The Case Centre has just announced its 2018 Awards and published the list of its best-selling case studies for 2017. The online platform publishes case studies in all disciplines of business authored by the faculty at HEC Paris and other leading business schools worldwide. The case study “Prada’s Hong Kong IPO” co-authored by Denis Gromb won the award for Finance, Accounting and Control, and ranked among the best-sellers in that category. Denis said: “I use the case in different programs here at HEC Paris. It always generates a lively discussion. It’s great to know it’s being picked up by other schools too. The award is the icing on the cake.” (Find here the full record of the award ceremony held by The Case Centre's Director at HEC Paris). Here, he gives some insight about the Prada case and tips for writing successful cases.
“The case centers on Prada’s decision to go public on the Hong Kong stock exchange in June 2011. It allows instructors to cover different aspects of the decision and choose which ones to emphasize. Prada is a large multinational owned and run by an Italian family. Why does it want to go public? Why now? Why Hong Kong? What is the IPO process? What price should Prada expect at the IPO and what are the techniques with which the company will be valued?”
Finance.. but not only
“The case also touches upon issues beyond finance: the dynamics of a large family business, the luxury and fashion sector, the sociology of luxury consumption, the importance of new markets, notably China, for Western luxury brands, etc. All are relevant in and of themselves but also help put the company’s financial decisions into perspective.”
Top case writing tips
“Corporate finance cannot be taught – let alone practiced – in thin air. It’s important to understand the basic drivers of the business: products, customers, strategy, etc. before discussing a suitable financial policy. That’s why I like finance cases with enough business context. Another plus is that they avoid thinking in silos and allow participants to build bridges across disciplines. I also like cases that offer opportunities to explore different side issues depending on the interests and expertise of participants. We wrote the Prada case with these ideas in mind. I can teach it twice on the same day and have equally interesting but totally different class discussions dynamics. We also wrote a very short abridged version of the case that works well when participants have little preparation time or must work on the case in teams during sessions.”
Find Denis Gromb interview, filmed following the award ceremony about what makes a good finance case: