APIS ALBA: International Expansion Into Latin America
Paras Chachondhia (MBA), Emmanuel Dunlap (MBA), David Durfee (MBA), Shao-Jung Lin (MBA)
Title: International Expansion Into Latin America
Subject Area: International Business, Global Expansion Strategy
Region: Latin America (Brazil & Chile)
Industry: Food Retail/Agriculture
Company: Apis Alba
After ten years of steady operations in Belarus, Olga and Alexander Gavrilik, co-founders of Apis Alba, have determined growth will require expanding their customer base (Exhibit 1). Although profitable, a desire to share their unique products and the changing political stability in Belarus have motivated Apis Alba to seek consumers in new global markets. With the political climate in Belarus quickly deteriorating and new economic sanctions from the West for the recent grounding of a commercial airliner and removal of passengers at the direction of Belarus’s President, Alexander Lukashenko, global expansion has become more urgent for Apis Alba and will be critical for their future success. Utilizing ancient bee-keeping traditions and modern technology, Apis Alba manufactures and sells raw honey, honey more nutritious than commercial honey, and proprietary whipped honeys. All products are manufactured in Belarus with products currently exported and sold in the USA, Russia, Georgia, Japan, and Singapore. With interest in Latin America, Apis Alba must determine where to expand business operations and how to best bring their products to market to increase revenues and reduce risk. The following analysis focuses on the markets of Brazil and Chile and provides an in-depth overview of the opportunities and threats in the honey and non-honey sweetener markets.
Key questions for Apis Alba to answer
- Should Apis Alba enter the market of Brazil or Chile?
- What is the best strategy to enter each market?
- What is the best way to position the product in the selected market?
Investment to Personal Capital: Elucidating CORE:
- Emmanuel – MBA student, leveraged operations and supply chain management experience to analyze effective process flow and predict customer behavior.
- David – MBA student, utilized experience as sales executive to provide insights into targeting consumers and developing a market entry strategy.
- Elsa – MBA student, implemented the knowledge from her first master’s degree in Project Management and her consulting experiences to demonstrate applicable data and perform systematic analysis for the company’s strategic planning.
- Paras – MBA student, used consulting knowledge and analytical skills to compare markets and performed competitor analysis.
Investment to Social Capital:
The team was given an introductory PowerPoint presentation on Apis Alba along with their company website. We valued the video message from the client, submitted thoughtful questions to the company’s representatives, and received feedback in the proper direction to best serve the client’s needs. This interactive process established our promising client-consultant relationship. Our client’s needs were a unique blend of boutique retail mixed with environmentally conscious agriculture preservation. To gain the client’s trust and a further understanding of the case, we performed extensive research on our target markets and the findings were presented in the project with added recommendations using the rubrics and frameworks we were taught in class. The team used Apis Alba’s existing brand and local market presence to leverage opportunities in the new markets by conducting a PESTLE and SWOT analysis in each country. We also reference multiple exhibits to help aid in our final verdict.
Investment to Professional Capital:
From the in-depth understanding gained by performing the country and industry comparative analysis, we were able to choose the best country for Apis Alba by providing sound evidence to solidify our decision. By using the SWOT analysis, we were able to match each countries’ opportunities to the company’s strengths and each countries’ threats to the company’s weaknesses. Given the discoveries, we decided that Chile is the most viable option due to its superior political, legal, social, and industry factors. There was also a stronger demand for a high-end honey product in Chile as opposed to Brazil which was the biggest variable that led to our decision.
Performing this project was helpful for every member of the team by giving us global consultation strategy experience in a realistic exercise. We took the information we learned in class and from the textbook and implemented it in our research and recommendations to our client. The project allowed us to practice problem reduction by starting with a big, complicated issue and breaking it down into key digestible variables and then presenting it in a streamlined and easy-to-read format. We plan to use the tools gained in this project for future professional endeavors.