An insight into the marketing and development strategies of the Centre for Development of Teaching Aids and Cases at IIM-B that has taken its case studies to 40 countries
In 1995, IIM-Bangalore took a major step forward to encourage its faculty to write cases and promote the case method of teaching within the institute. It established the Centre for Development of Cases and Teaching Aids (C-DOCTA). Back then, a major drawback to promoting case-based learning in India was the shortage of cases that are primarily researched and developed in the Indian and Asian context. Supply of cases from the developed world was plentiful. But those were not of much use for Indian students.
Students needed authentic cases to develop higher thinking abilities and achieve deeper understanding of subjects pertaining to India and Asia. IIM Bangalore decided to create such cases to help students gain an integrated view of management, administration and policy formulation and implementation, learn how to blend theory with practice, and sharpen their analytical and communication skills.
A global lacuna in availability of Indian case-studies
When Professor U Dinesh Kumar took charge of C-DOCTA and research and publications in 2011, the situation within IIM-Bangalore and across India had changed considerably. C-DOCTA had written scores of cases about business and management, corporate citizenship, social responsibility and public policy. Case-based learning had become an integral part of the institutes pedagogy.
In the broader picture, the Indian economy had picked up and India together with other BRIC nations was being seen as an emerging economy to reckon with. In fact, a sort of reversal had taken placenow it was the turn of developed nations to feel the shortage of case studies about India in particular and Asia in general.
Overseas interest in India has risen tremendously in line with the increasing business ties between North America and the country. Business schools in America now consider it de rigueur to give students a sound understanding of the Indian business scenariofor which they are actively seeking quality case studies, observes Professor Kumar, who recently assumed charge as the Chairperson of the
Data Centre & Analytics Lab at IIM-Bangalore. It was the right time for C-DOCTA to take its place among the prestigious management schools which market their cases globally. Along with the Advisory Committee of professors guiding C-DOCTA, Professor Kumar developed a new vision for the centre To ensure that our excellent case studies are marketed globally.
IIM-B case studies fill the gap
Since the common practice among US-based institutes and corporations needing case studies is to buy from reputed business publishers and schools, Professor Kumar and the team at C-DOCTA decided to forge partnerships to pitch IIM-B case studies in that country.
PARTNERSHIP WITH HARVARD BUSINESS PUBLISHING:
We approached Harvard Business Publishing as it is among the best in the business. It globally distributes cases of top rated overseas business schools such as Stanford Graduate School of Business, Kellogg Graduate School of Management and the Darden School of Business, says Professor Kumar. Not that it was easy. Harvard Business Publishing takes on only high quality cases, whereas at the time, IIM-B faculty members were writing cases mostly for internal consumption. We had never tested the quality of our cases outside IIM-B. Nor did we have a common template or style document for IIM-B cases. So there was a lot to learn, shares Professor Kumar. Still, in inking this partnership, IIM-B became the first Indian business school to distribute its cases through Harvard Business Publishing.
RAISING THE BAR:
To encourage faculty to prepare cases, C-DOCTA offers case writing and editorial supportsuch as ideation, assistance in contacting businesses for data, analysis and seed funding for case proposals. C-DOCTA also organises workshops by professors who are experts in case writing and the case method of teaching. After partnering with Harvard Business Publishing, we started to make a conscious effort to bring in professors whose cases are already being distributed through Harvard Business Publishing. A recent example of a wellattended workshop we hosted is one run by Professor VG Narayanan from the Harvard Business School, shares Professor Kumar.
CO-BRANDING CASES WITH RICHARD IVEY:
IIM-B has also entered into a partnership with Richard Ivey School of Business to globally distribute cobranded cases, some of which are written with Ivey faculty members. Ivey Publishing is the second largest distributor of cases in North America.
Reaches 130 universities
In 2011, IIM-B distributed 12 case studies through Harvard Business Publishing. In 2012, it distributed 48 case studies through HBP.
IIM-B is targeting adding 24 new cases every year. IIM-B case studies are being used by 130 universities in as many as 40 countries, including the University of Texas at Austin, Cambridge University, Harvard Business School, Boston University, Harvard School of Public Health etc. Several leading global companies are using IIM-B cases in their corporate training programmes. They source these from Harvard Business Publishing. These include Gillette (USA), Mars Symbioscience (USA), Fundatia Asebuss (Romania), Value Partners (Italy), Sandefer Capital Partners LP (USA), and ASSIST (South Korea), Bain & Company Inc (USA), Catalyst Co (UK), Dogde & Cox (USA), Merck & Co Inc, Boston Consulting Group (USA), Accenture etc. So far, 13 cases have been published in partnership with the Richard Ivey School of Business