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Case Study 1 The De Beers group, which maintained a monopoly on
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Case Study 1

The De Beers group, which maintained a monopoly on the global diamond trade since the early 20th century, had to change its business model by the turn of the 21st century. It adopted the 'Supplier of Choice' program as a response to several allegations of unethical business practices, the issue of conflict diamonds in Africa and the antitrust suits filed against it in the US and the UK. De Beers consciously transformed itself from being a controller to stimulator of global diamond business. However, it faces stiff competition from a number of competitors, prominent among them being Lev Leviev, who pioneered the concept of vertical integration in the diamond trade and has robbed De Beers of many lucrative deals.

Pedagogical Objective:

  • To understand how the global diamond industry used to run through a cartel in most part of the 20th century
  • To describe the competitive landscape of the global diamond industry in the 21st century
  • To analyse the business transformation at De Beers and its impact on the company and the global diamond trade as a whole.

Case Study 2

In 1984, Government of India and Suzuki motors from Japan, formed a joint venture and launched Maruti 800 popularly known as ?Peoples Car?, which went on to become one of the highest sold car, and created a new segment in the automobile market. Since 1998, the South Korean carmakers ? Hyundai with its Santro line up and Daewoo with its Matiz ? ushered in variety and vigour to the Indian small car market segment. However, year 2009 proved to be the year of small cars in India, for, apart from the historical launch of world?s cheapest car ? Tata?s Nano ? the year also saw the launch of 40 new models of small cars. The year 2009 also, as many industry pundits argue, has been a watershed year for global automobile industry forcing many changes and thrusting quite a few strategic redirections amongst many global auto majors the prime strategic reorientation; the focus being small cars. Added to that, almost all the companies stated the intent of making India as their production base for small cars. All these developments lead to an important question: Can India be the hub for small cars? This case study deals with the opportunities available to the Indian automobile industry and all the enabling factors available that could transform India into a global small car hub. The case analyses in depth why the small car segment is lucrative and also discusses the interest shown by all global automobile giants in investing in Indian car industry. The case also discusses the support provided by government agencies and the challenges which need to be addressed, quickly, if India has to become the global small car hub.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To discuss and analyse Michael E. Porter?s Diamond model for competitive advantage of India in small car production
  • To discuss the possible ripple effects created by ?Tata Nano? in pursuit of small and efficient (cost efficient with no-frills) car production
  • Analysing the factors for shift in consumer preferences around the world from gas-guzzling automobiles to fuel-efficient small cars


Case study 3 

Crude oil is an important global commodity. Its use is indispensable in the production and distribution of almost all products used in day-to-day life. Hence drastic fluctuations in the price of oil can have a cascading effect on the price of every other product or service. Recently the price of crude oil crossed the $100 per barrel mark, throwing the international economy out of gear. Many countries are struggling under the pressure of double digit inflation and economic recession - a situation referred to as 'stagflation' in economics. The price of oil galloped to alarming levels despite the availability of adequate supply in the market, questioning the fundamentals of the laws of demand and supply. The case study gives an insight into historical movements in the price of oil, its impact on the global economy, the emergence of OPEC as the most influential organisation controlling the oil market and its loss of grip over the price of crude oil. The dynamics of demand and supply in influencing the price of oil has been put to the test and the role of non-fundamental factors in causing violent fluctuations in the price of oil has been evaluated.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To understand the importance of oil.
  • To identify the factors that influence the price of crude oil.
  • To examine the role of demand and supply in determining the price of oil.
  • To evaluate the impact of non-fundamental elements on the price of oil.



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Question 24

 

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