Bangkok motorbike

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Problem Definition

If you have ever been in Bangkok, you would have noticed these motorcycles transporting people from A to B as an alternative means of transportation. These motorcycles typically transport people on short distances such as nearby train stations, supermarkets or food stalls.

Your job is to estimate how much profit a motorcycle can generate in a month’s work meaning that you have to estimate both revenue & cost to be able to estimate profit.


Since this is a candidate-led case, the candidate should drive the case from start to finish.

This is a fairly simple case, but candidate will receive a lot of info & data verbally, so the case is meant to test a candidate's ability to remember info & data provided verbally and if they can summarize it and use it.

This case also helps the candidate to practice note-taking & listening effectively.

Short Solution (Expand)

Detailed Solution

Paragraphs highlighted in green indicate diagrams or tables that can be shared in the “Case exhibits” section.

Paragraphs highlighted in blue can be verbally communicated to the interviewee.

Paragraphs highlighted in orange indicate hints for you how to guide the interviewee through the case.

Suggested case structure:

  • First, candidate should explain his approach by saying that he wants to estimate revenue first, then costs and then profits.
  • If candidate isn't familiar with the country or business, he should ask questions to get more information or data.
  • The candidate should also think about the data or information he needs to calculate profits.

I. Background

To start the case off, candidate should ask for more background information on this motorbike business. If he already knows about it, he should still ask for background info so he doesn't make any wrong assumptions.

Background information that can be shared upon request: Each motorbike-driver is assigned to a station from which customers are served. Each station has 5 drivers. The motorbike delivers the passenger to the destination, then drives back empty and waits his turn. This is done so that each driver transports the same number of passengers as part of a fair distribution system. A driver can therefore only benefit from morning rush or evening rush depending on his/her location. If a driver's station is nearby an office building for example, they only benefit from the evening rush. Most rides take about 10 minutes and are between home/office and metro-station or home/office and nearby restaurants.

II. Analysis

Candidate should ask for data & information to calculate revenue & costs. Below is the information that can be shared upon request:

Working hours

Each driver works 14 hours a day from 06.00 AM to 08.00 PM. Drivers work 7 days a week. On Friday & Saturday night, drivers work until midnight to benefit from entertainment traffic.


Each ride takes about 10 minutes including the empty return-drive to point of pick-up/assigned station.

Rush hours & capacity

Morning rush-hours on weekdays are from 06.00 AM to 09.00 AM - drivers work at 100% capacity. No need to wait in line. Evening rush-hours on weekdays are from 05.00 PM to 08.00 PM - drivers work at 100% capacity. No need to wait in line. Off-peak hours on weekdays and weekends drivers work at 50% capacity due to limited demand. Rush-hours on friday/saturday-nights from 08.00 pm to midnight, drivers work at 100% capacity. Remember that driver benefits only from morning or evening rush, not both. If a driver benefits from morning rush, his/her evening rush is similar to off-peak hours, so operating at 50% capacity.


Each ride costs $0.50 cent.


Monthly installment payments are $30. Monthly permit fees are $50. Monthly gas expenses are $100.

III. Analysis

Calculating number of rides:

Assuming our driver benefits from morning rush hour, we can calculate the number rides during:

Peak-hours on weekdays. Off-peak hours on weekdays. Peak-hours on weekend-nights. Off-peak hours on weekends.

With this formula we can calculate number of rides for one week for each time-segment.

Share Table 1 with candidate if required.

Calculating total monthly revenue:

Total rides per week: 387 rides.

Total rides per month: 387*4=1,548 rides.

Total revenue per month: 1,548*$0.50=$774

Calculating total monthy cost:

Installment fee+permit fees+fuel costs=$30+$50+$100=$180.

Calculating monthly profit:



Difficult Questions

  • Would you consider the total profits as a realistic number?
    • If yes, why?
    • If no, why?
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Francesco updated the best answer on Mar 27, 2018 - 1 answer
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Hi Elisey, I would personally not recommend to use a single framework for all the so-called business situations (M&A, Entry, New product, Operations etc). Although this would help to more easil... (more)

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Hi - How to appraoch this case?
Anonymous updated the best answer on Apr 17, 2017 - 1 answer

Hi there, I would start by asking some general questions to have a better feeling on the case: 1) Does our client provides this new service elsewhere? If not, does our client already has the cap... (more)

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Vlad gave the best answer on Apr 03, 2017 - 2 answers
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Hi, 1) You proactively ask in the beginning, even before drawing the structure (something like "What kind of products / revenue sources do we have) and then split the structure into price, qty,... (more)

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Sidi gave the best answer on Aug 13, 2018 - 1 answer
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Hi Kay, this is indeed one of the fundamental things that you need to learn in order to rigorously disaggregate the value drivers of a business. The driver tree allows you to identify the numerical d... (more)

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Case exhibits