Selecting an Alliance and Building a Business Strategy for a Publisher of Food Guides


The clients existing business of publishing food guides (for the cities of Mumbai and Pune) was done in alliance with a media publishing company. The publishing company funded the data collection efforts and the clients? professional fees. However, the efforts put in by the client for the project was not being well compensated for by the alliance partner. The client also had plans to expand operations to 10 additional cities, which the existing alliance was not in a position to fund. Considering these two factors, the client wanted to form a new alliance to fund operations in all the cities and to help to leverage the existing content across several media. The client had several alliance options such as the following

  • Food and beverage companies
  • Banks
  • Publications (newspapers and magazines)
  • Portals

However, there was a lack of clarity as to which of the above categories of business would be the most suitable and synergistic for an alliance. Thus, the client turned to UC to select a business alliance and to assist in identifying new business areas that could be ventured into, given the existing capabilities.

Our Approach

To select an alliance and to identify new business areas for the client, UC adopted the following approach:

  • The initial stages of the project had UC identifying the best possible exit option for the client from the existing alliance
  • Analysed and identified the best business category to ally with, based on the following -
    • synergies in business
    • funding capabilities
  • Assisted the client in the exit process with the existing alliance
  • Initiated talks and made presentations to the possible alliance partners. Understood their requirements and the quantum of funding that the possible alliance partners were willing to provide
  • Identified the best business category to ally with and defined the way forward for the alliance
  • Also analysed the present capabilities of the client and assisted in identifying the best business to venture into


In this case, the client was advised to begin consulting for restaurants in menu planning and restaurant decoration.