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Reference no. 812-026-1
Subject category: Entrepreneurship
Published by:
London Business School (2012)
November 2010
18 pages
Data source:
Field research


This is part of a case series. Late one evening in June 2005, Jay Gupta sat in his small suburban Mumbai apartment and surveyed the boxes of new Reebok sneakers and denim jeans surrounding him. The paper-strewn dining table was crammed in a corner of the room, with a noisy printer churning out his key ledger accounts and folders of invoices stacked in untidy piles. In his bedroom, metal shelves filled with merchandise encircled the bed and blocked the window. The Loot, described as an overnight success story, had introduced thousands of Mumbaikars to first-quality Western branded apparel from a wide range of suppliers at discount prices, and Gupta’s nine stores were crowded with eager young buyers. The India Fashion Forum nomination form for Value Retailer of the Year sat by his bed. Yet despite all this popularity, he was barely breaking even. The clutter in his apartment reflected the tricky situation he was facing. It was almost time for monthly payroll and with less than INR 8 lakhs in cash in the bank (about $20,000 US) he wondered how he would tell his employees that they might never be paid, that his seemingly successful venture had run out of steam. Should he have held on to the single-brand stores that had given him his big break in retail? Had Gupta made the wrong decision in putting all his eggs in the discount multi-brand Loot basket? Given the dismal cash situation, what should he do about the predicament he faced?


Business models; India; Retailing; Franchising
10 stores
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