The Case Centre’s bestselling authors

Nirmalya Kumar

Nirmalya Kumar
London Business School and Tata Sons

"An exciting company or dilemma is of primary importance. It should be easy to consume for the reader, so no complicated words, repetition, or superfluous materials. It should have simple exhibits."

In writing a case, I take the instructor and student perspectives – and ask how this case will lead to a transformation of beliefs on the part of the students. It did not take me long to master the art of case writing: the third case I wrote was Medi-Cult: Pricing a Radical Innovation and the fourth case was easyJet: The Web’s Favourite Airline. Both are bestsellers, with easyJet being The Case Centre’s number one bestseller – but I had already been teaching cases for ten years when I wrote those cases!

Essential ingredients

An exciting company or dilemma is of primary importance. It should be easy to consume for the reader, so no complicated words, repetition, or superfluous materials. The case should have simple exhibits. Finally, there should be a good teaching note as faculty hate to adopt a case without one.

Favourite case

Hmmm, it’s hard to say which of my cases is my favourite, but I think I would choose
easyJet: The Web’s Favourite Airline for versatility, and Medi-Cult: Pricing a Radical Innovation for its ability to demonstrate a relatively complicated academic concept (expert judgments to price radical products) in a simple manner.

Most admired

My two favourite cases by other authors are V Kasturi Rangan’s The Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai, India: In Service for Sight, for which I wrote a follow-up, Aravind Eye Hospital 2000: Still In Service For Sight, and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. by Stephen P. Bradley, Pankaj Ghemawat, and Sharon Foley.

Learning moments

I’m not sure how many cases I’ve sold in total, but each one is a learning moment that I’ve helped to create. That is the payback. 

View cases written by Nirmalya

About the author

Nirmalya Kumar is Visiting Professor of Marketing at London Business School and a Member of the Group Executive Council for Tata Sons, where he is responsible for strategy at group level.
Nirmalya won The Case Centre’s Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method Award 2014.

He is one of the world’s leading thinkers on strategy and marketing and has taught at Harvard Business School, IMD, and Kellogg School of Management. His research interests include strategy, emerging markets, and marketing. Nirmalya has also worked as a consultant, coach and seminar leader to over 50 Fortune 500 companies in more than 60 countries and has served on several boards of directors.

Nirmalya has written a number of articles for Harvard Business Review and seven books, five of which are published by Harvard Business Press: Marketing as Strategy (2004), Private Label Strategy (2007), Value Merchants (2007), India’s Global Powerhouses (2009) and India Inside (2012). His publications have attracted over 12,000 Google citations.

An outstanding and multi-award-winning case writer, Nirmalya’s case, easyJet: The Web’s Favourite Airline, written with Brian Rogers, is The Case Centre’s all-time bestseller. Medi-Cult: Pricing a Radical Innovation, again written with Brian Rogers, and Red Bull: the Anti-Brand Brand (written with Nader Tavassoli, and Sophie Linguri Coughlan) are also among the all-time top 40 bestsellers. Nirmalya has won a number of awards from The Case Centre, including Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method Award in 2014

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