Harvard Business School and Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad (MICA) have come together to develop, what is being touted as the world’s first photonovel case study.
The first conversation on this idea happened in early 2010 between Prof Das Narayandas of Harvard Business School (HBS), USA and Prof Kallol Das of MICA. The conversation centered on the possibility of developing the photonovel version of a well-known Harvard case study authored by Prof Narayandas and Kerry Herman (revised version published in year 2009).
The original text-case dwells on the decision problem faced by the CEO of Eureka Forbes. As per the case, the CEO must decide which changes to the sales compensation systems would better motivate his sales reps and improve their sales performance. The case attempts to deliver learning on key issues such as salesforce management, motivation, incentives, benefits and compensation, etc.
In November 2010, a three-page miniature photonovel version of a section of the original case was emailed to Prof Narayandas, who found it worth taking a chance. He then emailed the same to Suresh Goklaney, Managing Director, Eureka Forbes for the latter's consent, which came immediately.
Then started the challenging process of converting the original case in essay format into a dialogue format, with well developed characters and scenes. In making the script, Prof Kallol Das made several visits to various Eureka Forbes offices and customer households to better visualise their salesforce management practices.
After plenty of iterations, the final script was co-created by the three authors in May 2012, which was then approved by the Eureka Forbes CEO. Subsequently, planning for the shoot started. The shoot finally took place in mid-October 2012. The entire shoot took place in real locations and all efforts were made to give the reader an insider’s feel of the organisation and the business problem faced by it. The photonovel case study has 72 pages in full colour. The case is now available to readers across the globe for purchase and download through the Harvard Business Review website.
A photonovel is a story told with photos and dialogues/ thoughts presented in speech balloons/ thought bubbles just like in comic books. This innovation has converted a typical text-based business case study into a photonovel format. It is felt that this visual version will greatly engage the ‘virtual generation’ studying in business classrooms today, leading to an enhanced learning experience.