Sony Music (India) Net Present Value (NPV) / MBA Resources

Introduction to Net Present Value (NPV) - What is Net Present Value (NPV) ? How it impacts financial decisions regarding project management?

NPV solution for Sony Music (India) case study

At Oak Spring University, we provide corporate level professional Net Present Value (NPV) case study solution. Sony Music (India) case study is a Harvard Business School (HBR) case study written by Deepa Mani, Geetika Shah. The Sony Music (India) (referred as “Music Indian” from here on) case study provides evaluation & decision scenario in field of Strategy & Execution. It also touches upon business topics such as - Value proposition, IT, Strategy.

The net present value (NPV) of an investment proposal is the present value of the proposal’s net cash flows less the proposal’s initial cash outflow. If a project’s NPV is greater than or equal to zero, the project should be accepted.

NPV = Present Value of Future Cash Flows LESS Project’s Initial Investment

Case Description of Sony Music (India) Case Study

"This case study illustrates the principles of disruptive innovation in the context of the music industry in India. Widespread technological changes, including the spread of the Internet and mobile penetration, began to redefine the industry in terms of the way music was created, accessed and consumed. With these technological changes sweeping the industry in a relatively short time frame, the cost of music creation and consumption declined rapidly and incumbents began to find it difficult to sustain operations at current profit margins. The Indian music industry was the archetype of an industry disrupted by technological forces. In such a scenario, the case highlights the dilemma of Sony Music India, a large music recording company, which had been operating in the Indian music industry since 1998 and was now exploring the potential options available for growth and profitability in the evolving digital music space. The Indian subsidiary benefits from learning from its parent but operates under a different business model. The case is set in 2012, and places the student in the shoes of Vivek Paul, Head of Digital Media, who is pondering over what form Sony's digital platform offering should take. How different was the Indian music landscape from the West? What were the disruptive impacts? Should the response of the company mirror its parent corporation? What was the economic upside? Should the company sell exclusively through its own site? Should the company launch a separate organization to manage its digital business? "

Case Authors : Deepa Mani, Geetika Shah

Topic : Strategy & Execution

Related Areas : IT, Strategy

Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 6% for Sony Music (India) Case Study

Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 6 %
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10021684) -10021684 - -
Year 1 3458360 -6563324 3458360 0.9434 3262604
Year 2 3962753 -2600571 7421113 0.89 3526836
Year 3 3968038 1367467 11389151 0.8396 3331641
Year 4 3234828 4602295 14623979 0.7921 2562287
TOTAL 14623979 12683368

The Net Present Value at 6% discount rate is 2661684

In isolation the NPV number doesn't mean much but put in right context then it is one of the best method to evaluate project returns. In this article we will cover -

Different methods of capital budgeting

What is NPV & Formula of NPV,
How it is calculated,
How to use NPV number for project evaluation, and
Scenario Planning given risks and management priorities.

Capital Budgeting Approaches

Methods of Capital Budgeting

There are four types of capital budgeting techniques that are widely used in the corporate world –

1. Payback Period
2. Internal Rate of Return
3. Profitability Index
4. Net Present Value

Apart from the Payback period method which is an additive method, rest of the methods are based on Discounted Cash Flow technique. Even though cash flow can be calculated based on the nature of the project, for the simplicity of the article we are assuming that all the expected cash flows are realized at the end of the year.

Discounted Cash Flow approaches provide a more objective basis for evaluating and selecting investment projects. They take into consideration both –

1. Magnitude of both incoming and outgoing cash flows – Projects can be capital intensive, time intensive, or both. Music Indian shareholders have preference for diversified projects investment rather than prospective high income from a single capital intensive project.
2. Timing of the expected cash flows – stockholders of Music Indian have higher preference for cash returns over 4-5 years rather than 10-15 years given the nature of the volatility in the industry.

Formula and Steps to Calculate Net Present Value (NPV) of Sony Music (India)

NPV = Net Cash In Flowt1 / (1+r)t1 + Net Cash In Flowt2 / (1+r)t2 + … Net Cash In Flowtn / (1+r)tn
Less Net Cash Out Flowt0 / (1+r)t0

Where t = time period, in this case year 1, year 2 and so on.
r = discount rate or return that could be earned using other safe proposition such as fixed deposit or treasury bond rate. Net Cash In Flow – What the firm will get each year.
Net Cash Out Flow – What the firm needs to invest initially in the project.

Step 1 – Understand the nature of the project and calculate cash flow for each year.
Step 2 – Discount those cash flow based on the discount rate.
Step 3 – Add all the discounted cash flow.
Step 4 – Selection of the project

Why Strategy & Execution Managers need to know Financial Tools such as Net Present Value (NPV)?

In our daily workplace we often come across people and colleagues who are just focused on their core competency and targets they have to deliver. For example marketing managers at Music Indian often design programs whose objective is to drive brand awareness and customer reach. But how that 30 point increase in brand awareness or 10 point increase in customer touch points will result into shareholders’ value is not specified.

To overcome such scenarios managers at Music Indian needs to not only know the financial aspect of project management but also needs to have tools to integrate them into part of the project development and monitoring plan.

Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 15%

After working through various assumptions we reached a conclusion that risk is far higher than 6%. In a reasonably stable industry with weak competition - 15% discount rate can be a good benchmark.

Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 15 %
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10021684) -10021684 - -
Year 1 3458360 -6563324 3458360 0.8696 3007270
Year 2 3962753 -2600571 7421113 0.7561 2996411
Year 3 3968038 1367467 11389151 0.6575 2609049
Year 4 3234828 4602295 14623979 0.5718 1849523
TOTAL 10462253

The Net NPV after 4 years is 440569

(10462253 - 10021684 )

Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 20%

If the risk component is high in the industry then we should go for a higher hurdle rate / discount rate of 20%.

Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 20 %
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10021684) -10021684 - -
Year 1 3458360 -6563324 3458360 0.8333 2881967
Year 2 3962753 -2600571 7421113 0.6944 2751912
Year 3 3968038 1367467 11389151 0.5787 2296318
Year 4 3234828 4602295 14623979 0.4823 1560006
TOTAL 9490203

The Net NPV after 4 years is -531481

At 20% discount rate the NPV is negative (9490203 - 10021684 ) so ideally we can't select the project if macro and micro factors don't allow financial managers of Music Indian to discount cash flow at lower discount rates such as 15%.

Acceptance Criteria of a Project based on NPV

Simplest Approach – If the investment project of Music Indian has a NPV value higher than Zero then finance managers at Music Indian can ACCEPT the project, otherwise they can reject the project. This means that project will deliver higher returns over the period of time than any alternate investment strategy.

In theory if the required rate of return or discount rate is chosen correctly by finance managers at Music Indian, then the stock price of the Music Indian should change by same amount of the NPV. In real world we know that share price also reflects various other factors that can be related to both macro and micro environment.

In the same vein – accepting the project with zero NPV should result in stagnant share price. Finance managers use discount rates as a measure of risk components in the project execution process.

Sensitivity Analysis

Project selection is often a far more complex decision than just choosing it based on the NPV number. Finance managers at Music Indian should conduct a sensitivity analysis to better understand not only the inherent risk of the projects but also how those risks can be either factored in or mitigated during the project execution. Sensitivity analysis helps in –

Understanding of risks involved in the project.

What can impact the cash flow of the project.

What will be a multi year spillover effect of various taxation regulations.

What are the uncertainties surrounding the project Initial Cash Outlay (ICO’s). ICO’s often have several different components such as land, machinery, building, and other equipment.

What are the key aspects of the projects that need to be monitored, refined, and retuned for continuous delivery of projected cash flows.

Some of the assumptions while using the Discounted Cash Flow Methods –

Projects are assumed to be Mutually Exclusive – This is seldom the came in modern day giant organizations where projects are often inter-related and rejecting a project solely based on NPV can result in sunk cost from a related project.

Independent projects have independent cash flows – As explained in the marketing project – though the project may look independent but in reality it is not as the brand awareness project can be closely associated with the spending on sales promotions and product specific advertising.

References & Further Readings

Deepa Mani, Geetika Shah (2018), "Sony Music (India) Harvard Business Review Case Study. Published by HBR Publications.