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Apis Alba- The Honey Trail from Belarus to South Asia

Title: Apis Alba- The Honey Trail from Belarus to South Asia

Subject Area: Managing a Global Enterprise

Company: Apis Alba

Region: Belarus, South Asia

Industry: Honey products

Timeframe: 2021

Dilemma

In the Summer of 2021, Apis Alba, a honey manufacturer based in Belarus, was looking to expand into the South Asian region. Due to increasing economic and political turmoil in Belarus, co-founders Olga and Alex Gavrilik, faced a difficult decision: What country should they expand to next and how? South Asia was particularly interesting to the founders because the area had a healthy sauces and spices market size and based on initial analysis, India and Indonesia were both viable markets ripe with opportunity. India’s rapidly growing middle-class, and urbanization indicated a growth in Apis Alba’s target customers, who were predominately young women with high disposable income. Meanwhile, Indonesia’s market had a high demand for international honey products due to national demand outpacing their domestic honey production. Apis Alba’s premium honey products and expertise in their honey’s multitude of health benefits are strong competitive advantages, but their limited financial and manufacturing capacity meant the firm had to decide on their next moves quickly to ensure a successful global expansion strategy.

Investment to Personal Capital: Elucidating CORE

The small team was able to bring together a range of experience and expertise both personally and professionally to collect, analyze and utilize data to make a detailed expansion plan for our client.

  • Rachel Morel: MBA student, leveraging expertise in the condiment industry worldwide and experience of supply chain logistics and consumer market trends.
  • Amy Martin: MBA student, took advantage of international financial knowledge, market entry experience and cultural experiences through travel.
  • Y-Lan Nguyen: MBA student, utilized international experience working within the South Asian region and piloting products in emerging markets.

 

Investment to Social Capital: Embedding in the Company and Industry

Our team collected information from various sources to complete an in-depth analysis of Apis Alba, India, Indonesia, and the surrounding South Asian countries. For the company background, we relied on our correspondence and slides from Olga Gavrilik, the founder of Apis Alba. The team then collected financial, operational, legal, and organizational information from mostly government databases and other reliable online sources, such as The World Bank. The team then utilized PESTEL, Porter’s Five Forces, and SWOT frameworks to analyze the data and develop our recommendation to the client.

Investment to Professional Capital: Adding Value

Through the class, the team learned how to conduct extensive research on the markets considered and how to utilize frameworks to come to a logical recommendation. Our team first gathered all the data we could on the client’s business model and identified their strengths and weaknesses. We then identified key metrics of ideal markets for expansion based on the client’s needs and quickly eliminated certain countries in the South Asian region to leave us with two viable markets: India and Indonesia. By applying key concepts, such as political, legal and economic systems, and Hofstede’s dimensions among others, our team was able to identify opportunities within each market that the client could feasibly capitalize on for market entry and future growth. With our extensive research, we were able to recommend an implementation plan that included a positioning strategy, global strategy, mode of entry, and staffing recommendations.

Capital Utilization: Developing Tools for the Future

This project also acted as a steppingstone for each member’s professional journey. Below each team member explains how their contributions have helped shape their professional goals.

  • Rachel Morel: Currently working in the consumables retail industry in the United States, this project has provided a lens of international business and what risks may be associated to expanding items into further territories. This project has opened her eyes into international risk and flipped her perspective from buyer to seller. The project has allowed her to utilize her profession as a crutch for how the new country may receive the honey, and what we can do as the “seller” or consultant to create one successful and cohesive program.
  • Amy Martin: Currently working in the education industry for a university that is constantly identifying business opportunities both domestically and internationally. This project has highlighted the key risks when entering a new market and successful solutions to overcome the risks. This project has set her up to become a key contributor in the working groups for the next international development opportunities.

Y-Lan Nguyen: With plans to develop a career in early product management and commercial strategy in the pharmaceutical/life science industry, she plans to use the frameworks and knowledge gained from this project to apply to real-life strategic questions of where to launch a new product and when. Due to the nuances and unique barriers that come with international business, it prepared her to find answers to potentially tough questions.

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