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Leveraging the balanced scorecard – a tool for SME advancement

Saroj Koul (Jindal Global Business School, OP Jindal Global University, Sonipat, India)
Hima Gupta (School of Ports, Terminal Management and Logistics, Symbiosis Skills and Professional University, Pune, India)

Publication date: 17 May 2021


Learning outcomes

Illustrate the typical organizational responsibility of a small, medium industry dealing with precision manufacturing products. Introduce a balanced scorecard (BSC) as a concept about the case in the context. Introduce the parameters specific to small and medium enterprise (SME) that could be considered to be part of the key performance indicators. Understand the advantages and disadvantages of using a BSC in SMEs in emerging economies.

Case overview/ synopsis

Gopika Rani, the recently hired Executive Assistant along with Sanjana M, the Business Development Manager of SEP India Private Ltd. (SEPI), a small medium enterprise, were finalizing a proposal for the forthcoming “India Small Business Excellence Awards 2020.” The proposal was to be considered by the Board of Directors scheduled to meet next week for approvals. Sanjana apprises Gopika on CRISIL’s policy advisory role and its annual awards scheme for SMEs in India. She also details recent modifications announced by the Government of India that had impacted SEPI and was pertinent for filling the application. Gopika understood that SEPI was well-known for the precision and durability of its component, and was poised for growth. The business catered to global suppliers (Tier-1 companies) of the Indian automotive industry that accounted for over 75% and the balance contributed to exports. SEPI’s unique products such as Starter Motor Ignition or the Fuel Vending pump (Automotive) or the non-automotive products such as arrowheads and bowstrings (sports) or the heart-valves (medical) have all the quality certifications. For new product development, customer feedback played a crucial role at all stages of development from prototype to pilot tests. SEPI’s mission “be our customers’ preferred supplier and business partner” drove their personnel and organizational objectives. Also, SEPI could get multiple benefits and be in a strong market position because of this award recognition. Gopika was, however, unclear about SEPI’s business strategies and use of appropriate performance measurement tools. Gopika desired to address the Board of Directors next week on her idea of applying a BSC as a useful “strategic planning and management tool.” The BSC methodology can be used to monitor the performance of SME firms against strategic goals. It can be successfully implemented in smaller organizations because of their simpler set-ups and tendency to arrive at a consensus quickly. However, implementation of BSC within the Indian micro, small and medium enterprises has been scant. Several studies found that the lack of ownership, resistance to change, a scarcity of training and coordination between the departments and lack of funds were among the challenges. The firms also had to make numerous changes to their strategies as business environments evolved. Gopika was convinced that the tool could blend in all the “four perspectives – customer, financial, internal business and learning and growth” and grow. The tool could demonstrate meeting all the prerequisites, “needs to have an exemplary vision, demonstrate outstanding business acumen, use best practices and create a legacy for the others to follow,” that were prerequisites for receipt of this award. Her next project would be to seek approval for the implementation of BSC, a beneficial and apt tool for SEPI. Do you agree with Gopika Rani that BSC is a suitable tool for SEPI? If yes, why? If no, why?

Complexity academic level

This case study titled leveraging the BSC – a tool for SME advancement is intended for use in the graduate management program (MBA) in subject electives, namely, entrepreneurship, strategy formulation, human resource management or production management.

Supplementary materials

Teaching Notes are available for educators only.

Subject code

CSS 3: Entrepreneurship.

Supplementary materials

Teaching Notes are available for educators only.



The authors acknowledge the inputs and support of Ms Anjana Mohan, General Manager at SEP India Private Ltd. (SEPI) for deliberations, information, and in-plant visits from June 2019 to December 2020.Funding: Research Grant (11.06.2018) ARIF, India.Disclaimer. This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision-making. The authors may have disguised names; financial and other recognizable information to protect confidentiality.


Koul, S. and Gupta, H. (2021), "Leveraging the balanced scorecard – a tool for SME advancement", , Vol. 11 No. 2.



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