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Case study
Publication date: 4 December 2023

Munmun Samantarai and Sanjib Dutta

This case study was developed using data from secondary sources. The data was collected from the organization’s website, annual reports, press releases, published reports and…

Abstract

Research methodology

This case study was developed using data from secondary sources. The data was collected from the organization’s website, annual reports, press releases, published reports and documents available on the internet.

Case overview/synopsis

According to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook (WEO), 775 million people worldwide would not have access to electricity even by 2022, with the majority of them living in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) (Cozzi et al., 2022). In SSA, energy poverty had been a serious issue over the years. According to the IEA, 600 million people lacked access to electricity in 2019, while 900 million people cooked with traditional fuels (Cozzi et al., 2022). A World Bank report from 2018 said many SSA countries had energy access levels of less than 25% (Cozzi et al., 2022). Energy poverty in SSA hampered sustainable development and economic growth.

Despite significant efforts to address this poverty, Africa remained the continent with the lowest energy density in the world. Although solar and other energy-saving products were appealing, their adoption rates were modest, and their distribution strategies were not particularly effective. The lack of electricity exacerbated a number of socioeconomic problems, as it increased the demand for and use of wood fuel, which caused serious health problems and environmental harm.

While working in Uganda, Katherine Lucey (Lucey) saw that having no electricity had negatively affected women’s health in particular because it was women who were responsible for taking care of the home. These effects were both direct and indirect. The women’s reliance on potentially harmful fuels for cooking, such as firewood and charcoal, resulted in their suffering from respiratory and eye problems, in addition to other health issues. Furthermore, the distribution of energy-saving and renewable energy items was seen as the domain of men, and there was an inherent gender bias in energy decisions. Women were not encouraged to participate in energy decisions, despite the fact that they were the ones managing the home and would gain from doing so. In addition, because there was no light after dusk, people worked less efficiently. Lucey saw the economic and social difficulties that electricity poverty caused for women in rural Africa. She also witnessed how the lives of a few families and organizations changed after they started using solar products. This motivated her to start Solar Sister with the mission of achieving a sustainable, scalable impact model for expanding access to clean energy and creating economic opportunities for women.

Solar Sister collaborated with local women and women-centric organizations to leverage the existing network. Women were trained, provided all the necessary support and encouraged to become Solar Sister Entrepreneurs and sell solar products in their communities and earn a commission on each sale. To provide clean energy at their customers’ doorstep, the Solar Sister Entrepreneurs received a “business in a bag” – a start-up kit containing inventory, training and marketing assistance.

Solar Sister’s business model empowered the women in SSA by providing them with an entrepreneurship opportunity and financial independence. Also, the use of solar products helped them shift from using hazardous conventional cooking fuels and lead a healthy life. The children in their households were able to study after sunset, and people in the community became more productive with access to clean energy.

The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, however, had a serious impact on Solar Sister. It found it challenging to mentor and encourage new business owners due to restrictions on travel and on group gatherings. The Solar Sisters were unable to do business outside the house either. Their source of income, which they relied on to support their families, was therefore impacted. The COVID-19 outbreak also slowed down the progress achieved by the community over the years and made household energy purchasing power worse. Furthermore, the organization was also grappling with other issues like limited access to capital, lack of awareness and infrastructural challenges. Another challenge lay in monitoring and evaluating the organization’s impact on the last mile.

In the absence of standardized measurement tools and issues in determining the social impact of Solar Sister, it would be interesting to see what approach Lucey will take to measure the impact of Solar Sister on the society. What measurement tool/s will Lucey implement to gauge the social impact of Solar Sister?

Complexity academic level

This case is intended for use in PG/Executive-level programs as part of a course on Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainability.

Case study
Publication date: 6 December 2023

Abhishek Sinha, Ranajee Ranajee and Sanjib Dutta

This case study is designed to enable students to analyze the competitive landscape of a business impacted by technological disruption; evaluate the viability of an organic growth…

Abstract

Learning outcomes

This case study is designed to enable students to analyze the competitive landscape of a business impacted by technological disruption; evaluate the viability of an organic growth strategy using stakeholder analysis; evaluate the revenue and cost structure of Apollo 24/7 and decide on the future investment strategy; and analyze funding strategies of traditional hospitals versus pure digital players.

Case overview/synopsis

To extend its reach, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise (Apollo Hospitals), a leading private sector brick-and-mortar hospital chain in India known for using state-of-the-art technology, launched a unified virtual mobile platform Apollo 24/7 in February 2020, 45 days into the COVID-19 pandemic. The management believed that the digital platform had a unique ecosystem that could not be replicated. The analysts were optimistic about the impact of the decision on the future performance of Apollo Hospitals, as it was expected to lead to higher penetration and increased revenue. They also anticipated the unlocking of value, as and when the venture capitalist (VC) would invest in Apollo Hospitals. However, with increasing operating expenses on account of burgeoning technological and marketing expenses, things did not seem to go going as planned. Three years later, in February 2022 after the Q3 of financial year 2023 results. Suneeta Reddy, the company’s managing director found herself pondering whether the digital platform could boost Apollo Hospitals’ profitability in addition to expanding its reach and increasing affordability when the company missed the analyst estimates. In India, which was then the second most populous country, “incremental access” and “affordability” were what mattered to the patients, However, for the investors and analysts, it was quarter-on-quarter performance. The change in the macroeconomic environment stalled the company’s plan of raising money from VCs.

Furthermore, the financing dilemma also plagued Reddy. She knew there was a difference between financing for conventional businesses that for digital businesses. She also had to take decide between short-term profitability with which investors were obsessed versus long-term sustainability, which involved taking care of stakeholders’ interests.

Complexity academic level

This case study is basically aimed at postgraduate courses and executive management courses.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes are available for educators only.

Subject Code

CSS11: Strategy.

Case study
Publication date: 11 September 2023

Hadiya Faheem and Sanjib Dutta

LifeBank is primarily focused on tackling the challenge of maternal mortality in Nigeria and other African countries by providing women access to blood, thereby tackling the…

Abstract

Social implications

LifeBank is primarily focused on tackling the challenge of maternal mortality in Nigeria and other African countries by providing women access to blood, thereby tackling the challenge of gender inequality. The company employed both men and women at its workplace providing equal opportunities for men and women.

Learning outcomes

Discuss how women entrepreneurs are solving social problems in developing countries using technology and innovation.

Analyze the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in getting the right human capital, raising funds and managing growth for their social business.

Case overview/synopsis

The case discusses how social entrepreneur Temie Giwa-Tubosun (Temie) founded LifeBank, a medical distribution company, to provide access to blood, medical oxygen and vaccines to hospitals in Nigeria. The company used technology to provide information to health providers about which blood bank stored the blood type they needed and delivered it quickly and safely to help save lives.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes are available for educators only.

Subject code

CSS 3: Entrepreneurship.

Case study
Publication date: 8 March 2023

Hadiya Faheem and Sanjib Dutta

After discussing this case, students will be able to understand the challenges faced by social entrepreneurs in starting a health-tech start-up in Africa; create and evaluate lean…

Abstract

Learning outcomes

After discussing this case, students will be able to understand the challenges faced by social entrepreneurs in starting a health-tech start-up in Africa; create and evaluate lean business models of health-tech companies as a social enterprise; evaluate how health-tech start-ups were developing innovative business models and supply chain networks to make prescription drugs accessible and available in Africa; understand how inorganic growth strategies can help health-tech start-ups scale up; and evaluate what promises investors were seeing while investing in social enterprises in the health-care sector in Africa and what social wealth they were creating.

Case overview/synopsis

In August 2022, Gregory Rockson (Rockson), social entrepreneur and founder of for-profit health technology (health-tech) social enterprise in Ghana, mPharma, stated that he had plans to replicate the company’s business model, which provided people access to drugs and at affordable prices, to other African nations, beyond the company’s existing footprint. However, analysts pointed out that the fragmented drug supply chain and poor regulation in the health-care market across Africa could act as a challenge for mPharma to replicate its business model successfully across the African continent. People in Africa were forced to pay higher prices to buy life-saving drugs due to the continent’s fragmented drug supply chain. To add to their woes, pharmacies struggled to keep life-saving and life-sustaining medicines in stock. Often, patients traveled miles to a pharmacy only to find out that the drugs they needed were not in stock. In addition to this, the markets were flooded with counterfeit drugs. And the Covid-19 pandemic only exacerbated the situation. mPharma managed the prescription drug inventory for pharmacies and drug suppliers using its proprietary vendor management information system. By using the technology infrastructure it had built, the company connected patients, pharmacies and hospitals through a cloud-based software. The system enabled doctors to track in real-time which drugs were available and at which location, thus giving patients reliable access to medicines. Patients registering with mPharma with their prescriptions and medical history received an alert on their mobile phones notifying them where the drugs they needed were available. mPharma bought drugs from major drug manufacturers such as Novartis International AG, Pfizer Inc. (Pfizer) and Bayer AG, on behalf of the pharmacies. This enabled the pharmacies to save on the up-front costs of stocking the drugs, reduced supply constraints and ensured availability of drugs to consumers in these underserved markets. The company had a consignment model wherein member pharmacies had to pay only for what they sold. Most pharmacies forecast the number of drugs they needed and purchased them from mPharma at pre-agreed rates. The company took the inventory liability to prevent pharmacies from going out of stock. As mPharma used its purchasing power to buy drugs in large quantities from drug manufacturers and suppliers, it was able to help patients realize cost savings of 30% to 60% in the purchase of medicines. mPharma was focusing on achieving its ambitious goal of dominating the health-care market in Africa in future. However, analysts felt that the company would face challenges related to poor regulation in the health-care market, high prices of drugs and the fragmented pharmacy retail market in the continent.

Complexity academic level

This case is intended for use in MBA/MS level programs as part of a course on Social Entrepreneurship, Sustainability, Business Model Innovation, Disruptive Business Models, and Supply Chain Management in the Drug Industry.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes are available for educators only.

Subject code

CSS 3: Entrepreneurship.

Details

Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2045-0621

Keywords

Case study
Publication date: 6 September 2022

Hadiya Faheem and Sanjib Dutta

This case study was prepared through secondary research. The secondary data was collected in electronic format from the internet. Archived data from the company sources as well as…

Abstract

Research methodology

This case study was prepared through secondary research. The secondary data was collected in electronic format from the internet. Archived data from the company sources as well as other resources available online was used. Financial reporting about Pfizer Inc. (Pfizer) was done using data from the company’s annual reports.

Case overview/synopsis

This case discusses US-based pharmaceutical giant Pfizer’s successful rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine under the leadership of its Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla (Bourla). In March 2020, when the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic, leaders of pharmaceutical giants worldwide were in no way prepared to find a cure for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. On the other hand, Bourla stood up like a true leader and sought to do something to address the problem. Bourla’s huge gamble paid off. In December 2020, the Food and Drug Administration approved the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer. Pfizer was ready with 50 million vaccine doses for global distribution.

Complexity academic level

This case is intended for use in MBA/MS level programs as part of the curriculum on Effective Leadership and Decision-making, and Crisis Management.

Abstract

Study level/applicability

MBA/MS level programs.

Subject area

Social entrepreneurship, sustainability and business strategy.

Case overview

The case discusses about how social entrepreneur Katerina Kimmorley founded Pollinate Energy with five of her friends to provide solar lights to the urban slum dwellers in Bengaluru, the capital city of Karnataka, a state in the Southern part of India. The company recruited people known as “Pollinators” for distributing their solar lights to the communities on installments making it affordable to them. To scale-up its sustainable energy initiatives and expand its global reach, Pollinate Energy merged with the US-based solar energy company Empower Generation in 2018 to form Pollinate Group. Since the company was making losses and was a nonprofit organization, the new CEO of Pollinate Group Sujatha Ramani and the senior management team had to tackle the challenge of scaling up the company while financially empowering women microentrepreneurs from marginalized communities.

Expected learning outcomes

Study Pollinate Energy’s business model and explore ways in which it can be made sustainable. Discuss the personality traits of Kimmorley which contributed to her success. Discuss how the merger with Empower Generation will help Pollinate Group in expanding its global reach. Explore ways in which the venture can be scaled up further.

Social implications

Pollinate Group focused on women empowerment to tackle the gender inequality challenge. The company provided equal opportunities for men and women, thereby removing discrimination from access to opportunities, sources, services and promotion of equal rights.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes are available for educators only.

Subject code

CSS 3: Entrepreneurship

Article
Publication date: 7 August 2007

Sanjib K. Dutta

Quality and business excellence awards that recognize excellent organizational performance have become a major driving force in enhancing the competitiveness of Indian firms in…

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Abstract

Purpose

Quality and business excellence awards that recognize excellent organizational performance have become a major driving force in enhancing the competitiveness of Indian firms in the global economy. While the frameworks underlying these awards have been used extensively by organizations, little empirical evidence exists regarding the validity of these frameworks as a predictor of building competitiveness. This paper aims to address this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

This study critically examines the framework of one of the leading awards of India by testing the relationship between stakeholder results and enabling practices using regression analysis, structural equation model and data envelopment analysis.

Findings

The results of the study reveal that the framework is used by the organizations to enhance firm level competitiveness but not as a tool to contribute to national competitiveness.

Research limitations/implications

There is scope for further research to review the effectiveness and validity of this model by applying the model in selected organizations and to examine whether there is any significant improvement in results and practices over a period of time. The findings can also be compared with results and practices of those organizations not practising this model.

Practical implications

This study suggests a framework that not only helps an organization in positioning existing initiatives and identifying gaps in its journey of competitiveness but also links its enabling practices and planned results to the growth process of the country.

Originality/value

Global competitiveness serves as the starting‐point for instituting the Confederation of Indian Industry's (CII) theme of “Competitiveness of India Inc.” and initiating CII Institute of Quality's (IQ) task of developing a model of competitiveness that aspires to integrate the process of building competitiveness of an organization with that of a country. These two become the driving factors for forming a basis of the model of competitiveness that aims to build competitiveness at the organizational level contributing to competitiveness at the country level.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 34 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 8 March 2011

Francisco J. Lara

1427

Abstract

Details

Management Decision, vol. 49 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Case study
Publication date: 12 July 2022

Vineeta Dutta Roy

At the macro level, the case study enables the students to appreciate the complexity emerging market economies face in achieving economic development and environmental…

Abstract

Learning outcomes

At the macro level, the case study enables the students to appreciate the complexity emerging market economies face in achieving economic development and environmental sustainability without comprising each other. The students understand the importance of behavioural change and empowerment of communities in projects dealing with transformational social changes. Theoretically, the students learn about the change mechanisms and organisational practices market-based organisations install to drive their positive social change (PSC) projects. At the micro level, students learn about the process of setting up Mangalajodi Ecotourism Trust (MET) – that not only enthused the local community economically but also instilled it with awareness and motivation towards sustaining its ecosystem. Analytically, at macro level, it assists the students to have a lens of PSC framework to examine corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship and BoP strategies of market-based organisations to affect social change. Application/problem solving: The case study explains to the students how the PSC levers of motivation, capability and opportunity structures were applied by NatWest Bank during different phases of project execution. As management grapples with new problems, the students are encouraged to use the levers to recommend an action plan. It allows students to apply SWOT and think of competitive strategies for MET. It allows students to think of strategies that may apply for a better management of Ecotourism at Mangalajodi.

Case overview/synopsis

As part of its broader commitment to sustainable development and climate change action, the NatWest Group (formerly Royal Bank of Scotland Group) launched its Supporting Enterprise Programme in India in the year 2007. The project aimed at creating income-generating opportunities for indigenous and economically vulnerable sections of society living in critical natural ecosystems. The project was under the leadership of N. Sunil Kumar, a zealous nature lover, with over two decades of experience in business strategy and public affairs and a specialty in environmental sustainability. He headed Sustainable Banking at NatWest and was head of NatWest Foundation-India. The Mangalajodi project shared the problems many of NatWest’s other projects in India presented. Poor communities that relied solely on natural resources for their sustenance slid deeper into poverty as ecosystems degraded. Lacking alternative sources of livelihood and facing scantier resources, the communities helplessly caused additional damage to weak ecosystems when they drew on the resources even more vigorously. Poaching of migratory birds for supplemental income was a huge problem at Mangalajodi; it was not only rapidly altering the ecosystem to sustain the birds but also deteriorating and weakening its ecology as a whole. Measures to eliminate poaching were failing in the absence of alternate means of livelihoods and a strong incentive to protect the birds. MET was established under the project in 2009. A decade later, it had become a resounding success. A community-owned and run enterprise, MET was providing direct employment to over 100 poorest families at the tiny village and creating income-generating opportunities and entrepreneurial ventures for many others. Poaching was practically negligible at Mangalajodi, and the community was drawing huge admiration for its role in conserving the ecosystem. However, the progress of Mangalajodi Ecotourism was paradoxical, on the one hand; its popularity was rising but, on the other hand, it was becoming overcrowded and looked ill managed. Its rising commercial value was bringing in more land developers, builders and investors, but permanent concrete structures were also coming up quite unscrupulously. There were many challenges – how should growth of ecotourism at Mangalajodi be managed? What mechanisms and practices ensured that the community was empowered enough to participate in decisions of land use, infrastructure, energy and waste management at Mangalajodi? How should MET become more competitive and innovative to grow despite future challenges?

Complexity academic level

The case study is useful for students of Management at Under Graduate and Post Graduate Levels for understanding the following: the sustainability of fragile ecosystems; the community at the intersection of sustainable development and natural resources conservation and protection of biodiversity; knowing in detail about the planning, implementation and management of ecotourism projects; and decisions regarding community-based ecotourism projects.

Supplementary materials

Teaching Notes are available for educators only.

Subject code

CSS 7: Management Science

Details

Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Case Study
ISSN: 2045-0621

Keywords

Content available
Case study
Publication date: 25 January 2023

A. Erin Bass and Ivana Milosevic

Abstract

Details

The CASE Journal, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Case Study
ISSN:

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