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Vol 2, Issue 01, Feb 2020
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Leadership & Entrepreneurship
Craig Kielburger and Marc Kielburger (Kielburgers) started a charity called WE Charity (formerly “Free the Children”) in 1995 to free children from child labor and help their families come out of poverty and exploitative situations. When the brothers realized that solely relying on donations would not help achieve the mission of WE Charity, they established a social enterprise called ME to WE in 2009 with guidance from Jeff Skoll, the first president of eBay and a billionaire. ME to WE was an upgraded version of Leaders Today, an initiative of the Kielburgers started in 1999 to offer fee-based leadership camps and trips to youth interested in traveling to third world countries and volunteering for projects of WE Charity such as building schools and clinics or laying water pipelines in adopted villages called WE Villages. ME to WE started selling fair trade products, handicrafts, and more in 2010 to help the local artisans in the WE Villages. In 2011, the Kielburgers expanded the operations of WE Charity by establishing WE Schools, a learning program designed for school children, and WE Day, a fun and learning event for the students of WE Schools in Canada, the US, and the UK.
ME to WE had a profound impact around the world – it built 1,500 schoolrooms and schools, helped over 30,000 women become financially independent, provided education to over 200,000 children, helped a million people gain access to sanitation and clean water, employed 1,800 women in Kenya and Ecuador as ME to WE artisans, and conducted 27.6 million hours of classes at WE schools. It won “Canada’s Walk of Fame” in 2013. In 2017, WE Charity won the Good Housekeeping Humanitarian Seal from the Good Housekeeping Institute for its charity works. However, ME to WE faced several allegations in 2017-18 with former employees accusing it of paying low salaries, making them work long working hours without suitable compensation, having an abusive work culture, adopting aggressive tactics while canvassing for donations, focusing excessively on entering into numerous contracts with corporates, entering into partnerships with corporates that sold products made by children, and not honoring the commitment of donating 50% of ME to WE’s revenues to WE Charity and others. The Kielburgers, nonetheless, planned to expand the operations of WE Charity to several newer communities. In Canada, they planned to extend the reach of the WE Schools program to 24,000 schools by 2024 and increase the number of participants of the WE Schools to 4.8 million by 2020/2021.
The ‘We Movement’ – Driving Social Change
The case ‘Will CropIn’s Data-Driven Technologies Help Feed the Farms of the Future’ is about CropIn Technology Solutions Private Limited (CropIn), a SaaS-based agritech startup headquartered in India that had grown by 325% in the 15-month period from March 2018 to May 2019. The company had helped digitize farmlands in over five million acres globally. The case deals with the growth of CropIn as a startup in 2010 and its milestones over the years from 2010 to 2018. The various challenges CropIn faced are dealt with in the case along with the details of the different products launched by the company. The case next dwells upon the process of digitization of farm data undertaken by CropIn and its benefits for farmers and farm aggregators. The digitized data of the farmlands were stored in the database and were retrieved to provide the farmers with advice on the correct usage of fertilizers and pesticides as well as weather updates that would help them safeguard themselves against the vagaries of nature. With the technological innovation of CropIn benefitting the farmers and farm aggregators, the company spread its wings across the globe, establishing itself in Asia, Latin America, North America, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. The case ends with the company’s future outlook and its endeavors to ensure sustainability in agriculture and maximize agricultural output.
Will CropIn’s Data-Driven Technologies Help Feed the Farms of the Future?
The case “iD Fresh – An Entrepreneurial Success Story” talks about the journey of iD Fresh (founded by PC Musthafa) from a startup to becoming a niche player in the ready-to-cook breakfast market in India. The case starts with a brief history of Musthafa. It then describes the creation of the iD brand, launching of new products, and expansion of iD Fresh to different locations across India and the Middle East. The case also touches upon the launch of different marketing campaigns by iD Fresh, and its use of innovative packaging. Besides, it highlights the challenges faced by iD Fresh and its future plans.
iD Fresh – An Entrepreneurial Success Story
The case, “VG Siddhartha of Café Coffee Day: A ‘Failed’ Entrepreneur?” is about the entrepreneurial journey of VG Siddhartha (VGS), Chairman and Managing Director, Coffee Day Enterprises Limited (CDEL). The case describes the various dimensions of VGS as an entrepreneur, the causes of the ‘self-doubt’ in his entrepreneurial journey, the role of financial management and diversification strategy in his entrepreneurial development, and his dramatic fall. VGS was acknowledged as the Coffee King of India. He was responsible for creating India’s popular coffee hangout place called Café Coffee Day (CCD). CCD gained immense popularity among the young and urban population. VGS was also acknowledged for the strategic investment decisions he took as an investment banker and as an investment analyst. VGS was enthusiastic and energetic, and was considered a visionary entrepreneur in India. His suicide in July 2019 brought his entrepreneurial journey to an abrupt end and left the entire business world and the entrepreneurial ecosystem in India in shock. In a note, VGS stated pressure from Income-tax department and private equity investors as a cause of his death. The incident raised several questions with respect to the challenges being faced by entrepreneurs in India.
VG Siddhartha of Cafe Coffee Day: A ‘Failed’ Entrepreneur?

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