Posted: November 27th, 2013
As a company dealing with dealing with paper and wood products, Stora Enso has operations in over thirty-five countries worldwide. Its headquarters are in Helsinki, Finland. Apart from the countries in Europe, other countries outside Europe where it operates include Brazil, China and India (Yahoo News, 2011). As is well noted, China and India are two most populous countries in the world. Penetrating these countries was quite a challenge, as they are quite conservative markets. In the case involving China, penetrating the country’s market becomes quite a challenge especially when one fails to master their culture and the natives fail to gain trust in the investor. This also applies to India and other countries with deep-rooted traditions and cultures.
Launching the company in China was not an easy task as expected. The company had to gain the confidence from the Chinese people. This was first done by having strategies aimed at familiarizing the company to the Chinese. Campaigns were carried out that brought awareness to the company’s products (Stora Enso, 2011). In the Chinese culture, meetings are meant to gather information but not to have any decisions, whether formal or informal, made. Many meetings were held between the company and the Chinese suppliers to familiarize them with the company’s products. Although it was difficult at first to get through to them, the company slowly started getting into agreements with the members of the host nation.
The Chinese are very protective of their market. They are very careful before accepting companies that will penetrate the market and then make the local companies lose their market or even close down completely. It was necessary for the company to have strategies that would convince the Chinese people as a whole that the company was there for their benefit rather than to bring the other local companies down. This same protective nature was also experienced in India (Burns, 1998). In fact, the company had to use an Indian representative in order to penetrate the Indian market. Another country that had similar problems was Brazil. The countries in Europe were easier to penetrate as the parent company was in the same continent and the strategies to be applied were more or less the same in these countries.
The company had to use specific strategies when penetrating the market in some countries as compared to others. As mentioned earlier, China and India were harder to penetrate than the other countries. The company had to use strategies such as first familiarizing with the environment before setting up the business. It also tried to gain the people’s confidence before opening shop, including using advertisements, campaigns and projects in order to ensure that the people had the full trust and confidence in the company. In the end, business picked up in this country although it was not as easy initially as in the other countries.
The way of conducting oneself in the meetings and even publicly had to be learnt by both the company’s directors and the staff. This is because any misconduct would be interpreted as a sign of disrespect, which would lead to a loss of the people’s trust and confidence (MacGregor, 2001). As the old saying goes “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”. The company was determined to gain the confidence of the particular country’s people, as it hoped to do business successfully with the native population. For instance, there was no need of doing things in the Finnish way while one was selling products to the Brazilians. A few adjustments had to be done depending on the particular country’s interest. These are the main reasons as to the company’s massive growth throughout the world.
Burns, R. (1998). Doing business in Asia: A cultural perspective. South Melbourne: Longman
MacGregor, A. J. (2001). Managing sub cultures: The impact of culture on European business integration.
Stora Enso (2011). About us and Branches Contacts. Retrieved from http://www.storaenso.com/about-us/Pages/welcome-to-stora-enso.aspx
Yahoo News (2011). Industry Center- Diversified Machinery. Retrieved from http://biz.yahoo.com/ic/90/90932.html
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