Case Studies in Strategic Management

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CA/CWA, MEC/CEC, B.Com & B.Sc.

Master Minds

CASE STUDIES IN STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT
May 2007 – PCC Exam
DD is the India’s premier public service broadcaster with more than 1,000 transmitters covering 90% of the country’s population across on estimated 70 million homes. It has more than 20,000 employees managing its metro and regional channels. Recent years have seen growing competition from many private channels numbering more than 65, and the cable and satellite operators (C & S). The C & S network reaches nearly 30 million homes and is growing at a very fast rate. DD’s business model is based on selling half – hour slots of commercial time to the programme producers and charging them a minimum guarantee. For instance, the present tariff for the first 20 episodes of a programme Rs.30 lakhs plus the cost of production of the programme. In exchange the procedures get 780 seconds of commercial time that he can sell to advertisers and can generate revenue. Break-even point for procedures, at the present rates, thus is Rs.75,000 for a 10 second advertising spot. Beyond 20 episodes, the minimum guarantee is Rs.65 lakhs for which the procedures has to charge Rs.1,15,000 for a 10 second spot in order to break-even. It is at this point the advertisers face a problem – the competitive rates for a 10 second spot is Rs.50,000. Procedures are possessive about buying commercial time on DD. As a result the DD’s projected growth of revenue is only commercial time on DD. As a result the DD’s projected growth of revenue is only 610% as against 50-60% for the private sector channels. Software suppliers, advertisers and audiences are deserting DD owing to its unrealistic pricing policy. DD has options before it. First, it should privates, second it should remain purely public service broadcaster and third, a middle path. The challenge seems to be exploit DD’s immense potential and emerge as a formidable player in the mass media. i. What is the best option, in your view, for DD? (20 Marks) ii. Analyse the SWOT factors the DD has. iii. Why do you think that the proposed alternative is the best?

Answer
(i) For several years Doordarshan was the only broadcaster of television programmes in India. After the opening of the sector to the private entrepreneur (cable and satellite channels), the market has witnessed major changes. The number of channels have increased and also the quality of programmes, backed by technology, has improved. In terms of quality of programmers, opportunity to advertise, outreach activities, the broadcasting has become a popular business. Broadcasters too have realised the great business potential in the market. But for this, policies need to be rationalised and be opened to the scope of innovativeness not only in term of quality of programmes. This would not come by simply going to more areas or by allowing bureaucratic set up to continue in the organisation. Strategically the DD needs to undergo a policy overhaul. DD, out of three options, namely privatisation, public service broadcaster or a middle path, can choose the third one, i.e. a combination of both. The whole privatisation is not possible under the diversified political scenario. Nor it would be desirable to hand over the broadcasting emotively in the private hand as it proves to be a great means of communication of many socially oriented public programmers. The government could also think in term of creating a corporation (as it did by creating Prasar Bharti) and provide reasonable autonomy to DD. So far as its advertisement tariff is concerned that can be made fairly competitive. However, at the same time cost of advertising is to be compared with the reach enjoyed by the doordarshan. The number of viewers may be far more to justify higher tariffs. (ii) The SWOT analyses involves study of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of an organisation. SWOT factors that are evidently available to the Doordarshan are as follows: S – Strength More...
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