Ivey Publishing
PhoneWin: Winning in Rural Markets
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10 pages (7 pages of text)
Product Type:
Case (Field)
In 2014, Jiangsu Huabo Industrial Group Co. Ltd. brought together offline logistics services and an online platform to create Jiangsu PhoneWin Logistics Management Co. Ltd. (PhoneWin). PhoneWin’s purpose was to exploit e-commerce opportunities for phones and related services in small towns and villages in China. Although competition was fierce from several large e-commerce companies in Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities, PhoneWin achieved some success. By November 2015, it had expanded into 13 provinces across China and built partnerships with over 300 suppliers. However, two Chinese e-business giants had started to expand their penetration in rural markets, becoming an inevitable threat to PhoneWin. As an early entrant in this market, how could PhoneWin compete against such powerful giants? Could it sustain its revenue and profit growth in the coming years?
Learning Objective:
This case is suitable for graduate and executive courses in entrepreneurship and innovation, strategic transformation, business models, and emerging markets. It explores how and why a private enterprise created a new startup to overcome challenges brought on by the Internet era, successfully transforming from a purely offline platform to an offline-to-online one. The case is designed to help students
  • understand the key factors leading to business model transformation in large established organizations;
  • appreciate the importance of the value propositions to stakeholders in assessing the viability of new business models; and
  • consider how to develop and continuously fine-tune new business models to gain and sustain a competitive advantage in new markets.
General Management/Strategy,  Entrepreneurship
Retail Trade
China, Medium, 2015
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$4.25 CAD / $4.25 USD Printed Copy
$3.75 CAD / $3.75 USD Permissions
$3.75 CAD / $3.75 USD Digital Download
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