Nurturing Green: The Growth Dilemma (C) 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 Nurturing Green: The Growth Dilemma (C) case study

At Oak Spring University, we provide corporate level professional Net Present Value (NPV) case study solution. Nurturing Green: The Growth Dilemma (C) case study is a Harvard Business School (HBR) case study written by Deepak Pandit, Arun Sahay. The Nurturing Green: The Growth Dilemma (C) (referred as “Nurturing Green” from here on) case study provides evaluation & decision scenario in field of Leadership & Managing People. It also touches upon business topics such as - Value proposition, International business, 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 Nurturing Green: The Growth Dilemma (C) Case Study

Nurturing Green is a three-year-old private company that is trying to change the gift-giving culture of India by offering attractively packaged potted plants in place of the traditional candy or cut flower bouquets presented on special occasions to friends, family and business associates. The founder of the start-up is a young, passionate entrepreneur who is risking much in order to grow his company. To realize the idea of "green gifting" to help the environment, he has accepted funding from a venture capitalist firm in exchange for giving up 25 per cent equity in his business. Now, it is time to revisit that agreement and, although the company has been very successful, the owner is concerned that the investors will demand more control and a faster growth focus than he is willing or able to meet. He is also worried about the sales forecast, return on investment for the short and the long term, monthly cash flows and employee motivation and performance reviews. Should he respond to the many requests to franchise the business or should he concentrate on developing the brand in new markets? How can he expand business-to-business sales while also opening more stores in malls in all parts of the country to sell directly to customers? Will the new website develop more online sales? As he prepares for a meeting with the auditors and investors, the owner looks for a solution to continue growing while retaining control over his company. Deepak Pandit is affiliated with Management Development Institute. Arun Sahay is affiliated with Birla Institute of Management Technology.

Case Authors : Deepak Pandit, Arun Sahay

Topic : Leadership & Managing People

Related Areas : International business, Strategy

Calculating Net Present Value (NPV) at 6% for Nurturing Green: The Growth Dilemma (C) Case Study

Years              Cash Flow     Net Cash Flow     Cumulative    
Cash Flow
Discount Rate
@ 6 %
Cash Flows
Year 0 (10006083) -10006083 - -
Year 1 3443202 -6562881 3443202 0.9434 3248304
Year 2 3964156 -2598725 7407358 0.89 3528085
Year 3 3947738 1349013 11355096 0.8396 3314597
Year 4 3240244 4589257 14595340 0.7921 2566577
TOTAL 14595340 12657562

The Net Present Value at 6% discount rate is 2651479

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

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. Nurturing Green 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 Nurturing Green 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 Nurturing Green: The Growth Dilemma (C)

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 Leadership & Managing People 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 Nurturing Green 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 Nurturing Green 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 (10006083) -10006083 - -
Year 1 3443202 -6562881 3443202 0.8696 2994089
Year 2 3964156 -2598725 7407358 0.7561 2997471
Year 3 3947738 1349013 11355096 0.6575 2595702
Year 4 3240244 4589257 14595340 0.5718 1852620
TOTAL 10439882

The Net NPV after 4 years is 433799

(10439882 - 10006083 )

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 (10006083) -10006083 - -
Year 1 3443202 -6562881 3443202 0.8333 2869335
Year 2 3964156 -2598725 7407358 0.6944 2752886
Year 3 3947738 1349013 11355096 0.5787 2284571
Year 4 3240244 4589257 14595340 0.4823 1562618
TOTAL 9469409

The Net NPV after 4 years is -536674

At 20% discount rate the NPV is negative (9469409 - 10006083 ) so ideally we can't select the project if macro and micro factors don't allow financial managers of Nurturing Green 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 Nurturing Green has a NPV value higher than Zero then finance managers at Nurturing Green 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 Nurturing Green, then the stock price of the Nurturing Green 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 Nurturing Green 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 will be a multi year spillover effect of various taxation regulations.

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.

Understanding of risks involved in the project.

What can impact the cash flow of 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

Deepak Pandit, Arun Sahay (2018), "Nurturing Green: The Growth Dilemma (C) Harvard Business Review Case Study. Published by HBR Publications.