Banking  Management




The birth of ABC Bank took place after the RBI issued guidelines for the entry of new private sector banks in January 1993. Subsequently, the promoter of ABC Bank sought permission to establish a commercial bank and retained KPMG, a management consultant of international repute, to prepare the groundwork for establishing a commercial bank. The Reserve Bank of India conveyed its approval in principle to establish ABC Bank on February 11, 1994. Thereafter, the Bank was incorporated under The Companies Act in September 1994. The bank started its operations in November 1995. The ABC Bank was promoted by the tenth largest development bank in the world, which had a magnificent record of promoting world-class institutions in India. The promoter was a strategic investor in a plethora of institutions, which had revolutionized the Indian financial markets.




  1. Analyze the case, using SWOT.


  1. Comment on the strategies used by the bank for penetrating the Nagpur market.


  1. Suggest strategies for sustenance and growth of the bank in view of the changing scenario of the Nagpur region.


Section II                                                                                                   

Answer Any Six:


  1. Explain buyers credit and suppliers credit by giving examples of each type of credit. Also explain with a case study.


  1. What is correspondent banking? Explain briefly the services offered by correspondent banking? Explain briefly the services offered by correspondent banks to the banks having account relationship with them? Give some examples?


  1. Explain in brief, the role of Reserve bank of India in Indian Exchange control. Explain the role of EXIM bank in promotion exports, and describe briefly facilities given by EXIM bank? Give examples.


  1. The organizational career is a responsibility of the organization and the individual. Discuss.


  1. Explain the general architecture of an integrated banking system. How is it useful? Explain with examples.


  1. What do you understand by MICR? How does it help in clearing of instructions? Explain the field structure of MICR cheque.


  1. Explain how a digital signature is generated? Explain its use with examples.


  1. How can Indian banks use legal recognition of digital signature for development of business.


  1. What is market segmentation? Why is it important to advertisers? How is it useful for banking.


Section I

Answer any Six:


  1. Explain role of different parties to a documentary credit with a case example.

Explain buyers credit and suppliers credit by giving examples of each type of credit. Also explain with a case study.


  1. What is correspondent banking? Explain briefly the services offered by correspondent banking? Explain briefly the services offered by correspondent banks to the banks having account relationship with them? Give some examples?


  1. Explain in brief, the role of Reserve bank of India in Indian Exchange control. Explain the role of EXIM bank in promotion exports, and describe briefly facilities given by EXIM bank? Give examples.


  1. The organizational career is a responsibility of the organization and the individual discuss.


  1. Explain with case examples
  1. Role space conflicts
  2. Role set conflicts


  1. Explain the general architecture of an integrated banking system. How is it useful? Explain with examples.


  1. What do you understand by MICR? How does it help in clearing of instructions? Explain the field structure of MICR cheque.


  1. Explain different e-commerce activities and functions. What are the building blocks of e-commerce solution? Explain with examples.


  1. Explain the concept of transfer pricing in banks and its relevance on pricing/profit. Explain briefly various methods of pricing products.


Answer any Three:


  1. Explain briefly the product life cycle concept with reference to a banks product. Selection development and launching a product are equally important comment.


  1. What are the advantages of packaging? Illustrate in banking context.


  1. Explain the concept of transfer pricing in banks and its relevance on pricing/profit. Explain briefly various methods of pricing products.


  1. Draw an approach for e-banking deployment for retail customers and explain.


  1. Explain how a digital signature is generated? Explain its use with examples.


  1. How can Indian banks use legal recognition of digital signature for development of business.


  1. What is market segmentation? Why is it important to advertisers? How is it useful for banking.


  1. Explain briefly the product life cycle concept with reference to a banks product. Selection development and launching a product are equally important comment.


  1. What are the advantages of packaging? Illustrate in banking context.


 Business Ethics     

  1. Analyze the ethics of marketing Publius using utilitarianism, rights, justice, and caring. In your judgments, is it ethical to market Publius? Explain.
  2. Are the creators of Publius in any way morally responsible for any criminal acts that criminals are able to carry out and keep secret by relying on Publius? Is AT&T in any way morally responsible for these? Explain your answers.
  3. In your judgment, should governments allow the implementation of Publius? Why or why not?


  1. Fully explain the effects that payment like those which Lockheed made to the Japanese have on the structure of a market.


  1. In your view, were Lockheed’s payments to the various Japanese parties “bribes” or “extortions”? Explain your response fully.


  1. In your judgment, did Mr. A. Carl Kotchian act rightly from a moral point of view? (Your answer should take into account the effects of the payments on the welfare of the societies affected, on the right and duties of the various parties involved, and on the distribution of benefits and burdens among the groups involved.) In your judgment, was Mr. Kotchian morally responsible for his Actions?  Was he, in the end, treated fairly?


  1. In its October 27, 1980, issue, Business Week argued that every corporation has a corporate culture –that is, values that set a pattern for its employee’s activities, opinions and actions and that are instilled in succeeding generations of employees (pp.148-60) Describe, if you can, the corporate culture of Lockheed and relate that culture to Mr. Kotchian’s actions.  Describe some strategies for changing that culture in ways that might make foreign payments less likely.


  1. In your judgment, is it wrong, from an ethical point of view, for the auto companies to submit plans for an automobile to China? Explain your answer?
  2. Of the various approaches to environmental ethics outlined in this chapter, which approach sheds most light on the ethical issues raised by this case? Explain your answer.
  3. Should the U.S. government intervene in any way in the negotiations between U.S. auto companies and the Chinese government? Explain.


  1. In your judgment, do the managers of the Robert Hall store have any ethical obligations to change their salary policies? If you do not think they should change, then explain why they have an obligation to change and describe the kinds of changes they should make. Would it make any difference to your analysis if, instead of two departments in the same store, it involved two different Robert Hall Stores, one for men and one for women? Would it make a difference if two stores (one for men and one for women) owned by different companies were involved? Explain each of your answers in terms of the relevant ethical principles upon which you are relying.
  2. Suppose that there were very few males applying for clerks’ jobs in Wilmington while females were flooding the clerking job market. Would this competitive factor justify paying males more than females? Why? Suppose that 95 percent of the women in Wilmington who were applying for clerks’ jobs were single women with children who were on welfare while 95 percent of the men were single with no families to support. Would this need factor justify paying females more than males?  Why?  Suppose for the sake of argument that men were better at selling than women; would this justify different salaries?
  3. If you think the managers of the Robert Hall store should pay their male and female clerks equal wages because they do “substantially the same work” then do you also think that ideally each worker’s salary should be pegged to the work he or she individually performs (such as by having each worker sell on commission)? Why? Would a commission system be preferable from a utilitarian point of view considering the substantial book keeping expenses it would involve? From the point of view of justice?  What does the phrase substantially the same mean to you?


  1. What are the legal issues involved in this case, and what are the moral issues? How are the two different kinds of issues different from each other, and how are they related to each other? Identify and distinguish the “systemic, corporate and individual issues” involved in this case.
  2. In your judgment, was it morally wrong for Shawn Fanning to develop and release his technology to the world given its possible consequences? Was it morally wrong for an individual to use       Napster’s website and software to copy for free the copy righted music on another person’s hard drive? If you believe it was wrong, then explain exactly why it was wrong.  If you believe it was not morally wrong, then how would you defend your views against the claim that such copying is stealing?  Assume that it was not illegal for an individual to copy music using Napster. Would there be anything immoral with doing so? Explain?
  3. Assume that it is morally wrong for a person to use Napster’s website and software to make a copy of copyrighted music. Who, then, would be morally responsible for this person’s wrong doing?  Would only the person himself be morally responsible? Was Napster, the company, morally responsible? Wash shawn Fanning morally responsible? Was any employee of Napster, the company, morally responsible?  Was the operator of the server or that portion of the Internet that the person used morally responsible?  What if the person did not know that the music was copyrighted or did not think that it was illegal to copy copyrighted music?
  4. Do the music companies share any of the moral responsibility for what has happened? How do you think technology like Napster is likely to change the music industry? In your judgment, are these changes ethically good or ethically bad?
  5. Discuss this case from the perspective of utilitarianism, rights, justice and caring. What insight does virtue theory shed on the ethics of the events described in this case?
  6. “In a free enterprise society all adults should be allowed to make their own decisions about how they choose to earn their living.” Discuss the statement in light of the Lily case.
  7. In your judgment, is the policy of using homeless alcoholics for test subjects morally appropriate?  Explain the reasons for your judgment.  What does your judgment imply about the moral legitimacy of a free market in labor?
  8. How should the managers of Lily handle this issue?














09901366442 – 09902787224







Brand Management
















BPL name reminds one of a phenomenal Indian brand in electronics and appliance market space that once topped in ubiquity and esteem. Starting from the south, it went on to become a household name. The group dates back to the ‘sixties, when the founder, TPG Nambiar began manufacturing hermetically sealed precision panels in Kerala. It was then known as British Physical Laboratories. Back then, industrial activity was under tight government control though reservations and licensing. BPL came to the forefront in the ‘eighties when industrial licensing began to give way to a pro-market regime. The group got further impetus in the ‘nineties, when globalization and liberalization became key policy initiatives for achieving economic growth. BPL forged alliances with foreign companies to access technology to improve product quality and innovation, to manufacture electronic products. This way, the company went on to become a powerful brand in televisions and other electronic products.


The BPL brand has been a pioneer in the electronic products industry in the initial years of liberalization. The brand evolved with changing customer and competitive conditions. It offered state-of-the-art products like televisions, refrigerators and audio products backed by an excellent service network. Once, the brand actually topped the list in terms of customer trust and loyalty, at a time when the field was crowded with a host of prominent players like crown, Beltek and Videocon. Till the late ‘nineties, the brand won accolades from various quarters.


The company was voted as the ‘most admired marketing company’ in the electronics and home appliances category in A&M Survey of 1999. The prestigious Far Eastern Economic Review rated the company as the No. 1 company in ‘innovativeness in responding to consumer needs’ in Jan 2000. Young customers also identified with this Indian company in high tech space. Accordingly, BPL was featured in ‘top ten most preferred brands among youth’ in the Brand Equity survey of March 2000, the brand featured as one of the ‘top five coolest brands among youth’. In consumer electronics, resonance with the youth is a very important asset. Young people act as purchase initiators, influencers and ultimate buyers. Connecting with the youth has been instrumental in the brand success.


The brand owes its remarkable success to careful brand management initiatives. The BPL brand has been nurtured and managed by employing strategic brand management tools. The marketing initiatives were controlled in line with the brand identity. This way, the company never allowed marketing efforts to dissipate in different directions without a grand scheme. The brand was among the pioneers to employ identity statement. The brand’s soul described two levels of values. The core set was defined as inherent values. These included trust, solidity, reliability, pride, progressiveness, dignity, quality, and intelligence. The other set of ‘added values’ sought to extend the brand’s soul by values like flair, glamour, style, youthfulness, excitement and cutting edge.


The brand has been so well navigated that it was voted as the ‘Number One durable brand’ in Brand Equity in the year 2002. The brand topped in the Indian homegrown durable brand list.










Brand    2002 2001









Asian Paints

Onida     1









10 3










Source: Brand Equity, The Economic Times, 14 Aug 2002


The brand’s achievements do not end here. In a survey designed to discover the most trusted brands, the brand again emerged victorious. This survey aimed to identify brands that bond with customers. The survey went beyond the basic brand familiarity paradigm to include a brand’s performance on a number of dimensions. These are brands that consumers believe to provide quality and assurance. The brands are measured on attributes like: quality, value for money, intention to buy, current and future popularity, uniqueness, confidence, price, and special feeling and associations.


The brand emerged as the ‘Most preferred color television brand’ in Consumer Outlook, 2002. On the parameter of brand preference, it was rated as the strongest color television brand, with 37 percent score on ‘intention to buy’. The brand scored better than many multinational brands like LG (12%), Samsung (9%), Onida (9%), Philips (9%), and Videocon (8%). The brand even scored high on the flat television segment in comparison to foreign (Korean) brands like Samsung and LG.


In the last couple of years, the brand has taken a severe beating. The multinational brands from Japan, Korea and the US were initially placed far behind to the brand. The Indian brands BPL, Onida and Videocon stood the ground firmly. They appeared unassailable. Japanese brands like Sony, Sharp, Panasonic and Sansui – along with Korean counterparts like LG and Samsung – did not appear to pose a serious challenge. But in the last five years, the color televisions market has undergone a complete change. The Koreans have overtaken all the other players. The two Korean brands dominate the market, followed by homegrown players Onida and Videocon.


The Brand Equity Survey of the trusted brands for the year 2005 reveals a disappointing result for the brand BPL. The brand appears at the 68 spot on the list. ahead of it are brands like Philips (23), Onida (56), LG (57) and Videocon (61). The market share figures also reveal a disappointing picture for the brand. In the color televisions, LG leads with 25.5 percent market share followed by Samsung with 15.1 percent share. The refrigerator category is also dominated by LG and Whirlpool, with market shares of 27.2 and 21.2 percent share respectively. In washing machines, LG stands strong with 34 per cent hold followed by Whirlpool with 13.8 market share.


The consumer electronics market has undergone a major transformation in the post 2000 period. Multinational brands have gradually cultivated market share by mounting attacks on the homegrown brands. The market, that stood at the take off stage in the ‘nineties, has now moved to the maturity stage. The color television market has fragmented into sub groups. At the top end, brands offer high tech, costly plasma sets. The middle segment is moving towards big-size flat screen televisions. The bottom of the pyramid now is located in rural areas where niche brands like Oscar, Citizen, Weston and Texla compete on price and low functionality.


In this scenario, the BPL brand is making a comeback after receiving transfusion by way of technological vigour from technical collaborator Sanyo. Although the brand enjoys high recognition and recall with customers in the 30-plus age group, the youth seem to be at the loss so far as the brand is concerned. Technology environment is now radically different from the prevailing in the ‘nineties. The issues facing the brand include: with brands like LG, Samsung, Panasonic, Onida, and Videocon firmly entrenched in the market, can BPL leverage its equity? Technology alone does not appear to be sufficient hot button to create brand power in the current scenario.  Is it a fact that the brand must hasten to redefine its identity, in order to differentiate and bond with chosen customer?




There is one company that is silently winning branding battles. Slowly and steadily, it has managed to corner over Rs 200 crores turnover in the OTC (over the counter) drug market. The company in question is none other than Paras Pharma. Headquartered in Ahmedabad, the company is owned by three brothers Girish, Darshan and Devendra. Not many know it by its corporate identity. It is held in the background. But its products and brands enjoy not only high awareness in terms of recall and recognition; they also stand out for their category ownership.


The list of brands created by this closely held company is as follows:


  • Moov
  • Krack
  • Dermi Cool
  • Boro Natural
  • Boro Soft
  • Itch Guard
  • Ring Guard
  • Livon
  • Numis
  • Set Wet
  • After Bath
  • Recova
  • Mrs Marino
  • D’Cold
  • Freshia



What sets these brands apart is that they are the outcome of deep understanding of needs of Indian customers. The value proposition embodied in each one of them offers solutions to customer needs that have been lying dormant for long, but none of the other marketers ventured to uncover them. All these brands entered the cluttered market space and managed to create a unique image for themselves. When cutting across to the customer is really a serious issue even for multinational companies with deep pockets, Paras has managed to carve out a niche for each of its brands. The mantra that perhaps is at work in this company is to be able to see everyday problems faced by the customers and convert them into powerful product ideas and create strong brands in the process.


Many of the products from this nimble player in the OTC drugs space places it in head on competition with the established multinational players. For instance, Moov (launched in 1986) directly assaulted the then leading body pain reliever brand Iodex, from GlaxoSmithKline. It recognized the potential of the rub-efficient category and entered with a national brand. The market was cluttered with both domestic and international players. Instead of focusing on all kinds of pain, the brand narrowed its scope to only the joints pains, including backache. It successfully attacked the leader by attending to a specific need. It narrowed its focus on the backaches of women and appropriated that position. It instead of fighting competition in the sprain and muscle pull, headache balms, and multi-purpose pain reliever segments, it narrowed its appeal to women with frequently occurring backaches and positioned itself as a backache specialist.


Krack, another power brand, was born in 1993 and went on to become category leader. The brand attended to the acute problem of dry skin on the heels, especially among Indian women. Cracks in the heels are caused by winter dryness, prolonged exposure to water, summer dryness, and barefoot walking. Though the need solution came in the form of petroleum jelly, there was no specific brand which addressed this problem. The product was specially created to cure cracks in the heels. Since the time the brand was launched, it grew by leaps and bounds to become an over-35 crores brand. The brand attacked the generic products then existing in the market and offered a unique solution by isolating a specific problem. The skin dryness problem area is viewed as one single mass, but within it, there are specific types of dryness needs that are prevalent. Krack could see one, and create a brand out of it.


Borosoft brand came in the space that was dominated by Himani (Boroplus) and GD Pharmaceuticals (Boroline). Back in 1995, the antiseptic cream market was worth Rs 50 crores of which creams for dry and chopped skin held about half the market share. The ‘Boro’ word segregates the product into the sub-category of inexpensive ‘value for money’ creams meant for dry and chapped skin. The non-Boro creams are perceived to be meant for cuts and wounds. Paras discovered user dissatisfaction with the then existing Boro creams for their stickiness and oiliness. Mounted on this insight, Borosoft was created as a non-sticky cream with moisturizing properties. The brand managed to carve out a niche for itself. Later, Boro Natural brand was launched in the antiseptic market. This way, Boroline was directly attacked.


After the creation of Boro Natural and Boro Soft, the company created Dermi Cool brand. This brand put the company next to the then dominant player Nycil, from Heinz. It offered a solution to the problem of prickly heat caused by prolonged exposure to perspiration. The product category lacked excitement and product innovation. Nycil’s advertising and product formulation remained same. Dermi Cool challenged this inactivity and silence. The brand was positioned with cool sensation platform (‘thanda thanda powder’). Its high decibel and peppy advertising contributed excitement and infused energy into the category.


Paras, as a company, have a unique ability to sense customer problems and convert them into a mega marketing opportunities. Two of its brands, Itch Guard and Ring Guard, are targeted at the skin problems common in hot, moisture-laden weather. Skin areas not exposed to sun and atmosphere typically get affected by this problem. Itch Guard is a specialized product formulated to address a specific problem caused by sweat itch. Ringworm or tinea is problem mostly occurs in the lower socio-economic segment. Humidity, excessive sweating, unhygienic conditions and skin erosion are the root causes. Paras launched its anti-fungal specialist remedy brand Ring Guard in 1998.


The other brands in Paras’ portfolio include cold and headache remedy D’Cold. There are legions of brands aimed at the headache market. Paras narrowed focus and positioned itself as a specific remedy for aches caused by common cold. D’Cold Open Up is a variant targeted against nasal congestion. The brand came in other variations like D’Cold Double and D’Cold Total as a complete package of remedies against heavy-headedness, blocked nose and blocked sinuses.


The unstoppable brand-spinning machine is showing no sign of slowing down. The latest brand additions include Livon, Numis, Setwet, Afterbath and Recova. Livon and Numis brands are first-of-its-kind products. They are aimed to solve tangle in the hair caused by washing. The process of detangling involves heavy combing, which causes hair loss. This is an important problem faced by Indian women who normally wear their hair long. Numis is a hair care product designed to nourish hair and lend shine. Set Wet is a hair styling brand targeted at the young male segment. Afterbath brand follows application time oriented positioning. It is to be applied on body after bath, as the name suggests.


Paras has had its own share of debacles. These include Stopache, Winter Shield and Freshia. These brands were all withdrawn because of poor performance. Paras follow a brand model that lays emphasis of individual brand creation. It takes a lot of effort to create successful brands both in terms of research and development and cultivating brand equity. Serious contemplation now is doing the rounds of the company to develop and concretize brand architecture. Launching brands one after another without a plan may create problems for the company in the long run, as it happened with many MNCs. The issue at hand that needs to be addressed is: what architecture should be followed so that brands’ equity is maximized and leverage to the fullest extent?





Way back in 1888, in Wisconsin, USA, a man named George Safford Parker was overwhelmed with the amount of repairs that were needed to keep fountains pens working. This inspired him to invent his own fountain pen, one that worked better. In 1890, Parker patented his first pen. Later, in 1894, Parker received another patent for something called ‘Lucky Curve’ feed that drew excess ink back into the pen body when the pen was not being used. This technology remained common until the late nineteen twenties. Parker pens retained their position among the top pen in the writing instrument industry. Parker is credited with another landmark in writing technology by creating a quick drying ink (Quink) that eliminated the need for constant blotting. Since then, the company set up by Parker has come a long way. Parker remains a brand with strong heritage connotations and aspirational value.


Parker came to India through the Luxor Writing Instrument Company. Luxor was founded in 1963 and has evolved into a dominant player in the writing instrument market in India. It enjoys about 15 percent market share, and offers products to suit varying needs of different segments. The company’s product line includes brands like Luxor, Pilot, Papermate, Parker and the recently introduced Waterman.


The writing instrument industry is estimated to be worth over Rs 1500 crores. It is a huge opportunity. But a large portion of the market is occupied by players from the unorganized sector. Some put the size of this unorganized market at around Rs 1200 crores. This portion of market offers scope for branded players to consolidate their positions. The pen marketed by the unorganized players lack quality and brand value. However, the biggest barriers to conversion are low involvement and brand loyalty.


At the super premium level operated brands like Mont Blanc, Cartier, Waterman and Dunhill. This niche is high value and low volume. The premium segment is targeted by brands like Cross, Parker and Pierre Cardin. Then comes the popular segment, where the homegrown brands like Flair and Luxor compete. At the bottom of the pyramid is the economy segment or mass segment (sub-Rs 50), which is the target of action between the organized, branded players like Cello, Today, ADD, Rotomac, Stic, Montex and Reynolds. Much of the turnover comes from the lower segment.


A pen to most people is a functional product. And what matters in marketing pens is the availability, price and acceptable quality (‘it should write’). Customers in the mass segment generally try before buying and do not attach importance to brand name. The situation is reversed in the top layers of the pyramid. The higher one climbs up the pyramid, the more the pen becomes a source of symbolic satisfaction. Its writing ability or functionality is taken for granted, but what matters is the name, a pen becomes a device for signaling style, class, power and sophistication. It assumes a psycho-social character. Brands at the top end do precisely this with their unique motifs like Parker’s distinctive clip and Mont Blanc’s flower like tip of the cap.


In keeping with the stature of the brand when Parker came to India, no less a personage than Amitabh Bachchan himself promoted the product. The endorsement worked in sync with the brand’s established heritage and premium image. The Big B, being an icon in the Indian film industry and hailing from a literary family, infused the brand with the right kind of values, making it appealing to a wide spectrum of the market. The brand’s initial campaign promoted the central idea of love of writing with a Parker. Through the association with Big B, the brand has developed an aura of success, elegance, exclusivity and sophistication.


Parker offers pens suited for distinct market segments, with sub brands. But what runs common across these ranges is the class and sophistication. These combine heritage and modernity, high functionality and sign value. Some of these are:


  • Parker Dufold: brand’s identity is captured in words like opulence, iconography, exceptional character and outstanding workmanship. Generally limited edition and highly priced.


  • Parker 100: this range signifies understated status and sharp individual style. Combines conventional and avant-garde. Price ranges from Rs 10000 to 15000.


  • Parker Sonnet: the brand brings together achievement, distinction, balanced style and classic dimensions. Price ranges between Rs 8600 and Rs 4200.


  • Parker Latitude: embodies original non-conformist individuality, rebels against tradition and convention.


  • Parker Insignia: the brand is a classic accessory for discerning individuals. Offers authentic quality and effortless style. Price ranges between Rs 850 to Rs 1300.


  • Parker Rialto: defined as a pen with character, grace and charm, crafted with a veneer of taste and tradition. Price ranges between Rs 2700 and Rs 1500.


  • Parker 45: this well known brand signifies Parker tradition, originality and nostalgia. It is a high performance, time-tested and trustworthy instrument. Price ranges between Rs 1400 and Rs900.


  • Parker Frontier: the brand combines functional utility with innovation, conservatism and forward thinking. Price ranges between Rs 1650 and Rs 650.


  • Parker Diamante: wears a sophisticated look and futuristic design for young, urban, design conscious consumers. Priced around Rs 700.


In its bid to gain volumes, the brand has launched two variants by the name of Vector and Beta. The price of the Vector line varies between one hundred and five hundred. But parker Beta has pushed the brand down below the hundred-rupee threshold. Parker Beta is stated to combine superb technology and modern designs at a highly affordable price. The product is fitted with jotter refill and comes in exciting colors with a comfortable grip. The brand seeks to cash on the trend of increasing brand consciousness among consumers. Beta has brought a highly aspirational brand like Parker within the reach of masses. The Beta range comes in a plastic body and sports the same arrow clip, albeit not as well designed and chiseled as higher ranges have.


With the Beta line, Parker’s range starts from a price level of less than hundred rupees to exceed well over ten thousand. Many believe this downward stretch of a brand like Parker is good for generating volumes. It is an easy path to succeed and make inroads in the lower market segment. Present consumers would be able to possess an aspirational brand that otherwise remained a dream for them. Others believe that this downward stretch would do more harm to the brand in the long run. The massification of the brand may rob it of its exclusivity and premium aura and degrade its image.





The Personal Computer industry in India has been a testing ground of marketing acumen for players that play the branding game. The market is broadly divided into three groups. On the one hand is the plethora of players in the unorganized sector. On the other hand are established multinational brands that operate globally in a number of countries. Somewhere in between these two are Indian companies staking a claim with their brands.


The MNC players in the market include HP, Compaq (the two have since merged), Apple, Dell, E-sys, Acer, LG and Lenovo (that bought IBM’s PC business in 2005). The home grown companies in the field include players like HCL, Wipro, Pertec, Zenith and Vintron. All the three sets of players compete on different strategic platforms. The MNC products are priced relatively higher and signal quality image. The Indian players, on the other hand, promise product quality as good as MNC product besides offering some price advantage. Computer company Zenith often advertises their product as ‘MNC’ quality at Indian prices’. The players that constitute the unorganized sector compete on price and customer intimacy.


In this market structure, the branded players have been engaged in a severely fought battle with unbranded players. And so far, they have been losing this battle. The local players beat their branded counterparts on two counts. First of all, their wares are priced significantly lower and secondly, they are widely available. Nowadays, it does not require great technical expertise to assemble a PC. The explosion in the computer market has attracted a lot of entrepreneurs to join the industry as assemblers. There is wide availability of computer assemblers (as well as economically-priced components and sub-assemblies) in the market. The PC computer manufacturers that form the organized sector, on the other hand, bank upon their re-sellers, and they are not so widely located as to make their products easily accessible to prospects. Thus, on the accessibility front, branded players scale poorly.


The market for personal computer is segmented along the lines of price and users. There is the office segment, consisting of large corporate houses, and the small business segment made up of small companies and sole proprietorships. And then there is the home segment. Computer education in schools has opened up this segment in a big way. The school-going children need to have computers at home to pursue studies. These segments also reflect the complexity of configuration suitable for them. For instance, the small office and home (SOHO) segment does not require complicated machines and software. But the business segment certainly requires higher configured computers in a networked environment.


The major factor that works in favour of unbranded computers is the price advantage. The local players pass on the benefit of various levies and taxes to their customers, hence their product costs relatively less. Further, the proximity of the vender with the customer and easy two-way dialogue provides a strong basis for relationship formation. A typical computer buyer in SOHO segment lacks computer literacy. It is this lack of product knowledge that makes him look for ways to reduce uncertainty and risk surrounding the purchase. Under such circumstances, brands typically are called to fill this role of advisor and after-sale provider-an area where they do not pass with distinction. But in the SOHO segment, the search process for computers involves talking with friends who, in turn introduce these prospects to local vendors. The local vendors, through better proximity, direct contact and convincing power are able to convert these prospects into buyers. Due to the same factors, their after-sales response is also better, since they largely rely on networking with customers for business expansion and lucrative annual maintenance contracts.


Unlike other luxury or conspicuous products, computers are not bought or made for symbolic purposes. They are typically bought rationally to solve a problem. The cognitive mode of approaching the purchase creates openness to information as well as utility assessment. It is at this stage that the local computer vendor is able to convince the potential buyer that a computer is nothing but assembly of parts manufactured by established original equipment manufacturers like Samsung, Intel, LG, Seagate and TVS. The assembly of their parts into a machine does not require much skill: it is mostly screwdriver technology. Most branded players do not employ any unique technology in their computer making, therefore the performance outcomes do not vary between the two categories. The local vendors attribute the price premium charged by the branded players to advertising and overhead costs, thus making out a powerful case against the purchase of branded computers.


Recent duty structure changes have worked in favour of the organized segment, and the prices of branded machines have seen a downward trend owing to lower landed costs of products. Besides, the distribution strategies have been reworked. The number of outlets offering branded products has been increased. Simply raising the technical product specification is not viewed as a crucial differentiator. The specifications can be matched point by point by all kinds of players. For instance, HCL has 400 exclusive stores across 200 cities and around 1000 other selling points or smaller formats. Similarly, Acer also works on a two-format framework. There are exclusive Acer malls that stock Acer products exclusively, besides other selling points where its products are sold along with rival brands.


The market for unbranded PCs used to be above 83 percent in 2003, but now it has come down to about 55 percent. The downward trend still continues. The organized sector seems to be eating into the unorganized sector. This growth is, by and large, attributable to duty reduction. In a study of consumer behaviour, it was discovered that computers are intimidating products for buyers who buy them for home use. Children are the major drivers of purchase. The need is often initiated at their level. Computers are used both for educational and entertainment purposes. Further, computers are perceived to be a high tech area, and an average customer finds himself grossly ill-equipped to handle the computer-buying task. The process of equipping themselves to effectively handle the purchase leaves them open to informational influence, i.e., networking friends and colleagues. Computers are undifferentiated products for customers in terms of technical specifications. All they crave is the confidence to make a purchase decision, and will gravitate towards a source of this wherever they are convinced the support is genuine.


As such, one of the major challenges that most branded players face is how to make a dent in the market dominated by the unorganized players. Trapped in between are the Indian players like Shiv Nadar’s HCL, an important player in the desktop segment. Its position at present is firmly established but it can drift into the line of fire from the MNC brands. MNC brands are consolidating their position, having grown at the cost of mostly Indian brands. These brands have been registering robust growth. Caught in between grey market and MNCs are the hapless Indian companies. The lower end is dominated by the players from the unorganized sector who operate on wafer-thin margins. On the top are MNC brands that push image and quality to lure upper layers of the market. Some MNC players have even roped in celebrities like Saif Ali and Shah Rukh Khan in their brand building efforts. Lenovo is banking upon the charm of Saif Ali, and Shah Rukh endorses Compaq.


The net effect is that MNC brands are gradually building market share primarily at the expense of Indian players. The downward trend of prices is eroding the price advantage that many Indian makers so far relied upon to develop their brands. They combined acceptable quality with appreciably lower prices to gain market share. Indian brands are now finding themselves squeezed in between the unorganized players and MNC brands. This is leaving them looking for ways to create meaningful differentiation in their products. The conventional markets like metros and top cities have already become a battle-ground, where fierce battles are raging as saturation points are nearing. In this scenario, even the top players are beginning to explore non-traditional, non-metro markets.


Experts are divided on the issue whether Indian computer makers would be completely wiped off the map. Some feel that Indian makers do not offer differentiated product. The MNC brands, on the one hand, form the top end, while unorganized players at the bottom leave very little scope for differentiation. Indian brands seem to losing ground every year. Some players are shifting their attention to non-metro markets in B and C category cities. But the real issue is: how long the MNC brands be prevented from getting into these markets as well? They have the resources and the image to do this with relative ease. Ultimately, brands have to develop strategies to combat competition. It is not immediately apparent what Indian marketers ought to be doing to carve out a survival niche for themselves.




Liril made a big splash in the toilet soaps category in the late ‘seventies. The market then was not very competitive. The mixed economy model did not yet fulfil the dream of prosperity and affluence. The ‘licence raj’ tightly controlled industrial activity. Like most of the industry sectors, the toilet soap industry was dominated by only a handful of players like Hindustan Lever, Calcutta Chemicals and Tomco. These three players marketed a complete portfolio with brands aimed at different segments and offering different benefits. The other players catered to small niches, as did Johnson & Johnson, which limited its range to infant and kids, with appropriate product offering including mild soap and shampoos. Other local players included the likes of Chandrika, Swastik, Keshnikhar, Mysore Sandal and Medimix, besides a host of small players that operated locally.


This was during the ‘seventies, when marketing as we know it today had not come into its own; it had yet to harden into a serious discipline. Firms still followed traditional practices in conducting business, and marketing personnel could not be said to command high esteem; their job was to hunt out fresh avenues for enhancing sales opportunities. Very few companies differentiated between sales and marketing functions, preferring to club them under a single department, and few indeed were the ones who adopted a seriously technical approach to the activity. Demand still chased supply and, it being a supplier’s market, things were easier to sell, whatever their quality. Advertising did not use sophisticated tools both to explore consumer motivation and create executions. Like many other categories, brands used rational appeals to woo consumers. The problem – solution themes dominated the marketing arena. Soap fragrance, size, colour, name, etc., were seen to be major bait for hooking customers. The brand communication and ingredients as means to influence buying. The markets were still clubbed into the large masses of customers with little express differentiation. The whole economy seemed to have been stuck in a time warp, with a little clamour when it came to grappling with the competition-what there was of it.


Liril arrived on the soap space with the promise to transform bathing from problem coping to providing experience. With its ‘freshness’ platform, the brand sought to add a psychological dimension of feeling good. The brand uniquely communicated and connected with its prospects through a bold advertisement by then prevalent values. In 1975, the brand communications showed a beautiful model in a bikini under a natural waterfall. The excitement and freshness so conveyed by the advertisement struck an emotional connect with the people. The sound track of the TV (then, alas, only black and white) commercial used a ‘La..la..la..’ tune that concretized the delivery promised by the brand. In no time, the brand became hugely successful. The brand headline invited the potential uses as ‘come alive with Liril freshness’. The brand advertising showed floating juicy sliced lemon to back up its freshness claim. It was the first brand that sought to play on inherent freshness associated with lime.


Brand communication

  • Potential customer: young women
  • Background: natural high energy waterfall
  • Theme: young, vivacious, attractive girl having bath
  • Promised benefit- freshness experience
  • Promise support: floating juicy slices of lemon
  • Voice over: Come alive with Liril freshness


Liril cornered 14 percent market share, good enough to give it a slot in first three positions. It established the premium segment in soap category. The brand was a top performer in the toilet soaps category until 1995, when it began to lose market share. During this period, the brand lost big volume- over 35 percent – and its market share slid to below five percent. The excitement and innovation created by the brand could not be sustained. The later brand communication deviated from the original brand positioning. Further, the brand benefits of lime and freshness responsible for its success lost novelty. Many other brands began to focus on lime as ingredient and the claimed benefits of freshness. What was once a unique, pioneering benefit was becoming generic. Further, the brand’s original customers who grew up with it, were aging. Over time, the need structure of this group was shifting from experience and emotional delivery to functionality. This way, the brand began to lose its grip over the market.


The net result of loyal customers migrating to functionality, and the brand’s unique positioning getting cluttered, were typical challenges associated with the life cycle. Lack of differentiation and resonance with the potential customers began to take is toll on the brand. The brand persona, that centred on lime and freshness no longer offered the uniqueness that the brand now required to revitalize itself. The issue facing Liril was how to resurrect the once very strong brand and regain its former glory. Many thought of launching variations and re-doing the brand’s communication in order to make it more attuned with the times, so that young customers could be included in the brand’s fold.


Challenged at the brand was, Lever did make a heroic attempt to inject fresh blood into the brand. The period of change and experimentation began in 1995. The brand first rode on the extension mode. First, the brand saw the launch of a shower gel in 1994, followed by a cologne variant in 1996. Later, in 1999, another variation saw the light of the day by the name of Rainfresh. Then came icy blue Liril. The brand was hooked into a number of variants, all of them trying to play around with the theme of freshness in different contexts.


The brand communication that once created history of sorts – with sexy, bikini-clad Karen Lunel splashing about gleefully under a natural waterfall changed radically. The original Karen Lunel ads ran for twelve years, firmly establishing the brand’s associations with lime freshness. The girl in the waterfall theme was finally abandoned in favour of something called an ‘unusual water experience’. Instead of ‘the girl under the waterfall’ theme, the girl came out to bathe in the open, whether in a car wash or by dancing in front of a fire tanker hose. In a bid to lure youth, a set of commercials were launched on MTV. Then came the pissing boy, the girl in the desert, and the Liril Icy commercial. The brand communication began to take many routes, as if the idea was to shoot off arrows in all direction in the hope that one would hit the target. But that did not seem to happen. The advertising initiatives and line extensions failed to infuse any energy into brand’s performance.


Like the brand communication, even the product looks and forms deviated from its unique green, streaked appearance. Icy blue gave way to a blue variant that contained menthol. With line extensions, the brand sought to deliver bathing experience. The brand’s bold commercial of the green bikini clad model, made way for a model in a green swimsuit. Later, the swimsuit of the Liril model moved on to become a pair of hot pants. The brand faced intense competitive pressures in nineties, from other lime soaps aiming to copy the freshness platform.


Experts feel differently about the fall of Liril from its prima donna status. One expert ascribes the fall of the brand to the confusion between the brand idea and its execution. Many believe that the central brand idea was never really clear. It appeared that the ‘girl in the waterfall’ was the central brand idea and it should not have been touched. But is it this creative expression of the central idea of freshness – or the ideas itself – that was sacrosanct?


Others believe that Liril drew its success from the brand personality created by the first model, Karen Lunel. She epitomised not only youth but also other traits like exuberance, vivacity, innocence and fun. The models that replaced Karen were only, young pretty things. They were lacking across all the other personality aspects of the first model that launched the brand. Lever was never been able to find another Karen Lunel to so uniquely capture and reflect the brand essence.


The managers at the company believed that the brand’s creative expression of ‘girl in the waterfall’ hand become outdated. It had lived its life. But actually, the hangover persists to this very day. To give them credit, they have not altogether deviated from it. Be it Liril calendar or advertisements, the symbols of the waterfall and the girl would always be visible. Beyond communication, the brand has also seemed to have suffered on account of Lever’s inability to come up with the right product line in the case of Liril, as they did for Lux and Lifebuoy. It is suggested that the brand has to discover new, audacious paradigms and reach out to new horizons. It must transcend its current expression, only then is there some hope for revival.


Many believe that he brand failed to progress with time. The raped changes executed in the communications amount to influencing the superficial. The fundamental problems plaguing the brand were never unearthed. The tactics to correct immediate problems began to drive the strategy. New variations and communications made the picture rosy for some time, but once the excitement period passes, the sales tumble to their previous levels.


Alyque Padamsee, who initially created the brand, believes that Liril’s problems lie in the fact that its original bathing experience has been replaced with unusual water experience. The later ads like the pissing boy and the desert ad use the theme of water, but he questions, ‘where is the bathing experience in this? Is it central to the idea of freshness? The brand seems to have withered (and meandered) too far beyond its original core idea. All the commercials are good to view, but they fail to touch the heart. Many industry people believe that bringing back those original commercials may be a good idea.


But how would that help? A majority of the brand’s current customers do not have any idea or recollections of those magical advertisements from the ‘seventies. Over thirty years have passed, and few are the nostalgic that have survived. The customers to today are fundamentally different from those of the past; they have a more actively experiential outlook on life. They seek more active participation in everything. They don’t expect a brand to passively deliver a benefit. Rather, they want to create an experience by active participation. Presently, Liril has three variants: Liril Aloe Vera, Icy Cool and Liril Orange.




CASE I: A Reply Sent to an Erring Customer


Dear Sir,

Your letter of the 23rd, with a cheque for Rs. 25,000/- on account, is to hand.

We note what you say as to the difficulty you experience in collecting your outstanding accounts, but we are compelled to remark that we do not think you are treating us with the consideration we have a right to expect.


It is true that small remittances have been forwarded from time to time, but the debit balance against you has been steadily increasing during the past twelve months until it now stands at the considerable total of Rs. 85,000/-


Having regard to the many years during which you have been a customer of this house and the, generally speaking, satisfactory character of your account, we are reluctant to resort to harsh measures.


We must, however, insist that the existing balance should be cleared off by regular installments of say Rs. 10,000/- per month, the first installment to reach us by the 7th.  In the meantime you shall pay cash for all further goods; we are allowing you an extra 3% discount in lieu of credit.


We shall be glad to hear from you about this arrangement, as otherwise we shall have no alternative but definitely to close your account and place the matter in other hands.


Yours truly.




  1. Comment on the appropriateness of the sender’s tone to a customer.


  1. Point out the old – fashioned phrases and expressions.


  1. Rewrite the reply according to the principles of effective writing in business.


A young, gorgeous woman is standing in front of her apartment window dancing to the 1970s tune, “All Right Now” by the one – hit band free.  Across the street a young man looks out of his apartment window and notices her.  He moves closer to the window, taking interest.  She cranks up the volume and continues dancing, looking out the window at the fellow, who smiles hopefully and waves meekly.  He holds up a bottle of wine and waves it, apparently inviting her over for a drink.  The lady waves back.  He kisses the bottle and excitedly says, “Yesss.”  Then, he gazes around his apartment and realizes that it is a mess. “No!” he exclaims in a worried tone of voice.


Frantically, he does his best to quickly clean up the place, stuffing papers under the sofa and putting old food back in the refrigerator, He slips on a black shirt, slicks  back his hair, sniffs his armpit, and lets out an excited , “Yeahhh!” in eager anticipation of entertaining the young lady.  He goes back to the window and sees the woman still dancing away.  He points to his watch, as if to say “Come on.  It is getting late.”   As she just continues dancing, he looks confused.  Then a look of sudden insight appears on his face, “Five,” he says to himself.  He turns on his radio, and it too is playing “All Right Now.”  The man goes to his window and starts dancing as he watches his lady friend continue stepping.  “Five, yeah,” he says as he makes the “okay” sign with his thumb and forefinger.  He waves again.  Everyone in the apartment building is dancing by their window to “All Right Now.”  A super appears on the screen: “Are you on the right wavelength?”




  1. What is non – verbal communication? Why do you suppose that this commercial relies primarily on non-verbal communication between a young man and a gorgeous woman?  What types of non – verbal communication are being used in this case?


  1. Would any of the non-verbal communications in this spot (ad) not work well in another culture?


  1. What role does music play in this spot? Who is the target market?


  1. Is the music at all distracting from the message?


  1. How else are radio stations advertised on TV?

CASE III: Arvind Pandey Caught in Business Web
Arvind Pandey is a project manager at Al Saba Construction Company in Muscat.   It s a flourishing company with several construction projects in Muscat and abroad.  It is known for completing projects on time and with high quantity construction.  The company’s Chairman is a rich and a highly educated Omani.  A German engineer is Arvind’s Vice – President for urban and foreign construction projects.


Three months ago, Al Saba had submitted a tender for a major construction project in Kuwait.  Its quotation was for $ 25 million.  In Kuwait the project was sponsored and announced by a US – based construction company called Fuma.  According to Al Saba, their bid of $ 25 million was modest but had included a high margin of profit.


On 25 April, Arvind was asked to go to Kuwait to find out from the Fuma project manager the status of their construction proposal.  Arvind was delighted to know that Fuma had decided to give his company, (Al Saba) the construction project work.  The project meant a lot of effort and money in planning the proposed construction in Kuwait.


But before Arvind could tank the Fuma project manager, he was told that their bird should be raised to $ 28 million.  Arvind was surprised. He tried to convince the Fuma project manager that his (Arvind company had the bast reputation for doing construction work in a cost effective way.  However, he could always raise the bid by $ 3 million. But he wanted to know why he was required to do so.

The Fuma manager’s reply was, “That’s the way we do our business in this part of the world, $ 1 million will go to our Managing Director in the US, I shall get $ 1 million, you, Mr. Pandey, will get $ 1 million in a specified account in Swiss Bank.


Arvind asked, “But why me?”

“So that you never talk about it to any one.”  The Fuma Project Manager said.


Arvind promised never to leak it out to any one else.  And he tried to bargain to raise the bid by $ 2 million.  For Arvind was familiar with the practice of “pay – offs” involved in any such thing.  He thought it was against his loyalty to his company and his personal ethics.  Arvind promised the Fuma project manager that the bid would be raised to $ 28 million and fresh papers would be put in. He did not want to lose the job.


He came back to Muscat and kept trying to figure out how he should place the whole thing before his German Vice President.  He obviously was at a loss.




  1. Analyse the reasons for Arvind Pandey’s dilemma.


  1. Does Arvind Pandey really face a dilemma?


  1. In your view what should Arvind Pandey do? Should he disclose it to his German Vice President?

CASE IV: Company Accepting a Contract


A computer company was negotiating a very large order with a large size corporation.  They had a very good track record with this client.


In this corporation, five different departments had pooled their requirements and budgets.  A committee was formed which had representation from all the departments.  The corporation wanted the equipment on a long lease and not outright purchase.  Further, they wanted the entire hardware and software form one supplier.  This meant that there should be bought – out items from many suppliers since no one supplier could meet all the requirements of supply from its range of products.

The corporation provided an exhaustive list of very difficult terms and conditions and pressurized the vendors to accept.  The computer company who was finally awarded the contract had agreed to overall terms that were fine as far as their own products were concerned but had also accepted the same terms for the brought – out items.  In this case, the bought – out items were to be imported through a letter of credit. The percentage of the bought – out items versus their own manufacture was also very high.  One of the terms accepted was that the “system” would be accepted over a period of 10 days after all the hardware had been linked up and software loaded.


The computer company started facing trouble immediately on supply.  There were over 100 computers over a distance connected with one another with software on it.  For the acceptance tests, it had been agreed that the computer company would demonstrate as a pre-requisite the features they had claimed during technical discussions.


Now, as you are aware, if a Hero Honda motorcycle claims 80 km to a litre of petrol, it is under ideal test conditions and if a motorcycle from the showroom were to be tried for this test before being accepted, it would never pass the test.  In corporation’s case, due to internal politics, the corporation persons from one department – who insisted on going exactly by the contract – did not sign acceptance since the “system” could not meet the ideal test conditions.


Further, in a classic case of, “for want of a horse – shoe, payment for the horse was held up”, the computer company tried to get the system accepted and payment released.  The system was so large that at any point of time over a period of 10 days something small or the other always gave problems.  But the corporation took the stand that as far as they were concerned the contracts clearly were concerned the contract clearly mentioned that the “system” had to be tested as a whole and not module by module.




  1. Comment on the terms and conditions placed by the corporation.


  1. What factors influenced the computer company’s decision to accept the contract?


  1. Was it a win – win agreement? Discuss?


Case V: HAZARDS OF HILLS         



This case is based on an actual incident which took place in an Army Unit deployed in field area. A part of a Battery (about ¼ of an Artillery Regiment) was deployed in a snow bound high altitude area of Kashmir. This was the first time, an artillery unit was deployed in an area with roads and tracks still under development. Preparation of this area for such a development needed a lot of digging for guns, pits for ammunition storage, living place of the personnel, slit trenches and weapon pits for local defence against any possible enemy/terrorists’ attack on the position, place for storage of rations, cook-house and communication trenches, etc.


The total strength of the party deployed there was


  1. Officer – 1 (Second Lieutenant with about one year service)


  1. Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) – 1]


  1. Jawans – 40


The Battery Commander (BC) remained with the Regiment Headquarters at Srinagar (with the remaining part of the Battery) as per the orders of the commanding Officer. There was a vehicle with the part of the Battery which was deployed at high altitude to assist in the daily administration of the troops like collection of ration, stores for preparation of defences, water, and ferrying of personnel from one place to another. The vehicle could go only upto a limited number of places due to bad road conditions and steep gradients. Only one driver was kept for this vehicle to reduce administrative problems due to more number of personnel. The vehicle completed about 35 to 40 kms. of running daily in its routine commitments.


The part had just been inducted about two weeks back. The defences were being prepared which involved lot of effort in digging of hardened ground due to the cold winter months of November. The defence stores were to be collected, once the digging was complete, from another Engineering Unit located about 5 kms. to the rear. The roads were treacherous; with a number of stones and slides falling down occasionally during drizzle due to precipitation in atmosphere, there were steep gradients, narrow roads with sheer falls on one side due to the road having cut into the side of hills. The digging was complete by end November. In the month of December, snow fall at that location was expected any time, as it had already started snowing in the higher reaches and tops of mountains. The digging had been completed in a record time of two weeks. The party under the stewardship of the young officer had done a commendable job.


In the first week of December, the only driver of the vehicle reported pain in the chest and problem in breathing. He was evacuated by helicopter the next day with instructions to inform the unit to send another driver for the vehicle. It took about three days for any one to reach this area, with staying of two nights enroute in order to acclimatise by stages. The detachment was to be without any driver for about three days. Another driver was detailed to proceed to this area, after having been medically examined and found fit. A day after the dispatch of the driver, the young officer with this party arrived in the unit and reported that the vehicle had fallen from a hill-side road and was completely damaged. The office was in a complete state of disarray and shock. What actually had happened goes something like this.


After the first driver of the vehicle was evacuated, the weather started turning bad and it seemed that it was going to snow that day. The officer realised that in case of snow fall all the efforts put in by the troops would go waste, if the dug-ins were not covered. Realising this, he borrowed a driver of an ambulance from a local medical unit to direct his vehicle for collection of defence stores. After the stores had been collected and dumped at the site of defences, the vehicle was being driven back to the party’s location. Before it could reach this location, it had to negotiate a dusty and steep track. At a steep climb the vehicle stalled and got switched off. All the men got down, prevented the vehicle from reversing by putting stones behind the wheels and started checking what had gone wrong.


After the check on the engine had been carried out, the bonnet cover slipped off the hands of the driver while closing it and fell to closing it and fell to closing position with a bang. Because of the jerk thus created, the stones placed behind the vehicle slipped off. It was later discovered that there was a glassy smooth layer of ice under the thin layer of dirt which could not hold the stones firmly and stopped upside down because of the obstruction created by a big boulder. As there was no one in the vehicle, there were no injuries to personnel. On close inspection by the officers, it was found that the vehicle body, cabin, bonnet steering wheel and two of the four wheels were badly damaged. The office, being quite young and inexperienced, could not ascertain the real condition of the engine and chassis. He thought those too were damaged, whereas because of some providential chance, the chassis and engine remained intact.


The BC was given the responsibility of getting the vehicle back to the unit. He was given a vehicle fitter and recovery vehicle with a driver. The BC took two more Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) and proceeded to the location to retrieve the vehicle. It took two days to reach with a few hours of the last leg of the journey in complete darkness in that snow bound area with treacherous slippery roads. On reaching the location, the Commanding Officer of the local unit, who happened to be the Station Commander of that sector, expressed his unhappiness on their taking such a great risk. With the assistance of all ranks of that unit, who came in willingly, it took two days to get the vehicle out of the boulder strewn area on to a track. It was a minor military operation in itself in that hostile terrain, and inclement weather of high altitude. The troops and officer had a very good rapport with those of the local unit and there was not much of a problem in getting the men of that unit to assist.


While coming back, the hazards of night journey were very obvious. There was a thick layer of snow on the road with slope towards the khuds as layers after layers kept on accumulating, freezing before the water could roll down the complete slope. There were steep falls on one side. Both these phenomena, peculiar to hilly terrain, were not very discernible because of the darkness. The headlights of the vehicles exposed very little. There were frozen nalas where the vehicle would skid, aligning itself in the direction of the frozen nala, which tended to prove quite dangerous at times. At such places, the few troops and officer available would get down, push the vehicle to keep it aligned to the road and in turn slip down themselves on the frozen snow, most of the times face-down, in an attempt to push the vehicle. Though the situation was quite grave, it sometimes bordered on being humorous with everyone laughing spontaneously. At one place, the BC, pushing the vehicle to keep its tail and aligned to the direction of road, fell down, slipped a few feet down the frozen nala and landed up head down in a frozen khud about five feet deep. But for the direction of landing, the slip and fall could have proved quite dangerous. There was complete silence. The vehicle was gently stopped on the snow itself, secured with pegs along the wheels and rescue operation commenced for the ditch. There were several humorous remarks by the BC and the tension was relieved at once, with troops working on the vehicle with renewed vigour and strength once again.


At another place, the recovery vehicle with the damaged vehicle behind it at suspension toe slipped, but because of the dexerity of the driver, it was saved from going down a nala by putting it on the left. The BC himself was in the recovery vehicle to give encouragement and moral support to the driver, sharing all the risks which his troops were facing. He did all that the troops did, while directing, controlling and executing. The party with the vehicle, reached the unit location on the evening of the second day after starting from a high altitude area. The problem of recovery of the vehicle being resolved, the question of enquiry into the caused embarrassment to all those in authority in the unit and also the officers and jawans of the sub-unit/battery. Meanwhile, the inspection of the vehicle was carried out to assess the extent of damage. It was found that the engine and chasis were intact and the rest of the items of the body or fitment were damaged, either lightly or severely. To avoid embarrassment to the unit and loss to the exchequer, as well as in view of the administrative difficulties, the BC decided to have the vehicle put on road with the units’ efforts and at the earliest. Meanwhile, the cabin-hood of the vehicle had been purchased for about Rs 650 and was paid for by the BC, from his own pocket, thus setting an example to others. The JCO and jawans were also keen to pay for other damages. The offer was appreciated but declined.


The Officer-in-charge of the local Army Workshop happened to be an officer with commendable helping attitude, positive bent of mind and with an understanding of peculiarities and problems of the area where such accidents were quite frequent and possible. When approached to assist, he listened to the whole incident very sympathetically and promised to assist in whatever way he could. This officer was a contemporary of the unit in a previous station and had excellent relations and interaction with the unit. Some items were offered by the workshop officer and replaced accordingly. The vehicle was made roadworthy again within a fortnight and put on road for duty. All the enquiries were dispensed with and there was no loss of face by anyone at any level. It is pertinent to mention that it had snowed in that location as soon as the recovery party came out of the hills.




  1. What are the qualities of a good leader? In this case, how were they applied?


  1. Which factors contributed to motivate the troops to go ahead for such a difficult task as recovering a damaged vehicle from such a difficult and treacherous terrain and getting it repaired in such a short time?


  1. Which incidents indicate the importance of good interpersonal relationships with juniors, peers and superiors and what is the importance of good interpersonal relationships?


Case VI: Checking Out a Guest


A guest walked up to the front desk agent in an upscale hotel, ready to check out. As she would normally do when checking out a guest, the agent asked the guest what his room number was. The guest was in a hurry and showed his anxiety by responding, “I stay in a hundred hotel rooms and you expect me to remember my room number?”


The agent then asked for the guest’s name, to which he responded, “My name is Mr. Johnstein.” After thanking him, the agent began to look for the guest’s last name, but the name was not listed in the computer. Because the man had a heavy accent and the agent assumed that she had misunderstood him, she politely asked the guest to spell his last name. He answered, “What? Are you an idiot? The person who checked me in last night had no problem checking me in.” Again, the agent looked on the computer to find the guest.


The guest, becoming even more frustrated, said, “I have a plane to catch and it is ridiculous that it has to take this long to check me out. I also need to fax these papers off, but I need to have them photocopied first.” The agent responded, “There is a business center at the end of the counter that will fax and photocopy what you for it. Haven’t you ever heard of customer service? Isn’t this a five-star hotel? With your bad attitude, you should be working in a three-star hotel. I can’t believe they let you work here at the front desk. Haven’t you found my name yet?”


The agent, who was beginning to get upset, asked the guest again to spell out his full name. The guest only replied, “Here are my papers I want faxed if you are capable of faxing them.” The agent reached to take the papers, and the guest shouted, “Don’t grab them from my hand! You have a bad attitude, and if I had more time, I would talk to someone about getting you removed from your position to a hotel where they don’t require such a level of customer service.” The agent was very upset, but kept herself calm in order to prevent the guest from getting angrier.


The agent continued to provide service to the guest, sending the faxes and making the photocopies he had requested. Upon her return, the agent again asked the guest to repeat his last name, since he had failed to spell it out. The guest replied by spelling out his name, “J-o-h-n-s-t-o-n-e.” The agent was finally able to find his name on the computer and checked him out, while he continued to verbally attack her. The agent finished by telling the guest to have a nice flight.




  1. Is it appropriate to have the manager finish the check-out? Or, should the front desk agent just take the heat?


  1. Would you have handled the situation in the same manner?


  1. What would you have done differently?


  1. Communication improvement is required for both of the parties involved or any one of them? Justify your opinion.







  1. Would you classify Richard Branson as a manager or a Leader? What qualities distinguish him as one over the other?
  2. Followers are part of the leadership process – Describe the relationship between Branson and his followers.
  3. Identify the Myths of leadership development that Richard Branson’s Success helps to disprove.


  1. Consider Walt Disney’s effectiveness in terms of the three domains of leadership- the leader, the followers, and situation. For each domain name factors that contributed to Disney’s success.


  1. Now think about Michael Eisner’s Leadership effectiveness. Name factors within the three domains of leadership that might be responsible for controversy surrounding Eisner’s success and then ultimate failure and removal as Disney’s CEO.


  1. What are the major skills Jovita Carranza has demonstrated in her career at UPS that have made her a successful leader?


  1. Consider the spiral of experience that Jovita Carranza has travelled. How has her experience affected her ability as a leader?


  1. List out the characteristics of successful leaders. How many of this is demonstrated by Jovita Carranza?


  1. As we have discussed, competency models describe the behaviors and skills manager need to exhibit if any organization is to be successful. Consider the general competencies found in figure 8.3 and apply these to Andra Rush, providing example of why these competencies apply.
  2. Mentoring has played a role in the careers of many successful minorities in leadership positions. Who could be identified as a coach or mentor for Andra Rush?
  3. Consider some of the self-defeating behaviors outlines in this chapter that contribute to management derailment. What lessons has Andra Rush obviously learned from the failure of others?
  4. Like many leader, Marco has team in place and does not have the luxury of building a new team from the ground up to adapt to the changing business environment his firm is face with, Use the TLM to help Marco diagnose the problems faced by the firm and identify leverage points for change.
  5. Consider the major functions of the TLM—input process and output where do most of the firm’s challenges fall?
  6. What are the team’s goals for outputs?


  1. Identify potential resources for Marco and his team in implementing a strategy to change the way they do business at Hernandez & Associates.
  2. Would you classify Bill Gates as a charismatic or transformational leader? Why?


  1. Consider followers/employees of gates. What are some of the unique characteristics of Gate’s followers that might identify him as a charismatic or transformational?







The middle class of India, a virtual nonexistent entity on Independence, has gradually become more sensible, educated and demanding. The overall growth of the economy has given a tremendous thrust to the middle class, expected to grow by 5 to 10 percent annually. It has grown over 57 million by 2001-02 and is expected to cross 153 million by 2009-10.


The average household income in urban India has grown at a CAGR of 5 per cent over the last decade, not only is this, but the age profile of the INDIAN spenders is also undergoing a sea of changes. NCAER has identified five categories of household on basis of income which is summarised in Table 1 below:


Table 1                      Classification of Indian Households on the Basis of Income


                                    Number Of Households [in millions]

1994-95          1999-2000       2006-07

Very rich                               1                      3                     6

Consuming                            29                   55                    91

Climbers                                48                   66                   74

Aspirants                                48                  32                    15

Destitute                                 35                  24                    13


Table1 reveals the paradigm shift in Indian households over the last decade. The number of effective consumers is expected to exceed 600 millions by 2010.This big bang in consumers in Indian is being seen as the driving force in emergence of various new business, which aim at high consumer tide. Availability of easy financing schemes is another aspect of the story: owinga house, or buying a car or going abroad on a pleasure trip is no more a distant dream to the average Indian consumer. With the consumers’ gradually get skewed towards the young, there is a greater tendency towards increased spending on consumption. A very interesting piece of information is that average Indian household has increased its spending on movies and theatres from 1 to 4.6 per cent of its disposable income. This amazing spurt in spending on entertainment has affected the quality and delivery of films as an industry. The single screen theatres with poor maintenance and inadequate infrastructure are gradually paving way for high tech multiplexes with three to as many as eleven screens, digitalized films and Dolby surround audio system. The industry is undergoing a sawing, driven by consumer behaviour.


Reports indicate that multiplexes account for 0.6 per cent of the total cinemas, 2.3 per cent of the total screens and have a total capacity of more than two lakh seats. The average gross collection per multiplex is around Rs. 5.72 crore fetching about 29 to 35 per cent of the revenue for the film industry.


India’s multiplex bandwagon has spread its tentacles beyond the metros to redefine entertainment in B and C class towns. While the first phase of the growth of multiplexes was in metros, now this is spreading to tier two and three cities like Lucknow, Nashik, Aurangabad, and Kanpur. Top multiplexes players like PVR, Adlabs Films, Inox Leisures, Shringar Cinemas (Fame Multiplexes), Fun Multiplex and Cinemax India are venturing to small towns across the country and redefining entertainment to the vast Indian Masses.


The multiplex business has rightly tapped the growth of consumerism in India as it has understood the pulse of the Indian Consumer’s preference towards superior ambience, comfortable seating, air-conditioning and good quality snacks, even at the cost of paying higher price. The average price of ticket in a conventional theatre is Rs. 15-35, while a multiplex charges on an average of Rs. 75-350 and consumer is willing to dish out this extra amount to enjoy the “complete” movie experience, which most of the traditional theatres could not render and are thus facing the fate of near extinction. It thus promises to take the moviegoers’ experience to a whole new level and giving a new dimension to watching movies at theatres.



  1. What lessons can you draw from the above case regarding consumer behavior?


  1. Do you think change in consumer perception in middle class has been instrumental in emergence of multiplexes? What can be other reasons?


  1. Observe Table 1. Which of the groups, according to you, would have demand for multiplexes?


  1. Would law of diminishing marginal utility apply to movie watching? Will this affect the growth rate of multiplexes? Or can it be seen a cause for establishment of multiplexes? Give argument in support for your contention.


  1. Can multiplexes use the concept of consumer surplus for attracting more consumers? How?





Sunder Singh had studied only up to high school. He was 32-years of age, lived alone in a rented room, and worked eight-hour shift at one petrol pump, then went to the other one for another eight-hour shift. He had a girl friend and was planning to marry.


One day when he returned from work, he got a note from his girl friend that she was getting married to someone else and he need not bother her. This was a terrible shock to Sunder Singh and he fell apart. He stopped going to work, spent sleepless nights, and was very depressed. After a month, he was running Iowan his savings and approached his earlier employers to get back his job, but they would not give him a second chance. He had to quit his rented room, and sold few things that he had. He would do some odd jobs at the railway station or the bus terminal.


One day, nearly two years ago, he was very hungry and did not have any money and saw a young man selling newspapers. He asked him what he was selling and he told him about Guzara (an independent, non-profit, independent newspaper sold by the homeless, and economically disadvantaged men and women of this metro city). Sunder Singh approached the office and started selling the newspaper. He did not make a lot of money, but was good at saving it. He started saving money for a warm jacket for next winter.


He was reasonably happy; he had money to buy food, and no longer homeless and shared a room with two others. One day, with his savings he bought a pair of second-hand Nike shoes from flea market.


Sunder Singh is not unique among low-income consumers, especially in large cities, in wanting and buying Nike shoes. Some experts believe that low-income consumers too want the same products and service that other consumers want.


The working poor are forced to spend a disproportionate percent of their income on food, housing, utilities, and healthcare. They solely rely on public transportation, spend very little on entertainment of any kind, and have no security of any kind. Their fight is mainly day-to-day survival.




  1. What does the purchase of a product like Nike mean to Sunder Singh?


  1. What does the story say about our society and the impact of marketing on consumer behavior?






Of all the slogans kicked around Toyota, the key one is kaizen, which means “continuous improvement” in Japanese. While many other companies strive for dramatic breakthrough, Toyota overtook Ford Motor Company to become the second largest automaker in the world. Ford had been the second largest since 1931.


Toyota simply is tops in quality, production, and efficiency. From its factories pour a wide range of cars, built with unequaled  precision. Toyota turns out luxury sedans with Mercedes-Benz-like quality using one-sixth the labor Mercedes does. The company originated just-in-time production and remains its leading practitioner. It has close relationships with its suppliers and rigid engineering specifications for the products it purchases


Toyota’s worldwide leadership in the automotive industry was built on its competitive advantage across the supply chain. Between 1990 and 1996, Toyota reduced part defects by 84 percent, compared to 47 percent for the Big 3. It also reduced the ratio of inventories to sales by 35 percent versus 6 percent. These reduction advantages occurred despite the fact the Big 3 relied on identical suppliers. A study by Jeff Dyer of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Kentaro Nobeoka of Kobe University attributed Toyota’s success partly to its implementation of bilateral and multilateral, knowledge-sharing routines with suppliers that result in superior Interorganizational or network learning. Toyota uses six approaches to facilitate knowledge sharing: (1)a supplier association;(2) teams of consultants;(3)voluntary study groups;(4)problem-solving teams;(5)interfirm employee transfers; and (6)performance feedback and monitoring processes. This effort also involves intense levels of personal contact between Toyota and its suppliers.


Toyota pioneered quality circles, which involve workers in discussions of ways to improve their tasks and avoid what it calls the three Ds: the dangerous, dirty, and demanding aspects of factory work. The company has invested $770 million to improve worker housing, add dining halls, and build new recreational facilities. On the assembly line, quality is defined not as zero defects but, as another slogan puts it, “building the very best and giving the customer what she/he wants.” Because each worker serves as the customer for the process just before hers, she becomes a quality control inspector. If a piece isn’t installed properly when it reaches her, she won’t accept it.


Toyota’s engineering system allows it to take a new car design from concept to showroom in less than four years versus more than five years for U.S. companies and seven years for Mercedes. This cuts costs, allows quicker correction of mistakes and keeps Toyota better abreast of market trends. Gains from speed feed on themselves. Toyota can get its advanced engineering and design done sooner because, as one manager puts it, “We are closer to the customer and thus have shorter concept time.” New products are assigned to a chief engineer who has complete responsibility and authority for the product from design and manufacturing through marketing and has direct contacts with both dealers and consumers. New-model bosses for U.S. companies seldom have such control and almost never have direct contact with dealers or consumers.


The 1999 Harbour Report, a study of automaker competencies in assembly, stamping, and powertrain operations, stated that the top assembly facility in North America (based on assembly hours per vehicle) is Toyota’s plant in Cambridge, Ontario. In this plant, a Corolla is produced in 17.66 hours. Toyota was also rated number one in engine assembly, taking just 2.97 hours to produce an engine.


In Toyota’s manufacturing system, parts and cars don’t get build until orders come from dealers requesting them. In placing orders, dealers essentially reserve a portion of factory capacity. The system is so effective that rather than waiting several months for a new car, the customer can get a built-to-order car in a week to 10 days.

Toyota is the best carmaker in the world because it stays close to its customers. “We have learned that universal mass production is not enough,” said the head of Toyota’s Tokyo Design Center. “In the 21st century, you personalize things more to make them more reflective of individual needs.”


In 1999, Toyota committed to a $13 billion investment through 2000 to become a genuinely global corporation without boundaries. In this way, it will be able to create worldwide manufacturing facilities that produce cars according to local demand. Its goal is to achieve a 10 to 15 percent global market share by 2010.


Why the drive towards customization of vehicles? Part of this is due to fierce competition that provides consumer with a multitude of choices. The Internet enables consumers to be more demanding and less compromising. They now have access to the lowest prices available for specific models of vehicles with all of the bells and whistles they design. From the comfort of their homes, they are able to bypass dealers and still find the vehicle of their dreams.


Senior management at Toyota believes that kaizen is no longer enough. The senior vice president at the Toyota USA division, Douglas West, states that his division is committed to both creating and executing a new information system to drive the fastest, most efficient order-to-delivery system in the North American market. Toyota management has come to realize Kaizen alone can no longer predict business success. The sweeping changes taking place in the business environment can no longer rely on the kaizen philosophy of small, sustained improvements. In fact, one expert in the industry believes that “pursuing incremental improvements while rivals reinvent the industry is like fiddling while Rome burns.” Competitive vitality can no longer be defined by continuous improvement alone.




  1. In what ways is Toyota’s new-product development system designed to serve customers?


  1. In what ways is Toyota’s manufacturing system designed to serve customers?


  1. How does Toyota personalize its cars and trucks to meet individual consumer needs?



The Internet universe literally grows more cluttered by the minute. According to Network Solutions, Inc., which registers the vast majority of Web addresses around the world, about 10,000 new addresses are registered each day. That means by the time you finish reading this case, about 60 new domain names will have been gobbled up. With all the clutter on the Web, how have some firms been able to stand out and attract millions of customers?


First, there are some basics to which online firms must attend. These cost little more than some time and a little  creativity. The first is creating a good site name. The name should be memorable (yahoo.com), easy to spell (ebay.com), and/or descriptive (wine.com—a wine retailer). And, yes, ideally it will have a .com extension. This is the most popular extension for e-commerce, and browsers, as a default, will automatically add a .com onto any address that is typed without extension.


The second priority is to make sure the site comes up near the top of the list on any Web searches. If you use Lycos.com to perform a search for “used books,” you get a list of more than 2.6 million websites. Studies have shown that most people will look only at the top 30 sites on the list, at most. If you are a used-book retailer and you show up as website #1,865,404 on the search list, there is a very good chance you will not attract a lot of business. A 1999 Jupiter Research study reveals that “searching on the Internet” is the most important activity, and Internet users find the information they are looking for by using search engines and Web directories. A good Web designer can write code that matches up well with search engine algorithms and results in a site that ranks high on search lists.


Virtually all popular websites have those basics down pat. So the third step is to reach out proactively to potential customers and bring them to your site. Many companies have turned to traditional advertising to gain exposure. Television advertising can be an effective option—albeit an expensive one. In late January 1999, hotjobs.com spent $2 million—half of its 1998 revenues—on one 30-second ad during the Super Bowl. According to CEO Richard Johnson, so many people tried to visit the site that the company’s servers jammed. Johnson says the number of site hits was six times greater than in the month before. A quirky ad campaign may or may not help. Pets.com, now de-func, built its image around a wise-guy sock puppet. CNET, a hardware and software retailer, ran a series of television ads featuring cheesy music, low-budget sets, and unattractive actors. One such ad featured two men—one in a T-shirt that said ”you,” another in a T-shirt labeled “the right computer” – coming together and joining hands thanks to the efforts of another guy in a CNET T-shirt. The production quality was rudimentary enough that any sophomore film student could have produced it. The spots were so bad that they stood out from the slick, expensive commercials to which viewers were accustomed. Critics ripped the campaign to shreds, but CNET called it a success.


Other Internet firms have used sports sponsorships to increase visibility. CarsDirect.com, a highly rated site that allows consumers to purchase automobiles online, once purchased the naming rights to NASCAR auto race (the CarsDirect.com400). Lycos also has tried to make the most of NASCAR’s increasing popularity. It spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to have its name and logo plastered all over the car of popular driver Johnny Benson. Meanwhile, online computer retailer Insight and furniture seller galleryfurniture.com each targeted football fans by purchasing the naming rights to college bowl games.


Of course, if you can reach consumers while they are in front of their computers rather than their television sets, you may stand an even better chance of getting them to your site. However, typical banner ads are inefficient, averaging click-through rates of only about 0.5 per cent (only one of every 200 people exposed to the ad actually clicked on the ad). Too often, banner ads are just wallpaper; consumers may see them but they usually are not sufficiently stimulated to click-through. However, Michele Slack of the online advertising group Jupiter Communications believes banner ads can be useful if used correctly. “The novelty factor is wearing off,” she says. But “when an ad is targeted well and the creative is good, click-through rates are much higher.”


An alternative way to reach people who are already online is through partnerships. One of the most visible examples of such an alliance is the one between Yahoo! And Amazon.com. Let’s say you’re working on a project on the Great Depression and you want to see what kind of information is available online. If you go to Yahoo! And type in “Great Depression,” you will not only be presented with a list of websites, but you will also see a link that will allow you to click to see a list of books on the Great Depression that are available through Amazon. Another example of a successful partnership was forged in 1998 between Rollingstone.com and the website building and hosting service Tripod. Every one of the 3,000 artist pages on Rollingstone.com contained a link to Tripod. The goal was to encourage fans to use Tripod’s tools to build webpages dedicated their favorite singers or bands. According to the research company Media Metrix, during the course of the alliance Tripod jumped from the Web’s fourteenth most popular website to number eight. Alliances with nonvirtual companies are another options. In 2003, the Internet classified firm CareerBuilder kicked off a cross-promotional campaign with major Internet firms, including AOL and MSN.


A less subtle but nonetheless effective way to build traffic is to more or less pay people visit your site. One study showed more than half of Internet consumers would be more likely to purchase from a site if they could participate in some sort of loyalty program. Hundreds of online merchants in more than 20 categories have signed up with a network program called ClickRewards. Customers making purchases at ClickRewards member sites receive frequent-flier miles or other types of benefits. Mypoints.com offers a similar incentive program in which customers are rewarded with air travel, gift certificates and discounts for shopping at member merchants. The search engine iwon.com was even more direct. It rewards one lucky visitor each weekday with a $10,000 prize. According to Forrester Research, companies in 2002 spent about $6 billion annually on online incentives and promotions.


Finally, some firms rely on e-mail to thoroughly mine their existing customer databases. The auction site On sale (later merged with Egghead.com) proved just how successful e-mail can be. It sent out targeted e-mails to its customers based on their past bidding activities and previously stated interests. Click-through rates on these targeted e-mails averaged a remarkable 30 percent. E-mail marketing also holds promise for business-to-business firms. The Peppers and Rogers Group is a marketing firm that gives presentations around the United States. At the end of the presentations, people are invited to go to the company’s website and sign up for their e-mail newsletter, Inside 1 to 1. The newsletter invites readers to visit the Peppers and Rogers website to learn more about various articles, promote their products and services, and participate in forums. Inside 1 to 1 now boasts a subscriber base of 45,000, but the company estimates that about 200,000 people actually see it because subscribers forward it to their friends and colleagues. About 14,000 people visit the Peppers and Rogers site each week, with traffic often peaking immediately after the newsletter is sent.


As you can see, there is no one effective method for generating interest in a website. The same methods that have worked for some firms have failed for others. One certainty is that as the Internet grows and more people do business online, Internet firms will have to find ever more creative ways to expose customers to their sites and keep their attention once there.



  1. Consider the e-mail campaigns discussed in the case. Why do you think these campaigns were successful? Discuss the attention processes that were at work. Do you see any potential drawbacks to this type of marketing?
  2. During the 2000 Super Bowl, ABC invited viewers to visit its Enhanced TV website. Fans could play trivia, see replays, participate in polls and chat rooms, and view player statistics. The site received an estimated 1 million hits. Why? Frame your answer in terms of exposure, attention, and comprehension.
  3. Think about your own Web surfing patterns. Write down the reasons you visit sites. Which of the marketing strategies discussed in the case do you find most (and least) influential?




The online grocery turned out to be a lot tougher than analysts thought a few years ago. Many of the early online grocers, including Webvan, ShopLink, StreamLine, Kosmom, Homeruns, and PDQuick, went bankrupt and out of business. At one time, Webvan had 46 percent of the online grocery business, but it still wasn’t profitable enough to survive. The new business model for online grocers is to be part of an existing brick-and-mortar chain. Large grocery chains, like Safeway and Albertson’s, are experiencing sales growth in their online business but have yet to turn a profit. Jupiter Research estimates that online grocery sales will be over $5 billion by 2007, about 1 percent of all grocery sales, while it expects more than 5 percent of all retail sales to be online by then. A few years ago, optimistic analysts estimated online grocery sales would be 10 to 20 times that by 2005, but it didn’t work out that way.


One of the few online grocers to survive in 2003 is Peapod, the first online grocer, started by brothers Andrew and Thomas Parkinson in 1990. However, even Peapod was failing until 2001 when Dutch grocery giant Royal Ahold purchased controlling interest in the company for $73 million. Peapod operates in five markets, mainly by closely affiliating itself with Ahold-owned grocery chains. Peapod by Giant is in the Washington, DC, area, while Peapod by Stop and Shop runs in Boston, New York, and Connecticut. The exception is Chicago, where Peapod operates without an affiliation with a local grocery chain. Peapod executives claim the company is growing by 25 percent annually and has 130,000 customers, and all of its markets except Connecticut are profitable. Average order size is up to $143 from $106 three years earlier.


The online grocery business seemed like a sure winner in the 1990s. Dual-income families strapped for time could simply go online to do their grocery shopping. They has about the same choices of products that they would have had if they went to a brick-and-mortar grocery, about 20,000 SKUs (stockkeeping units). They could browse the “aisles” on their home computers and place orders via computer, fax or telephone. The orders were filled at affiliated stores and delivered to their homes in a 90-minute window, saving them time and effort and simplifying their daily lives. For all this convenience, consumers were willing to pay a monthly fee and a fee per order for packaging, shipping, and delivery. Since most of the products purchased were well-known branded items, consumer faced little risk in buying their traditional foodstuffs. Even perishables like produce and meat could be counted on to be high quality, and if consumers were concerned, they could make a quick trip to a brick-and-mortar grocery for these selections. However, while all of this sounded good, most consumers didn’t change their grocery shopping habits to take advantage of the online alternative.


Currently analysts do not expect the online grocery industry to take off in the near future, if ever. Miles Cook of Bain & Company estimates that only 8 to 10 percent of U.S. consumers will find ordering groceries online appealing, but only about 1 percent will ever do so. He concludes: “This is going to remain a niche offering in a few markets. It’s not going to be a national mainstream offering.” Jupiter Media Metrix analyst Ken Cassar concludes that “The moral of the story is that the ability to build a better mousetrap must be measured against consumers’ willingness to buy it.”



  1. What behaviors are involved in online grocery shopping? How does online shopping compare with traditional shopping in terms of behavioral effort?


  1. What types of consumers are likely to value online grocery shopping from Peapod?


  1. Overall, what do you think about the idea of online grocery shopping? How does it compare with simply eating in restaurants and avoiding grocery shopping and cooking altogether?





In just over half-century, Sony Corporation has from a 10-person engineering research group operating out of a bombed-out department store to one of the largest, most complex, and best-known companies in the world. Sony co-founders Masaru Ibuka and Akio Morita met while serving on Japan’s Wartime Research Committee during World War II. After the war, in 1946, the pair got back together and formed Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation to repair radios and build shortwave radio adapters. The first breakthrough product came in 1950, when the company produced Japan’s first tape recorder, which proved very popular in music schools and in courtrooms as a replacement for stenographers.


In 1953, Morita came to the United States and signed an agreement to gain access to Western Electric’s patent for the transistor. Although Western Electric (Bell Laboratory’s parent company) suggested Morita and Ibuka use the transistor to make hearing aids, they decided instead to use it in radios. In 1955, Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation marketed the TR-55, Japan’s first transistor radio, and the rest, as they say, is history. Soon thereafter, Morita rechristened the company as Sony, a name he felt conveyed youthful energy and could be easily recognized outside Japan.


Today Sony is almost everywhere. Its businesses include electronics, computer equipment, music, movies, games, and even life insurance. It employs 190,000 people worldwide and does business on six continents. In 1999, Sony racked up sales of $63 billion; 31 percent of those came from Japan, 30 percent from the United States, and 22 percent from Europe. (To visit some of Sony’s country-specific websites, go to www.sony.com and click on “Global Sites.”)


Perhaps Sony’s most famous product is the Walkman. Created in 1979, the Walkman capitalized on what some perceived as the start of a global trend towards individualism. From a technological standpoint, the Walkman, was fairly unspectacular, even by 1979 standards, but Sony’s marketing efforts successfully focused on the freedom and independence the Walkman provided. One ad depicted three pairs of shoes sitting next to a Walkman with the tag line “Why man learned to walk.” By 2000 more than 250 million Walkmans had been sold worldwide, but Sony was concerned. Studies had shown that Generation Y (ages 14 to 24) viewed the Walkman as stodgy and outdated. So Sony launched a $30 million advertising and marketing campaign to reposition the product in the United States. The star of the new ads was Plato, a cool, Walkman-wearing space creature. The choice of a nonhuman character was no accident according to Ron Boire, head of Sony’s U.S. personal-mobile group. He wanted a character that would appeal to the broadest possible range of ethnic groups—thus, the space creature. Boire explains, “An alien is no one, so an alien is everyone.”


Sony’s current vision, however, extends far beyond the Walkman: to become a leader in broadband technologies. Sony looks forward to a day when all of its products—televisions, DVDs, telephones, game machines, computers, and so on—can communicate with one another and connect with the Web on a persona network. A Sony executive provides an example of such technology in action: “Say you are watching TV in the den, and your kids are playing their music way too loud upstairs,” he says. “You could use your TV remote to call up an onscreen control panel that would let you turn down your kids’ stereo, all without having to get up from your recliner.”


Sony sees its new PlayStation2 filling a major role in the Internet of the future. In March 2000, Sony introduced the PlayStation2 in Japan and sold 1 million units within a week. Newsweek featured the PlayStation2 on its cover that spring, even though it wasn’t offered in the United States until later in the year. Most consumers probably bought PlayStation2 to play video games, but its potential goes far beyond that. It is actually powerful enough to be adapted to guide a ballistic missile. Sony envisions consumers turning to the PlayStation2 for not only games but also movies, music, online shopping, and any other kind of digital entertainment currently imaginable. Ken Kutaragi, president of Sony Computer Entertainment, predicts the PlayStation2 will someday become as valuable as the PC is today: “A lot of people always assumed the PC would be the machine to control your home network. But the PC is a narrowband device that… has been retrofitted to play videogames and interactive 3-D graphics. The PlayStation2 is designed from the ground up to be a broadband device.”


The PlayStation2 also reflects a changing attitude within Sony regarding partnerships with other companies. Toshiba helped Sony design the Emotion Engine, which powers the PlayStation2. In previous years, these kinds of alliances were the exception rather than the rule with the Sony. Sony was perceived as arrogant because it rarely cooperated with other companies, preferring to develop and popularize new technologies on its own. Recently, however, that has changed. Sony has worked with U.S. based Palm to develop a new hand-held organizer with multimedia capabilities, cooperated with Intel to create a set of standards for home networks, and launched a joint venture with Cablevision to build a broadband network in the New York metropolitan area. Nevertheless, some critics believe Sony remains too insular, looking on from the sidelines while other companies join forces to create entertainment powerhouses. Sony has no alliances with U.S. cable or television networks, raising some doubts about its ability to fully develop its home Internet services. Sony has talked with other music companies about possible joint venture, but nothing has come to fruition.


Unlike many U.S.-based multinationals, Tokyo-based Sony traditionally has marketed itself on a regional rather than a global basis. For example, Sony has almost 50 different country-specific websites from which consumers can order products. However, there are signs that strategy may be changing, at least to some degree. Sony launched www.Sonystyle.com, a website that is the company’s primary online outlet for selling movies, music, and electronic products. Sony also plans to provide product service and support on the site, and eventually software upgrades as well. The current main website (www.sony.com) is mainly a source for corporate and investor information. Also, in 1997 Sony embarked on a worldwide ad campaign to make itself and its products more relevant in the eyes of younger consumers. Ironically, much of Sony’s future growth may come from its own backyard. The primary buyers of electronic and digital products are ages 15 to 40. It is estimated that by 2010, two-thirds of the people in the world in that age bracket will live in Asia. Tokyo is already a powerful influence on Asian culture. Asia’s most popular youth magazines are published in Tokyo, and most of the music Asian young people listen to comes form Tokyo. So part of Sony’s challenge is to continue to grow on a global scale while paying close attention to the burgeoning market at home.


Immediately following World War II and for some years thereafter, the label “Made in Japan” connoted cheap, shoddy, imitation products. Today, for many people, that same label stands for excellence and innovation. Certainly Sony can take much of the credit that transformation. Now the question is whether Sony’s products and marketing efforts can keep pace (or set the pace) in the upcoming age of digital convergence.



  1. Identify and discuss some of the cultural meanings for Sony possessed by consumers in your country. Discuss how these cultural meaning were developed and how they influence consumers’ behaviors (and affect and cognition). What is the role of marketing strategies in creating and maintaining (or modifying) these cultural meanings?


  1. It is often stated that the world is becoming smaller because today people communicate relatively easily across time and distance. Discuss whether that has been beneficial for Sony. What are some marketing challenges it presents?



  1. What do you think about Sony’s tradition of region-specific or nation-specific marketing? Would Sony be better served by working to create a more uniform global image?








  1. What should Divan do?


  1. Discuss the long-term relevance of motivational techniques used by Baheti in the light of prevailing environment in the organization.


  1. Had you been Baheti, what other techniques you would have used to improve the special services provided by the organization?


  1. Had you been in place of Alok Trivedi, what additional measures would you have taken?


  1. Critically analyze the Employee Relations Audit in the light of its contribution to self motivation of employees.




  • If you were Malik, what strategies would you adopt to solve the problem?


  • With high employee turnover in insurance industry, how can the company retain a person like Malik?


  • What role do the non-financial incentives play in motivating the workers and minimizing the rate of absenteeism?


  • What innovative solutions would you suggest to minimize the rate of absenteeism?


  • Discuss merits/demerits of the role of strike, agitation and legal approach in union­management relations.


  • What role does mutual trust play in building union-management relations?






  1. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of balance sheet audit. Also state the auditor’s position in relation to balance sheet audit.
  2. Draft a form of questionnaire, that you would use to determine the effectiveness of the client’s internal control over payrolls.
  3. An enterprise purchases an item of machinery on 1.4.2002 for Rs. 100,000. It depreciates this item at the rate of 10% per annum on straight-line basis. On 1.4.2005, the enterprise decides to change the method of depreciation from straight-line to written down value. The applicable rate under the new method is 15%. How should the enterprise give effect to this change in the method of depreciation?
  4. Under what circumstances, an auditor can be appointed by the following:
    • The Board of Directors
    • The shareholders
    • The central government
  5. While examining the accounts of a company, you find the following items on credit

side of profit and loss account:

Profit on revaluation of land.

  • Bounties received from central government
  • Excess depreciation charged in the previous year now written back
  • Unclaimed dividend

Would you have any objection as auditor in passing the accounts of the company? State with reasons.


  1. What is a Clean Report? Give a specimen of a qualified report of the auditor.
  2. What is investigation? Distinguish investigation from audit.
  3. Define ‘Professional Misconduct’ and state how professional misconduct and professional ethics are related. Give few instances of professional misconduct with case decisions.
  4. What special points should the auditor consider in conducting audit in the following institutions (a) Charitable institution (b) Educational institution
  5. State the controls that can be applied over inputs and processing of data in a computerized accounting environment.


Business Strategy Environment

  1. Consider the vision and mission statements of the Reserve Bank of India. Comment on the quality of both these statements.
  2. Should the RBI go for a systematic and comprehensive strategic plan in place of its earlier pragmatic approach of responding to environmental events as and when they occur? Why?
  1. Identify the opportunities and threats that the retailing industry in India offers to local and foreign companies.
  2. Prepare an ETOP for a company interested in entering the retailing industry in India
  1. In your opinion, what is the distinctive competence of HelpAge India?
  2. Prepare a strategic advantage profile for HelpAge India.


  1. BHEL is mainly formulating and implementing concentration strategies nationally as well as globally, in the power equipment sector. Do you think it should broaden the scope of its strategies to include integration or diversification? Why?
  2. Suppose BHEL plans to diversify its business. What areas should it diversify into? Give reasons to justify your choice
  3. What is the motive for internationalization by the Kalyani Group? Discuss.
  4. Which type of international strategy is Kalyani Group adopting? Explain.
  5. Comment on the steps taken to reduce the extent of vertical integration at the Indian Railways. Suggest a few more measures that could be taken.
  6. Discuss the measures taken for corporate restructuring of the Indian Railways, in your opinion, are these adequate for dealing with the problems faced? Why?
  7. Propose the basic elements of a corporate turnaround for the Indian Railways.



Management Information Systems


  1. Do you agree with the argument made by Nick Carr to support his position that IT no longer gives companies a competitive advantage? Why or why not?
  2. Do you agree with the argument made by the business leaders in this case in support of the competitive advantage that IT can provide to a business? Why or why not?
  3. What are several ways that IT could provide a competitive advantage to a business? Use some of the companies mentioned in this case as examples. Visit their websites to gather more information to help you answer.


  1. What is the business of wireless technologies in the chemicals and automotive manufacturing industries? What other manufacturing applications might benefit from wireless technologies? Why?
  2. What are some of the business benefits of wireless technologies in finance and investments? What other applications would you recommend? Why? Check the website of Fidelity.com to help you answer.
  3. What are some of the business benefits and challenges of using wireless technologies in retailing? What are some other applications that might be beneficial to consumers, as well as retailers? Why?


  1. What is the business value of AI technologies in business today? Use several examples from the case to illustrate your answer.


  1. What are some of the benefits and limitations of data mining for business intelligence? Use Bank Financial’s experience to illustrate your answer.


  1. Why have banks and other financial institutions been leading users of AI technologies like neural networks? What are the benefits and limitations of this technology



  1. What are the benefits and limitations of the Rowe Companies’ ROI methods for IT project planning?
  2. What is the business value of the ROI methodology required for project planning by Merrill Lynch?
  3. Do you agree with the IT investment decisions being made by the Rowe Companies in response to changing economic conditions? Why or why not?



  1. What security measures should companies, business professionals, and consumers take to protect their systems from being damaged by computer worms and viruses?


  1. What is the ethical responsibility of Microsoft in helping to prevent the spread of computer viruses? Have they met this responsibility? Why or why not?


  1. What are several possible reasons why some companies (like GM) were seriously affected by computer viruses, while others (like Verizon) were not?



                                                             Marketing Management   


  1. What have been the key success factors for Nike?


  1. Where is Nike vulnerable? What should it watch out for?


  1. What recommendations would you make to senior marketing executives going forward? What should they be sure to do with its marketing?


  1. What have been the key success factors for Disney?


  1. Where is Disney vulnerable? What should it watch out for?


  1. What recommendations would you make to their senior marketing executives going forward? What should it be sure to do with its marketing?


  1. What have been the key success factors for HSBC?


  1. Where is HSBC vulnerable? What should it watch out for?


  1. What recommendations would you make to senior marketing executives going forward? What should they be sure to do with its marketing?


  1. What have been the key success factors for Krispy Kreme?


  1. Where is Krispy Kreme vulnerable? What should it watch out for?


  1. What recommendations would you make to senior marketing executives going forward? What should they be sure to do with its marketing?


  1. What are the key success factors for Southwest Airlines?


  1. Where is Southwest Airlines vulnerable? What should it watch out for?


  1.     What recommendations would you make to senior marketing executives           moving forward?

What should they be sure to do with its marketing?


Business Law


  1. (a) Discuss the term ‘Continuing Guarantee’. How can it be revoked?
    • State briefly the rights and obligations of a bailee.


  1. (a) What do you understand by the term Implied ‘Authority of a partner’?

(b)  Enumerate the acts, which are not covered under implied authority.


  1. (a) What are the rights and duties of a minor in relation to partnership business?

(b)   Distinguish between —

(i)  Sub-agent and Substituted Agent

(ii)  Sale, Bailment and Pledge


  1. (a) Explain the rights of a partner.

(b)   Distinguish between the following:

(i)  Succession and Assignment.

(ii)  Contract of Indemnity and Contract of Guarantee.


  1. Write short note on.
    1. Non-registration of a firm.
    2. Capacity of Contract
  • Kinds of Bailment.
  1. Anticipatory breach of a Contract.


  1. a) When is a Surety Discharged from Liability by the conduct of the creditor?
  2. b) Describe the rules relating to passing of property in the sale of goods.


  1. a) What is an illegal agreement? State the effects of illegality.
  2. b) What is ‘Supervening Impossibility’? What are their effects upon the contract?
  3. c) What are the remedies available to the buyer when goods in wrong quantity delivered to him?
  4. d) When shall a retired partner be discharged from his liabilities for the acts of the firm before retirement?


  1. (a) State the principles on which damages are assessed for breach of contract.

(b) Describe the law relating to the ‘right of resale’ available to an unpaid seller in the Sale of Goods Act, 1930.


  1. a) What are the rules regarding delivery of goods?
  2. b) Distinguish between:
  3. i) Novation and Alteration.
  4. ii) Liquidated damages and penalty


  1. Comment on
  2. a) Transferee of a partner’s interest cannot exercise the right of transferring
  3. b) Appropriation is a right primarily of the debtor and for his benefit.
  4. c) A proposal can be revoked otherwise than by communication.
  5. d) Right of stoppage in transit is an extension of the right of lien.






09901366442 – 09902787224


Retail Management


  1. Develop a positioning chart for jewelry. Include Wal-Mart, Tiffany, and department stores with jewelry departments, on the chart. Explain your choice of axes, as well as each store’s positioning.


  1. Do you agree that the events described in this case are contributing to the blurred positioning of jewelry retailing? Explain your answer and its ramifications.


  1. What are the pros and cons of Tiffany selling items priced as low as $200?


  1. As a jewelry shopper, how would you expect the total retail experience to differ in Wal-Mart, department stores, and high-end retailers?


  1. As an independent supermarket operator, would you want to become a Piggly Wiggly franchisee? Why or why not?


  1. What are the advantages to Piggly Wiggly of having franchised outlets instead of its own stores? The Disadvantages?


  1. What criteria should Piggly Wiggly use in evaluating potential franchisees?


  1. Should Fleming require Fresh Brands to use the Piggly Wiggly name and all of its promotions? Explain your answer.


  1. Is the new high-tech research environment going to eliminate the use of human researchers? Explain your answer.


  1. What are the pros and cons of using 3-D CAD systems for marketing research purposes versus traditional focus groups?


  1. Describe the ideal marketing research uses for 3-D animation software in the creation of a virtual grocery shopping environment for supermarkets.


  1. Devise a short consumer questionnaire for Burger King to use in assessing its 3-D CAD simulations.


  1. Describe how accounting irregularities can play havoc with a firm’s reputation, supplier relations, and manager morale.


  1. Discuss other means of measuring and improving financial performance at Dollar General.


  1. What are the financial management pros and cons of Dollar General’s placing greater emphasis on perishables?


  1. Evaluate Dollar General’s inventory management initiatives.


  1. Evaluate Sports Authority’s new design in light of the retailer’s objectives.


  1. Discuss the pros and cons of Sports Authority’s use of specialty boutiques instead of its previous warehouse format.


  1. Develop a promotional campaign for Sports Authority to capitalize on “the authority” image.


  1. Do you think the WTSA network will prove to be a major contributor to Sports Authority’s atmospherics or will it turn out to be a fad? Explain your answer.



Sales & Distribution Management



  1. What action should the Phillips Company have taken to change the company image in the public utility field?


  1. Describe Castleberry’s major operations responsibilities. How well is he carrying out each of these responsibilities?


  1. What kind of planning activities should Castleberry be carrying out regularly? What planning areas need immediate attention?


  1. How do you suppose Castleberry’s time should be divided operations and planning?


  1. Suggest what Wagner should have done to reduce personnel turnover and eliminate the other problems at Central CATV.


  1. If you were acting as a consultant for the Driskill Company, what recommendations would you make with respect to the preparation of quotas of the sales force?


  1. How would you evaluate the arguments of the sales manager and the marketing research director?







John Godwin, Chief executive of Tri – State Telephone, leaned back in his chair and looked at the ceiling.  How was he ever going to get out of this mess?  At last night’s public hearing.  150 angry customers had marched in to protest Tri – State’s latest rate request.  After the rancorous shouting was over and the acrimonious signs put away, the protesters had presented state regulators with some sophisticated economic analyses in support of their case.  Additionally, there were a number of emotional appeals from elderly customers who regarded phone service as their lifeline to the outside world


Tri – State Telephone operated in three states and had sales of over $3 billion.  During the last five years, the company had experienced a tremendous amount of change.  In 1984, the AT & T divestiture sent shock waves throughout the industry, and Tri-State Telephone had felt the effects, as pricing for long distance telephone service changed dramatically.  The Federal Communications Commission instituted a charge to the effect that customers should have “access” to long – distance companies whether or not they were in the habit of making long distance calls.  Consumer groups, including the Consumer Federation of America and the Congress of Consumer Organizations, had joined the protest, increasing their attention on the industry and intervening in regulatory proceedings wherever possible.  The FCC was considering deregulating as much of the industry as possible, and congress was looking over the commissioner’s shoulder.  Meanwhile, the Department of Justice and Judge Harold Greene both of whom were responsible for monitoring the AT & T divestiture) continued to argue about what business companies like Tri – State should be engaged in.


In addition, technology was changing rapidly.  Cellular telephones, primarily used in cars, were now hand-held and could be substituted for standard phones.  Digital technology was going forward, leading to lower casts and requiring companies like Tri – state to invest to keep up with the state of the art.  Meanwhile, rate increases negotiated during the inflationary 1970s were keeping earnings higher than regulators would authorize.  New “Intelligent” terminals and software developments gave rise to new uses for the phone network (such as using the phone for an a arm system), but as long as customers paid one flat fee, the phone company could not benefit from these new services.


Godwin’s company has recently proposed a new pricing system whereby users of local telephone services would simply pay for what they used rather than a monthly flat fee.  All of the senior managers were convinced that the plan was fairer, even though some groups who used the phone with notable frequency (like real estate agents) would pay more.  It would give the company an incentive to bring new services to their customers, and customers would be able to choose which ones to buy.  None of them had anticipated the hue and cry from the very customers who would save money under the new plan.  For instance, Godwin’s studies showed that the elderly were very light users of local service and could save as much as 20 percent under the new plan.


After the debacle at the hearing the previous night, Godwin was unsure how to proceed.  If he backed off the new pricing plan, he would have to find a different way to meet the challenges of the future – may be even different businesses to augment company income.  Alternatively, the company could not stand the negative press from a protracted battle, even though Godwin thought that the regulators were favorably disposed toward his plan.  In fact, Godwin himself believed the company should help its customers rather than fight with them.








  1. Who are the stakeholders in this case?


  1. Which stakeholders are most important?


  1. What are the critical trends in Tri – State’s environment?


  1. Why do you think Tri – State’s customers are so upset?


  1. What should John Godwin do?



Fresh Fields may be a supermarket, but what it’s super at selling is its image : “Good for you foods.”


A New Age grocery store – ‘Fresh Fields’ falls somewhere between a health food store and a traditional supermarket.  It is not merely a health food store, because it carries a wider variety of foods including fresh pasta, baked goods, sea-food and deli selections.  What distinguishes Fresh Fields from supermarkets lies in what is absent from the shelves, rather than what is present, for Fresh Fields shoppers will not find foods containing lots of preservatives and artificial flavorings, such as Jell – O and Oreos, that they can purchase at other supermarkets.  What Fresh Fields offers is “ organic and conventional produce, meats, seafood, dairy products, baked goods from an in – store bakery, deli items gourmet and vegetarian prepared foods, a wide array of cheese, a full grocery department, an extensive selection of supplements, skin enriching cosmetics and natural health care products and environmentally friendly household goods.”


The arrival of Fresh Fields coincides with that of the New Age, health – conscious trend of the 1990s, and the company has not hesitated in taking advantage of consumers’ new whopping preferences resulting from the trend.  According to a 1992 survey by Health Focus, a Pennsylvania – based research firm, 90 percent of shoppers say that health has become a factor in determining the food they buy.  This perhaps accounts for why many Americans are willing to pay up to 20 percent more for natural foods.  Actually, the Fresh Fields premium tends to hover closer to 5 percent, and when in season, Fresh Field’s locally grown organic produce can even cost less than produce sold at other supermarkets.


A team of entrepreneurs began Fresh Fields in 1991.  The team included 33 year old Mark Ordain, former Goldman Sachs investment banker as CEO and President, 75 years Old Leo Kahn, founder of Staples, the prosperous office – supply sores, as chairman and 44 year old Jack Murphy, former manager of the Heartland supermarket chain in New England, as Chief operating officer.


Within the first 19 months, five Fresh Fields locations opened in Maryland and Virginia.  Expanding into Pennsylvania and Illinois, by mid – 1994 Fresh Fields had opened a total of 14 stores in the four states, with more in the planning stages.


Much of Fresh Field’s success can be attributed to the fact that the company offers only the freshest produce, often from local growers.  The company screens growers to find those who use natural methods of pest management and apply the least amount of agricultural chemicals.  In addition, Fresh Fields seeks meat and poultry from farms, not factories, to avoid the growth – promoting drugs often used.   Fresh Fields also makes an effort to get to know the people who catch the seafood, and seeks out fish caught in deep, clean waters, not from coastal waters threatened by pollution.


According to Kahn, though, the key to Fresh Field’s success lies in pleasing the customer.  “Everybody says the same things please the customer – but while everybody says it, not too many practice it.  The customer is smarter than all of us.  Here we’re building an organization that zeroes in and keeps customer satisfaction in mind.”


Instilled in Fresh Fields is a warm, friendly caring culture that begins with Kahn and travels through to all stakeholders: employees, suppliers, customers, community members.  Whereas at other stores, such as Wal – Mart, there is a single, symbolic greeter by the door, every employee at Fresh Field is a sort of “greeter”, and he or she looks up, smiles and says “hello” to shoppers as they pass by.  Within the company, there are no employees, there are only “associates” many of whom Kahn knows by name.


Much of what Fresh Fields is about is relationship building.  The warm relationship between the company and associates lies at the heart.  From there, associates build relationship with suppliers to add the personal touch that is integral to the Fresh Fields quality image.


As shoppers walk through the stores, numerous samples are offered.


“Originally, I bought organic produce and spent $25 to $30 every week or two.” Says Merri Mukai, a homemaker in Annandale, Virginia.  “Then I tried the baked goods and upped my spending by $60.  Now I’m buying meats and eyeing the fish.  They’ve definitely got me hooked.”


Says Fresh Fields, “We guarantee your satisfaction unconditionally.  You can consider our guarantee as an opportunity to be adventurous and to try new products, without risk.  If for any reason you are less than completely satisfied with something you purchase at Fresh Fields, we will cheerfully offer you a full refund.”




  1. What economic and social factors should Fresh Fields managers watch?


  1. Suppose you manage a local supermarket and Fresh Fields comes to town. How would you reinvent your organization to meet the challenges posed by Fresh Fields?




The 1990 s have witnessed an increased emphasis on valuing diversity.  With both the marketplace and the workforce becoming more and more diverse, many managers have redesigned their companies cultures to reflect and encourage multiculturalism.  Changing a company’s culture, however, is often more difficult than managers might first believe.  At Denny”s for example, promoting multiculturalism required a reworking of its corporate culture from top to bottom.


In the early 1990s, Denny’s found itself the target of numerous allegations of racism, by both customers and employees.  Black customers asserted that they were not receiving the same treatment at Denny’s as white customers.  Some complained that they were either forced to wait for their food longer than white customers or denied service entirely, others said that they were forced to pre-pay for their meals while white customers in the restaurant were not.  There were also allegations that Denny’s restaurants would close if there were too many black customers.  In addition, Denny’s was accused of discriminatory hiring practices as well as preventing blacks and other minorities from reaching management and franchise positions. None of this garnered much attention, however, until a suit was filed on March 24, 1993, by a group of minority customers in San Jose, California, who made the all – too – familiar allegation  that Denny’s had required cover charges and pre-payment of meals from minority customers, but not from white customers.


In response to these charges, Denny’s parent company, Flagstar, formally apologized to the customers, and Flagstar CEO Jerry Richardson dropped the cover charge and pre-payment policies and explained that they had been intended to prevent late night “ dine – and – dash” theft and that any discriminatory implementation of them was in direct violation of corporate policies.  Richardson admitted, however, that he had been unaware that the cover charge and pre-payment policies even existed within the company.  Furthermore, Richardson began talks with civil rights groups such as the NAACP.  Flagstar also signed a consent decree issued by the Justice Department that required spot testing of Denny’s restaurants for discriminatory practices as well as an anti-discrimination training program for all Denny’s staffers. “ Our company does not tolerate discrimination of any kind,” Richardson assured all, and his actions seemed to support his words.


Then, on May 24, 1993, six black Secret Service agents filed suit against Denny’s for allegedly having denied them service at a Denny’s in Annapolis, Maryland.  The six men claimed that while they received deliberately slow service, their white counter parts were served in a timely fashion.  “Hearing the allegations made yesterday by Six African – American Secret Service agents on national television that they were not treated fairly at Denny’s was a painful experience for our company,” Richardson admitted.


The highly publicized suit served as a catalyst that set off a whirlwind of changes throughout Flagstar.  In a late May Richardson issued an internal memo that marked the beginning of Richardson’s pledge to change. “ I am distressed that some people in our company haven’t gotten the message that we will not tolerate unfair treatment of customers,” he wrote.  “The past year has been a trying experience, particularly for many of our African – American employees who are embarrassed by what happened. This is my personal pledge to them to restore their pride in Denny’s.


Richardson stopped promising change and started creating it.  On July 1, 1993, Flagstar reached an historic agreement with the NAACP.  The agreement, which was the most far-reaching arrangement the civil – rights organization had ever signed, represented a breakthrough in relations between minorities and businesses.  The plan targeted several specific problem areas within Flagstar. For example, of Flagstar’s more than 120,000 workers, 20 percent were black, but only 4.4. percent of its managers were black.  Under the agreement, at least 12 percent of Flagstar’s managers will be black by the 2000.  The company also wanted to increase the number of black-owned franchises; only one of Denny’s 405 franchises was owned by a black person as of 1993, but Flagstar planned to have at least 53 black-owned franchise by 1997.  Flagstar also agreed to direct more marketing funds toward minority advertising and to begin purchasing more goods and services from minority – owned businesses.  In addition, Flagstar promised to appoint at least one minority to its board of directors.  In all the plan will direct more than one billion dollars in jobs and economic benefits to minority workers and companies by the year 2000.


Richardson also undertook efforts to restore Denny”s reputation as well as his own at the forefront of his efforts was “The Pledge”. “The Pledge” was the name given to a 60 – second TV spot, which aired in 41 television markets and on the Black Entertainment Television network during a two-week period in June 1993.  In it, Jerry Richardson and a representative sample of Flagstar’s 46,000 employees endorsed a solemn pledge to treat customers with “respect, dignity, and fairness.”  “The whole idea for the ‘pledge’ started with our desire to express support for our own employees.” Explained David Hurwitt, Flagstar’s senior vice president of marketing “These people have been very much under the gun.  We chose television for this special campaign because we felt it was important to show people exactly who the Denny’s employees are”.  Overall, response to “The Pledge” was favourable.  “ Our phone has been ringing off the hook since Denny’s aired this ad,” said W. Gregory Wims, president of the NAACP in Rockville, Maryland, the largest branch in the Washington, D.C.area. “About 90 percent of our members approve of the commercials and the steps Denny’s has been taking to improve relations with people of color.


Experience, however, had taught Flagstar that mere policy statements do little good in the absence of training and monitoring.  With this in mind, Flagstar reaffirmed its commitment to its agreement with the Department of Justice by steping up its multicultural training programs and agreeing to allow the NAACP to conduct its own inspection of Denny’s restaurants.  Denny’s also set up a hot line for employees to use to report possible instances of discrimination.  In addition, Flagstar made significant management changes during the summer of 1993 by installing three executives considered particularly sensitive to diversity in the workplace: Norman Hill, Joe Russell, and Ron Petty.  Russell was appointed head of the diversity training program, and Hill came on board to oversee field hiring. “There are companies that bury their heads in the sand and say, I’m going to conduct my business the same way I’ve always conducted my business,” said Petty. “And then there are enlightened companies that say, “There are opportunities outside of the way we’ve normally done business.”


The steps taken by Flagstar have been significant, not only because of the model the company has set for other companies, but also because of Flagstar’s own holdings, including 530 Hardee’s fast food units, 1,400 Denny’s family restaurants, 200 Quincy’s steak houses, 120  El Pollo Loco outlets and more than 2,000 Canteen Corp. Food and Recreation Service accounts.  The community’s response to the allegations against Denny’s confirm that multiculturalism can no longer be ignored.




  1. How would you describe the organizational culture at Flagstar?


  1. How does Flagstar deal with diversity?


  1. What challenges could Flagstar face in its near future?



The Walt Disney Company is heralded as the world’s largest entertainment company.  It has earned this astounding reputation through tight control over the entire operation : control over the open – ended brainstorming that takes place 24 hours a day ; control over the engineers who construct the fabulous theme – park rides; control over the animators who create and design beloved characters and adventurous scenarios ; and control over the talent that brings the many concepts and characters to life.  Although control pervades the company, it is not too strong a grip.  Employees in each department are well aware of their objectives and the parameters established to meet those objectives.  But in conjunction with the pre-determined responsibilities, managers at Disney encourage independent and innovative thinking.


People at the company have adopted the phrase “Dream as a Team” as a reminder that whimsical thoughts, adventurous ideas, and all – out dreaming are at the core of the company philosophy.  The over all control over each department is tempered by this concept.  Disney managers strive to empower their employees by leaving room for their creative juices to flow.  In fact, managers at Disney do more than encourage innovation.  They demand it.  Projects assigned to the staff “imaginers” seem impossible at first glance.   At Disney, doing the seemingly impossible is part of what innovation means.  Teams of imaginers gather together in a brainstorming session known as the “Blue Sky” phase.  Under the “Blue Sky”, an uninhibited exchange of wild, ludicrous, outrageous ideas, both “ good” and “ bad”, continues until solutions are found and the impossible is done.  By demanding so much of their employees, Disney managers effectively drive their employees to be creative.


Current Disney leader Michael Eisner has established the “Dream as a Team” concept.  Eisner realized that managers at Disney needed to let their employees brainstorm and create with support.  As Disney president Frank Weds says, “If a good idea is there, you know it, you feel it, you do it, no matter where it comes from.”




  1. What environmental factors influenced management style at Disney?


  1. What kind(s) of organizational structure seem to be consistent with “Dream as a Team”?


  1. How and where might the informal organization be a real asset at Disney?




When Robert Frey purchased Cin – Made in 1984, the company was near ruin.  The Cincinnati, Ohi-based manufacturer of paper packaging had not altered its product line in 20 years.  Labor costs had hit the ceiling, while profits were falling through the floor.  A solid quarter of the company’s shipments were late and absenteeism was high.  Management and workers were at each other’s throats.


Ten years later, Cin – Made is producing a new assortment of highly differentiated composite cans, and pre-tax profits have increased more than five times.  The Cin – Made workforce is both flexible and deeply committed to the success of the company.  On-time delivery of products has reached 98 percent, and absenteeism has virtually disappeared.  There are even plans to form two spin – off companies to be owned and operated by Cin-Made employees.  In fact, at the one day “Future of the American Workforce” conference held in July 1993, Cin-Made was recognized by President Clinton as one of the best – run companies in the United States.


“How did we achieve this startling turnaround?”  Mused Frey; “Employee empowerment is one part of the answer.  Profit sharing is another.”


In the late spring of 1986, relations between management and labor had reached rock bottom.  Having recently suffered a pay cut, employees at Cin- Made came to work each day, performed the duties required of their particular positions, and returned home-nothing more.  Frey could see that his company was suffering.  “To survive we needed to stop being worthy adversaries and start being worthy partners,” he realized.  Toward this end, Frey decided to call a meeting with the union.  He offered to restore worker pay to its previous level by the end of the year.  On top of that, he offered something no one expected: a 15 percent share of Cin-Made’s pre-tax profits. “I do not choose to own a company that has an adversarial relationship with its employees.” Frey proclaimed at the meeting.  He therefore proposed a new arrangement that would encourage a collaborative employee-management relationship “Employee participation will play an essential role in management.”


Managers within the company were among the first people to oppose Frey’s new idea of employee involvement.  “My three managers felt they were paid to be worthy adversaries of the unions.”  Frey recalled.  It’s what they’d been trained for.  It’s what made them good managers.  Moreover, they were not used to participation in any form, certainly not in decision making.”  The workers also resisted the idea of extending themselves beyond the written requirements of their jobs.  “ (Employees) wanted generous wages and benefits, of course, but they did not want to take responsibility for anything more than doing their own jobs the way they had always done them,” Frey noted.  Employees were therefore skeptical of Frey’s overtures toward “employee participation.”   “We thought he was trying to rip us off and shaft us,” explained Ocelia Williams, one of many Cin-Made employees who distrusted Frey’s plans.


Frey, however, did not give up, and he eventually convinced the union to agree to his terms.  “ I wouldn’t take no for an answer,” he asserted.  “Once I had made my two grand pronouncements, I was determined to press ahead and make them come true.”  But still ahead lay the considerable challenge of convincing employees to take charge:


I made people meet with me, then instead of telling them what to do, I asked them They resisted.


“How can we cut the waste on his run?” I’d Say, or “How are we going to allocate the Overtime on this order?”


“That’s not my job,” they’d say.


“But I need your input,” I’d say. “How in the World can we have participative management If you won’t participate?


“I don’t know,” they’d say.  “Because that’s not my job either, that’s your job.”


Gradually, Frey made progress.  Managers began sharing more information with employees.  Frey was able slowly to expand the responsibilities workers would carry.  Managers who were unable to work with employees left, and union relations began to improve.  Empowerment began to happen.  By 1993, Cin Made employees were taking responsibility for numerous tasks.  Williams, for example, used to operate a tin-slitting machine on the company’s factory floor.  She still runs that same machine, but now is also responsible for ordering almost $ 100,000 in supplies.


Williams is just one example of how job roles and duties have been redefined throughout Cin-Made.  Joyce Bell, president of the local union, still runs the punch press she always has, but now also serves as Cin- Made’s corporate safety director.  The company’s scheduling team, composed of one manager and five lead workers from various plant areas, is charged with setting hours, designating layoffs, and deciding when temporary help is needed.  The hiring review team, staffed by three hourly employees and two managers, is responsible for interviewing applicants and deciding whom to hire.  An employee committee performs both short – and long – term planning of labor, materials, equipment, production runs, packing, and delivery.  Employees even meet daily in order to set their own production schedules.  “We empower employees to make decisions, not just have input,” Frey remarked. “I just coach.”


Under Frey’s new management regime, company secrets have virtually disappeared.  All Cin-Made employees, from entry-level employees all the way to the top, take part in running the company.  In fact, Frey has delegated so much of the company’s operations to its workers that he now feels little in the dark. “ I now know very little about what’s going on, on a day-to-day basis,” he confessed.


At Cin-Made, empowerment  and delegation are more than mere buzzwords; they are the way of doing business – good business. “ We, as workers, have a lot of opportunities,” said Williams. “ If we want to take leadership, it’s offered to us.”




  1. How were principles of delegation and decentralization incorporated into Cine – Made operations?


  1. What are the sources and uses of power at Cin – Made?


  1. What were some of the barriers to delegation and empowerment at Cin –Made?


  1. What lessons about management in a rapidly changing marketplace can be learned from the experience of Cin – Made?




When a manger finds that demand exceeds inventory, the answer lies in making more goods. When a manager finds that inventory exceeds demand, the answer lies in making fewer goods.  But what if a company management finds that they just do not know which situation applies?


This is the situation that recently confronted management at Rollerblade, the popular skate manufacturer based in Minnetonka, Minnesota. Rollerblade has been one of the leading firms in the fast growing high performance roller skate marketplace, it matters a great deal for Rollerblade managers whether demand and inventory are in balance, or not.


Rollerblade was in a bind.  The product literally could not be shipped out the door.  The managers found that workers were not able to ship products because, as a result of poor storage structures, they could not find the products.  Once they were found, overcrowded aisles, in addition to other space constraints, still prevented efficient shipping because the workers could barely manage to get the products out the door.  “We were out of control because we didn’t know how to use space and didn’t have enough of it,” said Ian Ellis, director for facilities and safety.  “Basically, there was no more useable space left in the warehouse, a severe backlog of customer orders, and picking errors were clearly in the unacceptable range,” added Ram Krishnan, Principal of NRM Systems, based in St. Paul, Minnesota.


The answer for Rollerblade was found in technology.  High-tech companies have introduced a collection of computer simulations, ranging in cost roughly from $10,000 to $30,000, that assist managers in generating effective facility designs.  With the help of layout Master IV simulation software, developed by NRM, Rollerblade Management was able to implement a new distribution design.  As a result of the distribution improvement, Rollerblade was able to increase the number of customer orders processed daily from140 to 410 and eliminate order backlog.  “Now we have a different business,” says Ellis. “The new layout has taken us from being in a crunch, to being able to plan.




  1. With retailers as their primary customers, what customer competitive imperatives could be affected by Rollerblade’s inventory problems?


  1. How appropriate might a just – in – time inventory system is for a product such as roller skates?”


  1. What opportunities are therefore Rollerblade managers to see themselves as selling services, instead of simply roller skates?







09901366442 – 09902787224





 CASE – 01   :    An American Tragedy: How a Good Company Died

 CASE – 02   :   Tip Top Markets

 CASE – 03   :    Harvey Industries

 CASE – 04   :   The Case of the Mexican Crazy Quilt

 CASE – 05   :    Big Bank


  1. Write a brief report that outlines the reasons (both internal and external) for Burgmaster’s demise, and whether operations management played a significant role in the demise.


Because of the recent death of the owner, the trust department of a Milwaukee Bank (as trustee for the state) has taken over the company’s affairs and has appointed a new company president. The new president has identified many problem areas—one of which is improper inventory control. He has retained you as a consultant to make specific recommendation concerning a revised inventory control system. What are your recommendations and their rationale?


  1. Was Linderman Industries’ adoption of project organization an appropriate one for getting the Mexican subsidiary started?


  1. In consideration of Robert Linderman’s letting the division managers know that the project manager would be asking for some of their key people, why would Conway have any difficulty in getting the ones he wanted?


  1. Would you expect that many people would turn down a chance to join a project organization, as Bert Mill did?


  1. Why would Conway take his problem with the engineering vice president to Linderman and have it resolved in his favor, yet back down in two disputes with the manufacturing vice president?


  1. What could Linderman Industries have done to assure good jobs for the people coming off Project Mexicano, including Carl Conway, the project manager?


  1. If you were the manager, which option would you select? Why? Explain the disparity between the results for the two options. What assumptions did you make in your analysis?




International Finance Management




You are just one week ‘young’ in your job as a treasury executive in a leading laptop trader/supplier in India. Earlier your company was sourcing assembled laptops from China, but with the incentives provided in the Budget of 2006 by the Finance Minister of India, your company is planning to enter assembly/manufacturing market in India.


Question: What is all that you would like to tell the top management so as to establish your credibility?





While you are making presentation to the top management a middle aged person enters the boardroom. All the board members exchange smiles with this person.


Question: Should your company make this investment? If yes, then which will be the best route to (a) maximiza-tion of profits, (b) minimizing risk, (c) finding the optional mix of profits and risk.

What all information to you need to arrive at these answers? How will you structure your analysis?



“Ready for take off”, voice of the Captain crackles over announcement system and brings you back to present. You are returning after attending the glittering function where ‘DFO of the Year’ award was presented. While coming out of the function, you overheard someone saying, “That’s no big deal! If this person is really great then why not try and get the ‘Financial Engineer of Year’ award!!” The comment was definitely aimed at you, the winner of this year’s award.


Question: How will you proceed to structure this situation? What all information will be needed? What is your perception of the risks involved in the proposed structure?




You are the chief financial officer of a leading dental hospital located in India. Your hospital has been having a roaring practice. You have a large group of dedicated doctors and a wide range of patients traveling from all over the region. Your hospital is known for its professional perfection and value-for-money services.

Question: How will you guide your CEO in this situation?




Question: What are the choices available with you to meet these cashflow requirements? Analyze each possibility in detail and argue