Cookie and Privacy Settings

This website uses cookies to enable essential functions like the user login and sessions. We also use cookies and third-party tools to improve your surfing experience on preplounge.com. You can choose to activate only essential cookies or all cookies. You can always change your preference in the cookie and privacy settings. This link can also be found in the footer of the site. If you need more information, please visit our privacy policy.

Data processing in the USA: By clicking on "I accept", you also consent, in accordance with article 49 paragraph 1 sentence 1 lit. GDPR, to your data being processed in the USA (by Google LLC, Facebook Inc., LinkedIn Inc., Stripe, Paypal).

Manage settings individually I accept
2

Market Sizing - Guess the number of rats sold in the US?

I found this question difficult to tackle. Even though I could segment the possible channels where rats are sold, estimating the number is really difficult. Would love to hear answers from everyone and understand how to tackle such unconventional questions.

I found this question difficult to tackle. Even though I could segment the possible channels where rats are sold, estimating the number is really difficult. Would love to hear answers from everyone and understand how to tackle such unconventional questions.

2 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer

This seems like an interesting one as you could actually make the discussion quite extensive. So this is how I would go about it (if this does not make sense I'd gladly be corrected):

At the moment I can see four different market segments for rats:
- Education
- Research (univeristy labs and companies)
- Pets
- Food (for other pets)

Education

I will just do this one for now, maybe you can think of the others yourself. There is a lot of assumptions here, but I think the main point they want to see is that you can get to a number by logical reasoning. This number could be way off in reality.

With education I assume that biology and medical students at universities will dissect animals as part of a course. Let me assume that the percentage which has to dissect an animal of biology students is 100% and medical students 50%. At my university, of the 20,000 students about 3,000 are in medicine and 1,000 are in biology. This makes 2,500 animals being dissected for education at my university. Let's assume 20% of that are rats, so 500 rats being dissected. I will assume that the rats/student ratio of 500/20,000 = 2,5% is constant throughout the country. Let us assume that there are about 20 million university students in the US. By these students collectively, 500,000 rats will be dissected during their studies. Assuming the average university study period to be 4 years, this amounts to 500,000/4 = 125,000 rats per year.

This seems like an interesting one as you could actually make the discussion quite extensive. So this is how I would go about it (if this does not make sense I'd gladly be corrected):

At the moment I can see four different market segments for rats:
- Education
- Research (univeristy labs and companies)
- Pets
- Food (for other pets)

Education

I will just do this one for now, maybe you can think of the others yourself. There is a lot of assumptions here, but I think the main point they want to see is that you can get to a number by logical reasoning. This number could be way off in reality.

With education I assume that biology and medical students at universities will dissect animals as part of a course. Let me assume that the percentage which has to dissect an animal of biology students is 100% and medical students 50%. At my university, of the 20,000 students about 3,000 are in medicine and 1,000 are in biology. This makes 2,500 animals being dissected for education at my university. Let's assume 20% of that are rats, so 500 rats being dissected. I will assume that the rats/student ratio of 500/20,000 = 2,5% is constant throughout the country. Let us assume that there are about 20 million university students in the US. By these students collectively, 500,000 rats will be dissected during their studies. Assuming the average university study period to be 4 years, this amounts to 500,000/4 = 125,000 rats per year.

(edited)

Great answer by Denis.

The purpose of these questions is to somewhat throw you off balance and see how you react. The actual answer is much less relevant - I doubt that anyone knows the actual answer. The key is how you get to that answer...

So if you tackle the problem like any other market sizing, you'll be fine. So Structure, structure, structure... Denis has given a great example. Pick halfway thought-through assumptions and off you go...

Great answer by Denis.

The purpose of these questions is to somewhat throw you off balance and see how you react. The actual answer is much less relevant - I doubt that anyone knows the actual answer. The key is how you get to that answer...

So if you tackle the problem like any other market sizing, you'll be fine. So Structure, structure, structure... Denis has given a great example. Pick halfway thought-through assumptions and off you go...

Related case(s)

Oliver Wyman case: Full Electrons Ahead

Solved 103.7k times
Oliver Wyman case: Full Electrons Ahead Your client, large automotive OEM WyCar, has developed its first fully electric vehicle (EV) and introduced it as a pilot on the Austrian market last year. However, sales have been far below the expected numbers. The management has engaged you to support them in understanding the reasons and advise them on how to adjust the product offering.
4.6 5 6569
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

Your client, large automotive OEM WyCar, has developed its first fully electric vehicle (EV) and introduced it as a pilot on the Austrian market last year. However, sales have been far below the expected numbers. The management has engaged you to support them in understanding the reasons and advise ... Open whole case

Bain Case: Old Winery

Solved 71.9k times
Bain Case: Old Winery You have inherited the “Old Winery” from your grandfather, a winery that has been family-owned for five generations and can be dated back to the 16th century. Half of the eleven hectares are used to grow white grapes, the other half to grow red grapes. They are grown in a conventional way, i.e. they are not organically farmed and certified. The vine stocks are in a good condition regarding age and care. Overall, the only ¼ of the harvest is made into wine by the winery itself; the rest is sold. Your grandfather never wanted to change the image of the winery and left the managerial and administrative task to a young and energetic wine-maker. Due to the not so well-known brand, the demand for the “Old Winery” wine is currently rather low. You do not intent to run the winery operatively, given your limited knowledge of winemaking, but find the idea of owning a winery exciting. Your plan is to give the winery some fresh impetus.
4.4 5 1952
| Rating: (4.4 / 5.0)

You have inherited the “Old Winery” from your grandfather, a winery that has been family-owned for five generations and can be dated back to the 16th century. Half of the eleven hectares are used to grow white grapes, the other half to grow red grapes. They are grown in a conventional way, i.e. the ... Open whole case

Roland Berger Case: Onlinestar

Solved 51.3k times
Roland Berger Case: Onlinestar Onlinestar, an online retailer of furniture and garden products (core business), has grown significantly in recent years as a result of an expansion of its product portfolio. The company mainly imports goods from Chinese manufacturers but also operates its own production of cat lavatories (special business) in Eastern Europe. The company sells its goods via Amazon and eBay, and recently via an online shop on its website. Despite this development, the financial ratios have deteriorated in recent years. In particular, the gross profit margin decreased significantly. Combined with a significant increase in shipping costs, this led to a negative result for the first time in the recently ended fiscal year and a resulting strained financial situation. Against the background of expected stagnating sales for the current financial year, short-term action is required. The board of Onlinestar asks you for an analysis of the reasons for the negative result as well as a derived recommendation for action. As a consultant, you should bring in your knowledge in online trading and develop solutions. In addition, the management board would like to receive a sales and gross profit plan from you for the current financial year.
4.3 5 1065
| Rating: (4.3 / 5.0)

Onlinestar, an online retailer of furniture and garden products (core business), has grown significantly in recent years as a result of an expansion of its product portfolio. The company mainly imports goods from Chinese manufacturers but also operates its own production of cat lavatories (special b ... Open whole case

Nutripremium

Solved 71.1k times
Nutripremium Nutripremium is a very well-known premium nutrition food company in Europe (€1 billion revenue last year). It is based in Spain and has an excellent market share not only in its home country but also in Portugal, France, Italy and Germany.  Nutripremium has two main lines of products: Vitamin-supplements for pregnant women Concentrated dehydrated aliments and vitamin pills for sick patients (with Diabetes or Cancer). The CEO of Nutripremium thinks that the market in Europe is starting to get saturated and wants you to analyze the Chinese market. What are the key areas you would explore to determine whether this is a good idea?
4.5 5 2286
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0) |

Nutripremium is a very well-known premium nutrition food company in Europe (€1 billion revenue last year). It is based in Spain and has an excellent market share not only in its home country but also in Portugal, France, Italy and Germany. Nutripremium has two main lines of products: Vitamin-su ... Open whole case

Children vaccine

Solved 63.2k times
Children vaccine Beyer, one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world, just invented a very reliable vaccine against Chickenpox, a disease that affects children in the age from 2 to 16 years. Beyer came to you wondering what their potential sales in Europe in the first year would be if they launched this product next year. They are only interested in the overall sales revenue as they already know that the vaccine can be sold for a profit. This is more meant to show them how big the volume they have to supply is and what the revenue would be.
4.4 5 2300
| Rating: (4.4 / 5.0) |

Beyer, one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world, just invented a very reliable vaccine against Chickenpox, a disease that affects children in the age from 2 to 16 years. Beyer came to you wondering what their potential sales in Europe in the first year would be if they launched this ... Open whole case