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The Shy Investor: Cryptocurrencies
Reference No. HS2
Faculty Case Authors Kai-lung Hui, Tomas Casas i Klett
Case Writer David Ian Thomas
Publication Year 2018
Complimentary materials Teaching note
Company Disguised
Industry cryptocurrencies
Discipline Finance, Information System, Investment
Functional area(s)  Information system, Innovation, Risk, Regulation

Abstract

This is a fictional case written from the point of view of an investor carrying out investment risk analysis. The protagonist is a reasonably wealthy woman in Russia who wishes to diversify her investment portfolio. The case uses a fictitious cryptocurrency called URLBoyzCoyn issued by or on behalf of an equally unreal thrash heavy metal band called the URLBoyz. The case contrasts the high returns that was made by early speculators in cryptocurrencies, which were generally with risks shouldered by the later entrants to the market. Its overall theme is the assessment of risks and factors before investing in cryptocurrencies.

Learning objectives

The case has six learning objectives:

1. Understand cryptocurrencies and blockchain, and their impacts on various social and business activities.

2. Discuss marketing investments and strategy needed to build a sustainable ecosystem that can support a blockchain vision; and the marketing plan in the URLBoyzCoyn model, whether it is built on reality or on perceptions, and whether it is capable of success.

3. Illustrate the challenges of a start-up along with the dilemmas faced by the founders, who may be placing highly uncertain bets on a new technology.

4. Provide insights into the agile emerging market dynamics as well as the often unrestrained and yet creative approaches to doing business there.

5. Discuss the value proposition of blockchain initiatives and assess whether the issuance of a new cryptocurrency creates tangible values that can be capitalized by the founder. Is a new cryptocurrency more for the benefit of founders and early dealers than for later investors who may be looking for more long-term involvement?

6.Research present methods being used by global regulators to reduce risk to individual investors as well as to fiat currencies and to economies themselves.

Accelerating Russia: The Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF)
Reference No. HS1
Faculty Case Authors Jiatao (JT) Li, Tomas Casas i Klett
Case Writer Ekaterina Gerasimova
Publication Year 2018
Complimentary materials Teaching note
Company The Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF)
Industry Fund
Discipline Finance, Information Technology, Entrepreneurship
Functional area(s) Startup, Venture Capital, Acceleration, Business Strategies

Abstract

Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF) is a venture capital (VC) fund plus start-up accelerator launched in 2013 by Russia’s Agency for Strategic Initiatives at the behest of the country’s President. Kirill Varlamov is the Executive Director of IIDF. The case covers the launch of IIDF, its acceleration model and key strategic challenges.

Learning objectives

After analyzing the case, students will be able to:

1. Describe the methods and operations of a structured accelerator system, the start-up accelerator business model that enables start-ups to move to the next stage of their journey.

2. Analyze the traits and challenges of emerging country entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship, including the agile and often unstructured emerging market dynamics that see unrestrained and yet creative approaches to doing business.

3. Understand the role of the state to enable an ecosystem and promote innovation in state capitalist economies.

4. The importance of internationalization or of being a born-global entrepreneur, especially for start-ups outside the US and China.

5. Comprehend the leadership needed to become an entrepreneur of entrepreneurs and start-up an accelerator of start-ups.

6. Assess the performance of the accelerator and at a higher level whether Russia is “being accelerated,” and how the country’s start-up potential is starting to materialize though IIDF.

SOGO: Leveraging Digital Technologies to Enhance Customer Engagement and Drive Growth
Reference No. UST071/1810
Academic Supervisor Emily Nason
Case Writer Joseph Fernandez
Publication Year 2018
Complimentary materials Teaching note
Company SOGO Department Store, Lifestyle International Holdings Ltd.
Industry Retails
Discipline Management, Marketing
Functional area(s) Business Strategies, Information Technology, Customer Insights

Abstract

The focus of this case is digital technologies in the retail sector in Hong Kong. More specifically, it documents the challenges confronted by the largest department store operation in Hong Kong, the SOGO department stores. A traditional brick-and-mortar retailer with negligible e-commerce operations, SOGO has recognized the impact of technology in the retail sector. Just as its customers are influenced by technology in their daily lives, SOGO has been perpetually challenged in seeking the optimal ways to integrate technology into its daily operations, such as point-of-sale (POS) and customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

Learning objectives

After analyzing the case, students will be able to:

1. Understand how the traditional retail environment is changing with digitalization (new retail, omnichannel sales, offline to online, online to offline);

2. Analyze the opportunities and challenges presented by digital technologies to a traditional department store;

3. Propose effective online strategy that would complement a predominantly offline business model;

4. Understand the opportunities and challenges for retailers in collecting, managing, and analyzing customer data; and

5. Analyze how a department store can effectively use digital marketing to drive growth, enhance customer shopping experience and lifetime customer value.

SOGO Department Store, Hong Kong: Integrating Environmental Sustainability into a Retail Store’s Operations
Reference No. UST070/1810
Academic Supervisor Mary Ho
Case Writer Joseph Fernandez
Publication Year 2018
Complimentary materials Teaching note
Company SOGO Department Store, Lifestyle International Holdings Ltd.
Industry Retails
Discipline Management, Marketing
Functional area(s) Sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibilities, Business Strategies

Abstract

The SOGO department stores in Hong Kong are part of Lifestyle International Holdings Limited (LI Group), a large-cap, publicly-listed company on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (HKEX). It is a typical example of a company that has more recently had to confront its own sustainability reporting practices due to updated requirements by the local stock exchange. In addition, as a participant in local activities, such as Earth Day, it has also had to examine its own operations and re-assess how to best engage with its key stakeholders and make sustainability part of its corporate culture.

Learning objectives

After analyzing the case, students will be able to:

1. Extend stakeholder theory to explain the shift and development of managing corporate sustainability;

2. Implement ESG practices in retail industry;

3. Analyze and learn how to incorporate ESG issues into decision-making and ownership practices; and

4. Understand the development of ESG reporting in Hong Kong and the impact on companies.

Linjer: An Iconic Crowdfunded Brand
Reference No. UST066/1810
Academic Supervisor Veronique Lafon-Vinais
Case Writer Gianne Wong
Publication Year 2018
Complimentary materials Teaching note
Company Linjer
Industry Retails
Discipline Finance, Entrepreneurship
Functional area(s) Crowdfunding, Startup, Finance Options, Business Strategy, Digital Marketing, Corporate Finance, Debts and Equity

Abstract

The case describes how Roman Khan and Jennifer Chen founded Linjer, a start-up with limited budget, and successfully turned it into a positive cashflow company via crowdfunding.

Linjer is a boutique design house in Hong Kong that offers minimally-designed leather bags and watches and sells globally online. Simply passionate about style and quality, the two founders started their venture in Hong Kong in 2014 with a budget of US$20,000. Like most start-ups, Linjer faced limitations on access to funding from financial institutions. As a result, the founders spent half of the budget in their first crowdfunding campaign, creating video and photography setting Linjer as a classy high-end brand, and more importantly, a brand that could only be procured initially through crowdfunding online. The rest of the money went to production of product prototypes of their first product, the Soft Briefcase.

The case scenario is set in September 2018. At this stage, Linjer’s management is deciding on the next stage of the company: (1) to continue the business as is; (2) to take up investments from venture capital investors; and/or (3) other alternatives including but not limited to selling the company.

Learning objectives

The case aims to deepen students’ understanding of corporate finance, start-up financing options, crowdfunding as an alternate finance, determining a company’s optimal structure of debt and equity, business strategy and digital marketing.

VetNX: An E-Business Model of Veterinary Services in China
Reference No. UST065/1808
Academic Supervisor Ronald Lau
Case Writer Kenny Yiu
Publication Year 2018
Complimentary materials Teaching note
Company VetNX
Industry e-commerce
Discipline Finance, Information Technology, Entrepreneurship
Functional area(s) FinTech, Startup, Operations Management

Abstract

VetNX is an e-commerce platform that connects veterinary physicians to pet owners in various parts of the world. The company is founded by a young entrepreneur who comes from a family involved in a pet food and health-care products business.

Learning objectives

The primary objective of this case is to demonstrate the design and implementation process of an e-commerce startup business. The second objective is to introduce the process of establishing an e-commerce business in China and the challenges involved.

759 Store: Returning to Its Competitive Roots?"
Reference No. UST064/1807
Faculty Case Author Ronald Lau
Publication Year 2018
Complimentary materials Teaching note
Company 759 Store
Industry Retails
Discipline Finance, Management, technology
Functional area(s) Management, Strategy

Abstract

This case traces the journey of 759 Store from its inception in 2010 and fast expansion in the following years, until it experienced some difficulties in 2015. As retail business conditions in Hong Kong continued to deteriorate, management needed to rethink its business strategy to turn the business around.

Learning objectives

The primary learning objectives for this case are as follows:

  • Understand competition within the Hong Kong grocery industry using Porter’s five force model;
  • Discuss how 759 Store could differentiate itself and its products;
  • Understand the organizational challenges a startup
  • Outline how and why the product offering differed at 759 Store over the past few years;
  • Identify the opportunities and challenges of operating an online business in Hong Kong; and
  • Apply break-even analysis to advise how an online business could set minimum order values
The Neat Account: Fintech Innovation in Hong Kong
Reference No. UST061/1804; HBP Product ID: ST61
Academic Supervisor Veronique Lafon-Vinais
Case Writer Ellen Orr
Publication Year 2018
Complimentary materials Teaching note
Company NEAT
Industry Financial technology
Discipline Finance, Management, technology
Functional area(s) Management, Strategy

Abstract

Neat is a financial technology (fintech) startup in Hong Kong that offers a basic alternative to those who had previously found it difficult to open bank accounts and access credit in Hong Kong. Having successfully launched a personal account in 2015, the company is facing the classic question of how to expand in a fast-growing and constantly evolving new industry, challenging established incumbents that have strong brands and image recognition.

In the Fall of 2017, Neat evolved from its introduction of personal accounts to the launch of business accounts. Neat management was deciding how to take the business forward and, most importantly, how to develop profits. The students are asked to take the viewpoint of David Rosa and the Neat management and decide how to move forward in this environment.

Learning objectives

This case enables students to:

  • Develop awareness of issues that service businesses face when deciding on a growth strategy;
  • Explore how to operate in a highly regulated industry facing technological disruption;
  • Understand the organizational challenges a startup faces when circumstances compel a shift in the strategy/business model;
  • Identify the problems and trade-offs involved in developing a profitable and sustainable business model; and
  • Deal with unforeseen challenges?
Bloom & Grow (A): ERP Strategy
Reference No. UST058/A/1807
Academic Supervisor Ronald Lau
Case Writer Kenny Yiu
Publication Year 2018
Complimentary materials Teaching note (A)
Company Bloom & Grow
Industry Product Distributor
Discipline Management, IT system
Functional area(s) Management, Strategy

Abstract

Bloom & Grow is a regional distributor of maternity, baby, and children’s products. The company was founded in 2004 by a mother who was having problem finding reliable, high-quality products for herself and her first baby. The company grew from a one-person venture into a pan-Asian enterprise with five warehouses.

Learning objectives

The primary objective of this case is to demonstrate the thinking process of a small-to-medium sized business for whether it needed to implement an enterprise resource planning (ERP) strategy.

The second objective is to introduce a suggested approach to for implementing such a strategy once the business had identified the need for an ERP has been identified.

Case (A) emphasizes the planning process and strategy of ERP implementation.

Bloom & Grow (B): Back to the Drawing Board
Reference No. UST058/B/1807
Academic Supervisor Ronald Lau
Case Writer Kenny Yiu
Publication Year 2018
Complimentary materials Teaching note (B)
Company Bloom & Grow
Industry Product Distributor
Discipline Management, IT system
Functional area(s) Management, Strategy

Abstract

Bloom & Grow is a regional distributor of maternity, baby, and children’s products. The company was founded in 2004 by a mother who was having problem finding reliable, high-quality products for herself and her first baby. The company grew from a one-person venture into a pan-Asian enterprise with five warehouses.

Learning objectives

The primary objective of this case is to demonstrate the thinking process of a small-to-medium sized business for whether it needed to implement an ERP strategy.

The second objective is to introduce a suggested approach to for implementing such a strategy once the business had identified the need for an ERP has been identified.

Case (B) is about the ERP software selection and methodology.

Citigold: Growing the Gold Conversation
Reference No. UST060/1708
Academic Supervisor Kristiaan Helsen
Case Writer Karishma Grover
Publication Year 2018
Complimentary materials Teaching note
Company Citibank
Industry Banking, Finance
Discipline Operations Management
Functional area(s) Operation Management

Abstract

This case is focused on the rejuvenation of Citibank’s cornerstone product, Citigold. Citibank strived to beat competition and be the market leader in priority banking products offered to high net worth individuals (HNWIs). For HNWIs, Citibank followed a segment-led strategy that was based on the customer’s banking balance with the bank around which Citi Priority, Citigold and Citigold Private Client products were formulated. Out of the three, Citigold focused on the emerging-affluent segments and offered them exclusive services that were based on the three tenets of the product: sophisticated financial planning products, dedicated relationship managers and unparalleled privilege that allowed a Citigold customer to enjoy elevated banking status with Citibank.

As Citigold was one of the first products of its kind in the market, it contributed to the premium image of Citibank over other banks in Hong Kong. However, over the years competition had caught up and was offered products very similar to Citigold, eroding their once unique value proposition.

Combined with commoditization of their product, changing consumer preferences in Hong Kong threatened the market share of Citibank in Hong Kong. Citigold customers, which made up 30% of the entire Citibank customer base, contributed to 80% of the bank’s revenue and the bank now looked to protect its position in the market and looking for a strategy that would speak to the current environment in priority banking products.

Learning objectives

After analyzing the case, students will be able o:

  • Understand the business model of a premier banking product position in HNWI market segment in a market like Hong Kong, featuring intense competition and possessing the highest concentration of banking institutions in the world.
  • Describe a segment-led strategy in banking and effective product features that are tailored to the various segments of market.
  • Understand how banks need to defend their position in the market and change product positioning when faced with changing customer preferences and a dynamic competitive landscape.
Citibank: Innovating the Customer's Journey with Fintech
Reference No. UST059/1708
Academic Supervisor Chu Zhang
Case Writer Karishma Grover
Publication Year 2018
Complimentary materials Teaching note
Company Citibank
Industry Banking, Finance, Technology
Discipline Operations Management
Functional area(s) Operation Management

Abstract

This case is based on Citibank Hong Kong and written from the point of view of the consumer banking business of the bank. The case aims to capture the impact of emerging technologies in the space of fintech and its impact on consumer banking behavior.

The case explains fintech and its evolution, especially in China and Hong Kong and dives deeper into the three areas where Citibank product delivery could be or was already enhanced using technology: basic transactional services, value-added services and, lastly, being able to provide a fintech ecosystem that would allow greater engagement with customers.

Citibank had already made strides in the fintech space with the launching of Citi Fintech in New York City in 2015 and incorporating application programming interfaces (APIs) that fostered a build-buy-partner approach towards fintech companies. Locally, the bank strived to engage with existing fintech startups through, Citi Fintech Challenge in 2017, a competition that attracted external developers to use the APIs and improve Citibank customer experience. This effort was in line with the bank’s goal of becoming agile in recognizing disruptive technology and increasing the speed-to-market of technological solutions. Through these efforts, it was equally important for the bank to assess the right fintech partners and ensure their key performance indicators were being met.

Learning objectives

After analyzing the case, students will be able o:

  • Understand consumer preferences and fintech landscapes in the banking sector with a specific emphasis on Hong Kong and China
  • The possible impact of fintech on the consumer’s banking journey and the challenges in implementing the correct technologies according to the market’s needs
  • Understand the changing landscape of banking technology and how it functions in the age of fintech
Krugerrand Bank Negotiation
Reference No. 0317-080
Academic Supervisor Stephen Nason
Case Writer Karishma Grover, Yulia Adamskaya
Publication Year 2017
Complimentary materials Instructor Excel score sheet, participant brief PowerPoint
Company Krugerrand Bank (disguised)
Industry Financial
Discipline Management
Functional area(s) Negotiation

Abstract

Krugerrand Bank, is the fourth largest investment bank by market capitalization in South Africa with a strong presence in Asia-Pacific. It is headquartered in Johannesburg, and has Asian offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Mumbai, Seoul and Beijing. Krugerrand bank’s biggest revenue generator is its forex trade business. The two main FX divisions of the bank are: Global Trade and Global Sales, each composed of three individual departments. The CEO has made a USD11m technology upgrade budget available. The heads of the six departments have to agree on how to distribute the funds. As intense discussions on the distribution of funds begin, the conversations tend to be fueled by the individual personalities and cultural backgrounds of the department heads, as well as the revenue dependency departments Global Trade departments have on their counterparts in Global Sales and vice versa.

You play the role of Inge Anderson. Your department, SME Client Sales, is responsible for forex sales to small and medium businesses. Inge joined Krugerrand 20 years ago and was looking forward to retiring in the serene Beaufort West, in the Karoo region of South Africa, one to two years from now.

Learning objectives

Before the class session, students could be asked to prepare written responses to the questions under one or more of these learning objectives.

  • Develop awareness of issues that service businesses face when deciding on a growth strategy.
  • Explore how to operate in a highly regulated industry facing technological disruption.
  • Understand the organizational challenges a startup faces when circumstances compel a shift in the strategy/business model.
  • Identify the problems and trade-offs involved in developing a profitable and sustainable business model
  • How does management deal with unforeseen challenges?
Krugerrand Bank Negotiation: Role of Acha Leke, Corporate Sales
Reference No. 0317-079
Academic Supervisor Stephen Nason
Case Writer Karishma Grover, Yulia Adamskaya
Publication Year 2017
Complimentary materials Instructor Excel score sheet, participant brief PowerPoint
Company Krugerrand Bank (disguised)
Industry Financial
Discipline Management
Functional area(s) Negotiation

Abstract

Krugerrand Bank, is the fourth largest investment bank by market capitalization in South Africa with a strong presence in Asia-Pacific. It is headquartered in Johannesburg, and has Asian offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Mumbai, Seoul and Beijing. Krugerrand bank’s biggest revenue generator is its forex trade business. The two main FX divisions of the bank are: Global Trade and Global Sales, each composed of three individual departments. The CEO has made a USD11m technology upgrade budget available. The heads of the six departments have to agree on how to distribute the funds. As intense discussions on the distribution of funds begin, the conversations tend to be fueled by the individual personalities and cultural backgrounds of the department heads, as well as the revenue dependency departments Global Trade departments have on their counterparts in Global Sales and vice versa.

You play the role of Acha Leke. Your team is responsible for forex sales to multi-national corporations. These included many of the commodity firms active across sub-Saharan Africa that were on a growth trajectory. The sheer increase in the volume of corporate clients and their increased appetite for FX trades meant that Corporate Sales was poised to overtake Institutional Sales. Acha joined Krugerrand two years ago and was the youngest head of department in the management team.

Learning objectives

By using this roleplay, students will learn to:

  • Develop an understanding of the techniques used to effectively structure, negotiate and close deals within a financial institution
  • Develop an understanding of the Chinese and South African cultural context in which the roleplay is set.
  • Design and implement strategies to structure, negotiate and close cross cultural deals involving participants from different backgrounds.
  • Design and implement strategies to structure, negotiate and close deals in a multi-party negotiation.
Krugerrand Bank Negotiation: Role of Carice van Heijst, Institutional Sales
Reference No. 0317-078
Academic Supervisor Stephen Nason
Case Writer Karishma Grover, Yulia Adamskaya
Publication Year 2017
Complimentary materials Instructor Excel score sheet, participant brief PowerPoint
Company Krugerrand Bank (disguised)
Industry Financial
Discipline Management
Functional area(s) Negotiation

Abstract

Krugerrand Bank, is the fourth largest investment bank by market capitalization in South Africa with a strong presence in Asia-Pacific. It is headquartered in Johannesburg, and has Asian offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Mumbai, Seoul and Beijing. Krugerrand bank’s biggest revenue generator is its forex trade business. The two main FX divisions of the bank are: Global Trade and Global Sales, each composed of three individual departments. The CEO has made a USD11m technology upgrade budget available. The heads of the six departments have to agree on how to distribute the funds. As intense discussions on the distribution of funds begin, the conversations tend to be fueled by the individual personalities and cultural backgrounds of the department heads, as well as the revenue dependency departments Global Trade departments have on their counterparts in Global Sales and vice versa.

You play the role of Carice van Heijst. Your team is responsible for forex sales to governments, major hedge funds, mutual funds, banks, and other financial institutions. Carice joined the organization at the same time as the CEO and has taken over his role as Head of Institutional Sales when he was promoted to the CEO position. Institutional Sales was once the key revenue driver in Global Sales but now faced an impending slowdown.

Learning objectives

By using this roleplay, students will learn to:

  • Develop an understanding of the techniques used to effectively structure, negotiate and close deals within a financial institution
  • Develop an understanding of the Chinese and South African cultural context in which the roleplay is set.
  • Design and implement strategies to structure, negotiate and close cross cultural deals involving participants from different backgrounds.
  • Design and implement strategies to structure, negotiate and close deals in a multi-party negotiation.
Krugerrand Bank Negotiation: Role of Karen Chan, FX Options
Reference No. 0317-077
Academic Supervisor Stephen Nason
Case Writer Karishma Grover, Yulia Adamskaya
Publication Year 2017
Complimentary materials Instructor Excel score sheet, participant brief PowerPoint
Company Krugerrand Bank (disguised)
Industry Financial
Discipline Management
Functional area(s) Negotiation

Abstract

Krugerrand Bank, is the fourth largest investment bank by market capitalization in South Africa with a strong presence in Asia-Pacific. It is headquartered in Johannesburg, and has Asian offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Mumbai, Seoul and Beijing. Krugerrand bank’s biggest revenue generator is its forex trade business. The two main FX divisions of the bank are: Global Trade and Global Sales, each composed of three individual departments. The CEO has made a USD11m technology upgrade budget available. The heads of the six departments have to agree on how to distribute the funds. As intense discussions on the distribution of funds begin, the conversations tend to be fueled by the individual personalities and cultural backgrounds of the department heads, as well as the revenue dependency departments Global Trade departments have on their counterparts in Global Sales and vice versa.

You play the role of Karen Chen. Your team is responsible for FX options. These are mostly over-the-counter (OTC) trades with Krugerrand’s clients. The FX options market is booming, and the department expects to achieve significant revenue growth. Karen was the newest addition to the Krugerrand’s management.

Learning objectives

By using this roleplay, students will learn to:

  • Develop an understanding of the techniques used to effectively structure, negotiate and close deals within a financial institution
  • Develop an understanding of the Chinese and South African cultural context in which the roleplay is set.
  • Design and implement strategies to structure, negotiate and close cross cultural deals involving participants from different backgrounds.
  • Design and implement strategies to structure, negotiate and close deals in a multi-party negotiation.
Krugerrand Bank Negotiation: Role of Venisa Chow, Emerging Currencies
Reference No. 0317-076
Academic Supervisor Stephen Nason
Case Writer Karishma Grover, Yulia Adamskaya
Publication Year 2017
Complimentary materials Instructor Excel score sheet, participant brief PowerPoint
Company Krugerrand Bank (disguised)
Industry Financial
Discipline Management
Functional area(s) Negotiation

Abstract

Krugerrand Bank, is the fourth largest investment bank by market capitalization in South Africa with a strong presence in Asia-Pacific. It is headquartered in Johannesburg, and has Asian offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Mumbai, Seoul and Beijing. Krugerrand bank’s biggest revenue generator is its forex trade business. The two main FX divisions of the bank are: Global Trade and Global Sales, each composed of three individual departments. The CEO has made a USD11m technology upgrade budget available. The heads of the six departments have to agree on how to distribute the funds. As intense discussions on the distribution of funds begin, the conversations tend to be fueled by the individual personalities and cultural backgrounds of the department heads, as well as the revenue dependency departments Global Trade departments have on their counterparts in Global Sales and vice versa.

You play the role of Venisa Chow. Your team is responsible for the local Asian and African currency trade such as the South African rand, Ghanaian cedi, Indian rupee, Singapore dollar, Hong Kong dollar, and the Chinese yuan. Venisa joined Krugerrand five years ago. Since then, the department has significantly increased volume processed, specifically in the Chinese yuan. This has significantly boosted the department’s revenues and standing within the firm

Learning objectives

By using this roleplay, students will learn to:

  • Develop an understanding of the techniques used to effectively structure, negotiate and close deals within a financial institution
  • Develop an understanding of the Chinese and South African cultural context in which the roleplay is set.
  • Design and implement strategies to structure, negotiate and close cross cultural deals involving participants from different backgrounds.
  • Design and implement strategies to structure, negotiate and close deals in a multi-party negotiation.
Krugerrand Bank Negotiation: Role of Farai Muchira, G10 Currencies
Reference No. 0317-075
Academic Supervisor Stephen Nason
Case Writer Karishma Grover, Yulia Adamskaya
Publication Year 2017
Complimentary materials Instructor Excel score sheet, participant brief PowerPoint
Company Krugerrand Bank (disguised)
Industry Financial
Discipline Management
Functional area(s) Negotiation

Abstract

Krugerrand Bank, is the fourth largest investment bank by market capitalization in South Africa with a strong presence in Asia-Pacific. It is headquartered in Johannesburg, and has Asian offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Mumbai, Seoul and Beijing. Krugerrand bank’s biggest revenue generator is its forex trade business. The two main FX divisions of the bank are: Global Trade and Global Sales, each composed of three individual departments. The CEO has made a USD11m technology upgrade budget available. The heads of the six departments have to agree on how to distribute the funds. As intense discussions on the distribution of funds begin, the conversations tend to be fueled by the individual personalities and cultural backgrounds of the department heads, as well as the revenue dependency departments Global Trade departments have on their counterparts in Global Sales and vice versa.

You play the role of Farai Muchira. Your team is responsible for the trade of the world’s largest traded and most liquid currencies: US dollar, Euro, Japanese yen, pound sterling, the Swedish krona, the Norwegian krone, the Australian dollar, the New Zealand dollar, the Swiss franc and the Canadian dollar. Farai had successfully led this division for 10 glorious years, in which G10 had moved from strength to strength. But recent shifts in markets were eroding some of G10 currency strength, especially with the volume surge in Chinese Yuan trade.

Learning objectives

By using this roleplay, students will learn to:

  • Develop an understanding of the techniques used to effectively structure, negotiate and close deals within a financial institution
  • Develop an understanding of the Chinese and South African cultural context in which the roleplay is set.
  • Design and implement strategies to structure, negotiate and close cross cultural deals involving participants from different backgrounds.
  • Design and implement strategies to structure, negotiate and close deals in a multi-party negotiation.
Krugerrand Bank Negotiation
Reference No. 0317-074
Academic Supervisor Stephen Nason
Case Writer Karishma Grover, Yulia Adamskaya
Publication Year 2017
Complimentary materials Instructor Excel score sheet, participant brief PowerPoint
Company Krugerrand Bank (disguised)
Industry Financial
Discipline Management
Functional area(s) Negotiation

Abstract

Krugerrand Bank, is the fourth largest investment bank by market capitalization in South Africa with a strong presence in Asia-Pacific. It is headquartered in Johannesburg, and has Asian offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Mumbai, Seoul and Beijing. Krugerrand bank’s biggest revenue generator is its forex trade business. The two main FX divisions of the bank are: Global Trade and Global Sales, each composed of three individual departments. The CEO has made a USD11m technology upgrade budget available. The heads of the six departments have to agree on how to distribute the funds. As intense discussions on the distribution of funds begin, the conversations tend to be fueled by the individual personalities and cultural backgrounds of the department heads, as well as the revenue dependency departments Global Trade departments have on their counterparts in Global Sales and vice versa.

Students play the role of one of six department heads in this negotiation roleplay.

Learning objectives

By using this roleplay, students will learn to:

  • Develop an understanding of the techniques used to effectively structure, negotiate and close deals within a financial institution
  • Develop an understanding of the Chinese and South African cultural context in which the roleplay is set.
  • Design and implement strategies to structure, negotiate and close cross cultural deals involving participants from different backgrounds.
  • Design and implement strategies to structure, negotiate and close deals in a multi-party negotiation.
Transformation at Sears Holding Global Sourcing
Reference No. 0217-073
Academic Supervisor Stephen Nason
Case Writer Karishma Grover
Publication Year 2017
Company Sears Holding Global Sourcing
Industry Retail
Discipline Management
Functional area(s) Strategy, Organizational Behavior, Operations Management

Abstract

At the end of 2015, Laurent Madelaine was appointed the Head of Sears Holdings Global Sourcing (SHGS), the Hong Kong based subsidiary that provided merchandising, global sourcing and testing facilities to American retail giant Sears Holding Corporation. Laurent immediately received a clear mandate from SHC to optimize operations to eliminate waste and duplication and create an agile sourcing organization. In February 2016, Laurent hired his former Tesco colleague, Yasushi (Yatchi) Kumasegawa, as a business analysis manager, to find areas and methods of increasing efficiency within SHGS.

Laurent and Yatchi, along with the other members of the leadership team, restructured the organization in a manner that no employee at SHGS felt possible. Announcing rationalization of SHGS as the goal, the leadership team simplified the organizational structure and refocused resources in the right place reducing headcount from 890 in 2016 to 680 by February 2017. At the same time, ambitious KPI targets on purchase savings and reduction in selling, general and administrative spend were met. The leadership team sought to continue their success in 2017 by completing a transformation to a nimble, asset light organization that could anticipate market changes and the needs of SHC.

Fintech at ANZ
Reference No. 0217-072
Academic Supervisor Stephen Nason
Case Writer Karishma Grover
Publication Year 2017
Company ANZ
Industry Financial
Discipline Management
Functional area(s) Strategy, Information Technology, Operations Management, Finance

Abstract

The COO of Global Sales at ANZ Bank Global Markets had witnessed margins in the business decreasing year on year. Now there was a new threat on the horizon, one that according to some could wipe out ANZ Global Markets altogether. The COO wondered how the plethora of fintech startups in the market were expected to impact client interactions, pricing, risk management and trade processed in banking and eventually his career.

CLP Group: Environmental, Social and Governance Factors and the Effects on Valuation Part B
Reference No. 0217-071
Academic Supervisor Entela Benz
Case Writer Ellen Orr
Publication Year 2017
Company CLP Group
Industry Utilities
Discipline Finance
Functional area(s) Finance

Abstract

Part B of this two part case series focuses on the valuation process. It describes ways of incorporating ESG into company valuation, and provides forecasted cash flows and weighted average cost of capital (WACC) for CLP. The case concludes as Susan was preparing to calculate a base case valuation, a valuation adjusted for ESG factors, and a sensitivity analysis.

Learning objectives

Part B is more quantitative than part A. Students will learn the difference between adjustments to WACC versus adjustments in cash flows when integrating ESF into a valuation. They will also learn how to do a base DCF valuation as well as a sensitivity analysis.

CLP Group: Environmental, Social and Governance Factors and the Effects on Valuation Part A
Reference No. 0217-070
Academic Supervisor Entela Benz
Case Writer Ellen Orr
Publication Year 2017
Company CLP Group
Industry Utilities
Discipline Finance
Functional area(s) Finance

Abstract

In December 2015, Susan Chen, an equity analyst, was preparing a valuation of Hong Kong electric utility China Light and Power Holdings (CLP).

In Part A of the case, Susan considers ways to incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into the valuation. In light of the recently signed Paris Agreement on Climate Change, Susan feels that environmental and social issues will become increasingly important in investors’ eyes. She believes that including these factors in a company’s valuation can help to identify undervalued shares, in cases where ESG factors have not been fully priced in by the markets.

Susan decides to identify the ESG key performance initiatives (KPIs) for the electric utility industry, and assess which of those will have the biggest impact on CLP’s valuation. She plans to create a ‘materiality matrix’, plotting the size against the likelihood of each KPI’s impact on the share price.

Learning objectives

The cases work well as a pair, but each case could also be used independently.

Part A emphasizes the qualitative judgments needed when applying ESG considerations to company valuation. By using the case, students will learn how to integrate ESG into a valuation.

Henry Emanuel Mayer vs Korea Development Bank: Role for Min Euoo Sung, CEO Korea Development Bank
Reference No. 0217-069
Academic Supervisor Stephen Nason
Publication Year 2017
Complimentary materials Negotiation score sheets
Company Henry Emanuel Mayer (fictitious)
Industry Finance
Discipline Management
Functional area(s) Negotiation

Abstract

You are Min Euoo Sung, CEO of Korea Development Bank. Your vision is to make KDP a powerful force on the world stage. But this potential deal with HEM is a major gamble.

Learning objectives

By using this roleplay, students will learn to:

  • Develop an understanding of the techniques used to effectively structure, negotiate and close deals
  • Develop an understanding of the Asian and Western cultural context in which the roleplay is set
  • Design and implement strategies to structure, negotiate and close cross cultural deals
Henry Emanuel Mayer vs Korea Development Bank: Role for Herbert McDade, COO of HEM
Reference No. 0217-068
Academic Supervisor Stephen Nason
Publication Year 2017
Complimentary materials Negotiation score sheets
Company Henry Emanuel Mayer (fictitious)
Industry Finance
Discipline Management
Functional area(s) Negotiation

Abstract

You are Bart McDade, COO and President of Henry Emanuel Mayer, the fourth largest firm on Wall Street. You are in the midst of a crisis. Your career and the firm you love are at stake.

Learning objectives

By using this roleplay, students will learn to:

  • Develop an understanding of the techniques used to effectively structure, negotiate and close deals
  • Develop an understanding of the Asian and Western cultural context in which the roleplay is set
  • Design and implement strategies to structure, negotiate and close cross cultural deals
Henry Emanuel Mayer vs Korea Development Bank: Role for Richard Fuld, CEO of HEM
Reference No. 0217-067
Academic Supervisor Stephen Nason
Publication Year 2017
Complimentary materials Negotiation score sheets
Company Henry Emanuel Mayer (fictitious)
Industry Finance
Discipline Management
Functional area(s) Negotiation

Abstract

You are Richard Fuld, CEO of Henry Emanuel Mayer, the fourth largest firm on Wall Street. You are in the midst of a crisis. But you have been in crises before and have always exceeded expectations and come out stronger.

Learning objectives

By using this roleplay, students will learn to:

  • Develop an understanding of the techniques used to effectively structure, negotiate and close deals
  • Develop an understanding of the Asian and Western cultural context in which the roleplay is set
  • Design and implement strategies to structure, negotiate and close cross cultural deals
Baume et Mercier vs Print Perfect: Role of Iris Chan, Baume et Mercier
Reference No. 0217-066
Academic Supervisor Stephen Nason
Case Writer Gerald Stevenson, Mark Wise
Publication Year 2017
Complimentary materials Negotiation score sheets
Company Baume et Mercier
Industry Retail
Discipline Management
Functional area(s) Negotiation

Abstract

As the Director of Marketing &Communications of Baume & Mercier’s Hong Kong office, Iris Chan had negotiated a deal with John Kwok, CEO of Print Perfect, to produce high quality promotional materials for in-store displays. An agreement was reached, hands were shaken, and everything looked promising. Then delays mounted.

Learning objectives

By using this roleplay, students will learn to:

  • Develop an understanding of the techniques used to effectively structure, negotiate and close deals
  • Develop an understanding of the Chinese cultural context in which the roleplay is set
  • Design and implement strategies to structure, negotiate and close deals in Greater China
Baume et Mercier vs Print Perfect: Role of John Kwok, Print Perfect
Reference No. 0217-065
Academic Supervisor Stephen Nason
Case Writer Gerald Stevenson, Mark Wise
Publication Year 2017
Complimentary materials Negotiation score sheets
Company Baume et Mercier
Industry Retail
Discipline Management
Functional area(s) Negotiation

Abstract

A month ago John, the CEO of Print Perfect, had negotiated a deal with Iris Chan, Director of Marketing & Communications of Baume & Mercier’s Hong Kong office, to produce high quality promotional materials for their in-store displays. An agreement was reached, hands were shaken, and everything looked promising. But Baume & Mercier had some unique requirements for a rather small-scale job

Learning objectives

By using this roleplay, students will learn to:

  • Develop an understanding of the techniques used to effectively structure, negotiate and close deals
  • Develop an understanding of the Chinese cultural context in which the roleplay is set
  • Design and implement strategies to structure, negotiate and close deals in Greater China
Strategic Global Capital
Reference No. 0117-064
Academic Supervisor Veronique Lafon-Vinais
Case Writer Yu Chen
Publication Year 2017
Company Strategic Global Capital
Industry Financial
Discipline Finance
Functional area(s) Finance

Abstract

In 2012, Strategic Global Capital (“SGC”) was founded by Bryan Kuhn, his wife Cathy and his mother Dorothy as a secondary debt market for micro finance notes. Using the founder’s money, SGC launched a pilot program in Ecuador that proved their concept worked. Leveraging on their success, Bryan and his family wanted to further expand the business success. In order to grow SGC with the most optimal capital structure Bryan and his family would need to consider all the existing elements and potential risks. What would be the best overall capital structure in terms of the proportion and type(s) of debt and equity that should be utilized by the company? How (or should) the company raise equity based capital? How (or should) the company raise debt based capital?

Learning objectives

The learning objectives of the case are as follows:

  • To introduce students to optimal capital structure in practice
  • Compare and contrast debt and equity financing options
  • Compare and contrast theoretical options with realities of the market, specially emerging markets
  • Describe and explain challenges of growth management and financing
HKT eSmartHealth
Reference No. 0916-063
Academic Supervisor Kristiaan Helsen
Case Writer Josephine Lau
Publication Year 2016
Company HKT
Industry Telecommunications; Healthcare
Discipline Marketing
Functional area(s) Marketing, Strategy

Abstract

HKT Limited (HKT) was a member firm of the PCCW conglomerate and Hong Kong’s largest telecommunications company. Six years ago, HKT rolled out eSmartHealth; the first cloud health data management service launched in the territory. eSmartHealth aimed at providing integrated intelligence on personal wellness and healthcare management. Over the next five years eSmartHealth evolved its positioning from wellness to healthcare and explored new segments.

HKT would typically give a new business venture a year’s grace period to break even. But eSmartHealth was going into its sixth year and still looked like it was in the startup stage. Management could sense that the pressure to turn eSmartHealth around and make it a success was intensifying.

Learning objectives

This case presents a history of the trials and errors of a market leading telecommunications provider when the company pledged its bets on the digital health business. After analyzing the case, students will be able to:

  • Gain an understanding of the digital health industry ecosystem, the role played by different stakeholders, and their interests and concerns.
  • Evaluate the challenges and opportunities of a first-mover in the digital healthcare market.
  • Conduct a competitive analysis and identify a company’s competitive advantages and unique propositions.
  • Evaluate options to develop a strategic plan for building up a profitable growth strategy.
Business Process Engineering of Accounts Payable at ABC Inc.: General Manager’s Role
Reference No. 0916-062
Academic Supervisor Ronald Lau
Publication Year 2016
Complimentary materials Instructor PowerPoint with Class Instructions
Company ABC Inc (Ficticious)
Industry Telecommunications
Discipline Operations Management
Functional area(s) Operations Management, Negotiation

Abstract

This case is a five part roleplay featuring ABC Inc, an Electronics Manufacturing Services company headquartered in Hong Kong and with manufacturing facilities in China. Suppliers have been complaining about late payment and have threatened to increase the prices of components if payment is not received on time. Some suppliers have even warned they will consider terminating the supply contracts if improvements are not made within the following six months. It is up to you, the General Manager, and your colleagues to find a solution to this problem.

Learning objectives

This is a five part roleplay in which students take up the roles of General Manager, Purchasing Manager, Manufacturing Manager, Warehouse Manager and Accounts Payable Manager. Through the roleplay exercise, students will learn about: the process flow of a typical manufacturing operation and the roles of various departments; diagnose a process and identify problem areas; identify root causes for said problem areas; and develop a solution and action plan.

Business Process Engineering of Accounts Payable at ABC Inc.: Accounts Payable Manager’s Role
Reference No. 0916-061
Academic Supervisor Ronald Lau
Publication Year 2016
Complimentary materials Instructor PowerPoint with Class Instructions
Company ABC Inc (Ficticious)
Industry Telecommunications
Discipline Operations Management
Functional area(s) Operations Management, Negotiation

Abstract

This case is a five part roleplay featuring ABC Inc, an Electronics Manufacturing Services company headquartered in Hong Kong and with manufacturing facilities in China. Suppliers have been complaining about late payment and have threatened to increase the prices of components if payment is not received on time. Some suppliers have even warned they will consider terminating the supply contracts if improvements are not made within the following six months. It is up to you, the Accounts Payable Manager, and your colleagues to find a solution to this problem.

Learning objectives

This is a five part roleplay in which students take up the roles of General Manager, Purchasing Manager, Manufacturing Manager, Warehouse Manager and Accounts Payable Manager. Through the roleplay exercise, students will learn about: the process flow of a typical manufacturing operation and the roles of various departments; diagnose a process and identify problem areas; identify root causes for said problem areas; and develop a solution and action plan.

Business Process Engineering of Accounts Payable at ABC Inc.: Warehouse Manager’s Role
Reference No. 0916-060
Academic Supervisor Ronald Lau
Publication Year 2016
Complimentary materials Instructor PowerPoint with Class Instructions
Company ABC Inc (Ficticious)
Industry Telecommunications
Discipline Operations Management
Functional area(s) Operations Management, Negotiation

Abstract

This case is a five part roleplay featuring ABC Inc, an Electronics Manufacturing Services company headquartered in Hong Kong and with manufacturing facilities in China. Suppliers have been complaining about late payment and have threatened to increase the prices of components if payment is not received on time. Some suppliers have even warned they will consider terminating the supply contracts if improvements are not made within the following six months. It is up to you, the Warehouse Manager, and your colleagues to find a solution to this problem.

Learning objectives

This is a five part roleplay in which students take up the roles of General Manager, Purchasing Manager, Manufacturing Manager, Warehouse Manager and Accounts Payable Manager. Through the roleplay exercise, students will learn about: the process flow of a typical manufacturing operation and the roles of various departments; diagnose a process and identify problem areas; identify root causes for said problem areas; and develop a solution and action plan.

Business Process Engineering of Accounts Payable at ABC Inc.: Manufacturing Manager’s Role
Reference No. 0916-059
Academic Supervisor Ronald Lau
Publication Year 2016
Complimentary materials Instructor PowerPoint with Class Instructions
Company ABC Inc (Ficticious)
Industry Telecommunications
Discipline Operations Management
Functional area(s) Operations Management, Negotiation

Abstract

This case is a five part roleplay featuring ABC Inc, an Electronics Manufacturing Services company headquartered in Hong Kong and with manufacturing facilities in China. Suppliers have been complaining about late payment and have threatened to increase the prices of components if payment is not received on time. Some suppliers have even warned they will consider terminating the supply contracts if improvements are not made within the following six months. It is up to you, Manufacturing Manager, and your colleagues to find a solution to this problem.

Learning objectives

This is a five part roleplay in which students take up the roles of General Manager, Purchasing Manager, Manufacturing Manager, Warehouse Manager and Accounts Payable Manager. Through the roleplay exercise, students will learn about: the process flow of a typical manufacturing operation and the roles of various departments; diagnose a process and identify problem areas; identify root causes for said problem areas; and develop a solution and action plan.

Business Process Engineering of Accounts Payable at ABC Inc.: Purchasing Manager’s Role
Reference No. 0916-058
Academic Supervisor Ronald Lau
Publication Year 2016
Complimentary materials Instructor PowerPoint with Class Instructions
Company ABC Inc (Ficticious)
Industry Telecommunications
Discipline Operations Management
Functional area(s) Operations Management, Negotiation

Abstract

This case is a five part roleplay featuring ABC Inc, an Electronics Manufacturing Services company headquartered in Hong Kong and with manufacturing facilities in China. Suppliers have been complaining about late payment and have threatened to increase the prices of components if payment is not received on time. Some suppliers have even warned they will consider terminating the supply contracts if improvements are not made within the following six months. It is up to you, the Purchasing Manager, and your colleagues to find a solution to this problem.

Learning objectives

This is a five part roleplay in which students take up the roles of General Manager, Purchasing Manager, Manufacturing Manager, Warehouse Manager and Accounts Payable Manager. Through the roleplay exercise, students will learn about: the process flow of a typical manufacturing operation and the roles of various departments; diagnose a process and identify problem areas; identify root causes for said problem areas; and develop a solution and action plan.

Huawei: Diversifying into a Competitive Smartphone Business
Reference No. 0816-057
Academic Supervisor Ronald Lau, Suri Gurumurthi
Publication Year 2016
Company Huawei
Industry Telecommunications
Discipline Operations Management
Functional area(s) Operations Management, Strategy

Abstract

As the world’s largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer, Huawei has focused on building telecommunications networks and services since its inception in 1987. Leveraging its close relationship with other telecommunications service providers, Huawei entered the mobile devices manufacturing business, supplying mobile phones and other white-label products for them in the mid-2000s. In 2010, Huawei also began manufacturing and selling the first smartphones under its own brand name, targeting mid-range and high end handsets. The Consumer Business Group has grown to be one of Huawei’s three core businesses. By 2015, according to industry reports, Huawei ranked first in China and third in the world within the smartphone market.

Learning objectives

Using this case, students should be able to:

  • Lay out a Porter’s Five forces analysis of a market and comment on the suitability of a firm’s entry into this market.
  • Discuss the benefits of moving into the areas of design/development and distribution as opposed to production (the smiling curve concept)
  • Develop competitive strategy
  • Identify key issues in managing a global B2B supply chain an diversification into B2C
Open Innovation at Huawei
Reference No. 0516-056
Academic Supervisor Yan Xu, Jeevan Jaising, Yongsuk Kim
Case Writer Minyi Huang
Publication Year 2016
Company Huawei
Industry Telecommunications
Discipline Information Systems
Functional area(s) Information Technology, Strategy, General Management

Abstract

This case study focuses on how Huawei has developed its open innovation platform, It shows how Huawei has changed its role from a research fund provider to a research collaborator, bringing in mutual benefits in university-enterprise research collaborations. The case lists various challenges of managing open innovation projects, from looking for suitable external research partners, keeping the research project projects on track to the evaluation of research outcomes. It shows how Huawei has tackled the problems common to open innovation projects, such as the Not-Invented-Here syndrome and industry-university communication difficulties, when managing the open innovation research projects.

This case study poses the question how Huawei should improve its open innovation platform, in line with it evolution from a follower to an industry leader. It gives students an opportunity to identify the challenges associated with open innovation and to make recommendations as to how an open innovation platform could be improved to produce more cutting-edge technological innovation through university-enterprise research collaboration.

Learning objectives

  • To help students understand the concept of open innovation, particularly the role of open innovation when a company changes from an industry follower to an industry leader.
  • To sharpen students’ understanding of the challenges associated with each stage of managing open innovation projects, from selecting projects and research partners, setting research targets, managing research collaboration to evaluating project participants and research outcomes.
  • To show students some possible solutions to the problems common to open innovation projects, including the Not-Invented-Here problem, the co-ordination and communication problem between the company, and academic teams and the difficulty of project evaluation.
Baume et Mercier: Battling Giants for China’s Luxury Consumer
Reference No. 0316-055
Academic Supervisor Stephen Nason, Joseph Salvacruz
Case Writer Gerald Stevenson, Mark Wise
Publication Year 2016
Company Baume et Mercier
Industry Consumer Goods
Discipline Marketing, Management
Functional area(s) Marketing, Strategy

Abstract

The world’s seventh oldest watchmaker, Baume & Mercier had a 186 year heritage in watchmaking and was well known for its elegant, timeless designs. Having entered the Chinese market in the late 2000s, Baume & Mercier had targeted the mid-range, or ‘affordable,’ luxury watch segment and carved out a strong position within the mid-market luxury watch consumer base. But the traditional drivers of the mid-range luxury watch market had begun to falter, giving rise to something wholly unfamiliar.

In an environment characterized by heightened competition, whereby high-end luxury watch companies began encroaching on Baume & Mercier’s customer segment by creating lower priced watches, coupled with increasingly unfamiliar conditions, the protagonists were concerned about how Baume & Mercier should establish a strategic competitive position, without losing the relevance of its brand heritage or its brand equity. Further, how would the company build their promotional strategies around these changing market dynamics?

759 Online
Reference No. 0316-054
Academic Supervisor Ronald Lau
Case Writer Rebecca Hughes
Publication Year 2016
Complimentary materials Instructor PowerPoint file
Company 759 Store
Industry Food retail
Discipline Operations Management
Functional area(s) Operations Management, Information Technology

Abstract

The protagonist Pinky Lee was a recent graduate with only one month’s work experience when she was appointed to the role of personal assistant to the managing director. Pinky was given the task of exploring Hong Kong’s existing online grocery marketplace, evaluating where 759 Store could compete, generating and assessing ideas and gradually developing a successful online offering which would supplement 759’s existing physical stores. Pinky found the role challenging. Although she was intelligent, enthusiastic and hard working, she had minimal work experience and found that doing business in the real world was very different from discussing case studies in the classroom.

Learning objectives

From using this case study, student will learn to:

  • Understand competition within the Hong Kong grocery industry in terms of physical stores and online offerings
  • Understand the opportunities and challenges of operating an online business
  • Understand how and why the product offering differs a physical store and an online business
  • Understand how an online store should calculate sales prices for their products
  • Recognize that distribution costs are the major challenge facing online businesses and explore ways to minimize these costs.
Nicholas Tse on Leadership (video)
Reference No. 1113-053
Academic Supervisor Karen Lee
Publication Year 2013
Link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STgR9hlYFDw
Duration 13 minutes and 12 seconds
Language & Subtitles Video in English with subtitles in English, Cantonese and Mandarin
Company Post Production Office
Industry Media
Discipline Management
Functional area(s) General Management, Entrepreneurship, Human Resource Management

Abstract

Nicholas Tse Ting-fung is a Hong Kong Chinese movie star and singer who is especially well-known in greater China and the surrounding region. Although he is a household name in the region, few people know he is also a successful entrepreneur who founded a leading post production company with offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing. In the video he talks about multiple facets of leadership.

Learning objectives

Nicholas Tse is an interesting young leader who (Asian) students can relate to. In the video Nicholas talks about leadership qualities, leadership behavior and leadership in general. After watching and discussing the video students are expected to:
✔ Gain the insight of how to discover and maintain their passion
✔ Learn how to be self-confident and charismatic
✔ Learn how to create vision and inspire others
✔ Understand ways to keep that motivational edge (being energetic and stay positive)

Alchemy of Innovation at TSL Jewellery Ltd. Adding Value to Gold—Transforming a Traditional Business
Reference No. 0216-052
Academic Supervisor Po Chi Wu
Case Writer Ellen Orr
Publication Year 2016
Company TSL Jewellery
Industry Consumer Goods
Discipline Management
Functional area(s) Strategy, Organizational Behavior, Marketing

Abstract

TSL is a family business in a traditional industry that is being driven to change by many factors external and internal to its business. This scenario, which is common to many businesses, could be perceived as a nightmare from a conventional corporate mindset. To design a future for TSL, the management team must embrace the entrepreneurial mindset and build the “new company” by starting with basic principles and focusing on how it will provide value, to new as well as existing customers, through innovative products, service, and operating procedures.

The case describes TSL’s development from its beginnings as a small workshop in the 1960s. While remaining family owned, it grew to become a large successful jeweler emphasizing craftsmanship, design and quality service. When the business encountered legal problems in the 2000s, the founder’s daughter-in-law, Annie Yau Tse, assumed the chairmanship. She maintained the company’s focus on products and services, while making some changes to its operations.

The case is set in early 2016, when TSL was facing increased competition, new price sensitivity among its customers, and industry changes in creating and distributing jewelry. The students are asked to take the viewpoint of Annie and the TSL management and decide how to move forward in this environment.

Learning objectives

Issues raised in this case are quite broad and could be useful in a wide range of courses, including Strategy, Marketing and Organizational Behaviour. The case could be used as part of a discussion on innovation, strategy, business development, change management, family businesses, company culture, branding, or similar topics.

Coats (B): Cash Flows and Small Lot Dyeing
Reference No. 1215-051
Academic Supervisor Ronald Lau, Suri Gurumurthi
Case Writer Rebecca Hughes
Publication Year 2016
Complimentary materials Instructor PowerPoint
Company Coats Plc
Industry Textile
Discipline Operations Management
Functional area(s) Operations Management

Abstract

Following case study UST 1215-050 Coats (A): Responsive Production and Order Fulfillment, Coats (B) examines make-to-stock (MTS) and make-to-order (MTO) strategies in more detail. First, it considers how strategic (especially cash flow) objectives affect MTS and MTO decisions and how decisions on lot sizing affect both fixed and variable production costs. In particular, it highlights the significance of the risk and costs of overstocking when facing a higher premium on cash flow tied up in the inventory of an unsold product. Secondly, on a tactical level, it suggests frameworks for determining aggregate production quantities prior to a season with the objective of minimizing the risks of overproduction and also conserving cash flow. Thirdly, it suggests a basic framework to determine minimum lot sizes based on some high level cost and demand data.

Learning objectives

The primary learning objectives for this case are as follows:

  • Explain the importance and impact of strategic business objectives on operational policies and performance limits, particularly for the objective of conserving cash flows.
  • Compare and contrast MTS and MTO as operations strategies and policy decisions and describe the advantages and disadvantages of each.
  • Recognize the linkage between strategic business directives such as conserving cash flows and the impact on the operational policy choice between MTS and MTO.
  • Recognize the linkage between the strategic business directive of conserving cash flow and operational (tactical) decisions, such as aggregate production planning.
  • Recognize the linkage between the strategic business directive of conserving cash flow and operational (execution) decisions, such as production lot sizing, and its implications.
  • Apply simple quantitative frameworks for illustrating these key linkages between strategic objectives and operational decision making.
Coats (A): Responsive Production and Order Fulfillment
Reference No. 1215-050
Academic Supervisor Ronald Lau, Suri Gurumurthi
Case Writer Rebecca Hughes
Publication Year 2016
Complimentary materials Instructor PowerPoint
Company Coats Plc
Industry Textile
Discipline Operations Management
Functional area(s) Operations Management

Abstract

The protagonist Jamie Brown had been working in the textile industry for 32 years. He was passionate about the industry and enthusiastic about improving Coats’s operations, particularly in the Shenzhen factory.

At an operational level, Jamie was challenged by the conflict of priorities within the business. One of the key directives set by the board of directors was to maximize cash flow. Inventory was the significant contributor to cash constraints in this industry, and Coats had begun a drive to reduce batch sizes for production, and to reduce inventory stockpiles. In order to meet customer requirements for short lead times, thread was produced in small lots, and after the order was filled, the remaining thread was placed in inventory. With his strong operational background in the textile industry, Jamie was aware that by following this procedure, Coats was sacrificing economies of scale that could hurt profitability which could also impact cash flows through the year. This sacrifice also raised the question of whether Coats should pursue a make-to-stock or make-to-order strategy, since a make-to-order strategy implied that lot sizes would be set in accordance with customer orders.

Learning objectives

The primary learning objectives for this case are as follows:

  1. Understand the difference between make-to-stock and make-to-order strategies and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each.
  2. Understand the criticality of alignment in (strategic) objectives within a business, particularly between cash flow, inventory, and service levels.
  3. Understand the unique factors and challenges faced by companies operating in the manufacturing sector.
  4. Learn the challenges that are created by a company’s position within the supply chain, particularly the challenges of operating as an upstream supplier.
  5. Understand how a company can differentiate itself and its products.
Hong Kong Broadband Network: Co-Ownership Scheme Leading to Succesful MBO and IPO
Reference No. 1015-049
Academic Supervisor Winnie Peng
Case Writer Yu Chen
Publication Year 2016
Number of pages 8 pages of text + 4 pages of exhibits
Company HKBN
Industry Telecommunications
Discipline Finance
Functional area(s) Finance

Abstract

HKBN was a leading provider of ultra-high speed broadband and other telecommunication services in Hong Kong. The Company went through a management buyout (MBO) in May 2012 and completed its IPO with a market capitalization of over HKD9 billion in March 2015. To secure the equity funding required for the MBO, the management team partnered with CVC Capital Partners. A total of 88 managers also joined CVC and invested at preferential terms to become Co-Owners. The opportunity to become owners was a way to motivate management and set HKBN apart from its competitors. Now that the Company had completed a successful IPO, the senior management was contemplating how to develop a new broader based Co-Ownership program.

Axe
Reference No. 1215-048
Academic Supervisor Jaideep Sengupta
Case Writer Anjori Singh, Geetanjali Saluja
Publication Year 2016
Company Unilever
Industry Personal Goods
Discipline Marketing
Functional area(s) Marketing

Abstract

The case examines the effectiveness of the advertising strategy used by the Unilever brand Axe to enter and gain market share in the deodorant segment in India. The highly attention-grabbing, sexually-themed ads, accompanied by the high growth potential of the deodorant market proved very successful for Axe, initially. However, the controversial nature of the ads also offended many. With the entry of the new Indian deodorant brand FOGG, positioned as a value-for-money brand, Axe’s market share quickly started eroding. Axe’s failure to appropriately evolve its positioning to sustain its initial growth left it vulnerable to competition. In light of these developments it was time for the brand to take a step back and re-think its positioning strategy.

Learning objectives

The key learning objectives of the case study are:

  • To understand the importance of evolving a brand’s advertising strategy to reflect its changing brand objectives at various stages of a product’s life cycle.
  • To better appreciate the potential downsides of using sexually-themed advertising
  • To gain insights into the potential downsides of using celebrity-based advertising.
Hilti Hong Kong: Relaunching a Service Business Model
Reference No. 1115-047
Academic Supervisor Stephen Nason
Case Writer Dave P. Dore
Publication Year 2016
Number of pages 12 pages of text + 11 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 10 pages of text
Company Hilti
Industry Home Construction
Discipline Management
Functional area(s) Strategy

Abstract

The case is based on Hilti Hong Kong, a subsidiary of Hilti Group, a privately-held supplier of power tools and fasteners to the construction and energy sectors. The service-oriented company is wrestling with how locally to relaunch Fleet Management (FM), a service model that effectively transfers the customer's tool management risk to Hilti's balance sheet without the customer owning the tools at the end of the contract. FM is designed to provide business end-users, that is, construction firms, with greater tool transparency, increased on-site productivity, cost management, and back office efficiency gains. By September 2015, however, FM in Hong Kong is languishing and Roland Li, head of Electric Tools & Accessories (ET&A) is challenged to present a proposal to relaunch FM by packaging a market penetration strategy and operational advice to the local management board.

Learning objectives

The case explores the three basic components of a business model: customer value proposition, profit formula, and key resources and processes. The case's two key objectives provide students with: (1) an understanding of the significance of change management to revamp a business model and (2) pathways of how change management can be a bridge between the diagnosis, design, and implementation of corporate strategy and local tactics.

TTi: Tooling up for Asia
Reference No. 1015-046
Academic Supervisor Kristiaan Helsen
Case Writer Jeroen van den Berg, Armand Ghieuw
Publication Year 2015
Complimentary materials 14 short videos for use in the classroom
Company Techtronic Industries
Industry Household Goods & Home Construction
Discipline Marketing
Functional area(s) Marketing, Strategy

Abstract

As a global company based in Hong Kong, Techtronics Industries (TTI) was sitting on top of the world. Since its inception in 1985 as a budding OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) supplier to foreign customers, TTI had grown into a leading producer and brand-owner of power equipment and floor-care products in North America, Europe and Australia owning leading brands including Milwaukee, Ryobi, Hoover and VAX. During its investors meeting in August 2015, it boasted an unbroken 4-year growth of sales revenues and double digit net profits. TTI attributed its success to its pursuit and passion for product innovations; manufacturing excellence; and unwavering devotion to specific markets.

To sustain its growth, the top management of TTI was convinced that the Asian region would be its next frontier. How should it go about sifting the chaff from the corn and deciding which countries to target? What should be the market-entry strategies given TTI’s prudent but highly successful management style? What are the challenges and risks in introducing TTI’s premium products to emerging markets?

Learning objectives

The case can be used to introduce readers to the essentials of global marketing management. Specifically, by using the case students will develop an understanding of what it takes to develop a successful market entry strategy; and the need to understand the global and local business environment—economic, cultural, and legal-political—and how to apply such knowledge.

Labor Problems at 7-Eleven’s Combined Distribution Center
Reference No. 0815-044
Academic Supervisor Qing Li, Zhijian Cui
Case Writer Rebecca Hughes
Publication Year 2016
Complimentary materials Instructor PowerPoint File
Company 7-Eleven
Industry Food retail
Discipline Operations Management
Functional area(s) Operations Management, Human Resources

Abstract

Henry Tam, the logistic director at 7-Eleven’s Combined Distribution Centre (CDC), is considering how to tackle the high employee turnover rate. This challenge is partially the result of a shortage of labor in Hong Kong. Over the past few years, Henry has taken several steps to address the issue. These include collaborating with NGOs to train and employ disabled workers; adjusting the way cold storage goods, bakery produce, and bulk goods are packed and distributed; and adopting new technologies to improve employee productivity. In addition, Henry offers the staff three hours of overtime per day, allowing them to earn more. Henry doesn’t know what else he can do to decrease the high turnover and retain his employees.

Learning objectives

This case:

  • Provides an illustration of the management of employee turnover at a centralized distribution center.
  • Shows the importance of capacity management in operations management as well as the causes of supply shortage.
  • Illustrates the different sources of supply uncertainty as well as the strategy to tackle these uncertainties.
  • Allows students to make a clear comparison between demand uncertainty and supply uncertainty.
  • Highlights the importance of human resource management in a labor-intensive operational context.
  • Helps students understand the challenges of retaining and incentivizing employees in the context of emerging market economies.
Implementing Quantitative Risk Management and VaR in a Chinese Investment Bank
Reference No. 0715-043
Academic Supervisor Allen Kuo
Case Writer Ellen Orr
Publication Year 2015
Number of Pages 7 pages of text + 8 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 8 pages of text + 3 pages of exhibits
Complimentary materials Excel files for VaR backtesting
Company A Chinese investment bank
Industry Banking
Discipline Finance
Functional area(s) Finance, Management

Abstract

The protagonist Jasper Wang was originally from China, but had extensive risk management experience in overseas banks. With the rapid growth of the Chinese economy, he was eager to return to China for the right opportunity, and was persuaded by the CEO of a domestic investment bank to head their Risk Management function. His remit was to introduce “international standards” in risk measurement and management to the firm.

After the initial “honeymoon” period, he has begun to encounter more and more resistance from his colleagues on the trading desk, expressing skepticism for the new “Value at Risk” based market risk control framework he wants to set up. He must decide how he will push a more quantitative risk and control framework within the organization in the face of domain issues, dismissal of risk management measures used outside of China, and basic cultural differences about how things may get done within a domestic firm.

Learning objectives

This case may be used in technical financial risk management courses to introduce the VaR framework and the technique of backtesting. Students will be given the opportunity to backtest a simple variance-covariance VaR model, choosing the lookback period, finding the number of exceptions, and evaluating the results.

The case may also be useful in a course on managing financial institutions, as it provides a realistic example of the different goals of (and occasional tension between) front office and middle office staff. It could also serve to illustrate different investment bank organization structures and management priorities, particularly between the West and emerging markets such as China.

More generally, the case could be used to stimulate discussion in courses dealing with globalization and the issues involved in moving managers to different geographies with different cultures and ways of operating.

To Enter or Not to Enter: Competitive Environment of Supermarkets in Hong Kong
Reference No. 0115-042
Academic Supervisor Yuk-fai Fong
Case Writer Mary Ho
Publication Year 2015
Number of Pages 18 pages of text + 10 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 17 pages of text
Company PARKnSHOP and Wellcome
Industry Food retail
Discipline Economics
Functional area(s) Economics, Strategy

Abstract

This case describes a hypothetical situation faced by a fictitious international conglomerate, ICL, that intends to enter the retail grocery market in Hong Kong. The conglomerate’s interest in the Hong Kong supermarket industry was initially kindled by the plan of Hutchison Whampoa, Ltd. (HWL) to sell its leading supermarket chain PARKnSHOP in August 2013. However, in October 2013, HWL reversed course and decided not to sell PARKnSHOP, saying that the sale would not deliver maximum value to its shareholders. Before embarking into new territory, ICL wanted an in-depth understanding of the Hong Kong grocery market environment, competitors, and potential barriers to entry. The conglomerate was aware that the new Competition Law, which was expected to take effect in 2015, might have profound implications on the grocery market landscape in Hong Kong.

Learning objectives

This case provides students with an understanding of the competitive behavior of dominant players in an oligopolistic industry and the importance of competition laws to counteract certain anticompetitive conduct. It illustrates how dominant players in an oligopolistic market can potentially use various strategies of collusion, their multimarket contacts, and their strong bargaining power over suppliers to scare off new entrants or drive them out of the market. The case also leads students to explore whether certain competitive strategies are sustainable in Hong Kong in light of the new Competition Ordinance. Drawing on the experience of failed and successful entrants, students can explore various business strategies and formulate a strategy for a new supermarket entrant in Hong Kong to maximize its chance of success.

PopVote: Assessing the Risk of DDoS (C)
Reference No. 1014-041
Academic Supervisor Kai-lung Hui
Case Writer Minyi Huang, Ping Fan Ke, Anthony Lai
Publication Year 2016
Number of Pages 3 pages of text + 4 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 11 pages of text + 1 page of exhibits
Company The University of Hong Kong
Industry Government
Discipline Information Systems
Functional area(s) Information Technology

Abstract

In this series of case studies, students learn to identify, assess, and control the risks of DDoS attacks in a real-world situation. PopVote was the electronic voting system used by the Public Opinion Programme (POP) at the University of Hong Kong.

This case study consists of cases A, B, and C. Case C describes what actually happened to PopVote after AWS and UDomain withdrew their services.

Learning objectives

Through use of the PopVote cases, students are expected to:

  • Become familiar with the key components of risk management in information security, including risk identification, risk assessment, and risk control.
  • Learn how to Compare, contrast, and evaluate the options available to an organization when facing the imminent threat of a DDoS attack.
  • Choose risk-control strategies for business continuity and disaster recovery.
PopVote: Assessing the Risk of DDoS (B)
Reference No. 1014-040
Academic Supervisor Kai-lung Hui
Case Writer Minyi Huang, Ping Fan Ke, Anthony Lai
Publication Year 2016
Number of Pages 3 pages of text + 3 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 11 pages of text + 1 page of exhibits
Company The University of Hong Kong
Industry Government
Discipline Information Systems
Functional area(s) Information Technology

Abstract

In this series of case studies, students learn to identify, assess, and control the risks of DDoS attacks in a real-world situation. PopVote was the electronic voting system used by the Public Opinion Programme (POP) at the University of Hong Kong.

This case study consists of cases A, B, and C. Case B sets the scene for risk control in information security management. To improve cloud-based security, POP outsourced the system security to Amazon Web Services (AWS), CloudFlare, and UDomain. During the mock and preregistration period of the June 22 voting event, the scale of DDoS attacks forced AWS and UDomain to make an unusual move and withdraw their services. CloudFlare also warned that it might suspend its service if there was another wave of cyber-attacks. The POP team had to decide immediately what they should do to control the risks.

Learning objectives

Through use of the PopVote cases, students are expected to:

  • Become familiar with the key components of risk management in information security, including risk identification, risk assessment, and risk control.
  • Learn how to Compare, contrast, and evaluate the options available to an organization when facing the imminent threat of a DDoS attack.
  • Choose risk-control strategies for business continuity and disaster recovery.
PopVote: Assessing the Risk of DDoS (A)
Reference No. 1014-039
Academic Supervisor Kai-lung Hui
Case Writer Minyi Huang, Ping Fan Ke, Anthony Lai
Publication Year 2016
Number of Pages 10 pages of text + 10 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 11 pages of text + 1 page of exhibits
Company The University of Hong Kong
Industry Government
Discipline Information Systems
Functional area(s) Information Technology

Abstract

In this series of case studies, students learn to identify, assess, and control the risks of DDoS attacks in a real-world situation. PopVote was the electronic voting system used by the Public Opinion Programme (POP) at the University of Hong Kong.

This case study consists of cases A, B, and C. Case A gives background on POP and PopVote. It describes the development history of PopVote, including past voting events, past cyber-attacks, and the evolution of its IT security infrastructure. Students are asked how to identify and assess potential security risks and how to prepare PopVote for an upcoming high-visibility voting event.

Learning objectives

Through use of the PopVote cases, students are expected to:

  • Become familiar with the key components of risk management in information security, including risk identification, risk assessment, and risk control.
  • Learn how to Compare, contrast, and evaluate the options available to an organization when facing the imminent threat of a DDoS attack.
  • Choose risk-control strategies for business continuity and disaster recovery.
Cathay Pacific (B): Implementing an Integrated e-Freight Solution
Reference No. 1014-038
Academic Supervisor Ronald Lau
Case Writer Kenny Yiu; Garry Chung
Publication Year 2014
Number of Pages 7 pages of text + 8 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 8 pages of text + 3 pages of exhibits
Complimentary materials Instructor PowerPoint file
Company Cathay Pacific
Industry Airline
Discipline Operations Management
Functional area(s) Operations Management, Finance

Abstract

This case is designed as the second part of a two-part case study on Cathay Pacific’s cargo operation, although it can be used separately on a standalone basis. The objective of this case is to demonstrate the implementation process of e-freight solution at Cathay Pacific, which involved multiple stakeholders along the supply chain in multiple countries. Students are expected to step into the role as the cargo service manager in charge of the implementation project, and come up with a detail plan to tackle the issue

Learning objectives

Similar to the first case, Cathay Pacific (A), this case is built on the airline’s air cargo business. Unlike the first case, however, this case focuses on the implementation process of e-freight, and the framework the protagonist employed to achieve a successful project implementation.

The following are the key issues that can be discussed during the lecture:

  1. The information flow and current paper-based practice that has been in place for over decades
  2. The importance of an integrated process and information sharing to Cathay Pacific’s air cargo operations
  3. The cost savings that can be achieved using e-freight
  4. The importance of change management, and how to aligning people, process, and technology to ensure a smooth transition.
Cathay Pacific (A): Building a World Class Air Cargo Terminal
Reference No. 1014-037
Academic Supervisor Ronald Lau
Case Writer Kenny Yiu; Garry Chung
Publication Year 2014
Number of Pages 6 pages of text + 6 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 6 pages of text + 4 pages of exhibits
Complimentary materials -Instructor PowerPoint file, YouTube video, Excel spreadsheet with NPV calculations
Company Cathay Pacific
Industry Airline
Discipline Operations Management
Functional area(s) Operations Management, Finance

Abstract

Cathay Pacific Airways Limited, a leading international airline providing both passenger and cargo services, had been operating under a collaboration arrangement with one of the air cargo terminal operators since the opening of the new airport. Demand for Cathay Pacific’s air cargo handling services outgrew the terminal’s capacity of the operator. There were on-going discussions between the two partners on opening a new terminal, but no agreement had yet been reached on how much Cathay Pacific should offer as a guaranteed return on investment to the air cargo terminal operator.

As an alternative, the board of Cathay Pacific wanted to explore the possibility of building an air cargo terminal for captive use. Peter Lee, a senior executive at the airline, was put in charge of the feasibility study. Although Peter had experience in leading special projects in the past within the company, this particular one was completely different given its scale and the amount of investment involved.

Perceptibly, fundamental business elements such as targeted capacity, return on investment and competition had to be included in the study. Other soft issues like management expertise and site selection should also be studied. Peter wondered what other considerations he should include in addition. He wanted to be sure that by tackling these issues from all angles, it would allow him to come up with a recommendation to the board: whether Cathay Pacific should build its own terminal.

Learning objectives

Using Hong Kong’s air cargo industry as the backdrop, the case is intended to identify the key elements in the decision making process when Cathay Pacific was considering to build and operate its own air cargo terminal. The goal is for students to put themselves in the role of the senior executive in charge of the project, and experience the thought process involved when preparing a recommendation to the board of directors.

The following are the key issues that can be discussed during the lecture:

  1. The key drivers for Cathay Pacific to build its own air cargo terminal
  2. The decision process and financial impact of the project
  3. The relationship between Cathay Pacific and the air cargo terminal
  4. The importance of change management, and how to aligning people, process, and technology to ensure a smooth transition.
  5. The financial implication, including a NPV calculation
Racing for Diamonds on Taobao.com
Reference No. 0414-036
Academic Supervisor Yuk-fai Fong, Mo Xiao
Case Writer Kenny Yiu
Publication Year 2015
Company Alibaba
Industry Retail
Discipline Economics
Functional area(s) Economics, Entrepreneurship

Abstract

The objective of the case is to illustrate the challenges endured by sellers on Taobao.com, the largest e-commerce platform in China, within its reputation system. To boost transaction amount and volume via e-commerce marketplaces, Taobao introduced various methods to increase credibility. These include Alipay and Aliwangwang, the escrow payment services that allowed customers to verify their purchase before instructing Alipay to release funds to the sellers. Taobao.com also introduced a feedback system that allowed users to rate other users they dealt with, either as sellers or buyers.

Through a series of short cases, the authors aim to induce discussions among students on the challenges faced by sellers on e-commerce platforms, as well as winning strategies and loopholes that exist within the reputation system. The authors also want to indicate that sellers may need to suffer losses (monetary, time or resources) during the period of building their reputation on Taobao.com.

Learning objectives

This case provides an example of a competitive experience goods market. In the absence of Taobao.com or similar online marketplaces, it would be very difficult for aspiring entrepreneurs to sell products online. Alipay and the rating system effectively solve the problem of asymmetric information between sellers and buyers. The five mini cases are structures around the following aspects of online retail using a marketplace:

  • sellers are often required to suffer loss, both financially and in terms of time/effort, at the beginning of business if they want to be successful in the long run
  • the importance of planning and how one event may lead to another swiftly in the e-commerce space
  • sales activities can be a double-edge sword
  • sellers with unique positions or product offerings have higher chance of succeeding

DJI Innovation: Product Development in Start-ups
Reference No. 0914-035
Academic Supervisor Mitchell Tseng
Case Writer Ivy Buche
Publication Year 2015
Number of Pages 12 pages of text + 8 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 10 pages of text
Complimentary materials None
Company DJI Innovations
Industry Technology hardware and equipment, Leisure goods
Discipline Industrial Engineering and Logistics Management
Functional area(s) Entrepreneurship, Operations Management

Abstract

DJI, founded by 24-year old Frank Wang Tao in 2006, grew rapidly from an unknown startup in China’s Pearl River Delta to become a leading global player in the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) market for hobbyists over a period of seven years. With the launch of its bestselling quadcopter, the Phantom, DJI saw its revenue soar 79 times in three years and its staff grow from 50 in 2010 to 1,500 in 2013 across Asia, Europe and the United States. The case describes how a technopreneur started serving a niche hobby segment and later moved towards a broader consumer market, in the process opening up new horizons for aerial photography and videos enabled by its innovative product platforms.

The case outlines DJI’s product development strategy as a driver for competitive advantage and the entrepreneurial process for taking a technology concept from initial idea to developing the prototype, and subsequent launch of the new product in the market. The case also addresses the post-startup issues encountered by a growing technology venture and the challenges faced, in particular when presented with new opportunities in an evolving marketplace.

Learning objectives

After analyzing the case, students will be able to:

  • Understand the process of new product development
  • Analyse an organization’s ability to match technological capabilities to market trends
  • Comprehend the complexities of innovation and commercialization
  • Evaluate market viability of innovative high-tech products and services
Marketing, Rebranding and Repositioning of a Hong Kong Hospitality Group: Langham Hospitality Group
Reference No. 0914-034
Academic Supervisor Roger King, Winnie Peng
Case Writer Armand Ghieuw
Publication Year 2014
Number of Pages 5 pages of text + 6 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 20 pages of text
Company Langham Hospitality Group
Industry Travel & Leisure
Discipline Finance
Functional area(s) Strategy, Marketing

Abstract

The protagonist, Robert Warren, knew what was expected of him when he was appointed as the CEO of Langham Hospitality Group (LHG) in March 2014. LHG was a direct subsidiary of Great Eagle Holdings Limited- a Hong Kong Chinese property conglomerate controlled by Dr. K.S. Lo and his family board members. Great Eagle was looking for robust growth in its global hotel business and it expected Warren and LHG to deliver that growth via multi-branding and brand differentiation strategies.

Learning objectives

Using this case, students will develop an understanding of the market and demographic forces that shaped the new hospitality strategy of LHG and be able to assess the merits of each marketing strategy. Additionally, the bearing that family board members can bring upon company policies and operations would provide an ancillary point of discussion for students interested in Asian family enterprises.

Value Partners: Exchange Traded Funds
Reference No. 1213-033
Academic Supervisor Ka-lok Chan
Case Writer Ming-wah Yip
Publication Year 2014
Number of Pages 9 pages of text + 9 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 5 pages of text
Complimentary materials None
Company Value Partners
Industry Financial Services
Discipline Finance
Functional area(s) Finance

Abstract

Value Partners (VP) was a listed fund manager founded in Hong Kong, with assets under management of USD10 billion1. The company was an early adopter of using a value style investing strategy in Asia to actively manage funds. To complement its more traditional fund management business, VP ventured into exchange traded funds (ETFs) in 2009. ETFs were a high-volume and low-margin business. VP regarded them as complementary to its existing actively managed funds business, as they helped smooth out revenue fluctuation.

In late 2009, VP launched the Value China ETF (3046 HK) and listed it on the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd. (HKEx). Initially, this ETF’s sales strategy focused on delivery to institutional clients. After a slow start, the strategy was quickly revised in favor of targeting retail customers through advisors and brokers. This strategy had its own challenges; for example, a trading and short-term mentality was prevalent among local market participants, and a product knowledge gap in trading ETFs had to be bridged. On 31 December 2012, three years after launch, Morningstar awarded the Value China ETF a five-star rating 2. VP’s ETF business, however, had yet to achieve critical mass. What could Value Partners do to increase the appetite for ETFs among Hong Kong retail investors? And how could Value Partners make sure it would gain an advantage when demand for ETFs increased?

Learning objectives

The case describes the ETFs landscape in the Asia Pacific region, particularly Hong Kong, and outlines the opportunities and challenges in the ETF business there. It also shows how a company with strong reputation regionally among institutional investors expands its clientele into the retail investor market. The case also highlights the trends and possible future development of the fund management industry and the battle between the active and passive investment strategy.

The following are the key issues that can be discussed during the lecture: 

  1. The nature of ETFs and its benefits for retail investors
  2. The current landscape of the Hong Kong ETF market, in terms of size, asset types, and geographical distribution.
  3. Strategies to promote ETFs to retail investors who mainly pursue short-term, active stock picking strategies.

1 Unaudited group AUM as of 30 November 2013.
2 Morningstar, a Chicago-based investment research firm, provided analysis on funds, stocks, and markets. Its one-page reports on mutual funds and ETFs were widely used by investors. Morningstar rated stocks and funds on a scale from one to five stars, with five stars being the highest.

Cathay Capital: An Entrepreneurial Private Equity Fund with a Cross-Border Investment Model
Reference No. 0413-032
Academic Supervisor Winnie Peng
Case Writer Vincent Chow
Publication Year 2013
Number of Pages 9 pages of text + 14 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 24 pages of text
Complimentary materials None
Company Cathay Capital
Industry Private Equity
Discipline Finance
Functional area(s) Finance, General Management

Abstract

Cathay Capital Private Equity (Cathay) was started by Mingpo Cai and Edouard Moinet in 2007, at the brink of the global financial crisis. The firm initially opened offices in Shanghai and Paris, aiming to invest in fast-growing small and medium enterprises, either French companies looking to expand in China or Chinese companies seeking to move up the global supply chain in France.

By the end of 2012, Cathay closed a EUR350 million second fund, and, planning to move beyond France and China, it was looking at other European countries and the United States for potential deals. With the growing competition of local private equity (PE) firms in China and the ongoing European debt crises, was the firm ready to replicate its business model in other geographical markets in the near future? What did the firm have to do to ensure success in the long run?

Learning objectives

This case uses the experience of Cathay Capital to illustrate how a private equity fund could differentiate itself in the rapidly evolving markets and create value with an entrepreneurial approach in portfolio management. Based on the experience of Cathay Capital, students will learn to understand the challenges faced by a private equity fund during different stages of the private equity investment process, starting from fund raising and ending with delivering returns to investors. As private equity funds struggle to maintain growth in a highly competitive market, competition for deals will most likely intensify. In anticipation of accelerating market consolidation, especially in China, students can explore how Cathay can refine its investment and management strategy to achieve sustainable growth.

Global Brokerage Group of Hong Kong (B): A Crisis Unfolds
Reference No. 0714-031
Academic Supervisor Prithviraj Chattopadhyah
Case Writer Ivy Buche, Yuk-Ki Gianne Wong
Publication Year 2015
Number of Pages 8 pages of text
Number of pages teaching note 13 pages of text
Complimentary materials None
Company Global Brokerage Group (disguised)
Industry Financial Services
Discipline Management
Functional area(s) Organizational Behavior, Human Resource Management

Abstract

Case B is set 6 months after the selection of CEO (Case A) An unsuccessful CEO transition unfolds as the new CEO fails to win the support of the top management team even after six months at the top position. Despite his best efforts, the new CEO could make no headway with any of his organizational change initiatives aimed at streamlining performance management and compensation systems. In fact, the situation worsened to the extent that he was ready to step down. The case provides an opportunity for students to analyze the reasons for the new CEO’s failure and to what extent Anson was responsible for the same. Anson’s immediate priority was to devise an action plan to avert the impending organizational crisis.

Learning objectives

CEO succession is often viewed as an event rather than a process, as illustrated in this case. Analysis of this case allows students to:

  1. Recognize the responsibility of the Chairman to support the CEO by leveraging his stature (in this case as the founder of the company), positional power and influence across the organization
  2. Understand the importance of empowerment – when and how – to enable a successful CEO transition.
  3. Comprehend change management challenges in moving from a family-based company to a professional organization.
  4. Identify means by which a new CEO can strategically plan and execute to achieve well-defined short-term and mid-term goals to consolidate his positon in the organization.
Global Brokerage Group of Hong Kong (A): Selecting a CEO
Reference No. 0714-030
Academic Supervisor Prithviraj Chattopadhyah
Case Writer Ivy Buche, Yuk-Ki Gianne Wong
Publication Year 2015
Number of Pages 11 pages of text + 6 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 13 pages of text
Complimentary materials None
Company Global Brokerage Group (disguised)
Industry Financial Services
Discipline Management
Functional area(s) Organizational Behavior, Human Resource Management

Abstract

This case with the challenge of CEO selection at Hong Kong-based Global Brokerage Group (GBG) a medium-sized financial brokerage house dealing in securities, futures, foreign exchange, wealth management, and precious metals. Since its inception in 2001 the company had been led by founder Anson Chan and his close knit cohort of family and friends, to achieve steady growth and a presence in the local brokerage industry. In 2013 Anson believed that it was time to prepare the company for its next phase of growth via listing on the stock exchange of Hong Kong. To transition GBG from a privately-held business to a public listed entity his priority was to professionalize the company with clear segregation of roles and responsibilities at the top management level. In view of the upcoming IPO, Anson’s first task was to appoint a strong CEO. The case sets out the industry context, the importance of regulations administered by the Securities and Futures Commission and GBG’s organizational and operational structure. Students take on the role of Anson who is reviewing the profiles of six potential candidates and weighing the pros and cons. Who should he choose?

Learning objectives

CEO selection is a critical strategic decision because the CEO is the figurehead who is ultimately responsible and accountable for an organization's strategy, design, performance and culture. After analyzing the case, students will be able to:

  1. Identify the bases of power as shaped by the structure/nature of the industry.
  2. Recognize the sources of power within an organization and how it impacts management and operations.
  3. Identify specific CEO selection criteria based on the company’s goals and value creation process.
  4. Use a decision making model to select a candidate with the most appropriate person-job and person-organization fit; evaluate outcomes.
One Earth Designs: A “One Country, Two Systems” Model to Build a Social Business
Reference No. 1114-029
Academic Supervisor Paul Forster
Case Writer Christine Chow
Publication Year 2015
Company One Earth Designs
Industry Energy
Discipline Management, Finance
Functional area(s) Entrepreneurship, Management, Social Enterprise

Abstract

One Earth Designs (“OED”) began in 2008 as a team of students from Harvard, MIT, Wellesley College in the United States and Qinghai Normal University in China working together to create technologies and problem-solving engineering training that help the off grid communities in western China. These communities often have no access to readily available energy sources, nor clean air and safe water. The initial success of OED’s first product in China—SolSource, a solar concentrator for clean cooking – has encouraged the organization to begin a journey of building a global business on the back of a vision that brings efficient and affordable solar energy to the world OED has a unique business model for a social business—whilst many social businesses cooperate with foundations at arm’s length and through partnerships, few of them have set up a non-profit and for-profit integrated group structure with technology licensing business relationships between the two distinct arms

Learning objectives

  1. To learn the concept of social entrepreneurship;
  2. To observe how community value at the grassroots can be unlocked;
  3. To understand the differences between creation, innovation, social innovation and invention;
  4. To understand the challenges of scaling up a business internationally and in diverse markets; and
  5. To understand the risks and opportunities presented by the innovative group structure.
Fat Angelo’s Italian Restaurants: Managing the Customer Waiting Experience
Reference No. 0414-028
Academic Supervisor Ronald Lau
Case Writer Joseph Fernandez
Publication Year 2015
Number of Pages 7 pages of text + 4 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 8 pages of text + 3 pages of exhibits
Complimentary materials Instructor PowerPoint file
Company Fat Angelo’s
Industry Food and Beverage
Discipline Operations Management
Functional area(s) Operations Management

Abstract

Fat Angelo’s was a well-established and renowned family-style Italian restaurant chain in Hong Kong. . Its popularity, however, created challenges. One daily example of this were the queues the restaurants encountered during their peak dinner periods. Long waits resulted in dissatisfied, or even lost, customers. On the other hand, during non-peak hours, the restaurants were at less than full capacity meaning lost revenue opportunities. To help bring in additional customers during off-peak hours, the company was considering various measures, including a new promotional opportunity with online voucher company Groupon.

Learning objectives

The case can be used to focus on more conceptual topics in restaurant management and operations management, in general, or to provide a more technical tutorial on cycle times, waiting line theory and queue management decision making.

On a conceptual level, students will gain an appreciation of the real-world dynamics in managing the operations of a restaurant chain, including food preparation and service, table turnover, and enhancing the dining experience. Given the inherent challenges in the daily operations of a restaurant, the case can also be effectively used to educate students about the revenue consequences of decisions made in managing those operations.

Strategic Direction: JD.com CEO’s Challenge
Reference No. 0414-027
Academic Supervisor Chris Doran
Case Writer Kenny Yiu
Publication Year 2015
Company JD.com
Industry Retail
Discipline Management
Functional area(s) Strategy, Information Technology

Abstract

The objective of the case is for instructors to teach students how to analyse the strategic situation of a company and use this analysis to evaluate alternative strategic moves for a company.

Using China’s fast-growing e-commerce industry as backdrop, the case presents the history of JD.com and the competitive landscape of the sector. The direct threat is from Alibaba’s Taobao and its T-Mall marketplace, the ten-ton gorilla of China’s e-commerce sector. It also contains information on JD.com’s unique logistics backbone, its pre-IPO financials and the company’s plans to become a public company.

The case presents the four developmental directions that JD.com’s CEO, Richard Liu, had laid out and challenges students on which of these to prioritize and if there are other more attractive growth options. Students are expected to adopt the perspective of senior executives at JD.com and discuss the various available development options, then make recommendations on the company’s strategic direction.

Learning objectives

The case is designed to trigger a discussion on the elements to consider when deciding the strategic direction of a leading player in the e-commerce sector in China. Students learn by putting themselves in the role of the chief executive of the company, and come up with the sensible development direction given the market environment.

The primary learning objective is for students to be able to use analysis to formulate winning strategies. Sub-objectives are that students will be able to:

  • Analyze a new industry in a different country both as a static snapshot and dynamically over time
  • Describe a company’s strategy using the strategic triangle (or Osterwalder Business Canvas)
  • Analyze asymmetries between two competitors with different business models and use these to identify strategic and tactical moves that play to their own strengths
  • Use the adjacency model to generate and structure a long list of opportunities
  • Priorities opportunities through qualitative (not quantitative) analysis using a GE Matrix

Cathay Pacific Airways: Implementing a Sustainable Development Strategy
Reference No. 0414-026
Academic Supervisor Ronald Lau
Case Writer Ivy Buche, Shirley Mo-ching Yeung
Publication Year 2016
Number of Pages 14 pages of text + 7 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 13 pages of text
Company Cathay Pacific
Industry Airlines
Discipline Operations Management
Functional area(s) Operations Management, General Management

Abstract

This case traces the sustainable development (SD) journey undertaken by Hong Kong’s flagship carrier, Cathay Pacific Airways, to bring environmental issues from the periphery to the core of the organization. In 2012, the airline set 20 SD targets to be achieved by 2020. But it soon realized that integrating sustainable practices into the overall strategy was vital for the long-term viability of the business. The key challenge for the airline’s environmental affairs department was twofold—to embed sustainability into the mainstream thinking of the organization and to align environmental and social initiatives that cut across all departments with the overall business goals of the airline.

Learning objectives

As pressure continues to mount from the public, media, investors, regulatory, and nongovernmental organizations, particularly in response to unprecedented climate change, businesses are being forced to rethink their strategy for combining sustainability and good business practice. The case illustrates how a leading airline strives to implement an SD strategy. After analyzing the case, students will be able to:

  • Identify success factors of sustainable development.
  • Describe how sustainability has had an impact on business strategies and structures.
  • Discuss how sustainability and CSR concepts can be incorporated into business practice.
  • Explain how “being green” fits with the profit maximization objectives of the business.
  • Analyze the key considerations when implementing sustainability and CSR-related strategies.

Citic Pacific: When Hedging Turned Sour, a Lesson in Structured Products in Hong Kong
Reference No. 0912-025
Academic Supervisor Samuel Liang
Case Writer Ming-wah Yip
Publication Year 2013 (revised in 2014)
Number of Pages 6 pages of text + 8 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 10 pages of text
Complimentary materials None
Company Citic Pacific
Industry Conglomerate
Discipline Finance
Functional area(s) Finance

Abstract

CITIC Pacific Limited was a “red-chip” conglomerate based in Hong Kong, with businesses spanning across aviation, power generation, civil infrastructure, telecommunication and special steels manufacturing. Its special steels business was the largest in China. In 2006, it acquired iron ore mining rights in Australia in order to secure the sourcing of iron ore. The iron ore project required capital outlay in Australia Dollars over the next few years. To manage the Australia currency exchange rate risk, CITIC Pacific entered into various structured hedging transactions. On 20 October 2008, CITIC announced it had incurred over HKD15.5billion loss on its leveraged foreign exchange contracts, with total notional exposure of AUD9.5billion. The company stock price dropped 55% on the next day.

Learning objectives

The case teaches students how to analyze hedging instruments and identify the right hedging tools to cater to a company’s need in the midst of market exuberance.

  1. To learn how to decompose and analyze a derivative structured product by applying theories learnt in a derivative course.
    1. To learn how to apply Black-Scholes formula to price options in a real-life case.
    2. To learn how to price forward contract in a real-life case.
    3. To master what elements are needed to price options.
    4. To learn the importance of volatility in pricing options.
    5. To learn to measure the risk exposure of a structured product.
  2. To learn how to manage their risk exposure in derivative structured products and/or hedging positions to avoid excessive leverage.
  3. To learn how to select appropriate hedging tools and/or structured products to meet the company’s hedging needs.
  4. For advanced derivatives course, the case can be used to learn how to price exotic options using binomial tree and Monte Carlo simulation in addition to the knock-out option pricing formula.
Lee Kum Kee: Female Succession in Family Business
Reference No. 0114-024
Academic Supervisor Roger King, Winnie Peng
Case Writer Marta K. Dowejko
Publication Year 2014
Number of Pages 7 pages of text + 3 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note Not yet available
Complimentary materials None
Company Lee Kum Kee
Industry Food and Beverage
Discipline Finance
Functional area(s) Family Business, Finance, General Management

Abstract

Elizabeth Mok was the second born and the only daughter in the fourth generation of the Lee family. She was also the only one of five siblings who did not own shares in the family business, the world-renowned sauce maker Lee Kum Kee, headquartered in Hong Kong. For Elizabeth, it seemed natural not to own shares, as she had high respect for the traditional approach to succession planning, where females did not inherit a family business. Besides, she believed her brothers worked hard to build the firm’s international reputation and therefore deserved the shares more than she did.

Elizabeth was once again asked by her family to reconsider her decision not to own shares. This time, she could sense their determination to change the state of things.

Learning objectives

The following issues are covered in the case study:

  1. Role of women in the family and the business
  2. Ownership and business succession in a family business
Sun Hing: Keeping the Family Together through Philanthropy
Reference No. 0114-023
Academic Supervisor Roger King, Winnie Peng
Case Writer Marta K. Dowejko
Publication Year 2014
Number of Pages 11 pages of text + 9 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 8 pages of text + 9 pages of exhibits
Complimentary materials None
Company Sun Hing Group
Industry Shipping
Discipline Finance
Functional area(s) Family Business, Social Enterprise, General Management

Abstract

Edwin Lee, is a fourth generation member of the Lee family – who owns and runs Sun Hing Group – and a board member of the Simon KY Lee Foundation. The Foundation has been established in 1985 and it was managed by Edwin’s grandfather until his passing in 2010. Largely inspired by family’s joint experience with other charitable organizations, it underwent a major reorganization to accommodate a business model where social innovation is central to the Foundation’s charitable activities, and the entire multi-generational family volunteers to participate in the decision-making process. As next in line, Edwin’s challenge is to reconcile his professional ambitions of making a large-scale social impact as philanthropic advisor with his family’s wish for him to become the guardian of family’s business and philanthropic legacy. The question is, to what extent Edwin should be involved with the family business operations and The Simon KY Lee Foundation’s charitable activities in achieving his personal and family’s objectives and in ensuring Foundation’s future development?

Learning objectives

The case tells the story of how the evolution of The Simon KY Lee Foundation from traditional to strategic philanthropy served as a strategy for managing family succession and legacy. The key objective is to provide students with necessary skills and understanding of how organized philanthropic activities can contribute to developing and preserving of the family cohesion across and within generations. The case shows how family philanthropy can be strategically managed even within a restricted budget and contribute to carrying forward of family values, solidification of family ties, and defining of family leadership. In addition, students will recognize a systematic approach to designing and managing modern philanthropic organizations, encouraging country-level social innovation, and enhancing the organization’s leadership over time.

Intuitive Automata
Reference No. 0814-022
Academic Supervisor Po Chi Wu
Case Writer Leon Hill
Publication Year 2014
Number of Pages 9 pages of text + 2 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note Not yet available
Complimentary materials None
Company Intuitive Automata
Industry Technology hardware and equipment
Discipline Management
Functional area(s) Entrepreneurship

Abstract

In 2007, Cory Kidd completed his PhD at MIT in human-robot interaction and incorporated Intuitive Automata (IA) in Delaware. Cory’s vision for IA was to apply his PhD research to develop social robotics to enhance human healthcare. After moving its headquarters to Hong Kong in 2008, IA built a working prototype, a robotic weight-loss coach named Autom. Positive feedback from beta testers and enthusiastic indications of interest from institutional healthcare were encouraging. By the start of 2013, however, Intuitive Automata had been operating for five years without bringing a product to market. Potential investors wanted to see concrete evidence of Autom’s sales, but IA could not manufacture products without funding.

Learning objectives

The Intuitive Automata case challenges the reader to think about and tackle start-up management and innovation strategy issues. The reader will learn:

  1. How to make critical decisions faced by startups, including decisions related to funding, strategic direction and the team.
  2. How to determine the “space” for innovation in a particular market
  3. How to execute a good strategy and build positive ROI
Pacific Coffee: Making the Numbers Count – Long Run Investment Decisions
Reference No. 1113-021
Academic Supervisor Thian Chew
Case Writer Ambrose Tong
Publication Year 2014
Number of Pages 2 pages of text + 1 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 7 pages of text
Complimentary materials Excel solutions and data spreadsheet
Company Pacific Coffee
Industry Food and Beverage
Discipline Accounting
Functional area(s) Accounting, Finance

Abstract

In June 2013, Pacific Coffee’s business development and leasing team came across two locations up for rent. One was a ground-floor space at a new building on the campus of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), while the other option was a street-level store in Central district.

The business development and leasing team was presenting to senior management the following morning. Management wanted solid analysis to back up any investment decision made with new stores, which included both financial analysis as well as strategic considerations. The team had already come up with forecasts. They now had to analyze and to evaluate the two options

Learning objectives

The fifth and final case in this five case series can be used help students understand capital decisions, where costs and benefits typically span over a number of years. This includes:

  1. The advantages and disadvantages of a retailer chain in securing appropriate retail locations
  2. Locations that have low rental rate might not draw enough visitor traffic to justify return of initial investment
  3. A district which has no existing location could sometimes be favorable over long run due to lack of competition
Pacific Coffee: Making the Numbers Count – Balanced Scorecard
Reference No. 1113-020
Academic Supervisor Thian Chew
Case Writer Ambrose Tong
Publication Year 2014
Number of Pages 1 pages of text
Number of pages teaching note 7 pages of text
Complimentary materials Excel solutions and data spreadsheet
Company Pacific Coffee
Industry Food and Beverage
Discipline Accounting
Functional area(s) Accounting, Finance

Abstract

Since China Resource Enterprise Ltd. (“CRE”) acquired a majority stake in Pacific Coffee, the coffee chain had experience tremendous expansion. This was particularly the case in mainland China where the number of stores exceeded those in Hong Kong by March 2013. The change in needs for Pacific Coffee’s two main markets, namely Hong Kong and China, lead to the restructuring of the company in March 2013. Two distinct management teams were created, namely Hong Kong & Overseas and China.

In order to manage the day-to-day, keep the two regions in sync and to develop the brand, the management has been applying management principles, some used by other CRE businesses.

Learning objectives

The fourth case in this five case series can be used help students understand the drivers of a business to monitor across multiple dimensions that reflect both financial and non-financial, as well as leading and lagging indicators. The case also compares and contrasts how the tool can be applied at both a corporate level as well as how it cascades into the operating level of the business.

Pacific Coffee: Making the Numbers Count – Budget and Variances
Reference No. 1113-019
Academic Supervisor Thian Chew
Case Writer Ambrose Tong
Publication Year 2014
Number of Pages 2 pages of text + 1 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 7 pages of text
Complimentary materials Excel solutions and data spreadsheet
Company Pacific Coffee
Industry Food and Beverage
Discipline Accounting
Functional area(s) Accounting, Finance

Abstract

Before Pacific Coffee decided to setup store at a new location, its business development team would first examine the site and estimate business feasibility there, to determine the cost of construction as well as forecast the performance of the operation.

Three months after opening two new stores, the area manager and Pacific Coffee’s management were analyzing their results compared to their budget and expectations.

Learning objectives

The third case in this five case series can be used to teach students about budgeting and understanding variances. Although the example is simple and individual store results small, the objective is to get the students to identify the small number of variances to focus on and look to potential ways to resolve / track going forward. In reality, there is much data to sort through for managers. The key is to identify the 80/20 and identify how these numbers relate to the business fundamentals and what management should focus on:

  1. Comparing price versus volume variance
  2. Identifying controllable versus uncontrollable variances
  3. Uncertainties when ramping up a business versus predictability of stable business: how budgeting and variance analysis would have a different emphasis.
Pacific Coffee: Making the Numbers Count – Cost Volume Profit Analysis
Reference No. 1113-018
Academic Supervisor Thian Chew
Case Writer Ambrose Tong
Publication Year 2014
Number of Pages 3 pages of text + 2 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 7 pages of text
Complimentary materials Excel solutions and data spreadsheet
Company Pacific Coffee
Industry Food and Beverage
Discipline Accounting
Functional area(s) Accounting, Finance

Abstract

Pacific Coffee operated several stores in Central Hong Kong, the heart of the city’s financial district. One of these stores (“Store X”) was situated on the ground floor and near the main lobby of a Grade A commercial building and a five-minute walk away from Lan Kwai Fong, a popular area for drinking, dining and clubbing frequented by the city’s professionals.

Store X’s opening hours were from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Profitability was constantly challenged by increased competition as well as pressures from cost inflation including rent, labor and raw material price increases. Jonathan Somerville, the group COO, had been contemplating a number of different strategies to optimize profitability at the store.

Learning objectives

The second case in this five case series can be used to teach students the dynamic effects of fixed and variable costs under impact of different sales volume. Other cost categories to consider include relevant costs, opportunity costs and sunk costs. Students can then discuss the impact these various costs will have on decision making.

Pacific Coffee: Making the Numbers Count
Reference No. 1113-017
Academic Supervisor Thian Chew
Case Writer Ambrose Tong
Publication Year 2014
Number of Pages 12 pages of text + 7 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 11 pages of text
Complimentary materials Excel solutions and data spreadsheet
Company Pacific Coffee
Industry Food and Beverage
Discipline Accounting
Functional area(s) Accounting, Finance

Abstract

In September 2010, Pacific Coffee Company Limited, a Hong Kong-based coffeehouse chain, experienced a major change of ownership. The new majority-shareholder of Pacific Coffee had high hopes for establishing and extending the brand and network in China. At the same time it wanted to maintain its leading position in the competitive Hong Kong market. The new management team had to deliver on these two strategic initiatives.

Learning objectives

The first case in this five case series provides students with the necessary background on Pacific Coffee, their business model and the competitive landscape in Hong Kong. Students analyze how the nature of Pacific Coffee’s business impact their operations, selection of locations and management accounting system.

Chow Tai Fook: Fulfilling the Chinese Dream
Reference No. 0913-016
Academic Supervisor Kristiaan Helsen
Case Writer Armand Ghieuw
Publication Year 2014
Number of Pages 11 pages of text + 17 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 10 pages of text
Complimentary materials None
Company Chow Thai Fook
Industry Consumer Goods
Discipline Marketing
Functional area(s) Marketing, Strategy

Abstract

Chow Tai Fook was the world’s largest pure-play jewelry retailer by market capitalization, with reported sales of USD7.4 billion in fiscal year 2013. Though virtually unknown to westerners, one study showed that within mainland China the brand was better known than Rolex, Bulgari, or Tiffany.

As the architect of CTF’s business in mainland China and a 37-year veteran in the company, its CEO, Kent Wong, was convinced that the fundamentals in the mainland China market were as solid as ever. He also believed that only by capturing the hearts of the consumers could CTF be the number-one brand in mainland China. To Kent, the immediate challenge was how to take advantage of the changes in mainland China’s consumer habits in view of rising incomes and urbanization. Also, he was determined to exploit the trend towards e-tailing, which was set to impact the jewelry industry.

Learning objectives

The authors conducted several interviews with Kent Wong and senior management of CTF as part of the case development process. In these interviews, several key issues were identified by the authors. While these issues are not spelled out in the case, students should have no problems identifying them when reading the case.

  1. After discussion and analysis of the case, students will be able to:
  2. Highlight the importance of a coherent distribution strategy to tap China’s inland cities.
  3. Understand the importance of online/offline (“O2O”) synergy in distribution.
  4. Understand the significance of brand building and customer relationship management (CRM) in luxury goods retailing.
  5. Evaluate the digital landscape of China and its bearing on a company’s marketing strategy.
Milan Station: Unleashing the Potential of China
Reference No. 1013-015
Academic Supervisor Kristiaan Helsen
Case Writer Gigi Wong Yuk-ki
Publication Year 2013
Number of Pages 12 pages of text + 13 pages of exhibits
Company Milan Station
Industry Retail
Discipline Marketing
Functional area(s) Marketing, Strategy

Abstract

Milan Station Holdings Limited (“Milan Station” or the “Group”) was a Hong Kong based retailer of unused and second-hand luxury branded handbags. The company ran a total of 17 stores—11 in Hong Kong, three in Beijing, two in Shanghai and one in Macau. With plans to open 24 new stores in the coming year, the chief marketing officer of the Group, was brainstorming on how to sustain the Group’s growth momentum. The company was facing some severe headwinds. Surging rents and rising salaries in Hong Kong threatened to squeeze profit margins. Worsening consumer sentiment in both Hong Kong and mainland China could put further pressure on the Group’s sales and profits.

Learning objectives

After discussion and analysis of the case, students will be able to:

  • Understand the challenges China’s regulatory system poses on the opening of brick-and-mortar stores.
  • Understand how taxes, especially in the luxury good sector, can influence positioning and strategy.
  • Understand the various non-financial barriers to growth.
  • Develop a strategy for expanding a luxury retailer in China.

TWB: Alternative Paths to Creating Social Impact
Reference No. 1213-014
Academic Supervisor Ronald Lau
Case Writer Joseph Fernandez
Publication Year 2014
Number of Pages 10 pages of text + 5 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 11 pages of text
Complimentary materials None
Company Trade Without Borders
Industry Social Enterprise
Discipline Operations Management
Functional area(s) Operations Management, Social Enterprise

Abstract

The protagonist of the case is the founder of Trade Without Borders, Joseph Fernandez. Joseph set up TWB in his hometown of Houston, Texas, U.S.A. His motivation in doing so was purely charitable – the extension of trading services to non-government organizations (NGOs) in developing regions of the world. While his mission was seemingly clear, executing his mission in a financially viable and sustainable manner was much less so. Many of the products that TWB hoped to supply to NGOs were manufactured in China. Therefore, establishing a base of operations in the China region seemed prudent. Prior to being able to determine the type of organization to incorporate, however, Joseph had to further consider the strategy and daily operations of the proposed China entity and ensure that the proposed operations contributed to and did not hinder the primary social mission of the organization

Learning objectives

The key objective of this case is to provide students with the critical thinking skills necessary to understand the essential role that organizational structure and operations can have on an organization’s ability to add value for all of its key stakeholders. Organizational structure and operations derive from the mission, strategy, and intended outcomes of an organization. Furthermore, traditional organizations, including for-profit corporations and non-profit charities have both been challenged more recently to demonstrate the sustainable impact of their corporate or charitable operation. The learning objectives of the case are:

  1. Operations management and the challenge of serving multiple stakeholders.
  2. The increasingly relevant role of sustainability and CSR in operations management today.
  3. Alternative structures to the traditional for-profit corporation or non-profit organization.
  4. Impact metrics and their role in improving operations and an organization's double or triple bottom line.
Reaching the Summit and Beyond: Hong Kong Broadband Network’s Innovative Approach to Talent Management
Reference No. 0313-013
Academic Supervisor Riki Takeuchi
Case Writer Ivy Buche
Publication Year 2013 (revised in 2014)
Number of Pages 18 pages of text + 8 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 10 pages of text + 1 pages of exhibits
Complimentary materials None
Company Hong Kong Broadband Network
Industry Fixed-line telecommunications
Discipline Management
Functional area(s) Human Resource Management, General Management

Abstract

The case is based on Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN), the second-largest broadband service provider in the territory in 2012. The young and dynamic company is growing at a faster pace than its competitors, and attributes this success to its innovative approach to Talent management, which involves attracting, developing, retaining, and rewarding its 3,080-strong Talent base. HKBN’s Talent enhancement programs are designed to drive strong individual, team, and organizational performance, inspiring a highly engaged workforce and a high-performance work culture across the organization.

In mid-2012, when HKBN’s parent company, City Telecom, sold HKBN and all related telecom businesses to a global private equity firm―CVC Capital Partners—it created a new challenge for NiQ Lai, head of Talent engagement and CFO. The new directive for NiQ was to lead HKBN to an initial public offering (IPO) in three to five years’ time. To do so, the key question was, how should the management team leverage its Talent base to maximize the value of the company?

Learning objectives

The case describes HKBN’s Talent management system as a driver for competitive advantage. Apart from the top management perspective, the “voices” of the employees are integrated in the case to provide a holistic picture and enrich student learning. The key objective of this case is to provide students with an understanding of the significance of human resource development in a highly competitive organization. It shows how Talent management resources can be intelligently allocated to contribute materially to organizational performance and achieve superior business results. In addition, students will recognize a systematic approach to identifying new Talent, developing potential Talent, and enhancing the organization's leadership pipeline over time.

DJI Innovations: Managing the Human Capital in a High-Flying Company
Reference No. 1213-012
Academic Supervisor Po Chi Wu
Case Writer Warren Lee
Publication Year 2013
Number of Pages 6 pages of text + 10 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 7 pages of text + 6 pages of exhibits
Complimentary materials Instructor PowerPoint file
Company DJI Innovations
Industry Technology hardware and equipment, Leisure goods
Discipline Management
Functional area(s) Human Resource Management, Entrepreneurship, General Management

Abstract

DJI-Innovations was an early-stage company that developed hardware and software for remote-controlled helicopters and drones. Frank Wang, the CEO and founder is an exceptionally bright and passionate young man who has seen his company grow with leaps-and-bounds in the last few years. This growth presents him with human resource challenges that his engineering background has not prepared him for.

The case describes this situation and offers the following challenge to students:
If you were Frank Wang, what will be your strategy to manage its human resources to meet DJI’s challenges and needs during this critical growth stage and ensure that the core value of the company continues to serve as a driver of its competitive advantage?

Learning objectives

Key Issues

  • Why is hiring at certain stages of growth more critical than at other times?
  • How do managers balance short-term needs vs long-term potential?
  • How can a company encourage/motivate its employees to seek further training?
  • What are the challenges of promoting from within, as compared to hiring from outside?
  • What are effective ways to evaluate employee performance and provide appropriate incentives?
Intended Learning Outcomes
  • How are HR issues different in a rapidly-growing tech-based company?
  • How does a company culture evolve from being centered around a charismatic founder to a "professional organization"?
  • How can "leadership" be encouraged throughout the company?
Context
  • In developing an HR strategy for a tech-based company in China, what are the factors you need to consider?
Jinggong Steel Building Group’s Growth Strategy in China
Reference No. 0213-011
Author(s) Jianwei Yuan, Shengxiao Li, Jinyu He, Roger King, Minyi Huang
Publication Date December 2013
Number of Pages 16 pages of text + 14pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 1 pages of text + 4 pages of exhibits
Complimentary materials None
Company Changjiang & Jinggong Steel Building Group Co. Ltd
Industry Industrials: construction and materials
Discipline Management
Functional area(s) Strategy
Geographic setting China

Abstract

By 2011, Changjiang & Jinggong Steel Building Group Co. Ltd. (Jinggong Steel) had been the number one in China’s structural steel industry for five consecutive years. The company had successfully grown from a small machine manufacturer into the leading steel structure company through a series of core competency acquisition in the fields of structural steel manufacturing and high-grade frame construction.

As the company started its strategic repositioning in 2011, Management decided that it was time to review the company’s growth-through-acquisition strategy. Relying on the company’s core competence in supplying systematic and professional solutions for commercial and industrial buildings, the company had initiated a transformation from a steel structure manufacturer to a fully integrated general contractor in 2007.

The ultimate decision management faced was whether Jinggong Steel should transform into an all-around general contractor through mergers and acquisitions to meet existing market demand, or whether Jinggong Steel should become a specialized general contractor by leveraging on its core competences to provide new products and services.

Learning objectives

This case aims to help students understand two alternative approaches to formulating strategy (i.e., market-based and resource-based) and the related strategy implementation issues. The students will learn to analyze the business environment, such as industry trends and market competition, and identify a company's core competences and market position. By discussing the differences between a market-based strategy and a resource-based strategy, students will also have a chance to compare the potential benefits and risks of each strategy and discuss the alternative strategies from the company's perspective.

Dun’an Civil Explosives Development Strategy
Reference No. 0213-010
Author(s) Jianwei Yuan, Shengxiao Li, Jinyu He, Roger King, Minyi Huang
Publication Year December 2013
Number of Pages 14 pages of text + 7 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 12 pages of text + 1 pages of exhibits
Complimentary materials None
Company Du’nan Holding Group
Industry Basic materials: chemicals
Discipline Management
Functional area(s) Strategy
Geographic setting China

Abstract

Dun’an Holding Group is a major Chinese conglomerate, employing more than 19,000 people in 90 companies. Its main business is in the heavily regulated civil explosives industry. Chinese government policies encourage both mergers between the various chemical companies producing explosives and companies along the industry value chain. By 2012, Dun’an had grown to a leading industry player through a series of mergers and acquisitions including a successful reverse merger with Anhui Jiangnan Chemical Industry Co. Ltd.

In the near future, the company wanted to build market share in West China, improve safety management and product mix, and strengthen the co-ordination of research, production, marketing and explosive service provision. The company also wanted to develop and strengthen strategic partnerships with large companies in the fields of mining and infrastructure development to create new profit growth through business model innovations. Top management had to decide how to make tradeoffs on decision making when taking into account geographical location, vertical integration, and product portfolio.

Learning objectives

The case can be used to teach how to evaluate the different dimensions of a company’s strategic management, how to achieve significant tradeoffs when making decisions and how to evaluate the impacts of different decisions on the company’s overall positioning in the market.

On a conceptual level, students will gain an appreciation of the real-world dynamics when making strategic decisions. Strategic issues usually require the allocation of large amounts of company resources and have significant long-term impact on the company’s future business development.

In this case, the focus placed on the analytical dimension when making strategic decisions. What issues was the company facing in terms of its geographic scope, vertical scope and product scope respectively? Which dimension should the company focus on first? How might the company’s management of its scope in the three dimensions affect its overall positioning in the civil explosive industry?

To summarize, the following key concepts and theories can be applied in this case study:

  • Identification of strategic issues
    • The importance of strategic issues
    • The different dimensions of strategic issues
  • Strategic decision-making
    • Evaluation of different options
    • Prioritizing different business options and making tradeoffs
Temporary Staffing at Christie’s: An Operations Management Approach
Reference No. 0213-009
Academic supervisor Qing Li
Case writer Kenny Yiu
Publication Year 2013
Number of pages 7 pages of text
Number of pages teaching note 5 pages of text
Complimentary materials Excel spreadsheets for student and faculty
Company Christie’s
Industry Auction
Discipline Operations Management
Functional area(s) Human Resource Management, Operations Management, Organizational Behavior
Geographic setting Hong Kong

Abstract/

Temporary staffing is a common problem in service industries. The case is designed to generate insights into the problem and to teach the modeling of the problem by using linear programming (LP) mathematically or with an Excel spreadsheet. The case can be used in teaching Operations Management, Management Sciences, Decision Analysis or Decision Technology, Business Analytics, and Introduction to Operations Research. The case is suitable to all levels of students who have learned the basics of LP and Microsoft Excel.

Learning objectives

The case will generate insights into the problem and to teach the modeling of the problem by using linear programming (LP) mathematically or with an Excel spreadsheet.

Hong Kong Television Network: The Battle Royale for Hong Kong’s Free-to-Air TV Market
Reference No. 1012-008
Academic Supervisor Kristiaan Helsen
Case Writer Josephine Lau
Publication Year 2013
Number of Pages 12 pages of text + 11 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 7 pages of text
Complimentary materials None
Company HKTV
Industry Media
Discipline Marketing
Functional area(s) Marketing, Strategy

Abstract

Hong Kong Television Network Limited (HKTV) was a leading player in Hong Kong’s international direct dial (IDD) telephone and broadband Internet access industries. The protagonist is Ricky Wong Wai-kay, chairman and founder of HKTV. Ricky had built his company by successfully challenging local oligopolies. Encouraged by the Hong Kong government’s policy to promote provision of more choices of quality programs in the free-to-air terrestrial television market (free TV), HKTV was one of three parties to apply for a license in 2009. At the time, two stations had free-to-air TV licenses, the dominant Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB) and troubled rival Asia Television Limited (ATV). To equip the war chest, Ricky had sold the cash cow of the company, the broadband business, for around HKD5 billion. With the funds, HKTV started to hire staff and construct a large multimedia center. Ricky Wong’s vision is that “together we can create TV miracles.” How can he realize his vision? What will it take for him to compete successfully against TVB?

Learning objectives

The case provides an up-to-date picture of Hong Kong’s free TV market, its historical development, market dynamics, and a sketch of the audience to facilitate a strategy discussion for a newcomer moving into the free TV market.

On a conceptual level, students will gain an appreciation of the real-world dynamics involved in the planning, operations, and marketing of a new free TV station. In presenting HKTV’s pre-launch planning for the new station, the case provides the context for students to explore areas of creative marketing, in luring talents as well as audience, and in program development as well as delivery. How can HKTV fight yet another oligopoly? What are the opportunities for a new free TV operator? How can it differentiate and optimize the business model?

iLinko: Enterprise System Implementation All Over Again
Reference No. 1013-007
Academic Supervisor Ronald Lau
Case Writer Kenny Yiu
Publication Year 2013
Number of Pages 9 pages of text + 1 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 8 pages of text + 4 pages of exhibits
Complimentary materials Instructor PowerPoint file
Company iLinko
Industry Consumer Goods
Discipline Operations Management
Functional area(s) Operations Management, Information Systems

Abstract

iLinko is a small-to-medium enterprise (SME) based in Hong Kong. It has two major lines of business: providing business-to-business sourcing and procurement services for its customers (mainly medium-size companies located in the United States and Europe), and distributing babies and children products under the brand name Bloom. Simon May, the protagonist of the case, is the founder and CEO of iLinko. Given the rapid growth of the company, the existing ERP system can no longer satisfy the operational needs and requirements at iLinko. Simon has to choose whether to upgrade the existing ERP system or replace it with a brand-new system altogether.

Learning objectives

The primary objective of this case is to introduce the concept of a people, process, and technology (PPT) strategy. Students are taken through the process of a company’s (re)selection of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Students will learn about the various considerations to be taken into account by a business manager in the selection process. In addition, students will learn about the different ERP options available in the market and their pros and cons.

Chinese Pharmaceuticals (HK) Limited: Effective Forecasting for Optimal Inventory Management
Reference No. 1212-006
Academic Supervisor Ronald Lau
Case Writer Joseph Fernandez
Publication Year 2013
Complimentary materials Student Excel spreadsheet, Instructor Excel spreadsheet, instructor PowerPoint file.
Company Chinese Pharmaceuticals (HK) Ltd.
Industry Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology
Discipline Operations Management
Functional area(s) Operations Management

Abstract

The case is based on a situation faced by Chinese Pharmaceuticals (HK) Limited, a private, family-owned business in Hong Kong that supplies Chinese medicine products to retailers in Hong Kong and Macau. The protagonist of the case is Jason Kwok, general manager. His challenge is maintaining adequate inventory levels of Noto37, especially given the cash the company would need to tie up in additional stock. Without compromising the company’s cash flow needs, Jason has to implement better systems internally, such as improved forecasting and inventory management practices, to avoid out-of-stock situations

Learning objectives

The key objective of this case is to provide students with necessary skills and an understanding of deriving reliable and accurate forecasts for inventory replenishment decisions. The students will learn to resolve many inventory management issues using a variety of forecasting models. Aside from mastering the technical aspects of forecasting models, students will also have a chance to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a particular supply chain design and to evaluate the feasibility of adopting a vertically integrated supply chain.

Arome Bakery: Replenishment of Fresh Bakery Products
Reference No. 0712-005
Academic Supervisor Ronald Lau
Case Writer Kenny Yiu
Publication Year 2012
Complimentary materials Student Excel spreadsheet, Instructor Excel spreadsheet, instructor PowerPoint file.
Company Arome Bakery
Industry Food retail
Discipline Operations Management
Functional area(s) Operations Management

Abstract

The case is based on the situation faced by Arome Bakery, one of the leading bakery chains in Hong Kong. The protagonist of the case, Sarah Cheng, assistant operations manager, wants to increase the bakery’s competitiveness by improving the operation. One of the key goals is to reduce the number of unsold products that are returned to the central baking factory for disposal. Sarah is looking for a systematic method to determine the optimum order quantity, so as to minimize product wastage while balancing stock-out risk.

Learning objectives

The key objective of this case is to provide students with an understanding of stock replenishment for perishable goods through an explanation of the newsvendor model. Other concepts, such as incentive program design and authority assignation, are also touched upon.

Amway China: Arduous Road to Success (B)
Reference No. 0113-004
Academic Supervisor Steve DeKrey
Case Writer Armand Ghieuw
Publication Year 2013
Number of Pages 7 pages of text + 3 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 8 pages of text
Complimentary materials None
Company Amway China
Industry Consumer Goods
Discipline Management
Functional area(s) Business and Government Relations, General Management

Abstract

In case (B) of this two-part case series, Eva Cheng’s negotiation and leadership skills are tested with challenges coming from government bodies, illegal operators, competitors, and the company’s own distributors. How can she overcome these seemingly insurmountable hurdles and thrive in China’s opaque and volatile environment?

Learning objectives

  1. Discuss the China entry and logistic strategies employed by a Western company in gaining a foothold in that market.
  2. Evaluate the exercise of effective leadership in a crisis.
  3. Understand the importance of negotiations with the Chinese government and the establishment of government relations in preparation for long-term growth.
Amway China: Arduous Road to Success (A)
Reference No. 0113-003
Academic Supervisor Steve DeKrey
Case Writer Armand Ghieuw
Publication Year 2013
Number of Pages 7 pages of text
Number of pages teaching note 8 pages of text
Complimentary materials None
Company Amway China
Industry Consumer Goods
Discipline Management
Functional area(s) Business and Government Relations, General Management

Abstract

Case (A) in this two part case study describes the trials and tribulations of the protagonist Eva Cheng, chairman of Amway China, in her attempts to establish and develop her company’s direct sales operations in the burgeoning China market in the 1990s. Along the way, she is stymied by the passage of a State Council ban against direct selling, which affected the whole industry.

Learning objectives

  1. Discuss the China entry and logistic strategies employed by a Western company in gaining a foothold in that market.
  2. Evaluate the exercise of effective leadership in a crisis.
  3. Understand the importance of negotiations with the Chinese government and the establishment of government relations in preparation for long-term growth.
Value Beyond Capital: GE Equity Asia’s Investment Strategy
Reference No. 1212-002
Academic Supervisor Winnie Peng
Case Writer Yu Chen
Publication Year 2013
Number of Pages 10 pages of text + 9 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note 5 pages of text + 2 pages of exhibits
Complimentary materials None
Company GE Equity Asia
Industry Private Equity
Discipline Finance
Functional area(s) Finance, Strategy

Abstract

GE Equity Asia was established in the late 1990s as the Asian division of GE Equity, the private equity arm of GE Capital. Shortly after the 2008 financial crisis, GE authorized GE Equity Asia to raise a USD500–750 million Asian private equity fund, which would for the first time bring in third-party investors as limited partners (LPs). GE Capital was planning to commit to investing 10–20% of the fund as an anchor investor. Fundraising was going smoothly until mid-2010, when the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a major financial reform law in the United States, was enacted.

In particular, the section (typically called the “Volcker Rule”) prohibited federally insured banks and their affiliates from investing in or sponsoring private equity funds and hedge funds. Although not a bank, GE Capital was deemed to be captured under the broad definition of “affiliate” adopted by the Volcker Rule.1 Consequently, the plan for a GE Capital-sponsored Asian private equity fund was dropped, as the sponsorship appeared to be prohibited by the new law. At this critical juncture, the team had to evaluate their options and formulate a new strategy for GE Equity Asia.

Learning objectives

The learning objectives of the case are:

  1. To assess GE Equity Asia’s competitive position in the PE industry.
  2. To analyze the investment strategy of GE Equity Asia from 2000 onward.
  3. To explore the rationale behind GE Equity Asia’s investment strategy.
  4. To identify the problems and challenges faced by GE Equity Asia.
  5. To explore the options GE Equity Asia has to face its challenges.
Chevalier Group: Using a Private Equity “Style” Strategy to Maximize a Listed Company’s Value
Reference No. 1212-001
Academic Supervisor Roger King, Winnie Peng
Case Writer Ambrose Tong
Publication Year 2013
Number of Pages 6 pages of text + 5 pages of exhibits
Number of pages teaching note Not yet available
Complimentary materials None
Company Chevalier Group
Industry Conglomerate
Discipline Finance
Functional area(s) Family Business, Finance, Strategy

Abstract

In June 2010, Chevalier Pacific Holding Ltd. completed the successful sale of Pacific Coffee. The purchase and subsequent sale of Pacific Coffee were landmarks in a successful strategy to revitalize Chevalier Pacific Holdings Ltd under Chevalier Group. Founded in 1970, Chevalier Group was a Hong Kong-based conglomerate operating a wide range of businesses.

While parts of the business showed strong growth and recorded healthy profits, others had reached their peak and were showing signs of decline. It was a negative change in the fortunes of the IT products distribution business that had inspired Oscar Chow, executive director and son of the group’s founder, to enter the food and beverage (F&B) business in 2005. By redeploying the healthy balance sheet of the undervalued IT distribution business, he was able to enhance shareholder value. By late 2011, Oscar was devising a long-term plan that would position his strategy as one of the group’s core competencies. What should the plan be and how should he implement it?

Learning objectives

The Chevalier case demonstrates how a family-controlled and publicly listed group can make use of a listed company’s idle assets and turn them into a private equity-like endeavor generating better returns for all shareholders.

Students will learn to:

  1. Identify differences between Mergers & Acquisition (M&A) and Private Equity (PE) / Venture Capital (VC) investment.
  2. Identify and to evaluate elements and factors that constitute a sustainable PE investment model.
  3. Understand the influences on the investment decision making process of a family-controlled listed company.
 
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