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Nestle Venezuela marketed a portfolio of products, including powdered milk, sweetened condensed milk and milk cream. The company wanted to strengthen its bond with Bottom of Pyramid (BoP) consumers, both because they felt a social responsibility to do so and because they believed this segment held the greatest potential for penetration, growth, and expanded consumption in their dairy business. A large portion of the Venezuelan BoP consumers, those in socioeconomic segments D and E, lived in difficult-to-access parts of the country, with a high crime rate, little social class mobility, and few employment opportunities for housewives. From 2002 to 2010, many changes occurred in the Venezuelan economy, yet most residents still lived in relative poverty. Price controls affected some of Nestle’s products, including powdered milk, but not sweetened condensed milk. As a result of analyzing various forms of market research, Nestle felt that sweetened condensed milk posed the best growth opportunity among the BoP segment.
This case was prepared by Deborah Mendez under the supervision of Professor Steve Koch of C.T. Bauer College of Business, University of Houston.
In Part One of the case, Nestle Venezuela marketing executives contemplated how to accomplish their objective to blend a progressive sense for social responsibility with sound business goals. They considered the unique challenges of product distribution and encouragement of expanded consumption in a positive, responsible way while enhancing the lives of those in the BoP segments.
This part of the case offers several options for deep discussion, including a BoP 2.0 discussion with a focus on co-venturing at the micro-enterprise level. The teaching note – available to Registered Educators – expands on this.
In Part Two of the case, Nestle’s El Dulce Negocio and TAT (Tienda a Tienda, which means Store to Store in Spanish) distribution initiatives are outlined as the solutions they pursued, with results for each. The case then explores the need to scale the initiative in a cost-efficient manner if the efforts are to have a measurable positive impact on the lives of BoP consumers and the long-term financial performance of Nestle Venezuela.
This case is a fantastic example of what is possible when grat organizations collaborate with professors and students to deliver Business Knowledge for Emerging Economies.
Click here to view and purchase the case study.
Professor Ted London on Teaching Base of the Pyramid
Ted London is a Senior Research Fellow at the William Davidson Institute (WDI) and a faculty member at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. At WDI, he directs the Base of the Pyramid (BoP) Initiative, a program that champions innovative ways of thinking about more inclusive forms of capitalism. At Ross, he teaches an MBA elective entitled, “Business Strategies for the Base of the Pyramid.” The course integrates concepts of strategy, international business, non-profit management, and poverty alleviation to stimulate the leadership skills and competitive imagination needed to create BoP ventures.
To enhance student learning in the classroom, Professor London has developed a series of unique case studies. We recently interviewed Professor London to talk about these materials as well as his experiences teaching the subject. Watch the interview below.
iPhone or iPad users, view the video here:
New Note on IDEO’s Design Thinking For Social Impact
Lecturer Moses Lee from the University of Michigan and Jocelyn Wyatt from IDEO have teamed up to write a new conceptual note on IDEO’s Design Thinking methodology for social impact. (Watch and listen to Jocelyn Wyatt talk about IDEO’s use of design thinking for social impact by clicking on the above video)
Today, most innovative and high-impact social ventures operating at the base of the economic pyramid (BoP) are applying the principles of design thinking to better develop and deliver their solutions. The concept of design thinking involves immersing oneself into communities to better understand the habits and lifestyles of the people and iterating on ideas and solutions to get them right. This approach to problem solving is helping many social ventures excel and deliver long-lasting impact. This note will help unpack the design thinking process so that you will be able to apply it to your social venture and make the real impact you are looking for.
To read the note, click here.
Professor Ravi Anupindi’s Interview on Boeing
We recently interviewed Professor Ravi Anupindi on his new case on Boeing:
Watch the Interview and Read the Transcript
Case Background – Boeing: The Fight for Fasteners
Boeing originally was scheduled to deliver the Dreamliner to airline customers in mid-2008. However, after five announced delays over two years, the company was forced to postpone the first test flight. One driver for the delay was an industry-wide shortage of aerospace fasteners, the hardware that held the aircraft together. Engineers at Boeing never could have imagined that fasteners, which comprise approximately 3% of the total cost of an aircraft, would become such an issue.
To address the fastener issue, Boeing’s management knew that it could not just use a band-aid solution; rather, it had to drive sweeping changes to the way the industry and supply chain functioned. Boeing’s solution: the fastener procurement model (FPM). This case introduces students to the challenges of operating a global supply chain and how a small part can derail a multi-billion dollar project. The case provides deep discussion on the topics of value-sharing, supply chain visibility, program implementation, and globalization.
To Read Boeing: The Fight for Fasteners, Click Here
1298 Featured in New Acumen Fund Case Study
Professor Gautam Kaul has written a new case study entitled, Acumen Fund: Valuing a Social Venture (A), featuring the social venture, 1298.
Acumen Fund is a social venture capital fund that primarily supports ventures that deliver goods and services to the poor. This support involves using a variety of financial vehicles, such as debt and equity, to develop sustainable and scalable social ventures. In this case, Acumen Fund is performing a due diligence on 1298. The case involves assessing 1298’s business model, calculating firm value, and drafting an initial term sheet.
To view the case, click here.
CK Prahalad Releases Two New BoP Case Studies
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According to Thinkers 50, a biennial ranking of business gurus, C.K. Prahalad is the most influential management thinker in the world. This is the second straight time that Prahalad has topped the list.
Now C.K. Prahalad has released two new BoP case studies: Jaipur Rugs and Bharti Airtel.
Jaipur Rugs: Beginning with the purchase of two rug looms in 1978, Jaipur Rugs CEO, N.K . Chaudhary h as built the largest hand knotted rug export company in India, employing 40,000 people across seven states in north India. The Jaipur Rugs business model has successfully connected rural poor with markets of the rich, through the development of a global supply chain, built around mobilizing human capability and skills at the grassroots level and finding steady jobs for rural men and women in the most depressed parts of India.
Bharti Airtel: This case study on India’s wireless giant shows how the firm exemplifies many of the tenets set forth in Prahalad’s book, The New Age of Innovation. Case A presents the history of India’s wireless telecommunications industry and the unique challenges faced by operators in that environment. It also gives the background on Airtel, introduces its leaders, and describes some of the biggest challenges facing the company. Case B presents varied strategies that Airtel has pursued to become one of the most profitable wireless telecommunications companies in the world, despite the fact that it operates in one of the poorest countries on Earth.
To read and purchase the cases,click on the following direct links:
Bharti Airtel (A)
Bharti Airtel (B)
Not e: Prahalad has a number of other case studies on the way. Stay tuned!
Looking at Sustainability Through the Lens of Finance
Gautam Kaul, the John C. and Sally S. Morley Professor of Finance at the Ross School of Business, and Moses Lee, Research Associate at the William Davidson Institute, have created an online resource for faculty on Professor Kaul’s course entitled, “Finance and the Sustainable Enterprise.” The course is unique in that it looks at the issue of environmental and social sustainability through an economics and finance perspective. The course has already been taught five times at Michigan and has received rave reviews.
The online resource, the Sustainable Finance Feature Page, will include access to teaching cases and notes, the course syllabus, commentary on class sessions, a community forum, and video (forthcoming). Lee will work with Professor Kaul to keep a blog on the course and develop new knowledge pieces to fur ther advance the field.
Professor Kaul has been at the Ross School of Business since 1984 and received his Ph.D in economics from the University of Chicago. He recently won the MBA Teaching Excellence Award at the Ross School of Business.
Note: To access the Sustainable Finance Feature Page, you must be a GlobaLens Registered Educator. As a Registered Educator, you will be able to access full length copies of teaching materials for review and receive discounted pricing. Your status as an educator must be verified by GlobaLens. This usually takes one business day. To apply, click here.
Base of the Pyram id Critic Aneel Karnani’s New Case Study
Aneel Karnani, a prominent critic of the base of the pyramid concept, has published a new case study on vision correction in the developing world.
This case is about a major unmet social need: uncorrected vision. Even though technologically this is a simple problem to solve – eyeglasses – it is not being solved. Over 500 million people with refractive error continue to do without vision correction and lead less productive lives than they could if they had eyeglasses. The case examines two organizations – Essilor and VisionSpring – that are trying to sell eyeglasses to the poor.
The case question centers on whether the two organizational approaches are working and challenges students to consider creative solu tions that might work better.
If you are a registered educator, you can read the case and teaching note here. Then join the discussion on the case in this community forum (you must login as a registered educator to participate).