Touchdown Footwear on a Slippery Slope Harvard Case Solution & Analysis


This dissertation is heavily based on the governance and professionalization challenges being faced by the mid-sized family ownedfootwear manufacturing company, which was set in the southernIndiancity of Mangalore in 1965 by the collaboration of 3 brothers;Ganesh Pai, Ramnath and Krishna. They had contemplated to run the rubber trading business which was inheritedby their father.

Primarily, the company has made flip-flops and successfully catered to the domestic market. Over the period of time, the product portfolio was expanded and it included non-leather footwear and school shoes. By the end of 2016, TFL has decided to exports its exceptional quality products in the African markets. In doing so, all of the business functions were successfully managed by the three brothers.

In 1970’s and 1980’s, the next generation joined the business.They took numerous roles based on the exigencies of the business. By 2016, the turnover of the company was INR 16.9 billion, but there was a lacking of clear and effective strategy and professional management.


In the absence of the appropriate system, processes and structure, the style of the decision was ad-hoc. All across the organization, the wastage and inefficiencies were evident. The profitability of the company was steadily declining due to many factors.

Touchdown Footwear on a Slippery Slope Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Problem Description

The working capital of the company seemed to be under severe strain.Due to the ineffective strategy and professional management, the company has been suffering from the governance deficit and the performance was declining at both business and family systems.

The lack of distinct processes and policies have delayed so many crucial and significantly important decisions. There were many attempts which have been made in order to professionalize the business to some extent, but no desirable outcome was resulted because the family members had lacked the effective policies and strategies which could be followed, thus they were quite unable to alter their mindset.Also, the export policies were confined to Bangladesh, Middle East and Africa. The leadership lacking have severely influenced the management and bottom line of the company.

Even though the scope of exporting product line in international markets is a source of gathering greater market share, this has made the company enjoying limited profit from international business operations. Not only this, the company has failed to forecast the sales demanded in state wise regions, due to the absence of effective sales forecasting mechanism. Also, sales team was ineffectively performing their roles and was infrequently ensuring timely product delivery to customers. This in turn, has depressed and discouraged the sales team when they were pointed out on this futile practice.

In addition to this, when the time has comefor the fourth generation to enter the business and run its operations, there were a number of questions arisen regarding their discipline and commitment level. All in all, though, the business has lack of clarity in policies and strategies on the roadmap for the future.The transitional change is extensively required on multiple fronts, because this would help in sustaining the businessoperations......................

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