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Dragonfly Therapeutic Retreats: Creating an Affordable Indulgence 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 Dragonfly Therapeutic Retreats: Creating an Affordable Indulgence case study


At Oak Spring University, we provide corporate level professional Net Present Value (NPV) case study solution. Dragonfly Therapeutic Retreats: Creating an Affordable Indulgence case study is a Harvard Business School (HBR) case study written by Gilbert Wong, Po Chung, Josephine Lau. The Dragonfly Therapeutic Retreats: Creating an Affordable Indulgence (referred as “Dragonfly Retreats” from here on) case study provides evaluation & decision scenario in field of Innovation & Entrepreneurship. It also touches upon business topics such as - Value proposition, Competitive strategy, Cross-cultural management, Design, Entrepreneurship, Operations management, Organizational structure.

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 Dragonfly Therapeutic Retreats: Creating an Affordable Indulgence Case Study


Georgie Yam went to Shanghai in 2001 as consultant for a German hair-care product line. Being a massage enthusiast, he quickly spotted a gap in the city's spa market for a value-for-money relaxation product. One discussion with his colleague and soon-to-be business partner, Eve Zhou, cemented the decision to begin drafting plans for a Western-style spa with a mystical oriental touch. Dragonfly Therapeutic Retreats was launched in 2003. Within the first two years of operations, the partners had successfully opened three shops and had no plans of stopping there. By March 2009, Dragonfly operated a network of 20 local branches and three branches overseas. The question now was how to manage rapid expansion without compromising the brand and its high standards.


Case Authors : Gilbert Wong, Po Chung, Josephine Lau

Topic : Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Related Areas : Competitive strategy, Cross-cultural management, Design, Entrepreneurship, Operations management, Organizational structure




Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 6% for Dragonfly Therapeutic Retreats: Creating an Affordable Indulgence Case Study


Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 6 %
Discounted
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10021060) -10021060 - -
Year 1 3456363 -6564697 3456363 0.9434 3260720
Year 2 3978938 -2585759 7435301 0.89 3541241
Year 3 3959709 1373950 11395010 0.8396 3324648
Year 4 3241507 4615457 14636517 0.7921 2567577
TOTAL 14636517 12694186


The Net Present Value at 6% discount rate is 2673126

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. Net Present Value
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. Dragonfly Retreats 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 Dragonfly Retreats 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 Dragonfly Therapeutic Retreats: Creating an Affordable Indulgence

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 Dragonfly Retreats 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 Dragonfly Retreats 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 (10021060) -10021060 - -
Year 1 3456363 -6564697 3456363 0.8696 3005533
Year 2 3978938 -2585759 7435301 0.7561 3008649
Year 3 3959709 1373950 11395010 0.6575 2603573
Year 4 3241507 4615457 14636517 0.5718 1853342
TOTAL 10471097


The Net NPV after 4 years is 450037

(10471097 - 10021060 )






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 (10021060) -10021060 - -
Year 1 3456363 -6564697 3456363 0.8333 2880303
Year 2 3978938 -2585759 7435301 0.6944 2763151
Year 3 3959709 1373950 11395010 0.5787 2291498
Year 4 3241507 4615457 14636517 0.4823 1563227
TOTAL 9498179


The Net NPV after 4 years is -522881

At 20% discount rate the NPV is negative (9498179 - 10021060 ) so ideally we can't select the project if macro and micro factors don't allow financial managers of Dragonfly Retreats 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 Dragonfly Retreats has a NPV value higher than Zero then finance managers at Dragonfly Retreats 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 Dragonfly Retreats, then the stock price of the Dragonfly Retreats 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 Dragonfly Retreats 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.

Understanding of risks involved in the project.

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

Gilbert Wong, Po Chung, Josephine Lau (2018), "Dragonfly Therapeutic Retreats: Creating an Affordable Indulgence Harvard Business Review Case Study. Published by HBR Publications.