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Case Study

Dodla's Dilemma

Succession issues, Family businesses, Generation next, Leadership & managing people, Governance, Family-owned businesses


D. Sunil Reddy established Dodla Dairy in 1995 in Nellore district of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. An industrial engineer from Mangalore University, Sunil set up Dodla as a greenfield company at the age of 27 with seed money provided by his father. He was inspired by his grandparents and father to help those in need grow and flourish and by Mahatma Gandhi's call to “reach out to rural India.”                  The company had grown well over the years. In fiscal 2015-16, it achieved an annual turnover of over INR 11 billion and aimed to touch INR 25 billion in revenues by 2020. It had a workforce of more than 2,000 employees, procured about a million liters of milk per day from 250,000 milk producers, and processed and sold milk and milk products at 67 locations in nine states in India. In 2011, Private equity fund Proterra invested INR 1.1 billion in Dodla, bringing down the family's shareholding from 100% to 76.34% (it would later go down to 72.3%).                                                 Sunil knew that if the company had to move to the next orbit, both in terms of size (revenues, assets and market share) and professionalization, certain organizational changes would be necessary. He wondered what these changes would be and who would make them. How could he better prepare himself and the company for the future? How would the company move from being a family-owned enterprise to a professionally run, sustainable organization?                                                        Would one of his daughters join the organization, bringing freshness to the company while providing continuity in terms of family values? Would the company be run by an outsider? “Who after me?”, thought Sunil. He often wondered whether the brand “Dodla” and the company he had founded would sustain beyond himself. While he continued his efforts to increase capacity, expand and capture more market share, he kept asking himself, “What next” and “How do I build a legacy?”

Learning Objectives

The case takes students through the journey of an entrepreneur who built a very successful company and has reached a stage in the company's growth and his own life where he is uncertain what future course to take. Students should be able to discuss the dilemmas faced by the founder, Sunil Dodla, and come up with options that are available to him to tackle them.

  • Pub Date:
    01 May 2018
  • Source:
  • Discipline:
    Advertising and Intergrated Marketing Communication
  • Product#:
  • Keywords:
    Succession issues, Family businesses, Generation next, Leadership & managing people, Governance, Family-owned businesses
  • Length:
    Pdf : 13 page(s) ,

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