Entrepreneurship and IT Complementarity: The Case of People’s Remittance and Exchange Services
The scenario depicted in the case is that of an entrepreneur, Mr. Rao, who saw a potential opportunity for a money exchange-cum-micro-remittance service targeted at domestic workers in Hong Kong and tourists visiting Hong Kong en route to mainland China. He intended to use the telecommunication network of Western Union, a well-established remittance service provider with agents in several parts of the world. Mr. Rao hoped to set up a network of branches providing remittance and exchange services in Hong Kong using Western Union’s network, and then to expand to other countries, including China and Macau. The venture would be called People’s Remittance and Exchange Services (PRES). Mr. Rao approached People’s Group, a venture capitalist firm in Dubai, to finance the venture and presented his business case to them. Mr. Rao argued that with the technology support and expertise of the IT arm of People’s Group, which operates out of Bangalore, India, he would be able to create innovative IT-enabled business processes and thus differentiate his firm’s services from those offered by other Western Union agents. People’s Group’s directors debated the merits of Mr. Rao’s project.
The case has been developed to expose students to the importance of alignment of the four components of business strategy, IT strategy, IT infrastructure and business infrastructure, and the roles of entrepreneurial ability and dynamic capability in the success of an IT-enabled entrepreneurial venture.
The case aims to demonstrate: