The case throws light on the unforeseen challenges new entrepreneurs confront. It highlights how the challenges of manpower, sales and operations are intertwined. It also put emphasis on holistic planning prior to initiating a business.
This case can be used in the introductory courses on entrepreneurship and sales and distribution for undergraduate and postgraduate students of Business Schools.
This case revolves around the pursuit of an entrepreneur to develop and service sweetcorn vending kiosks in an Indian State. It narrates the dilemma faced by the entrepreneur when she discovered a notional loss of revenue as a result of her selecting a particular distribution channel. The entrepreneur realized that the entire range of products sold through the dealer was fetching her far less revenue in comparison to the only product she retailed herself. She also realized that the retail though paid better dividends, but also brought along host of manpower and operative issues. With the day of signing a firm contract with the dealer coming close, the entrepreneur must decide quickly her future course of action.
Expected learning outcomes
The students will be able to gain understanding of the unforeseen challenges confronted by small entrepreneurs, interconnection of various functions of business and the significance of holistic planning.
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This case dates back to 2017 and revolves around three budding entrepreneurs studying in a prestigious university in Haryana. A collaborative initiative by Abhishek Ganesh…
This case dates back to 2017 and revolves around three budding entrepreneurs studying in a prestigious university in Haryana. A collaborative initiative by Abhishek Ganesh and Shine Varghese Saji to make the Onam festival in their university a huge success among their fellow mates initiated their journey of entrepreneurship. The three entrepreneurs got their first lesson that students are ready for a service if it is interesting and enjoying but not at a very high price. They studied the market and observed that there was a lack of substitutes providing high-quality but affordable travel services. With the three entrepreneurs gelling successfully, they decided to form a company that offered relaxing weekend gateways at high quality but at an affordable price. So, the company, The Great Expedist came into existence as a Partnership Company under the treasurer's name, that is, Anurag Bansal and started business from 5 February 2017. The aim of the company was to provide varied experiences to their customers including adventure sports, team building activities, historical learning and a comfortable stay that delivers a unique travel experience to students at an affordable price.
As every new initiative brings challenges along with it, the entrepreneurs had to face resistance from vendors, hoteliers and even students from other universities. But with their sheer grit backed by full support from their university entrepreneurship cell, they overcame the challenges smoothly.
But the issue of pricing was of prime concern for them. With students being a price-sensitive market coupled with vendor issues, they found it difficult to earn revenues. So, they decided to opt for mark-up pricing and offered 15% mark up on the costs incurred by the company in arranging for hotel, travel and other logistic arrangements. With passage of time and enhancement of negotiation power, they decided to offer more value-oriented services at similar price points. This enhanced their profit margins due to increase in volume of sales.
The targeted promotions and positive WOM were making them popular but the issue of customised service seemed a challenge. Each student had a different set of priorities in terms of travel, stay and food offered. The company wanted to enhance their profits so either the negotiation had to be great or the price to be enhanced. This issue landed them in a dilemma. They wanted to diversify, promote and research all of which required a lot of money. They even thought of diversifying into the senior citizen category. It was a lucrative segment with huge profit margins but with its own set of huge challenges too. So, they are stuck up with a dilemma. Should they negotiate with vendors or should they increase the price of the service package? Should they stick to their current target group of students or diversify to the segment of senior citizens or a completely new segment?
Catering business is one of the most prominent and sought-after business investment in Dehradun, given the number of people who have a busy lifestyle. This fact gets more influential as Shugan Group is a catering company that serves the Dehradun market, a valley in the foothills of Shivalik Mountain Range in the state of Uttarakhand. Dehradun enjoys the benefit of being the Capital of Uttarakhand. The catering companies offer a lot of employment while promising delicious food to the stakeholders. Many individuals rely on this sector through food trucks, small shops or through full-fledged catering service providing companies. The group offers innovative and interesting food options for Doonites through their catering services including a lot of regional food options. Traditionally, the catering services in the town comprises handful options to deliver in the form of just food items. The catering services now involve a lot of service elements also including serving of the dishes, ambience and all inclusive of personnel factors. Many individuals assume that mess food is everyday kind of boring food. This assumption definitely holds true throughout the student community who are the major benefactors of the catering services as Dehradun is an education hub in the country. The new food offerings therefore face a lot of change as some of the ingredients definitely are the everyday incorporated ones. In the past couple of years, the catering services concept had gained acceptance for investment because of rise in demand for variety to be provisioned in the offerings as students hold diverse demographical differences. A lot of significance has been given to the likeness of various food options. Shugan Group wishes to inject a new life into the student catering market, leveraging the culinary skills of their handpicked chefs to develop creative new catering options. The advanced skills of chefs, industry insight of the group and an already existing market opportunity will allow the group to showcase its potential. Shugan Group is a start-up company. Marketing is critical to its success and future profitability. It offers creative gourmet for mess catering for a wide range of events and everyday eating options. The basic market need is high quality and creative food options. Having worked in the industry for the past few years and witnessing the dynamic environment including rise in disposable incomes, rise in consumer awareness, consumer’s keenness to eat new delicacies every day and desire to purchase quality food, the group has invested a lot in understanding what the consumers want. The performance of the group has been moderately incremental. After holding qualitative wisdom on the requirements of the market, Shugan Group is currently in the speculative stage in terms of being a caterer. The group wishes to reasonably understand the option that it should consciously adopt in terms of being modest about thinking only of financial benefit, with reasonable expansion every year only for the sake of being financially viable or build a strong brand and start getting people to increase word of mouth thereby bringing organic growth.
The length of the debate regarding a new business idea and resource allocation between Ritu Jhajharia, Vinay Chaurasia and Sandeep Poonia on an evening in March 2016, was enough to make the piping hot pasta go cold. After much deliberation, The Rolling Circle, a Mumbai-based marketing firm concentrated on the digital marketing business arena was born with plans of potentially viable business strategies, blueprints of employee and other key resources' allocations, strategies for client procurement and vesting of some amount of investment money in initial pitches. Yet, in the last two plus years, the company has procured 40 plus clients and are looking to finish their account books with Rs. 1 crore revenue in their banks by 2018. Despite initial financial crunch, the company continued to get businesses. One day in February 2018, the resignation of co-founder Vinay Chaurasia was a blow to the foundation of the company. While clocking their best business so far and continuously growing since its inception, The Rolling Circle is now faced with one of the biggest dilemmas in the company lifecycle: in their line of business, there is neither a constant flow of clients nor a stability in terms of the employees working in the organisation; the founding team is grappling with the glaring strategic question of whether they should recruit high-profile employees in the organisation first and then continue onboarding premium clients, or they should first sign with premium clients and then look out for high-profile employees to serve those clients? Who will wait: the client or the employees?
Every year, tonnes of flower waste from religious places is dumped into India’s holiest river Ganges, polluting it to virtual death. Pesticides and insecticides used in growing these flowers mix with the water, affecting millions of lives through water-borne diseases. Most others may just lament these facts, Ankit Agarwal and Karan Rastogi, childhood friends from Kanpur, used them as inspiration to innovate. Two years of relentless experimentation led to a brilliant idea; that of recycling the flower waste. They founded HelpUsGreen® in 2014 to convert the waste into bio-fertilisers and lifestyle products. Widely appreciated and heavily awarded now, success has not come easy for this well-educated duo. HelpUsGreen® processes hundreds of kilos of flower waste, creating employment for hundreds of underprivileged women. An entirely bootstrapped project with no carbon foot print, the venture hopes to revive the Ganges through Flowercycling®. Currently at 8.5 tonnes per day and at the tipping point of scaling, HelpUsGreen® hopes to process over 50 tonnes of flower waste per day by 2020. Apart from the environmental impact, HelpUsGreen® has achieved huge societal impact, employing over a thousand women who did not previously have formal employment. What also makes the social entrepreneurs stand apart is their entrepreneurial market savviness. They have positioned their products not at the sympathy market but at the high-end premium market. Their products sell under the name ‘Phool’. HelpUsGreen® has set its eyes firmly on spreading operations across 2,000 kilometres along the Ganges and creating over 25,000 jobs for women.