This case is set in December 2006 when the management at Moser Baer India Limited (MBIL) was faced with the critical decision of whether to pursue a strategic partnership with Optical Media and Technology (OM&T) and what form such a partnership should take. MBIL was India's largest and the world's third largest optical storage media manufacturer with a presence in over 82 countries, serviced through marketing offices in India, the United States and Europe. In 2006, MBIL had also entered the photovoltaic (PV) cells industry and aimed to succeed in this new business by leveraging its core process strength in “coating thin films on substrates”. OM&T was based in a high technology cluster in Eindhoven, the Netherlands and was known in the industry for its contribution to prototyping, standardization and pilot production of advanced optical disc formats such as Digital Versatile/ Video Disc (DVD) and Blue Laser Discs (Blu-ray discs).
For the MBIL management team, all the options were on the table -- a licensing arrangement, a strategic alliance by taking an equity stake in the company or a complete acquisition of the company. After careful evaluation, they had to choose the most appropriate option and arrive at a decision.
The case is structured to achieve the following pedagogical objectives: a) Highlight the uncertain dynamics within a high-growth and a technology intensive industry. b) Allow students to choose between organic vs. inorganic growth options. c) Evaluate the costs and benefits of different modes of inorganic growth in order to identify the best option for strategic partnership in a given context.