Reflections from Practice

IBGC’s ongoing Country Management research initiative garners experience from seasoned country managers and executives working in emerging and frontier economies, as well as expertise from Fletcher School faculty and Council for Emerging Market Enterprises Fellows, to provide best practices, case studies, skill-building workshops and executive training to the next generation of international leaders in the public and private sectors.

In 2011-2012, IBGC engaged 10 students and paired them with executives in a “Reflections from Practice” exercise, in which the executives shared an event, experience or insight into country management and, with student support, developed mini-cases. Please find a selection of these cases below. Cases from 2010-2011 may be viewed here.

How to Transform Consumer Opinion when Disaster Strikes: The 2003 Cadbury India Worm Infestation
by Bharat Puri, Senior Vice President, Kraft Foods
with Sarah E. Clark, The Fletcher School
April 2012

How can a company regain consumer confidence when disaster strikes its product? In 2003, Cadbury India faced a media onslaught and plummeting sales brought on by reports of worms in some of its chocolate bars. Even though the problem was isolated to storage at the retail level (out of Cadbury’s direct control), the company needed to respond to the crisis, and fast.

Mobilizing with Nike in Brazil: Key strategies to tackle unforeseen regulatory challenges 
by Guilherme Athia, Government Relations Director, Nike Brasil
with Kirsten Wallerstedt, The Fletcher School

April 2012
This case describes a serious business challenge faced by Nike in Brazil when the federal customs office stalled all footwear imports during an investigation. The case shows that multinational companies operating in emerging markets can secure their business advantage by organizing interest-based coalitions and by building good relationships within key regulatory departments – before they are needed.

What is engagement? How an international power company expanded its operations in India
by Rahul Sharma, President of Public Affairs, Genesis Burson-Marsteller
with Sarah Elizabeth Clark, The Fletcher School 
July 2012
India is one of the largest and most rapidly growing energy consumers in the world, and natural gas is an important natural resource for electricity generation. While the demand for natural gas is rising, the unstable supply is a big issue – frequently causing power shortages throughout the country. This case study is about how an Indian communications and public affairs firm, Genesis Burson-Marsteller (GBM), assisted an international power company’s efforts to expand its operations in India.


Share What You Know: Working with the government to implement a new regulatory framework in Malaysia
Anonymous Executive
with Tanya Hoke, The Fletcher School 
April 2012

How can a country manager best prepare for the implementation of a politically-sensitive regulatory regime with the potential to bring business to a halt? This high-tech company's experience in Malaysia contains many lessons for managers of multinational enterprises on how to partner with local government, identify key stakeholders, and "share what you know" to keep business flowing and relationships strong.

When Trust Fails: Operating with local partners in high-risk environments
Anonymous Executive
with Maureen Sarewitz, The Fletcher School 
April 2012

Operating in high-risk regions presents unique challenges for companies, two of the most salient being determining whom to trust in local environments and what to do when trust fails. This paper offers insights and lessons learned from a global logistics company that faced a crisis situation in Afghanistan when its trusted local partner turned its back on the company. Organizations or managers currently working in or looking to expand into high-risk regions will find the company’s immediate and ongoing crisis response and lessons learned invaluable to their efforts.