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Case Objectives:

The Cravia case is taught in a module on leading growth and transformation in businesses in entrepreneurship programs at Harvard Business School (HBS). It can be used to explore how an entrepreneur develops and iterates on a successful business model, and how he or she thinks strategically about growth.

The case could also be used in courses focused on entrepreneurship, emerging markets, franchising, and the restaurant industry. Restaurants make up a large proportion of small businesses, and franchises are an intriguing option to get into the restaurant business because they offer a structured, proven business model for an entrepreneur to build upon. In addition, the case provides background on operating businesses in emerging markets. From the mid-1990s through the 2010s, Dubai rapidly grew from a backwater petro-state on the shores of the Gulf to a global city that was politically stable and socially liberal enough to attract Western tourists and businesses. As more and more Westerners began to see the Middle East as an important market and potential place to live, Dubai emerged as a very attractive location for regional headquarters—much like Singapore did in Southeast Asia in the 1990s..

 

Refer to PDF file Case Study:

Cravia: Launching High Growth Ventures in the Middle East

 

The attached case document is authorized for educator review use only by Saher El Annan, HE OTHER until November 2014.Permissions@hbsp.harvard.edu or 617.783.7860

 

QUESTIONS:

Discuss and evaluate the approach used by Walid Hajj to found and scale Cravia, and explain how much of Cravia’s success was due to Hajj’s decision to locate in Dubai.

 

Question 2

Explain the challenges that will Hajj and the Cravia team face as they expand outside Dubai within the region, and discuss opportunities and threats Hajj faces in 2014.

 

Question 1: The discussion should be related to Looking at Cravia’s timeline which shows that the company has explored growth in multiple dimensions: geographic growth (i.e., entering new markets) and product growth in the same markets (i.e., new brands), while also exploring new products for new markets (e.g., ZwZ). These two dimensions of growth can be represented in a product/market growth positioning matrix (see TN Exhibit 1). As shown in TN Exhibit 1 produced by the instructor, Cravia has, at times, pursued all four (five if you count “exit”) types of growth. Its early growth was driven by opening more Cinnabons and SBCs in Dubai. This would fall in the “enhance” quadrant. “Enhancements to current products or channels represent incremental adjustments to an existing strategy. An entrepreneur often chooses this approach as a venture begins to gain traction in a market and transitions to growth. Moreover, strategic expansions are opportunities to launch a new product in the existing market or to launch the existing product in a new market. [. . .] By expanding into adjacent product categories or markets, the entrepreneur should be able to leverage existing

strategic positions and capabilities. Students should explore the difference between scaling an existing business and expanding the scope of a business. Students should be able to explain economies of scale versus economies of scope.

Question 2Students should state the importance of Cravia’s growth strategy, students should consider how leaders set direction, execute, and deliver results and how this changes based on what they can leverage and what they must build new. To set direction, leaders “1) [identify] long-term goals, midterm strategies, and short-term objectives, 2) [assemble] the resources and [build] the capabilities needed to execute strategy and achieve the goals and objectives, and 3) [identify] the metrics and milestones they [will] use to measure their progress.”5 Leaders then: Execute and deliver results. These results are compared with the metrics and milestones that were set before execution; the comparisons enable students to understand leader/manager and his or her team to develop insights that are used to refine the business model. These insights uncover two types of gaps: execution gaps occur when the strategic assumptions and direction are confirmed but there has been a flaw in execution; strategy gaps occur when the strategic assumptions are flawed. On the basis of what they are learning, entrepreneurs pivot—either refining the strategy or refining the capabilities and resources needed to execute the strategy

 

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