ayzh at a Crossroad: Maternal Health for Whom?

by: Asad Aziz, Grace Hanley, Yolanda Sarason

Publication Date: April 1, 2013
Length: 16 pages
Product ID#: 1-429-329

Core Disciplines: Base of the Pyramid, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, International Business, Social Impact

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Teaching Note

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This case won Third Place in the 2013 NextBillion Case Writing Competition. The case examines growth decisions for ayzh, a social venture focused on providing products that improve maternal health in base of the pyramid countries. The case revolves around the decision challenges created when an opportunity for global expansion is presented to the founders, Zubaida Bai and Habib Anwar. The founder’s goal has been to develop a social venture that would provide maternal health products and opportunities for job creation for impoverished women in India. The decision to expand globally, while possibly maximizing the impact of their maternal health product, could trigger profound changes in the business model for ayzh and in the way the founders think about the mission of the company. This case challenges students to think about the implications of global expansion on the mission and business models of social enterprises.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Evaluate and discuss the importance of factors influencing early stage decisions such as market selection, product focus and business model decisions faced by a social venture.
  • Construct a value chain for a social venture with a social mission as opposed to a venture with financial measures as the sole performance measure.
  • Evaluate and analyze the processes used by founders of social ventures to make decisions and make recommendations on improving the decision making process.