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Category winner: Turbulence on the Tarmac

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This case won the Outstanding Compact Case category at The Case Centre Awards and Competitions 2019.
The case

Aditya GhoshWho – the protagonist

Aditya Ghosh, President and Wholetime Director of IndiGo.


IndiGo is a low-cost airline in India and the country’s market leader. IndiGo concentrated on trimming costs at every step and placed great importance on its employees taking ownership of customer issues.


Social media going viralIndiGo’s reputation was in tatters when a video clip emerged of an IndiGo passenger being assaulted and manhandled by the ground staff. One employee was sacked and a further two given warning letters.

The incident went viral on social media and compared to a US Airlines incident, where a passenger was forcibly deplaned.


The actual incident took place on 15 October 2017 but the video didn’t emerge until 7 November 2017.


IndiGo flies all over India, with celebrities and politicians often using the airline.

AshokKey quote

“Ina civilised society fisticuffs have to be condemned; action has to be taken.” – Ashok Gajapati Raju, Minister of Civil Aviation.

What next?

With calls for boycotts of IndiGo, Aditya had many questions to ponder, such as how to prevent such an incident happening again, and how to regain customers’ confidence?

Interested in finding out more?

Download the case and teaching note

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Turbulence on the Tarmac - front pageTurbulence on the Tarmac
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Teaching note
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The authors

authorsDebapratim Purkayastha and Sid Ghosh

Debapratim and Sid discuss what goes into developing a cartoon case and how they’re trying to push the boundaries.

Proud moment

Sid said: “We are extremely honoured to be the inaugural winner of this important category.

“I am earnestly grateful for the recognition I have received for my work, as I am sure that the competition must have been fierce.

“I enjoyed the journey of conceptualising and executing the creatives for this case along with Debapratim, which provided both of us with new challenges as well as learning at every step.”

Working closely

Debapratim commented: “The steps involved are researching and writing the case, developing the script and the storyboard, and designing and developing the comic book.

“It is an iterative process and requires the case writer and artist to work closely. It is not just about converting the case text into images (visual art), but also combining it with literary and cinematic techniques involving, but not limited, to a plot, character development, multiple perspectives, metaphor, flashbacks and flash-forwards, speeding and slowing time, close-ups, long views, and so on.”

Cartoons a hit

Debapratim continued: “We have seen that not only students in management programs but even other participants (executives in Training and Development programs and even teachers in Professional Development Workshops) are drawn in by this type of case.

Cartoon cases"It’s an engaging format and there is also a sense of nostalgia. After all, most of us have positive associations with comic books as they formed an enjoyable part of our growing up years.”

Pushing the boundaries

Sid added: “Our first two comic book cases ‘Firing a Hero?’ and ‘It’s Bank Policy!’ were very popular and were widely acclaimed as being “pioneering” and “innovative”.

“We tried out new things in the present case study (e.g. infographics for exhibits) and will continue to push the boundaries with our upcoming cases.”

Finding the right genre

Debapratim said: “I feel that only cases that are related to ‘people’ issues in organisations and deal with interpersonal issues, which can be dramatised, are more amenable to this format.

“Moreover, the comic book cases may need to be narrowly focused on issues, unlike regular cases that may be more versatile and information-heavy. Developing these cases in the graphic format might make the case too long and add to the cost of production, making it cost and time prohibitive.

Pleasantly surprised

Sid concluded: “While it was great fun developing this case, and I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it, I was astonished to see the accompanying teaching note, and how participants can learn so much from this case.

“I was pleasantly surprised at how this five-page case can lead to such in-depth and rich discussion in the classroom. It has the potential to be used in every management program (as a part of any Services Marketing elective, or core Marketing Management curriculum) or training programs in corporations.”

About the authors

Debapratim Purkayastha is a Dean at ICFAI Business School (IBS) and heads its Case Research Center and the Internationalization of IFHE.
e debapratim@icmrindia.org
tw @dpurkayastha

Sid Ghosh is a Creative Consultant
e imsidghosh@gmail.com
tw @imsidghosh


View all the 2019 winners