Saregama India Ltd: Striking a Digital Chord

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR237
Case Length : 20 Pages
Period : 1986-2006
Organization : Saregama India Ltd
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : India
Industry : Media and Entertainment

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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The Turnaround

In April 2001, SIL engaged the services of McKinsey & Co to undertake a 'growth study' to devise a growth strategy so that SIL not only maintained its eminence in the Indian music industry but also improved its profitability and prepared itself for future opportunities.

The study began in June 2001 and the report was submitted in October 2001. What was later referred to as the 'turnaround strategy' consisted of several components.

The turnaround strategy involved:

Improving the distribution aspects of the business: SIL tied up with a Singapore-based logistics firm, which advised it on the reorganization of its distribution network. This involved the creation of eight regional distribution centers (RDC) to take care of the stocking and supply of cassettes and CDs...

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Digitally Yours

Digital music in the form of MP3 files became available in India through music sharing websites in the late 1990s and 2000s. With the popularity of such websites, music piracy became commonplace. It was observed that, more than any other group, youngsters in the age group of 15-24 were active in downloading songs illegally. And because more than others, it was people in this age group that listened to and purchased music, the music companies experienced a remarkable downtrend in physical music sales...


SIL was a dominant player in the Indian music industry, where the sheer size and popularity of its repertoire of songs gave the company a clear advantage over its competitors.

"HMV (SIL) is a unique company. We are actually a trustee of Indian musical heritage. We have musical tracks in as many as 23 languages and in every genre of music. They have regional and national relevance," said, Subroto Chattopadhyay, managing director, SIL.

Apart from the core business of music, the other businesses too showed promise...


Exhibit I: The Gramophone
Exhibit II: EMI Records Ltd.
Exhibit III: The Indian Music Industry
Exhibit IV: Categories in Indian Music
Exhibit V: Companies in the RPG Group
Exhibit VI: Cassette and CD Sales in India
Exhibit VII: Saregama India Ltd.'s Financials
Exhibit VIII: Subsidiaries of SIL
Exhibit IX: Some Popular Music Albums from SIL in the 2000s
Exhibit X: MP3 and Digital Music
Exhibit XI: A List of Categories
Exhibit XII: The Value Chain in the Music Industry

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