, however it is not the most important criteria for all items. Basic clothing garments can have lead times running into months, due to consistent demand. However, items that are more trend- and fashion-conscious require very short lead times, to match demand. H&M is now also in the process of teaming up with prestigious designers like Karl Lagerfeld to create affordable fashion ranges.

 

The firm utilizes close relationships with its network of production offices and 700 suppliers. Unlike some other clothing retailers, H&M outsources all of its production to independent suppliers. The dyeing of garments is postponed until as late as possible in the production process to allow greater flexibility and adaptation to the whims of the fashion buyer. Items from around the world are shipped to a centralized transit warehouse in Hamburg, Germany, where quality checks are undertaken, and the items are allocated to individual stores or placed in centralized storage. Items that are placed in this ‘call-off warehouse’ are allocated to stores where there is more demand for the particular item. For example, if pairs of a particular style of jeans are selling well in London, more jeans are shipped from Hamburg to H&M’s London stores.

 

Table 6:   Some of the key players in apparel industry

 

H&M Next Benetton
Originated in Sweden Originated in the UK Originated in Italy
Chain has 1069 stores in 21 countries Has 380 stores in the UK and Ireland and has 80 franchise stores overseas Has a presence in 120 countries and uses a retail network o 5000 stores
Originally called Hennes & Mauritz, renamed as H&M. Sells women’s and men’s apparel. Doesn’t own any manufacturing resources. Motto—‘Fashion and quality at the best price’. Sells women’s wear, men’s wear and homeware. The firm has a very successful catalogue business. Targets the top end of the mass market, focusing on fashionable moderately priced clothing Sell under brand name such as Benetton, Playlife, Sisley and Killer Loop. Uses a network of franchises/partner stores. Established huge brand awareness through its infamous ad campaigns.
Zara Mango Arcadia
Originated in Spain Originated in Spain Originated in the UK
Chain has 729 Zara stores Chain has 770 stores in 70 countries Chain has over 2000 stores
Zara is the main part of the Spanish Inditex group and is valued at nearly €14 billion. Operates under the mantra of affordable fashion, and adopts the principle of market-driven supply. Operates a successful franchise operation (more than half are franchises). The company specializes exclusively in targeting the young female mid-market. Operates several different fascia, targeting different types of customer, with stores such as Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Wallis, Top Shop, Top Man, Miss Selfridge and Outfit. Owner Philip Green also owns BHS stores and Etam UK

 

Sourcing low-cost garments with quick response times is a vital element of the concept. Many of the ‘fast fashion’ retailers utilize a vast network of suppliers, so that their stores are replenished with latest designs. Some firms are entirely vertically integrated, where the retailer owns and controls the entire supply chain. For example, Zara buys its fabric from a company owned by its parent, Inditex, and buys dyes from another company also within the group. Retailers source their goods from countries such as China, North Africa, Turkey and low-cost eastern European countries. If cost were the sole basis for supplier selection, then the vast majority of products would be sourced from the Far East. However, the lead times for delivery of goods are quite substantial in comparison to sourcing garments in Eastern Europe (e.g. shipping goods from China can take sex weeks, whereas from Hungary takes two days). As a result of this, retailers are using a hybrid approach, sourcing closer to markets for more fashion-orientated lines. The drive towards reduced lead times is allowing companies to be more responsive to market changes. The benefits of such a quick response to market changes are reduced costs, lean inventories, faster merchandise flow and closer collaborative supply chain relationships.

 

The concept of ‘postponement’ is a key strategy used within the fashion retailing industry. It is the delayed configuration of a garment’s final design until the final market destination and/or customer requirement is known and, once this is known, the garment is assembled or customized. The material and styles are kept generic for a long as possible, before final customization. A classic illustration of the concept of postponement is its usage by Benetton. Colours can come in and out of fashion.  Benetton delays when its garments are finally product differentiated, so that this matches what is selling. For example, a Benetton sweater would be stitched and assembled from its original grey yarn and then, based on feedback from Benetton’s distribution network as to what colours were selling, the sweater would be dyed at the very final stage of production. The concept of postponement allows greater inventory cost saving, and increased flexibility in matching actual demand.

 

The production and logistics facilities for these ‘fast fashion’ retailers are colossal in that each design may have several colour variants, and the retailer needs to produce an array of garments in a number of different sizes. The number of stock keeping units (SKUs) is therefore staggering. As a result, companies require a very reliable and sophisticated information system—for example, Zara has to deal with over 300,000 new SKUs every year. Benetton has a fully automated sorting and shipping system, managing over 110 million items a year, with a staff of only 24 employees in its centralized distribution centres. Mango, another successful Spanish fashion chain, also utilizes a high-tech distribution system, which can sort and pack 12,000 folded items an hour and 7000 hanging garments an hour.

 

Many in the industry see Zara as the classic illustration of the concept of ‘fast fashion’ in operation. The company can get a garment from design, through production and ultimately on to the shelf in a mere 15 days. The norm for the industry has typically run to several months. The group’s basic business philosophy is to seduce customers with the latest fashion at attractive prices. It has grown rapidly as a fashion retail powerhouse by adopting four central strategies: creativity and innovation; having an international presence; utilizing a multi-format strategy; and through vertically integrating its entire supply chain. For the ‘fast fashion’ concept to be successful, it requires close relationships between suppliers and retailers, information sharing and utilization of technology. Information is utilized along the entire supply chain, according to the demand. It controls design, production and the logistics elements of the business. Real-time demand feeds the production systems.

 

Zara is part of the Inditex group of fashion retail brands. This group adopts a multi-format strategy with different store brands targeting different types of customers. Zara is its key fashion-retailing brand. Zara opened its first store in 1975 in Spain and has now become a fashion powerhouse, operating in four continents, with 729 stores, located in over 54 countries. It has become very hip all over the world, for its value for money and stylish designs. The chain is building large numbers of brand devotees because of its fashionable designs, which are in tune with the very latest trends, and a very convincing price-quality offering. Each of the different store brands (outlined in Table- 7) needs to be strongly differentiated in order for the strategy to work effectively.

 

Table 7   Number of Inditex stores by fascia

 

Zara 729
Pull and Bear 373
Massimo Dutti 330
Bershka 305
Stradivarius 228
Oysho 106
Zara Home 63
Kiddy’s Class 131
TOTAL 2265

 

Figure  3  Zara’s market-led supply

 

 

 

 

Zara does not undertake any conventional advertising, except as a vehicle for announcing a new store opening, the start of sales of seasons. The company uses the stores themselves as its main promotional strategy, to convey its image. Zara tries to locate its stores in prime commercial areas. Deep inside the lairs of its corporate headquarters, 25 full-scale store windows are set up, whereby Zara window designers can experiment with design layouts and lighting. The approved design layouts are shipped out to all Zara’s stores, so that a Zara shop front in London will be the same as in Lisbon and throughout the entire chain. The store itself is the company’s main promotional vehicle.

 

One of Zara’s key philosophies was the realization that fashion, much like food, has a ‘best before’ date: that fashion trends change rapidly. What style consumers want this month may not be same in two months’ time. Fashion retailers have to adapt to what the marketplace wants for the here and now. The company is guilty of under-stocking garments, as it does not want to be left with obsolete or out-of-fashion items. The key driving force behind its success is to minimize inventory levels, getting product out on to the retail floor space, and by being responsive to the needs of the market. Zara uses its stores to find out what consumers really want, designs are selling, what colours are in demand, which items are hot sellers and which are complete flops. It uses a sophisticated marketing information system to provide feedback to headquarters and allow it to respond to what the marketplace wants. Similarly, Mango uses a computerized logistical system that allows the matching of clothes designs to particular stores based on personality traits and even climate variances (i.e. ‘It this garment suitable for the Mediterranean Summer?). This sophisticated IT infrastructure allows for more responsive market-led retailing, matching suitable clothing lines to compatible stores.

 

At the end of each day, Zara sales assistants report to the store manager using wireless headsets, to communicate inventory levels. The stores then report back to Zara’s design and distribution departments on what consumers are buying, asking for or avoiding. Both hard sales data and soft data (i.e. customer feedback on the latest designs) are communicated directly back to the company’s headquarters, through open channels of communication. Zara’s 250 designers use market feedback for their next creations. Designers work hand in hand with market analyst, in cross-functional teams, to pick up on the latest trends. Garments are produced in comparatively small production runs, so as not to be over-exposed if a particular item is a very poor seller. If a product is a poor seller, it is removed after as little as two weeks. Roughly 10 per cent of stock falls into this unsold category, in direct contrast to industry norms of between 17 and 20 per cent. Zara produces nearly 11,000 designs a year. Stock items are seen as assets that are extremely perishable and, if they are sitting on shelves or racks in a warehouse, they are simply not making money for the organization.

 

In the course of one year alone, Zara has been able to launch 24 different collections into its network of stores. After designs have been approved, fabrics are dyed and cut by highly automated production lines. These pre-cut pieces are then sent out of nearly 350 workshops in northern Spain and Portugal. These workshops employ nearly 11,000 ‘grey economy’ workers mainly women, who may want to supplement their income. Seamstresses stitch the pre-cut pieces into garments using easy-to-follow instructions supplied by Zara. The typical seamstress’s wage in Zara’s workshop network is extremely competitive when compared with those in ‘third world’ countries where other fashion retailers mainly outsource their production. Furthermore, the proximity of these workshops allows for greater flexibility and control, Zara achieves greater control over its supply chain through having a high degree of integration within the supply chain. By owning suppliers, Zara has greater control production capacities, quality and scheduling. This is in stark contrast to Benetton, which is close to being a virtual organization, outsourcing production to third-party suppliers and directly owning only a handful of its stores, the majority being franchises or partner stores.

 

The finished garments are then sent back to Zara’s colossal state-of-the-art logistics centre. Here they are electronically tagged, quality control double-checks them, and then they are sorted into distribution lots, ensuring the items arrive at their ultimate destinations. Each item is tagged with pricing information. There is no pan-European pricing for Zara’s products: prices are different in each national market. Zara believes each national market has its own particular nuances, such as higher salaries or higher taxation, therefore it has to adjust the price of each garment to make it suitable in each country and to reflect these differences. Shipments leave La Coruňa bound for every one of the Zara stores in over 54 countries twice a week, every week. The company’s average turnaround time from designing to delivery of a new garment takes on average 10 to 15 days, and delivery of goods takes a maximum of 21 days, which is unparalleled in an industry where lead times are usually months, not days. Zara’s business model tries to fulfil real-time fashion retailing and not second-guessing what consumers’ needs are for next season, which may be six months away. As a result of Zara utilizing this ultra-responsive supply chain, 85 per cent of its entire product range obtains full ticket price, whereas the industry norm is between 60 and 70 per cent.

 

The successful adoption of the ‘fast fashion’ concept by these international retailers has drastically altered the competitive landscape in apparel retailing. Consumers’ expectations are also rising with these improved retail offerings. Clothes shoppers are seeking out the latest fashions at value-for-money prices in enticing store environments. Now other well-established high-street fashion retailers have to adapt to these challenges, by being more responsive, cost efficient, speedy and flexible in their operations. The rag trade is churning out the latest value-for-money fashions at breakneck speed. ‘Fast fashion’ is what the marketplace is demanding.

 

 

Questions

 

  1. Discuss how supply chain management can contribute to the marketing success of these retailers.
  2. Discuss the central components necessary for the fast fashion concept to work effectively.
  3. Critically evaluate the concept of ‘market-driven supply’, discussing the merits and pitfalls of its implementation in fashion retailing.

 


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Case 1: Zip Zap Zoom Car Company

          

Zip Zap Zoom Company Ltd is into manufacturing cars in the small car (800 cc) segment.  It was set up 15 years back and since its establishment it has seen a phenomenal growth in both its market and profitability.  Its financial statements are shown in Exhibits 1 and 2 respectively.

The company enjoys the confidence of its shareholders who have been rewarded with growing dividends year after year.  Last year, the company had announced 20 per cent dividend, which was the highest in the automobile sector.  The company has never defaulted on its loan payments and enjoys a favorable face with its lenders, which include financial institutions, commercial banks and debenture holders.

The competition in the car industry has increased in the past few years and the company foresees further intensification of competition with the entry of several foreign car manufactures many of them being market leaders in their respective countries.  The small car segment especially, will witness entry of foreign majors in the near future, with latest technology being offered to the Indian customer.  The Zip Zap Zoom’s senior management realizes the need for large scale investment in up gradation of technology and improvement of manufacturing facilities to pre-empt competition.

Whereas on the one hand, the competition in the car industry has been intensifying, on the other hand, there has been a slowdown in the Indian economy, which has not only reduced the demand for cars, but has also led to adoption of price cutting strategies by various car manufactures.   The industry indicators predict that the economy is gradually slipping into recession.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exhibit 1 Balance sheet as at March 31,200 x

(Amount in Rs. Crore)

 

Source of Funds

Share capital                                        350

Reserves and surplus                           250                              600

Loans :

Debentures (@ 14%)               50

Institutional borrowing (@ 10%)        100

Commercial loans (@ 12%)    250

Total debt                                                                                            400

Current liabilities                                                                                 200

1,200

 

Application of Funds

Fixed Assets

Gross block                                                     1,000

Less : Depreciation                                            250

Net block                                                           750

Capital WIP                                                       190

Total Fixed Assets                                                                              940

Current assets :

Inventory                                                           200

Sundry debtors                                                    40

Cash and bank balance                                        10

Other current assets                                 10

Total current assets                                                                 260

-1200

 

Exhibit 2 Profit and Loss Account for the year ended March 31, 200x

(Amount in Rs. Crore)

Sales revenue (80,000 units x Rs. 2,50,000)                                       2,000.0

Operating expenditure :

Variable cost :

Raw material and manufacturing expenses    1,300.0

Variable overheads                                                        100.0

Total                                                                                                                1,400.0

Fixed cost :

R & D                                                                                          20.0

Marketing and advertising                                               25.0

Depreciation                                                                   250.0

 

Personnel                                                                          70.0

Total                                                                                                                   365.0

 

Total operating expenditure                                                                1,765.0

Operating profits (EBIT)                                                                                   235.0

Financial expense :

Interest on debentures                                                            7.7

Interest on institutional borrowings                        11.0

Interest on commercial loan                                    33.0                     51.7

Earnings before tax (EBT)                                                                                          183.3

Tax (@ 35%)                                                                                                                 64.2

Earnings after tax (EAT)                                                                                            119.1

Dividends                                                                                                                     70.0

Debt redemption (sinking fund obligation)**                                                              40.0

Contribution to reserves and surplus                                                                  9.1

*          Includes the cost of inventory and work in process (W.P) which is dependent on demand (sales).

**        The loans have to be retired in the next ten years and the firm redeems Rs. 40 crore every year.

The company is faced with the problem of deciding how much to invest in up

gradation of its plans and technology.  Capital investment up to a maximum of Rs. 100

crore is required.  The problem areas are three-fold.

  • The company cannot forgo the capital investment as that could lead to reduction in its market share as technological competence in this industry is a must and customers would shift to manufactures providing latest in car technology.
  • The company does not want to issue new equity shares and its retained earning are not enough for such a large investment.  Thus, the only option is raising debt.
  • The company wants to limit its additional debt to a level that it can service without taking undue risks.  With the looming recession and uncertain market conditions, the company perceives that additional fixed obligations could become a cause of financial distress, and thus, wants to determine its additional debt capacity to meet the investment requirements.

Mr. Shortsighted, the company’s Finance Manager, is given the task of determining the additional debt that the firm can raise.  He thinks that the firm can raise Rs. 100 crore worth debt and service it even in years of recession.  The company can raise debt at 15 per cent from a financial institution.  While working out the debt capacity.  Mr. Shortsighted takes the following assumptions for the recession years.

  1. A maximum of 10 percent reduction in sales volume will take place.
  2. A maximum of 6 percent reduction in sales price of cars will take place.

Mr. Shorsighted prepares a projected income statement which is representative of the recession years.  While doing so, he determines what he thinks are the “irreducible minimum” expenditures under

 

recessionary conditions.  For him, risk of insolvency is the main concern while designing the capital structure.  To support his view, he presents the income statement as shown in Exhibit 3.

 

Exhibit 3 projected Profit and Loss account

(Amount in Rs. Crore)

Sales revenue (72,000 units x Rs. 2,35,000)                                       1,692.0

Operating expenditure

Variable cost :

Raw material and manufacturing expenses    1,170.0

Variable overheads                                                          90.0

Total                                                                                                                1,260.0

Fixed cost :

R & D                                                                                          —

Marketing and advertising                                               15.0

Depreciation                                                                   187.5

Personnel                                                                          70.0

Total                                                                                                                   272.5

Total operating expenditure                                                                1,532.5

EBIT                                                                                                                  159.5

Financial expenses :

Interest on existing Debentures                                        7.0

Interest on existing institutional borrowings      10.0

Interest on commercial loan                                30.0

Interest on additional debt                                             15.0                  62.0

EBT                                                                                                                      97.5

Tax (@ 35%)                                                                                                        34.1

EAT                                                                                                                     63.4

Dividends                                                                                                              —

Debt redemption (sinking fund obligation)                                             50.0*

Contribution to reserves and surplus                                                       13.4

 

* Rs. 40 crore (existing debt) + Rs. 10 crore (additional debt)

Assumptions of Mr. Shorsighted

  • R & D expenditure can be done away with till the economy picks up.
  • Marketing and advertising expenditure can be reduced by 40 per cent.
  • Keeping in mind the investor confidence that the company enjoys, he feels that the company can forgo paying dividends in the recession period.

 

He goes with his worked out statement to the Director Finance, Mr. Arthashatra, and advocates raising Rs. 100 crore of debt to finance the intended capital investment.  Mr. Arthashatra  does not feel comfortable with the statements and calls for the company’s financial analyst, Mr. Longsighted.

Mr. Longsighted carefully analyses Mr. Shortsighted’s assumptions and points out that insolvency should not be the sole criterion while determining the debt capacity of the firm.  He points out the following :

  • Apart from debt servicing, there are certain expenditures like those on R & D and marketing that need to be continued to ensure the long-term health of the firm.
  • Certain management policies like those relating to dividend payout, send out important signals to the investors.  The Zip Zap Zoom’s management has been paying regular dividends and discontinuing this practice (even though just for the recession phase) could raise serious doubts in the investor’s mind about the health of the firm.  The firm should pay at least 10 per cent dividend in the recession years.
  • Mr. Shortsighted has used the accounting profits to determine the amount available each year for servicing the debt obligations.  This does not give the true picture.  Net cash inflows should be used to determine the amount available for servicing the debt.
  • Net Cash inflows are determined by an interplay of many variables and such a simplistic view should not be taken while determining the cash flows in recession.  It is not possible to accurately predict the fall in any of the factors such as sales volume, sales price, marketing expenditure and so on.  Probability distribution of variation of each of the factors that affect net cash inflow should be analyzed.  From  this analysis, the probability distribution of variation in net cash inflow should be analysed (the net cash inflows follow a normal probability distribution).  This will give a true picture of how the company’s cash flows will behave in recession conditions.

 

The management recognizes that the alternative suggested by Mr. Longsighted rests on data, which are complex and require expenditure of time and effort to obtain and interpret.  Considering the importance of capital structure design, the Finance Director asks Mr. Longsighted to carry out his analysis.  Information on the behaviour of cash flows during the recession periods is taken into account.

The methodology undertaken is as follows :

  • Important factors that affect cash flows (especially contraction of cash flows), like sales volume, sales price, raw materials expenditure, and so on, are identified and the analysis is carried out in terms of cash receipts and cash expenditures.

 

  • Each factor’s behaviour (variation behaviour) in adverse conditions in the past is studied and future expectations are combined with past data, to describe limits (maximum favourable), most probable and maximum adverse) for all the factors.
  • Once this information is generated for all the factors affecting the cash flows, Mr. Longsighted comes up with a range of estimates of the cash flow in future recession periods based on all possible combinations of the several factors. He also estimates the probability of occurrence of each estimate of cash flow.

 

Assuming a normal distribution of the expected behaviour, the mean expected

value of net cash inflow in adverse conditions came out to be Rs. 220.27 crore with standard deviation of Rs. 110 crore.

Keeping in mind the looming recession and the uncertainty of the recession behaviour, Mr. Arthashastra feels that the firm should factor a risk of cash inadequacy of around 5 per cent even in the most adverse industry conditions.  Thus, the firm should take up only that amount of additional debt that it can service 95 per cent of the times, while maintaining cash adequacy.

To maintain an annual dividend of 10 per cent, an additional Rs. 35 crore has to be kept aside.  Hence, the expected available net cash inflow is Rs. 185.27 crore (i.e. Rs. 220.27 – Rs. 35 crore)

Question:

Analyse the debt capacity of the company.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE – 2   GREAVES LIMITED

 

Started as trading firm in 1922, Greaves Limited has diversified into manufacturing and marketing of high technology engineering products and systems. The company’s mission is “manufacture and market a wide range of high quality products, services and systems of world class technology to the total satisfaction of customers in domestic and overseas market.”

Over the years Greaves has brought to India state of the art technologies in various engineering fields by setting up manufacturing units and subsidiary and associate companies. The sales of Greaves Limited has increased from Rs 214 crore in 1990 to Rs 801 crore in 1997. The sales of Greaves Limited has increased from Rs 214 crore in 1990 to Rs 801 crore in 1997. Profits before interest and tax (PBIT) of the company increased from Rs 15 crore to Rs 83 crore in 1997. The market price of the company’s share has shown ups and downs during 1990 to 1997. How has the company performed? The following question need answer to fully understand the performance of the company:

 

Exhibit 1

 

GREAVES LTD.

Profit and Loss Account ending on 31 March          (Rupees in crore)

  1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997
Sales

Raw Material and Stores

Wages and Salaries

Power and fuel

Other Mfg. Expenses

Other Expenses

Depreciation

Marketing and Distribution

Change in stock

214.38

170.67

13.54

0.52

0.61

11.85

1.85

4.86

1.18

253.10

202.84

15.60

0.70

0.49

15.48

1.72

5.67

3.10

287.81

230.81

18.03

1.11

0.88

16.35

1.52

5.14

4.93

311.14

213.79

37.04

3.80

2.37

25.54

4.62

5.17

0.48

354.25

245.63

37.96

4.43

2.36

31.60

5.99

9.67

– 1.13

521.56

379.83

48.24

6.66

3.57

41.40

8.53

10.81

5.63

728.15

543.56

60.48

7.70

4.84

45.74

9.30

12.44

11.86

801.11

564.35

69.66

9.23

5.49

48.64

11.53

16.98

– 5.87

Total Op Expenses 202.72 239.40 268.91 291.85 338.77 493.41 672.20 731.75
 

Operating Profit

Other Income

Non-recurring Income

 

11.61

2.14

1.30

 

13.70

3.69

2.28

 

18.90

4.97

0.10

 

19.29

4.24

10.98

 

15.48

7.72

16.44

 

28.15

14.35

0.46

 

55.95

11.35

0.52

 

69.36

13.08

1.75

PBIT   15.10   19.67   23.97   34.51   39.64   42.98   65.67   82.64
Interest     5.56     6.77   11.92   19.62   17.17   21.48   28.25   27.54
PBT     9.54   12.90   12.05   14.89   22.47   21.50   37.42   55.10
Tax

PAT

Dividend

Retained Earnings

    3.00

6.54

1.80

4.74

    3.60

9.30

2.00

7.30

    4.90

7.15

2.30

4.85

    0.00

14.89

4.06

10.83

    4.00

18.47

7.29

11.18

    7.00

14.50

8.58

5.92

    8.60

28.82

12.85

15.97

  15.80

39.30

14.18

25.12

 

Exhibit 2

 

GREAVES LTD.

Balance Sheet                                (Rupees in crore)

  1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997
ASSETS

Land and Building

Plant and Machinery

Other Fixed Assets

Capital WIP

Gross Fixed Assets

Less: Accu. Depreciation

Net Tangible Fixed Assets

Intangible Fixed Assets

 

3.88

11.98

3.64

0.09

19.59

12.91

6.68

0.21

 

4.22

12.68

4.14

0.26

21.30

14.56

6.74

0.19

 

4.96

12.98

4.38

10.25

23.57

15.79

7.78

0.05

 

21.70

33.49

5.18

11.27

71.64

19.84

51.80

4.40

 

30.82

50.78

6.95

34.84

123.39

25.74

97.65

22.03

 

39.71

75.34

8.53

14.37

137.95

33.90

104.05

22.45

 

42.34

92.49

8.87

13.92

157.62

42.56

115.06

20.04

 

43.07

104.45

10.35

14.36

172.23

53.87

118.86

21.11

Net Fixed Assets     6.89     6.93     7.83   56.20 119.68 126.50 135.10 139.97
 

Raw Materials

Finished Goods

Inventory

Accounts Receivable

Other Receivable

Investments

Cash and Bank Balance

Current Assets

Total Assets

LIABILITIES AND CAPITAL

Equity Capital

Preference Capital

Reserves and Surplus

 

5.26

29.37

34.63

38.16

32.62

3.55

8.36

117.32

124.21

 

9.86

0.20

27.60

 

6.91

33.72

40.63

53.24

40.47

14.95

8.91

158.20

165.13

 

9.86

0.20

32.57

 

7.26

38.65

45.91

67.97

49.19

15.15

12.71

190.93

198.76

 

9.86

0.20

37.42

 

21.05

53.39

74.44

93.30

24.54

27.58

13.29

233.15

289.35

 

18.84

0.20

100.35

 

28.13

52.26

80.39

122.20

59.12

73.50

18.38

353.59

473.27

 

29.37

0.20

171.03

 

44.03

58.09

102.12

133.45

64.32

75.01

30.08

404.98

531.48

 

29.44

0.20

176.88

 

53.62

69.97

123.59

141.82

76.57

75.07

33.46

450.51

585.61

 

44.20

0.20

175.41

 

50.94

64.09

115.03

179.92

107.31

76.45

48.18

526.89

666.86

 

44.20

0.20

198.79

Net Worth   37.66   42.63   47.48 119.39 200.60 206.52 219.81 243.19
Bank Borrowings

Institutional Borrowings

Debentures

Fixed Deposits

Commercial Paper

Other Borrowings

Current Portion of LT Debt

  14.81

4.13

4.77

12.31

0.00

2.33

0.00

  19.45

3.43

16.57

14.45

0.00

3.22

0.00

  26.51

9.17

19.99

15.03

0.00

3.10

0.08

  24.82

38.09

4.56

14.08

0.00

3.18

0.12

  55.12

38.76

4.37

15.57

15.00

17.08

15.08

  64.97

69.69

4.37

17.75

0.00

1.97

0.02

  70.08

89.26

2.92

20.81

0.00

2.36

1.49

118.28

63.60

1.49

19.29

0.00

2.57

1.57

Borrowings   38.35   57.12   73.72   84.61 130.82 158.73 183.94 203.66
Sundry Creditors

Other Liabilities

Provision for tax, etc.

Proposed Dividends

Current Portion of LT Dept

  37.52

5.70

3.18

1.80

0.00

  49.40

10.16

3.82

2.00

0.00

  59.34

10.70

5.14

2.30

0.08

  77.27

3.59

0.31

4.06

0.12

113.66

1.42

4.40

7.29

15.08

148.13

1.99

7.70

8.58

0.02

153.63

1.70

12.19

12.85

1.49

179.79

3.04

21.43

14.18

1.57

Current Liabilities   48.20   65.38   77.56   85.35 141.85 166.42 181.86 220.01
TOTAL LIABILITIES

Additional information:

Share premium reserve

Revaluation reserve

Bonus equity capital

124.21

 

 

 

8.51

165.13

 

 

 

8.51

198.76

 

 

 

8.51

289.35

 

47.69

8.91

8.51

473.27

 

107.40

8.70

8.51

531.67

 

107.91

8.50

8.51

585.61

 

93.35

8.31

23.25

666.86

 

93.35

8.15

23.25

 

Exhibit 3

 

GREAVES LTD.

Share Price Data

    1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997
 Closing share price (Rs)

Yearly high share price (Rs)

Yearly low share price (Rs)

Market capitalization (Rs crore

EPS (Rs)

Book value (Rs)

  27.19

29.25

26.78

65.06

4.79

35.64

34.74

45.28

21.61

67.77

6.82

37.22

121.27

121.27

34.36

236.56

9.73

42.54

  66.67

126.33

48.34

274.84

1.93

57.75

  78.34

90.00

42.67

346.35

2.66

40.61

  71.67

100.01

68.34

316.87

7.16

64.98

  47.5

90.00

45.00

210.02

5.03

45.35

  48.25

85.00

43.75

213.34

9.01

50.73

 

 

 

 

Questions

 

  1. How profitable are its operations? What are the trends in it? How has growth affected the profitability of the company?
  2. What factors have contributed to the operating performance of Greaves Limited? What is the role of profitability margin, asset utilisation, and non-operating income?
  3. How has Greaves performed in terms of return on equity? What is the contribution of return on investment, the way of the business has been financed over the period?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE – 3   CHOOSING BETWEEN PROJECTS IN ABC COMPANY

 

ABC Company, has three projects to choose from. The Finance Manager, the operations manager are discussing and they are not able to come to a proper decision. Then they are meeting a consultant to get proper advice. As a consultant, what advice you will give?

 

The cash flows are as follows. All amounts are in lakhs of Rupees.

 

Project 1:

Duration 5 Years

Beginning cash outflow = Rs. 100

Cash inflows (at the end of the year)

Yr. 1 – Rs 30; Yr. 2 – Rs 30; Yr. 3 – Rs 30; Yr.4 – 10; Yr.5 – 10

 

Project 2:

Duration 5 Years

Beginning Cash outflow Rs. 3763

Cash inflows (at the end of the year)

Yr. 1 – 200; Yr. 2 – 600; Yr. 3 – 1000; Yr. 4 – 1000; Yr. 5 – 2000.

 

Project 3:

Duration 15 Years

Beginning Cash Outflow – Rs. 100

Cash Inflows (at the end of the year)

Yrs. 1 to 10 – Rs. 20 (for 10 continuous years)

Yrs. 11 to 15 – Rs. 10 (For the next 5 years)

 

Question:

If the cost of capital is 8%, which of the 3 projects should the ABC Company accept?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE – 4   STAR ENGINEERING COMPANY

 

Star Engineering Company (SEC) produces electrical accessories like meters, transformers, switchgears, and automobile accessories like taximeters and speedometers.

SEC buys the electrical components, but manufactures all mechanical parts within its factory which is divided into four production departments Machining, Fabrication, Assembly, and Painting—and three service departments—Stores, Maintenance, and Works Office.

Though the company prepared annual budgets and monthly financial statements, it had no formal cost accounting system. Prices were fixed on the basis of what the market can bear. Inventory of finished stocks was valued at 90 per cent of the market price assuming a profit margin of 10 per cent.

In March, the company received a trial order from a government department for a sample transformer on a cost-plus-fixed-fee basis. They took up the job (numbered by the company as Job No 879) in early April and completed all manufacturing operations before the end of the month.

Since Job No 879 was very different from the type of transformers they had manufactured in the past, the company did not have a comparable market price for the product. The purchasing officer of the government department asked SEC to submit a detailed cost sheet for the job giving as much details as possible regarding material, labour and overhead costs.

SEC, as part of its routine financial accounting system, had collected the actual expenses for the month of April, by 5th of May. Some of the relevant data are given in Exhibit A.

The company tried to assign directly, as many expenses as possible to the production departments. However, It was not possible in all cases. In many cases, an overhead cost, which was common to all departments had to be allocated to the various departments using some rational basis. Some of the possible bases were collected by SEC’s accountant. These are presented in Exhibit B.

He also designed a format to allocate the overhead to all the production and service departments. It was realized that the expenses of the service departments on some rational basis. The accountant thought of distributing the service departments’ costs on the following basis:

  1. Works office costs on the basis of direct labour hours.
  2. Maintenance costs on the basis of book value of plant and machinery.
  3. Stores department costs on the basis of direct and indirect materials used.

The accountant who had to visit the company’s banker, passed on the papers to you for the required analysis and cost computations.

 

 

REQUIRED

 

Based on the data given in Exhibits A and B, you are required to:

 

  1. Complete the attached “overhead cost distribution sheet” (Exhibit C).
    Note: Wherever possible, identify the overhead costs chared directly to the production and service departments. If such direct identification is not possible, distribute the costs on some “rational basis.
  2. Calculate the overhead cost (per direct labour hour) for each of the four producing departments. This should include share of the service departments’ costs.
  3. Do you agree with:
    a.   The procedure adopted by the company for the distribution of overhead costs?
    b.   The choice of the base for overhead absorption, i.e. labour-hour rate?

 

 

Exhibit A

 

STAR ENGINEERING COMPANY

Actual Expenses(Manufacturing Overheads) for April

  RS RS
Indirect Labour and Supervisions:

Machining

Fabrication

Assembly

Painting

Stores

Maintenance

 

Indirect Materials and Supplies

Machining

Fabrication

Assembly

Painting

Maintenance

 

Others

Factory Rent

Depreciation of Plant and Machinery

Building Rates and Taxes

Welfare Expenses

(At 2 per cent of direct labour wages and Indirect labour and supervision)

Power

(Maintenance—Rs 366; Works Office Rs 2,200, Balance to Producing Departments)

Works Office Salaries and Expenses

Miscellaneous Stores Department Expenses

 

33,000

22,000

11,000

7,000

44,000

32,700

 

 
2,200

1,100

3,300

3,400

2,800

 

 

1,68,000

44,000

2,400

19,400

 

 

68,586

 

 

1,30,260

1,190

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,49,700

 

 

 

 

 

 

12,800

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4,33,930

 
5,96,930

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exhibit B

STAR ENGINEERING COMPANY

Projected Operation Data for the Year

Department Area

(sq.m)

Original Book of Plant & Machinery

Rs

Direct Materials

Budget

 

Rs

Horse

Power

Rating

Direct

Labour

Hours

Direct

Labour

Budget

 

Rs

Machining

Fabrication

Assembly

Painting

Stores

Maintenance

Works Office

Total

 

13,000

11,000

8,800

6,400

4,400

2,200

2,200

48,000

26,40,000

13,20,000

6,60,000

2,64,000

1,32,000

1,98,000

68,000

52,80,000

62,40,000

21,60,000

 

10,80,000

 

 

 

94,80,000

20,000

10,000

1,000

2,000

 

 

 

33,000

14,40,000

5,28,000

7,20,000

3,30,000

 

 

 

30,18,000

52,80,000

25,40,000

13,20,000

6,60,000

 

 

 

99,00,000

 

Note

 

The estimates given in this exhibit are for the budgeted year January to December where as the actuals in Exhibit A are just one month—April of the budgeted year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exhibit C

STAR ENGINEERING COMPANY

Actual Overhead Distribution Sheet for April

Departments

Overhead Costs

Production Departments Service Departments Total Amount Actuals for April (Rs) Basis for Distribution
             
A. Allocation of Overhead to all departments

A.1 Indirect Labour and Supervision

               

 

 

1,49,700

 
A.2 Indirect materials and supplies                

12,800

 
A.3 Factory Rent               1,68,000  
A.4 Depreciation of Plant and Machinery                

44,000

 
A.5 Building Rates and Taxes

 

               

2,400

 

 
A.6 Welfare Expenses

 

               

19,494

 
    A.7 Power                 68,586  
A.8 Works Office Salaries and Expenses                

1,30,260

 

 

 

A.9 Miscellaneous Stores Expenses

               

1,190

 
A. Total (A.1 to A.9)               5,96,430  
B. Reallocation of Service Departments Costs to Production Departments                  
B.1 Distribution of Works Office Costs                  
B.2 Distribution of Maintenance Department’s Costs                  
B.3 Distribution of Stores Department’s Costs                  
Total Charged to Producing

C. Departments (A+B)

               

 

5,96,430

 
D. Labour Hours Actuals for April  

1,20,000

 

44,000

 

60,000

 

27,500

         
E. Overhead Rate/Per Hour (D)                  

 

 

 

 

Case 5: EASTERN MACHINES COMPANY

 

Raj, who was in charge production felt that there are many problems to be attended to. But Quality Control was the main problem, he thought, as he found there were more complaints and litigations as compared to last year. With the demand increasing, he does not want to take any chances.

 

So he went down to assembly line, but was greeted by an unfamiliar face. He introduced himself.

 

Raj: I am in charge of checking the components, which we use, when we assemble the machines for customers. For most of the components, suppliers are very reliable and we assume that there will not be any problem. When we generally test the end product, we don’t have failures.

 

Namdeo: I am Namdeo. I was in another dept. and has been transferred recently to this dept.

 

Raj: Recently we have been having problems, and there has been some complaint or other about the machines we have supplied. I am worried and would like to check the components used. I would like to avoid lot of expensive rework.

 

Namdeo: But it would be very expensive to test every one of them. It will take at least half an hour for each machine. I neither have the staff nor the time. It will be rather pointless as majority of them will pass the test.

 

Raj: There has been more demand than supply for these machines in last 2 years. We have been buying many components from many suppliers. We have been producing more with extra shifts. We are trying to capture the market and increase our market share.

 

Namdeo: We order for components from different places, and sometimes we do not have time to check all. There is a time lag between order and supply of components, and we cannot wait as production will stop. We use whatever comes soon as we want to complete our orders.

 

Raj: Oh! Obviously we need some kind of checking. Some sampling technique to check the quality of the components. We need to get a sample from each shipment from our component suppliers. But I do not know how many we should test.

 

Namdeo: We should ask somebody from our statistics dept. to attend to this problem.

 

As a Statistician, advice what kind of Sampling schemes can we consider, and what factors will influence choice of scheme. What are the questions we should ask Mr. Namdeo, who works in the assembly line?

 

                            

CASE : 01

COOKING LPG LTD

DETERMINATION OF WORKING CAPTIAL

Introduction

Cooking LPG Ltd, Gurgaon, is a private sector firm dealing in the bottling and supply of domestic LPG for household consumption since 1995. The firm has a network of distributors in the districts of Gurgaon and Faridabad. The bottling plant of the firm is located on National Highway – 8 (New Delhi – Jaipur), approx. 12 kms from Gurgaon.  The firm has been consistently performing we.”  and plans to expand its market to include the whole National Capital Region.

The production process of the plant consists of receipt of the bulk LPG through tank trucks, storage in tanks, bottling operations and distribution to dealers.   During the bottling process, the cylinders are subjected to pressurized filling of LPG followed by quality control and safety checks such as weight, leakage and other defects.  The cylinders passing through this process are sealed and dispatched to dealers through trucks.  The supply and distribution section of the plant prepares the invoice which goes along with the truck to the distributor.

Statement of the Problem :

Mr. I. M. Smart, DGM(Finance) of the company, was analyzing the financial performance of the company during the current year.  The various profitability ratios and parameters of the company indicated a very satisfactory performance.  Still, Mr. Smart was not fully content-specially with the management of the working capital by the company.  He could recall that during the past year, in spite of stable demand pattern, they had to, time and again, resort to bank overdrafts due to non-availability of cash for making various payments.  He is aware that such aberrations in the finances have a cost and adversely affects the performance of the company.  However, he was unable to pinpoint the cause of the problem.

He discussed the problem with Mr. U.R. Keenkumar, the new manager (Finance).  After critically examining the details, Mr. Keenkumar realized that the working capital was hitherto estimated only as approximation by some rule of thumb without any proper computation based on sound financial policies and, therefore, suggested a reworking of the working capital (WC) requirement.  Mr. Smart assigned the task of determination of WC to him.

Profile of Cooking LPG Ltd.

1)      Purchases : The company purchases LPG in bulk from various importers ex-Mumbai and Kandla, @ Rs. 11,000 per MT.  This is transported to its Bottling Plant at Gurgaon through 15 MT capacity tank trucks (called bullets), hired on annual contract basis.  The average transportation cost per bullet ex-either location is Rs. 30,000.  Normally, 2 bullets per day are received at the plant.  The company make payments for bulk supplies once in a month, resulting in average time-lag of 15 days.

2)      Storage and Bottling : The bulk storage capacity at the plant is 150 MT (2 x 75 MT storage tanks)  and the plant is capable of filling 30 MT LPG in cylinders per day.  The plant operates for 25 days per month on an average.  The desired level of inventory at various stages is as under.

  • LPG in bulk (tanks and pipeline quantity in the plant) – three days average production / sales.
  • Filled Cylinders – 2 days average sales.
  • Work-in Process inventory – zero.

3)      Marketing : The LPG is supplied by the company in 12 kg cylinders, invoiced @ Rs. 250 per cylinder.  The rate of applicable sales tax on the invoice is 4 per cent.  A commission of Rs. 15 per cylinder is paid to the distributor on the invoice itself.  The filled cylinders are delivered on company’s expense at the distributor’s godown, in exchange of equal number of empty cylinders.  The deliveries are made in truck-loads only, the capacity of each truck being 250 cylinders.  The distributors are required to pay for deliveries through bank draft.  On receipt of the draft, the cylinders are normally dispatched on the same day.  However, for every truck purchased on pre-paid basis, the company extends a credit of 7 days to the distributors on one truck-load.

4)      Salaries and Wages : The following payments are made :

  • Direct labour – Re. 0.75 per cylinder (Bottling expenses) – paid on last day of the month.
  • Security agency – Rs. 30,000 per month paid on 10th of subsequent month.
  • Administrative staff and managers – Rs. 3.75 lakh per annum, paid on monthly basis on the last working day.

5)      Overheads :

  • Administrative (staff, car, communication etc) – Rs. 25,000 per month – paid on the 10th of subsequent month.
  • Power (including on DG set) – Rs. 1,00,000 per month paid on the 7th Subsequent month.
  • Renewal of various licenses (pollution, factory, labour CCE etc.) – Rs. 15,000 per annum paid at the beginning of the year.
  • Insurance – Rs. 5,00,000 per annum to be paid at the beginning of the year.
  • Housekeeping etc – Rs. 10,000 per month paid on the 10th of the subsequent month.
  • Regular maintenance of plant – Rs. 50,000 per month paid on the 10th of every month to the vendors.  This includes expenditure on account of lubricants, spares and other stores.
  • Regular maintenance of cylinders (statutory testing) – Rs. 5 lakh per annum – paid on monthly basis on the 15th of the subsequent month.
  • All transportation charges as per contracts – paid on the 10th subsequent month.
  • Sales tax as per applicable rates is deposited on the 7th of the subsequent month.

6) Sales : Average sales are 2,500 cylinders per day during the year.  However, during the winter months (December to February), there is an incremental demand of 20 per cent.

7) Average Inventories : The average stocks maintained by the company as per its policy guidelines :

  • Consumables (caps, ceiling material, valves etc) – Rs. 2 lakh.  This amounts to 15 days consumption.
  • Maintenance spares – Rs. 1 lakh
  • Lubricants – Rs. 20,000
  • Diesel (for DG sets and fire engines) – Rs. 15,000
  • Other stores (stationary, safety items) – Rs. 20,000

 

8)      Minimum cash balance including bank balance required is Rs. 5 lakh.

9)      Additional Information for Calculating Incremental Working Capital During Winter.

  • No increase in any inventories take place except in the inventory of bulk LPG, which increases in the same proportion as the increase of the demand.  The actual requirements of LPG  for additional supplies are procured under the same terms and conditions from the suppliers.
  • The labour cost for additional production is paid at double the rate during wintes.
  • No changes in other administrative overheads.
  • The expenditure on power consumption during winter increased by 10 per cent.  However, during other months the power consumption remains the same as the decrease owing to reduced production is offset by increased consumption on account of compressors /Acs.
  • Additional amount of Rs. 3 lakh is kept as cash balance to meet exigencies during winter.
  • No change in time schedules for any payables / receivables.
  • The storage of finished goods inventory is restricted to a maximum 5,000 cylinders due to statutory requirements.

 

Suppose you are Mr.Keen Kumar,  the new manager.  What steps will you take for the growth of Cooking LPG Ltd.?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE : 2

M/S HI-TECH ELECTRONICS

 

M/s. Hi – tech Electronics, a consumer electronics outlet, was opened two years ago in Dwarka, New Delhi. Hard work and personal attention shown by the proprietor, Mr. Sony, has brought success.  However, because of insufficient funds to finance credit sales, the outlet accepted only cash and bank credit cards.  Mr. Sony is now considering a new policy of offering installment sales on terms of 25 per cent down payment and 25 per cent per month for three months as well as continuing to accept cash and bank credit cards.

Mr. Sony feels this policy will boost sales by 50 percent.  All the increases in sales will  be credit sales.  But to follow through a new policy, he will need a bank loan at the rate of 12 percent.  The sales projections for this year without the new policy are given in Exhibit 1.

Exhibit 1 Sales Projections and Fixed costs

Month Projected sales without instalment option Projected sales with instalment option
January Rs. 6,00,000 Rs. 9,00,000
February       4,00,000       6,00,000
March       3,00,000       4,50,000
April      2,00,000     3,00,000
May      2,00,000      3,00,000
June      1,50,000      2,25,000
July      1,50,000      2,25,000
August      2,00,000      3,00,000
September      3,00,000      4,50,000
October      5,00,000      7,50,000
November      5,00,000      15,00,000
December      8,00,000      12,00,000
Total Sales    48,00,000    72,00,000
Fixed cost      2,40,000      2,40,000

 

He further expects 26.67 per cent of the sales to be cash, 40 per cent bank credit card sales on which a 2 per cent fee is paid, and 33.33 per cent on instalment sales.  Also, for short term seasonal requirements, the film takes loan from chit fund to which Mr. Sony subscribes @ 1.8 per cent per month.

Their success has been due to their policy of selling at discount price.  The purchase per unit is 90 per cent of selling price.  The fixed costs are Rs. 20,000 per month.  The proprietor believes that the new policy will increase miscellaneous cost by Rs. 25,000.

The business being cyclical in nature, the working capital finance is done on trade – off basis.  The proprietor feels that the new policy will lead to bad debts of 1 per cent.

(a)    As a financial consultant, advise the proprietor whether he should go for the extension of credit facilities.

(b)    Also prepare cash budget for one year of operation of the firm, ignoring interest.  The minimum desired cash balance & Rs. 30,000, which is also the amount the firm has on January 1.  Borrowings are possible which are made at the beginning of a month and repaid at the end when cash is available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE : 3

SMOOTHDRIVE TYRE LTD

 

Smoothdrive Tyre Ltd manufacturers tyres under the brand name “Super Tread’ for the domestic car market.  It is presently using 7 machines acquired 3 years ago at a cost of Rs. 15 lakh each having a useful life of 7 years, with no salvage value.

After extensive research and development, Smoothdrive Tyre Ltd has recently developed a new tyre, the ‘Hyper Tread’ and must decide whether to make the investments necessary to produce and market the Hyper Tread.  The Hyper Tread would be ideal for drivers doing a large amount of wet weather and off road driving in addition to normal highway usage.  The research and development costs so far total Rs. 1,00,00,000.  The Hyper Tread would be put on the market beginning this year and Smoothdrive Tyrs expects it to stay on the market for a total of three years. Test marketing costing Rs. 50,00,000, shows that there is significant market for a Hyper Tread type tyre.

As a financial analyst at Smoothdrive Tyre, Mr. Mani asked by the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Mr. Tyrewala to evaluate the Hyper-Tread project and to provide a recommendation or whether or not to proceed with the investment.  He has been informed that all previous investments in the Hyper Tread project are sunk costs are only future cash flows should be considered.  Except for the initial investments, which occur immediately, assume all cash flows occur at the year-end.

Smoothedrive Tyre must initially invest Rs. 72,00,00,000 in production equipments to make the Hyper Tread.  They would be depreciated at a rate of 25 per cent as per the written down value (WDV) method for tax purposes.  The new production equipments will allow the company to follow flexible manufacturing technique, that is both the brands of tyres can be produced using the same equipments.  The equipments is expected to have a 7-year useful life and can be sold for Rs. 10,00,000 during the fourth year.  The company does not have any other machines in the block of 25 per cent depreciation.  The existing machines can be sold off at Rs. 8 lakh per machine with an estimated removal cost of one machine for Rs. 50,000.

Operating Requirements

The operating requirements of the existing machines and the new equipment are detailed in Exhibits 11.1 and 11.2 respectively.

Exhibit 11.1 Existing Machines

  • Labour costs (expected to increase 10 per cent annually to account for inflation) :
  • 20 unskilled labour @ Rs. 4,000 per month
  • 20 skilled personnel @ Rs. 6,000 per month.
  • 2 supervising executives @ Rs. 7,000 per month.
  • 2 maintenance personnel @ Rs. 5,000 per month.
    • Maintenance cost :

Years 1-5 : Rs. 25 lakh

Years 6-7 : Rs. 65 lakh

  • Operating expenses : Rs. 50 lakh expected to increase at 5 per cent annually.
  • Insurance cost / premium :

Year 1 : 2 per cent of the original cost of machine

After year 1 : Discounted by 10 per cent.

 

Exhibit 11.2 New production Equipment

  • Savings in cost of utilities : Rs. 2.5 lakh
  • Maintenance costs :

Year 1 – 2 :  Rs. 8 lakh

Year 3 – 4 :  Rs. 30 lakh

  • Labour costs :

9 skilled personnel @ Rs. 7,000 per month

1 maintenance personnel @ Rs. 7,000 per month.

  • Cost of retrenchment of 34 personnel : (20 unskilled, 11 skilled, 2 supervisors and 1 maintenance personnel) : Rs. 9,90,000, that is equivalent to six months salary.
  • Insurance premium

Year 1 : 2 per cent of the purchase cost of machine

After year 1 : Discounted by 10 per cent.

 

         

The opening expenses do not change to any considerable extent for the new equipment and the difference is negligible compared to the scale of operations.

Smoothdrive Tyre intends to sell Hyper Tread of two distinct markets :

  1. The original equipment manufacturer (OEM) market : The OEM market consists primarily of the large automobile companies who buy tyres for new cars. In the OEM market, the Hyper Tread is expected to sell for Rs. 1,200 per tyre. The variable cost to produce each Hyper Tread is Rs. 600.
  2. The replacement market : The replacement market consists of all tyres purchased after the automobile has left the factory. This markets allows higher margins and Smoothdrive Tyre expects to sell the Hyper Tread for Rs. 1.500 per tyre.  The variable costs are the same as in the OEM market.

Smoothdrive Tyre expects to raise prices by 1 percent above the inflation rate.

The variable costs will also increase by 1 per cent above the  inflation rate.  In addition, the Hyper Tread project will incur Rs. 2,50,000 in marketing and general administration cost in the first year which are expected to increase at the inflation rate in subsequent years.

Smoothdrive Tyre’s corporate tax rate is 35 per cent.  Annual inflation is expected to remain constant at 3.25 per cent.  Smoothdrive Tyre uses a 15 per cent discount rate to evaluate new product decisions.

The Tyre Market

Automotive industry analysts expect automobile manufacturers to have a production of 4,00,000 new cars this year and growth in production at 2.5 per year onwards.  Each new car needs four new tyres (the spare tyres are undersized and fall in a different category) Smoothdrive Tyre expects the Hyper Tread to capture an 11  per cent share of the OEM market.

The industry analysts estimate that the replacement tyre market size will be one crore this year and that it would grow at 2 per cent annually.  Smoothdrive Tyre expects the Hyper Tread to capture an 8 per cent market share.

You also decide to consider net working capital (NWC) requirements in this scenario.  The net working capital requirement will be 15 per cent of sales.  Assume that the level of working capital is adjusted at the beginning of the year in relation to the expected sales for the year.  The working capital is to be liquidated at par, barring an estimated loss of Rs. 1.5 crore on account of bad debt. The bad debt will be a tax-deductible expenses.

As a finance analyst, prepare a report for submission to the CFO and the Board of Directors, explaining to them the feasibility of the new investment.

 

 

CASE : 4

COMPUTATION OF COST OF CAPITAL OF PALCO LTD

 

In October 2003, Neha Kapoor, a recent MBA graduate and newly appointed assistant to the Financial Controller of Palco Ltd, was given a list of six new investment projects proposed for the following year.  It was her job to analyse these projects and to present her findings before the Board of Directors at its annual meeting to be held in 10 days.  The new project would require an investment of Rs. 2.4 crore.

          Palco Ltd was founded in 1965 by Late Shri A. V. Sinha. It gained recognition as a leading producer of high quality aluminum, with the majority of its sales being made to Japan.  During the rapid economic expansion of Japan in the 1970s, demand for aluminum boomed, and palco’s sales grew rapidly.  As a result of this rapid growth and recognition of new opportunities in the energy market, Palco began to diversify its products line.  While retaining its emphasis on aluminum production, it expanded operations to include uranium mining and the production of electric generators, and finally, it went into all phases of energy production.  By 2003, Palco’s sales had reached Rs. 14 crore level, with net profit after taxes attaining a record of Rs. 67 lakh.

As Palco expanded its products line in the early 1990s, it also formalized its caital budgeting procedure.  Until 1992, capital investment projects were selected primarily on the basis of the average return on investment calculations, with individual departments submitting these calculations for projects falling within their division.  In 1996, this procedure was replaced by one using present value as the decision making criterion. This change was made to incorporate cash flows rather than accounting profits into the decision making analysis, in addition to adjusting these flows for the time value of money.  At the time, the cost of capital for Palco was determined to be 12 per cent, which has been used as the discount rate for the past 5 years.  This rate was determined by taking a weighted average cost Palco had incurred in raising funds from the capital market over the previous 10 years.

It had originally been Neha’s assignment to update this rate over the most recent 10-year period and determine the net present value of all the proposed investment opportunities using this newly calculated figure.  However, she objected to this procedure, stating that while this calculation gave a good estimate of “the past cost” of capital, changing interest rates and stock prices made this calculation of little value in the present.  Neha suggested that current cost of raising funds in the capital market be weighted by their percentage mark-up of the capital structure.  This proposal was received enthusiastically by the Financial Controller of the Palco, and Neha was given the assignment of recalculating Palco’s cost of capital and providing a written report for the Board of Directors explaining and justifying this calculation.

To determine a weighted average cost of capital for Palco, it was necessary for Neha to examine the cost associated with each source of funding used.  In the past, the largest sources of funding had been the issuance of new equity shares and internally generated funds.  Through conversations with Financial Controller and other members of the Board of Directors, Neha learnt that the firm, in fact, wished to maintain its current financial structure as shown in Exhibit 1.

Exhibit 1 Palco Ltd Balance Sheet for Year Ending March 31, 2003

Assets Liabilities and Equity
Cash

Accounts receivable

Inventories

Total current assets

Net fixed assets

Goodwill

Total assets

Rs.      90,00,000

3,10,00,000

1,20,00,000

5,20,00,000

19,30,00,000

    70,00,000

25,20,00,000

 

Accounts payable

Short-term debt

Accrued taxes

Total current liabilities

Long-term debt

Preference shares

Retained earnings

Equity shares

Total liabilities and equity shareholders fund

 

Rs.      8,50,000

1,00,000

11,50,000

1,20,00,000

7,20,00,000

4,80,00,000

1,00,00,000

  11,00,000

 

25,20,00,000

 

 

She further determined that the strong growth patterns that Palco had exhibited over the last ten years were expected to continue indefinitely because of the dwindling supply of US and Japanese domestic oil and the growing importance of other alternative energy resources.  Through further investigations, Neha learnt that Palco could issue additional equity share, which had a par value of Rs. 25 pre share and were selling at a current market price of Rs. 45.  The expected dividend for the next period would be Rs. 4.4 per share, with expected growth at a rate of 8 percent per year for the foreseeable future.  The flotation cost is expected to be on an average Rs. 2 per share.

 

Preference shares at 11 per cent with 10 years maturity could also be issued with the help of an investment banker with an investment banker with a per value of Rs. 100 per share to be redeemed at par.  This issue would involve flotation cost of 5 per cent.

Finally, Neha learnt that it would be possible for Palco to raise an additional Rs. 20 lakh through a 7 – year loan from Punjab National Bank at 12 per cent.  Any amount raised over Rs. 20 lakh would cost 14 per cent.  Short-term debt has always been usesd by Palco to meet working capital requirements and as Palco grows, it is expected to maintain its proportion in the capital structure to support capital expansion.  Also, Rs. 60 lakh could be raised through a bond issue with 10 years maturity with a 11 percent coupon at the face value.  If it becomes necessary to raise more funds via long-term debt, Rs. 30 lakh more could be accumulated through the issuance of additional 10-year bonds sold at the face value, with the coupon rate raised to 12 per cent, while any additional funds raised via long-term debt would necessarily have a 10 – year maturity with a 14 per cent coupon yield.  The flotation cost of issue is expected to be 5 per cent.  The issue price of bond would be Rs. 100 to be redeemed at par.

In the past, Palco had calculated a weighted average of these sources of funds to determine its cost of capital.  In discussion with the current Financial Controller, the point was raised that while this served as an appropriate calculation for external funds, it did not take into account the cost of internally generated funds.  The Financial Controller agreed that there should be some cost associated with retained earnings and need to be incorporated in the calculations but didn’t have any clue as to what should be the cost.

Palco Ltd is subjected to the corporate tax rate of 40 per cent.

From the facts outlined above, what report would Neha submit to the Board of Directors of palco Ltd ?

 

 

CASE : 5

ARQ LTD

 

ARQ Ltd is an Indian company based in Greater Noida, which manufactures packaging materials for food items.  The company maintains a present fleet of five fiat cars and two Contessa Classic cars for its chairman, general manager and five senior managers.  The book value of the seven cars is Rs. 20,00,000 and their market value is estimated at Rs. 15,00,000.  All the cars fall under the same block of depreciation @ 25 per cent.

A German multinational company (MNC) BYR Ltd, has acquired ARQ Ltd in all cash deal.  The merged company called BYR India Ltd is proposing to expand the manufacturing capacity by four folds and the organization structure is reorganized from top to bottom.  The German MNC has the policy of providing transport facility to all senior executives (22) of the company because the manufacturing plant at Greater Noida was more than 10 kms outside Delhi where most of the executives were staying.

Prices of the cars to be provided to the Executives have been as follows :

Manager (10) Santro King Rs.    3,75,000
DGM and GM (5) Honda City           6,75,000
Director (5) Toyota Corolla           9,25,000
Managing Director (1) Sonata Gold          13,50,000
Chairman (1) Mercedes benz          23,50,000

The company is evaluating two options for providing these cars to executives

Option 1 : The company will buy the cars and pay the executives fuel expenses, maintenance expenses, driver allowance and insurance (at the year – end).  In such case, the ownership of the car will lie with the company.  The details of the proposed allowances and expenditures to be paid are as follows :

  1. a) Fuel expense and maintenance Allowances per month
Particulars Fuel expenses Maintenance allowance
Manager

DGM and GM

Director

Managing Director

Chairman

Rs.    2,500

5,000

7,500

12,000

18,000

Rs.    1,000

1,200

1,800

3,000

4,000

  1. b) Driver Allowance : Rs. 4,000 per month (Only Chairman, Managing Director and Directors are eligible for driver allowance.)
  2. c) Insurance cost : 1 per cent of the cost of the car.

 

The useful life for the cars is assumed to be five years after which they can be sold at 20 per cent salvage value.  All the cars fall under the same block of depreciation @ 25 per cent using written down method of depreciation.  The company will have to borrow to finance the purchase from a bank with interest at 14 per cent repayable in five annual equal instalments payable at the end of the year.

Option 2 : ORIX, The fleet management company has offered the 22 cars of the same make at lease for the period of five years.  The monthly lease rentals for the cars are as follows (assuming that the total of monthly lease rentals for the whole year are paid at the end of each year.

Santro Xing                                        Rs.  9,125

Honda City                                                 16,325

Toyota Corolla                                           27,175

Sonata Gold                                              39,250

Mercedes Benz                                          61,250

Under this lease agreement the leasing company, ORIX will pay for the fuel, maintenance and driver expenses for all the cars.  The lessor will claim the depreciation on the cars and the lessee will claim the lease rentals against the taxable income.  BYR India Ltd will have to hire fulltime supervisor (at monthly salary of Rs. 15,000 per month) to manage the fleet of cars hired on  lease. The company will have to bear additional miscellaneous expense of Rs. 5,000 per month for providing him the PC, mobioe phone and so on.

The company’s effective tax rate is 40 per cent and its cost of capital is 15 per cent.

Analyse the financial viability of the two options.  Which option would you recommend ?  Why ?


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Attempt Any Four Case Study

 

Case 1: Zip Zap Zoom Car Company

          

Zip Zap Zoom Company Ltd is into manufacturing cars in the small car (800 cc) segment.  It was set up 15 years back and since its establishment it has seen a phenomenal growth in both its market and profitability.  Its financial statements are shown in Exhibits 1 and 2 respectively.

The company enjoys the confidence of its shareholders who have been rewarded with growing dividends year after year.  Last year, the company had announced 20 per cent dividend, which was the highest in the automobile sector.  The company has never defaulted on its loan payments and enjoys a favorable face with its lenders, which include financial institutions, commercial banks and debenture holders.

The competition in the car industry has increased in the past few years and the company foresees further intensification of competition with the entry of several foreign car manufactures many of them being market leaders in their respective countries.  The small car segment especially, will witness entry of foreign majors in the near future, with latest technology being offered to the Indian customer.  The Zip Zap Zoom’s senior management realizes the need for large scale investment in up gradation of technology and improvement of manufacturing facilities to pre-empt competition.

Whereas on the one hand, the competition in the car industry has been intensifying, on the other hand, there has been a slowdown in the Indian economy, which has not only reduced the demand for cars, but has also led to adoption of price cutting strategies by various car manufactures.   The industry indicators predict that the economy is gradually slipping into recession.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exhibit 1 Balance sheet as at March 31,200 x

(Amount in Rs. Crore)

 

Source of Funds

Share capital                                        350

Reserves and surplus                           250                              600

Loans :

Debentures (@ 14%)               50

Institutional borrowing (@ 10%)        100

Commercial loans (@ 12%)    250

Total debt                                                                                            400

Current liabilities                                                                                 200

1,200

 

Application of Funds

Fixed Assets

Gross block                                                     1,000

Less : Depreciation                                            250

Net block                                                           750

Capital WIP                                                       190

Total Fixed Assets                                                                              940

Current assets :

Inventory                                                           200

Sundry debtors                                                    40

Cash and bank balance                                        10

Other current assets                                 10

Total current assets                                                                 260

-1200

 

Exhibit 2 Profit and Loss Account for the year ended March 31, 200x

(Amount in Rs. Crore)

Sales revenue (80,000 units x Rs. 2,50,000)                                       2,000.0

Operating expenditure :

Variable cost :

Raw material and manufacturing expenses    1,300.0

Variable overheads                                                        100.0

Total                                                                                                                1,400.0

Fixed cost :

R & D                                                                                          20.0

Marketing and advertising                                               25.0

Depreciation                                                                   250.0

 

Personnel                                                                          70.0

Total                                                                                                                   365.0

 

Total operating expenditure                                                                1,765.0

Operating profits (EBIT)                                                                                   235.0

Financial expense :

Interest on debentures                                                            7.7

Interest on institutional borrowings                        11.0

Interest on commercial loan                                    33.0                     51.7

Earnings before tax (EBT)                                                                                          183.3

Tax (@ 35%)                                                                                                                 64.2

Earnings after tax (EAT)                                                                                            119.1

Dividends                                                                                                                     70.0

Debt redemption (sinking fund obligation)**                                                              40.0

Contribution to reserves and surplus                                                                  9.1

*          Includes the cost of inventory and work in process (W.P) which is dependent on demand (sales).

**        The loans have to be retired in the next ten years and the firm redeems Rs. 40 crore every year.

The company is faced with the problem of deciding how much to invest in up

gradation of its plans and technology.  Capital investment up to a maximum of Rs. 100

crore is required.  The problem areas are three-fold.

  • The company cannot forgo the capital investment as that could lead to reduction in its market share as technological competence in this industry is a must and customers would shift to manufactures providing latest in car technology.
  • The company does not want to issue new equity shares and its retained earning are not enough for such a large investment.  Thus, the only option is raising debt.
  • The company wants to limit its additional debt to a level that it can service without taking undue risks.  With the looming recession and uncertain market conditions, the company perceives that additional fixed obligations could become a cause of financial distress, and thus, wants to determine its additional debt capacity to meet the investment requirements.

Mr. Shortsighted, the company’s Finance Manager, is given the task of determining the additional debt that the firm can raise.  He thinks that the firm can raise Rs. 100 crore worth debt and service it even in years of recession.  The company can raise debt at 15 per cent from a financial institution.  While working out the debt capacity.  Mr. Shortsighted takes the following assumptions for the recession years.

  1. A maximum of 10 percent reduction in sales volume will take place.
  2. A maximum of 6 percent reduction in sales price of cars will take place.

Mr. Shorsighted prepares a projected income statement which is representative of the recession years.  While doing so, he determines what he thinks are the “irreducible minimum” expenditures under

 

recessionary conditions.  For him, risk of insolvency is the main concern while designing the capital structure.  To support his view, he presents the income statement as shown in Exhibit 3.

 

Exhibit 3 projected Profit and Loss account

(Amount in Rs. Crore)

Sales revenue (72,000 units x Rs. 2,35,000)                                       1,692.0

Operating expenditure

Variable cost :

Raw material and manufacturing expenses    1,170.0

Variable overheads                                                          90.0

Total                                                                                                                1,260.0

Fixed cost :

R & D                                                                                          —

Marketing and advertising                                               15.0

Depreciation                                                                   187.5

Personnel                                                                          70.0

Total                                                                                                                   272.5

Total operating expenditure                                                                1,532.5

EBIT                                                                                                                  159.5

Financial expenses :

Interest on existing Debentures                                        7.0

Interest on existing institutional borrowings      10.0

Interest on commercial loan                                30.0

Interest on additional debt                                             15.0                  62.0

EBT                                                                                                                      97.5

Tax (@ 35%)                                                                                                        34.1

EAT                                                                                                                     63.4

Dividends                                                                                                              —

Debt redemption (sinking fund obligation)                                             50.0*

Contribution to reserves and surplus                                                       13.4

 

 

* Rs. 40 crore (existing debt) + Rs. 10 crore (additional debt)

Assumptions of Mr. Shorsighted

  • R & D expenditure can be done away with till the economy picks up.
  • Marketing and advertising expenditure can be reduced by 40 per cent.
  • Keeping in mind the investor confidence that the company enjoys, he feels that the company can forgo paying dividends in the recession period.

 

He goes with his worked out statement to the Director Finance, Mr. Arthashatra, and advocates raising Rs. 100 crore of debt to finance the intended capital investment.  Mr. Arthashatra  does not feel comfortable with the statements and calls for the company’s financial analyst, Mr. Longsighted.

Mr. Longsighted carefully analyses Mr. Shortsighted’s assumptions and points out that insolvency should not be the sole criterion while determining the debt capacity of the firm.  He points out the following :

  • Apart from debt servicing, there are certain expenditures like those on R & D and marketing that need to be continued to ensure the long-term health of the firm.
  • Certain management policies like those relating to dividend payout, send out important signals to the investors.  The Zip Zap Zoom’s management has been paying regular dividends and discontinuing this practice (even though just for the recession phase) could raise serious doubts in the investor’s mind about the health of the firm.  The firm should pay at least 10 per cent dividend in the recession years.
  • Mr. Shortsighted has used the accounting profits to determine the amount available each year for servicing the debt obligations.  This does not give the true picture.  Net cash inflows should be used to determine the amount available for servicing the debt.
  • Net Cash inflows are determined by an interplay of many variables and such a simplistic view should not be taken while determining the cash flows in recession.  It is not possible to accurately predict the fall in any of the factors such as sales volume, sales price, marketing expenditure and so on.  Probability distribution of variation of each of the factors that affect net cash inflow should be analyzed.  From  this analysis, the probability distribution of variation in net cash inflow should be analysed (the net cash inflows follow a normal probability distribution).  This will give a true picture of how the company’s cash flows will behave in recession conditions.

 

The management recognizes that the alternative suggested by Mr. Longsighted rests on data, which are complex and require expenditure of time and effort to obtain and interpret.  Considering the importance of capital structure design, the Finance Director asks Mr. Longsighted to carry out his analysis.  Information on the behaviour of cash flows during the recession periods is taken into account.

The methodology undertaken is as follows :

  • Important factors that affect cash flows (especially contraction of cash flows), like sales volume, sales price, raw materials expenditure, and so on, are identified and the analysis is carried out in terms of cash receipts and cash expenditures.

 

  • Each factor’s behaviour (variation behaviour) in adverse conditions in the past is studied and future expectations are combined with past data, to describe limits (maximum favourable), most probable and maximum adverse) for all the factors.
  • Once this information is generated for all the factors affecting the cash flows, Mr. Longsighted comes up with a range of estimates of the cash flow in future recession periods based on all possible combinations of the several factors. He also estimates the probability of occurrence of each estimate of cash flow.

 

Assuming a normal distribution of the expected behaviour, the mean expected

value of net cash inflow in adverse conditions came out to be Rs. 220.27 crore with standard deviation of Rs. 110 crore.

Keeping in mind the looming recession and the uncertainty of the recession behaviour, Mr. Arthashastra feels that the firm should factor a risk of cash inadequacy of around 5 per cent even in the most adverse industry conditions.  Thus, the firm should take up only that amount of additional debt that it can service 95 per cent of the times, while maintaining cash adequacy.

To maintain an annual dividend of 10 per cent, an additional Rs. 35 crore has to be kept aside.  Hence, the expected available net cash inflow is Rs. 185.27 crore (i.e. Rs. 220.27 – Rs. 35 crore)

Question:

Analyse the debt capacity of the company.

 

 

 

Attempt Any Four Case Study

 

CASE – 1   Your Job and Your Passion—You Can Pursue Both!

 

The 21st century offers many challenges to every one of us. As more firms go global, as more economies interconnect, and as the Web blasts away boundaries to communication, we become more informed citizens. This interconnectedness means that the organizations you work for will require you to develop both general and specialized knowledge—such as speaking multiple languages, using various software applications, or understanding details of financial transactions. You will have to develop general management skills to foster your ability to be self-reliant and thrive in a changing market-place. And here’s the exciting part: As you build both types of knowledge, you may be able to integrate your growing expertise with the causes or activities you care most about. Or, your career adventure may lead you to a new passion.

Former presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton are well known for combining their management skills—running a country—with their passion for helping people around the world. Together they have raised funds to assist disaster victims, those with HIV/AIDS, and others in need. Jake Burton turned his love of snow sports into an entire industry when he founded Burton Snowboards. Annie Withey poured her business and marketing knowledge into her two famous business ventures: Smartfood and Annie’s Homegrown. Both products were the result of her passion for healthful foods made from organic ingredients.

As you enter the workforce, you may have no idea where your career path will lead. You may be asking yourself, “How will I fit in?” “Where will I live?” “How much will I earn?” “Where will my business and personal careers evolve as the world continuous to change at such a fast pace?” If you are feeling nervous because you don’t know the answers to these questions yet, relax. A career is a journey, not a single destination. You may have one type of career or several. It is likely you will work for several organisations, or you may run one or more businesses of your own.

As you ask yourself what you want to do and where you want to be, take a few minutes to review the chapter and its main topics. Think about your personality, what you like and dislike, what you know and what you want to learn, what you fear and what you dream. Then try the following exercise.

 

 

 

Questions

 

  1. Create a three-column chart in which the first column lists nonmanagement skills you have. Are you good at travel? Do you know how to build furniture? Are you a whiz at sports statistics? Are you an innovative cook? Do you play video games for hours? In the second column, list the causes or activities about which you are passionate. These may dovetail with the first list, but they might not.
  2. Once you have you two columns complete, draw lines between entries that seem compatible. If you are good at building furniture, you might have also listed a concern about families who are homeless. Remember that not all entries will find a match—the idea is to begin finding some connections.
  3. In the third column, generate a list of firms or organizations you know about that reflect your interests. If you are good at building furniture, you might be interested working for the Habitat for Humanity organization, or you might find yourself gravitating towards a furniture retailer like Ikea or Ethan Allen. You can do further research on organizations via Internet or business publications.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASE – 2   Biyani – Pioneering a Retailing Revolution in India

 

       “I use people as hands and legs. I prefer to do thinking around here.”

 

      ─ Kishore Biyani, CEO & MD, Pantaloon Retail (India) Ltd.

 

Kishore Biyani (Biyani), CEO& MD of Pantaloon Retail (India) Ltd., planned to have 30 Food Bazaar outlets, 22 outlets in Big Bazaar, 21 Pantaloons outlets, and four seamless malls under the Central logo, by the end of 2005. He also planned to launch at least three businesses every year and had already selected music, footwear and car accessories as his next areas of investments. He was already the top retailer in India followed by Raghu Pillai of RPG. As of 2004, Biyani headed a company that had a turnover of Rs 6,500 million and operated 13 Pantaloon apparel stores, 9 Big Bazaars, 13 Food Bazaars, and 3 seamless malls (Central), one each located in Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Pune.

Biyani’s journey from a person who looked after his family business to India’s top retailer in 1987, when he launched Manz Wear Pvt. Ltd. The company launched one of the first readymade trousers brands – ‘Pantaloon’ – in the country. The company also launched its first jeans brand called ‘Bare’ in 1989. On September 20, 1991, Manz Wear Pvt. Ltd. went public and on September 25, 1992, it changed its name to Pantaloon Fashions (India) Limited (PFIL). ‘John Miller’ was the first formal shirt brand from PFIL.

The company opened its first apparel stores, called ‘Pantaloons’ at Kolkata in August 1997. The stores generated Rs 70 million. Biyani then realized the potential of the Indian market and started to aggressively tap it. Accordingly, Biyani decided to expand into other segments of retailing besides apparel. To reflect this change in focus, the company changed its name to Pantaloon Retail (India) Limited (PRIL) in July 1999 and set itself a target of achieving Rs 10 billion in sales by June 2005. In course of time he launched three other retail formats — Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar, and Central.

Biyani didn’t believe in copying ideas from western retailers. He was critical of his peers who felt just copied ideas form the west without making any effort to mold them to Indian conditions. He ensured that his store formats such as Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar, and Pantaloons were all suited to the purchasing style of Indian consumers.

Biyani was a huge risk taker and his planning was always different from the conventional way of doing business. This was also one of the factors that had prompted Biyani to move away from his father’s conventional way of doing business. During the initial stages of his success, his risk-taking attitude sometimes had the effect of turning away financiers. The biggest risk that Biyani took was in opening Big Bazaar in Mumbai in 2001. The company needed money to expand Big Bazaar’s operations. However, it had profits of only Rs 40 million with a low share price at eighteen rupees. Therefore, Biyani could not raise money through equity. In light of this situation, Biyani took a loan of Rs 1,200 million from ICICI for launching the operations of Big Bazaar, which increased his debt exposure. However, Big Bazaar proved to be a resounding success with 100,000 customer visits in its first week of operations. According to analysts, if Big Bazaar had failed, Biyani would have landed in a severe debt crisis. The success of Big Bazaar not only increased the company profits, it also changed the perception of investors.

Many people criticized Biyani for not delegating authority and Biyani himself accepted the criticism. He said, “I use people as hands and legs. I prefer to do the thinking around here.” He preferred taking individual decision on activities like strategic planning, ideas for other ventures, and other important issues. It was because of this that managers like Kush Medhora of Westside were initially apprehensive about joining Biyani’s business. However, Biyani changed his attitude gradually with the launch of Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar, and Central and appointed different people for managing different business units.

Biyani believed in leading a simple life and in being simply dressed. His vision came from his diverse reading connected to retailing and other areas. He made it a point to visit each of his stores across the country. He aimed to spend at least seven hours a week at the stores. In the stores, he would stand at a corner and observe people. He also walked on streets, met common people, and talked to local leaders to plan and put up new products in his stores. Each of his stores was set with a weekly target, which was reviewed every Monday. Whenever a new store was opened, the details of its operations during the first 45 days were to be sent to him. Sometimes, he suggested remedies to some problems. Biyani believed in extensive advertising to make more people know about the product. His decision making was quick and devoid of unnecessary delays. Biyani was also a good learner and learned quickly from his mistakes. He planned to improve inventory management through responding effectively to the demands of the customers rather than forecasting them, as he felt that forecasting would pile up the inventory in this dynamic market.

 

 

 

 

 

Questions

 

  1. The tremendous success of the ‘Pantaloons’, ‘Big Bazaar’ and ‘Food Bazaar’ retailing formats, easily made PRIL the number one retailer in India by early 2004, in terms of turnover and retail area occupied by its outlets. Explain how Biyani is further planning to consolidate his businesses.
  2. “Our striving toward looking at the Indian market differently and strategizing with the evolving customer helped us perform better.” What other qualities of Kishore Biyani do you think were instrumental in making him top retailer of India?

 

 

 

Note: Solve any 4 Cases Study’s

 

CASE: I    Enterprise Builds On People

 

When most people think of car-rental firms, the names of Hertz and Avis usually come to mind. But in the last few years, Enterprise Rent-A-Car has overtaken both of these industry giants, and today it stands as both the largest and the most profitable business in the car-rental industry. In 2001, for instance, the firm had sales in excess of $6.3 billion and employed over 50,000 people.

Jack Taylor started Enterprise in St. Louis in 1957. Taylor had a unique strategy in mind for Enterprise, and that strategy played a key role in the firm’s initial success. Most car-rental firms like Hertz and Avis base most of their locations in or near airports, train stations, and other transportation hubs. These firms see their customers as business travellers and people who fly for vacation and then need transportation at the end of their flight. But Enterprise went after a different customer. It sought to rent cars to individuals whose own cars are being repaired or who are taking a driving vacation.

The firm got its start by working with insurance companies. A standard feature in many automobile insurance policies is the provision of a rental car when one’s personal car has been in an accident or has been stolen. Firms like Hertz and Avis charge relatively high daily rates because their customers need the convenience of being near an airport and/or they are having their expenses paid by their employer. These rates are often higher than insurance companies are willing to pay, so customers who these firms end up paying part of the rental bills themselves. In addition, their locations are also often inconvenient for people seeking a replacement car while theirs is in the shop.

But Enterprise located stores in downtown and suburban areas, where local residents actually live. The firm also provides local pickup and delivery service in most areas. It also negotiates exclusive contract arrangements with local insurance agents. They get the agent’s referral business while guaranteeing lower rates that are more in line with what insurance covers.

In recent years, Enterprise has started to expand its market base by pursuing a two-pronged growth strategy. First, the firm has started opening  airport locations to compete with Hertz and Avis more directly. But their target is still the occasional renter than the frequent business traveller. Second, the firm also began to expand into international markets and today has rental offices in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Germany.

Another key to Enterprise’s success has been its human resource strategy. The firm targets a certain kind of individual to hire; its preferred new employee is a college graduate from bottom half of graduating class, and preferably one who was an athlete or who was otherwise actively involved in campus social activities. The rationale for this unusual academic standard is actually quite simple. Enterprise managers do not believe that especially high levels of achievements are necessary to perform well in the car-rental industry, but having a college degree nevertheless demonstrates intelligence and motivation. In addition, since interpersonal relations are important to its business, Enterprise wants people who were social directors or high-ranking officers of social organisations such as fraternities or sororities. Athletes are also desirable because of their competitiveness.

Once hired, new employees at Enterprise are often shocked at the performance expectations placed on them by the firm. They generally work long, grueling hours for relatively low pay.

 

And all Enterprise managers are expected to jump in and help wash or vacuum cars when a rental agency gets backed up. All Enterprise managers must wear coordinated dress shirts and ties and can have facial hair only when “medically necessary”. And women must wear skirts no shorter than two inches above their knees or creased pants.

 

So what are the incentives for working at Enterprise? For one thing, it’s an unfortunate fact of life that college graduates with low grades often struggle to find work. Thus, a job at Enterprise is still better than no job at all. The firm does not hire outsiders—every position is filled by promoting someone already inside the company. Thus, Enterprise employees know that if they work hard and do their best, they may very well succeed in moving higher up the corporate ladder at a growing and successful firm.

 

 

Question:

 

  1. Would Enterprise’s approach human resource management work in other industries?
  2. Does Enterprise face any risks from its human resource strategy?
  3. Would you want to work for Enterprise? Why or why not?

 

CASE: I    ARROW AND THE APPAREL INDUSTRY

 

Ten years ago, Arvind Clothing Ltd., a subsidiary of Arvind Brands Ltd., a member of the Ahmedabad based Lalbhai Group, signed up with the 150- year old Arrow Company, a division of Cluett Peabody & Co. Inc., US, for licensed manufacture of Arrow shirts in India. What this brought to India was not just another premium dress shirt brand but a new manufacturing philosophy to its garment industry which combined high productivity, stringent in-line quality control, and a conducive factory ambience.

Arrow’s first plant, with a 55,000 sq. ft. area and capacity to make 3,000 to 4,000 shirts a day, was established at Bangalore in 1993 with an investment of Rs 18 crore. The conditions inside—with good lighting on the workbenches, high ceilings, ample elbow room for each worker, and plenty of ventilation, were a decided contrast to the poky, crowded, and confined sweatshops characterising the usual Indian apparel factory in those days. It employed a computer system for translating the designed shirt’s dimensions to automatically mark the master pattern for initial cutting of the fabric layers. This was installed, not to save labour but to ensure cutting accuracy and low wastage of cloth.

The over two-dozen quality checkpoints during the conversion of fabric to finished shirt was unique to the industry. It is among the very few plants in the world that makes shirts with 2 ply 140s and 3 ply 100s cotton fabrics using 16 to 18 stitches per inch. In March 2003, the Bangalore plant could produce stain-repellant shirts based on nanotechnology.

The reputation of this plant has spread far and wide and now it is loaded mostly with export orders from renowned global brands such as GAP, Next, Espiri, and the like. Recently the plant was identified by Tommy Hilfiger to make its brand of shirts for the Indian market. As a result, Arvind Brands has had to take over four other factories in Bangalore on wet lease to make the Arrow brand of garments for the domestic market.

In fact, the demand pressure from global brands which want to outsource form Arvind Brands is so great that the company has had to set up another large factory for export jobs on the outskirts of Bangalore. The new unit of 75,000 sq. ft. has cost Rs 16 crore and can turn out 8,000 to 9,000 shirts per day. The technical collaborators are the renowned C&F Italia of Italy.

Among the cutting edge technologies deployed here are a Gerber make CNC fabric cutting machine, automatic collar and cuff stitching machines, pneumatic holding for tasks like shoulder joining, threat trimming and bottom hemming, a special machine to attach and edge stitch the back yoke, foam finishers which use air and steam to remove creases in the finished garment, and many others. The stitching machines in this plant can deliver up to 25 stitches per inch. A continuous monitoring of the production process in the entire factory is done through a computerised apparel production management system, which is hooked to every machine. Because of the use of such technology, this plant will need only 800 persons for a capacity which is three times that of the first plant which employs 580 persons.

Exports of garments made for global brands fetched Arvind Brands over Rs 60 crore in 2002, and this can double in the next few years, when the new factory goes on full stream. In fact, with the lifting of the country-wise quota regime in 2005, there will be surge in demand for high quality garments from India and Arvind is already considering setting up two more such high tech export-oriented factories.

It is not just in the area of manufacture but also retailing that the Arrow brand brought a wind of change on the Indian scene. Prior to its coming, the usual Indian shirt shop used to be a clutter of racks with little by way of display. What Arvind Brands did was to set up exclusive showrooms for Arrow shirts in which the functional was combined with aesthetic. Stuffed racks and clutter eschewed. The product were displayed in such a manner the customer could spot their qualities from a distance. Of course, today this has become standard practice with many other brands in the country, but Arrow showed the way. Arrow today has the largest network of 64 exclusive outlets across India. It is also present in 30 retail chains. It branched into multi-brand outlets in 2001, and is present in over 200 select outlets.

From just formal dress shirts in the beginning, the product range of Arvind Brands has expanded in the last ten years to include casual shirts, T-shirts, and trousers. In the pipeline are light jackets and jeans engineered for the middle-aged paunch. Arrow also tied up with the renowned Italian designer, Renato Grande, who has worked with names like Versace and Marlboro, to design its Spring / Summer Collection 2003. The company has also announced its intention to license the Arrow brand for other lifestyle accessories like footwear, watches, undergarments, fragrances, and leather goods. According to Darshan Mehta, President, Arvind Brands Ltd., the current turnover at retail prices of the Arrow brand in India is about Rs 85 crore. He expects the turnover to cross Rs 100 crore in the next few years, of which about 15 per cent will be from the licensed non-clothing products.

In 2005, Arvind Brands launched a major retail initiative for all its brands. Arvind Brands licensed brands (Arrow, Lee and Wrangler) had grown at a healthy 35 per cent rate in 2004 and the company planned to sustain the growth by increasing their retail presence. Arvind Brands also widened the geographical presence of its home-grown brands, such as Newport and Ruf-n Tuf, targeting small towns across India. The company planned to increase the number of outlets where its domestic brands would be available, and draw in new customers for readymades. To improve its presence in the high-end market, the firm started negotiating with an international brand and is likely to launch the brand.

The company has plans to expand its retail presence of Newport Jeans, from 1200 outlets across 480 towns to 3000 outlets covering 800 towns.

For a company ranked as one of the world’s largest manufactures of denim cloth and owners of world famous brands, the future looks bright and certain for Arvind Brands Ltd.

 

Company profile

 

Name of the Company              :Arvind Mills

Year of Establishment              :1931

Promoters                                   : Three brothers–Katurbhai, Narottam Bhai, and Chimnabhai

Divisions                                    :Arvind Mills was split in 1993 into Units—textiles, telecom and garments. Arvind Ltd. (textile unit) is 100 per cent                          subsidiary of Arvind Mills.

Growth Strategy                             :Arvind Mills has grown through buying-up of sick units, going global and acquisition of German and US brand             names.

 

Questions

 

  1. Why did Arvind Mills choose globalization as the major route to achieve growth when the domestic market was huge?

 

  1. How does lifting of ‘Country-wise quota regime’ help Arvind Mills?
  2. What lessons can other Indian businesses learn form the experience of Arvind Mills?

 

CASE – 1   Dabur India Limited: Growing Big and Global

 

Dabur is among the top five FMCG companies in India and is positioned successfully on the specialist herbal platform. Dabur has proven its expertise in the fields of health care, personal care, homecare and foods.

The company was founded by Dr. S. K. Burman in 1884 as small pharmacy in Calcutta (now Kolkata), India. And is now led by his great grandson Vivek C. Burman, who is the Chairman of Dabur India Limited and the senior most representative of the Burman family in the company. The company headquarters are in Ghaziabad, India, near the Indian capital New Delhi, where it is registered. The company has over 12 manufacturing units in India and abroad. The international facilities are located in Nepal, Dubai, Bangladesh, Egypt and Nigeria.

S.K. Burman, the founder of Dabur, was trained as a physician. His mission was to provide effective and affordable cure for ordinary people in far-flung villages. Soon, he started preparing natural remedies based on Ayurved for diseases such as Cholera, Plague and Malaria. Due to his cheap and effective remedies, he became to be known as ‘Daktar’ (Indianised version of ‘doctor’). And that is how his venture Dabur got its name—derived from Daktar Burman.

The company faces stiff competition from many multi national and domestic companies. In the Branded and Packaged Food and Beverages segment major companies that are active include Hindustan Lever, Nestle, Cadbury and Dabur. In case of Ayurvedic medicines and products, the major competitors are Baidyanath, Vicco, Jhandu, Himani and other pharmaceutical companies.

 

Vision, Mission and Objectives

 

Vision statement of Dabur says that the company is “dedicated to the health and well being of every household”. The objective is to “significantly accelerate profitable growth by providing comfort to others”. For achieving this objective Dabur aims to:

  • Focus on growing core brands across categories, reaching out to new geographies, within and outside India, and improve operational efficiencies by leveraging technology.
  • Be the preferred company to meet the health and personal grooming needs of target consumers with safe, efficacious, natural solutions by synthesising deep knowledge of ayurveda and herbs with modern science.
  • Be a professionally managed employer of choice, attracting, developing and retaining quality personnel.
  • Be responsible citizens with a commitment to environmental protection.
  • Provide superior returns, relative to our peer group, to our shareholders.

 

Chairman of the company

 

Vivek C. Burman joined Dabur in 1954 after completing his graduation in Business Administration from the USA. In 1986 he was appointed Managing Director of Dabur and in 1998 he took over as Chairman of the Company.

Under Vivek Burman’s leadership, Dabur has grown and evolved as a multi-crore business house with a diverse product portfolio and a marketing network that traverses the whole of India and more than 50 countries across the world. As a strong and positive leader, Vivek C. Burman has motivated employees of Dabur to “do better than their best”—a credo that gives Dabur its status as India’s most trusted nature-based products company.

 

Leading brands

 

More than 300 diverse products in the FMCG, Healthcare and Ayurveda segments are in the product line of Dabur. List of products of the company include very successful brands like Vatika, Anmol, Hajmola, Dabur Amla Chyawanprash, Dabur Honey and Lal Dant Manjan with turnover of Rs.100 crores each.

Strategic positioning of Dabur Honey as food product, lead to market leadership with over 40% market share in branded honey market; Dabur Chyawanprash is the largest selling Ayurvedic medicine with over 65% market share. Dabur is a leader in herbal digestives with 90% market share. Hajmola tablets are in command with 75% market share of digestive tablets category. Dabur Lal Tail tops baby massage oil market with 35% of total share.

CHD (Consumer Health Division), dealing with classical Ayurvedic medicines has more than 250 products sold through prescription as well as over the counter. Proprietary Ayurvedic medicines developed by Dabur include Nature Care Isabgol, Madhuvaani and Trifgol.

However, some of the subsidiary units of Dabur have proved to be low margin business; like Dabur Finance Limited. The international units are also operating on low profit margin. The company also produces several “me – too” products. At the same time the company is very popular in the rural segment.

 

 

 

Questions

 

  1. What is the objective of Dabur? Is it profit maximisation or growth maximisation? Discuss.
  2. Do you think the growth of Dabur from a small pharmacy to a large multinational company is an indicator of the advantages of joint stock company against proprietorship form? Elaborate.

 

CASE: I    Managing the Guinness brand in the face of consumers’ changing tastes

 

1997 saw the US$19 billion merger of Guinness and GrandMet to form Diageo, the world’s largest drinks company. Guinness was the group’s top-selling beverage after Smirnoff vodka, and the group’s third most profitable brand, with an estimated global value of US$1.2 billion. More than 10 million glasses of the popular stout were sold every day, predominantly in Guinness’s top markets: respectively, the UK, Ireland, Nigeria, the USA and Cameroon.

 

However, the famous dark stout with the white, creamy head was causing some strategic concerns for Diageo. In 1999, for the first time in the 241-year of Guinness, sales fell. In early 2002 Diageo CEO Paul Walsh announced to the group’s concerned shareholders that global volume growth of Guinness was down 4 per cent in the last six months of 2001 and, more alarmingly, sales were also down 4 per cent in its home market, Ireland. How should Diageo address falling sales in the centuries-old brand shrouded in Irish mystique and tradition?

 

The changing face of the Irish beer market

 

The Irish were very fond of beer and even fonder of Guinness. With close to 200 litres per capita drunk each year—the equivalent of one pint per person per day—Ireland ranked top in worldwide per capita beer consumption, ahead of the Czech Republic and Germany.

 

Beer accounted for two-thirds of all alcohol bought in Ireland in 2001. Stout led the way in volume sales and accounted for 40 per cent of all beer value sales. Guinness, first brewed in 1759 in Dublin by Arthur Guinness, enjoyed legendary status in Ireland, a national symbol as respected as the green, white and gold flag. It was by far the most popular alcoholic drink in Ireland, accounting for nearly one of every two pints of beer sold. Its nearest competitors were Budweiser and Heineken, which held 13 per cent and 12 per cent of the market respectively.

 

However, the spectacular economic growth of the Irish economy since the mid-1990s had opened up the traditional drinking market to new cultures and influences, and encouraged the travel-friendly Irish to try other drinks. Beer and in particular stout were losing popularity compared with wine or the recently launched RTDs (ready-to-drinks) or FABs (flavoured alcoholic beverages), which the younger generation of drinkers considered trendier and ‘healthier’. As a Euromonitor report explained: Younger consumers consider dark beers and stout to be old fashioned drinks, with the perceived stout or ale drinker being an old, slightly overweight man and thus not in tune with image conscious youth culture.

 

Beer sales, which once accounted for 75 per cent of all alcohol bought in Ireland, were expected to drop to close to 50 per cent by 2006, while stout sales were forecast to decrease by 12 per cent between 2002 and 2006.

 

Giving Guinness a boost in its home market

 

With Guinness alone accounting for 37 per cent of Diageo’s volume in the market, Guinness/UDV Ireland was one of the first to feel the pain caused by the declining popularity of beer and in particular stout. A Euromonitor report in February 2002 explained how the profile of the Guinness drinker, typically men aged 21-plus, was affected: The average age of Guinness drinkers is rising and this is bringing about the worrying fact that the size of the Guinness target audience is falling. The rate of decline is likely to quicken as the number of less brand loyal, non-stout drinking younger consumers increases.

The report continued:

In Ireland, in particular, the consumer base for Guinness is shrinking as the majority of 18 to 24 year olds consistently reject stout as a product relevant to their generation, opting instead to consume lager or spirits.

Effectively, one-third of young Irish men and half of young Irish women had reportedly never tried Guinness. A Guinness employee provided another explanation. Guinness is similar to coffee in that when you’re young you drink it [coffee] with sugar, but when you’re older you drink it without. It’s got a similar acquired taste and once you’re over the initial hurdle, you’ll fall in love with it.

In an attempt to lure young drinkers to the somewhat ‘acquired’ Guinness taste (40 per cent of the Irish population was under the age of 24) Diageo had invested millions in developing product innovations and brand building in Ireland’s 10,000 pubs, clubs and supermarkets.

 

Product innovation

 

Until the mid-1990s most Guinness in Ireland was drunk in a pint glass in the local pub. The launch of product innovations in the form of a new cooling mechanism for draft Guinness and the ‘widget’ technology applied to cans and bottles attempted to modernize the brand’s image and respond to increasing competition from other local and imported stouts and lagers.

 

‘A perfect head’ for canned Guinness

In 1989, and at a cost of more than £10 million, Guinness developed an ingenious ‘widget’ device for its canned draft stout sold in ‘off-trade’ outlets such as supermarkets and off-licences. The widget, placed in the bottom of the can, released a gas that replicated the draft effect.

Although over 90 per cent of beer in Ireland was sold in ‘on-trade’ pubs and bars, sale of beer in the cheaper ‘off-trade’ channel were slowly gaining in importance. The Guinness brand manager at the time, John O’Keeffe, explained how home drinkers could now enjoy a smoother, creamier head similar to the one obtained in a pub thanks to the new widget technology:

When the can is opened, the pressure causes the nitrogen to be released as the widget moves through the beer, creating the classic draft Guinness surge.

 

Nearly 10 years later, in 1997, the ‘floating widget’ was introduced, which improved the effectiveness of the device.

 

A colder pint

In 1997 Guinness Draft Extra Cold was launched in Ireland. An additional chilled tap system could be added to the standard barrel in pubs, allowing the Guinness to be served at 4ºC rather than the normal 6ºC. By serving Guinness at a cooler temperature, Guinness/UDV hoped to mute the bitter taste of the stout and make it more palatable for younger adults, who were increasingly accustomed to drinking chilled lager, particularly in the summer

 

A cooler image for Guinness

In October 1999 the widget technology was applied to long-stemmed bottles of Guinness. The launch was supported by a US$2 million TV and outdoor board campaign. The packaging—with a clear, shiny plastic wrap, designed to look like a pint complete with creamy head—was quite a departure from the traditional Guinness look.

 

The objective was to reposition Guinness alongside certain similarly packaged lagers and RTDs and offer younger adults a more fashionable way to drink Guinness: straight from the bottle. It also gave Guinness easier access to the growing number of clubs and bars that were less likely to serve traditional draft Guinness easier access to the growing number of clubs and bars that were less likely to serve traditional draft Guinness, which could be kept for only six to eight weeks and took two minutes to pour. The RTDs, by contrast, had a shelf-life of more than a year and were drunk straight from the bottle.

 

However, financial analyst remained sceptical about the Guinness product innovations, which had no significant positive impact on sales or profitability:

 

The last news about the success of the recently introduced innovations suggests that they have not had a notably material impact on Guinness brand performance.

 

Brand building

 

Euromonitor estimates that, in 2000, Diageo invested between US$230 and US$250 million worldwide in Guinness advertising and promotions. However, with a cost-cutting objective, the company reduced marketing expenses in both Ireland and the UK up to 10 per cent in 2001 and the number of global Guinness agencies from six to two.

 

Nevertheless, Guinness remained one of the most advertised brands in Ireland. It was the leading cinema advertiser and, in terms of advertising, was second only to the national telecoms provider, Eircom. Guinness was also heavily promoted at leading sporting and music events, in particular those that were popular with the younger age groups.

 

The ultimate tribute to the brand was the opening of the new Guinness Storehouse in Dublin in late 2000, a sort of Mecca for all Guinness fans. The Storehouse was also a fashionable visitor centre with an art gallery and restaurants, and regularly hosted evening events. The company’s design brief highlighted another key objective:

To use an ultramodern facility to breathe life into an ageing brand, to reconnect an old company with young (sceptical) customers.

As the Storehouse’s design firm’s director, Ralph Ardill, explained:

 

Guinness Storehouse had become the top tourist destination in Ireland, attracting more than half a million people and hosting 45,000 people for special events and training.

The Storehouse also had training facilities for Guinness’s bartenders and 3000 Irish employees. The quality of the Guinness pint remained a high priority for the company, which not only developed pub-like classrooms at the Storehouse but also employed teams of draft technicians to teach barmen how to pour a proper pint. The process involved two steps—the pour and the top-up—and took a total of 119.5 seconds. Barmen also needed to learn how to check that the pressure gauges were properly set and that the proportion of nitrogen to carbon dioxide in the gas was correct.

 

 

 

 

The uncertain future of the Guinness brand in Ireland

 

Despite Guinness/DUV’s attempt to appeal to the younger generation of drinkers and boost its fading image, rumours persisted in Ireland about the brand future. The country’s leading and respected newspaper, the Irish times, reported in an article in July 2001:

The uncertainty over its future all adds to the air of crisis that is building around Guinness Ireland Group four months ago…The review is not complete and the assumption is that there is more bad news to come.

In the pubs across Ireland, the traditional Guinness drinkers looked on anxiously as the younger generation drank Bacardi Breezers, Smirnoff Ices or Californian wines. Could the goliath Guinness survive another two centuries? Was the preference for these new drinks just a fad or fashion, or did Diageo need to seriously reconsider how it marketed Guinness?

 

A quick solution?

 

In late February 2002, Diageo CEO Paul Walsh revealed that the company was testing technology to cut the waiting time for a pint of Guinness from 1 minute 59 seconds to 15-25 seconds. Ultrasound could release bubbles in the stout and form the head instantly, making a pint of Guinness that would be indistinguishable from one produced by the slower, traditional method.

‘A two-minute pour is not relevant to our customers today,’ Walsh said. A Guinness spokeswoman continued, ‘We have got to move with the times and the brand must evolve. We must take all the opportunities that we can. In outlets where it is really busy, if you walk in after nine o’clock in the evening there will be a cloth over the Guinness pump because it takes longer to pour than other drinks. Aware that some consumers might not be attracted by the innovation, she added ‘It wouldn’t be put everywhere—only where people want a quick pint with no effect on the quality.’

 

Although still being tested, the ‘quick-pour pint’ was a popular topic of conversation in Dublin pubs, among barmen and customers alike. There were rumours that it would be introduced in Britain only; others thought it would be released worldwide.

 

Some market commentators viewed the quick-pour pint as an innovative way to appeal to the younger, less patient segment in which Guinness had under-performed. Others feared that the young would be unconvinced by the introduction, and loyal customers would be turned off by what they characterized as a ‘marketing u-turn’.

 

 

Question:

 

  1. From a marketing perspective, what has Guinness done to ensure its longevity?
  2. How would you characterize the Guinness brand?
  3. What could Guinness do to attract younger drinkers? And to retain its older loyal customer base? Can both be done at the same time?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Attempt Any Four Case Study

Case Study 1 : Structuring global companies

 

As the chapter illustrates, to carry out their activities in pursuit of their objectives, virtually all organisations adopt some form of organisational structure. One traditional method of organisation is to group individuals by function or purpose, using a departmental structure to allocate individuals to their specialist areas (e.g. Marketing, HRM and so on ). Another is to group activities by product or service, with each product group normally responsible for providing its own functional requirements. A third is to combine the two in the form of a matrix structure with its vertical and horizontal flows of responsibility and authority, a method of organisation much favoured in university Business Schools.

What of companies with a global reach: how do they usually organise them-
selves?

Writing in the Financial Times in November 2000 Julian Birkinshaw, Associate Professor of Strategic and International Management at London Business School, identifies four basic models of global company structure:

  • The International Division – an arrangement in which the company establishes a
    separate division  to  deal  with  business  outside  its  own  country.  The
    International Division would typically be concerned with tariff and trade issues,
    foreign agents/partners and other aspects involved in selling overseas. Normally
    the division does not make anything itself, it is simply responsible for interna-
    tional sales. This arrangement tends to be found in medium-sized companies
    with limited international sales.

The Global Product Division – a product-based structure with managers responsible
for their product line globally. The company is split into a number of global busi-
nesses arranged by product (or service) and usually overseen by their own
president. It has been a favoured structure among large global companies such as
BP, Siemens and 3M.

  • The Area Division – a geographically based structure in which the major line of
    authority lies with the country (e.g. Germany) or regional (e.g. Europe) manager who
    is responsible for the different product offerings within her/his geographical area.
    ● The Global Matrix – as the name suggests a hybrid of the two previous structural
    types. In the global matrix each business manager reports to two bosses, one
    responsible for the global product and one for the country/region. As we indi-
    cated in the previous edition of this book, this type of structure tends to come
    into and go out of fashion. Ford, for example, adopted a matrix structure in the
    later 1990s, while a number of other global companies were either streamlining
    or dismantling theirs (e.g. Shell, BP, IBM).

As Professor Birkinshaw indicates, ultimately there is no perfect structure and organisations tend to change their approach over time according to changing circumstances,  fads,  the  perceived  needs  of  the  senior  executives  or  the predispositions of powerful individuals. This observation is no less true of universities than it is of traditional businesses.

Case study questions

  1. Professor Birkinshaw’s article identifies the advantages and disadvantages of being a global business. What are his major arguments?

 

  1. In your opinion what are likely to be the key factors determining how a global company will organise itself?

 

Case 2 : Resource prices

 

As we saw in Chapter 1, resources such as labour, technology and raw materials
constitute inputs into the production process that are utilised by organisations to
produce outputs. Apart from concerns over the quality, quantity and availability of
the different factors of production, businesses are also interested in the issue of
input prices since these represent costs to the organisation which ultimately have
to be met from revenues if the business is to survive. As in any other market, the
prices of economic resources can change over time for a variety of reasons, most, if
not all, of which are outside the direct control of business organisations. Such fluc-
tuations in input prices can be illustrated by the following examples:

  • Rising labour costs – e.g. rises in wages or salaries and other labour-related costs
    (such as pension contributions or healthcare schemes) that are not offset by
    increases in productivity or changes in working practices. Labour costs could rise
    for a variety of reasons including skills shortages, demographic pressures, the
    introduction of a national minimum wage or workers seeking to maintain their
    living standards in an inflationary period.
  • Rising raw material costs – e.g. caused by increases in the demand for certain raw
    materials and/or shortages (or bottlenecks) in supply. It can also be the result of
    the need to switch to more expensive raw material sources because of customer
    pressure, environmental considerations or lack of availability.
  • Rising energy costs – e.g. caused by demand and/or supply problems as in the oil
    market in recent years, with growth in India and China helping to push up
    demand and coinciding with supply difficulties linked to events such as the war
    in Iraq, hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico or decisions by OPEC.
    ● Increases in the cost of purchasing new technology/capital equipment – e.g.
    caused by the need to compete with rivals or to meet more stringent government
    regulations in areas such as health and safety or the environment.

As the above examples illustrate, rising input prices can be the result of factors operating at both the micro and macro level and these can range from events which are linked to natural causes to developments of a political, social and/or economic kind. While many of these influences in the business environment are uncontrollable, there are steps business organisations can (and do) often take to address the issue of rising input prices that may threaten their competitiveness. Examples include the following:

  • Seeking cheaper sources of labour (e.g. Dyson moved its production of vacuum
    cleaners to the Far East).
  • Abandoning salary-linked pension schemes or other fringe benefits (e.g. com-
    pany cars, healthcare provisions, paid holidays).
  • Outsourcing certain activities (e.g. using call centres to handle customer com-
    plaints, or outsourcing services such as security, catering, cleaning, payroll, etc.). ● Switching raw materials or energy suppliers (e.g. to take advantage of discounts

by entering into longer agreements to purchase).

 

  • Energy-saving measures (e.g. through better insulation, more regular servicing of
    equipment, product and/or process redesign).
  • Productivity gains (e.g. introducing incentive schemes).

In addition to measures such as these, some organisations seek cost savings through
divestment of parts of the business or alternatively through merger or takeover
activity. In the former case the aim tends to be to focus on the organisation’s core
products/services and to shed unprofitable and/or costly activities; in the latter the
objective is usually to take advantage of economies of scale, particularly those asso-
ciated with purchasing, marketing, administration and financing the business.

 

 

Case study questions

  1. If a company is considering switching production to a country where wage costs
    are lower, what other factors will it need to take into account before doing so?

 

  1. Will increased environmental standards imposed by government on businesses
    inevitably result in higher business costs?

 

Case 3 : Government and business – friend or foe?

 

As we have seen, governments intervene in the day-to-day working of the economy
in a variety of ways in the hope of improving the environment in which industrial
and commercial activity takes place. How far they are successful in achieving this
goal is open to question. Businesses, for example, frequently complain of over-
interference  by  governments  and  of  the  burdens  imposed  upon  them  by
government legislation and regulation. Ministers, in contrast, tend to stress how
they have helped to create an environment conducive to entrepreneurial activity
through the different policy initiatives and through a supportive legal and fiscal
regime. Who is right?

While there is no simple answer to this question, it is instructive to examine the
different surveys which are regularly undertaken of business attitudes and condi-
tions in different countries. One such survey by the European Commission – and
reported by Andrew Osborn in the Guardian on 20 November 2001 – claimed that
whereas countries such as Finland, Luxembourg, Portugal and the Netherlands
tended to be regarded as business-friendly, the United Kingdom was perceived as
the most difficult and complicated country to do business with in the whole of
Europe. Foreign firms evidently claimed that the UK was harder to trade with than
other countries owing to its bureaucratic procedures and its tendency to rigidly
enforce business regulations. EU officials singled out Britain’s complex tax formali-
ties, employment regulations and product conformity rules as particular problems
for foreign companies – criticisms which echo those of the CBI and other represen-
tative bodies who have been complaining of the cost of over-regulation to UK firms
over a considerable number of years.

The news, however, is not all bad. The Competitive Alternatives study (2002) by
KPMG of costs in various cities in the G7 countries, Austria and the Netherlands
indicated that Britain is the second cheapest place in which to do business in the
nine industrial countries (see www.competitivealternatives.com). The survey, which
looked at a range of business costs – especially labour costs and taxation -, placed
the UK second behind Canada world-wide and in first place within Europe. The
country’s strong showing largely reflected its competitive labour costs, with manu-
facturing costs estimated to be 12.5 per cent lower than in Germany and 20 per
cent lower than many other countries in continental Europe. Since firms frequently
use this survey to identify the best places to locate their business, the data on rela-
tive costs are likely to provide the UK with a competitive advantage in the battle for
foreign inward investment (see Mini case, above).

 

Case study questions

  1. How would you account for the difference in perspective between firms who often
    complain of government over-interference in business matters and ministers who
    claim that they have the interests of business at heart when taking decisions?

 

  1. To what extent do you think that relative costs are the critical factor in determining
    inward investment decisions?

 

 

Case 4 : The end of the block exemption

 

As we have seen in the chapter, governments frequently use laws and regulations to promote competition within the marketplace in the belief that this has significant benefits for the consumer and for the economy generally. Such interventions occur not only at national level, but also in situations where governments work together to provide mutual benefits, as in the European Union’s attempts to set up a ‘Single Market’ across the member states of the EU.

While few would deny that competitive markets have many benefits, the search
for increased competition at national level and beyond can sometimes be
restrained by the political realities of the situation, a point underlined by a previous
decision of the EU authorities to allow a block exemption from the normal rules of
competition in the EU car market. Under this system, motor manufacturers operat-
ing within the EU were permitted to create networks of selective and exclusive dealerships and to engage in certain other activities normally outlawed under the competition provisions of the single market. It was argued that the system of selective and exclusive distribution (SED) benefited consumers by providing them with a cradle-to-grave service, alongside what was said to be a highly competitive supply situation within the heavily branded global car market.

Introduced in 1995, and extended until the end of September 2002, the block
exemption was highly criticised for its impact on the operation of the car market in
Europe. Following a critical report by the UK competition authorities in April 2000,
the EU published a review (in November 2000) of the workings of the existing
arrangement for distributing and servicing cars, highlighting its adverse conse-
quences for both consumers and retailers and signalling the need for change. Despite
intensive lobbying by the major car manufacturers, and by some national govern-
ments, to maintain the current rules largely intact, the European Commission
announced its intention of replacing the block exemption regulation when it expired
in September, subject of course to consultation with interested parties.

In essence the Commission’s proposals aimed to give dealers far more independ-
ence from suppliers by allowing them to solicit for business anywhere in the EU
and to open showrooms wherever they want; they would also be able to sell cars
supplied by different manufacturers under the same roof. The plan also sought to
open up the aftersales market by breaking the tie which existed between sales and
servicing. The proposal was that independent repairers would in future be able to
get greater access to the necessary spare parts and technology, thereby encouraging
new entrants to join the market with reduced initial investment costs.

While these proposals were broadly welcomed by groups representing consumers
(e.g. the Consumer Association in the UK), some observers felt that the planned
reforms did not go far enough to weaken the power of the suppliers over the market
(see e.g. the editorial in the Financial Times, 11 January 2002). For instance it
appeared to be the case that while manufacturers would be able to supply cars to
supermarkets and other new retailers, they would not be required by law to do so,
suggesting that a market free-for-all was highly unlikely to emerge in the foreseeable
future. Equally the Commission’s plans appeared to do little to protect dealers from
threats to terminate their franchises should there be a dispute with the supplier.

In the event the old block exemption scheme expired at the end of September
2002 and the new rules began the next day. However, the majority of the provisions
under the EC rules did not come into effect until the following October (2003) and
the ban on ‘location clauses’ – which limit the geographical scope of dealer opera-
tions – only came into effect two years later. Since October 2005 dealers have been
free to set up secondary sales outlets in other areas of the EU, as well as their own
countries. This is expected to stengthen competition between dealers across the
Single Market to the advantage of consumers (e.g. greater choice and reduced prices).

 

 

Case study questions

  1. Can you suggest any reasons why the European Commission was willing to grant
    the block exemption in the first place, given that it ran counter to its proposals for
    a Single Market?

 

  1. Why might the new reforms make cars cheaper for European consumers?

 

Case 5 : The sale of goods on the Internet

 

The sale of consumer goods on the Internet (particularly those between European member states) raises a number of legal issues. First, there is the issue of trust, with-
out which the consumer will not buy; they will need assurance that the seller is genuine, and that they will get the goods that they believe they have ordered.
Second, there is the issue of consumer rights with respect to the goods in question: what rights exist and do they vary across Europe? Last, the issue of enforcement: what happens should anything go wrong?

 

Information and trust

Europe recognises the problems of doing business across the Internet or telephone
and it has attempted to address the main stumbling blocks via Directives. The
Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 attempts to address the
issues of trust in cross-border consumer sales, which may take place over the
Internet (or telephone). In short, the consumer needs to know quite a bit of infor-
mation, which they may otherwise have easy access to if they were buying face to
face. Regulation 7 requires inter alia for the seller to identify themselves and an
address must be provided if the goods are to be paid for in advance. Moreover, a
full description of the goods and the final price (inclusive of any taxes) must also
be provided. The seller must also inform the buyer of the right of cancellation available under Regulations 10-12, where the buyer has a right to cancel the contract for seven days starting on the day after the consumer receives the goods or services. Failure to inform the consumer of this right automatically extends the period to three months. The cost of returning goods is to be borne by the buyer, and the seller is entitled to deduct the costs directly flowing from recovery as a restocking fee. All of this places a considerable obligation on the seller; however, such data should stem many misunderstandings and so greatly assist consumer faith and confidence in non-face-to-face sales.

Another concern for the consumer is fraud. The consumer who has paid by
credit card will be protected by section 83 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, under
which a consumer/purchaser is not liable for the debt incurred, if it has been run
up by a third party not acting as the agent of the buyer. The Distance Selling
Regulations extend this to debit cards, and remove the ability of the card issuer to
charge the consumer for the first £50 of loss (Regulation 21). Moreover, section 75
of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 also gives the consumer/buyer a like claim against
the credit card company for any misrepresentation or breach of contract by the
seller. This is extremely important in a distance selling transaction, where the seller
may disappear.

 

What quality and what rights?

The next issue relates to the quality that may be expected from goods bought over
the Internet. Clearly, if goods have been bought from abroad, the levels of quality
required in other jurisdictions may vary. It is for this reason that Europe has
attempted to standardise the issue of quality and consumer rights, with the
Consumer Guarantees Directive (1999/44/EC), thus continuing the push to encour-
age cross-border consumer purchases. The implementing Sale and Supply of Goods
to Consumer Regulations 2002 came into force in 2003, which not only lays down
minimum quality standards, but also provides a series of consumer remedies which
will be common across Europe. The Regulations further amend the Sale of Goods
Act 1979. The DTI, whose job it was to incorporate the Directive into domestic law
(by way of delegated legislation) ensured that the pre-existing consumer rights were
maintained, so as not to reduce the overall level of protection available to con-
sumers. The Directive requires goods to be of ‘normal’ quality, or fit for any
purpose made known by the seller. This has been taken to be the same as our pre-
existing ‘reasonable quality’ and ‘fitness for purpose’ obligations owed under
sections 14(2) and 14(3) of the Sale of Goods Act 1979. Moreover, the pre-existing
remedy of the short-term right to reject is also retained. This right provides the
buyer a short period of time to discover whether the goods are in conformity with
the contract. In practice, it is usually a matter of weeks at most. After that time has
elapsed, the consumer now has four new remedies that did not exist before, which
are provided in two pairs. These are repair or replacement, or price reduction or
rescission. The pre-existing law only gave the consumer a right to damages, which
would rarely be exercised in practice. (However, the Small Claims Court would
ensure a speedy and cheap means of redress for almost all claims brought.) Now
there is a right to a repair or a replacement, so that the consumer is not left with an
impractical action for damages over defective goods. The seller must also bear the
cost of return of the goods for repair. So such costs must now be factored into any

business sales plan. If neither of these remedies is suitable or actioned within a ‘rea-
sonable period of time’ then the consumer may rely on the second pair of
remedies. Price reduction permits the consumer to claim back a segment of the pur-
chase price if the goods are still useable. It is effectively a discount for defective
goods. Rescission permits the consumer to reject the goods, but does not get a full
refund, as they would under the short-term right to reject. Here money is knocked
off for ‘beneficial use’. This is akin to the pre-existing treatment for breaches of
durability, where goods have not lasted as long as goods of that type ought reason-
ably be expected to last. The level of compensation would take account of the use
that the consumer has (if any) been able to put the goods to and a deduction made
off the return of the purchase price. However, the issue that must be addressed is as
to the length of time that goods may be expected to last. A supplier may state the
length of the guarantee period, so a £500 television set guaranteed for one year
would have a life expectancy of one year. On the other hand, a consumer may
expect a television set to last ten years. Clearly, if the set went wrong after six
months, the consumer would only get £250 back if the retailer’s figure was used,
but would receive £475 if their own figure was used. It remains to be seen how this
provision will work in practice.

One problem with distance sales has been that of liability for goods which arrive
damaged. The pre-existing domestic law stated that risk would pass to the buyer once
the goods were handed over to a third-party carrier. This had the major problem in
practice of who would actually be liable for the damage. Carriers would blame the
supplier and vice versa. The consumer would be able to sue for the loss, if they were
able to determine which party was responsible. In practice, consumers usually went
uncompensated and such a worry has put many consumers off buying goods over the
Internet. The Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumer Regulations also modify the
transfer of risk, so that now the risk remains with the seller until actual delivery. This
will clearly lead to a slight increase in the supply of goods to consumers, with the
goods usually now being sent by insured delivery. However, this will avoid the prob-
lem of who is actually liable and should help to boost confidence.

 

Enforcement

Enforcement for domestic sales is relatively straightforward. Small-scale consumer
claims can be dealt with expeditiously and cheaply under the Small Claims Court.
Here claims under £5000 for contract-based claims are brought in a special court
intended to keep costs down by keeping the lawyers’ out of the court room, as a vic-
torious party cannot claim for their lawyers’ expenses. The judge will conduct the
case in a more ‘informal’ manner, and will seek to discover the legal issues by ques-
tioning both parties, so no formal knowledge of the law is required. The total cost of
such a case, even if it is lost, is the cost of issuing the proceedings (approximately

10 per cent of the value claimed) and the other side’s ‘reasonable expenses’. Expenses
must be kept down, and a judge will not award value which has been deliberately run
up, such first-class rail travel and stays in five star hotels. Residents of Northampton
have hosted a trial of an online claims procedure, so that claims may now be made
via the Internet. (www.courtservice.gov.uk outlines the procedure for MCOL, or
Money Claims Online.) Cases will normally be held in the defendant’s court, unless the complainant is a consumer and the defendant a business.

 

Enforcement is the weak point in the European legislation, for there is, as yet, no
European-wide Small Claims Court dealing with transnational European transac-
tions. The consumer is thus forced to contemplate expensive civil action abroad in a
foreign language, perhaps where no such small claims system exists – a pointless
measure for all but the most expensive of consumer purchases. The only redress lies
in EEJ-Net, the European Extra-Judicial Network, which puts the complainant in
touch with any applicable professional or trade body in the supplier’s home member
state. It does require the existence of such a body, which is unlikely if the transac-
tion is for electrical goods, which is one of the most popular types of Internet
purchase. Therefore, until Europe provides a Euro Small Claims Court, the consumer
cross-border buyer may have many rights, but no effective means of enforcement.
Until then it would appear that section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, which
gives the buyer the same remedies against their credit card company as against the
seller, is the only effective means of redress.

 

Case study questions

  1. Consider the checklist of data which a distance seller must provide to a consumer
    Is this putting too heavy a burden on sellers?

 

  1. Is a consumer distance buyer any better off after the European legislation?
  2. Are there any remaining issues that must be tackled to increase European cross-
    border consumer trade?

Attempt Any Four Case Studies

Case I

PROVIDE ADVICE TO AN ENTREPRENEUR ABOUT INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PROTECTION

 

Locked doors and a security system protect your equipment, inventory and payroll. But what protects your business’s most valuable possessions? IP laws can protect your trade secrets, trademarks and product design, provided you take the proper steps. Chicago attorney Kara E.F. Cenar of Welsh and Katz, an IP firm, contends that businesses should start thinking about these issues earlier than most do. “Small businesses tend to delay securing IP protection because of the expense,” Cenar says. “They tend not to see the value of IP until a competitor infringes.” But a business that hasn’t applied for copyrights or patents and actively defended tem will likely have trouble making its case in court.

 

One reason many business owners don’t protect their intellectual property is that they don’t recognize the value of the intangibles they own. Cenar advises business owners to take their business plans to an experienced IP attorney and discuss how to deal with these issues. Spending money upfront for legal help can save a great deal later by giving you strong copyright or trademark rights, which can deter competitors from infringing and avoid litigation later.

 

Once you’ve figured out what’s worth protecting, you have to decide how to protect it. That isn’t always obvious. Traditionally, patents prohibit others from copying new devices and processes, while copyrights do the same for creative endeavors such as books, music and software. In many cases, though, the categories overlap. Likewise, trademark law now extends to such distinctive elements as a product’s color and shape. Trade dress laws concerns how the product is packaged and advertised. You might be able to choose what kind of protection to seek.

For instance, one of Welsh & Katz’s clients is Ty Inc., maker of plush toys. Before launching the Beanie Baby line, Cenar explains, the owners brought in business and marketing plans to discuss IP issues. The plan was for a limited number of toys in a variety of styles, and no advertising except word-of-mouth. Getting a patent on a plush toy might have been impossible and would have taken several years, too long for easily copied toys. Trademark and trade dress protection wouldn’t help much, because the company planned a variety of styles. But copyrights are available for sculptural art, and they’re inexpensive and easy to obtain. The company chose to register copyrights and defend them vigorously. Cenar’s firm has fended off numerous knockoffs.

 

That’s the next step: monitoring the market-place for knockoffs and trademark infringement, and taking increasingly firm steps to enforce your rights. Efforts typically begin with a letter of warning and could end with a court-ordered cease-and-desist order or even an award of damages. “If you don’t take the time to enforce [your trademark], it becomes a very weak mark,” Cenar says. But a strong mark deters infringement, wins lawsuits and gets people to settle early.” Sleep on your rights, and you’’’ lose them. Be proactive, and you’ll protect them – and save money in the long run.

An inventor with a newly invented technology comes to you for advice on the following matters:

 

Questions:

 

  1. In running this new venture, I need to invest al available resources in producing the products and attracting customers. How important is it for me to divert money from those efforts to protect my intellectual property?

 

  1. I have sufficient resources to obtain intellectual property protection, but how effective is that protection without a large stock of resources to invest in going after those that infringe on my rights? If I do not have the resources to defend a patent, is it worth obtaining one in the first place?

 

  1. Are there circumstances when it is better for me not to be an innovator but rather produce “knock-offs” of other innovations?

 

 

Case II – Provide advice to an entrepreneur about firing employees

 

Firing an employee is a messy business. Just the thought of having to recruit, train and manage a new sales soul is enough to keep some sales managers from following through with the task. But holding on to a salesperson who’s not performing or who’s disruptive to the team is guaranteed to exacerbate matters down the road. But how do you know when it’s time to say “you’ve gotta go”? It’s simple, according to Tricia Timkin: “Lack of production, lack of production, lack of production,” says the president of Padigent, a Carol Stream, Illinois, human resources consulting firm for emerging companies.

 

Dave Anderson, president of Dave Anderson’s Learn to Lead, concurs that performance is one criterion for firing. Anderson, whose Los Altos, California, company offers sales, management and leadership consulting, thinks reps who are “dishonest, selfish or disrespectful” should face the axe.

 

You may fear firing a rep will cause a morale dip in the troops. After all, someone’s buddy is getting shown the door. But making a tough choice can bolster the spirits of your sales squad. Says Tamkin: “Firing can positively affect morale [because] it sends a message that the company will take strong measures to ensure the success of the organization. Poor performers lower the morale of the team, and they continually break momentum and diminish the credibility of the sales manager.

Before firing, however, steps must be taken to legally protect your business. It’s crucial that the employee has been warned in advance in writing. Coaching sessions with failing sales people will help protect you when it comes time to separate. Tamkin advises that documentation must be developed in advance of the firing, and that when it comes time for the employee to go, the manger should conduct an exit interview. Though firing will never be a savory part of a manager’s job description, it’s short – term pain for long – term gain. “Managers have to realize that when they keep the wrong person,” Anderson says, “there’s more damage to the company than just lack of production.”

 

Here are some firing guidelines from William Skip Miller’s ProActive Sales Management (AMACOM):

  1. Never in your office: if it’s your office, you can’t leave if the employee wants to stay and talk.
  2. Short and Sweet: As you walk in the door, say, “The reason I’m here is to tell this is your last day of employment with this company.” Just get it out.
  3. Never on a Friday: If fired on a Friday, the employee can’t start the process of feeling good. All he or she can do is stew about it over the weekend.
  4. Outside help: If the employee says he or she has consulted an attorney or other legal counsel, stop the conversation immediately and consult your HR department or attorney, whoever helped you draft your company policy.
  5. No hanging around: Personal effects can be retrieved, but have the person leave the building.

 

Advice to an entrepreneur:

An entrepreneur, whose business has stopped growing, has read the above article and comes to you for advice:

 

  1. Gee, these managers discussed in the article are a bit rough. Even if one particular person is not producing as expected, doesn’t this person still deserve to be treated with respect?

 

  1. It appears that the automatic assumption is that the employee is at fault for not performing and therefore should be fired. But shouldn’t the responsibility fall on me as the manager and the system that I have introduced? Maybe the person is performing as well as the situation allows?

 

  1. How am I to build team spirit within my small company when I single out one person for lack of production and fire him or her?


Case III – Provide advice to an entrepreneur about small business investment companies

 

It started out as a straightforward consulting project for Mahendra Vora and research partner Sundar Kadaya. They were analyzing software trends and perusing market research studies to assess the size of various software markets. But after spending 40 hours looking for information that should have taken 10 minutes to access, the pair concluded that more advanced tools were needed to search the internet and databases of public information. Within months, they launched Intelliseek Inc., providing software to capture, track and analyze information for use in strategic planning, market research, product development and brand marketing. Vora, 39, was no stranger to start-ups. By the time he co-founded Intelliseek in 1997, he already had three business launches under his belt. He sold all three to Fortune 500 firms, providing capital for Intelliseek. His initial investment of a few million dollars supported operations the first couple of years and through two major product launches.

 

By 1999, the Cincinnati Company was laying the groundwork for its first round of venture capital.Vora had had two years to contemplate his dream investor. Foremost, size did matter: The venture capitalist should have the wherewithal for ongoing financing, but not be so large that it shunned all but elaborate business models. Finding an investor with a broad network of investing partners also was important to the $10million company. “If you become wildly successful and plan to raise $50 million someday, then [the investor] should have access to the big investors. The network is also important because it can [introduce] you to customers,” says Vora, whose clients include CBS, Ford Motor Co. and Nokia. Finally, Vora was looking for operational experience. “A lot of VCs are phenomenal in advising you about what to do, but they’ve never done it themselves,” he observes. Vora ultimately found his venture match in Cincinnati-based River Cities Capital Funds, a small business investment company. While River Cities was not large, it was well-connected and managed by industry veterans with extensive professional experience.

 

Starting Small

Licensed and regulated by the SBA, SBICs are generally organized and operated like any other venture capital fund. But unlike traditional funds, SBICs use their own capital and long-term loans to small companies. On the whole, SBICs tend to be more risk-tolerant than banks or traditional venture capitalists….Inteliseek’s SBIC banker removed barriers to reaching larger, mainstream investors. Led by river cities capital funds, the initial $6 million investment included capital from the venture arm of Nokia; later investors included Ford Motor Co. and General Atlantic Partners LLC. “once you get a VC like River Cities, it is much easier to get access to bigger VCs,” says Vora. “They can go to VCs and say ‘One of our companies is doing so well, we’re going to put in more money, and you guys should come in’.”

Down But Not Out

SBICs invested roughly $2.8 billion in about 2,100 companies in the 12-month period ending September 30, 2002 down from $4.6 billion invested in 2,254 companies in the same period one year earlier. Like mainstream investors, they have had to adjust to deteriorating economic conditions.  “Valuations have come down on deals, and due diligence periods have increased,” says Patrick Hamner, vice resident of Capital Southwest Corp., a Dallas-based SBIC. “People are being far more discriminating in how they invest their capital.”

“The bar has been raised even more for small businesses trying to get capital,” he continues. “As opposed to the overall venture industry, which has had a very marked decline in financing activity, SBICs are down but still active.”

Nor has quality been an overriding concern, even as SBICs engage in riskier deals than their mainstream counterparts. “Part of what has happened with the bursting of the bubble is that the ideas being proposed are based on more substantive models,” sa