NYU Stern School of Business

Undergraduate College

MGMT-UB.0035.001 (C50.0035): GROWTH STRATEGY & MGMT

Spring 2012

Instructor Details

Nayyar, Praveen



By appointment

KMC 8-75


Course Meetings

MW, 11:00am to 12:15pm

KMC 5-85

Final Exam:

Schedule exceptions
    Class will not meet on:
    Class will meet on:


Course Description and Learning Goals

This course focuses on concepts and tools required to devise and implement strategies that enable businesses to make the leap from entrepreneurial ventures to professionally managed firms. It addresses strategic and managerial challenges during the growth phase of small to mid-size firms. In this course, we adopt the perspective of the founder and/or top management of entrepreneurial small firms who must be concerned with the overall viability of their business. The course should appeal to aspiring entrepreneurs, managers, consultants, investors and analysts.


The greatest value from a good college education is realized over a lifetime. Such value arises not from having a "bag of tricks" but from developing analytical and executive skills. Also, the most valuable ability that you can develop, and sharpen, in college is the ability to think, to read, to write, to speak, and to present your arguments logically.
This is not a lecture course but one in which you learn via analysis and discussion. Please attend all classes. Carefully prepare for each class and contribute actively to class discussion of the assignments for each session. Your full participation in this learning endeavor will result in the greatest learning.
The emphasis on case analysis makes it crucial that preparation for class is of consistently high quality. We use cases to set the context for analyses and learning. Preparation includes reading the assigned readings and cases, answering any assigned questions, analyzing cases, completing any templates, and formulating a plan of action to deal with the case situation. For each class meeting you should be prepared, if called upon, to make an organized presentation of your case analysis. It has been my experience that the best-prepared students are those who meet regularly with a group to discuss and prepare case assignments for class discussion. Group discussion is strongly encouraged.

This is a relatively demanding course with extensive reading and analytical assignments. The best way to get the most out of this course is to be prepared for each session and to start preparing early. A useful guideline to keep in mind is to allocate 2 hours preparation time for each hour of class time. Thus, a 1.25-hour class will demand 2.5 hours of preparation time.



Every Session                     Class Contributions

As indicated below            Homework

February 15, 2012              Group Project Company Choice

March 7, 2012                      Group Project Interim Report 1: Article Outline

March 28, 2012                    Group Project Interim Report 2: Article Draft

April 30, 2012                       Group Project Final Article

TBD               Final Exam


Course Outline


Please prepare the assignments listed below using the questions below as a guide. Class discussion will, however, also cover many additional issues.


Session         Topics and Assignments

Session 1     Growth Imperatives and Pitfalls                                         January 23, 2012

Read:             A Time for Growth

                        Evolution and Revolution as Organizations Grow

Prepare:        Zimmer: The Gender-Specific Knee

1.    Is this a good business?

2.    Should Zimmer invest in the gender-specific knee??


Session 2                                                                                                         January 25, 2012

No Class today.


Please use the preparation and class time to review the following web sites:


This is a link to a special issue. It has data and several articles on Growth companies. Please read the entire special report and be prepared to discuss the many growth strategies profiled and discussed in the report.

Please take the time to read the entire special report on the following web site, including viewing the videos:


Session 3                                                                                                         January 30, 2012

Homework #1 due. Based on the materials reviewed for the first three sessions, prepare a one-page “poster” to share with your classmates explaining why companies grow and the difficulties they face. Please bring enough copies to distribute. (Preferably, 8.5 x 11 paper. Use graphics rather than words.)

Understanding Growing Pains.

Go to the following web site:


Review their Proprietary Frameworks

Review their Growing Pains Survey

Read the following two articles in their archives (web site is a bit quirky. It seems to work well when your browser is not running when you click on each link below.):

Session 4                                                                                                          February 1, 2012

Prepare:        Crossing Borders: MTC’s Journey through Africa

1.    How can MTC create value?

2.    What should MTC do in Nigeria? In Saudi Arabia?


Session 5     Growth Strategies                                                                  February 6, 2012

Read:             Which Way Should You Grow

                        Innovation as a Last Resort


Session 6                                                                                                          February 8, 2012

Prepare:        Innovation at Timberland: Thinking Outside the Shoe Box

1.    Evaluate iF. What would you have done differently? Why?


Session 7                                                                                                       February 13, 2012

Homework #2 due. Based primarily on the reading for this session, prepare a one-page “poster” to share with your classmates describing a “value innovation” by an organization of your choice. Clearly show the departure from prevailing industry practices at the time the value innovation was introduced. Use the diagrams in the reading as templates. Also, graphically describe a future value innovation that the organization could consider. In one sentence, explain why it should consider that future value innovation. Please bring enough copies to distribute. (8.5 x 11 paper; both sides OK; graphics preferred; few words.) Be prepared to discuss and debate your work.

Read:             Value Innovation: The Strategic Logic of High Growth


Session 8                                                                                                        February 15, 2012

Group Project: Choice of company due.

Prepare:        NTT DoCoMo i-mode: Value Innovation at DoCoMo

1.    Review the following web site: http://www.nttdocomo.com

2.    In what ways is DoCoMo a value innovator?

3.    What could Zimmer, MTC and Timberland learn from NTT DoCoMo?


Session 9                                                                                                       February 22, 2012

Read:             MarketBusting: Strategies for Exceptional Business Growth


Session 10                                                                                                     February 27, 2012


Prepare:        HTC Corp in 2008

1.    What are HTC’s growth options?

2.    How can HTC become a leading global smartphone company?


Session 11                                                                                                     February 29, 2012

Homework #3 due.Based on the reading for this session, prepare a one-page “poster” to share with your classmates indicating "innovations" that occurred and could occur in the industry of the assigned organization (specially those pioneered by it) in each phase of the Market Development Life Cycle. Clearly label each "innovation type" using the taxonomy described in the reading. Use the diagrams in the reading as templates. Please bring enough copies to distribute. (8.5 x 11 paper; both sides OK; graphics preferred; few words. This is not designed to be a research-intensive exercise; a quick search on the web should provide sufficient information.)


Be prepared to discuss and debate your work. Focus on how "Darwin" and "the Demon" were or could be at work.


(I will assign an organization or brand or product-line to each group a week in advance. Please keep that information confidential.)


Read:             Darwin and the Demon: Innovating Within Established Businesses


Session 12                                                                                                             March 5, 2012


Prepare:        TiVo 2007: DVRs and Beyond

1.    What is Tom Rogers’ vision for the future of TiVo? Will it succeed?

2.    What are TiVo’s strategic growth options? Which ones would you recommend? Why?


Session 13   Growth Management                                                                   March 7, 2012

Group Project: Sample WSJ article and your article outline due.


Read:             Blue Ocean Strategy


Session 14                                                                                                           March 19, 2012


Prepare:        Webvan

1.    Why did Webvan fail?

2.    What are the lessons of Webvan’s journey?


Session 15                                                                                                           March 21, 2012

Homework #4 due.Based on the reading for this session, present evidence to show whether or not the company you are analyzing for the group project is “flying blind.” Such evidence is difficult to gather. So, if you do not have sufficient evidence at this time, outline how you would attempt to gather, analyze and present it.


Please bring enough copies to distribute. (8.5 x 11 paper; both sides OK; graphics preferred; few words.)


As usual, please be prepared to discuss and debate your work.


Read:             Is Your Growth Strategy Flying Blind?


Session 16                                                                                                           March 26, 2012


Prepare:        Banyan Tree: Sustainability of a Brand During Rapid Global Expansion

1.    Evaluate Banyan Tree’s growth plans.

2.    What would you recommend?


Session 17                                                                                                           March 28, 2012

Group project: Draft article due.


Read:             Getting the Most out of All Your Customers


Session 18                                                                                                                April 2, 2012


Prepare:        LinkedIn Corp., 2008

1.    The case outlines three dilemmas. What would you recommend to Dan Nye? Why?

2.    How would you compete against LinkedIn?


Session 19                                                                                                                April 4, 2012

Homework #5 due. Based on the reading for this session, present evidence to show whether or not the company you are analyzing for the group project has any opportunities for “selling to the moneyed masses” and whether or not it is exploiting them. Such evidence may be difficult to gather. So, if you do not have sufficient evidence at this time, outline how you would attempt to gather, analyze and present it.


Please bring enough copies to distribute. (8.5 x 11 paper; both sides OK; graphics preferred; few words.)


As usual, please be prepared to discuss and debate your work.


Read:             Selling to the Moneyed Masses


Session 20                                                                                                                April 9, 2012


Prepare:        IKEA Invades America

1.    Evaluate IKEA’s growth plans.

2.    Is there a way to grow even faster?


Session 21                                                                                                              April 11, 2012

Read:             When to Ally and When to Acquire


Session 22                                                                                                              April 16, 2012

Prepare:        L’Oreal’s Expansion in China

1.    Evaluate L’Oreal’s growth strategy.

2.    Is L’Oreal doing a good job managing its growth strategy?


Session 23                                                                                                              April 18, 2012

Homework #6 due. Based on the materials reviewed in the course, revise the one-page “poster” you prepared for Homework #1 to share with your classmates explaining why companies grow and the difficulties they face. Please bring enough copies to distribute. (Preferably, 8.5 x 11 paper. Use graphics rather than words.)

Read:             Champions of Profitable Growth

Session 24                                                                                                              April 23, 2012

Prepare:        Big Spaceship: Ready to Go Big?

1.    Is Big Spaceship ready to “go big?” Why or why not?

2.    What would you do to ensure that Big Spaceship could grow in a sustainable way and at an “optimal” pace?


Session 25   Growth Rejuvenation                                                                   April 25, 2012

Read:             When Growth Stalls


Session 26                                                                                                              April 30, 2012

Group Project: Final Article due.

Prepare:        eHarmony

1.    Which of the four (or other) growth option should eHarmony pursue? Why?

2.    How would you compete against eHarmony?


Session 27                                                                                                                 May 2, 2012

Read:             Tomorrow’s Global Giants? Not the Usual Suspects

Review http://www.weforum.org/community/global-growth-companies

Review http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GGC_Members_2011.pdf

Review http://www.weforum.org/events/annual-meeting-new-champions-2011

Review the report available at http://www.weforum.org/reports/annual-meeting-new-champions-2011-mastering-quality-growth


Session 28   Conclusion                                                                                         May 7 2012

Prepare:        Taobao vs. eBay China

Download from https://gsbapps.stanford.edu/cases/detail1.asp?Document_ID=3328

1.    Evaluate Taobao’s growth strategy and execution.

2.    How can Taobao grow even faster?


Final Examination                                                                      As announced by Registrar


Required Course Materials



Purchase and download from Harvard Business School Publishing. See instructions on Blackboard to access course on HBS web site.

1.    A Time for Growth

2.    Evolution and Revolution as Organizations Grow

3.    Which Way Should You Grow

4.    Innovation as a Last Resort

5.    Value Innovation: The Strategic Logic of High Growth

6.    MarketBusting: Stategies for Exceptional Business Growth

7.    Darwinand the Demon: Innovating Within Established Enterprises

8.    BlueOceanStrategy

9.    Is Your Growth Strategy Flying Blind?

10.Getting the Most out of All Your Customers

11.Selling to the Moneyed Masses

12.When to Ally and When to Acquire

13.Champions of Profitable Growth

14.Tomorrow's Global Giants? Not the Usual Suspects

15.When Growth Stalls



Purchase and download from Harvard Business School Publishing. See instructions on Blackboard to access course on HBS web site.

1.    Zimmer: The Gender Specific Knee

2.    Crossing Borders: MTC’s Journey through Africa

3.    Innovation at Timberland: Thinking Outside the Shoe Box

4.    NTT DoCoMo i-mode: Value Innovation at DoCoMo

5.    HTC Corp in 2009

6.    TiVo 2007: DVRs and Beyond

7.    Webvan

8.    Banyan Tree: Sustainability of a Brand During Rapid Global Expansion

9.    LinkedIn Corp., 2008

10.IKEA Invades America

11.L'Oreal's Expansion in China

12.Big Spaceship: Ready to Go Big?



Free download from Stanford Business School web site.

1.    Taobao vs. eBay China

Additional Materials may be distributed in class or on the web as needed.


Assessment Components


Points earned for each segment of the course will be summed to obtain a total score for the course. Students will be rank-ordered based on this total score to determine their course grade in conformity with the Stern Core Courses Grade Distribution guidelines.

Course grades will be determined as follows:

·         Class Contributions                                                                                          20%

·         Homework (Study Groups of 4 or 5 students)
Best 4 considered but all must be submitted                                                20%

·         Group project (Study Groups of 4 or 5 students)                                          30%

·         Final Exam                                                                                                          30%

Class contributions

Effective class contribution involves activities that:

1.    Lead to a productive start to the discussion,

2.    Affect the discussion positively by introducing or using concepts and frameworks

3.    Include carefully considered quantitative or qualitative analyses based on data

4.    Challenge what appears to be "accepted wisdom"

5.    Do not repeatwhat has already been said.


I will maintain a class contribution record for each participant. At the end of each class I will record my perceptions of the quality of your comments and questions. Please note that quantity is not an overriding determinant in how your performance will be evaluated. Clearly, if you are not present in class, your class contribution performance will suffer. If you have concerns about your ability to contribute in class discussions, please contact me immediately.

In addition to my record of your class contribution, you are encouraged to maintain your own daily record in a form to be distributed later. This record will give you immediate feedback about your class contribution and help you maintain or improve it. Please contact me during the semester if you wish to discuss your class contributions at any time during the course. Please bring your class contribution record to the meeting. I may ask you to submit your form for review during the course.

Since I expect you to be fully prepared for each class, I may call upon you to start or manage the discussion or answer a specific question during the class on any day. If for some reason you are not fully prepared on a particular day, please let me know before class so that I do not embarrass you inadvertently. I urge you to attend all classes, even if you are not adequately prepared. Please inform me if you will be unable to attend class. Absence from classes may adversely affect your course grade.


Final Exam

A final exam will be held on the date and time announced by the registrar. There will be no make-up exam offered.

Note on Grading

Since managerial problems seldom have unique solutions, I will primarily look for compelling logic and reasoning in the analysis, application of course concepts, tools and analytic techniques, practicality of recommended actions, "value added" of any exhibits or analyses, and clear and concise writing. Since "cut and dried" solutions are not always possible, the grading process will be, in part, subjective but equitable.

Any questions about your points or grades earned must be submitted in writing within 5 business days after you receive them.


Homework #s 1 to 6.Study Groups of 4 or 5 students.

Each assignment is described below. In addition to time for reading and case analysis, budget about 2 hours per person on average to complete each assignment.

·    Submit the homework assignments at the start of class as indicated below.

·    Late submissions cannot be accepted.

·    Do not exceed the page limits specified later

·    Use bullet points. Prioritize them. Avoid essays. Use tables, charts and exhibits.

·    Include any completed templates, spreadsheets or other detailed analyses you did.

·    Precise, brief and clear responses will be appreciated. I cannot “search” for your major points in a “core dump” of everything you know. Read each question carefully.

·    Use appropriate analytical tools and techniques discussed in the course and elsewhere in the BBA program. Be specific; avoid generalities.

·    Bring extra copies of your homework submission to class as indicated below.


Group Project

·    Note: Always submit a complete file of your work including any documents you received with my comments.

The Group Project consists of the following parts to be completed by each group:

1.    Pick a major competitor of one of the companies we will discuss in this course. See the syllabus for their names. Or, any other growth company from an industry not explicitly covered by the companies listed in the syllabus. It is best, if possible, to pick a company that is focused in a single industry. Submit the name to me by 11 a.m. on February 15, 2012. Let me know as soon as you have selected a company. This is a first-come-first-serve process.

2.    Using the many frameworks and concepts discussed in this course, analyze the company you picked (company XYZ) and write an in-depth article of about 2000 words entitled “Company XYZ Aims to Achieve Exponential Growth” that might appear in the Heard on the Street section or Corporate News section of the Wall Street Journal. See http://online.wsj.com/public/page/news-wall-street-heard.html for samples. The goal is to showcase your skills at analyzing growth strategies and their management. Submit the article by 11 a.m.on April 30, 2012.

3.    Interim deliverables

·         March 7, 2012. Select a sample WSJ article that you will use to model your own article. Develop an outline for your article including research steps that need to be completed. By 11 a.m. on March 7, 2012, submit sample WSJ article and outline of your article.

·         March 28, 2012. Submit by 11 a.m. on March 28, 2012 a first draft of your article noting any gaps that you will fill.



Office hours will be held on Monday and Wednesday 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. by appointment and by email at any time.



Although there are few generally accepted steps in analyzing businesses, it is useful to at least possess a checklist to guide analysis. Such a checklist is below.

  1. What does the firm have to do well to succeed?  What elements of the product (goods and services) do customers value?  How can the firm gain a competitive advantage?  How can the firm sustain its advantage?
  2. What aspects of the wider social, technological, regulatory, economic, and political environment impact the firm and its business?
  3. What opportunities can the firm take advantage of? Can the firm create opportunities for itself?
  4. What symptoms of problems, if any, are cause for concern?  Declining profits?  Increasing inventories?  Declining quality?  Increasing costs?  Alternatively, what problems does management have to guard against?
  5. What are the underlying causes of these symptoms?  Here is where your analytical skills have to be applied.  You will also have to be creative in developing and using analytical frameworks.  Problems could arise due to several causes.  Each cause will need to be identified.
  6. What actions can management take to deal with the underlying causes of problems?  Alternatively, what are the different avenues available to management to pursue their goals?
  7. What impact will each action have in resolving problems or exploiting opportunities?  Alternatively, what impact will each action have in achieving goals?  What will be the impact of a combination of actions?  What are the relative costs and benefits of each action?  Are some actions preferred over others?
  8. Are there any undesirable consequences of the actions considered?  Alternatively, are there likely to be any side-benefits of the contemplated actions?
  9. Develop a plan of action.  Consider contingency plans.  Consider implementation issues.  Are the actions irrevocable?  How could competition react? Would your actions change if you had additional information?  In what way?  Is it worthwhile to obtain additional information?  Is there time?  What will it cost?

Cautionary note:  While it is useful to consider such a checklist, be advised that not all of these steps apply in each situation that you will encounter.  The particular facts and circumstances of the situation that you are analyzing should also be carefully considered.  Modifications might be necessary to successfully understand the problem at hand and devise creative solutions.


Group Projects

Guidelines for Group Projects

Business activities involve group effort. Consequently, learning how to work effectively in a group is a critical part of your business education.

Every member is expected to carry an equal share of the group’s workload. As such, it is in your interest to be involved in all aspects of the project. Even if you divide the work rather than work on each piece together, you are still responsible for each part. The group project will be graded as a whole:   its different components will not be graded separately. Your exams may contain questions that are based on aspects of your group projects.

It is recommended that each group establish ground rules early in the process to facilitate your joint work including a problem-solving process for handling conflicts. In the infrequent case where you believe that a group member is not carrying out his or her fair share of work, you are urged not to permit problems to develop to a point where they become serious. If you cannot resolve conflicts internally after your best efforts, they should be brought to my attention and I will work with you to find a resolution.

You will be asked to complete a peer evaluation form to evaluate the contribution of each of your group members (including your own contribution) at the conclusion of each project. If there is consensus that a group member did not contribute a fair share of work to the project, I will consider this feedback during grading.



At NYU Stern we seek to teach challenging courses that allow students to demonstrate their mastery of the subject matter.  In general, students in undergraduate core courses can expect a grading distribution where: 

Note that while the School uses these ranges  as a guide, the actual distribution for this course and your own grade will depend upon how well  you actually perform in this course.



The process of assigning grades is intended to be one of unbiased evaluation. Students are encouraged to respect the integrity and authority of the professor’s grading system and are discouraged from pursuing arbitrary challenges to it.

If you believe an inadvertent error has been made in the grading of an individual assignment or in assessing an overall course grade, a request to have the grade re-evaluated may be submitted. You must submit such requests in writing to me within 7 days of receiving the grade, including a brief written statement of why you believe that an error in grading has been made.


Professional Responsibilities For This Course




In-class contribution is a significant part of your grade and an important part of our shared learning experience. Your active participation helps me to evaluate your overall performance.
You can excel in this area if you come to class on time and contribute to the course by:




Classroom Norms


Academic Integrity

Integrity is critical to the learning process and to all that we do here at NYU Stern. As members of our community, all students agree to abide by the NYU Stern Student Code of Conduct, which includes a commitment to:

The entire Stern Student Code of Conduct applies to all students enrolled in Stern courses and can be found here:

Undergraduate College: http://www.stern.nyu.edu/uc/codeofconduct
Graduate Programs: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/studentactivities/involved.cfm?doc_id=102505

To help ensure the integrity of our learning community, prose assignments you submit to Blackboard will be submitted to Turnitin.  Turnitin will compare your submission to a database of prior submissions to Turnitin, current and archived Web pages, periodicals, journals, and publications.  Additionally, your document will become part of the Turnitin database.


Recording of Classes

Your class may be recorded for educational purposes


Students with Disabilities

If you have a qualified disability and will require academic accommodation of any kind during this course, you must notify me at the beginning of the course and provide a letter from the Moses Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD, 998-4980, www.nyu.edu/csd) verifying your registration and outlining the accommodations they recommend.  If you will need to take an exam at the CSD, you must submit a completed Exam Accommodations Form to them at least one week prior to the scheduled exam time to be guaranteed accommodation.


Stern Policies

General Behavior
The School expects that students will conduct themselves with respect and professionalism toward faculty, students, and others present in class and will follow the rules laid down by the instructor for classroom behavior.  Students who fail to do so may be asked to leave the classroom. 


Collaboration on Graded Assignments
Students may not work together on graded assignment unless the instructor gives express permission. 


Course Evaluations
Course evaluations are important to us and to students who come after you.  Please complete them thoughtfully.


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