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Doing business in the non-ferrous metals industry: how to survive in a mature market in crisis

Igor Vladimirovitch Lipsits (Professor based at Publishing House “Vita-Press”, Moscow, Russian.)
Elena Alexandrovna Vigdorchik (Professor based at Publishing House “Vita-Press”, Moscow, Russian.)

Publication date: 3 March 2015


Subject area

Crisis management, Strategic management.

Study level/applicability

This case study can be used for teaching MBA and pre-experience Masters students as part of a strategic management course.

Case overview

This case study tells the story of Kirov non-ferrous metals processing plant located in Kirov (USSR, presently the Russian Federation). Founded in 1956, this company had long been one of the USSR's leading manufacturers in the industry of non-ferrous metals processing. The situation changed dramatically in the first half of 1990s. During those years, instead of state-planned economy, Russia saw the formation of market economy. It was the first time when the company (as a result of privatization, it became a joint-stock company with a small number of pure portfolio investment owners) was faced with the need to look for marketing outlets for its products on its own. At the same time, after having been privatized, the company could not receive government investments anymore. Due to all these conditions, in 1995, capacity utilization in this company fell to 16 per cent, and it appeared to be on the verge of bankruptcy.

Expected learning outcomes

The main learning objectives of the case study are: to develop students' skills to analyze complex managerial situations; to help students in understanding the logic of company's strategic choice, depending on the stage of the market life cycle (especially, in case of mature markets); and to provide the training for the students' ability to justify management decisions using the example of companies in B2B markets.

Supplementary materials

Teaching Notes are available for educators only. Please contact your library to gain login details or email to request teaching notes.



This case study was initially prepared by the authors within the framework of TACIS TERF Project. TACIS Enterprise Restructuring Project was the program of the European Union aimed to provide Russian companies with professional consultancy support; this program is implemented jointly with the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs ( The original version of the case study was published upon the consent of the company's owners in the collection of case studies summarizing the results of the first TERF Project phase. The case study was later rewritten for educational purposes and the current version is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision making. Final version has been prepared due to grant financed by NRU-HSE Faculty of Management.


Lipsits, I.V. and Vigdorchik, E.A. (2015), "Doing business in the non-ferrous metals industry: how to survive in a mature market in crisis", , Vol. 5 No. 1.



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