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Singapore is a city located in the South East Asia off the south tip of Malaysia, 137 kilometers North of the equator. The country is an island; connected to Malaysia by a bridge and causeway. It is a high-tech state that is highly urbanized, though about half of the country is greenery. Once a British colony, Singapore occupies one thousand square kilometers with a population of 5.2 million as at 2010. The main languages spoken are English, Malay, Tamil and Chinese (Singapore, 2011). Its leaders are known for their conservatism and the state’s strict social controls. This paper discusses how Nokia will be selling in Singapore in the next three years.
Singapore is a free port with a positive environment for international business operations and favorable investment potential. Singapore has one of the most free, competitive, business-friendly and innovative economies. This is attributed to the fact that the state’s economy is the second freest in the world, Hong Kong taking the first place, while its corruption rate one of the world's least. This makes it a suitable environment for foreign investments, due to its ample location, skilled workforce, corruption-free environment, advanced infrastructure and low tax rates.
Singapore relies heavily on international labor, due to its high demand of workforce in the growing sectors, such as information technology and software engineering. This is due to the high demand for professionals, while there is insufficient supply of graduate locals.
We plan to market the Nokia phones accessories and other products in this country. Nokia is the leading cell phone manufacturer in the globe possessing fifteen manufacturing facilities and over 68 000 employees all over the world. The communication technology giant continues to innovate, and is one of the world’s most valuable brands. It has dominated the cell phone market for a long time. However, its market share is constricting, due to the global economic recession and the competition it faces from the Korean Samsung and United States firm Motorola (Boone and David 142).
Presentation of a Country Profile
Infrastructure and Technology Adaptation
To facilitate the delivery of goods and services, information and support economic growth, a country has to develop the efficient infrastructure. Singapore has highly developed infrastructures in the world. In the Asia-Pacific, both Singapore and South Korea are internationally-recognized for their strong internet networks. In Singapore, technological address dominates the digital media scenes and education with technology seen as a vital tool to be used to ensure this small nation stays ahead of the competition.
The Singaporean infrastructure has assisted in realizing the social objectives; for instance, raising the standards of living and that of educational levels. Singapore has a remarkably strong education system.
The government has set up agencies to cater for infrastructural developments, which for instance, has seen the development of housing in the state. Also, the country has a very strong Internet system and telecommunication services. It has exceptionally good road network, a public mass-based transportation system, air transport and port. The government has been much supportive in encouraging E-commerce in 1998, ensuring manufacturing companies employ the value-added products and establishing an IT plan called Singapore 1 in 2000 to for high internet speed.
Singapore has very high living standards, and is a clean and modern country. Since its population comprises of Chinese, Indian, Malay and Eurasian communities, its business culture is formal with several rules of etiquette varying between Chinese, Indian and Malay members. However, the Chinese culture largely influences the business culture, since they are the majority in Singapore population. English is the working language, while Chinese, Tamil and Malay are the official languages.
Some companies and businesses have a five-day work week, except for the service industry; Singaporeans work for 40-45 hours a week on average. Singaporeans are good team players, and will mostly work harmoniously rather than competitively. It is crucial to make advance appointments, at least two weeks, to avoid the Deepawali and Ramzan, when most businesses close. The businesses follow a hierarchal structure where senior members lead. In meetings, people of the same level will sit opposite each other. Bargain is tough, and so negotiation is slow, while business deals should be formalized through an agreement or a contract. Group’s interests are more salient than individual ones; networking is essential and is mainly done through attending functions, such as seminars, business lunches, events and dinners. In Singapore business culture, gifts are appropriate, for instance, at the conclusion of a business deal.
Given the Diversity of Cultures, what Kinds of Opportunities Exist, and What Are the Positive Outcomes (for the Company) with this New Venture?
Singapore continues to rely heavily on technology investments to stay ahead of the competition. Therefore, enhanced telecommunication is essential and/or data storage, in order to support the ever-increasing masses. This is a fantastic opportunity to diverse Nokia products.
Secondly, Nokia is a strong brand which gives us more advantage over other brands. Nokia continues to advance in innovation by its enormous investments in research and development. This has seen the company leading in various technologies, such as the invention of energy saving batteries. Additionally, Nokia products are known as one of the leading quality in the world. This is a plus for our marketing, since we are assured of return customers once they use the product, and it serves well.
Moreover, the changes in lifestyle expected in Singapore, as the government continues to reclaim land for urban development means that residents will demand more advanced communication gadgets, which Nokia has reliability to make. Singapore is one of the countries with the greatest concentration of individuals who are millionaires which is a good market to invest.
What Are the Potential Problems and How do You Overcome Them?
There is an increase in labor costs due to the high literacy rates in this country. This is challenging for small businesses. However, we can overcome this by outsourcing experts from other countries, instead of relying on locals entirely. This will help to cut on the start-up cost.
Secondly, other cell phone industries have launched the new smart phones technology ahead of Nokia, which means that many consumers are already attached to other brands, and it would be hard to convince them to switch to another brand. Thus, market penetration will not be easy. We plan to overcome this by being more aggressive in advertisement convincing customers why they should buy our products and insisting on better quality of our products.
The cultural diversity will also be a challenge, since Singapore is a multiethnic population. There are different ways of doing things among the various people. However, we will solve this by concentrating more on teamwork in groups of member representatives of the different ethnicities and religion, so as to learn more about them and not bend any rules.
Give a 3-Year Projection for Your Business Sales and Net Income.
In a period of three years, we expect to penetrate well in the market and make considerable sales.
What Kinds of Support are Required from the Home Country?
The home country needs to support our marketing plans by providing a fair-play market for all businesses by enforcing favorable protection rights to the international players. Secondly, the government should offer to train on various key business requirements, such as taxes and advertisement restrictions. There is also a need for labor support from the host country.
In conclusion, based on the above findings, doing marketing in Singapore has its pros and cons. However, the ease of doing business there, the opportunities available, as well as the good business environment posed by the country seem to overcome the challenges it poses. The challenges of competition from other partners, coping with the diverse cultures and labor costs can be well dealt with; which makes me go for the idea of doing business in this country.
In my opinion, we should first learn about the culture profiles and requirements for doing business in Singapore before starting to work on it. Therefore, I would recommend postponing this venture for a period of about three months.