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RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

LESSON 4:
TUTORIALS

1. What, if any, are the differences between solicited and Case Study- Pillsbury Presses Flour Power in India
unsolicited proposals? The Pillsbury Doughboy has landed in India to pitch a product
2. Select a research report from a management journal. Outline that he had just abandoned in America: plain old flour. Pillsbury’s
a proposal for the research as if it had not yet been recent products sold in the United States have diversified from
performed. Make estimates of time and costs. plain flour to frozen cookie dough and microwave pizzas. In
India, however, selling packaged flour is almost revolutionary.
3. You are the new manager of market intelligence in a rapidly
This is due to the fact that most Indian housewives still buy raw
expanding software firm. Many product managers and
wheat in bulk. They then clean it by hand, store it in huge metal
corporate officers have requested market surveys from you
hampers, and regularly carry some to a neighborhood mill, where
on various products. Design a form for a research proposal
it is ground between two stones.
that can be completed easily by your research staff and the
Pillsbury is onto a potentially huge business. India consumes
sponsoring manager. Discuss how your form improves
about 69 million tons of wheat a year, second only to China. (The
communication of the research objectives between the
U.S. consumes about 26 million tons.) Much of India’s wheat
manager and the researcher.
ends up as roti, a flat bread prepared on a griddle that accompanies
4. What modules would you suggest be included in a proposal almost every meal. In a national where people traditionally eat
for each of the following cases? with their hands, roti is the spoon. Nevertheless, fewer than 1
a. The president of your company has asked for a study percent of all whole-wheat flour is sold prepackaged. Indian’s
of the company’s health benefits plan and for a climatic extremes and deplorable rods make it difficult to maintain
comparison of it to other firms’ plans. freshness from mill to warehouse, let alone on store shelves.
b. You are competing for a university-sponsored student Starting a flour operation meant turning back the clock for Pillsbury.
research grant, awarded to seniors and graduate Though it was born as a U.S. flour-milling company 130 years ago,
students. it exited from that business in the early 1990s to focus on products
such as frozen baked goods and ice cream. Pillsbury thought of
c. A bank is interested in understanding the population
introducing high-value product when it first explored India. But
trends by location so that it can plan its new branch
it quickly learned that most Indians don’t have enough disposable
locations for the next five years. They contacted you for
income for such fare. Pillsbury is betting that flour will generate
a proposal.
enough sales volume to compensate for the razorthin margin.
d. You are interested in starting a new research service, Marketing managers climbed into the attics where housewives
providing monthly information about the use of store their wheat and accompanied them to their tiny neighborhood
recyclable items in your state. The proposal will go to flour mills. Pillsbury had hoped to establish contract with existing
several city and county planning agencies, independent mills, but inspectors found hygiene and safety at some properties
waste service providers, and independent and to be appalling.
government landfill providers. Many focus groups and lab test later, Pillsbury came up with its
4. Consider the new trends in desktop publishing, multimedia packaged wheat blend, Pillsbury Chaki Fresh Atta. Responding to
computer authoring and display capabilities, and inexpensive consumers’ biggest concern, Pillsbury pitches the flour with a
video taping and playback possibilities. How might these be promise that rotis made from it will stay soft “for six hours.” The
used to enhance research proposals? Give several examples company declines to say what ingredients keep the flour tasting
of appropriate use. fresh, though it say there are no artificial preservatives. The
5. You are the manager of a research department in a large packaging is made of a robust plastic laminate that costs about
department store chain. Develop a list of criteria for two and a half times as much as the paper wrappers typically used
evaluating the types of research activities listed below. in the United States.
Include a point scale and weighting algorithm. The value of the packaged-flour market in India is $7.14 million.
a. Market research It has expanded by about 45 percent a year since 1997, according to
industry estimates. It is too early to declare the Doughboy’s foray
b. Advertising effectiveness
into India a success. The market is still minuscule, and gains will
c. Employee opinion surveys largely depend on how quickly Indian housewives embrace
d. Credit card operations convenience. Several local companies familiar with Indian tastes
e. Computer service effectiveness at the individual store have launched branded flour in recent years, only to flounder.
level
6. Write a research proposal on the following case study

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