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MBB2523 Organizational Management Case Study: OLDTOWN White Coffee

MBB2523 Organizational Management Case Study Assignment Answer

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Case Study: OLDTOWN White Coffee

Malaysians have been coffee drinkers ever since the late 19th century. This habit was influenced by the Chinese immigrants. Unaccustomed to the bitter and strong British coffee, the Hainan Chinese modified the taste of Western coffee to be better suited to the palate of the Chinese population. Thus the white coffee of Ipoh Old Town was born and the tradition of making white coffee has been carried on for generations. White coffee is now one of the staple drinks of Malaysians. White coffee was first sold by a Hainanese coffee roasting master in one of the old coffee shops in ‘Old Town’ Ipoh. Gradually, white coffee began to put its mark on Malaysian culture and society.

The rise of the popularity of this drink was also due to the arrival of branded retail outlets such as Coffee Bean and Starbucks in the local market around 1997-98. The Malaysian local coffee culture grew, starting with the commercializing of so called ‘kopitiams’ (derived  from  the  work  ‘kopi’,  from  Malay/Hokkien for coffee and ‘tiam’, which means shop in Hokkien), which is the rebranding of local coffee shops by upgrading their services by not only selling products, but also embracing technology as part of their marketing plans. The OLDTOWN White Coffee brand is an example of this upgrading.

Today, OLDTOWN White Coffee is Malaysia’s largest halal-certified kopitiam. OLDTOWN White Coffee was established by a two-man team, Mr. Goh Chin Mun and Mr. Tan Say Yap in Ipoh, Perak, in 1999. Initially, the company operated as a local coffee shop but has now expanded its business to almost all states in Malaysia and as well as internationally. The group opened its 200th outlet in a period of just over seven years. Now, OLDTOWN is diversifying its products by exporting its instant beverage mixes to more than 14 countries and is publicly listed on Bursa Malaysia’s main board and has expanded even further into cafe outlets, franchise outlets and food processing facilities.

The company’s vision is to be the leading white coffee brand in the Asia Pacific region by providing high quality products to customers globally. Its mission states that ‘Our People: We believe that our people are our assets’. The company believes that human capital is its most valuable asset and it is thus important to create a stimulating and motivating working environment. It acknowledges its workers as people who grow together with the company and appreciates its workers for their full dedication.

Its workers are valued for their efforts and what they are able to bring to the company. This is shown by providing platforms and opportunities for career growth and enrichment of knowledge in its workers’ development programmes. A dynamic and challenging workplace is provided to encourage development of employee’s skills, talents, and capacities. The aim is to cultivate passion and to instil dedication in delighting customers as an important work value into its staff to bring forth their best efforts, experience and to retain customer’s loyalty.

Currently, OLDTOWN White Coffee outlets in West Malaysia have achieved 100% halal status certification by the Malaysian Islamic Halal Board of the Islamic Affairs Department. This recognition and certification will enable the company to bid and make further ventures and investments into the halal market. The company also intends to restructure its service-oriented business mode and move towards a self-service concept, together with the launching a new range of set menus in their cafe outlets. For its dedication, the company has received recognition and awards, both locally and internationally. In 2017, it won the Gold Award for the Trusted Brand Awards – Malaysia, organized by Reader’s Digest.

Case Study Questions:


  1. Identify any TWO (2) specific environment and TWO (2) general environment of OLDTOWN White Coffee. Describe your answer by including an example to support your

(10 Marks)

  1. Relate how OLDTOWN White Coffee may have applied the Scientific Management Principles by Frederick

(10 Marks)

  1. Since OLDTOWN White Coffee is going internationally, describe the challenges in today’s

(10 Marks)

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