Amit Tripathy, N.M. Leepsa
Economic Times (ET) Cases, Times of India Group, Case Clearing House
Publication year: 2017


This case study on the deal between Snapdeal and Freecharge enables students to understand whether the decision of the deal was a planned or unplanned strategy – by comparing the anticipated and actual synergy derived from the deal. This case study focuses on two key parts of a strategic corporate restructuring, i.e., the modeling of a firm’s marketing strategy and the outcome of the strategy on firm’s synergy. Snapdeal is India’s largest online marketplace, competing with two other giants in E-commerce market Amazon and Flipkart. The company was co-founded in 2010 by Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal. Starting as just an online shopping marketplace, it soon expanded to become India’s second largest online marketplace after Flipkart1. Today, Snapdeal offers an agglomerate of 10 million and more products across diverse categories, with a brand base of 25 million customers and 150,000 sellers. Headquartered in New Delhi, it has its presence in more than 6,000 towns and cities. With its acquisition of FreeCharge, India’s fastest growing and leading mobile E-commerce platform, in April 2015, Snapdeal had become the largest mobile commerce firm2. Why did Snapdeal choose Freecharge? What were the challenges and opportunities for Snapdeal (internet shopping) to buy Freecharge (internet mobile recharging)? How did Snapdeal’s strategy affect its competitors and what were the competitors’ actions and reactions in the post-deal situation? Would Snapdeal be able to reap enough benefits to compete with its rivals in the long-run by adopting this vertical integration strategy?

Pedagogical Objectives

  • To understand and analyze the current business dynamics of E-commerce industry in India
  • To study the growth strategy of the market leaders in E-retailing sector with a discussion on the strategies adopted by Snapdeal
  • To examine Snapdeal’s competitive strategy through Michael Porter’s Five Force Model
  • To inspect, how Snapdeal’s competitors respond to the deal between Snapdeal and FreeCharge

Case Positioning and SettingThis case study can be used in MBA Program/Executive MBA/BBA –

  • Corporate Restructuring Course – Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Strategic Management Course – Expansion Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Michael Porter’s Five Forces Model