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CRAP ASSIGNMENT

2017
Harsh Kumar Singh

Table of Content
Part

A: Consulting & Strategy

Part B: Marketing

Part C: Finance

17

Part D: Operation

19

Part E: Information Technology

24

Part F: Human Resource & Organizational Behavior

29

Part A Consulting & Strategy

Question 1
Case Study
A foreign firm wants to enter the Indian telecom sector. They are your client. Let us look at 2
scenarios. The first scenario is that the firm wants to enter the market and hasnt purchased any
license yet. The second scenario is that the client already has a 2G license. What will be your advice
to the client in both the scenarios?
Helping Aid:
Frame the case problem statement first, and treat it as a root to build the rest of the
structure
Make reasonable assumptions. Think practically about each solution from a
perspective of it being feasible and implementable
Ans

Strengths

Weakness

Huge customer potential

Late adopters of new


technology

Second largest and fastest


growing network
High Foreign Direct
Investment inflow
Huge private sector and small
and medium business base
Booming semiconductor
design industry

High entry barrier due to huge


investments
Lack of low cost long-term
financing, soft loan
Low R&D; no patents and
technology standards still
evolving
Slow regulatory reforms

Threats
Opportunities
3G and 4G services
Enormous equipment export
potential

Regulatory and legal policies


Political instability due to
scams

Employment

Competition from foreign


players

Horizontal integration

Weak IPR protection

Booming handset market

Indian tax levies and duties


imposed

In case of 2G scenario, SWOT analysis will be similar as the market already has 2G services. The
opportunity is for 3G and 4G service providers.
Question 2
a) Guesstimate the number of servings of Maggi that are consumed in India in a day. (Prior to
the lead/MSG fiasco)
Ans: Target population set:
1. India has total population of 1.2 billion. It has 70% population in rural area and remaining in
urban area. This makes rural population equivalent to 0.84 billion and urban population
equivalent to 0.36 billion
Assumption and valuation:
1. As rural population has proclivity towards food from fresh vegetable and grains. It is fair to
assume that only 5% of the rural population equivalent to 0.084 billion is going to consume
maggi.
2. Lets take the case of urban population.
Urban population can be divided on the basis of age.
Maximum age of individual is taken as 65 years almost same as Life expectancy of India.
Average age of the population is taken as 25 years almost same as average age of India.
3. It can be considered that in age group of 0-5 years and 40-65 years maggi consumption is
negligible. Maggi being an instant food is consumed by both males and females equally. Most
of the students lies in age block of 5-25, it is fair to assume that at least 40% consume a maggi
daily. In age block of 25-40, the penetration percent is lower than 5-25 age block and it can be
assumed to be around 15%.
Age
0-5
5-25
25-40
40-65

Percentage
of
Total Population
10%
40%
37.5%
12.5%

Urban Population
(in billion)
0.036
0.144
0.135
0.045

Maggi-consuming population in
Urban India (in billion)
---0.0576
0.0202
----

Total Urban Population consuming Maggi daily


Total Rural Population consuming Maggi daily
Total Consumption of Maggi daily in India

= 0.0576+0.0202
= 0.0778 billion
= 0.05*0.84
= 0.0420 billion
= 198 million

b) Guesstimate the annual market-size of Tupperware products in India.


(Make suitable assumptions and clearly state the assumptions)
Ans

Assumption and reasoning


1. Rural population is not going to use Tupperware products because of its higher cost than
local manufactured boxes and bottles (major category of Tupperware).
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2. In Urban India, There might have been other competitors in market against Tupperware. We
can assume that it has 20% market share. Also, on the basis of income urban population can
be divided into 3 categories- lower income (30%), middle income (60%) and higher income
(10%).
3. It can be safely assume that higher income group generally inclined to other premium
quality products. Middle class urban population uses the Tupperware products most. It can
be taken as 40% of the set. For lower income group it can be around 15%.
Valuation:
Total Population of India = 1.2 billion
Total Urban Population of India (30% of the total) = 0.36 billion
Urban Population
Percentage
of
urban Total Urban Population in the
population (in %)
block (in billion)
Lower income
30
0.108
Middle income
60
0.252
Higher income
10
0.036
In India, mostly, a family has one box and one bottle for one person. Continuing with this
scenario we can find the Tupperware products in India.
Total volume of Tupperware in India = (0.252*0.4+0.036*.0.15)*0.20*2
= 40.54 million
Considering the product to be at rate of $ 1 per product.
Total market size of Tupperware in India
= $ 40.54 million

Question 3
According to Michael Porter, how well a company will do (i.e how good its profit margins
and economic returns will be) in a particular industry depends on the following five factors:
threat of new entrants, threat of substitutes, bargaining power of suppliers, bargaining power
of buyers and competition among existing firms.
You are required to do a Porters Analysis for 3 industries. You have to select the industries based on
the last 3 distinct digits of your FMS Reg. No. For example, if your FMS Reg No is
FMS15D1234556, then youll have to choose the industries marked with 4, 5 and 6 (Retail, Oil &
Gas, Media & Entertainment)
(400 words per industry)
Ans: Information Technology
Threat of new entrants/ potential competitors: This is one sector which attracts
newcomers because of its rapid growth and huge customer base. But, it need to be noted that
it is quite difficult for the newcomers to enter the market because of hold of large scale
enterprises. Even it enters into the market it has to be attractive enough to start pulling
already existing users who has partnered with different sellers. Third party services are trying
to cater the need of newcomers at economical cost but still there is a prejudice when buyers
go for buying IT services and products.
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Bargaining power of buyers: In IT industry buyers can be a company or an individual.


Because of the boom in IT sector, we have thousands of IT service provider counting small
and big one. There are so many choices for a buyer and there are minimal switching cost.
Also, a lot of IT sales comes from companies that make large purchases in form of software,
IT infrastructure and cloud services. This provides buyers a chance to bid for the best and
economical. So, this provides an opportunity for customers to influence the market. Hence it
is suffice to say that customers have bargaining power in IT sector.
Bargaining power of suppliers: There we can say that the pressuring power is medium.
Most of the IT supplier firms are in existing relation with the buyers. The difference arises on
the performance standard e.g. speed, memory, search engine optimization. Suppliers
generally do not like to break this relationship by influencing buyers.
Threat from substitute: In todays modern and advanced world it is quite difficult to
substitute the existing technology. Even if there are opportunity, it requires a lot of advanced
research and development to replace the existing infrastructure and software platform. This
way we can say that it is difficult to substitute the existing structure but it is not impossible.
Rivalry among existing players: The evidence for this topic can be found out when one
goes to a site to download a simple media player. You can see list of hundreds of media
players .Though, there are ranking and people have prejudices, still the competition can be
seen openly. IT industry is known for its rapid growth, effectiveness and competition.
Economy of scale is pretty helpful for large companies. There are many legal and advertising
battles with one another.
Pharmaceutical
Threat of new entrants/ potential competitors:
Pharmaceutical industry is one of the most competitive industry in the country as the
medical products are almost same and all the players are fighting for the same. It can be
seen from the fact that top player has only 6% market share. The reason behind this is low
entry barriers. The fixed cost requirement is low but the working capital is pretty high. High
growth scenario has made this industry an attractive market for the new entrants. Along
with that, India follows process patents which allows new players to enter market. The fixed
asset turnover, which is one of the gauges of fixed cost requirements, tells us that in bigger
companies this ratio is in the range of 3.5 to 4 times. For smaller companies, it would be
even higher. Many smaller players that are focused on a particular region, have a better
hang of the distribution channel, making it easier to succeed, albeit in a limited way. An
important fact is that pharmaceutical is a stable market and its growth rate generally tracks
the economic growth of the country with some multiple (1.2 times average in India).
Though volume growth has been consistent over a period of time, value growth has not
followed in tandem.
Bargaining power of buyers:
In India National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) keeps check on the pricing of
medical products. The consumer has no choice and it has to buy what the doctor prescribe.
Though, a doctor can influence the medical representative from the pharmaceutical
companies to keep the margin high. This can be observed across the country.
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Bargaining power of supply:


The pharmaceutical industry depends upon several organic chemicals. The chemical
industry is again very competitive and fragmented. The chemicals used in the
pharmaceutical industry are largely a commodity. The suppliers have very low bargaining
power and the companies in the pharmaceutical industry can switch from their suppliers
without incurring a very high cost.
Threat of substitutes:
This is one of the great advantages of the pharmaceutical industry. Whatever happens,
demand for pharmaceutical products continues and the industry thrives. One of the key
reasons for high competitiveness in the industry is that as an ongoing concern,
pharmaceutical industry seems to have an infinite future.
However, in recent times, the advances made in the field of biotechnology, can prove to be
a threat to the synthetic pharmaceutical industry.
FMCG
Industry Competition
Competitiveness among the Indian FMCG players is high. With more MNCs entering the
country, the industry is highly fragmented. Advertising spends continue to grow and
marketing budgets as well as strategies are becoming more aggressive. Private labels
offered by retailers at a discount to mainframe brands act as competition to undifferentiated
and weak brands
Barriers to Entry and Exit
The Indian FMCG Industry is characterized with modest entry and exit barriers. Integrated
business model and increasing capital requirement in the industry restrict new entrants.
Huge investments in setting up distribution networks and promoting brands and competition
from established companies.
Threat of substitutes
Being an essential commodity the demand for consumer products is elastic. Multiple brands
positioned with narrow product differentiation. Companies entering a category /trying to
gain market share compete on pricing which increases products substitution. Hence, threat
of substitute is high in the industry.
Buyer bargaining power
High brand loyalty for some products, thereby discouraging customers product shift. But
low switching cost and aggressive marketing strategies under intense competition within the
FMCG companies, induce customers to switch between products, thereby driving value for
money deals for consumers.
Supplier bargaining power
Prices are generally governed by international commodity markets, making most
FMCG companies price takers. Due to the long term relationships with suppliers etc.,
FMCG companies negotiate better rates during times of high input cost inflation.
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Part B Marketing
Question 1
Answer the questions based on the case below:
Paper boat: Back to basics, Meghna Sharma, Financial Express, April, 2015
How Paper Boat Packages Childhood Memories, Sonal Khetarpal,
MindYourBusiness
With nine flavours under its belt and five more in the pipeline, Paper Boat plans to
aggressively tap the Rs. 4,000 crore fruit juice industry in the country. Focusing on
the SEC A and B segment in the 20-40 years age group, primarily residing in Delhi,
Mumbai and Bangalore; it wants to appeal to their idea of home, speaking also to
people who have migrated away from their native places.
The brands strong ethos helped the founder trio define their core audience the
young adult who is working, always running on a treadmill and wouldve had these
drinks in the past, probably when growing up. They were apprehensive about limiting
their target consumer by defining it as a young demographic.
Instead of adopting an aggressive marketing strategy, the trio decided to leverage on
word- of-mouth. They wanted to understand if consumers would discover and
appreciate these new flavours on their own. They took the route of limited
distribution. But, they did so by entering into high-profile associations with Jet
Airways and IndiGo Airlines. Air travel has become frequent among the upper
middle class which Hector had identified as their key influencer community, mainly
because this segment isnt as price-conscious. Also, they tied up with modern trade
stores such as supermarket chain Food World, HyperCity, Nilgiris and Namdharis
Fresh and placed it in 500 stores across four Indian metros.
The brand so far has been active mainly in metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore etc.
The brand now wishes to expand into other towns/cities in India and wants you to design
the complete marketing strategy.
1. Perform an STP analysis of the brand that fits into these expansionary plans based
on your secondary research (online) for similar products and the current marketing
campaigns of Paper Boat
Ans:
Segment
Geography
Demographics
Psychographic
Behavioral

Rural/Urban
Age /Occupation/ Income
Lifestyle
Benefits/ Usage

Targeting: Age group 20-35 years of all urban income groups who are working away from
home and looking out for a drink with health benefits containing natural and refreshing flavors
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Positioning: Drink and Memories: a drink with pure flavors that evades us into the glimpse
of our own pureness of childhood.

2. Identify the main competitors for your product


Ans:
Main Competitors:
Dabur Real Juice
Tropicana Slice
Maaza
Frooti
Dabur Aam Panna
Carbonated drinks
3. Prepare a Marketing Mix for the brand in terms of:
a. Which product flavours should they start with? Compare their product
attributes with those of carbonated drinks and fruit based beverages
b. Pricing strategy for Paper Boat in these cities
c. Distribution channels
d. Detailed promotion plan media, campaigns etc.
Ans Marketing Mix
a) They should start with Aamras and Jaljeera. The reason behind Jamras is because
mango juice has all season demand and it would help it compete with Maaza, Frooti,
Jumpin and Slice in this section. Jaljeera is to connect the product with the Drink and
Memories.
Paperboat is a healthy drink with natural flavors and the motive behind launching was to
provide a healthier drink rather than simple normal drinks. This is something that is unavailable
in carbonated drink. Let us take the case of Paperboat Aamras and Slice. The pulp percentage in
Aamras is 45% as compared to 12% in Slice. Also, Slice relies on sugar for sweetness but in
case of Paperboat it is natural ingredients which are giving the products so much publicity.
Paperboat also has condiments as an ingredient which is unavailable in other fruit based
products.
b) Pricing strategy
Product
Slice (250ml )
Aamras
Maaza (200 ml)
Frooti 250ml )

Price (in Rs.)


34
35
15
15

Type
Pulp based (12%)
Pulp based (45%)
Juice
Juice

A quick glance at the competitors reveals that quality along quantity is what paperboat is
assuring one. In pulp based section, Aamras is giving more than the established brand and
people are willing to pay this price for such a good product. I think there is no need to consider
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decreasing price.
c) Paperboat started with introduction in airlines such as Indigo and Jet Airways, from
there Paperboat is catering to the demand of 20,000 retail outlets, coffee chains, hotels
and pubs. The good thing that Paperboat did was to contact Kirana Stores and let them
display their product in cooler which are generally one in number. For catering to tier 1
cities Paperboat has started online site in collaboration with Amazon India. To grow
further, Paperboat need to continue the same path of pitching to Kirana stores more as
compared to retail outlets. Kirana has far more reach into the market in tier 1 and tier 2
cities as compared to retail outlets.

1)

2)
3)
4)

d) Detailed promotional plan:


Advertisement: Paperboat has nine flavors and five more flavors in the pipeline. It has
created a perception that drinks are memories from the past. To keep this spirit alive,
company has launched a multimedia campaign. These five commercials celebrate the
various flavors from traditional kitchen. First part of the advertisement received more than
one million views.
Paperboat is being served as beverage in airlines such as Indigo.
Paperboat reached out to kirana store to increase penetration depth in the market.
Merchandising: It is an essential part of advertisement and a slight look at the refrigerator in
the market can give u a glimpse of colorful Paperboat packet.
4. Comment on the possibility of market cannibalization between Paper Boat and Tzinga
Ans Considering the fact that Tzinga belongs to completely different section of the drink
as compared to Paperboat, I think there will be negligible cannibalization. Tzinga is seen as
an energy drink and on the other hand Paperboat is simply healthy beverage which brings
back the memories of the childhood back.

Question 2
Choose any three famous brands amongst the following and answer the questions that follow:

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
i.
ii.

Maggi
Axe
Coca Cola
Gillette
Sony
Comment on the way these brands originated and how they have diversified over the years
(in terms of line or brand extensions)
Analyze the promotional campaigns of each brand and how they have evolved over the years

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Ans
3) Coca Cola

Source: Coca Cola archive

Timeline: Coca Cola

Source: Coca Cola archive

Origin: In 1886, Dr. John S. Pemberton was curious and this led him to create a
distinctive tasting soft drink that could be sold at soda fountains. He created a flavored
syrup. Dr. Pembertons partner and bookkeeper, Frank M. Robinson, gave the beverage
Coca-Cola its name.
Line or Brand extensions:
1) Coca-Cola
2) Coca-Cola Zero
3) Diet Coke
4) Fanta
5) Georgia
6) Kinley
7) Limca
8) Sprite
9) Thums Up
10) Sunfill
11) Minute main pulpy
12) Maaza
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13) Citra
14) Bonagua
15) Fanta
Promotional Caimpagn:
Coca Cola: the best way for uplifting and enhancing your everyday moments of happiness.
Coca Cola started its market in India in 1977, but was forced to exit the Indian Market. It
again entered back to India post liberalization. Then it opened a plothera of marketing
campaign which led to soaring sale in Coca-Cola. Few innovative advertising startegy has
been discussed below.
1) Jo Chaaho Ho Jaaye, this was Coca Colas first campaign in India. It appealed at a
emotional level. Main segment that it targeted was youth and it was a success. These ads
featured Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai.
2) Thanda Matlab Coca Cola, this was aimeed to connect Coca Cola to vast population.
3) Open happiness, with this campaign Coca Cola achieved both an emotional as well as a
mass appeal. This lays emphasis on the small moments of happiness of life. It portray
life is a collection of bits of happiness.
5) Sony
Origin: Masaru Ibuku started a radio repair shop in Tokyo on 7 may 1946. He was later joined
by Akio Morita and they founded a company called Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo. They built Japans
first tape recorder.

Brand or Line Extension:


Sony has a vast range of products. It is not possible to summarize the product extension in few
pages. But, I will try to cover as many products as well.
1) Television & Projector
2) Home Video
3) Home Audio
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4) Compact Digital Imaging


5) Lens-style Camera
6) Interchangable Lens Camera
7) Computer and Peripherals
8) Tablet
9) Personal Audio
10) Smartphones
11) In- Car Entertainment
12) Storage Media and batteries
Promotional Campaign
As already discussed, Sony has vast number of products. Here only two famous taglines are
taken into consideration for promotional cmapaign.
1) Make.believe, to unify the company's efforts at communication, and to reinvigorate the
Sony brand.
2) Color like.no.other, BRAVIA brand uses this slogan.
1) Maggi
Origin: Maggi is international brand from Nestle. In 1875, Julius Maggi took over his fathers
mill and he started combining machine with food products. Julius Maggi founded company
Maggi GmbH in 1947. Maggi entered Indian market in early 80s.
Line Extension:
1) Masala
2) Chicken
3) Vegetable
4) Aatta
5) Oat
Brand Extension:
1) Maggi kitchen Masala
2) Maggi Soup
3) Maggi Ketchup
Promotional Campaign:
1) Bas 2 minute, this is the main ad campaign of maggi and from this ad campaign only, it
built an empire
2) Taste bhi, health bhi, this is to promote the healthy side of the product
3) Fast to cook, Good to eat
Question 3
Read the paragraph below and then answer the questions that followIn July 2003, ITC forayed into the biscuits market with its Sunfeast
range of glucose, marie and cream biscuits. Twelve years since, ITC is
now well ensconced in the biscuits space. In recent years, the brand has
become much more than just a biscuits brand. ITCs Yumfills, Yippee
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Noodles and Pasta Treat sub-brands are under the Sunfeast umbrella.
When Pasta Treat was launched in 2005, the company believed that it
was a good fit with the Sunfeast brands Spread the Smile proposition.
At the same time, ITC sought to take advantage of the established
brands equity amongst both retailers and customers. Yippee noodles
was again launched as a sub-brand of Sunfeast because keeping pasta
and noodles as separate brands did not seem acceptable to the company.
The parent brand Sunfeast is present as a logo in most of the products. In
all the packaging and brand related communication, the primary driver is
the sub-brand. ITC expects that over a period of time, these sub-brands
will acquire equity and Sunfeast would just be a token endorser.
1. Using appropriate examples, elaborate on the advantages and
disadvantages of launching a new category as a sub-brand of an
existing one
2. Assume that ITC wishes to enter the soups category now
a. Analyse the Sunfeast brand and suggest whether soups should
be a sub-brand within the Sunfeast umbrella or a separate brand
b. Come up with a name and tagline for the brand/sub-brand with reasons
for the same
c. Analyse the existing players in the category and suggest a
positioning for the ITC brand to make it stand out from the
competition
d. Elaborate on some of the features of your brand (example
packaging, variants, free gifts)
3. Answer the following for Yumfills:
a. Do an STP analysis for the brand based on secondary research
(online) for similar products and the current marketing
campaigns of Yumfills
b. Visit a supermarket and observe how Yumfills is arranged on shelves. Is the product
sold with biscuits or chocolates? Talk to the store manager and find out reasons for
the same (attach a picture of the assortment you observed)
c. How is Yumfills differentiated from competition at the point of sale (Focus on
packaging, merchandising solutions and shelf positioning)
Ans
Advantages:
ITC is always associated with tobacco because of its leading cigerette brand Gold Flake. The
main reason behind launching a sub-brand is to keep the parent company name away from the
consumers/ customers. It would have some negative impact on the society if a tobacco selling
company is going for sellig food products. This psychology would have definitely led to
decrement in sales of food product associated with ITC. To mitigate this issue, ITC launched a
sub-brand and made sure that it started with a clean image. That was a new inning for ITC as
Sunfeast in packaged food market. Apart from this, if sub-brand fails, there would have been
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almost no impact on parent brand.


Disadvantage:
The main issue that sub-branding can cause is similar to what happened to Maggi. Because of
issued of lead and MSG in Maggi, the sales of Nestle produucts declined. Also, the image of
Nestle products took a toll.
2 a) Sub-branding is a good idea if Sunfeast wants to start a new soap brand. This is because
Sunfeast is seen as a brand associated with biscuit and packaged food only. It would have been
really difficult to change image of Sunfeast from packaged food to cleaning products. Even if
the product fails, the name of the sunfeast would remain intact.
2 b) Sunfeast Ketchup : Tamatar nhi bolo Sunfeast Ketchup.
2 c) Existing players are Kisaan, Maggi Sauce, Heinz, Del Monte, Mrs Bectors etc. It is a
tricky market to crack but a lot depends on quality production. A good advertisement campaign
to establish the ketchup as equivalent to tomato is definitely necessary.
2 d) The pakcaging would be of red and yellow color something that represents brightness in
the life. Apart from this, the product will be started with combo pack with Sunfeast Yippee
noodles.
3) a)
Segmentation
Geography
Rural/Urban
Demographic
Age/Occupation/Income
Psychographic
Lifestyle
Behavioural
Benefits/Usage
Targeting
5-20 years age group, midle and upper class who are looking for a premium chocolate pie
Positioning:
A product with quality chocolate and delicious pie.
b)

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This picture was taken from nearby 24*7 outlet. This is a case of merchandising. The product
was placed in line of sight of customers . The products is placed such that it is visible when one
enters the store. It was placed with Chocho-Pie and Munchini. I talked to store manager
regarding this. He said that this is to make the product visible. This helps in selling of product
more easily.
c) Firstly, the packaging is in contrast with chocolate color. The purple color
contrast is somewhat similar to the dairy milk color contrast. This makes the
product more visible among red

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Part C Finance
Question 1
Company Assignment for the following question is as follows:
First Letter of First Name

Company Assigned

A, I, P, W

ITC

B, J, Q

VST Tillers

C, K, R, Y

Bharti Airtel

D, L, S, X

Asian Paints

F, M, T

Nestle

G, N, E, U

Tata Motors

H, O, V, Z

TCS

Pick the financial statements of the company assigned to you for Financial Years 2010 to 2014 and
calculate all the Ratios. Further, you are required to answer the following questions based on your
calculations. Be as comprehensive as possible in your analysis using only the relevant information.
a) In the Annual Report (2014) to the shareholders, the CEO wrote, 2014 was a good year for
the company with respect to its ability to meet the short-term obligations. Is he correct? Justify
b) One important measure of companys Operating Efficiency is how efficiently is the company
using its assets? Comment about the company's asset management
c) Provide the Shareholders with an assessment of the company's
o Solvency
o Leverage
o Profitability
Instructions for Question 1
- All calculations to be provided in an Excel file
- Required formula should be clearly visible in the Excel file
- Mandatory color-coding
Black font - Manually entered data/assumptions
Blue font - Formula
Green font - Direct linkages
Question 2
Any amount of money is worth more the sooner it is received. With this context, answer the
following
a) What are the reasons to account for this concept?
(200 words)
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b) After five years, Ajit will receive a pension of Rs. X per month for 15 years. How much
can he borrow now (today) at 12% annual interest so that the borrowed amount can be paid
with 30% of the monthly pension amount? The interest will be accumulated till the first
pension amount becomes available. (Where X is the last 4 digits of your FMS registration
no.)

CF0
CF1
CF2
CF3
CF4

Project A
-8000
100
2000
4000
7000

Project B
-8000
9000
300
200
100

c) Calculate NPV for Project A and Project B. Based only on NPV if you had to choose only
one of the projects, which one it would be? Why? (Take Discount Rate as 10%)
d) Calculate IRR for both the projects. Now which project would you choose based only on
this information? Why?
e) Which project will you choose if both NPV and IRR are known? Why?
f) What are some of the other methods to compare different projects?
(250 words)
Question 3
India has recently become the fastest growing major economy in the world. But, there are economists
questioning the validity of the numbers. Is the economy really firming up? In this context, answer the
following
a) What are the implications of revised GDP estimations on Indian Economy? Explain the
changes in method of GDP calculation.
b) What are the differences between Monetary policy and Fiscal policy? How is the recent rate
cut expected to impact the economy?
c) Explain CPI and WPI. What are the key reasons for adopting CPI as the key measure of
Inflation?
d) Explain three reforms (specific to financial sector) of the Union budget 2015-16.

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Part D Operations
Question 1
Each one of you must have done online shopping from Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon and
would have experienced the differences in their services. Compare and contrast each of these
platforms on following parameters:

Business Model (Marketplace, Inventory, JIT,


Dropship)
Logistics (3rd Party Couriers, Delivery)

Operations (Warehousing, Fulfilment Centres)


Customer Service
Sellers Selection

Why do you think one of these platforms is struggling more than others? Please make some
suggestions to improve their operations. Your answer should be solely based on operational aspects
of the company.
1) A) Flipkart:
(i)
Business Model:
Flipkart is initially started with the inventory based model, but later turned up to market
place model. On 6th April 2013, Flipkart announced Flipkart Marketplace.. Let us figure out
why Flipkart changed its strategy from inventory based to market place model... Right now
the model is almost applicable to all the goods whether it is electronics or clothing.
Logistics: Flipkart they started with dedicated logistics partner Ekart. Because of
marketplace model now the Ekart has started catering to the needs of other Ecommerce as
well. As of now, 85% of the products that are shipped by Ekart are from Flipkart. Rest of
the products are delivered by third-party logistics services namely Delhivery, DTDC, GATI,
Blue-Dart and FedEx.
Operations: It has 6 warehouses with 3 being in Delhi, and 1 each at Bangalore, Mumbai
and Kolkata. Flipkart is setting up regional warehouses and signing up more suppliers across
the country to ensure customers get orders delivered by the nearest supplier to mitigate the
cost of air shipments. It is looking at spaces in newer cities such as Chennai, Ahmedabad,
Hyderabad & Kochi.
Customer Service: A quick glance at the contact us page on Flipkart reveals that it has a
strong customer service culture and it puts customer first approach in every case. One can
get email assistance and telephone assistance.
Sellers Selection: It is decided by the performance of seller on Flipkart. This all boils down
to customer feedback, order cancellations, promise fulfillment, returns handling,
responsiveness etc. Flipkart scales the performance of sellers on the basis of 5 point rating
with 5 being the best.
19

B) Amazon
Business Model: Amazon started operation in India by acquiring Junglee.com, a site for
comparison of price of products. Amazon from starting focused on the implementation of
marketplace model. As already discussed beforehand, this helps in mitigating the inventory
cost and also provides a competing platform for sellers to pitch their product across nation.
Logistics: Amazon initially relied on third party logistics parties to deliver their products. It
involved GATI, Blue Dart, Delhivery and DHL. To enhance the last mile delivery, Amazon
has partnered with India Post which is known for its deep reach within the country. Recently,
Amazon has set up a logistics company to deliver products directly to customers.
Operations: Amazon has just started developing its warehousing. It has existing facilities on
the outskirts of Mumbai and Bangalore. Amazon had announced that it is going to establish
five more fulfillment centers in Delhi, Chennai, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Gurgaon. It has
already leased 16,000 sq ft warehousing area in Delhis Mohan Cooperative area and
250,000 sq ft of space in Bhiwandi, Mumbai.
Customer Service: Typical like any other famed E-commerce, amazon has a strong
dedication to serve its customer. Even after sale options are simple and one can return the
product without any hassle.
Sellers Selection: Amazon similar to Flipkart relies on the feedback from customer, return
products, return handling and responsiveness.
C) Snapdeal
Business model: Like any other E-commerce, Snapdeal also is an example of online
marketplace.
Logistics: It doesnt have dedicated logistics service like Amazon and Flipkart. It relies on
third party logistics service providers including GoJavas and Blue Dart. Snapdeal has
announced to invest $200 million dollar to develop its own logistics network.
Operations: Currently, it has 50 warehouses in 20 cities. It is planning to increase it to 75 in
30 cities.
Customer Service: Several reports have been out in the public regarding callousness of the
after sale service provider.
Sellers selection: It is similar to others and based on 5 star performance indicator.
Amazon is suffering from the rules and regulations enforced by Indian Government. This case
developed when Karnatakas tax department received a notice regarding the tax issues. Amazon
operates on marketplace model. In a marketplace model, E-commerce has to pick up the product after
the order is placed and then deliver it to customer. In case of Amazon, it is alleged that it stored the
products from the sellers even before the order was placed. Karnatakas tax department barred Amazon
from selling products from its warehouse in state by cancelling the licenses of more than 100 thirdparty merchants. Those were working with the local unit of the company. As it operates on a market
place model, Amazon keeps a cut and passes the remaining proceeds to its merchants, who then pay
VAT to the state government. Karnataka government has asked Amazon to pay the VAT on the
products that it has already stored in the warehouse. As per the Amazon, it is providing an assistance to
its sellers to sell their products easily and quickly to cut down the lead time. It has said that is does not
own the products so it does not have to pay any VAT on these products. A report from the Amazon
20

stated that Indian laws curb the growth of growing and changing business scenario. Ecommerce is
suffering from the absence of exact laws in Indian scenario. A more specific and transparent taxing
system known as Goods and Service Tax (GST) is needed to cater to the disputes arising in Ecommerce
sector. Until specific laws are laid out, ecommerce companies are still in the dilemma over their future
in the country.

Question 2
Demand forecasting is one of the critical tasks in manufacturing industries and the role of Sales and
Operations Planning is of utmost importance in these industries. Excess of production will result into
inventory and will be a cost to company while shortage in production will result in loss of sales and
customer confidence leading to future loss of customers.
Provide a demand forecast and production plan for each of the given industries keeping various
factors in mind like market growth for the product, export/import scenario for the product,
seasonality, inventory holding cost, production cost and supply chain network.
Your answer should touch each of these factors while formulating the plan. You are advised to research
on these industries to have a better understanding of the same before answering.
1. Automotiv

e
2. FMCG
3. Chemicals

(900 words)

Question 3
How different is the supply chain network of a retail company (Big Bazaar) different than an oil
company (IOCL). What operational challenges do you think each of these companies face while
ensuring that they place their products at the right place and at the right time in front of customers?
Draw supply chain network diagrams to illustrate your answer.
Ans
Supply Chain Management involves the network of all the processes from the movement and
storage of raw materials, work-in-process inventory, and finished goods from point of origin to
point of consumption.
The supply chain exists both in the service and manufacturing sector, although the complexity
of chain may vary greatly from industry to industry and from firm to firm. Lets take a look at
the supply chain network of two different organization. Firstly, we will discuss the supply chain
of Indian Oil Corporation and secondly, we will look into the supply chain of a retailer lets say
Big Bazaar.
a) Indian Oil Corporation
21

Petroleum refining being a material flow intensive industry has a significant importance in the
industry. The cost of supply chain can be as high as 40% to total refining and distribution cost.
Uninterrupted flow of inputs and outputs including byproducts and wastes with minimum
facilities are crucial to cost effective and efficient operation of capital intensive, process
oriented, tightly coupled system such as a refinery.

Exploration

Production

Crude
Pipelines

Shipping

Trading

Refining

Product
Pipelines

Storage
Terminal

Product
Distribution

Industrial
Markets

Commercial
Market

Figure 1 Typical Supply Chain in Oil industry for commercial purpose

Exploration

Production

Crude
Pipelines

Shipping

Trading

Refining

Product
Pipelines

Storage
Terminal

Retail
Market

Figure 2 Typical Supply Chain in Oil industry for retail marketing


Inbound logistics deals with the extraction of the crude oil to the storage after refinery. Internal
logistics deals with all the operations starting from crude oil tank to the pumping of refined
products to the tanks for final products. Outbound logistics deals with the distribution aspect of
the supply chain. It generally consists of selection of transport mode for distribution of products,
making arrangements for delivery of products, and distribution of products through the selected
22

mode of transport. In the case of petroleum industry, application of service and reverse logistics
is very limited because these two activities are not that common.
b) Big Bazaar
Supplier

Customer

Factory

Retailer

Districution
Center

Regional
Distribution
Center

A typical supply chain in Big Bazaar involves the production of product from the raw materials
supplied by the supplier to factories. The estimate of how many products to be made is
forecasted by current demand and supply patterns. This is a tedious task and involves a lot of
calculation and anticipation. This might go wrong also. The chain consists of transfer of
products from factories to distribution centers. These are located strategically to curb the
expenditure on logistics. Then comes regional distribution centers. As the name suggests, these
procure goods at regional level. Then comes the retailers. We all must have seen Big Bazaar at
least once in our life. These retailers are the one who interact with the customer and are major
player of market. In case of Big Bazaar, reverse logistics also plays a significant part.
Operational Challenges
S No. Indian Oil Corporation
1. Waiting:
Crude oil is imported moslty often
they have to wait for unloading at
harbor. This lead to increase in
inventory holding.
2. Quality Check:

3.
4.

Big Bazaar
Lack of Infrastructure:
The
distorted
condition
of
transportation infrastructure adds to the
grievance.
Inventories:
Most of the retailer relies on push
mechanism which leads to inventory
build up

Huge Inventories
Over Production:
As it is a continuous process, there
is no way one can produce as per the
demand. This lead to addition to
inventory.

23

Part E Information Technology


Question 1
ommerce companies like Flipkart, MakeMyTrip, etc. are delighted by the growing base of
its mobile customers. From Mobile-First approach, now these e-Commerce giants are lured towards a
complete shut-down of their desktop websites to move to App-Only business. You know the Myntra
story. Do a critical analysis of how this attempt may be a bane or boon for the e-Commerce
players. Whats in it for the customers? Your answer should be focused only on the IT aspects.
(400 words)
E-C

Benchmark the Best-in-Class features in the mobile Apps of top e-Commerce players in the following
sectors:
(i)
(ii)
(iii)

e-Tailing (e.g., Amazon)


Travel/OTA (e.g., goibibo)
Real estate (e.g., Housing)

How can some of these players increase the user experience through mobile Apps? In each of
the above categories, take 3 companies each.
Ans
1) Recently, Myntra shifted to only mobile platform. Before declaring it as a boon or a bane, one must
consider all the aspects of the rationale behind it. Following points have been mentioned to discuss
about the topic.
Boon:
a) Desktop website requires a lot of designing and maintenance. Moving to only mobile
platform reduces the maintenance required which in turn results in less requirement of
human resources and developing prospects.
b) Now customer does not need to sign in again and again on different laptops. Smartphones
have become an integral part of life. This provides customer all time connectivity to the app.
c) Push notification regarding sales, offers, discounts and stock arrival can be sent to you. This
surely provides information better than the promotional offers sent on email.
d) Now firms can analyze about the buying pattern of the customer. This helps by providing
selected offers to customers as per their buying or browsing pattern.
e) Mobile apps are more user friendly than websites. All the options are available in 4 or 5
space and it is easy to navigate on mobile phone as compared to website.
f) Through GPS, app can identify location of the buyer. This helps in curbing bogus buying of
products.
Bane:
a) Push notification becomes a spam when customer is not willing to purchase. This causes a
lot of irritation.
b) Customer sometimes just prefers to buy product through website only. People have their
own choices and one cannot do anything about it.
c) People who are not having smartphone will be cut out from the customer base.
24

As one can see that shifting to totally mobile platform has many advantages. But, one must
consider the fact that habits takes time to change. For those who are too much into website will
find it difficult to buy product through apps. This is subjective and there is no absolute answer
whether it is a bane or boon. In future, when the smartphone penetration is going to be very
high then this concept of shift from website to app is definitely going to earn laurels. Right now
it is really judge the impact of the shift but future trends are positive and it will surely come out
to be a boon.
i.

ii.

e-Tailing
Best in these categories are Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal. The browsing experience of the
customer on app determines the searching and buying pattern of the customer. This helps a
lot in providing offers, discounts, promotional coupons and sales to particular customer
according to his/her need. With app installed, one does not need to login into different
laptops to purchase a products. App also provides option to save credit or debit card to make
transaction easier for future purpose. Now one can easily share his skeptical choice with
ones peers and family through a single share the product option.
All the three market leader in this section collects data of customer about his/her
preferences, searching products and browsing pattern ; and then analyze it using big data to
predict the best item to be purchased by the customer. Also a customer can easily rate a
product without too much hassle. One thing that is till remaining is that the comment
section is not user friendly. Sometimes it suggests user to use website. Apart from that in
case of Flipkart, the page of Mi4i was not available on mobile platform.
Travel/OTA
Three main players in this section are: goibibo, yatra, makemytrip.
Now the booking of flight, bus and hotel is as convenient as eating a pie and one need not to
worry about long queues for booking and information. It is even easier to cancel ticket.
Apart from providing assistance in booking of tickets, it also provides suggestion with the
best deal. Sometimes there are offers specifically for app based user. Promotional offers are
an integral part of these apps. This pattern is to increase the traffic on application. The ticket
that you get is E-ticket and it is convenient to carry without any worrying of getting lost.
One can simply show the message sent on mobile or E-ticket for verification. These apps
also have the option to save payment details so that you can easily transact without any
problem. After using the service, one can give feedback to hotel which you booked or bus
which you rode. Apart from these benefits, one can easily search for nearby items through
GPS. Travelling has never been this easier and convenient.

iii.

Real Estate
Top three market players in real estate: housing.com, magicbricks.com and 99acres.com.
The rise of ecommerce can be seen in real estate sector as well. This has allowed the people
to stay at home and search put for affordable property within the range. One does not need
to run around to look out for property. With the help of these apps, one can rent, hire, sell or
buy a property. The user interface of these apps is absolutely user friendly. One glance is
good enough. There are pictures shared as well as total description of the locality with a
map is also provided on the apps. It can also use GPS to search properties for desired
locations. Most important feature of these apps is that they provide locality review and
ratings for the desired properties. One can also check past price trends for a specific locality.
Some of them also provide financial helps to seeking buyer.
25

Question 2
Everyone is well versed with the fierce competition among e-Tailers. However, they may be
overseeing a potential risk that may surface and pose a threat to the industry in general, for data,
payment etc. List down a few of these risks that you feel would be nightmares for the e-Tailers. Out
of the many risks, analyze any one and propose a logical solution to mitigate such risks in future?
How can these e-Tailers use technology to cope with such threats?
Ans: India is a developing country and with developing status comes the growth in need of products.
This is where the e-tailers have captured the market and provided an alternative to general brickmortar retailers. Now the customers have wider choices at their fingertips. The world is converting
into a global market bazaar. There have been n numbers of e-tailers catering to needs of millions of
Indians. Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal have imprinted their mark on the online market. On moving
to recharge section, Paytm and Freecharge are prominent players. Apart from these, we have Make
My Trip, Healthkart, Lenskart etc. Though it has opened a totally new channel for purchasing, there
are limitations associated with these as well. Consider the case of Paytm, they have saved card for
ones future transactions. This leaves it to a threat from hackers who are developing innovating skills
to get access to protected data. Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal all have your full information saved.
In case of any attack, this would lead to release of confidential data about customers to potential users.
One must be sure of what the actual process and how it can be molded to access your private
information. In our case, we are discussing the potential threat to debit and credit card information. As
per McKinsey&Company, Indias payment industry is approaching $14 billion in revenues. The
electronic payment has grown from 5 percent of total value to 48 percent in 2008. On regulatory front,
Reserve Bank of India established the National Payments Council to spearhead the development of
retail payment and collections systems. On global level, all five international payment card brand
(VISA, MasterCard, JCB, AMEX and Discover) follows Payment Card Industry Data Security
Standard (PCI DSS). This is the data security standard that multilaterally specifies requirements of
security management, policies, procedures and methods, network configurations and software design
to protect other cardholder data. This ensures that all the Ecommerce companies comply with the
standards set by NPC as well as PCI DSS. These major regulation prevents our data from leaking and
mitigate the risk. On personal front, keep an eye on shoulder surfing plus avoid emails and calls
asking about card details. In this era of technology advancements, e-tailer has to keep pace with the
new threats to their customers.
Question 3
Explore the use of open source technologies in Operating Systems, Frameworks, Databases and
Programming Languages for new entrants.
Ans
Definition: As per the entrepreneurhandbook.co.uk, Open source software is generally free software
than you can use in your business. E.g. Mozilla Firefox, Wikipedia, GNU/Linux operating system
The most important thing about them is that they are free to use and saves a lot of money. These are
continuously evolving in real time. A developer can modify and append it as per his/her business
requirement which feature is not available in specifically designed software. In case of any difficulty,
OSS can be easily modified because of their transparency in the coding as well as large online support.
On the other hand, there are disadvantages of using OSS as well. Mainly these depends on the
willingness of a developer to further continuing its operation. This is not driven by needs of end user.
As these are free software, the user interface is not as user friendly. There are security issues because of
transparency of the coding. These types of software are not advised to be used for highly secured
functions e.g. financial or private data. Sometimes, it requires external support for which we have to
26

pay extra.
Question 4
Information systems or IT enabled services are increasingly sought after by government bodies.
Attempts to incorporate e-Governance in the best possible way are crucial for the success of any
government. Suggest innovations in e-governance or use of SMAC, which can be adopted by the
Indian government or its applied services, with respect to the following sectors (Map global best
practices models for references)
a. Transport
b. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
c. Skill Development and Entrepreneurship
Ans: Transport:
Indias transport sector is characterized by delay services, inefficiency in operation, tedious clearance
process and mediocre level infrastructure. This factors contribute to the logistics performance index
raking of 46th. This shows that there is a lot of scope of development in this sector. Following are the
suggested IT enabled support system.
a) Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID): This service provides the real time tracking
and tracing of vehicles, consignment, containers and other equipment. It along with vehicle
tracking systems keep track of vehicles.
b) Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP): It integrates the communication between corporate and
business functions of an organization.
c) Warehouse management system (WMS): It links different systems to monitor incoming goods,
customer order and stock levels. It helps in achievement of efficient storage and movement of
goods.
d) Fleet Management System: These types of system help the companies to track and control the
maintenance cost of their vehicles.
e) Scheduling Systems: Planning and routing of vehicles is a tedious job. Through the help of this,
we can implement computerized scheduling system with complete data pertaining to consignee
and consignor.
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises:
The contribution of the MSME sector to the entire output of the country is 40%.The contribution of
the MSME sector to the entire output of the country is 40%. How IT can help in development of
MSMEs.
a) Mobile Technology: India has accepted this change at a really significant rate. Currently around
900 million people have access to mobile phones in India. This is one aspect we must pay
attention to. Mobile offers a really deep penetration which is highly required in Micro, Small
and Medium Enterprises. It can help in distribution of best practices to almost all the Micro,
Small and Medium Enterprises.
b) Enterprise Resource Planning: This can help in removing the extraneous work of paper and pen.
With the help of this, there would be no need to go through tedious process of paper and pen. It
will also make sure that the data is secured for future references as well as can be accessed from
anywhere.

27

c) Online Market: This might be not a feasible idea but this can help in providing a push to the
MSMEs products. Urban areas as well as Tier 1 cities can get the essence of MSMEs from this
platform.
Skill Development and Entrepreneurship
No country can grow without the help of development of its people. IT can help in providing and
promoting skill development program at a grass root level. As a part of ambitious project, Ministry of
Human Resource Development started National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning
(NPTEL). NPTEL was started to provide quality technical education to general public of India. It has
lecture videos and notes from professors of IITs and IISc. National Mission on Education through
Information and Communication Technology has been started to to create accurate text transcriptions
of all NPTEL video lectures in engineering sciences. Similar program with providing training can be
started and its implementation can be done through rural info-centres.
A big push can be provided to entrepreneurship through IT. This includes providing education to
aspiring entrepreneurs and digitizing the business process of starting a firm. Red-tapism is taking a toll
on nascent entrepreneur programs. This can be only avoided when the bureaucracy factor is reduced to
minimal level. Implementation of IT can help in removing this redundancy. Though there is a long way
to go. Apart from that IT can help in organizing the laborer workforce.

28

Part F Human Resources and Organizational Behaviour


Question 1
G&C is a multinational FMCG company that is rapidly expanding throughout the globe. The
companys mission is to be the leading FMCG company globally. They see a lot of potential in the
Indian market and are planning to enter the space. Their management is going to personally oversee
the operations. But to understand the Indian market they need a sales manager who has significant
understanding of the market and can manage a team of sales representatives.
G&C needs your help to design a job description and a job specification to attract and hire the right
candidates.
1) Job Description
Job title: Regional Sales Manager
Job Location: Gurgaon, India
Reporting to: Area Sales Manager
Job Summary:
Forecasts annual and gross profit plans by executing marketing strategies, analyzing
market trends and reports.
Determines the sales objectives by developing sales quota for region; showing the
expected sales volume and profit for existing and new products.
Maintains a record of sales, product mix and selling price by understanding the supply and
demand of the products.
Determines the cost of the product as per the market trends, competitive products and
supply and demand.
Builds a team of professional sales staff with cunning and shrewd marketing background;
recruiting, orienting and training employees.
Understands the regional player and develop a model to promote sales in the region.
Keeps update with the current market scheme, new concepts; reviewing professional
publications; establishing personal as well as professional networks.
Leads from the front in case of unprecedented circumstances; motivates team to keep
going.
Job Specification
Qualifications:
Studied from reputed college; fluent in business communications
Vast knowledge of the market, product, demand, supply and sector
Firmly determined and sound psychology to lead team
Experience:
Proven track record in a proactive sales role
Understanding of targeted market
Experience in market analysis and econometric methods
Skills & Abilities
Anticipate the supply and demand of the products
Excellent presentation skills to inspire audience
29

Excellent relationship building charisma; manage relationship with existing customers


as well as proactively developing new customer technology
Confident and positive in attitude
Ability to recruit and handle new team
Financially astute
Demonstrates excellent verbal and written communication skills
Role models good team behavior
Ability to multitask
Strong organismal and planning skills
Logical thinker and decision maker
Acquainted with Word, Excel and Outlook

Any other requirements


Must be flexible with the office hours to meet the needs of the business
A passion for good service
A good and infectious personality and be able to portray this in professional manner
Question 2
The marketing department of the 'XYZ' firm, an oil company is not performing well for last few
quarters. The department manager has interacted with a few marketers and realised that the
motivation levels of employees are low. Also, they are dissatisfied with the working conditions.
How can the manager use motivational theory to raise the motivation levels of employees at
individual level? What are the various motivating and demotivating factors he has to consider from
the organisations point of view?
Ans
2) Herzbergs motivation-hygiene theory or the dual factor theory can give us insight and solution to
the demotivated employees.
a) Motivators ( satisfiers): that give positive satisfaction, arising from intrinsic conditions of
the job itself,
Providing them challenging work instead of monotonous ritual work; make sure the
work doesnt elevate their demotivation
Add a level of achievement and appreciation in case of good work by the employees;
this acts like an impetus to the employees
Provide them with the opportunity of advancement so that they does not feel struck in
single mindset
Appraise them in case of good work; this is good for the company as well for the
personal growth
More emphasis on the personal growth
Add taste of challenges to the already boring job
b) Hygiene (dissatisfies): Elements of life or work that do not increase satisfaction but that can
lead to dissatisfaction if they are missing.

30

Provide them with good and motivated office environment. This can be done putting up
thoughts on the blank walls. A dedicated leisure room and hang out place to keep one
away from demotivation
Office should not be too cramped; workers should get a sense of freedom when they
walk and breath
Proper lightening as it helps in creating a pleasant ambient
Environment should be on creating a pleasance; for this we should have more relaxing
furniture and tell them to use them from time to time to avoid exhaustion
Put a bulletin or notice board for important details, employee of the month, events and
other information
Fair and transparent work ethics to keep the work going on in a fair manner
Salary should be according to the market; No competitor should be giving more than
that for the same job profile
Perks and benefits add an extra icing on the cake for the employees. Benefits can be
good food, transportation facilities, game room, informal discussion room, voucher for
the families, half yearly trips etc.
An office without a tea or coffee room is not considered one. Make sure one has coffee
or tea room to allow employee to sip some energy when exhausted
Organize a mask party or superheroes day to create a sense of being a part of family
Recognize your team and their work; appraise them and in case of wrongdoing, guide
them

Question 3
Advancement in technology has meant that the world has become a global village and brought
people of different nationalities closer together. People of different cultural inclinations are now
working together more and more, associating and communicating on a daily basis. While this may be
exciting and interesting, it may be challenging, frustrating and uncertain too. Challenges emanate
from uncertainty on how one should relate to a person of another culture. Failure to understand these
cultural dimensions can lead to disharmony in the workplace which will have a negative impact on
productivity.
Kanto College staff can be categorised into three distinct nationalities namely India, Botswana, and
Zimbabwe. Such a diverse background is necessary for any reputable higher education institution as
it leads to the production of graduates with a global perspective.
Compare and contrast the three cultures on the metrics of Hofstedes cultural dimensions theory.
Ans Hofstede argues that people carry ``mental programs that are developed and reinforced through
their experience, and that these ``mental programs contain a component of national culture. After
analyzing the data from more than 40 countries, Hofstede concludes that these mental programs denote
the existence of four underlying value dimensions along which these countries could be positioned into
culture areas.

31

Table Source: Information and Knowledge Management ISSN 2224-5758 (Paper) ISSN 2224896X
Variable
Indians
Botswana
Zimbabweans
Power Distance
High
Low-Medium
Very Low
Individualism
Low
High
High
Masculinity
High
Low
High
Uncertainty
Low
High
Very High
Avoidance
Long
Term High
Low-Medium
Low
Orientation
Power Distance:
a) India: In this case, a high number shows that the unequal distribution of power is acceptable in
the society. This is evident from the fact that our leaders enjoy great extent of power and
nobody seems to care why.
b) Botswana: It puts a lot of emphasis on team work and committees rather than becoming placent
about the fact that there is a leader. It is actually a good perception for the society for all round
growth
c) Zimbabweans: Similar to Botswana, people of this country cares a lot about team work rather
than individual work.

Individualism:
a) India: A low individualism signifies that Indians lay more emphasis on harmony of the society.
The factor of whole society as a family can be considered as a good indicator for society
development.
b) Botswana: High ranking indicates that people of Botswana have loose connection among
themselves. There is a lack of interpersonal relation and little sharing of responsibility among
members of society.
c) Zimbabweans: Similar to case of Botswana, Zimbabweans believes in the concept of
professional relationship more than interpersonal relationship with fellow students. They show
more importance to privacy and prefer not to be asked too many personal questions.
Masculinity:
a) India: This shows that males act as the bread-earner of the family and female plays supporting
role. There is still inequality among boy and girl child. Females are often treated harshly by
males.
b) Botswana: Low ranking is evident from the fact that Botswana has equal status for both malefemale. The onus of responsibilities of male or female is still blurred. People are more
towards the harmony and equality of genders.
c) Zimbabweans: Like India, there is a difference between status of male and female.
Uncertainty Avoidance:
a) India: Indians are governed by rules and order and they seek a collective truth. While
addressing Indians, one must make sure what gestures they are using and in what context.
b) Botswana and Zimbabweans: In case of these two, there should clearly and concisely outline
management expectations and this is need to be clearly stated what will happen if such
expectations are met or not met.
Long Term Orientation:
32

a) India: In case of India, a lot more emphasis is given on future prospects. This says that future
benefits of Indian outweighs there current benefits. This is how Indians are brought up.
b) Botswana: There people relies on what is present, matters the most. Thats why employees in
Botswana are on weekly basis.
c) Zimbabweans: Similar to Botswana, Zimbabweans are more into current conditions as
compared to Indians.
Question 4
As a manager you will often encounter difficult situations that require rather uncomfortable
conversations. The following are a few such scenarios. Please indicate how you would respond to
such situations. Please ensure you provide examples. Be as specific as possible in your response.
Case 1:
You have worked with Steve on a number of projects and frankly, his attitude can
sometimes be abrasive. Steve seems to be a pessimist, always assuming the worst, constantly
complaining if things arent perfect, saying sarcastic remarks, and generally he brings the
team down. He is the senior on your project and yesterday he made a couple of sarcastic
remarks (which were uncalled for) about how a team member was ten minutes late to the
office. That afternoon, that team member came to you very upset about Steves remarks. You
are not officially Steves manager but you may need to give him some advice. What do you
do?
Ans
Firstly, to go with a case of this type requires a lot of careful handling and understanding. Why
we should be careful? Because we dont want the person to take this on his ego. This might lead
to a sore relation between Steve and I. To take a go at Steve, we need a conducive environment
where he can be receptive of whatever knowledge I am going to share. This might be a coffee
outing or a beer game. After this, I would like to start with how the office is going and how are
you doing in office. If Steve mentions this, then fine. If he doesnt I would try to mold our
conversation towards that incident where he commented on a team member. When we will
reach on that topic, then he will get an idea what I am going to talk about. To not let him go into
defensive mode, I would share my own experience on such events. Now when he is comfortable
with the topic, I will ask him to explain what goes in his mind when he comments sarcastically
on someone. If he tells, thats fine and if he doesnt then also it is fine. Then I will share how it
would have been felt when he would have been on the place of the person on whom he
commented about being late. I will also share how I feel bad for the ones whose fun I have
made. The rationale behind this method is that one should not let the other go in defensive
mode and let them be aware of the feelings of the person on the other hand.

Case 2:
You are a new manager and are just starting to coach others. One month ago you were
assigned two new employees to coach. One had pervious relevant work experience and
seemed to catch on to things very quickly while the other is not succeeding. He doesnt ask
questions, he rarely completes a task on time, and has a habit of calling in sick on Fridays.
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Youve pretty much determined that hes a lost cause and that hell never be a good
worker. Already youve noticed that hes being passed over for certain projects and that most
managers entirely refuse to work with him.
Yesterday you saw him leave the office at noon for lunch and return three hours later. What
first steps should you take?
Ans
As already discussed in case I, this case also requires careful handling. A slightest hint about
the discussion of the matter would make the person go defensive and he will definitely try to
evade from the conversation. Firstly, I would mingle around with the person. This will take a
few days to build a rapport with the person. Nobody wants to discuss his/her shortcomings in
the first meet. After mingling with the person, I would ask him about the work and personal life
and discuss my own life as well. The reason behind discussing personal life is that this makes
the person comfortable for future talks on almost every topic. After laying this foundation, I
would ask him about the problem faced in the workplace. I will discuss about how I felt when I
first started working with my seniors who had experience already. I will try to bridge between
his problem and my own experience. Then, I will tell him how I cooperated with these kind of
problems. To be speaking objectively, I will ask him to face the issue instead of avoiding the
issue. I will tell him that the best can come through tackling the problem not evading from the
problems. If one avoids it now then it is going to haunt him for the rest of his life. I will
personally guide him and help him in any difficulty. I will make sure that he discussed his
problems openly with me. This will be my strategy to guide him across this predicament.

Question 5
Discuss two major Industrial Relations disputes which have occurred in India in the last decade and
compare them on the following parameters
a) Reason for the dispute & role of stakeholders
b) Impact on the company (employer and worker)
c) Impact on the sector
d) HR policies adopted to prevent labour unrest at workplace
Ans :

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5) I) Maruti dispute
a) Reason for the dispute & role of stakeholders
There were three reasons that contributed to the Maruti dispute. Firstly, the main reason
was the stringent Japanese management. The conditions of the workers were pathetic and
the time given to them for leisure activities was negligible. Even a slightest delay in
returning from lunch attracted half a days pay cut. What aggravate the situation was that
overtime was a compulsion for every worker. Paid leave was like a fantasy to the workers.
One day leave attracted Rs 1500 pay cut though the total salary was about only Rs 15000.
Apart from this, the company wasnt paying attention to the need for the formation of
representative union which would have ensured the rights of the workers. It also laid down
the demand of contract workers to become permanent employees.
b) Impact on the company (employer and worker)
The unrest took a violent turn when thousands of workers gathered in Manesar. Initially it
appeared like strike but then workforce turned hostile. They targeted HR manager of the
company. In the presence of police, one HR manager was charred to death by violent
workers. Apart from this, 93 HR manager received major and minor injuries altogether.
Along with HR managers nine policeman were also injured. In the wake of event, police
arrested 147 workers from the Manesar plant and charged with murder and around 2000
workers from Manesar were dismissed.
c) Impact on the sector
The incident received a strong reaction from The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)
and Automotive Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA). This also led to decline in
investment for automobile sector. Marutis downfall in the production led to transfer of
ball of opportunity in favor of rivals. On a different note, contract workers lost some shine.
It comprises 40% of the working strength in manufacturing sector. In wake of Manesar
imbroglio, Maruti decided to review its recruitment policy and said that all the recruitment
work would be done through the HR department to remove any distortions.
d) HR policies adopted to prevent labour unrest at workplace
The unrest at Manesar left a scar on the company as well as workers. Maruti decided to fire
its 2000 workforce whom were charged in murder for the HR manager. It also agreed to
revise wages of the workers but it maintained it stance on approval of permanent
employees in the workforce. Maruti also changed its recruitment policy. It started to
oversee the recruitment process through the HR department to make sure further
distortions not happen in future. The carmakers move attracted attention from the auto
industry in specific and the global manufacturing sector.
II) Volvo Dispute
a) Reason for the dispute & role of stakeholders
The dispute between the Volvo and workers was a classic example of mismanagement and
harassment of workforces by the management of the company. The dispute started when
workers demanded a hike in salary of Rs 5000. This led to a round of strikes, negotiations
and settlements. This ended when Volvo agreed to increase salary by approximately Rs.
3000. This subsequently led to harassment of workers by management. They denied them
transportation and implemented strict leave policy which denied workers any paid leave,
trainees were not regularized and there was an increase in the number of contract workers
used.
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c) Impact on the company (employer and worker)


On 23, 2010, the negotiations between management and workers turned sore when
management decided to let the bus (which were to take workers) go before time. This led to
outcry from workers and subsequently management suspended the representatives of the union
and two others. This led to further harassment of workers form management as they were
declined any paid leaves and they were accused of sabotaging. The workers went on a fullstrike demanding the required wage hike that had never materialized and the reinstatement of
their union representatives. The company had lost 50-60 units of output in terms of the number
of buses produced during the strike period
d) Impact on the sector
Incessant strikes led to production loss of the Swedish Bus-maker. This subsequently led to
money loss and time loss. The dispute attracted the attention of Karnataka Government which
ultimately had to jump declare the strike illegal and asked the workers to go back to work after
72 days long strike. The industrial dispute remained far from being solved. Volvo Bus
Workers Union challenged Government decision. This incident affected the investment when
India was trying to become a manufacturing hub for many of the foreign automobile
manufacturers.
e) HR policies adopted to prevent labour unrest at workplace
The management decided to regularize temporary workers or probationers at the factory. This
also included many of them who had been on probation for over a year. The management also
agreed to pay them an advance of Rs. 10,000 for the wages they lost during the strike duration
and with the remaining wages paid in 12 instalments.

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