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________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Professor Walter Kuemmerle and Zahid Ahmed, MBA '02, prepared this case. HBS cases are developed solely as the basis for class discussion. Cases are not intended to serve as endorsements, sources of primary data, or illustrations of effective or ineffective management. Copyright © 2002 President and Fellows of Harvard College. To order copies or request permission to reproduce materials, call 1-800-545-7685, write Harvard Business School Publishing, Boston, MA 02163, or go to http://www.hbsp.harvard.edu. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, used in a spreadsheet, or transmitted in any form or by any means-electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise-without the permission of Harvard Business School.
W A L T E R K U E M M E R L E
TCS: An Entrepreneurial Air-Express Company in Pakistan
Khalid Awan (Awan), chairman of TCS, knew this was not going to be a typical conference call. He was sitting in his office in Mississauga, Canada preparing for a phone conversation with his protégé Jamil Janjua, the chief operating officer (COO) of TCS in Karachi, Pakistan. It was September 14, 2001. The main topic of the phone conversation would be a comprehensive assessment of how the terrorist attacks of September 11 might affect the courier services industry in Pakistan. The phone started ringing, but Awan's thoughts wandered as he gazed into the bright early-morning sky of a late-summer day in Ontario. A number of issues were racing through his mind. First, there was a deep feeling of sadness about the attacks in the United States. As a Muslim, Awan was hurt that extremists would commit such heinous crimes in the name of his religion. Then, there were questions about TCS. Awan knew that the short-term challenges and the longer-term objectives for TCS and for his own life might be closely intertwined.
TCS had come a long way since Awan founded the company with his brother in 1983. The company was headquartered in Karachi, Pakistan and had started operations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 1996 and Canada in 1999. TCS operated in four principal business segments: domestic courier services, international courier services, overland shipping, and gift delivery. It commanded a remarkable 55% market share in the Pakistan domestic courier services business.
Awan recognized the challenges of expanding the business beyond Pakistan, particularly at a time when uncertainty was impacting all businesses with exposure to international transportation negatively. Additionally, he pondered the merits of two strategic alternatives discussed recently. First, his team had identified the potential for leveraging TCS's information technology expertise in order to provide supply- chain management solutions to large companies with assembly operations in...