LEARNING OUTCOMES : The main learning outcomes that can develop from this case are as follows. These have been articulated for an approximately 90-min class discussion. Opportunity identification in times of crisis: at a macro-level, the case serves to illustrate the nature of identifying and exploiting opportunities in times of crisis. In particular, it shows how an agile small team and quickly respond to need and develop a sustainable and scalable business. Pivoting the business model: the case raises an interesting and important debate as regards what constitutes a “pivot”. While the classical interpretation would be a change in direction without a change in strategy, this case within the context of Covid-19 challenges this definition. Resource use and allocation: The case illustrates well how existing resources, networks and skills can be used in a very different business venture to alleviate immediate cash flow needs and potentially build another business venture. CASE OVERVIEW/SYNOPSIS : This case study explores how two Cape Town-based entrepreneurs, Josh Meltz and Adam Duxbury, responded to the Covid-19 crisis and the subsequent lockdown in South Africa. The pair had built a successful swimwear brand – Granadilla Swimwear – and two other businesses: a function venue and a kombucha brand sold at a well-known food market. As the Covid-19 lockdown tool effect, the entrepreneurs saw not only declining revenue in their food and function venue business but were about to enter a six-month period of negative cash flow on their seasonal swimwear business. The entrepreneurs saw an opportunity to deliver food boxes of fresh fruit, vegetables, bread and other staples within the Cape Town metropolitan area. Their kombucha brand had a ready-made food processing and handling facility (including cold storage) and existing relationships with customers, suppliers and other vendors at the food market gave them ready access to a range of locally produced food products available immediately and on consignment. Meltz & Duxbury quickly launched an online shop and started marketing via Instagram. Within 48 h, they were delivering food boxes, with little risk and upfront capital investment. As the lockdown continued and other competitors entered the market, the team wondered at the longevity of the pivot and whether this was a business that would sustain itself or whether it was just a short-term fix for their immediate cash flow problems.
COMPLEXITY ACADEMIC LEVEL : Undergraduate and postgraduate
This Case Study has been published as part of a special section of short cases in Emerging Markets Case Studies, entitled “Managing in a Crisis: Lessons from the Covid 19 crisis” in partnership with Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria.
Disclaimer. This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision-making. The authors may have disguised names; financial and other recognizable information to protect confidentiality.