The 2020 Case Writing Competition Winners

It is our pleasure to announce the winners of the 2020 edition of the EFMD Case Writing Competition. The effort and dedication of all the participants and winners are much appreciated; congratulations to all!

Eric Cornuel, President of EFMD Global, congratulated the 2020 EFMD Case Competition Winners by saying: ‘We are delighted to recognise innovative and impactful cases in the 2020 EFMD Case Writing Competition. With over 550 submissions this year, the cases allow for a great diversity of pedagogical objectives and raise much-needed debate that will pave a sustainable way out of the pandemic and an inclusive economic recovery. EFMD is proud to continue encouraging innovative case studies in cooperation with the Case Centre.’

Richard McCracken, The Case Centre Director, said: ‘In what has been a challenging year of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am delighted that so many high-quality cases have been submitted to the EFMD Case Writing Competition. The Case Centre is proud to support the competition and I offer my personal congratulations to all the winners.’

Visit the EFMD Case Writing Competition Case Winners website and browse this year’s winners’ short case summaries for more information.

The 2020 Case Writing Awards are awarded to:

African Business Cases, sponsored by China Europe International Business School (CEIBS)

Medical cannabis: Afriplex’s diversification and integration strategy in an undefined market”, written by:

  • Stefan Christiaan Nel, University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, ZA
  • Mikael Samuelsson, University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, ZA
  • Sarah Boyd, University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, ZA

'Afriplex takes a holistic approach to identify the opportunity to create a venture in a deregulated industry. It is a great example of how a corporate entrepreneurial process unfolds and the strategies that need to be developed. The main characters are an inspiration, and the students will appreciate this learning experience that comes from the case and its analysis, understanding strategic decision making in a corporate entrepreneurial context,’ commented Associate Professor Mikael Samuelsson.

‘We are honoured to be recognised with this achievement from EFMD Global. The Afriplex case development was a fun and insightful journey, especially with the resources and world-class support from the GSB's Case Writing Centre. Set in the exciting field of medical cannabis in Africa, this case aims to help business executives and students better understand the challenges of operating in an undefined market,’ noted Stefan Nel, GSB MBA graduate.

‘EFMD's recognition of Afriplex in the African Business is fantastic given the uniqueness of the story. In our globalised, industrialised era, where opportunities to chase agribusiness frontiers are exceedingly rare in developed markets, South Africa's newly deregulated medical cannabis market represents an uncommon playing field for ambitious players. This is why Afriplex - sitting at the intersection of agriculture, pharmaceuticals, and consumer goods – provides students with a compelling case to dissect for entry and integration strategy,’ said Sarah Boyd, GSB case writer.

Bringing Technology to Market, sponsored by Bringing Technology to Market (BTM) Center, ESMT Berlin

SAM 100: Will Construction Robotics Disrupt the US Bricklaying Industry?”, written by:

  • Dominique Turpin, IMD - Institute for Management Development, CH
  • Douglas Quackenbos, University of South Carolina, US
  • Martin S. Roth, University of Charleston, US

The winners commented: Robotic technology diffusion represents new and complex challenges for marketers, especially in traditional and conservative industries such as construction, agriculture, and healthcare. It is a rewarding endeavour to inspire students to contemplate how to overcome the underlying barriers to robotic technology diffusion while balancing legitimate concerns related to the greatest good for society with the deserved benefit expectations of the entrepreneurial companies brave enough to take on such initiatives. We’re honoured to be recognised for this team effort.

Continuous Improvement: The Journey to Excellence, sponsored by EFMD Global

Managing Lean Success: A Warehouse Balancing Act (A) & (B)”, written by:

  • Tao Yue, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, NL
  • Deborah Sherwood, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, NL
  • Rene De Koster, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, NL

EFMD Global would like to warmly thank the Director and the team of Mayoral Continuous Improvement Chair of San Telmo Business School for their expertise and contribution in assessing the cases submitted in the “Continuous Improvement: The Journey to Excellence” category.

The case is valuable to students and managers because it combines business process analysis with human behaviour analysis, inviting users to think about potential behavioural consequences of decisions in the entire domain of operations management. The case is also timely, as it asks an important question facing many Western logistics companies: How to manage a low-skilled labour force when the logistics industry is undergoing transitions due to the changing economic and political situation and the trend of automation?’, said the authors.

Corporate Social Responsibility, sponsored by ESC PAU Business School

SC Johnson and the Global Ocean Plastic Crisis”, written by:

  • Syeda Maseeha Qumer, ICFAI, IN
  • Debapratim Purkayastha, ICFAI, IN

The winning authors stated: ‘It is always an honour to win the prestigious EFMD Global award! Few cases deal with ocean sustainability's critical issue, which is high on the international policy agenda, as evidenced in the UN adoption of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 – Life Below Water. Therefore, we are very excited about this case and feel students can relate well with SC Johnson's ocean sustainability initiatives. We hope that this endorsement from EFMD Global will help disseminate the case in classrooms worldwide.

Entrepreneurship, sponsored by emlyon business school

Nubank: Keeping Customers Captivated and Employees Engaged”, written by:

  • Suzanne Cordeau-Andrews, FGV-EAESP, BR
  • Umesh Mukhi, FGV-EAESP, BR
  • Beatriz M Braga, FGV-EAESP, BR

The idea about the Case came from our student who was interning at Nubank, and we discovered that Nubank’s Case provides a compelling argument against the traditional culture in the banking sector. We see that Brazilian start-ups are equally competitive and disruptive. Still, very few cases from the region are discussed in the classroom, thereby leading to a lack of teaching material from Brazil. It is due to these reasons we were motivated for this case study. We are thrilled to receive the prize, and it encourages us to pursue such unexplored areas,’ shared the authors of the winning case.

Family Feud at Aldi Nord”, written by:

  • K B S Kumar, ICFAI Business School, IN
  • Indu Perepu, ICFAI Business School, IN

The authors stated: ‘We are honoured and delighted to feature among the EFMD Global case competition winners and wish to thank the organisers. Though family-run companies account for two-thirds of all the world's businesses, very few survive beyond the third generation. We tried to examine the intricacies of the family business through Aldi Nord and the Albrecht Family. The Case deals with succession, ownership, governance, etc., in family-run companies, it made for a fascinating discussion among the students and practitioners. We hope this Case will enhance the repertoire of family business cases further.

Finance and Banking, sponsored by Portsmouth Business School

Fintech: Innovation without Disruption - How Prodigy Finance Achieved Both High Growth and Social Good”, written by:

  • Chan Kim, INSEAD, FR
  • Renee Mauborgne, INSEAD, FR
  • Mi Ji, INSEAD, FR

‘We are honoured to receive this recognition for our case. Prodigy Finance identified and solved a burning problem that had never been addressed before, created a new market beyond existing industry boundaries, unlocked and captured a burgeoning new demand without displacing the finance industry's existing businesses. This non-disruptive approach to market creation is most needed for reviving our businesses, economies and societies in the post-pandemic world,’ commented the winners.

Hidden Champions, sponsored by Hidden Champions Institute (HCI), ESMT Berlin

Shandong Moris Chemical Co. Ltd.: A Hidden Champion in the Brine Chemical Industry”, written by:

  • Lucas Wang, University of Nottingham Ningbo, CN

‘It is a great honour to be among the winners of the case writing competition from EFMD Global. Through my case, managers and business students can grasp a company's developmental process grows into a dominant but largely inconspicuous global leader in its market (i.e., a hidden champion),’ said the author.

Inclusive Business Models, sponsored by IMD - Institute for Management Development

Silulo Ulutho Technologies: Scaling a social enterprise in South Africa”, written by:

  • James Chiswell, University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, ZA
  • Geoff Bick, University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, ZA
  • Warren Nilsson, University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, ZA
  • Sarah Boyd, University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, ZA

‘Silulo is a brilliant organisation working powerfully from both mind and heart, and they have been one of our great teachers at the UCT Graduate School of Business. The organisation should be listed as part of the faculty here! Their journey is a testament to their creativity, courage, and commitment. And I am always astonished and grateful at how openly they are willing to share their experiences – not just their triumphs and discoveries but also their confusions, pains, and missteps. What a joy it is to learn from and with them,’ commented Associate Professor Warren Nilsson.

‘Silulo is a great example of how an entrepreneur persevered in following his dream despite all the challenges facing him. Luvuyo is an inspiration to us all, and the students will appreciate this learning experience that comes from the case and its analysis, understanding the highs and lows of entrepreneurship and the social benefits it brings to our country,’ said Professor Geoff Bick.

 ‘Winning the Inclusive Business Model case award gives us the confidence to continue with what we do and to scale it to the other provinces of South Africa and beyond,’ commented Luvuyo Rani, Silulo CEO.

 ‘It is incredibly meaningful for us to have the Silulo case recognised by EFMD both because of the exciting case themes and extraordinary organisation at the heart of it. Silulo has been a partner and collaborator with the GSB for years, always willing to share their insights and their work with students who are eager to see what a successful social business looks like, especially one that operates in their backyard. But so much of the case research on social enterprise focuses on the start-up phase – the exciting, innovation-fuelled days. The snapshot of Silulo and its founders presented in this case finally gives students a deep dive into what happens next when it's time to scale, and things get real,’ stated Sarah Boyd.

Indian Management Issues and Opportunities, sponsored by EFMD Global

“The Akshaya Nidhi Foundation - in Aid of Akshaya Patra”, written by:

  • Anshuman Tripathy, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, IN
  • Akshat Raj, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, IN

EFMD Global would like to warmly thank the jury members Dr. Mohan Lal Agarwal and Prof. Gunjan Sanjeev for their expertise and contribution in assessing the cases submitted in the “Indian Management Issues and Opportunities” category.

‘It is a privilege to be recognised by EFMD Global for our case on Akshaya Nidhi. We hope that the case will help students recognise how to organise a for-profit business to support and sustain a non-profit business and bring further recognition to Akshaya Patra, which runs the world’s largest mid-day meal program for school children,’ commented the winning authors.

Latin American Business Cases, sponsored by Universidad Externado de Colombia

Internationalization at Cementos Argos “, written by:

  • Esteban Brenes, INCAE Business School, CR
  • Luciano Ciravegna, INCAE Business School, CR
  • Ezequiel Reficco, EGADE Business School, MX

‘In my opinion, the EFMD Global Case Writing competition is a golden opportunity to showcase the good work that is being done by Latin American companies and give them visibility to educators from other regions. I am grateful to the organizers for generating this platform, which creates incentives for case writers worldwide to engage in case research,’ said Ezequiel Reficco.

Responsible Business, sponsored by School of Business, The American University in Cairo (AUC)

Mosabi: Gathering Forces for Social Change”, written by:

  • Rachida Justo, IE University, ES
  • Caroline Tilden, IE University Alumni, ES
  • Krystyna Liakh, IE University Alumni, ES
  • Mona Müller, IE University Alumni/Senovo, DE

The winning authors commented: ‘It is a great honour to be recognized by EFMD Global. We hope that our case will be useful for educators interested in how social enterprise can sustain and reinforce their hybridity through a human resources policy, an issue that is hardly discussed in courses on social entrepreneurship. Many thanks to the Mosabi team for sharing their experiences with us!’

Responsible Leadership, sponsored by University of San Diego School of Business

Daddy Lab: A Chinese Social Enterprise’s Dilemma”, written by:

  • Daniel Han Ming Chng, China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), CN
  • Liman Zhao, China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), CN
  • Byron Lee, China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), CN
  • Peter Moran, China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), CN
  • Hellen Heming Sun, China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), CN

‘Corporate purpose is an important topic today as stakeholders increasingly demand companies to pursue profits responsibly. The tension between profits and purpose is most evident in social enterprises that strive to address wicked social problems through market means. In our Daddy Lab case, we want students to understand the complexity that social entrepreneurs face between their social and commercial goals and the ethical issues that can arise from the dilemma of choosing between profits or purpose. In doing so, we hope that our students will learn to become more thoughtful and responsible business leaders that build purposeful, sustainable enterprises,’ stated the authors.

Supply Chain Management, sponsored by EFMD Global

Traeger Pellet Grills: Cooking up the Competition”, written by:

  • Mark Kosiba, Ivey Business School, CA
  • Simon Greathead, Brigham Young University, US

EFMD Global would like to warmly thank Jamie Rundle for his expertise and contribution in assessing the cases submitted in the “Supply Chain Management” category.

When Mark Kosiba (Past CSCO of Trager Grills) taught my students the challenges associated with managing rebellious suppliers, I thought, “this would make a great case.” Mark’s masterful leadership in protecting Traeger’s interests, along with his deliberate approach to supplier relationships, made this experience a valuable one and one that needed to be shared. We are grateful that the lessons shared by Mark can be accessed by students around the world. Thank you to Ivey Publishing for accepting and publishing the case and to EFMD for this wonderful award. Thank you!’ commented the authors.

Women in Business, sponsored by IMD - Institute for Management Development

The Dual Career Negotiation”, written by:

  • Lara Bekhazi, INSEAD, AE
  • Horacio Falcao, INSEAD, AE
  • Eric Luis Uhlmann, INSEAD, SG
  • Martin Schweinsberg, ESMT Berlin, DE

‘We were thrilled to learn that the Dual Career Negotiation was selected as a winner of the Woman in Business category - what an honour! Thank you, EFMD Global. The case is based on a true story and represents the real-life challenges that many dual-career couples are navigating today. It is no easy feat for two professionally ambitious, successful individuals to come together and start a family while thriving in their respective careers - often across borders. We hope to up-end gendered stereotypes around career prioritization through the case role-play, especially for our female protagonist who has higher earning potential and is more career-oriented by nature,’ declared Lara Bekhazi.

MENA Business Cases, sponsored by EFMD Global

How Can an African Company Stand Out in the Premium Shoe Market? The Benson shoes case in Morocco”, written by: 

  • Imane El Ghazali, ESCA Ecole de Management, MA
  • Zoulikha Maaroufi, ESCA Ecole de Management, MA

We are deeply honoured to be among the winners of the prestigious EFMD Global case writing competition. The Benson case was a very interesting experience for us as authors and for students who appreciated analyzing a case from their context, given the low number of cases from and about the MENA region. For what reason, the EFMD case competition is a great opportunity to disseminate, locally and internationally, quality case studies that shed light on the major challenges faced by the companies from the MENA region. We hope that business educators and students worldwide will find our case useful and help them better understand several specificities about the region.’ commented the winning authors.

Innovative People Leadership Solutions in International Intergovernmental and Not-for-profit Organisations, sponsored by AHRMIO

No submissions were selected for a prize. This testifies to the calibre of the competition, and we hope again to receive your outstanding case proposals for the upcoming edition!

Please visit the Case Centre’s webpage to access the collection of the winning cases.

1 Comment

  1. NARENDRA KUMAR AGRAWAL on April 27, 2021 at 10:30

    Heartiest Greetings to all the winners and many thanks for generating highly relevant and impactful knowledge in multiple fields relevant for the global village. Congratulations to EFMD for successfully organizing a top class case writing competition.