Stories and Strategies from Real Life: 7/17/15

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Some of the best learning happens when you read stories about real people and real companies. Read them for ideas, for lessons, and inspiration. This week’s stories and strategies from real life are about Gillette, ESPN, CVS, Arrow Electronics, and Welspun.

From Perspectives at SMU: Shaving India, making profits

“Gillette was having trouble making inroads into the Indian grooming market for men…until they roped in the women.”

From Shalini Ramachandran and Joe Flint: ESPN, Under Threat, Tightens Belt

“Competition in the pay-TV industry is rising and subscribers are trimming cable bills.”

From Hiroko Tabuchi: How CVS Quit Smoking and Grew Into a Health Care Giant

“The pharmacy retailer that stopped selling cigarettes last year is also expanding its in-store clinics, a business well suited to the quickly evolving health care landscape.”

From Robert J. Grossman: Arrow Electronics: Surviving and Thriving in Spite of Tragedy

“John C. Waddell shepherded Arrow Electronics through a major crisis after the tragic loss of the company’s top executives. This case study offers enduring lessons in leadership, strategy, and human capital management. Geared primarily toward practitioners, the case relies on original, secondary sources, and interviews.”

From the Economist: Dry run

“The towels on display have many brand labels but all are made by Welspun. A big-box retailer or department store typically relies on a sole supplier for towels and bedding: that firm is said to ‘own the wall’. Welspun owns the wall at some of America’s best-known chains, including Walmart, Costco, Target and Macy’s. One in every seven towels sold in America is made either at Anjar or at Welspun’s smaller factory in Vapi, a few hours’ drive from Mumbai, India’s commercial capital. In Europe Welspun also supplies IKEA, as well as John Lewis, a posh British department-store chain.”

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