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Main case New 2022/2023

Tata Sky: Experimentation and adoption (B)

By Jessica Spungin, Julian Birkinshaw, Harit Nagpal


Harit Nagpal, Managing Director and CEO of Tata Sky Ltd, the largest satellite TV distribution platform in India, was returning from the Consumer Electronics Show 2017 in Las Vegas. What he had seen there was enough to make him question the viability of the business he headed. He did not want to think the end was near for TV and that Tata Sky would become “another Nokia”, but he had started to hear the term “cord-cutting” more than ever. The company’s traditional TV partners were displaying new offerings for delivering content via broadband; most anti-piracy vendors had switched to “over-the-top” (OTT) delivery instead of TV networks, and three-hour movies could now be downloaded in under a minute over mobile broadband. Harit therefore composed a note to his senior leadership team that post the following questions: Will TV be replaced by OTT over the coming years, or will TV and OTT coexist, just as bicycles, motorcycles and cars have? Do we continue to play only in the TV-delivery industry, treating OTT as our competitors, to be delivered directly by content producers and telecom platforms? Is there scope for differentiation (based on our learning from distribution of TV content) so we can become a profitable OTT content distribution platform, too?

Learning objectives

  1. Learn how to analyse disruptive technology and its impact on strategic choices
  2. Understand product differentiation in terms of strategy options
  3. Understand the importance of being a first-mover in a new market
  4. Acquire insights to determine whether to be first to market vs a fast follower
  5. Understand how to manage risk and speed to market through joint ventures (JVs)


Publication Date: May 2023
LBS Case Code: CS-23-005
Subjects: , ,
Pages: 4
Format: pdf