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Abstract

The year 2009 was a critical year in the development of Sanchari, a state-owned telecommunication infrastructure (TI) service provider in India. Over the past few years, Sanchari had successfully developed and delivered on-demand infrastructure services to customers in the state of Karnataka, India. Sanchari’s management team wanted to move their business up the value chain to take advantage of the rapidly growing telecommunication industry in India. In the middle of 2009, Sanchari was approached by the state government of Karnataka to lead the development of a state-wide-area-network (SWAN) under the e-government initiative. This e-government project could give Sanchari an opportunity to move up the value chain. Sanchari needed to decide whether it would take the sole responsibility of this project as the government agent or form a partnership with a private company to execute it. This decision, however, would depend on whether Sanchari wanted to develop into an infrastructure or software service provider or maintain its status quo as a TI service provider in the long term. The teaching case provides a challenging decision-making situation for students and urges them to analyze the benefits and risks of moving up the telecommunication value chain.

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