Case | HBS Case Collection | January 2008 (Revised December 2011)

Inner Mongolia Yili Group: China's Pioneering Dairy Brand

by Regina M. Abrami, William C. Kirby, F. Warren McFarlan and Tracy Yuen Manty


Setting up the goal to become one of the top 20 enterprises in the world dairy industry by 2010, the Inner Mongolia Yili Group had ambitious plans. As one of China's biggest national dairy companies, its main challenge was competing as a local company against joint-venture rivals who benefited from perks granted to "foreign" companies. To set itself apart, Yili focused on research and development and innovative ways to improve the industry. Proving that it could shift industry standards and lead a country not accustomed to dairy consumption, to a point where demand is outpacing supply, the Yili Group is making its mark to go global. As an Official Sponsor of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and the Official dairy supplier of the games, it is betting that the brand can go further beyond China. Will the day that tykes from Topeka have a bottle of Yili milk in their hands be coming soon?

Keywords: Global Strategy; Globalized Markets and Industries; Growth and Development Strategy; Brands and Branding; Competition; Agriculture and Agribusiness Industry; China;


Abrami, Regina M., William C. Kirby, F. Warren McFarlan, and Tracy Yuen Manty. "Inner Mongolia Yili Group: China's Pioneering Dairy Brand." Harvard Business School Case 308-052, January 2008. (Revised December 2011.)