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News Stories · Disruption

Two IMD cases win prizes in the John Molson MBA International Case Writing Competition

The studies give an in-depth look at two companies’ different approaches to disruption – Beekeper and Pepperfry
February 2019

Two IMD cases were named in the final category of prize-winners in the John Molson MBA International Case Writing Competition.

“Beekeeper from pivoting startup to disrupting scaleup,” by IMD Professor Benoit F. Leleux and Marc Chauvet won second prize. “Pepperfry.com: Turning the tables on disruption,” by IMD Professor Amit M. Joshi and Ivy Buche was chosen as a runner up.

Founded in 1981, the John Molson MBA International Case Writing Competition is known to be the largest of its kind. Its purpose is to bridge the academic and corporate worlds through the discussion and analysis of top-quality case studies. The theme of this edition of the competition was disruption: innovations that set a new course for the market.

Launched in 2012, Beekeeper set out to disrupt traditional communication channels between blue collar companies and their deskless employees. The Beekeeper case describes the challenges the company faced in focusing its growth trajectory, and how it overcame that with the methods detailed in the book “Scaling Silicon Valley Style” by San-Francisco based scaleup coach Roland Siebelink.

By 2018, Pepperfry had grown exponentially to control over 60% of the online furniture business in India. The Pepperfry case discusses how the company disrupted the furniture and home decor market while overcoming the challenges of India’s weak infrastructure, age-old methods of buying and selling furniture from local carpentry shops, and lack of consumer trust in e-commerce.

IMD Professor and Dean of Research & Faculty Anand Narasimhan said: “We are delighted for Benoit, Marc, Amit and Ivy. Their work carries on a strong case writing tradition at IMD, which helps us provide real learning to executives through concrete and real-world business examples that our faculty members have explored first-hand.”

Find out more about the award-winning cases: