A double success story on how to take a SA product global
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Cape Town – Researchers from the UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB) have taken top honours in the prestigious 25th Ceeman & Emerald Case Writing Competition for their teaching case on marketing challenges and opportunities
small and medium enterprises encounter when taking their
The case study by Fran Heathcote and Professor Geoff Bick beat 27 entries from Australia, France, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Russia, Sweden, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the US.
“Drink The Duchess: Marketing challenges and opportunities encountered when SMEs internationalise”, looked at
the success story of South
African entrepreneurs, Johannes
le Roux and Inus Smuts, who,
within two years of launching their product, The Duchess (a non-alcoholic gin and tonic drink), branched out internationally and won two awards.
Heathcote, an MBA student
at the time of working on the teaching case, said she was
elated by the win.
“It is just such a great story, about two South African homeboytjies and their incredible success. It is local and lekker and it promotes South Africa in an extremely positive way,” Heathcote said.
Bick agreed. “We feel very honoured as we know the quality of these teaching cases is very high and to be recognised in this way is really wonderful,” he said.
The Duchess G&T brand
and the two founders saw a
gap in the market for a non-alcoholic, sugar-free and trendy drink for adults, that also tied in with a growing worldwide interest in gin.
“It was very hard and there was blood, sweat and tears involved in launching The Duchess.
“But they were incredibly hands-on and put a lot of work into taking the product to customers, marketing their product properly and being shrewd with budget,” Heathcote said.
Heathcote added that it
helped that Le Roux had
previous experience with
launching another beverage
product while Smuts had a
strong design and advertising background, which was instrumental in shaping their online and digital marketing campaigns.
Ceeman director Olga
Veligurska said the organisation supported the development
of high-quality case materials
relevant to the local and
regional needs of its members
in dynamic societies.
“The judges noted that Drink
The Duchess is an excellent and robust case that offers many opportunities for active learning
and discussion, with an equally excellent teaching note in terms of clarity around specific discussion themes and approaches, while recognising there is a ‘messiness’ to solving real-world problems,” Veligurska said.