Top African Business Cases: Specific Challenges for Telecomms

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ceibs logoKellogg logoThis category in the EFMD Case Writing Competition is sponsored by China European International Business School, CEIBS and the 2014 winner in this category is:

Mobile Telecommunications: Two Entrepreneurs Enter Africa”, written by Benjamin Jones and Daniel Campbell, both at Kellogg School of Management, US.

In the 1990s, two entrepreneurs made daring, early entries into mobile telecommunications in Sub-Saharan Africa, both seeing great market opportunities there. One firm, Adesemi, would ultimately go bankrupt. The other firm, Celtel, would ultimately succeed and make its founder, Mo Ibrahim, a star of the global business community. Why the difference in outcome? Emerging markets often present weak rule of law, bringing many challenges to business success—from the demand for bribes to regulatory obstacles, hold-up problems, and even civil war.

Case2014winner logoThis case explores strategies that can limit these critical non-market risks in foreign direct investment and entrepreneurship. Students will step into the shoes of both companies by exploring their entry strategies, wrestling with the challenges they faced, and diagnosing the reasons why a shared insight about a new business opportunity turned out to be prescient—and led to extremely different endpoints.

The case further considers political strategies, including board development and connections to international partner institutions, such as the World Bank, that can help private businesses succeed. The case can be used to discuss these topics individually or collectively. It can be used broadly in courses that consider international business strategy, global entrepreneurship, international economic development, political economy, Africa, or the global telecommunications sector.

Also the winners from the previous years in the “African Business Cases” category are interesting.

Research in Motion: Managing Channel Conflicts”, Lagos Business School, Nigeria. This case discusses Research in Motion, a Canadian manufacturer of smart phones, unable to penetrate the Nigerian mobile phone market to secure a larger market share than 2%. In crafting a new distribution strategy to grow the company’s market share in Nigeria.

 “Vodafone in Egypt: National Crises and their implications for multi-national corporations”, ESMT European School of Management and Technology, Germany. In January 2011, the government in Egypt ordered the three main voice and data communications providers in Egypt to suspend services in the  areas in Cairo with high concentration of protester and  to broadcast propaganda text messages to all their subscribers.

The case explores how the CEO of Vodafone Egypt was about to take a crucial decision that would have consequences not just for Vodafone Egypt, but also for the parent Vodafone Group

Please also consult the full list of winners for all 14 categories that is on the EFMD website, as well as details for the EFMD Case Writing Competition in general.

2015 EFMD Africa ConferenceYou may also be interested in the 2015 EFMD Africa Conference. This event will be held on 29 November – 1 December 2015 in Tanzania; hosted by Institute of Finance Management (IFM), Dar Es Salam, Tanzania with the support of IESEG School of Management.

Plenary sessions will focus on:
  • Building a New Business Model for Management Education in Africa – Global Partnerships
  • Management Education in the African Context
  • Alumni testimony: Graduates as Entrepreneurs and Innovators in Eastern Africa: How business schools are supporting African Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Economic Developments
  • E-learning solutions for Today’s African management programmes – The e-Learning Africa report
  • Winning programme positioning: GMAC tools for more effective student recruitment and admission strategy
  • International Schools in Africa – The Incentives?

Please do consult the event website for the full details.