2020 research azuri case study 883x432 1

Case study on off-grid solar lighting wins marketing award

1 July 2020

The article at a glance

Neil Davey, alumnus of CJBS, wins a marketing award through the case study he co-authored with Professor Jaideep Prabhu on Azuri. Writing …

Neil Davey, alumnus of CJBS, wins a marketing award through the case study he co-authored with Professor Jaideep Prabhu on Azuri.

Azuri solar panels being installed.
Azuri Technologies’ solar-powered TV system

Writing and publishing teaching case studies is one of the main ways in which our faculty engages with external organisations and combines research and teaching. Every year, Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS) encourages its students to co-author case studies with our faculty to learn more about a company and/or a topic they are interested in. By gathering data to build a case study, students get to know a company in-depth, the company benefits from reflecting about its own path and issues, the project generates the potential for future research endeavours and future students get the opportunity to learn from exciting original cases written by their peers. These alone are great benefits worth investing in. Sometimes, however, a case study can even deliver unplanned success and surprises.

This month, Neil Davey, who did an MPhil in Technology Policy at CJBS in 2018/19, won the Worshipful Company of Marketors’ 2019 Award for Outstanding Performance in Marketing for a case study he co-authored with Jaideep Prabhu, Professor of Marketing at CJBS. The Worshipful Company of Marketors is one of the 110 livery companies of the City of London. The award aims to improve the quality of marketing teaching in British business schools and does so by recognising good teaching and research by marketing students and academics alike.

The case study Azuri Technologies – Scaling Off-grid Solar Lighting describes how the Azuri Group, a Cambridge-based company, after enjoying sustained success in selling TVs and lighting systems in Kenya through a pay-as-you-go model, had to decide how to develop strategically its local distribution channels in order to keep growing. The case study follows the CEO and the executive team as they choose between three different options to further develop Azuri’s distribution network, in the search for a balance between having the opportunity to grow quickly and retaining the necessary control over the distribution of its products. Students can engage with this difficult choice putting themselves in the shoes of the Azuri team before the company’s decision is revealed in the classroom.

Writing the case study was an incredibly rewarding learning experience for both Neil and Azuri Technologies. Neil was “Truly honoured to have received this award from the Worshipful Company of Marketors. Azuri is an exemplar of a mission-driven company that understands its social responsibility as a for-profit. I hope both other corporations and students alike can learn from the Azuri business model.”

Simon Bransfield-Garth, CEO of Azuri Technologies, upon hearing about the award commented: “Congratulations to Neil Davey and Cambridge Judge Business School on winning this prestigious award! Azuri is humbled and honoured that the case study will be used to challenge and inspire future generations of MBA students as part of their studies.”

The case has already been taught to current MBA and MPhil in Technology Policy students at CJBS this past academic year and we all hope that this award will foster its teaching in other business schools too. Get in touch if you might be interested in learning more about it!