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IMT 56 Strategic Management M1
1. ‘What do you mean by strategy? What are the strengths and weaknesses of formal strategic planning?
2. Do you view Vision and Mission as distinct guidelines for strategic planning? If so, discuss the subtle
differences with examples.
3. Under what environmental conditions are price wars most likely to occur in an industry? What are the
implications of price wars for a company? How should a company try to deal with the threat of price
4. Discuss the five basic competitive forces on which the state of competition in an industry depends.
5. Distinguish between
a. merger, acquisition and takeover
b. strategy, goals and targets
1. Why is it difficult for a company in one strategic group to change to a different strategic group?
2. When is a company likely to choose related diversification and unrelated diversification? Discuss with
3. An analysis of each significant existing and potential competitor can be used as an important input to
forecast future industry conditions. Discuss.
4. Discuss the four basic strategic approaches for competing in declining market.
5. a. Explain how Value Chain Analysis helps in identifying a company’s strength & weakness
b. Under what conditions is market penetration the main strategy of a firm?
PART – C
1. a. What is the meaning of a stakeholder in an organisation?
b. Explain how is it possible to reconcile the diverse and conflicting interests of various stakeholders in
an organisation though having shared and empowering vision and mission statement?
2. What are the problems constraining emerging industry development?
3. What kind of companies stand to gain the most from entering into strategic alliances with potential
4. a. What is the relationship between organisational structure, control and culture?
b. What kind of structure, control and culture would you find in a chain store?
5. Explain the strategic alternatives in Global industries.
Educomp Solutions Limited
“By all conventional yardsticks of corporate evaluation – return on equity, return on capital employed, and cash
flow – ESL’s numbers are excellent. The company’s business model is unique and unprecedented. It lacks peers
for comparison purposes.”
– Prashanth Nayak, Manager, IL&FS Invest Mart, August 2008.
On September 29, 2008, India based Educomp Solutions Limited (Educomp) was listed in Forbes ‘200 Best
under a Billion’ for Asia-Pacific region. For this list, Forbes selected those companies which had pre-tax profits
of at least 5% in that year and five years returns on capital of at least 5%. These companies were then judged
on sustained gains in sales, return on equity, and earnings. Analysts said that with sales of US$ 71 million for
the fiscal year 2007-08, Educomp had been selected because of its promising growth potential and its unique
Founded in 1994 Educomp operated in the education sector by providing Information Technology (IT) enabled
solutions to the students, parents and schools. Educomp served the K-12 segment of academia both in India
and other countries like the US, Singapore, China and Sri Lanka. The company also operated schools through
its subsidiaries and joint ventures with other institutions. Educomp offered products that helped teachers and
parents to make the process of educating children more effective. Besides the K-12 segment, Educomp also
expanded into developing educational products that were employment oriented like courses in business
management, marketing, accounting, insurance and interior design.
Educomp categorized its offerings into business- to- business (B2B) and retail & consulting. Its B2B division
comprised SmartClass, ICT and Professional Development products. Educomp’s retail & consulting division
included of Mathguru, ETEN, Millennium Schools, TMS, Vidya Prabhat schools, learninghour.com, learnhub,
RTW and EuroKids. Educomp’s B2B division contributed 91.7% and retail & consulting division contributed
8.3% to the company’s sales of Rs. 5011.7 million for FY 2008-09.
SmartClass was a digital initiative aimed at private schools. It was an instructor led content system. SmartClass
helped teachers in private schools in using digital resources such as graphics, 3D images and video clips in
addition to the traditional chalk and board method for teaching.
Educomp had products like CD-ROMs and platforms like websites and schools that catered to the retail
segments. The company’s RTW and EuroKids catered to the preschool segment of education. Educomp
followed the franchising route to expand these pre-schools. RTW was the first structured and process driven IP
in early child education in India.
Educomp recognized the scope and opportunity for providing IT-enabled learning solutions in Indian schools in
the mid-1990s. As usage of computers in schools during early 1990s was at a nascent stage, Educomp started
its operations by setting up computer labs at schools.
Educomp entered into contracts with its customers binding them for certain period of time. Such a contract
based business provided visibility to Educomp’s revenues, and reliable estimates of cash flows, analysts felt,
would enable Educomp to plan its capital outlays more effectively.
As of June 2009, Educomp provided services to 23,000 schools and 12 million learners and educators across
the world. It was the leading K-12 online education company in India. Educomp expanded through both organic
and inorganic routes. It acquired equity stakes in various companies in the education sector in several countries
as a part of its global expansion strategy. It collaborated with several renowned institutes like Indian Institute of
Technology (IIT) to develop content relevant for the target segment of the company.
Educomp planned to serve 15 million learners by 2010 and aimed to be in the top five K-12 education
companies worldwide by 2012. Its tie up with Raffles Education Corporation to provide K-12 solutions in China
would help it in working towards this goal as China was one of the world’s largest K-12 education markets.
“Our children are not equipped with the right kind of skill-sets which would make them employable candidates in
the future. Therefore, we need to make sure that all children are made part of this digitally aware generation and
have the same levels of exposure to IT.”
– Soumya Kanti, President, ICT Division, Educomp, May 2009.
1. Discuss how a strong product and first mover advantage could help a startup become a market
leader in context of Educomp.
2. Analyze growth strategies of Educomp.
3. Examine the challenges Educomp faces in the near future.
Maruti Suzuki India Limited
The Government of India had entrusted the company a responsibility of building low cost, fuel efficient cars for
the people of India as also building firm foundation for the modernization and growth of Indian automobile
industry. Thanks to the support of our stakeholders, we have successfully led the automobile revolution in India.
We are positioning India as the global small car manufacturing hub, in line with the government’s vision.”
– Shinzo Nakanishi, Managing Director and CEO, Maruti Suzuki India Limited, in December 2008.
It was in the 1970s that the Indian government decided to develop an affordable small car or a ‘people’s car’ in
India. Its target customers would be the burgeoning middle class. Maruti Limited was set up in 1971. However,
in 1978, the company was liquidated. In the early 1980s, the small car project was brought back to life by the
government. The government entered into a joint venture agreement with Suzuki. The joint venture company,
Maruti Udyog Limited was incorporated in 1981, to take over the assets of Maruti Limited.
Founded in 1981, Maruti was India’s leading car manufacturer. Since the late 1980s, the company had been the
market leader in the passenger car industry in India. However, the liberalization of the Indian economy in 1991
changed the dynamics of the Indian passenger car industry.
From the mid 1990s, foreign automobile companies started entering the Indian passenger car market. Maruti
started losing market share as competitors began taking over their space with the launch of models that proved
very popular with Indian buyers. Between the financial years 1997-98 and 1999-2000, Maruti’s market share
declined from 83.1 percent to 60.8 percent.
To counter the competition, Maruti started a major restructuring exercise. The company focused on improving
its operational efficiency by upgrading manufacturing using new manufacturing techniques, increasing capacity,
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using information technology (IT) in manufacturing, focus on new product launches at regular intervals and
venturing into other related businesses like car finance, insurance and buying and selling used Maruti cars.
Maruti’s restructuring exercise paid off as the company was able to hold its market leadership position with a 55
percent market share in 2008-09. The new products launched by the company were well accepted by the
market. However, there was no room for complacency and so the company formulated a careful plan for its
future direction. The company decided that it would upgrade all its products with its new KB series engine.
The Indian automobile industry was regulated by the government till 1990. Indian consumers had little choice as
there were only a few players in the industry including Maruti, Hindustan Motors, and Premier Automobiles. In
1991, several sectors of the Indian economy including the automobile industry were delicensed with the
announcement of the ‘New Industrial Policy’. Over the years, the norms of foreign investment in the automobile
industry and import of technology were also eased.
In an effort to counter competition from local and foreign players, Maruti started restructuring its operations. The
continuous decline in market share and sales forced the company to rethink its strategy and formulate a new
competitive strategy. Maruti upgraded its manufacturing facilities to meet the foreign challenge with its claims of
high-end technology. It broadened its product portfolio and expanded its sales and service network to reach all
Within a year of its launch of its Challenge 50 plan, Maruti’s restructuring efforts started reflecting in its financial
performance. In the financial year 2003-04, Maruti reported a 25.2 percent increase in net sales to Rs 90.81
billion as compared to Rs 72.53 billion in the preceding fiscal year. The net profit of the company for 2003-04
also increased from Rs 1.46 billion in fiscal 2002-03 to Rs 5.42 billion in fiscal 2003-04. The company was able
to increase its net profit riding on the high sales growth of Alto, which increased by over 130 per cent in fiscal
2003-04 as compared to fiscal 2002-03.
Maruti announced plans to invest Rs 18 billion in the fiscal 2009-10 on launching new models and upgrading
plants. In July 2009, the company launched a new version of Grand Vitara. Maruti would also launch a Multiutility
vehicle (MUV) in October 2009. The MUV would be built on the Maruti Versa platform.
“The car market is growing increasingly competitive. This is not surprising as global manufacturers are bound to
come where they see a growing market. Maruti has a strategy for the future.”
– RC Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki India Limited, in August 2008
1. Examine the growth strategies of Maruti over the decades.
2. Evaluate the competitive strategies of Maruti to retain its market share in the recent years.
3. Examine the future plans of Maruti to improve its competitive position.
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