Blue ocean pedagogical materials, used in nearly 3,000 universities and in almost every country in the world, go beyond the standard case-based method. Our multimedia cases and interactive exercises are designed to help you build a deeper​ understanding of key blue ocean concepts, from blue ocean strategy to nondisruptive creation, developed by world-renowned professors Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. Currently, with over 20 Harvard bestselling cases.






Driving Sustainable Growth and Empowering Society: Nickel’s Blue Ocean Beyond Disruption

Author(s): KIM, W. Chan, MAUBORGNE, Renée, PIPINO, Mélanie

Case study trailer


Nickel, a French fintech established in 2014, aimed to provide accessible banking services to underserved populations. Their innovative ‘bank in a box’ concept, requiring only an ID, a mobile phone, and €20, was distributed through local tobacco stores in France, which are an integral part of French daily life. In under five minutes, customers could acquire an International Bank Account Number and a ready-to-use Mastercard debit card. Did any bank go out of business or downsize because of Nickel? No. Instead, Nickel opened a nondisruptive new market beyond the bounds of the traditional banking industry. With it, the once financially excluded won, Nickel won, the tobacco stores won, and importantly, no one was made worse off.

Nondisruptive creation is a term coined by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne in their books Beyond Disruption (2023) and Blue Ocean Shift (2017) to describe the approach of creating new markets without disrupting existing industries. Nickel’s success led to its acquisition by BNP Paribas in 2017 for over €200 million. But beyond financial success, Nickel’s nondisruptive creation also had a profound social impact, offering cost-effective access to basic banking services and empowering marginalized individuals. In 2023, the company still thrives, serving 3 million clients and expanding across Europe..

Teaching Objectives:

This case is intended for use in both MBA and executive classrooms, with the following main teaching objectives:

  • Analyzing how Nickel unlocked a nondisruptive new market by solving a long-existing unaddressed problem.
  • Investigating the factors that prevented the banking industry from addressing this longstanding problem.
  • Understanding the key factors behind the success and profitability of Nickel’s nondisruptive creation.
  • Exploring what nondisruptive creation is and what the major advantages of this market-creating method are.

Case Study

HBSP | Case Centre | INSEAD

Teaching Note

HBSP | Case CentreINSEAD