Case Studies

WaterHealth India: Crafting Sustainable Strategies for Potable Water

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Estimates indicate that roughly 25% of Earth’s population lacks access to safe drinking water,  and nearly two million children die every year from waterborne diseases. WaterHealth India (WHIN) is attempting to tackle this complex challenge via a unique business model to provide cost-effective, sustainable and scalable water solutions to under-served communities in Indian rural arena. Contemplating on expansion plans and its recent debt financing, Mr. Shah, WHIN’s COO, is challenged to evaluate its business model sustainability in light of the dynamics of the rural market, scalability to urban areas and other regions, competitive environment, and entrepreneurial opportunities arising from alternative public-private partnership alternatives.

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Nuru International: Empowering Farmers to Fight Extreme Poverty

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This case explores Nuru International, a non-profit enterprise established in 2008 with the mission to ‘end extreme poverty throughout the world’. Jake Harriman, the founder and CEO of NURU, together with his team are on the onset of diversifying crop offerings among Kenyan farmers in an attempt to alleviate challenges stemming from severe climatic changes and low-crop quality. As 2014 is the first year for Kenyan farmers to grow alternative crops, the Nuru team faces the challenging task of convincing farmers to embrace diversification. Additionally, as part of its proof of concept philosophy, Nuru is establishing operations in Ethiopia. There, Nuru has to identify best marketable crops and promote these among Ethiopian farmers while empowering and engaging local leaders in the process. Finally, the team is looking for financing opportunities for Nuru’s entrepreneurial mission. Their funding opportunities come from the private markets, the philanthropic market, and the impact investing space. They are carefully analyzing these options and looking for alternatives in capital markets. Pondering on Nuru’s rewarding experience with KIVA, a web-based lending platform, the team wonders if crowdfunding may be a viable option to finance Nuru’s operations in Ethiopia. They are interested in equity crowdfunding but are not sure what might be the associated opportunities and risks. They, therefore, need to assess the merits of the practice and decide on how compelling it is for Nuru’s expansion plans to Ethiopia.

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TCL Communication Technology and Alcatel: The Challenges in Post-Acquisition Integration

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TCL Communication Technology Holdings Ltd. (referred to TCL Communication hereafter), a subsidiary of TCL Corporation, is a China-based, global-oriented mobile handsets provider. TCL Communication established a joint venture with Alcatel Mobile Phone in 2004 and converted it into a wholly owned subsidiary in the subsequent year. After 18-month losses since the establishment of the joint venture, TCL Communication finally became profitable in 2006. This case examines the key issues facing TCL Communication after the joint venture with and acquisition of Alcatel Mobile Phone as well as the critical factors that led to the turnaround of TCL Communication. We interviewed three senior managers at TCL Communication in April 2011 and presented in the case our dialogue with them. We found the key issues that determine the success of the joint venture/acquisition are related to how the two companies managed their national and corporate cultural differences, how they built trusting relationships, and how they integrated valuable knowledge from both sides. Although it took time for TCL Communication to realize that product quality is the key to success, its dedication to improving product quality after the realization had eventually earned it respect by Alcatel employees and international telecommunications operators, which ultimately led to the performance turnaround of TCL Communication.

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Beijing Auto’s Acquisition of Saab Automobile’s Technologies

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In 2009, Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co Ltd (BAIC), a state-owned holding company, acquired intellectual property rights and production equipment from Saab Automobile, a Swedish carmaker owned by General Motors (GM) that had fallen to hard times. To understand the motive and process of the acquisition, we interviewed two senior managers in BAIC in March 2011. We found that although BAIC was offered ownership of Saab’s entire operations, BAIC decided to purchase only the technology that they needed in order to achieve their goal of creating their own brands. BAIC learned from the mistakes made by previous Chinese acquisitions and pushed for technology acquisitions rather than operations acquisitions with Saab. The success of the acquisition, for the most part, was credited to several members of the purchasing team who had prior experience working internationally for Western automobile companies. They played a key role in identifying the technologies required for BAIC to reach its goal of developing its proprietary car.

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