CEIBS team captures entrepreneurship prize in EFMD case contest
April 27, 2023. Shanghai – A CEIBS case authoring team has captured the top prize in the Entrepreneurship category in the EFMD Case Writing Competition 2022. The winners were announced earlier this month.
CEIBS Professor of Marketing Wang Gao, Senior Case Researcher Zhu Qiong and Research Associate Zhang Rui picked up the award for their case entitled ApiYoo: A New Breed of Entrepreneurship.
“We are honored to receive this distinguished award. The ApiYoo case demonstrates a different way for new startups to enter a mature market, and it can be taught in courses such as entrepreneurship and startups,” the authors said in a team statement.
The winning case presents the experience of Chinese consumer goods startup ApiYoo to try to answer the questions, is there space for startups in a fully matured market where the incumbents are already embroiled in cut-throat competition? And if so, how can new entrants carve out a niche?
As the case outlines, the four-year-old startup has distinguished itself from others in that while most startups begin by concentrating on just one single brand, ApiYoo has established seven brands in different market segments.
“By adopting a strategy of appearance differentiation targeting at a niche market, ApiYoo has avoided direct confrontation with giant incumbents and grown its business quickly. It has also replicated this strategy in other consumer goods categories with the aim to boost its annual revenue from 1.2 billion RMB to 10 billion RMB in five years,” the CEIBS team explains.
Although its strategy has borne some fruit, consumers’ aesthetic preferences are subjective and volatile. Therefore, ApiYoo will face challenges in realizing an eight-fold growth in just a short period of time.
“This is an ambitious goal with serious challenges, but the possibility is not deniable,” the authors add.
The EFMD Case Writing Competition has been held annually since 1988 with the support of The Case Centre and various category sponsors. The contest “encourages innovative and impactful case writing and teaching.” Each year, more than 400 cases are submitted and the winners are selected by a jury panel based on written quality, teaching notes and innovation.
The Entrepreneurial category invites cases which address entrepreneurship and its related processes across a broad range of organizations and sectors.
The ApiYoo case is the second CEIBS case to claim an award in this year’s EFMD competition. A case entitled Aspiration, Action, Determination: Zhu Jing, Founder of Sunkwan Group by Professor of Management Jean Lee, Research Assistant Xin (Michelle) Zheng and Senior Case Researcher Liman Zhao also took home the top prize in the Women in Business category. Read more about that award here.