Embrace (A): Opportunity Identification
(5 pages of text)
AWARD WINNING CASE - Indian Management Issues and Opportunities Award, 2013 European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) Case Writing Competition.The Embrace case series provides an engaging context to understand social innovation, by taking students through a sequence of critical decisions from opportunity analysis and market feasibility study to formulating a competitive strategy and developing business models for growth. The focus of the case is on an innovative idea to solve the problem of a high number of fatalities in premature births in rural India, and the potential for an affordable product.
The case is structured as a four-part series:
Part A: Opportunity Identification. The setting is an MBA classroom where five teams have been given five ideas and the students are asked to match each idea to each team. The focus is on how to identify and evaluate an appropriate opportunity given a unique entrepreneurial team, its composition, and its prior experience. Often, entrepreneurs discount the critical role that team-task fit plays in subsequent success.
Part B: Market Feasibility Analysis (9B13M005). The social problem associated with neonatal care in rural India is presented and the economics of providing reasonable care for premature babies is discussed. Is it possible to find an affordable and profitable price point, and make the project sustainable?
Part C: Competitive Strategy (9B13M006). The students are taken through an external analysis of the potential competition. This calls for a close analysis of what the competitive advantage of the venture is and whether it is sustainable. It forces the students to consider other available neonatal care options in the market, as well as to think about the IP issues they could face.
Part D: Building the Business Model (9B13M007). The team must decide between manufacturing the product in-house or outsourcing to vendors. Also, issues of distribution and sales require consideration.
- To develop a framework for social entrepreneurship incorporating innovation, i.e. finding enterprising solutions to solving social problems using technology.
- To develop capabilities in opportunity identification, particularly by thinking through competing opportunities in order to identify the most meaningful and sustainable ones.
- To understand the process of market feasibility analysis in a social context.
- To enable strategic thinking on how to compete for access to restricted capital and compete with industry incumbents who may have better technology and other complementary assets.
To develop appropriate business models to realize the business potential of an innovation by understanding the complementaries of external ties and internal expertise.
The case would fit well at undergraduate or executive MBA or MBA levels. It can be used in courses on innovation management, social entrepreneurship, technology strategy, strategic management or technology commercialization.
In a course on social entrepreneurship, the case can be used as a capstone exercise, and can be run over a sequence of four classes, with specific assignments provided for each part. In a course on entrepreneurship or innovation management, the case can be used in a two-part sequence, where the first part focuses on the business viability with cases A, B and C given prior to the class, and where the second part focuses on business growth or on the roles of business models for technology commercialization, with case D as the basis. It can also be used as an extended classroom exercise, where the class goes through the cases sequentially, allocating one to one and a half hours for each, with 15-30 minutes in between for reading and subsequent discussion.
Health Care Services
India, Small, 2011
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