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Septa Goes Sporting The Digital Way*

ET Cases, 15 Pages
AUTHOR(S) : Harjot Singh - Assistant Professor, LM Thapar School of Management, Thapar University

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Septa Goes Sporting The Digital Way


As Sachin Berganza (Sachin), CEO of Septa Sports Ltd. (Septa), looked out of the window of his plush office, facing the morning sun over the small hills in one window in the east, and watching the blue-green waves of the Arabian Sea in the western window, situated in coastal South Goa, on the third day of September 2016, he was able to feel the gentle sea-breeze and the small trickle of rain-drops dripping all over his face. The tide in the sea was neither rising nor falling, as if reminding him about his venture which was growing at a slow pace, much unlike the speed at which he and the board members of Septa wanted it to move.

Septa, his ‘baby’, was conceived in the year 1989. Sachin had always excelled in sports and his dream was to make India one of the best sporting nations, in the world. With this end in mind, in 1992, he set up a private limited company, headquartered in Goa, which he named as Septa Sports. Septa, or the number seven, as a name was close to his heart because his date of birth was seven and he believed it had always been his lucky number. Also, like the seven colors of rainbow and the proverbial seven seas, he believed the charm of the number would take him places. He also felt his luck in number seven would rub off on the business and its customers and other stakeholders.......


Exhibit I: Comparison of Financial Aspects for Septa and Octagon (2014-15 and 2015-16)

Exhibit II: Comparison of CRM Investments for Septa and Octagon (in INR crore)

Exhibit III: Historical Comparison of Daily Footfall: Septa and Octagon

Exhibit IV: Comparison of Parameters of Septa and Octagon for FY 15-16

Teaching Note Preview

Septa Goes Sporting The Digital Way



The premise of this case study is to enable a discussion on the engagement in developing and sustaining relationships with retail consumers by two companies, namely, Septa Sports and Octagon. The backdrop is sports goods industry in India.

Comparison of CRM practices and marketing approaches, including digital marketing techniques, as prevalent in two organizations, forms the theoretical anchor (main concept) in the case. The central problem in the case is that of increasing the marketing effectiveness and relationship equity of Septa Sports around which most of the discussion in the class can revolve. The discussion can highlight how and what kinds of relationship bonds can be formed by companies using targeted online marketing approaches and relationship practices. Other issues in the case are related to empowerment of employees leading to on-the-spot resolution of problems. Reasons for low morale of employees and lack of an innovative culture in Septa can also be discussed as they are also linked to the central question.

The students can look at the case from a fresh perspective and generate innovative ideas. They can suggest the ways by which the brand in question can be made more vibrant and the approaches through which relationships with existing customers can be deepened.......

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Septa Sports was conceived as a transnational entity, specializing in sports goods, by Sachin Berganza (Sachin), a Goa-based entrepreneur in 1989. It started operations as a private limited company in 1992, with headquarters in Goa. It expanded operations over the years and became a national sports brand by early part of the twenty-first century. Sachin assumed the role of CEO, after the company went public in 2006. The challenge in the last decade had been to build the brand equity. It also involved focusing on the customer relationship as well as customer equity.

Sachin had been given the mandate by shareholders to take the business to the next orbit. He had been wondering how to go about the task. Though turnover had been increasing by 10-15% each year, it was a far cry from the way he, and the board, wanted to make it grow exponentially. There were about 10 brands, national and international, in the market in sports category, including Octagon which was the market leader.

The CEO had been looking for fresh perspectives and innovative ideas. He had been offered consultancy by many start up marketing agencies who had been claiming that they could make inroads through digital initiatives and other relationship-building approaches. The company had not invested much in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems yet, because the scale of operations had not justified the expenditure so far.

The target market of products of Septa Sports had traditionally been the student community. The company operated through a company-owned retail format as well as franchisees. It also sold through multi-branded showrooms and smaller retail outlets to ensure wider availability.

Sachin had asked his core team to make a presentation to him based on inputs from company’s existing customers and marketing agencies.

Pedagogical Objectives

  • To analyze Customer Relationship Management (CRM) practices and marketing approaches, including digital marketing initiatives, of Septa Sports
  • To compare the practices and approaches of Septa Sports with those of Octagon
  • To suggest ways of enhancing relationship equity to Septa Sports

Case Positioning and Setting
This case study can be used for teaching students of marketing specialization in post-graduate courses in management, like MBA, Executive MBA , or Executive Development Programs. It can be used in courses on Customer Relationship Management, Digital Marketing or Retail Marketing to sensitize the participants regarding the importance of relationship marketing and digital initiatives.

* GSMC 2017, IIM Raipur

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- Abstract
- Case Study
- Teaching Note (**ONLY for Academicians)
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