The Uakari Lodge & Community-Based Tourism 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 The Uakari Lodge & Community-Based Tourism case study

At Oak Spring University, we provide corporate level professional Net Present Value (NPV) case study solution. The Uakari Lodge & Community-Based Tourism case study is a Harvard Business School (HBR) case study written by Harold Z. Daniel, Sandra M. De Urioste-Stone, Rodrigo Z. Ozorio, Nelissa Peralta. The The Uakari Lodge & Community-Based Tourism (referred as “Lodge Uakari” from here on) case study provides evaluation & decision scenario in field of Sales & Marketing. It also touches upon business topics such as - Value proposition, Sustainability.

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 The Uakari Lodge & Community-Based Tourism Case Study

The Uakari Lodge is an internationally recognized pioneering example of community-based ecotourism. It was developed in the late 1990's to provide visitors to Brazil's MamirauA? Sustainable Development Reserve with an ecotourism experience demonstrating the value of the local population's involvement in rainforest conservation. The Institute for Sustainable Development MamirauA? (ISDM), supported by Brazil's Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, owns the Uakari Lodge. The Institute, in collaboration with eleven local communities, jointly operated the lodge. In the face of serious external challenges, while delivering social and environmental benefits in the region, the management of the Lodge has struggled to achieve profitability. After 15 years of operation, the management of the ISDM is planning the transferal of ownership and responsibility for operation of the Uakari Lodge to the local communities involved in the program. The management of the Institute sought to increase the role of the communities in the co-management efforts, both in terms of benefits received and responsibilities. In order to set the stage for smoothly turning over complete ownership and operations of the Lodge, management is seeking to achieve steady, predictable profitability for the Lodge. Achieving that goal will require increasing visitation to the lodge or increasing the profit margin generated per visitor or some combination of both.

Case Authors : Harold Z. Daniel, Sandra M. De Urioste-Stone, Rodrigo Z. Ozorio, Nelissa Peralta

Topic : Sales & Marketing

Related Areas : Sustainability

Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 6% for The Uakari Lodge & Community-Based Tourism Case Study

Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 6 %
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10005248) -10005248 - -
Year 1 3462881 -6542367 3462881 0.9434 3266869
Year 2 3955254 -2587113 7418135 0.89 3520162
Year 3 3965100 1377987 11383235 0.8396 3329174
Year 4 3224341 4602328 14607576 0.7921 2553980
TOTAL 14607576 12670185

The Net Present Value at 6% discount rate is 2664937

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

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. Lodge Uakari 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 Lodge Uakari 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 The Uakari Lodge & Community-Based Tourism

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 Sales & Marketing 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 Lodge Uakari 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 Lodge Uakari 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 (10005248) -10005248 - -
Year 1 3462881 -6542367 3462881 0.8696 3011201
Year 2 3955254 -2587113 7418135 0.7561 2990740
Year 3 3965100 1377987 11383235 0.6575 2607118
Year 4 3224341 4602328 14607576 0.5718 1843527
TOTAL 10452586

The Net NPV after 4 years is 447338

(10452586 - 10005248 )

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 (10005248) -10005248 - -
Year 1 3462881 -6542367 3462881 0.8333 2885734
Year 2 3955254 -2587113 7418135 0.6944 2746704
Year 3 3965100 1377987 11383235 0.5787 2294618
Year 4 3224341 4602328 14607576 0.4823 1554948
TOTAL 9482005

The Net NPV after 4 years is -523243

At 20% discount rate the NPV is negative (9482005 - 10005248 ) so ideally we can't select the project if macro and micro factors don't allow financial managers of Lodge Uakari 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 Lodge Uakari has a NPV value higher than Zero then finance managers at Lodge Uakari 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 Lodge Uakari, then the stock price of the Lodge Uakari 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 Lodge Uakari 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 –

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

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

Understanding of risks involved in the project.

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 can impact the cash flow of the project.

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

Harold Z. Daniel, Sandra M. De Urioste-Stone, Rodrigo Z. Ozorio, Nelissa Peralta (2018), "The Uakari Lodge & Community-Based Tourism Harvard Business Review Case Study. Published by HBR Publications.