Ref: IMD-7-2162

Case study

Reference: IMD-7-2162

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Humans on demand: Coople’s staffing platform at a crossroads

Howard H. Yu

By Professor Howard H. YuHoward H. Yu, Natalia Monnard, Silvan Odermatt, Simon David Rohrer and Kuresh Youdim

Founded in 2011 by the Swiss entrepreneur Viktor Calabrò, Coople operates the largest on-demand staffing platform in Europe. It has enjoyed rapid growth and is considered one of the most successful Swiss based tech start-up / platform company.

The case features Viktor Calabrò, founder of Coople, and his thinking about the future of the company he founded in 2011. The case is set in 2019 where Viktor in his role as major shareholder, founder and Chairman of the board is faced with strategic choices how to continue to drive Coople’s growth story and retaliate against copycats which are arising on the horizon.

This strategy and business innovation case explores how innovative business models disrupt traditional industries, especially if those industries are not able to self-cannibalize. It covers the key elements of successful platform strategy (network effects, the importance of scaling and automation) as well as theplatform paradox and the strategic choices needed when growing from a start-up into an established company.

Learning Objective

After analyzing the case students should be able to:

  1. Understand successful platform strategy, network effects and their disruptive power.
  2. Discuss Coople’s growth strategy based on the blitzscaling framework and its founder’s role during the company’s growth stages.
  3. Understand how changes in industry core assumptions create new customer value propositions and disrupt existing industry players if these are unable to leap into new knowledge disciplines.
  4. Identify organizational resources & capabilities which create competitive advantage.
Settings Europe
Coople, Business Management Services
2009 to 2019
Type Field Research
Copyright ©IMD 2020
Related material Teaching note
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Reference: IMD-7-2162

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Case study

Reference: IMD-7-2162

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