Entrepreneurship, Strategic Marketing, Innovation, New product development (NPD).
This case is suitable to be used in advanced undergraduate, and MBA/MSc.
This case illustrates the challenges related to commercializing an innovative product, the coconut dehusking machine in the Malaysian market. It revolves around the issues pertaining to the pre and post-lunch activities and bottleneck of the coconut dehusking and defibering (CDD) machine which was developed by Md Akhir in July 2003. Md Akhir, the senior research officer at Mechanization and Automation Research Centre, Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI), believed that it was the first coconut dehusker in Malaysia. During 2000, farmers used to dehusk coconut manually, as there was no readily available machine to help them. Thus, Md Akhir felt the necessity to innovate such a machine that could help the farmers to dehusk efficiently in comparatively less effort and time. From 2003 to 2005, he presented his innovation in several national and international exhibitions and received accolades for such innovative product. In 2005, MARDI signed the memorandum of agreement of five years to license the CDD with Phytofolia Sendirian Berhad without having Md Akhir’s consent. Phytofolia was a comparatively new company owned by two entrepreneurs – Azmin Samin and Abd Hamid. During 2007, Phytofolia changed the specification of the CDD without informing to Md Akhir. Furthermore, two machines were sold to a company in Papua New Guinea, but no feedback was sought about the performance of the modified CDD. The price of CDD was set very high and thus the local farmers refused to buy it. In 2009, Hamid left Phytofolia due to disagreement with his business partner. He collaborated with Mr Sigiarno a venture capitalist from Indonesia and offer MARDI RM200,000 up-front to buy the IP of the CDD. At the end of the contract, Phytofolia failed to pay the royalty to MARDI and the contract ended in 2010. By seeing the fall of memorandum of agreement, MARDI asked Md Akhir to decide the next step whether to sign new agreement with Phytofolia, to sign agreement with Hamid’s newly formed company Kelapa Gading, to giving up commercialization and provide this machine to the farmers free of cost or to create a start-up company, fabricate and market the CDD. Md Akhir was really confused about which way to go!
Expected learning outcomes
Using this case, students can learn how a small and/or medium scale company can strategize its new product launch. Based on the given industry scenario, students can realize the potential challenges that are related to launching a new product. Furthermore, this case demonstrates that producing a high-quality product is not enough to succeed in the market; right strategy also plays an important role in making it successful. Finally, it can be also learned that proper marketing strategy, good coordination and communication with support companies as well as internal harmony are three important factors that contributes in any business success. Overall, entrepreneurship students will learn how to use the opportunity and manage the innovation. On the other hand, strategic marketing students will learn the importance of adopting proper strategy, while the students who are undertaking the new product development course will be benefited by seeing the practical situation of a new product launch, its rise and its fall.
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CSS 3: Entrepreneurship
Abu Dardak, R. and Quoquab, F. (2016), "Commercialization of the coconut dehusker and defibering machine: don’t lose your courage Md Akhir", Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, Vol. 6 No. 2. https://doi.org/10.1108/EEMCS-06-2015-0107Download as .RIS
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