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Vidita Cleaning Products vs Rainbow Market Research Services

CASE STUDY, MARKETING RESEARCH
Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode, 9 Pages
AUTHOR(S) : Prof. Jayasankar Ramanathan - IIM Indore, Prof. Keyoor Purani, IIM Kozhikode

Case Preview

Vidita Cleaning Products vs Rainbow Market Research Services

 

On July 23rd 2013, Malini Ahuja (Malini), Marketing Manager and Partner at Vidita Cleaning Products (Vidita) was wondering whether the lawsuit filed by her on behalf of her partnership firm (Annexure I) was an appropriate decision. Through her lawyer, she had just received a copy of the written reply (Annexure II) filed by Rainbow Market Research Services. The said reply was in response to her complaint filed in the court of Mumbai for Rainbow’s fudging of field data.

As expected, the defendant, Uday Mirchandani (Uday), Managing Director, Rainbow had refuted the allegations. Now the case would be called for hearing in the court and Malini had no clue as to when exactly the trial will begin or how long this battle would take. She remembered that her lawyer had once quipped whether the suit is an answer to the question “Who should bell the cat?” She started to think whether she could have pursued other alternatives to legal action for the bogus data she received from this agency. After all, who will file a legal case in the Indian courts, where it may take endless time, money and energy to get the judgment, for such a small matter?

Upon reading the written reply filed by Rainbow, she also started evaluating the chances of her winning the case, even if she was right in taking Rainbow to court. Was she on a sticky wicket without the formal contract? Was her research design of using MTNL1 directory for sampling appropriate? Could she prove fudging and what evidences would be needed?...........................

Vidita Cleaning Products

Vidita Cleaning Products (Vidita) was a partnership firm, born out of the entrepreneurial enthusiasm of Malini Ahuja. After completing her MBA from a reputed B-school in Udaipur, Rajasthan, Malini started her business in 2008. It was a small-scale business of cleaning products manufacturing in Jalore, in Rajasthan. Although Malini belonged to Mumbai, she had studied market potential in this region as an assignment in her Marketing course during her MBA.............

Launching New Product in Mumbai

During 2011, Vidita was planning to explore the possibility of launching a new dishwashing liquid. However, they planned to launch this in both Rajasthan and Mumbai, which happened to be the hometown of Malini. Dr. Vasavada suggested that a market research be carried out in Mumbai before taking the decision to launch the new product there..........

Research Design

Malini had to decide if Vidita should launch the new dishwashing liquid. This decision depended on demand in the market for such product. However, she believed that more than ‘to launch or not launch’, it was how to successfully launch which was a more important issue. New product launch demanded relevant marketing decisions pertaining to all elements of marketing mix apart from positioning strategy............

Vidita Goes To Court

After a series of events, which included alleged non-cooperation from Rainbow to execute successfully the market research project in time (Annexure III), Malini filed a civil suit in the court of Mumbai...........

 Annexures

Annexure I: Plaint Filed by Vidita Cleaning Products in the Court of Honorable Judge at Mumbai Case No. 360/2012

Annexure II: Written Statement Filed by Rainbow Market Research Services

Annexure III: Malini’s Registered Letter Which Returned Unclaimed


 1 MTNL refers to Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited, an Indian public sector telecommunications enterprise, which provided telephone services in metro cities in India.

Teaching Note Preview

Vidita Cleaning Products vs Rainbow Market Research Services

 

Synopsis

Malini Ahuja (Malini), Partner and Marketing Manager at Vidita Cleaning Products (Vidita), was mulling the launch of a new product for which she needed to find the pulse of consumers to decide further. She designed a survey for collecting data from people in Mumbai and engaged the services of Rainbow Market Research Services for executing the fieldwork. However, she found the agency to be non-cooperative and found the data supplied to be fudged. The case describes the legal battle between Vidita Cleaning Products and Rainbow Market Research Services. The issue of contention is the trustworthiness of data supplied by the market research agency.

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • • Appreciate the features of a contract for marketing research
  • • Realize the importance of establishing trustworthiness of data
  • • Assess research design and evaluate its feasibility of implementation
  • • Understand the steps in fieldwork
  • • Explore the criteria for evaluating the success of fieldwork


Case Positioning and Setting

  • • The case can be used for Marketing Research/ Business Research Methods course in the ‘Fieldwork’ module – where agency-client related issues need to be highlighted apart from operational design of the research
  • • The case can also be used in a Marketing Ethics course for a session on ethics concerning marketing research


Suggested Readings

  • • Rajendra Nargundkar, “Chapter 6: Field Procedures”, Marketing Research: Text and Cases, 3rd Edition, McGraw Hill Education, New Delhi, 2008, pages 109–113
  • • Naresh K. Malhotra and Satyabhushan Dash, “Chapter 13: Fieldwork”, Marketing Research: An Applied Orientation, 6th Edition, Pearson, New Delhi, 2007, pages 386–403
  • • Patrick E. Murphy, et al., “Chapter 2: Ethics in Researching and Segmenting Markets”, Ethical Marketing, 1st Edition, Pearson, New Jersey, 2005, pages 48–80
  • • Lawrence B. Chonko, “Chapter 6: Ethics and Marketing Information Decisions”, Ethical Decision Making in Marketing, 1st Edition, SAGE Publications, California, 1995, pages 157–181
  • • George G. Brenkert, “Section III: Marketing Research in Chapter 2: Marketers and their Markets”, Marketing Ethics, 1st Edition, Blackwell Publishing, Malden, 2008, pages 60–73

 

Assignment Questions

  • I. Why did Malini file the case?
  • II. Did Malini have any other recourse than to file the case?
  • III. How could Malini have prevented this mishap in the first place?
  • IV. Can you make a criminal case out of this? Why or why not?
  • V..................

 

Critical Elements of a Contract in a Marketing Research Project 

I. Why did Malini file the case?

The instructor should open the class by asking a participant as to why Malini filed the case. The participants would attempt to summarize the reasons suggested in the plaint. Participants may note that Malini filed the case because there was cheating in market research executed by the agency. Some may add that the agency did not submit the deliverables in time. Further observations may include Malini’s attempt to recover her losses through this court case. The instructor should give chance to more participants until the whole of plaint is adequately summarized..............

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Abstract


Malini Ahuja (Malini), Partner and Marketing Manager at Vidita Cleaning Products (Vidita), was mulling the launch of a new product for which she needed to find the pulse of consumers to decide further. She designed a survey for collecting data from people in Mumbai and engaged the services of Rainbow Market Research Services for executing the fieldwork. However, she found the agency to be non-cooperative and found the data supplied to be fudged. The case describes the legal battle between Vidita Cleaning Products and Rainbow Market Research Services. The issue of contention is the trustworthiness of data supplied by the market research agency.



Pedagogical Objectives

  • To appreciate the features of a contract for marketing research
  • To realize the importance of establishing trustworthiness of data
  • Assess research design and evaluate its feasibility of implementation
  • To understand the steps in fieldwork
  • To explore the criteria for evaluating the success of fieldwork

Case Positioning and Setting

  • The case can be used for Marketing Research/ Business Research Methods course in the ‘Fieldwork’ module – where agency-client related issues need to be highlighted apart from operational design of the research
  • The case can also be used in a Marketing Ethics course for a session on ethics concerning marketing research



This Case Pack Includes:
- Abstract
- Case Study
- Teaching Note (**ONLY for Academicians)
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