Case Studies on Emerging Markets & CEE
UNIQA vs. VIG - What is the right brand strategy for Central and Eastern Europe?Arnold Schuh and Ferdinand Mayrhofer, WU Vienna, 2020
Vienna Insurance Group (VIG) and UNIQA are two universal insurance companies headquartered in Vienna, Austria, offering a full range of insurance products and services to individuals and businesses. Both insurers jumped at the enormous growth opportunity that the opening of the neighboring markets of Central and Eastern Europe offered to them in the early 1990s. In 2018, they occupied leading market positions in the region. While similar in their internationalization motives and "going east" strategy, they followed different brand strategies.
The VIG group bet on a multi-brand strategy by retaining most of the brands of the acquired local insurance companies. Klaus Muehleder, Head of Group Development and Strategy at VIG, emphasized the multi-brand strategy and local entrepreneurship as core management principles that connect the business firmly with the local markets. “How comes that Vienna tells the management in Serbia how to grow their insurance business? That would be presumptuous”, so Muehleder. He saw no reason to change VIG’s successful multi-brand strategy just because “single-brand strategies are in fashion now”.
By contrast, the Austrian competitor UNIQA followed a one-brand strategy. Until 1998, the UNIQA predecessors operated under different brands. In 1999, the new UNIQA “millennium” brand was introduced with the goal to transmit the image of a modern, European insurance company. Wolfgang Kindl, CEO of UNIQA International, commented this major change as follows: “It would have been irresponsible not to use UNIQA internationally from then on. After 1999, all newly acquired companies had been changed to the new brand”. Kindl could not imagine returning to a multi-brand strategy. What were the reasons for choosing the respective brand strategy? What challenges had they faced in managing their brands? How will the increasing digitalization affect the brand strategies?
Managing a Severe Crisis: PharmaCorp in UkrainePhillip C. Nell, Renate Kratochvil, Patricia Klopf, 2017. IVEY Publishing, Product Number 9B17M085
In early 2015, the newly appointed country head of PharmaCorp’s operating unit in Ukraine faced internal and external challenges in managing the global pharmaceutical company’s operations in the crisis-ridden country. Since November 2013, Ukraine had undergone massive disruptions, including riots in Kiev, the annexation of Crimea by Russia, and a war in its easternmost region. Amid these economic and political turbulences, PharmaCorp Ukraine experienced plummeting sales, increased workload, amplified human resources issues, and decreased market share. Furthermore, the multinational corporation’s internal routines became less effective in the context of the crisis. Although the regional headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, offered guidance and resources, inefficiencies in responding to local issues emerged during the crisis. Should PharmaCorp exit the market? Or should it stay in Ukraine and revise its local marketing strategy by offering more innovative products? Should it implement cost-saving measures? Should the business model be revised to gain more autonomy for its operations? The country head was scheduled to meet with representatives from the regional headquarters and needed to prepare a comprehensive strategy for improving the local situation.
ESET: From a "living-room" firm to a global player in the antivirus software industryArnold Schuh, WU Vienna, 2015
ESET, spol. s.r.o. is a global vendor of security software for companies of all sizes and households.1 Its software solutions deliver instant, comprehensive protection against evolving computer security threats. The company pioneered and continues to lead the industry in proactive threat detection. Founded by six Slovak IT engineers in the Slovakian capital Bratislava in 1992, ESET has grown into one of the top five global players in the antivirus software market. How did it accomplish such amazing growth? How did it successfully market around the world mission-critical software that was originally developed in Slovakia?
Tria Pharmaceuticals in the Baltics: Making a Regional Structure WorkRenate Kratochvil and Phillip C. Nell, 2016. The Case Centre, Reference no. 316-0437-1
Linda, a management consultant, had to solve a tricky problem regarding difficulties with the 'Baltic region subsidiary' of a global pharmaceutical company. She was hired by their Regional Headquarters (RHQ) for Central and Eastern Europe to disentangle this multifaceted challenge (eg sales down, employees unhappy, subsidiary manager overworked). Once Linda started with the project, she got overwhelmed by all different kinds of opinions on the issue. While one manager blamed the subsidiary manager to mishandle everything, another manager wanted the RHQ to go back to the old structure. Other opinions on the topic were the cultural misunderstandings between the employees of the various countries, or the company’s outdated products. Linda was challenged to, first, get a clear and comprehensive picture of the situation, and, second, propose a well-conceived solution to the RHQ. This case is written as a two-part series to emphasize on the importance of extensive information, data, and collection of opinions to fully grasp the situation. We suggest four questions for this Teaching Case Study. Question 1 revolves around defining the case study challenges. In order to archive this, we first propose to identify the occurring symptoms of the described problem. Second, we propose to identify the underlying causes. Based on the analysis students are asked to formulate the key challenges. Subsequently, Question 2 asks for the development of solutions. Students shall develop a solution tree, naming all possible solutions (we suggest referring to the MECE principle). Question 3 requires students to examine the complex role of a subsidiary manager. Finally, referring to Question 4, students need to prepare a well-conceived solution, which Linda should suggest to the RHQ.
IKEA's Ethical Controversies in Saudia ArabiaChristof Miska and Michala Pleskova, 2016.
Pharma Luxur and Institutional Change in CroatiaPhillip C. Nell and Renate Kratochvil, 2016. The Case Centre, Reference No. 316-0392-1
The Croatian government introduces a new tax law which restrains pharmaceutical companies’ marketing & sales activities. The focus of this case is on a local subsidiary of a global pharmaceutical company dealing with this challenging problem. At first sight the problem looks like a local issue, though, scratching the surface, it represents a global issue in pharmaceutical marketing, but only on a small scale. Globally, pharmaceutical companies deal with lots of strategic challenges, for instance: to make their marketing strategy fit for the future, to revitalize their business model, and to adapt to changes in local regulations as well as patients’ and Health Care Professionals’ (for example doctors) behaviors. In sum, this case is written to encourage students to (1) advance their analytical skills when identifying the substantial drivers of a problem (what is beyond the surface), (2) to be creative (think out of the box) to find possible solutions, and (3) understand problem solving in global corporations. The case is structured as a two-part series and provides an engaging context to understand the essence of analyzing the underlying causes of a complex problem, before rushing into solution search. In addition, it highlights the potential of problems when turned into opportunities. This case takes students through a sequence of demanding tasks: identify symptoms and causes of a firm’s particular problem, find creative solutions, reformulate the problem and explore the opportunities it offers, detect global trends as well as challenges the pharmaceutical industry is facing.