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AABS Case Studies

Bank Saderate Iran: Financial Embezzlement under Sharia Law

In September 2011, news of Bank Saderat Iran’s involvement in an embezzlement operation became public. Amir Mansoor Khosravi, an Iranian businessman, had used fraudulent documents from Bank Saderat to obtain bank loans that amounted to US$2.6 billio

Regulating Hawala: Informal Remittances Post 9/11

In 2010, the officials of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) were reviewing the problems of formalising informal financial systems in developing countries, and specifically addressing the hawala system in Africa. Hawala was a highly popular form o

Regulating Hawala: Informal Remittances Post 9/11

In 2010, the officials of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) were reviewing the problems of formalising informal financial systems in developing countries, and specifically addressing the hawala system in Africa. Hawala was a highly popular form o

South African Airways (SAA): Navigating Turbulent Skies

In April 2010, Siza Mzimela was appointed as chief executive officer (CEO) of the government-owned South African Airways (Pty) Ltd (SAA). She was the seventh CEO to be appointed since 1993. As far back as 2007, the South African government had issued

Netcare Breast Care Centre of Excellence: What Opportunity in African Medical Tourism?

In August 2006, Dr Richard Friedland, the chief executive officer of Netcare Holdings, which operated the largest private hospital network in South Africa, was looking at the findings of research into the opportunity that medical tourists from Africa

Metrorail: Building on the Success of 2010

It was June 2011 and South African passenger rail company, Metrorail, was celebrating its success in moving passengers during the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. The organisation had done much to improve its infrastructure, safety and image for the event. Now

Blue Financial Services Group: The Perils of Rapid Growth

It was June 2010 and Dave van Niekerk, the chief executive officer (CEO) of micro-lending company Blue Financial Services (BFS), had just handed in his resignation. BFS, which listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange AltX in 2006, had in less than f

Woolworths Food: High-end Retail in Tough Economic Times

In February 2009, Julian Novak, Woolworths divisional director of food, announced a new strategy for the company’s food division. The South African retail sector had been affected by the global economic downturn and conditions were grim. By August

Tia's Muesli: Small Dog in the Big Dogs' Lair

In April 2011, Hani Niayesh, owner and managing director of breakfast cereal manufacturer, Tia’s Muesli, received an unexpected phone call from the Pick n Pay Hypermarket Head Office. The retailer, which formed part of one of South Africa’s bigges

TopTV: Changing the Face of the South African Pay-TV Landscape?

In May 2011, Vino Govender, CEO of the Johannesburg-based On Digital Media’s (ODM) TopTV, felt pleased about the 200 000 subscribers that had been secured in less than one year in the competitive South African satellite pay television (pay-TV) marke

Arco Petrochemicals: Climbing by merit

The case protagonist, Alfred Okoigun, left his comfortable well-paid job with an oil company to pursue a new business aimed at filling a gap that he noticed while in employment. In spite of the fears expressed by friends and relatives with whom he sha

Regulate or motivate? A salt reduction strategy for processed food in South Africa

Six months had passed since the South African government had gazetted draft regulations on salt content in food. Now, in December 2012, the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, was reviewing the submissions received on the proposed laws. As the co

Republic of Ghana: A Country's Growth Path

Ghana is widely regarded as an African success story as a result of its political stability and consistent and imppressive economic growht over the past ten years. Despite an annual average economic growth rate of 7%, Ghana still struggles with huge u

Umsinsi Health Care: Employees as partners: Is the time right for Umsinsi Health Care?

Ever since she had started Umsinsi Health Care (Pty) Ltd in South Africa in November 2008, Amanda Wilde’s vision had been to place the company, which distributed medical devices, in a trust for all of her employees. When this happened, they would be

IDC: Prioritising Development Impact

As Geoffrey Qhena, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), sat in his office at the organisation’s headquarters in Johannesburg, reviewing details of the recently published annual report in preparation for a me

Hansa Pilsener: Remaining Relevant in a Changing Market

In September 2012, Khensani Nobanda took over as general manager of Hansa Pilsener, South African Breweries’ (SAB) second-biggest brand. Under her predecessor, Mosidi Seretlo, SAB had developed a highly successful advertising campaign for Hansa, fea

SACMEQ: Monitoring the Quality of Education in Developing Countries

In October 2012, Dr Kenneth Ross, professional fellow at the Graduate School of Education of the University of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia and chairperson of the Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ)

Trucking Wellness: An Industry's Response to Managing HIV/AIDS

In 2012, South Africa was still one of the countries with the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the world. Statistics SA estimated that in 2011, 10.6% of the total population and 16.6% of the adult population (people between 15 and 49 years of age) we

Abbas Gullet: Three-fold Dilemma at Kenya Red Cross Society

On an early Thursday morning in February 2001, Abbas Gullet walked into his new office at Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) Headquaters in Nairobi. The International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) seconded him to be the Secretary General of KRCS. His eye

The Turnaround of Kenya Wildlife Service

In September 2010, three months to the end of his 6 year contract as Managing Director of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Dr. Julius Kipng’etich was reminiscing how he got into this job. “My appointment was over the radio. It was the media wh

Corporate Innovations at Sevenseas Technologies Ltd.

Seven Seas Technologies (SST) Ltd. was founded by Michael Macharia in 1999 when he was only 24 years old. Since then, SST Group had grown steadily over the years - evolving from a humble infrastructure based company to a multi-billion shilling full IC

Kevin Otieno-Onyango: Business and Technology Dilemma

Kevin Onyango, the owner/manager of Complexity Ltd. located in Nairobi, was in his centre on the evening of the 15th of May 2005. He was contemplating the recent positive developments in his computer business. He planned to buy an additional 10 comput

Marva Mbukali

Marva Mbukali, a first year Business student of Madaraka University was seated in front of a computer at Mt. Elgon Lab at 12:40pm struggling and still trying her best to key-in her assignments. It was Monday of the fourth week of the first semester fo


In December 1997, Dr. Macharia and his four colleagues were deeply contemplating the idea of opening their own pharmaceutical store. They had accumulated Ksh 400,000 (US$ 5334) in the bank through individual contribution of Ksh 80,000. It had been eig

LawAfrica (A)

Maina Waweru, CEO of LawAfrica, and Katarina Juma, Chief of Operations, were faced with a dilemma. Their new online business had not generated any revenue because their developer contracted to do the job had failed to deliver the website on time. More

Equity Bank: Accelerating Business Growth with IT (A,B,C)

In 2006, Equity Bank undertook the second phase of the implementation of the core banking system that included set-up and integration of the Finacle Treasury module, the ATM switch and other related auxiliary systems. During the year, they also opened

Botswana Uniform Agency (PTY) (A)

Two young Canadian women have to deal with the threat of strike in a model factory started up in a rural African village. Cross cultural management problems arise as these two women with different management styles attempt to combine rural African nor

Sapphire Beach Hotel Limited

The general manager of a financial services company is examining a request for a loan to finance the completion of a hotel on the ocean shore in Kenya. Projected costs and revenues for the first three years are presented. The manager is trying to asse

Bhiwar Enterprises

A nephew in an Indian family business has prepared a consulting report advocating changes in organizational structure and practices. His North American MBA training has influenced both the content of his recommendations and the process of suggesting t

Kashiwa Tubing Ltd.

A student at a large Boston-area university would soon be completing a dual degree in Management Information Systems and Business Administration. She is the oldest child and only member of a Japanese family that spoke English and was learning to repre



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