Ashta Chamma - The Biggest Small Movie Ever Made (A) 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 Ashta Chamma - The Biggest Small Movie Ever Made (A) case study

At Oak Spring University, we provide corporate level professional Net Present Value (NPV) case study solution. Ashta Chamma - The Biggest Small Movie Ever Made (A) case study is a Harvard Business School (HBR) case study written by S. Ramakrishna Velamuri, Rajesh Chakrabarti, Hari Krishna Mulpuri, Payal Goel. The Ashta Chamma - The Biggest Small Movie Ever Made (A) (referred as “Movie Ashta” from here on) case study provides evaluation & decision scenario in field of Innovation & Entrepreneurship. It also touches upon business topics such as - Value proposition, International business.

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 Ashta Chamma - The Biggest Small Movie Ever Made (A) Case Study

A young man follows his passion through near bankruptcy. Armed with an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad, he shuns the path of a high-paying corporate job and instead stars a stock-broking firm. After ups and downs in several businesses, he finally decides his real fulfillment will come from producing a full-length movie - Ashta Chamma, based on the Oscar Wilde play, The Importance of Being Ernest. The case chronicles the various issues he faces: funding the production, choosing the director; choosing a story that will satisfy his requirement of family entertainment, casting the principal characters and creating a team that can bring the production to the movie theatres. The case goes behind the scenes of the film world in "Tollywood," the Teluga film industry in Andhra Pradesh, and highlights the pressures faced by an entrepreneur in the industry. Eventually, a rare combination of creativity, professionalism and good business sense bring about success for the entrepreneur. Part B of the case presents the outcome after the release of the movie.

Case Authors : S. Ramakrishna Velamuri, Rajesh Chakrabarti, Hari Krishna Mulpuri, Payal Goel

Topic : Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Related Areas : International business

Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 6% for Ashta Chamma - The Biggest Small Movie Ever Made (A) Case Study

Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 6 %
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10012410) -10012410 - -
Year 1 3443229 -6569181 3443229 0.9434 3248329
Year 2 3963561 -2605620 7406790 0.89 3527555
Year 3 3962808 1357188 11369598 0.8396 3327250
Year 4 3251660 4608848 14621258 0.7921 2575619
TOTAL 14621258 12678754

The Net Present Value at 6% discount rate is 2666344

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. Profitability Index
3. Internal Rate of Return
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. Movie Ashta 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 Movie Ashta 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 Ashta Chamma - The Biggest Small Movie Ever Made (A)

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 Innovation & Entrepreneurship 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 Movie Ashta 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 Movie Ashta 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 (10012410) -10012410 - -
Year 1 3443229 -6569181 3443229 0.8696 2994112
Year 2 3963561 -2605620 7406790 0.7561 2997022
Year 3 3962808 1357188 11369598 0.6575 2605611
Year 4 3251660 4608848 14621258 0.5718 1859147
TOTAL 10455891

The Net NPV after 4 years is 443481

(10455891 - 10012410 )

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 (10012410) -10012410 - -
Year 1 3443229 -6569181 3443229 0.8333 2869358
Year 2 3963561 -2605620 7406790 0.6944 2752473
Year 3 3962808 1357188 11369598 0.5787 2293292
Year 4 3251660 4608848 14621258 0.4823 1568123
TOTAL 9483245

The Net NPV after 4 years is -529165

At 20% discount rate the NPV is negative (9483245 - 10012410 ) so ideally we can't select the project if macro and micro factors don't allow financial managers of Movie Ashta 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 Movie Ashta has a NPV value higher than Zero then finance managers at Movie Ashta 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 Movie Ashta, then the stock price of the Movie Ashta 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 Movie Ashta 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 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.

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.

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

S. Ramakrishna Velamuri, Rajesh Chakrabarti, Hari Krishna Mulpuri, Payal Goel (2018), "Ashta Chamma - The Biggest Small Movie Ever Made (A) Harvard Business Review Case Study. Published by HBR Publications.