Maua Programme: Bettering lives through the microdistribution of Wrigley products

Roll, Kate (2017) Maua Programme: Bettering lives through the microdistribution of Wrigley products. Saïd Business School Working Paper, Mutuality in Business Working Paper, Oxford, UK.

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This case study explores the design and evolution of Project Maua, a micro-distribution programme for Wrigley products operating in rural and urban Kenya established by Mars Catalyst. The pilot has been an experiment in how the Mars Corporation can become more mutual with its stakeholders. The programme has sought a win-win outcome through the extension of its business into Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP) markets and newly engaging those in poverty in its distribution system.

This Working Paper provides a deep dive into the goals and design of the programme, and uses an evaluative framework that focuses on human, social, and financial capital to outline how it works on the ground. The Maua programme has been fast growing and profitable and extended the corporation’s reach into new markets, while also creating a new economic opportunity for those living in poverty. We attribute the profitability and longevity of the introduction of novel management practices and programme design to the organization. This Working Paper highlights three new practices for Mars. Firstly, this work involved engaging non-profit partners. Secondly, it applied an entrepreneurial organisational model, which both increased the autonomy of participants and limited the company’s managerial burden. Finally, the pilot applied new, non-financial metrics for tracking performance. However, each of these innovations requires trade-offs, and as the programme has grown, it has also encountered challenges. These are also explored herein.

As a detailed case study, this Working Paper contributes to a still small body of in-depth work on route-to-market programmes and efforts to expand businesses at the BoP. As we learn more through academic research and business case studies, this research will continue to challenge readers on the steps that Mars and other corporations should explore moving forward to become more mutual.

Item Type: Oxford Saïd Research Paper
Keywords: micro-distribution, ecosystem, hybrid value chain, economics of mutuality, mutuality in business, financial capital, social capital, human capital
Subject(s): Entrepreneurship
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Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2017 15:26
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2018 15:32
Funders: Mars Catalyst

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