Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Scientific Gases Unit, Indura Argentina

Academic journal article Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies

Scientific Gases Unit, Indura Argentina

Article excerpt

INSTRUCTORS' NOTE

As indicated in the case, Professor Carlos Aimar has been challenged by Mr. Anibal Gervasoni, product manager of the Scientific Gases unit of Indura Argentina, to identify (within the next 30 days) a set of opportunities which could dramatically increase (over the period 20142018) the revenues of the Scientific Gases unit. As regards lessons and/or information which students should leam from this case, at least four points can be made:

1. At the beginning of the case, students will need to consider the extent to which developed-world models and conceptual frameworks can be applied to challenges and opportunities in the developing world. By the end of the case discussion, they will have discovered that some conceptual frameworks (for example, turnaround strategies) can be useful guides to managerial action not only in the developed world but in the developing world as well.

2 Students will be able to compare their alternatives to the ones developed by the hero of the case, that is, Prof. Carlos Aimar; also, they will also be able to see the feedback from the product manager of the Scientific Gases unit of Indura .Argentina on alternatives suggested by Prof. Aimar.

3. Students will discover that the conceptual framework of managers and/or consultants (in this case, a "turnaround strategy" model developed by Sheth 1985) powerfully impacts the nature of the process and/or options used to address managerial challenges and/or opportunities. Specifically, a "turnaround strategy-based" approach to increasing revenues is likely to differ considerably from an approach to increasing revenues based on a different conceptual framework (for example, "marketing strategy").

4. As they work through the case, students are exposed not only to the challenge faced by Prof. Aimar but also to a bit of information on an important South American market (Argentina).

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

We often select one student to lead the discussion. Another approach would be to solicit input from various students at various stages of the analysis. Either way, our usual approach to this case is threefold:

1. Solicit from students the details of the case, including information about the macroeconomic environment at the time of the case; information on the company; information on the competitive environment; information on customers, information on strategies the company has used over the years, and information on how those strategies have been implemented. Usually, we write much of this information on the board, so that if questions on "facts of the case" arise, we will have much of that information in front of us.

2. Ask an individual student or the class as a whole to address a very specific series of questions. Those questions, and comments relating to two possible solutions to the case, are as listed below:

Q&A #1) What Is the Main Problem?

Students usually conclude that Prof. Aimar must identify (within the next 30 days) a set of alternatives for achieving the objectives set by the product manager of the Scientific Gases unit of Indura Argentina, that is, to dramatically increase (over the period 2014-2018) the revenues of the unit. We reinforce the idea that this is a reasonable statement of the challenge Prof. Aimar faces.

Q&A #2) What Kind of Problem Is This?

Instructors should not be surprised if there are as many answers to this question as there are students in the class. Clearly, there is no one "right" answer. However, two alternative approaches, each of which seems quite relevant to the situation, are as indicated below:

1. Marketing strategy.

2. Turnaround strategy

Q&A #3) For The Kind Of Problem Selected, What Are The Key Variables And Which Expert Says So?

For students concluding that the main problem is "marketing strategy," Perreault and McCarthy (2002) suggest that the key marketing strategy variables are: 1) Target market; and 2) The marketing mix (that is, place, price, product, and promotion). …

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