AGAINST THE GRAIN Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Against the grain Case Study Solution


This case is about a person named Jim Teague who came to the Harvard business School (HBS) to learn about the value it could create in the society. He was fascinated by opportunities he could bring to the society by creating the social and commercial values. When he entered the Havard business school, his motive was to do an internship in an agriculture-based sector in Tanzania which is located in the sub-Saharan Africa.

For conducting the internship, he was hired by a firm as an internee at AgriFund ownedby Allen Sweatman. As Allen Sweatman was looking for an internee who had a background in engineering and an MBA associate, he hired Jim according to his matchings. Jim Teague immediately accepted the offer and was excited on doing its job.

Jim was tasked to analyse agriculture companies in Tanzania and select the proper company for investing. He went to Tanzania where he visited some of the known agriculture company such as KiraFlour. He had around 4 more clients who were located outside the town for Jim to visit.


KiraFlour was one of the agriculture company in Tanzania which was run by Mr, and Mrs Kiravu knew by the name of Baba and Mama.  Mr Kiravu or Baba made the factory from scratch with a little amount of cash. The owner of KiraFlour had a gentle heart and was always committed to creating opportunities for its employees and farmers.

Jim developed a friendly relation with both the owners Mr and Mrs Kiravu. He was likely to suggest his boss Allen Sweatman to invest in KiraFlour as he founded the company much better than its other four clients. Until one day Mr Kiravu showed him a certificate which was sent by Tanzania Certification Agency (TCA).

In the document, it was instructed that the TCA hadfound traces of E.coli on Kiraflour’s grain. Baba told Jim that this was a false accusation made by the TCA in order to secure a bribe as the country is corrupted. Jim believed Baba as he himself witnessed various illegal activities due to the corruption. At that time Jim did not look into the matter greatly nor did he report this accusation to his superiors.

After some days had passed, Jim witnessed that the grain were threshed on the cow manure and also cow manure is mixed in thesoil to create a harder threshing surface. This method of cow manure was generally used in the old ages. The chances that grain has E.coli is because of the using of cow manure in the soil. This caused more doubts toward the TCA claims on E.coli to be true rather than securing bribery.

Jim immediately contacted the leader of AgriFund Allen Sweatman and reported his findings of the Kiraflour. The CEO of the company felt upset and was in a difficult position whether the company should issue loan or no. Both of the decisions had anegative impact on the company and the Tanzania Society.

Jim also felt saddened as he feels like he has betrayed Mr and Mrs Kiravu due to the reporting of its grain E.coli to the investment company. As both the owners treated Jim like his son and welcomed him with open arms, also they had dinner almost every night. Jim had made a strong bond between them, and he had to break their trust when it comes regarding the lives of others.

Issues and Challenges:

The issues of the case were that the investment company AgriFund was looking to support the Agriculture sectors in Tanzania in which they were fond of one such company by the name of KiraFlour. The grains of KiraFlour were traced to have E.coli, a bacteria which results in sickness and in most cases, death. The company was also selling unlicensed products to the people. Now AgriFund was in a difficult situations issuing and not issuing loan resulted in negative impact on society and the Economy of Tanzania.

AGAINST THE GRAIN Harvard Case Solution & Analysis



Analysing the situation

After analysing the case, it was found that Agri fund lied in a difficult position whether it should deal with giving the loan or avoid giving the loan to KiraFlour. The impact of Agrifund’s decision of whether issuing or not issuing of loans has been discussed below..................

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