October 2012, the IFC lent Bank Tabungan
Pensiunan Nasional Tbk (BTPN) $100 million to finance small
and micro enterprises, including women entrepreneurs.
financing, which was six times the amount IFC provided to BTPN in 2009, marked a significant milestone for the Indonesian bank. But just a few
years earlier, BTPN President Jerry Ng faced the dilemma of how to grow the
business and continue its social mission through microfinance.
The key question: Should BTPN expand its
micro-lending services for base of the pyramid businesses and other low-income
customers given the backlash the industry was facing? Remember, this was a time
of crisis for microfinance institutions MFIs, as many borrowers defaulted and
each day brought new stories of predatory lending practices around the world.
It was a prudent
question for bankers, especially one the size of BTPN, which today has a market
capitalization of around $2.8 billion.
How Ng managed that decision-making process and how
the bank continues to service low-income borrowers is the subject of the winner
of the NextBillion’s Case Writing Contest. The case, "BTPN:
Banking for the Bottom of the Pyramid in Indonesia,” was written by R. Ryan
Nelson, professor of commerce information technology, Carl Zeithaml, dean of
the McIntire School, and alumnus Gardner Bell, all from the University
of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce in Charlottesville.
The first place team will receive $3,500 in prize money. This year’s
competition is sponsored by the
Citi Foundation and administered by GlobaLens, publishing
division of the William
Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
Zeithaml explained that the concept for the case began when he met Ng in 2010
gave a presentation on the mission, strategy, and processes of BTPN to a group
of our global immersion students, and it was clearly an extraordinary
organization that was extremely successful on all dimensions, including
offering critical services to help small business people who normally do not
have access to reputable financial services,” Zeithaml said. "Since
then, BTPN expanded these opportunities to the productive poor, and Jerry and
his leadership team continue to develop innovative approaches that are changing
the banking industry. We believe that it is essential to expose our students to
these new strategies and models, as an example of great business practices, and
to demonstrate ways to apply business skills for a variety of positive
President Jerry Ng (second from right) is the subject of the winning
case in the NextBillion Case Writing Competition. Image credit: AFP.
The University of Virginia’s case and the other
2013 winning cases have been edited and published by GlobaLens, and are now
available at the links included in the descriptions below. A team from Grand
Valley State University’s Seidman College of Business in Grand Rapids Michigan
won second place and $2,500 in prize money for their case, "Hydraid: Safe Water for the Base of the Pyramid,” about Triple
Quest, which produces a low-cost water filtration system. Coming in third place
and receiving $1,000 was a team from Colorado State University’s College of
Business in Fort Collins for their case "Ayzh
at a Crossroad: Maternal Health for Whom?” which looks at how and where to
grow a social venture focused on improving maternal health in developing
Two honorable mention cases also have been
published by GlobaLens. All of the 2013 winning cases have been added to
GlobaLens’ Base of the Pyramid Collection, one of the largest available from
any publisher. Each will be marketed to top business schools worldwide for
adoption in business courses.
This is the third NextBillion Case Writing
Competition, which recognizes and publishes the strongest case studies about
business strategies aimed at alleviating poverty. We took a year off in 2012,
and when we started it up again I was a bit nervous we would nervous that we
wouldn’t be able to regain the momentum from the previous years. But this
year’s competition attracted the largest group of students and professors to
date, with more than 150 people entering individually or as part of a team.
Entrants represented more than 50 universities and 11 countries.
Clearly there is
widespread demand from professors and their students for rigorous case studies
and research that pulls the curtain back on what it takes to build and sustain
a successful social enterprise. I'm proud that NextBillion, in concert with contest
sponsor Citi Foundation and GlobaLens, can help to serve as a platform for
sharing this knowledge. We also should give a tip of the hat to the judges who
gave their time and thoughtful consideration for the finalists. They
included Robert Kennedy, executive director of the William Davidson Institute
at the University of Michigan; Hui Wen Chan, impact analytics and planning officer
at the Citi Foundation; M.S. Krishnan, Accenture professor of computer and
information systems at the University of Michigan – Ross School of Business;
and Stuart Hart, Samuel C. Johnson chair in sustainable global enterprise and
professor of management at Cornell University – Johnson School of Management.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this
>> Click here to see the list of winners on Scott's official blog at nextbillion.net
Scott Anderson is the Managing Editor of nextbillion.net at the University of Michigan's William Davidson Institute. He is a writer, editor, blogger and social media practitioner with more than 15 years in media.