Second runner up prize in the John Molson MBA Case Writing Competition 2005, organized by the John Molson School of Business, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada

Li & Fung: The Global Value Chain Configurator

Li & Fung: The Global Value Chain Configurator
Case Code: BSTR149
Case Length: 30 Pages
Period: 1996-2004
Pub Date: 2005
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.500
Organization: Li & Fung
Industry: Trading, FMCG
Countries : Hong Kong, US, Europe
Themes: Globalization
Li & Fung: The Global Value Chain Configurator
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


The case examines the evolution of Hong Kong based Li & Fung Limited from a traditional trading company into a global consumer goods export trading giant and a manager of customers' supply chains. It discusses in detail the company's efforts to constantly evolve its business model in response to the changes in the external environment and the customer needs and preferences. The case examines Li & Fung's major strategies viz. positioning itself as supply chain manager, integration of operational strategy with its organizational strategies, customer-centric organizational structure, technology and Internet initiatives, and globalization efforts, which contributed to the company's emergence as one of the world's leading consumer goods trading companies.

Finally, the case explores the challenges facing Li & Fung in 2004 and discusses its future prospects in the light of these challenges. The key focus of the case is on enabling the students to gain a comprehensive understanding of globalization - rationale, levels of globalization, managing global operations, globalization strategies and challenges.


  • Understand how a regional trading company used its core advantage (its vast sourcing knowledge and network) to become a global value chain manager, providing global economies of scale and scope to its customers
  • Study the importance of efficient value chain management for a global company
  • Critically analyze the strategies adopted by Niall SK Booker to make HSBC India an aggressive, performance-oriented organization
  • Examine the role of IT and the Internet as major drivers of globalization
  • Study the importance of acquisitions and alliances in a company's globalization strategies
  • Understand how innovation, differentiation and customization can be used as strategic and competitive advantages by a company, to maintain its leadership in the domestic market, and emerge as a global player
  • Appreciate how visionary leadership and management capability can work as a core advantage for a company to attain success in global markets
  • Study the changes taking place in the retailing and trading industry with respect to customer requirements and examine the need for a customer-centric business model for an export trading company
  • Gain insights into the dynamics of Hong Kong's export trade industry



Li & Fung, Globalization, Value Chain Configuration, SCM Strategy, Global Supply Chain, Internet-enabled Supply Chain, Knowledge Sharing, Customer-Centric Organizational Structure, Global Expansion, Hong Kong's Export Trade Industry and External Environment

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