Fish bay in Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Fish bay in Case Study Solution


The case illustrates the business plan of Haneef, who started selling fish online by identifying the gap in the market. The gap depicted the need for hygienic, fresh fish purchased through hassle-free gateway. Fish markets used to be over crowded, with pungent smell spreading all around. Haneef identified the need for an easy path to cater the rising demand of fish in Mangalore. Initially,Haneef targeted the local consumers through Fishbay, who bought fish as a part of theirmeal. As the business and popularity of Fishbay grew, many local restaurants began to reach Fish bay for their seafood needs. These restaurants bought fish in high quantity but at low rates (compared to a single customer).The case represents a deadlock where Haneef has to decide whether to tap into commercial market by serving the orders of the restaurant or should he stay with his initial business plan which restricts him to serve the local consumers at good price but in small quantities.


Fish, an online fish store which started their business by identifying the market gap which demanded the purchase of fish from a smooth, hassle-free channel. Haneef the founder of Fish, started their business plan by getting an idea from an operator of online business in Mumbai. He quickly analyzed the demand for fish in Mangalore and devised an online platform, to serve the fish demand. He maintained the unique selling proposition of Fish bay. In by offering same day delivery service with option of choosing the type of fish (sea or river fish) with the type of cut, that the customer want for their fish. The mechanism of Fish worked in a way, that the orders placed till 3 pm, were delivered on the same day, while the orders placed in evening were delivered the following day. Mostly, the footfall of customers on average amounted INR 10000, which increased to 15000 INR or even 18000 INR on weekends, which is why, Haneef tailored the organization policy by offering a holiday on Wednesday.

Due to the popularity and efficiency of Fish, many nearby restaurants started to order from Fish, in relatively in large quantities but at lower prices. The market forces in Mangalore changed when the local authority of the Fishery, took steps to offer benefits to the private small suppliers of fish, by building a clean, hygienic market. This step posited a direct threat to Fish, because the move mitigates the root cause of Haneef building an online fish store. In addition, the government intervention to restrict fishing in certain seasons, effected the sales pattern of Fish, and the restrictions also made him in source the fish from Mumbai where mostly river fish was sold. Further, the rise in demand of Bosa fish, a Thai fish, also became eminent, and more customers were seen to shift to Bosa fish, as well as the restaurants. In such circumstances Haneef has to decide which way to take the business, either he can stay online and serve the local customers or he can jump to the separate customer base (restaurants to sustain the plan in future).

Problem Statement

The primary problem depicted is whether Haneef should pursue Fish bay .in by confining it to serve the local consumers or should he switch to the commercial market by serving the restaurants.The deadlock is, he has to choose one market segment, because of limited resources.

Secondary Problems

  • The other problem posited to Fish bay .in is from the shifting market forces which is promoting the local small sellers to meet the standards of selling fish to the customers, which may turn the customers of Fish bay .in to buy physically from these markets.
  • The rise in demand for Bosa fish
  • Government intervention to restrict fishing in some seasons without any ending date.

Situational Analysis

Fish bay .in has been serving the market for a long period of time and the demand for fish depicts an increasing curve, which in turn offers an advantage to Haneef to pursue the business in the same direction. Since the long term operations in the market, Haneef has gotten expertise, knowledge about the buying behavior of the customer and due to his pre-built reputation and trust among the consumers, Haneef can maintain its competitive advantage in rough seasons as well.

Competition Analysis

Fish has intense competition from the local sellers who are selling through the same channel (online).It also has direct competition from the small sellers who have the support of government to make the market better for them. In doing so, the government or local fishery body is encouraging the local sellers to settheir businesses again with right measures and hygiene standards and also offering budgets to meet those standards. The move has made the competition even more intense because with the establishment of such market, many users who used to purchase online, would turn to these markets, cutting the sales margin of the online businesses.

Fish bay in Harvard Case Solution & Analysis



Government Intervention

Under the market conditions of Mangalore, the government puts sudden restrictions on fishing, which creates scarcity in the market for sea fish, resulting in low sales in those seasons. Such restrictions also call on Fish to import fish from other cities which are rich in river fish as compared to sea fish. The action posits additional transportation cost to Fish bay. in, in meeting the demand of the market. The point to ponder is, the government puts the restriction without any schedule while it offers no lifting date of restriction. Thus it creates turbulence for the company to pursue the operations smoothly....................................

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