Entrepreneurship & Innovation Be.artsy: A Social Entrepreneur's Dilemma in Scaling Women Empowerment
Women's empowerment means empowering women on multiple dimensions: economically, psychologically, socially, and politically. Historically, women have suffered from disproportionately reduced access to resources and opportunities. Financial literacy and inclusion are especially important to overcome the dependence of women on their husbands. This aspect is more important in situations where the husband-wife relationship was strained for a variety of reasons. Shikha Mittal founded Be.artsy to empower women to speak up and manage their finances, with financial literacy and consequent empowerment acting as the impetus for overall women's empowerment. Experiences of sexual harassment at the workplace and domestic violence prompted Mittal to design and offer programs to corporates. These programs aimed to address the above problems through customized training programs for employees of these companies, which comprised Be.artsy's business to business (B2B) markets. Although these programs were supplemented with street plays and interventions in colleges, the B2B channel was the primary channel Be.artsy used to reach out to women; it generated revenue and created an impact. Be.artsy chose financial literacy as the key pillar for women's empowerment and drove its programs through tie-ups with institutions. With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mittal launched an online program, Be Your Own Lakshmi (BYOL), that imparted financial literacy education. With free initial sessions that demonstrated the importance of financial planning and promotions through social media, BYOL had garnered some traction, with many people wanting to sign up for the paid BYOL offering. However, Mittal's desire to use BYOL as a vehicle to speed up the achievement of her vision of empowering millions of women remained unfulfilled. She needed to choose the right approach to scale BYOL, but the dilemma remained: Should she scale BYOL using the B2B or business to consumer (B2C) route?
Understand how personal experiences influence starting up a venture and the subsequent entrepreneurial journey
Compare B2B and B2C as approaches for start-ups, in the context of Be.artsy
Analyze Be.artsy's various scaling-up options.
Consider the challenges in scaling up Be.artsy in particular and start-ups in general.
Entrepreneurship & Innovation Malaka Spice: Revolutionizing Restaurant Ecosystems for a Sustainable Planet
The case is set in 2021 and explores the journey of Chiranjeev Restaurant and Foods Pvt. Ltd., located at Koregaon Park, Pune. It has evolved sustainable business practices, delivering innovative organic food products from farm to table to its customers at the restaurant over the last 25 years. The case underlines Malaka Spice's efforts to mainstream sustainability in the restaurant ecosystem by challenging the current food system followed by fine-dining restaurants in India. Malaka Spice, led by the founder Praful Chandawarkar and his experienced management team, has implemented a circular food system by incorporating natural farming practices, enrolling local suppliers, having an integrated supply chain, training staff to efficiently use the produce, composting waste and feeding the compost back into the soil, and closing the system's feedback loop. The case explores critical events in Praful's personal life and the entrepreneurial journey that persuaded him to pursue a mission to bring prosperity to all, including the restaurant's employees and the planet's ecosystem. Malaka Spice's culture is rooted in the Indian management thought process inspired by the sutras from Kautilya's Arthashastra (ancient Indian treatise on economics, statecraft, warfare, etc.). The principles derived from the sutras led to unconventional practices within the organization. During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, the management team empowered the employees to start their own enterprises while continuing to be employees of the restaurant chain. They were trained to source materials and supply them to the restaurant. Malaka Spice influenced the competition to adopt its best practices and created an environment of trust to promote the cross-learning of ideas within the hospitality industry. Finally, the case delves into green solutions that the Malaka Spice team designed and prototyped to tackle the climate crisis proactively.
- Implementation of a circular urban food system that mitigates food wastage, improves food safety, and reduces carbon emissions in the hospitality industry.
- How to build a sustainable restaurant ecosystem that is good for the planet and profitable at the same time.
- How an intrapreneurial culture within the organization can create sustainability for all.
- How the Indian management thought process creates a culture where sustainability is an intrinsic value of the organization.
Entrepreneurship & Innovation Scaling Digital Transformation: Growing LVPEI's eyeSmart Electronic Medical Record (EMR) System
The case explores the journey of developing and implementing an electronic medical record (EMR) solution across the vast LVPEI network. The leadership team at LVPEI decided to take the unconventional approach of developing the EMR solution in-house and chose Anthony Vipin Das, an ophthalmologist with a flair for information technology (IT), to head this development project. The case is set in 2017 and illustrates the challenges that Das, Consultant Ophthalmologist at LVPEI, faced and overcame in developing and implementing the eyeSmart EMR software. Although LVPEI had expertise in developing and implementing eye care solutions both inside and outside India, it needed a fresh strategy for developing and scaling up eyeSmart EMR. With the efforts of Das and his team, eyeSmart EMR was successfully implemented within the LVPEI network. The case ends with Das considering different options for the evolution of eyeSmart EMR.
- To compare the digital landscape of hospitals in India with that of developed nations
- To understand the nuances of implementing a digital transformation project in a healthcare setting
- To understand the mindset of actors driving successful digital transformation projects
- To understand the strategic options available for scaling digital transformation
- To understand the entrepreneurial drivers in an organization
Entrepreneurship & Innovation Scaling Niramai: Disrupting Breast Cancer Detection Using Artificial Intelligence
The case titled ""Scaling Niramai: Disrupting Breast Cancer Detection using Artificial Intelligence"" describes the relentless efforts of Dr. Geetha Manjunath, the founder of Niramai, to improve early-stage breast cancer detection in women. India was plagued by a lack of medical facilities, poor access to early-stage cancer screening programs, and a lack of awareness of breast cancer in rural areas. These were the primary causes of the high rate of death due to cancer among women, of which breast cancer was a major contributor. The case study explores the different stages of Niramai's journey and poses the key question of what Niramai should do to scale its innovative and crucial offering for marketplace success. Manjunath, a healthcare research scientist, developed an innovative thermal-analytics-based solution to detect early-stage breast cancer. Niramai's innovative product received global recognition; it was the only Indian start-up to be listed on the global business data intelligence platform CB Insights. She had the noble vision of providing an affordable early-stage breast cancer solution to women, especially the underprivileged in the hinterland of the country. Manjunath considered her start-up to be much more than merely a business. The company raised US$7 million from investors for business expansion and growth. Given the potential upside, the opportunities to raise funds and scale globally created a plethora of dilemmas and challenges for Niramai's senior management team. It was a challenge for Niramai to simultaneously balance social impact and financial goals. The case ends with Manjunath and her team contemplating various options to scale Niramai. From an analysis of the case, students will appreciate the need for an organization to develop a framework that helps it analyze the company's current situation, identify opportunities, and make key strategic decisions to boost growth.
- Understand how socially minded entrepreneurs balance purpose and profits.
- Understand how technology-enabled healthcare start-ups design business models.
- Appreciate the challenge of breast cancer detection.
- Understand the different strategic scaling options available for healthcare start-ups.
Entrepreneurship & Innovation Organic Mandya: Challenges in Scaling a Social Enterprise
The Organic Mandya (OM) case explores the journey of Madhu Chandan, a successful entrepreneur who gave up his comfortable life in the United States to return to his home state, Karnataka, in India and set up OM, a first-of-its-kind organic movement led by farmers in Mandya. Over the years leading up to his return to his roots, Chandan had observed certain disturbing trends such as increasing farmer suicides in Karnataka, the reduced life expectancy of the rural population, and large-scale migration of youth to cities for employment opportunities. He began to delve deeper to understand the problems faced by these farmers. He observed that the adoption of chemical farming in Mandya over the past few decades had led to an increase in lifestyle diseases and reduced life expectancy-a phenomenon hitherto unheard of within rural communities. OM was born out of Chandan's journey to change consumer and farmer behavior and encourage farmers to revert to traditional and more ecologically friendly farming practices. The case examines the challenges that Chandan encountered in convincing farmers to revert to sustainable farming practices, while simultaneously attempting to change the mindset of urban consumers by encouraging them to seek health-promoting, organically grown farm produce. This case will help students understand the traits that an entrepreneur driving a socially oriented business and led by a strong sense of purpose will need for success, as well as the challenges and opportunities in building a community-based enterprise. The case is set in August 2020, when Chandan was forced to reflect on the sustainability of OM's business model in the rapidly changing social context and increasing competition from big players. Consumer preference for online shopping for foodstuff was making it imperative for Chandan to continue to innovate OM's business model and to identify new opportunities to continue to stay relevant.
Understand the challenges in setting up a social enterprise in the agricultural sector. - Explore strategies that can be adopted to build agricultural value chains and rural market linkages. - Consider whether scale is necessary or possible in social enterprises, specifically in organic farming. - Identify sustainable growth models for a social enterprise, balancing the twin goals of profitability and social upliftment of farming communities, without compromising business ethics.Learn More
Entrepreneurship & Innovation Fluid Ai-Breaking New Ground with Artificial Intelligence
The case is set in 2017 and covers the journey of Fluid AI. Fluid AI is a five-year-old artificial intelligence (AI) startup that emerged as a pioneer in offering various AI-based products to solve various business problems. Its customers were primarily international and domestic (Indian) banks that generated and held enormous data but struggled to make sense of it. These banks needed help in solving problems such as predicting which customers they should lend money to, having an effective collection mechanism with reduced reliance on human decision-making, and using AI as modern technology to enhance the overall quality of customer experience. High cost-to-income ratios in banks provided another business imperative for building AI-based solutions to automate various operational processes in banks. Recognizing these needs, Fluid AI's founders-Raghav and Abhinav Aggarwal-built a core set of products powered by deep technical expertise and knowledge of AI algorithms. Enthused by the success from their first banking customer, the duo invested heavily in creating a two-pronged AI value proposition: predictive AI capabilities and conversational bots, with the ability to deploy solutions both on the customer's premises and on the cloud. This unique capability put Fluid AI in a formidable position to compete with more established AI startups, including some large IT service providers and product companies. The brothers did all of this in a completely bootstrapped mode, allowing the Fluid AI team full freedom to make technology, architectural, and business model decisions. They reached a critical mass of customers as more banks signed up and started using Fluid AI's products. A turning point came when Forbes magazine approached Fluid AI to help create a virtual avatar of Warren Buffett. This case traces Fluid AI's journey from being a startup, including its young founders and their dreams.
- Understand the entrepreneurial mindset of a high-tech startup (in this case, in the domain of Artificial Intelligence)
- Understand the broad set of applications of AI to solve complex and real business problems and learn how businesses can take advantage of new-age technologies
- Understand the challenges high-tech product companies such as Fluid AI face in navigating the uncertainty in the market, technology, and competitive space.
Entrepreneurship & Innovation Karma Primary Healthcare: The Way Forward
The case, which is set in the period 2014-21, provides an overview of Karma Primary Healthcare's origin and growth story. It also explores the unfolding growth opportunities, some of which emerged as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Karma was founded by Jagdeep Gambhir to deliver quality healthcare to communities in rural India. As of 2021, Karma clinics were present at 25 locations in semi-urban and rural India. Nurses at these clinics used a teleconsultation-based care model to connect the patient with doctors located remotely. The case suggests that Karma has been reasonably successful in progressing toward its original mandate of delivering care to rural communities. However, opportunities for further growth opened up. The case presents the prospects for growing the organization's nascent B2B business, given the broad acceptance of, and high demand for, tele-consultation-based care models across India during and after COVID-19. Further, the case discusses in detail the opportunity for Karma to utilize its experience and capabilities to enter urban India, and touches upon the critical factors that would determine the decision whether or not to enter this market.
- Understand the key differences between the healthcare systems in rural and urban settings in India.
- Explore how leading-edge technologies can be leveraged to develop innovative solutions that enhance healthcare access and quality.
- Appreciate the importance of identifying different revenue streams for a start-up; especially where the primary customers have limited ability to pay.
- Appreciate scaling process for healthcare start-ups Understand collapse of family physician system.
Entrepreneurship & Innovation To Dare or Not to Dare: The Story of an Entrepreneur's Passion - The Case of Delhi International Airport
This case studies the unique traits of a serial entrepreneur through the story of Indian entrepreneur G. M. Rao, Chairman of the GMR Group. It describes Rao's entrepreneurial journey from 1978 to 2003. He started his enterprising journey with small jute, diversified into many new business in the following decades. GMR infrastructure group grew to become the significant player in the energy, airports, highways and urban infrastructure sectors. In 2003, Rao had his eye on an ambitious opportunity. He wanted to make a bid for the Delhi airport modernization project that had been announced by the government. This idea sparked much debate among his senior leadership team. The case explores the challenges that an entrepreneur faces in convincing his team and the board of the company to subscribe to his vision and pursue goals that are based on his gut feeling. This case presents his decision dilemma on whether to bid for the Delhi airport project or not. It also presents the dynamics of Indian Airports sector and emergence of public private partnership policy. It was the beginning of the PPP in airport sector which is also the public utility under service sector. Entrepreneur Ecosystem was evolving, infrastructure financing was at nascent stage. Case presents the dilemma Rao faced who always wanted to create the national asset for India. It's a case presenting the passion and patriotism pushing GM Rao to go for next big challenge.
- To study the characteristics of a serial entrepreneur, drawing lessons from the journey of G. M. Rao and the GMR Group,
- To study how passion and entrepreneurial abilities fuel entrepreneurship and guide the entrepreneur in taking calculated risks,
- To understand the difference between an "entrepreneur mindset" and an "administrator mindset", and
- To understand the qualities of a Level-5 leader that are essential to enroll people with diverse perspectives in the leader's vision.
Entrepreneurship & Innovation Zee Entertainment and Essel Group: A Quest for Legacy and Beyond (B)
Case B of the two-part series "Zee Entertainment and Essel Group: A Quest for Legacy and Beyond" describes the evolution and eventual resolution of the personal crisis that looms in front of Subhash Chandra, Chairman of Zee Entertainment Limited, in Case A. Chandra was very well-known in India as a successful entrepreneur who brought entertainment to the masses in the 1990s through his television channel Zee. Although Zee had performed very well over three decades, Chandra found himself under significant debt stress due to failures associated with his infrastructure business, which he had founded in 2007. By January 2019, Chandra had offered most of the shares of the listed firms he owned as collateral to banks to borrow additional debt to sustain his infrastructure business. Several developments had occurred by this time that deepened Chandra's predicament, including the tightening of credit by financial institutions, a statutory body investigation into a firm that he owned, and an investigative report outlining his personal indebtedness. These factors contributed to a dip in the stock price of many listed Essel Group companies, and banks threatened to sell the shares of companies of Chandra's thriving media business to recover the debt. Chandra had to sell assets of his infrastructure business and most of his stake in Zee to pay off his debt. Corporate governance lapses at Zee also emerged at the time of the stake sale by Chandra, particularly around related party transactions with other companies that he and his brothers owned. Although his son Punit Goenka continued as the CEO of Zee, Chandra had to resign his chairmanship of the company and was left with a measly 5% stake in Zee, with the dominant shareholders now being institutional investors.
By offering a first-hand view of Chandra's decisions and challenges, the case shows how skilled entrepreneurs often end up destroying value and personal wealth in the hunt for legacy and wealth creation. The case also looks at the potential corporate governance challenges that may arise when a powerful figure is at the helm of the firm.
Entrepreneurship & Innovation Zee Entertainment and Essel Group: A Quest for Legacy and Beyond (A)
The case traces the entrepreneurial journey of Indian media baron Subhash Chandra. It starts with his entry into a struggling family business in 1967 and observes his evolution from a young, aspiring entrepreneur to the chairman of Essel Group, one of India's largest business entities with interests in diversified sectors such as media, entertainment, education and infrastructure. Chandra entered his family's agricultural commodities business in 1967 when it was in dire straits. In the 1970s and 80s, he forayed into entirely new sectors such as packaging and amusement parks. In 1991, he set up Zee Telefilms (later Zee Entertainment) and launched Zee TV, India's first non-public service television channel. By creating and broadcasting content in local Indian languages, Zee reached a wide audience of viewers across the country. Due to a first-mover advantage, Zee instantly became a huge success. Over the next three decades, Chandra pursued new business opportunities in the media industry, with considerable success. In 2018, Zee was a thriving enterprise, with a global viewership of 1.3 billion and business segments spanning broadcasting, music, film production, and digital over-the-top (OTT) media. In 2007, to create a long-lasting legacy and diversify his personal wealth, Chandra entered the Indian infrastructure industry and bid for multiple projects in a short span of five years, winning several of them. However, unable to convert the infrastructure projects into profitable ventures due to unprofitable bids and execution mistakes, he started to accumulate significant debt. His personal financial situation deteriorated to such an extent that he resorted to offering the shares of the listed companies he owned (including Zee) as collateral to banks to take additional debt to save his infrastructure business. The case ends with Chandra, and indeed his whole business empire, in a precarious situation due to indebtedness and facing some tough decisions.
The case outlines the journey of an eminent entrepreneur in a developing market context. By studying the case, students will learn that, in such markets, identifying new opportunities and swiftly going to market often gives entrepreneurs a significant opportunity to create value. The case also deals with challenges related to legacy building, succession planning, and business diversification that entrepreneurs and business families face when their existing business ventures start doing well.