News & Highlights

  • March 2017
  • MBA CURRICULUM

Japan IFC 2017: What 43 HBS Students Learned From Entrepreneurs in Tohoku

The Japan IFC (Immersive Field Course), an HBS MBA elective course taught by Professor Hirotaka Takeuchi, was completed with another huge success in January 2017. The program started as a response to the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 and has been offered for the six consecutive years. This year, the program was held under the theme of “Tohoku: The World’s Test Market for Authentic Entrepreneurship” from January 4 to January 13.

New Research on the Region

  • May 2017
  • Case

AKB48: Going Global? (A)

By: Juan Alcacer, Kotaro Sasamoto, Tee Chayakul and Mayuka Yamazaki

After a remarkable success in Japan, the producer of the Japanese female singing group AKB48 evaluates market opportunities overseas for his artistic creation. This case introduces the business model behind the AKB48 concept and allows students to identify what geographic market – China, Indonesia, Taiwan, The Philippines, Thailand or South Korea – is more suitable for AKB48’s first move overseas. During the discussion, students also identify the geographic limits of a product and what changes, if any, should be done to adapt it to a chosen market. Given high levels of piracy in the music industry, students are not only able to explore the value creation aspects of AKB48 but also the value capture features of its business model.

  • May 2017
  • Case

Hilti Fleet Management (A): Turning a Successful Business Model on Its Head

By: Ramon Casadesus-Masanell, Oliver Gassmann and Roman Sauer

This case explores the introduction of fleet management in the construction industry by the premium power tools manufacturer Hilti in 2000. Following its customers’ needs, Hilti moved from selling power tools to leasing them as a service. The introduction of the new business model contributed significantly to the success of Hilti, since it sustainably differentiated the company from its competitors. For instance, the adoption of fleet management resulted in customer loyalty levels five times higher than under the dominant business model Hilti had formerly employed, and over-proportioned profit contribution at Hilti. Hilti’s Chief Technology Officer described the importance of the innovation as follows: “Hilti developed many very innovative and successful products over the years, but they paled in comparison with the fleet management business model, which was the most important innovation in Hilti’s history.” All told, Hilti, which had about 22,000 employees and made about 4.5 billion Swiss Francs (or $4.589 billion USD) in sales in 2015, managed 1.5 million tools under fleet management contracts in 40 countries, resulting in a contract value of more than 1.2 billion Swiss Francs (approximately $1.4 billion USD). Case A describes the strategic decision-making process regarding the introduction of fleet management in its early planning stages. Case B (separate) tackles the implementation and scaling process of fleet management over the years and explores current challenges facing the BMI.

  • May 2017
  • Teaching Material

Hilti Fleet Management (B): Towards a New Business Model

By: Ramon Casadesus-Masanell, Oliver Gassmann and Roman Sauer

This case explores the introduction of fleet management in the construction industry by the premium power tools manufacturer Hilti in 2000. Following its customers’ needs, Hilti moved from selling power tools to leasing them as a service. The introduction of the new business model contributed significantly to the success of Hilti, since it sustainably differentiated the company from its competitors. For instance, the adoption of fleet management resulted in customer loyalty levels five times higher than under the dominant business model Hilti formerly employed, and over-proportioned profit contribution at Hilti. Hilti’s Chief Technology Officer described the importance of the innovation as follows: “Hilti developed many very innovative and successful products over the years, but they paled in comparison with the fleet management business model, which was the most important innovation in Hilti’s history.” All told, Hilti, which had about 22,000 employees and made about 4.5 billion Swiss Francs (or $4.589 billion USD) in sales in 2015, managed 1.5 million tools under fleet management contracts in 40 countries, resulting in a contract value of more than 1.2 billion Swiss Francs (approximately $1.4 billion USD). Case A describes the strategic decision-making process regarding the introduction of fleet management in its early planning stages. This case (Case B) tackles the implementation and scaling process of fleet management over the years. Finally, the case explores current challenges facing the BMI.

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Tokyo Staff

Nobuo Sato
Executive Director
Akiko Kanno
Senior Researcher
Yukari Takizawa
Staff Assistant
Naoko Jinjo
Senior Researcher