LEARNING TEAMS : SHRINKING TO FIT Group 1 Synopsis: The case is about 6 MBA students who meet to work on cases after the classes for next day’s discussion. All the six students have different personalities which is evident during the group discussion. Spencer, one of the team members, tries to dominate the discussion. Moyer, another member, is not able to adapt well with Spencer’s dominating character. She wants to confront him but is unsure whether confronting Spencer would be wise. Problems: • Spencer, with time, has become more dominant. His continued attitude of one-sided discussion is starting to have a negative effect on group’s performance. • After the last meeting, Moyer wants to confront Spencer but is indecisive whether confronting Spencer would be wise. Alternative Solution: • Moyer should confront Spencer before the exam as it is having a negative effect on her mindset. • Moyer should take this dilemma to the group for a probable solution. • The team can confront Spencer and make him realise the negative effects of his behaviour. • Moyer can involve the mentor Joe King to find a probable solution. • In the next meeting, the team can collectively reciprocate with same attitude as shown by Spencer to make him realise his mistakes. • Moyer can keep mum becoming a passive recipient of Spencer’s dominating attitude. Prescribed solution: • Moyer should take her concern to the team members and decide on future course of action. If other team members agree to confront Spencer, they should go together else Moyer can take her concern directly to Spencer and relay them. This should be done before the exams as this will ease her mind.
HUL Pureit Case
1. What was so compelling for HUL to develop a product like Pureit? What factors accounted for its success? There were two main factors behind the development of a product like Pureit: • The lack of potable water in the majority of rural India. Additionally, the process of boiling water was cumbersome & Resource heavy. • Introduction of a compact water purifier called “Swacch” by the TATA Group. 2. Explain the product portfolio of Pureit? How would you explain the rationale for current offerings of the company? In most of the developing countries, potable drinking water is a scarcity which is also evident from the episodes and high frequency of the water-borne diseases. Boiling water is cumbersome, resource intensive & expensive. Keeping that in mind the scientists developed the Pureit range of water purifiers to meet the need of drinking & cooking water of rural population. Pureit is safe, easy & costs less than a rupee to purify a litre of water, which led to the success of the product. Pureit is the world’s largest selling water purifier, being sold in more than 9 countries. 3. What was so special about the Water Team that enabled the success of the project? There were three main factors for the success of the water team. • Experience of Yuri Jain in the similar domain. • The startup-like organisation structure and cross-functional teams. • Addition of cause as the driving force for product development apart from cash & Career. 4. How would you interpret the consumer behaviour? The consumers at the lower end of the spectrum would still prefer boiled water because of probable lack of awareness and knowledge, this space required more penetration from the company. On the other hand, Pureit Marvella had created an opportunity for profitability but intense competition made it difficult to price it on the premium side as the consumers would opt for a cheaper product. 5. Explain the competitive scenario in the product segment? According to the recent development, there are multiple companies operating in the water purifier segment in India like Eureka Forbes, Kent RO System, Hindustan Unilever Ltd., Live-pure Private Ltd., Ion exchange, Whirlpool India Ltd., Hi-Tech RO Systems, Panasonic India Pvt. Ltd., Tata Chemicals Ltd. and Kaz USA, Inc. After initial problems like low acceptance of the product like Pureit, the sales have been increasing. HUL has taken up 4 major channels to reach people: • DTH Demonstration • Doctor’s Partnership program • Retail Channel • Partnership Channel And the total sales by March 2010 was of 3. 7 Million units. HUL has decided to offer a margin of 8% to retailers and 7% to distributors which is on the lower side as compared to Eureka Forbes’ 14%.
Kimura Case Study
Case Dilemma: Should Pramtex Ltd. lose huge amount of money to retain an important customer or let them go and focus on new project. Problem Statement: The high pricing and poor customer support for their previous purchase has led Kimura K.K. to call off the future deal with Pramtex Ltd. Will it be possible for the Pramtex’s representatives to persuade them otherwise? Alternate Solutions: Dr. Max Scorse, R&D Head of Pramtex Ltd. should talk to Dr. Gen- Ichi Nomura, Senior R&D advisor of Kimura K.K. who were former graduates of Sydney University, in a one to one meeting. Pramtex Ltd. should provide Kimura K.K. three new Spartacus machines with modified controlling system that would be easier to use along with a higher discount. Also, providing some technicians from Pramtex who can provide on-site technical support at Taiwan. R&D department of Kimura K.K. should be given direct medium of contact to the top level management and President of Pramtex Ltd. to eradicate all the communication barriers and make them feel privileged. Best Solution: Pramtex Ltd. should provide Kimura K.K. three new Spartacus machines with modified controlling system that would be easier to use along with a higher discount. Also, should provide some technicians from Pramtex Ltd. who can provide on-site technical support at Taiwan. Reason: The main issues faced by Kimura K.K. was the higher quoted price by Pramtex Ltd. for Spartacus machine in comparison with Singulus Technologies which was 20% less expensive, as pointed out by Finance Director Mr. Eiji Hashimoto. Another issue was the complexity of Spartacus machine which was termed as the “Rolls Royce” of the turnkey DVD production system which came to light on 12th August when Spartacus machine malfunctioned and none of the in-house technicians could solve the problem. This is the best possible alternative according to us, as this alternative addresses both the major problems faced by Kimura K.K. by providing new Spartacus machines with modified controlling system which made it easier to operate the machine; this innovation was noted by John at Osaka factory, who updated the designers in Sydney. Along with this, some technicians should be provided at Taiwan, to provide technical support on-site. Also, the high quoted price can be resolved by offering Kimura K.K. with a higher discount than previously offered, which would be competitive with the market competitors Singulus Technologies and Marubeni Systems.