Yogurt Mamas: Probiotics in Tanzania 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 Yogurt Mamas: Probiotics in Tanzania case study

At Oak Spring University, we provide corporate level professional Net Present Value (NPV) case study solution. Yogurt Mamas: Probiotics in Tanzania case study is a Harvard Business School (HBR) case study written by Oana Branzei, David J. Sharp, Jessica Kelly, Osama Siddiqui. The Yogurt Mamas: Probiotics in Tanzania (referred as “Yogurt Mamas” from here on) case study provides evaluation & decision scenario in field of Global Business. It also touches upon business topics such as - Value proposition, Entrepreneurial management, Growth 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 Yogurt Mamas: Probiotics in Tanzania Case Study

The case illustrates a grassroots enterprise path to self-sufficiency in a subsistence market context. It explores the gradual evolution of a business model with strong pro-social mandates (pro-health, pro-women) and asks which growth options may best marry profitability and positive social change. The Mwanza-based Yogurt Mamas emerge as entrepreneurial role models in their communities; with funds from Western donors, and an exciting new technology, they seem set on their way to success. Yet close-up analyses reveal several outstanding concerns, including funding sufficiency, clarity of roles and responsibilities, patent restrictions, kitchen ownership, food safety and quality concerns and liability concerns among others. Despite positive health impact assessments, the venture is struggling to grow - and growth is the key to its future. Focused on a mix non-profit and retail model, the Yogurt Mamas produce and locally distribute a probiotic yogurt to their small community; they are interconnected in a local value chain, and benefit from annual inflows of disciplinary expertise from western partners, including free access to patented technology and free culturing of probiotic bacteria in a local lab. However, as the project funding winds down, business issues come to the fore. The case asks students to critically analyze the hurdles to profitability and suggest working solutions to scaling up the venture. Options include technology/model licensing and franchising, organic growth and expansion along value chain links to gain higher margins and greater control over the milk supply and to extend their distribution reach to neighboring communities. If the Yogurt Mamas cannot find an attractive and feasible growth option, the partners will have to contemplate venture termination once the grant funding comes to an end, or consider alternative exit options, including partnerships or adjacent business models.

Case Authors : Oana Branzei, David J. Sharp, Jessica Kelly, Osama Siddiqui

Topic : Global Business

Related Areas : Entrepreneurial management, Growth strategy

Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 6% for Yogurt Mamas: Probiotics in Tanzania Case Study

Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 6 %
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10010188) -10010188 - -
Year 1 3470378 -6539810 3470378 0.9434 3273942
Year 2 3953767 -2586043 7424145 0.89 3518839
Year 3 3953977 1367934 11378122 0.8396 3319835
Year 4 3223496 4591430 14601618 0.7921 2553311
TOTAL 14601618 12665926

The Net Present Value at 6% discount rate is 2655738

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. Net Present Value
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. Yogurt Mamas 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 Yogurt Mamas 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 Yogurt Mamas: Probiotics in Tanzania

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 Global Business 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 Yogurt Mamas 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 Yogurt Mamas 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 (10010188) -10010188 - -
Year 1 3470378 -6539810 3470378 0.8696 3017720
Year 2 3953767 -2586043 7424145 0.7561 2989616
Year 3 3953977 1367934 11378122 0.6575 2599804
Year 4 3223496 4591430 14601618 0.5718 1843044
TOTAL 10450184

The Net NPV after 4 years is 439996

(10450184 - 10010188 )

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 (10010188) -10010188 - -
Year 1 3470378 -6539810 3470378 0.8333 2891982
Year 2 3953767 -2586043 7424145 0.6944 2745672
Year 3 3953977 1367934 11378122 0.5787 2288181
Year 4 3223496 4591430 14601618 0.4823 1554541
TOTAL 9480375

The Net NPV after 4 years is -529813

At 20% discount rate the NPV is negative (9480375 - 10010188 ) so ideally we can't select the project if macro and micro factors don't allow financial managers of Yogurt Mamas 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 Yogurt Mamas has a NPV value higher than Zero then finance managers at Yogurt Mamas 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 Yogurt Mamas, then the stock price of the Yogurt Mamas 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 Yogurt Mamas 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.

What can impact the cash flow of the project.

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.

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

Oana Branzei, David J. Sharp, Jessica Kelly, Osama Siddiqui (2018), "Yogurt Mamas: Probiotics in Tanzania Harvard Business Review Case Study. Published by HBR Publications.