Asian Business Case Competition
@ Nanyang 2013
23-26 Sep 2013







About The Asian Business Case Centre

The Asian Business Case Centre (ABCC) is part of the Nanyang Business School at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University. The centre’s focus is to encourage the use and development of case studies on the Asian business experience, and to keep users abreast of events in the world of case writing. ABCC has been a supporter of the Asian Business Case Competition since 2007, providing a wealth of cases on sustainability and business management for students to discuss and critically analyse, and in turn foster young minds in thinking about the issues and challenges of doing business in Asia.

Please see below for examples of past cases used during Asian Business Case Competition. Should you wish to view the full case, do send in a request to Asian Business Case Centre.



Asian Business Case Competition 2013

Case Title: Mercy Relief: Organisation and Strategy in a Small Humanitarian Relief Charity

Author(s): Wee Beng Geok & Yang Lishan

Abstract: Mercy Relief, a small disaster relief and sustainable development organisation, was set up as a charity in 2003. Based in Singapore, it started with small humanitarian projects in the region. This changed when a tsunami swept across the Indian Ocean on Boxing Day 2004, affecting many parts of South Asia and Southeast Asia. Mercy Relief was quickly drawn into a larger ecosystem of disaster relief operations, and took on a pivotal role in Singapore's tsunami relief aid process in Sumatra. Other disaster relief projects followed soon after. It also initiated a number of small developmental projects in crisis-prone areas as a risk reduction strategy for managing possible future crisis events. At the end of 2013, as the charity moved into its second decade of operations, the operating environment for groups involved in international humanitarian disaster relief was becoming more complex. Furthermore, having successfully completed its first decade, Singapore's only independent non-governmental organisation (NGO) involved in humanitarian disaster relief, had to manage the organisational challenges that came with the next stage of its growth and development. How should Mercy Relief address these issues and manage the limited resources it had to enhance the organisation's sustainability and operational effectiveness? What strategies should it adopt to secure the necessary funds, acquire other resources and bolster support from donors to contribute to the costs of operating an ongoing disaster relief organisation?



Asian Business Case Competition 2012

Case Title: CBM Pte Ltd – Industry’s ‘Silent Service’?

Author(s): A. Lee Gilbert

Abstract: CBM Pte Ltd (CBM) originated as a subsidiary developed to support the facilities management (FM) needs of its property development parent, Singapore-based City Developments Ltd. Viewed as an industry, FM comprised a surprisingly large component of the GDP in mature markets such as Europe and North America, and was beginning to grow rapidly in emerging markets such as Asia and the Middle East. With the Singapore market approaching saturation, and new opportunities arising in overseas markets to which the recently reorganised firm had good access, CBM had achieved several years of double-digit growth. However, the FM market was evolving as large players began to expand their overseas networks and integrate their services to follow multinational clients around the globe. Was the trend toward service integration and environmental sustainability an opportunity for CBM, or a threat? How could they sustain their profitable growth?



Asian Business Case Competition 2011

Case Title: Daiichi Sankyo’s Acquisition of Ranbaxy – Cultural Issues in Integrating Business Models and Organisations

Author(s): Wee Beng Geok, Geraldine Chen & Ivy Buche

Abstract: When Daiichi Sankyo, an established Japanese pharmaceutical firm, acquired the majority stake in Ranbaxy, India's largest generic drug company, it signalled a move into uncharted territory. Daiichi Sankyo was the first Japanese innovator drug company to acquire the majority share in a global generic drug manufacturer and exporter. In doing so, it had entered into the generic drug business, which operated on very different premises from the large multinational firms that dominated the global pharmaceutical industry. Furthermore Daiichi Sankyo was acquiring another Asian company, which had emerged from very different national cultural roots and corporate history. This presented a new dimension in the management of change arising from a major acquisition initiative. The case examines the rationale for the acquisition; its immediate aftermath and the cross-cultural challenges ahead for the leadership of both companies as they work to implement a new hybrid business model.



Asian Business Case Competition 2010

Case Title: Wilmar International Limited: Managing Multiple Stakeholders in a Global Palm Oil Agribusiness Group

Author(s): Wee Beng Geok, Geraldine Chen & Ivy Buche

Abstract: Established in 1991, Wilmar grew rapidly to become one of the largest palm oil companies in Southeast Asia, with revenue and net profits of US$23.9 billion and US$1.88 billion respectively for the year ended March 2009. It operated in the entire value chain of the industry, from plantations to processing, merchandising, shipping and distribution. As the third-largest listed plantation company in the world, it operated 300 processing plants and had an extensive global distribution network. Its products sold in more than 50 countries, including China and India. As the global demand for palm oil grew, environmental groups were concerned about the impact of palm oil industry on the social and natural environment, such as loss of forest ecosystems, environmental damage, soil degradation, pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. They were pressuring palm oil producers, including Wilmar, to take action to address these issues. By late 2010, Wilmar had two strategic initiatives to drive future growth. It was poised to acquire Sucrogen, Australia's largest sugar company with operations in sugar milling and refining, bioethanol production and generation of renewable electricity. It was also expanding into sub-Saharan Africa, where many governments were keen to support the development of commercially managed large-scale oil palm projects. However, as in Asia, palm oil producers and governments could expect to encounter pressure from environmental groups with regard to possible adverse effects. The challenge was to manage these initiatives and the environmentalists' demands for more sustainable operations.


Asian Business Case Competition 2009

Case Title: Hyflux Limited and Water Sustainability – Treading Blue Oceans

Author(s): Wee Beng Geok & Ivy Buche with Mark Kroll & Timothy Chua

Abstract: In 2009, Hyflux Ltd (Hyflux) was one of Asia's leading environmental water treatment companies with operations in Singapore, China, the Middle East, North Africa and India. Specialising in membrane technologies, Hyflux provided integrated solutions for municipal water treatment as well as for industrial manufacturing processes, including the recycling of spent oils and solvents. Started in 1989 by Singapore-based entrepreneur Olivia Lum, Hyflux was an early mover into China's nascent industrial water treatment market in 1993, servicing numerous manufacturing plants there. In 1998, to widen Hyflux's market base and accelerate growth, Lum moved into the municipal water treatment market in Singapore. With this, Hyflux sales revenue jumped from S$17.7 million in 2000 (nine months) to S$554 million in 2008 and despite the 2008 global recession during which its municipal business remained strong, the company was able to secure large-scale high value projects in North Africa. As a newcomer, Hyflux leveraged on its innovative water treatment technologies and entrepreneurial drive to grow the business. However by 2009, as a player in the global water treatment business, Hyflux had to prove that it could execute greenfield municipal projects in a far-flung continent and compete with other global water treatment companies in these new markets. To respond to these challenges, Hyflux had to rapidly grow its human capital and organisational capabilities to match the firm's aggressive market penetration strategies.



Asian Business Case Competition 2008

Case Title: Sri Lanka’s Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings: Competitive Strategy and Sustainable Tourism

Author(s): Wee Beng Geok & Ivy Buche

Abstract: By 2008, Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings PLC (ASHH), a leading Sri Lanka hotel group had established a reputation for operating iconic resorts, in particular, its resort at Kandalama in the central highlands region of the country. Heritance Kandalama, the resort, had evolved after a troubled beginning to gain international recognition for its social, ecological and environmental best practices. In large measure, this was due to the emergence of a set of people management practices that had evolved an organisational culture with values that supported these best practices and enabled the resort to survive, notwithstanding ongoing civil conflict in Sri Lanka. In 2007, ASHH launched a strategic drive into hotel management services in India. A major element of the group's brand equity was its core competency in sustainable and community–sensitive development, much of which it had acquired through the Heritance Kandalama resort experience. A key challenge for ASHH: Can the group's philosophy of sustainable development be successfully implemented in India's hospitality industry? How could ASHH use the Kandalama experience to manage hotels in the culturally and socially diverse towns and cities of India?



Asian Business Case Competition 2007

Case Title: A Tale of Two Shipyards – Strategies for competing on the Edge

Author(s): Wee Beng Geok & Ivy Buche

Abstract: As offshore oil exploration and production raced ahead to meet rising global demand for oil, two Singapore-based marine engineering groups were leaders in the global market for the construction of offshore drilling platforms and vessels. This case discusses how the two groups had repositioned themselves to take full advantage of this demand. The fortunes of these two marine groups in the last four decades were characterised by high velocity and unpredictable changes. For them, the ongoing challenge was to stay flexible, continually adapting their strategies and reinventing themselves to manage the disruptive changes in the business environment. However, as more international competitors moved in to carve their share of the offshore construction market, the race was on as to whether the two could hold on to their leadership positions.




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