Mawlyngot’s Tea Growers' Cooperative
(7 pages of text)
In 2003, Mawlyngot Tea Growers’ Cooperative Society (MTG), a village cooperative in Meghalaya, India, was spearheaded by a local teacher who wished to lift the village’s people up from poverty, transform their lives, and improve their economic condition. The cooperative started with just a few farmers from the village, but by the end of 2013, the village was growing tea on nearly 90 hectares of land, involving almost all 45 households of the village.
Although MTG was a successful model of cooperation for income and social well-being, competition was increasing in the tea market as local players and big multinationals expanded their offerings in the region. In competing for market share, MTG did not want to compromise on its farming practices, which were 100 per cent sustainable and organic. MTG also wanted to build its brand. The cooperative needed to reposition and grow to expand its capacity, sales, and market presence, but the founder was uncertain how to proceed.
The case is suitable for undergraduate and graduate business programs in courses on organizational sustainability across all three dimensions: social, environmental, and economic. The case is also suitable for senior management teams participating in executive education programs.
After completion of this case, students will be able to
- understand how an innovative business model plays a key role in establishing and sustaining an organization’s business;
- evaluate how the core competencies of each member in a synergistic partnership complement each other, to overcome the challenges faced by a cooperative as it scales up;
- appreciate the challenges an organization faces when attempting to remain sustainable along all three dimensions of sustainability—social, environmental, and economic;
- evaluate concepts in social entrepreneurship and sustainability in the context of emerging markets;
- understand how business is conducted in untapped markets in India; and
- apply a basic understanding of sustainability (including the use of business model canvases) and social entrepreneurship.
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
India, Small, 2014
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