Brand W: Strategizing for Omni-Channel Retail 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 Brand W: Strategizing for Omni-Channel Retail case study

At Oak Spring University, we provide corporate level professional Net Present Value (NPV) case study solution. Brand W: Strategizing for Omni-Channel Retail case study is a Harvard Business School (HBR) case study written by Jones Mathew, Banasree Dey, Sandeep Puri. The Brand W: Strategizing for Omni-Channel Retail (referred as “Omni Tcns” from here on) case study provides evaluation & decision scenario in field of Sales & Marketing. It also touches upon business topics such as - Value proposition, 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 Brand W: Strategizing for Omni-Channel Retail Case Study

TCNS Clothing Company Limited (TCNS), the owner of women's fusion-wear brands W, Weve, Aurelia, and Wishful, had built up a strong retail brand presence in India since its founding in 2002. By 2017, its product innovation, proactive customer need fulfillment, and extensive retail reach had enabled it to grow into a 11.5 billion company. The W brand had been building its online presence, but this was still contributing only single-digit shares to sales. Faced with issues of declining loyalty and increasing expectations of digitally influenced consumers, retailers in India were moving toward omni-channel strategies. In early 2018, this seemed to have become an imperative for W as well. Was it now time for W to pursue an omni-channel retail strategy to offer its customers an unbeatable experience? An infusion of funds from two major investors had given the company significant financial muscle to pursue aggressive marketing. Yet, the challenges of going omni-channel were considerable. How should W proceed? Jones Mathew is affiliated with Great Lakes Institute of Management. Banasree Dey is affiliated with Jaipuria Institute of Management. Sandeep Puri is affiliated with Asian Institute of Management.

Case Authors : Jones Mathew, Banasree Dey, Sandeep Puri

Topic : Sales & Marketing

Related Areas : Strategy

Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 6% for Brand W: Strategizing for Omni-Channel Retail Case Study

Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 6 %
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10002226) -10002226 - -
Year 1 3447014 -6555212 3447014 0.9434 3251900
Year 2 3960473 -2594739 7407487 0.89 3524807
Year 3 3938315 1343576 11345802 0.8396 3306685
Year 4 3231425 4575001 14577227 0.7921 2559591
TOTAL 14577227 12642983

The Net Present Value at 6% discount rate is 2640757

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. Profitability Index
2. Payback Period
3. Net Present Value
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. Omni Tcns 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 Omni Tcns 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 Brand W: Strategizing for Omni-Channel Retail

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 Omni Tcns 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 Omni Tcns 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 (10002226) -10002226 - -
Year 1 3447014 -6555212 3447014 0.8696 2997403
Year 2 3960473 -2594739 7407487 0.7561 2994687
Year 3 3938315 1343576 11345802 0.6575 2589506
Year 4 3231425 4575001 14577227 0.5718 1847578
TOTAL 10429174

The Net NPV after 4 years is 426948

(10429174 - 10002226 )

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 (10002226) -10002226 - -
Year 1 3447014 -6555212 3447014 0.8333 2872512
Year 2 3960473 -2594739 7407487 0.6944 2750328
Year 3 3938315 1343576 11345802 0.5787 2279117
Year 4 3231425 4575001 14577227 0.4823 1558365
TOTAL 9460322

The Net NPV after 4 years is -541904

At 20% discount rate the NPV is negative (9460322 - 10002226 ) so ideally we can't select the project if macro and micro factors don't allow financial managers of Omni Tcns 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 Omni Tcns has a NPV value higher than Zero then finance managers at Omni Tcns 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 Omni Tcns, then the stock price of the Omni Tcns 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 Omni Tcns 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.

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.

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

Understanding of risks involved in 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

Jones Mathew, Banasree Dey, Sandeep Puri (2018), "Brand W: Strategizing for Omni-Channel Retail Harvard Business Review Case Study. Published by HBR Publications.