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Your approach to the International Business assignment should begin with identifying a specific international business challenge with strategic relevance for the organisation and where your analysis and findings will make a real contribution to better, more informed strategic decision-making. The suggested approach is to identify a potential topic (or selection of topics) at the very start of your study (and preferably even before attending the workshop) and to refine your thinking as you progress through the material. Reflect on your identified topic/s as you read, analyse and discuss the material and the cases in the module.
You could choose one of the following two options in identifying the potential topic for your International Business assignment:
A. Focus on a current international business problem or opportunity, conduct the appropriate analysis and develop scenarios as probable solutions.
B. Focus on a past international business problem or opportunity, conduct a critical analysis of the course of action taken at the time, and propose recommendations moving forward.
This report explores the market entry strategy adopted by Suzlon Energy, a wind turbine manufacturer to enter South Africa in 2010. The rationale to select this case is that it shows how a company from an emerging market was able to expand globally. The major reason for Suzlon to explore other opportunities was the growing demand for wind energy as an alternative source of electricity in the international market
Suzlon identified that South Africa was developing and offered attractive opportunities for its products and growth. With the growing customer base in South Africa, the report analyses how the company could enter a country and establish itself as a market leader. The strategy had to take into account the following considerations.
- Creating a practical business model
- Go-to-market strategy
- Prioritize the target market segments – enterprises, government, service providers and telecom operators
The company faced the following challenges in selecting a suitable country for its market penetration.
- The attractiveness of the countries in terms of customer base, applicability, the ease of venturing and the threats
- The strategy to be adopted for market entry – turnkey projects or strategic investments
- The country best suited for Suzlon's expansion plan in 2010
- Budget allocation new markets were difficult to gain as the cost of selling and other expenses varied across countries
Based on the country and ease of doing the business evaluation, Suzlon chose South Africa. The main reason was the growth in the non-renewable energy market and the government's support in constructing wind farms in the country. Its go-to-market strategy became successful with the usage of strategic partnership agreements with suppliers and service providers. The company was able to deliver the products and services in the South African market in line with its vision of offering cost-effective but sophisticated technology solutions to its customers.
This had laid a foundation for exploring the nearby economies. Suzlon had used South Africa as its base to expand into other Sub-Saharan countries.
Lack of local market expertise, competition from large and well-established players and talent acquisition were the major problems faced by Suzlon in entering new markets. As its future plans, Suzlon has to develop a product and positioning strategy to cater to its customers.
In the wind industry where technological innovation and knowledge and expertise development is essential for survival, European companies like Vestas and Siemens are market dominants.. Suzlon Energy, an Indian wind turbine manufacturer has progressed to the top 5 positions, demonstrating how an Emerging Multinational Enterprises (EMNE) has the capability to become first movers at the international level.
With the ascension of emerging economies as key drivers of global economic growth, the competitive environment in the wind energy industry and internationalization to emerging markets, companies were forced to rethink and innovate and restructure their business models for success in their new ventures. To gain a competitive advantage in emerging economies, companies require capabilities to handle country or market-specific change drivers such as – swift growth and soaring demand in combination with higher level of uncertainty; slower level of market-based macroeconomic development; government influence on the industry and its growth; and the increasing need for simpler, cheaper and sophisticated technologies. Therefore, it is important for managers to position their companies in emerging economies appropriately.
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