×




The Multichannel Challenge at Natura in Beauty and Personal Care 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 Multichannel Challenge at Natura in Beauty and Personal Care case study


At Oak Spring University, we provide corporate level professional Net Present Value (NPV) case study solution. The Multichannel Challenge at Natura in Beauty and Personal Care case study is a Harvard Business School (HBR) case study written by Paul W. Farris, Leandro Guissoni, Kusum Ailawadi, Murillo Boccia. The The Multichannel Challenge at Natura in Beauty and Personal Care (referred as “Natura Direct” from here on) case study provides evaluation & decision scenario in field of Sales & Marketing. It also touches upon business topics such as - Value proposition, Performance measurement.

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 Multichannel Challenge at Natura in Beauty and Personal Care Case Study


Faced with declining market share and sales, Natura, Brazil's second largest brand in the cosmetics, fragrances, and toiletries market, expanded its customer reach by moving from a direct-sales company to a multichannel company. In 2014, Natura added online catalogs, physical stores, and drugstores to its well-established direct-selling model, but the results were disappointing. Between 2014 and 2016, three different Natura CEOs attempted to lead the company in the strategic transition to focus less on the direct sales consultants and more on reaching the end consumers directly with multiple channels and touchpoints. On October 2016, the company's board appointed its former commercial vice president, JoA?o Paulo Ferreira, as the most recent CEO. Ferreira's challenge was to find the right balance between the direct-selling and other channel formats to market Natura, thus enabling it to thrive in the face of intense competition in the beauty and personal care market in Brazil.


Case Authors : Paul W. Farris, Leandro Guissoni, Kusum Ailawadi, Murillo Boccia

Topic : Sales & Marketing

Related Areas : Performance measurement




Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 6% for The Multichannel Challenge at Natura in Beauty and Personal Care Case Study


Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 6 %
Discounted
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10022389) -10022389 - -
Year 1 3454765 -6567624 3454765 0.9434 3259212
Year 2 3975839 -2591785 7430604 0.89 3538483
Year 3 3944437 1352652 11375041 0.8396 3311825
Year 4 3237467 4590119 14612508 0.7921 2564377
TOTAL 14612508 12673897


The Net Present Value at 6% discount rate is 2651508

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. Payback Period
3. Internal Rate of Return
4. Profitability Index

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. Natura Direct 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 Natura Direct 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 Multichannel Challenge at Natura in Beauty and Personal Care

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 Natura Direct 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 Natura Direct 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 %
Discounted
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10022389) -10022389 - -
Year 1 3454765 -6567624 3454765 0.8696 3004143
Year 2 3975839 -2591785 7430604 0.7561 3006305
Year 3 3944437 1352652 11375041 0.6575 2593531
Year 4 3237467 4590119 14612508 0.5718 1851032
TOTAL 10455013


The Net NPV after 4 years is 432624

(10455013 - 10022389 )






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 %
Discounted
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10022389) -10022389 - -
Year 1 3454765 -6567624 3454765 0.8333 2878971
Year 2 3975839 -2591785 7430604 0.6944 2760999
Year 3 3944437 1352652 11375041 0.5787 2282660
Year 4 3237467 4590119 14612508 0.4823 1561278
TOTAL 9483909


The Net NPV after 4 years is -538480

At 20% discount rate the NPV is negative (9483909 - 10022389 ) so ideally we can't select the project if macro and micro factors don't allow financial managers of Natura Direct 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 Natura Direct has a NPV value higher than Zero then finance managers at Natura Direct 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 Natura Direct, then the stock price of the Natura Direct 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 Natura Direct 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 can impact the cash flow of the project.

Understanding of risks involved in the project.

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

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

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

Paul W. Farris, Leandro Guissoni, Kusum Ailawadi, Murillo Boccia (2018), "The Multichannel Challenge at Natura in Beauty and Personal Care Harvard Business Review Case Study. Published by HBR Publications.