Case-study based learning: Building Continuity of Excellence


Indian organizations have made huge contributions to continuity of excellence. This excellence is seen in different products, in services, in different managerial practices. There are examples galore and each is a case study by itself. Some dimensions of this continuity of excellence of Indian organizations is sought to be discussed in this article.

Introduction

There is a huge amount of learning from so many companies about continuity of excellence. This sort of a learning has a huge variety and is not centred around just one aspect of excellence. It has many facets. Specifically, such continuity of excellence can be discussed with specific reference to a) ability to come out of any crisis b) Continuous excellence in products and services c) Image of the company d) Performance in stock markets and e) Global competitiveness

Ability to come out of any crisis

The new Chairman of Tata Sons, Mr N Chandrasekaran, is now piloting several schemes where the consolidation of assets and manpower is leading the Tata group back into reckoning in terms of products and services. That TCS is still India's largest software exporter, for over fifteen years now, is no mean task.

Once again, the ability of Mr A.M. Naik to chart a huge route to profitability for his company called Larsen & Toubro, by exiting the highly profitable cement business, is even today, a big case study in many B schools. He had to face huge opposition to his idea from his own board members. Yet, Mr Naik stood his ground. He sold the entire business to the Aditya Birla group, which is now called Ultratech cement.

The TVS group has captured different segments of the Automobile industry and has formidable competencies that cannot be easily copied by any competitor. For example, Brakes India is a giant in the Foundry business. It is virtually a monopoly here. Its ability to churn out castings that get supplied directly to auto majors around the world is a huge case study. One has to just talk to some employees to get an idea.

These are organizations for the long term. Very long term. They never borrow money beyond a point. They do not believe in being present in too many businesses, where they do not have strengths. Glimpses of the Vision of some founders can be found in an earlier article.
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What happens when the products and services are world-class? The global companies become customers. No crisis, even a recession, can really affect the organization in a big way. Okay, reduced demand may create a temporary slump in profits. But since the reputation of the company is so excellent, there should not be any major worry at all. Those who touch the customers directly, like Maruti Suzuki, TVS Motors, Hero Honda, Bajaj Auto are all companies in this league.

Continuous excellence in products and services

Get inside the Big Bazaar outlets. You are bound to find more for less. Yes, almost every day. The Saravana Stores brand of Chennai caters to the lower middle classes. Every product is value for money, only for them. But it is a very intelligent positioning. Yes, I know the value of these products. It is just about okay for my income. This is exactly the mindset of any customer. That this shop has been able to delight this set of customers on an everyday basis, is a huge case study by itself.

The Annapoorna and Gowrishankar group of restaurants have been around for decades. They serve the best quality food in Coimbatore city. Only in this city can one find a huge number of customers standing in queues to buy the hot Mysore Pak, a delicacy made of pure ghee in the world-famous Krishna Sweets. There is absolutely no compromise on quality.

Refunds are made immediately by KPN bus services, the largest organized private luxury operator, based out of Salem in Tamil Nadu. The buses offer huge value for money. Similarly, it is sheer customer delight in the many malls, as far as the multiplexes are concerned. They are maintained so well. The customers like to see the blockbusters on day one, the very first show. The "pull" factor is so huge.

Image of the company

The big brands and the formidable names that they have built for themselves are superb case studies everywhere. The learner has to just collect whatever information is available and then understand what makes that particular company tick.

For example, if one takes business ethics, as one vital variable, Infosys Technologies. Wipro, TVS and the Tata group stand out. If the shrewd business strategy is the only variable, yet, Reliance industries of Mukesh Ambani, will always stand out. However, it should be noted that Reliance is never known for business ethics. For instance, even the predatory pricing strategies of Jio, to kill both Airtel and Vodafone, has been badly criticized by many experts. However, Jio is a case study by itself, as this brand was solely responsible for crashing down all the prices for voice calls. In fact, it is now virtually free.

If the image concerns the time the company has been around, the same names will occur again and again. However, there are also relatively lesser-known names like the Apollo Hospitals of Chennai, the DCW group, the Madras Cements group, India cements group and so on, that have also survived for decades. Sundaram Finance enjoys top of the mind recall among the non-banking financial companies for fixed deposits. Unilever stuns the customer with its new products. For example, Ayush, the new product is now a huge brand and is fighting with the herbal brands from Dabur, and Colgate.

The learner has to necessarily collect data, based on loop learning, to understand how the image of the company gets built through such practices.

Performance in stock markets

Here is a list of major companies, stocks of which are purchased day in and day out, and are also sold, at very frequent intervals. The major names are Reliance Industries, Bajaj Auto, TVS Motors, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank, Axis Bank, BHEL, ITC, Britannia Industries and such other big names. Each of these companies has always given good or even very good returns to shareholders, who always deal with such stocks in the secondary markets. The movements of the stocks,
on a weekly basis, is now available through the internet and is hugely available in business newspapers like Business Line and the Economic Times. The learner will do well to regularly read such newspapers to understand what is going on.

Global competitiveness

This is a superb variable. Once again, so much of information is now available on the internet and can be easily consolidated. HCL. Infosys Technologies. Wipro. TCS. These are information technology giants that are superbly competitive, globally.

BHEL, NTPC, L&T are also globally competitive. Among the banks, SBI, and ICICI Bank are globally competitive. There is always something to learn from such companies. The learner will do well to read the business magazines regularly. They offer superb information on individual companies, that are globally competitive, based on their several strengths.

Conclusion

Any serious MBA student, or MBA aspirant and even readers who want to learn through the case-study method, ought to understand the entire ecosystem of the industry and the particular organization(s) that operate in that particular industry, are the vital strands of information that make up an organized whole. In each of the earlier seven articles, sufficient light was sought to be thrown on one aspect or the other, of case-study based learning. The learner will do well do dig deep into the topics discussed in this article and in each of the seven articles too. By doing so, the learner will have a huge mass of information that will enrich his or her knowledge, in total, about case-study based learning.


Comments

Author: Umesh16 Nov 2018 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 5

The article has brought out very nicely and elaborately how an organization can survive in the long run seeing the present difficult and cut-throat competitive business environment.

For any company or organization, the continuity of excellence is a must for its long-time survival. To maintain the quality of the products or services is not a child's play. It requires not only a sustained effort by the management but also devoted involvement by the employees.

The company has to improvise on the products in line with the expectations and aspirations of the consumer and also compete not only with domestic but also the global players who are in the market for a long time and are well experienced in the game of survival.

Today's business is dynamic in nature. The fast obsolescence and up gradation of products and services is the main criterion for flourishing a brand or product. The consumer is ready to pay more for a product which maintains its quality in comparison to the other vendors and the companies knowing this fact emphasize on quality and timely delivery of products and services.

Author: ABSivakumar16 Nov 2018 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 4

Yes Sir. Just like there is a huge market at the lower end of the pyramid in terms of the lower middle classes and the poor who consume something through the sachet packs, there is a huge market at the upper end. The best example is Bata, whose shoes have been seen and felt as the best by consumers. Raymond is still a huge brand with the exclusive textile range it has. ITC is also a big brand in the readymade shirt segment.

The costly cars and the very costly bikes manufactured by Enfield still have thousands of buyers. Each of these is huge case studies. For want of space, I have not mentioned these names. I have each of these as case studies running into twenty pages or more. Business history is one area that always interests me. Thanks for your opinion and views.

Author: Sheo Shankar Jha16 Nov 2018 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 6

Earlier, carrying out business in any field did not face any stiff resistance since the products produced by the industries such as Hindustan Motors, Bajaj Chetak, Usha Fan etc enjoyed the trustworthiness of the customers and products were sold like hotcakes. With the passage of time, a lot of products have emerged in each segment with proven qualities and as a result boosting up of sales have proved to be challenging ones owing to the fixed number of customers.
Hence to remain in business actively, what is needed is the consistent quality and prompt delivery of the materials with the same specifications as demanded by the customers. Image building, too, is the prime task so as to remain popular with their customers. In this line, TISCO, TCS, BHEL, ICICI are the pioneers in the business field because of their excellent service apart from the customer's faith.
The author has nicely explained the names of a few companies who have maintained consistency since the inception of such companies.



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