Balaji Wafers: Taking the Pepsi Challenge
(9 pages of text)
Case (Pub Mat)
The family-run Balaji Wafers Pvt. Ltd. (Balaji Wafers), a savoury snack manufacturer, had adopted a phased strategy in taking on the likes of global multinational corporation PepsiCo in India, an emerging economy. After operating successfully for more than three decades in western India, Balaji Wafers was planning to grow and to go national with forays into north and south India. Balaji Wafers had a strong foothold in western India, where in Gujarat and Maharashtra it had left PepsiCo’s brand Lay’s far behind; however, growing nationally would require more investments, robust business strategy, and marketing acumen. In pursuing growth, should Balaji Wafers expand nationally, or should it strengthen its leadership position in its home territory?
This case is suitable for graduate and postgraduate courses on marketing strategy, family business, and general management where the instructor wants to discuss competitive strategies in the marketplace and business growth challenges and processes. The case requires students to have a basic understanding of marketing concepts, Porter’s generic strategies, and Ansoff’s product–market matrix. Working through the case and assignment questions will give students the opportunity to do the following:
- Understand how a focused cost-leadership strategy can help a regional player compete against the national leading brand in a regional market.
- Appreciate the various marketing strategies used by a challenger brand to take on the market leader.
- Understand how a family-managed business can grow professionally and the role played by the family in the growth and development of the business.
India, Medium, 2017
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