A step towards developing local business cases

Dhaka,  Thu,  21 September 2017
Published : 09 Aug 2017, 21:53:22

A step towards developing local business cases

A step towards developing local business cases
Shaha Rakesh Nishan

Business students and teachers of our country have this one common question, 'Why do we not have local business cases?' Most of the cases that are available to them are published by Harvard Business School (HBS), INSEAD, IVEY Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business and others.

They are all familiar with cases regarding big companies like Google, Walmart, Starbucks etc. and prolific entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Warren Buffett etc. But, they complain about the lack of exposure to local business environment and methods, entrepreneurs, and management success/failures stories. They also complain about the lack of scope of research and initiative regarding the development of business cases in our country.

Kaizen CRS addressed this scenario and made efforts to make case studies on local companies that will help the students understand the local business environment better.

Importance of case studies

Case studies have been and are currently used as a vital tool for teaching in most educational institutes. In the case of business studies, this is even more important. Employees often complain that new recruits have this problem in adapting to the job, simply because they find a gap between theoretical knowledge learned in class and practical business scenarios.

In order to counter this problem, many educational institutes and research centres decided to introduce case studies that will reflect ongoing or past business scenarios of various companies. Starting from identifying new market opportunities to analysing an institute's business portfolio to examining problems in production and human resource departments- these case studies give students a variety of scenarios to evaluate and certain strategic decisions to make. The students have to thoroughly analyse the case, come up with available alternatives and finally give their solution with proper justification and plan of action. This gives them a better understanding of the business environment compared to the theoretical knowledge and this knowledge will certainly prepare them to work and be a part of the fast changing business environment.

A much needed initiative by Kaizen CRS

Kaizen CRS is a full-service research firm and consultancy agency that specialises in both qualitative and quantitative analysis, feasibility analysis, market evaluation and others. They took the initiative to publish local business cases this year. Debojit Saha, CEO- Kaizen CRS, said, 'When I was a student, I always had to learn about business practices through cases developed in the context of US, UK or other developed countries, but Bangladesh's market offers its own set of challenges. Therefore, I raised this issue to the board of Kaizen CRS and with consent from Risalat Siddique, consumer insight director-Kaizen CRS, we decided to develop cases on local companies.'

  They shared their idea of developing business cases with organisations in Bangladesh. Initially many were skeptical about sharing information and were not very interested. However, they got a positive feedback from Aarong, Agora and a2i and decided to start with them. Debojit Saha added, 'We discussed with these organisations regarding the case they would like us to work on and then a research associate from Kaizen CRS visited their organisation to collect data. We didn't provide exact/actual data in the cases but rather a masked data which will eventually depict more or less a very similar scenario.'

Cases developed so far by Kaizen CRS

All the cases developed so far are of distinct characteristics.

Aarong: In 2013, due to a political turmoil in the country, all retail brands were suffering a dip in their sales. The case replicates the challenges Aarong was facing and urge students to solve this issue.

Agora: Agora provides premium shopping experience in their outlets and this can only be achieved by a well-trained team of sales associates. But Agora noticed that the sales associates actually think of this job as a part time means of earning money rather than a career. The case urges solvers to post a solution on how to brand this job so that qualified candidates consider it as a career.

A2i: A2i has an initiative called 'social innovation fund' in which they find ideas, which can influence lives of people by improving time, cost and value of ordinary citizens. The case states how a2i effectively and efficiently managed ideas that were available and how they screened out the best ones.

Way forward

So far, Bangladesh Brand Forum is publishing these cases and Kaizen CRS plans to make these cases available for free on their Facebook page as well as on their website (kaizencrs.com). They are currently mapping organisations who could be interested in developing cases by collaborating with them and are planning to publish three more cases next year.

 Debojit Saha further added, 'We are also working on a case study of enterprises that have received support from accelerator programmes and how their performance has been affected by accelerator programmes. This study is scheduled to be published by early September.'

The writer is a student at the Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka. He can be reached at

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