National Dairy: Defending Market Leadership
(8 pages of text)
The head of marketing and sales at National Dairy, a quasi-government co-operative enterprise in the Indian state of Odisha, is hounded by the threat from private milk marketing firms that are attempting to overtake the monopoly position enjoyed by National Dairy for close to three decades. The title company’s field salesforce provides intelligence reports from the market, indicating that National Dairy’s authorized retailers and bulk customers (e.g., tea stall owners and restaurants) were slowly switching to competing brands, lured by attractive schemes and better earnings. National Dairy faced the dilemma of wanting to defend its leadership position and build a sustainable competitive advantage while at the same time continuing to uphold its social obligations towards the farming community in Odisha.
The case has been tested in a Master of Business Administration (MBA) course and also in the one-year executive management course for working professionals. It has been effective in imparting the fundamentals of entry barriers for a market leader versus a challenger from the perspective of strategic options in terms of position defence and/or pre-emption of competitor moves for a perishable essential category such as milk. With nuances of institutional context in governance and decision-making, the case provides a strong perspective of institutional theory to participants. The case is appropriate as a foundation course in marketing management and/or in an elective course on strategic marketing.
India, Large, 2010-2011
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