Chiban Leather: Designing The Next Chapter
(5 pages of text)
In May 2019, Chiban Leather, a socially conscious leather manufacturing firm based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was undergoing an expansion and the company’s chief executive officer was contemplating its strategic future. She wanted to take advantage of opportunities in the Ethiopian leather industry and expand her client base to include 10 primary wholesalers. She was proud of the social impact the company had achieved so far, and she hoped to be able to focus more on this by expanding the company’s production process. She was also considering other options, including developing Chiban Leather as a retail brand, focusing on trade shows, and pursuing alternative exposure through diversified products and subscription boxes. She wondered if this was the right time to establish the brand and sell directly to clients. She also had to consider whether this option would align with her current goals and strategy.
This case is intended for use in an undergraduate-level strategy class. Its purpose is to provide examples on strategic business decisions made in an African business context. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to
- describe the trade-offs involved in developing a brand that competes with a manufacturer’s wholesale clients;
- apply analyses such as the PEST framework, Porter’s Five Forces model, value chain analysis, strategic analysis, and the VRIO framework; and
- outline the role of a strong female entrepreneur in successfully growing an African business.
Ethiopia, Small, 2019
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