7BU023 International Business Context And Finance Assignment Sample

International Business and Finance: Comprehensive Assignment Guide

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Introduction Of International Business Context And Finance

This report aims to evaluate the market expansion strategies for AllSaints UK and their expansion in the India. The coronavirus pandemic had a significant adverse effect on the fashion industry, which generates $2.5 trillion in global revenues. As a consequence of the demise of the event industry, the epidemic has greatly reduced demand for clothes and other luxury products. Similar to numerous other fashion brands, All Saints UK, a fashion house based in the United Kingdom, was also affected by the pandemic (Baliyan, 2021). The third quarter sales of the company experienced a decline of 12%, which can be attributed to the inability of its primary customer base in Asia to make physical purchases from its stores due to the ongoing pandemic. Given the prevailing situation, fashion enterprises such as All Saints UK required alternative avenues to market their merchandise to sustain their operations and maintain profitability. One of the best alternatives during the AllSaints UK pandemic was online selling (Allsaints.com revenue | ecommerceDB.com”, 2022). The company's sales are currently 47% from international markets, which are anticipated to increase as the company pursues further expansion.

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About the Brand

All saints are a fashion retailer headquartered in London, UK. The company sells women swear, mean wear along with accessories in approximately 281 stores. They sell their products through standalone retail stores, departmental stores and websites. They have around 2400 employees in 27 different nations including USA, France, Mexico, Canada, Japan, South Korea, and China besides UK. The company was founded in 1994 by Stuart Trevor and Kait Bolongaro. They started with a wholesale menswear brand and gradually expanded in women swear in 1998. The brand "All Saints" caters to a contemporary demographic of individuals between the ages of 18 and 35, seeking fashionable, sophisticated, and premium leather-based merchandise. The company offers a range of products including Menswear, Women swear, Footwear, accessories, and swimwear. These products are sold through a network of 150 directly operated stores located in 16 countries, as well as an e-commerce store. The company's focus is on both High-End and High-Street fashion. The establishment of the wholesale menswear brand occurred in 1994, under the leadership of Stuart Trevor and Kait Bolongaro. AllSaints underwent a change in ownership in 2011, as a result of management issues, with Lion Capital assuming control. In 2012, William Kim, the newly appointed CEO of AllSaints, implemented effective management strategies. As a consequence, AllSaints has achieved sales of £308 million over a period of four years and has successfully established itself as a worldwide brand, employing a workforce of 3,000 individuals (ALLSAINTS | Iconic Leather Jackets, Clothing & Accessories”. (2022). the company is also involved in social works and philanthropy. In 2011, the company entered in long term partnership along with “Not For sale” organization and launched a T-shirt brand whose profits went to the victims of human trafficking. They also support homeless charity shelters.

Figure 1 AllSaint Brand

AllSaint Brand

Source by: ALLSAINTS | Iconic Leather Jackets, Clothing & Accessories”. (2022).

Critical Evaluation of Business Focus and its Target Market

Target market

AllSaints has established a brand image catering to the adolescent demographic, young adults, and those with a youthful mindset. The customer demographic in question has historically been overlooked by other apparel enterprises in favor of catering to an adult clientele. The AllSaints Corporation employs a distinctive approach by featuring various generations in its advertising campaigns. These ads in India will show that AllSaints is more than just another trendy brand for the youth of tomorrow; its customers are already at the forefront of fashion (Jain, 2020). AllSaints Company has the potential to cultivate a distinct brand identity in India as a contemporary clothing line catering to the current generation. It found that the influence of celebrities in marketing was comparable to that of young consumers (Ahmad et al., 2019). This strategy has yielded substantial profit gains, and there is no apparent reason why it would also be ineffective in India.

In the Apparel industry, domestic players hold a dominant position, either through their proprietary brands or via licensing arrangements with foreign brands. Over the recent years, licensing and partnership agreements have undergone a transformation to align with the market dynamics of the Indian retail industry. As a result of the relaxation of FDI regulations, numerous foreign corporations have elected to establish subsidiaries and/or modify their operational strategies within the nation. Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridges have chosen to adopt an asset-light approach in their business operations (Tien et al.,2019). The company is adopting the e-tailing approach to enter the Indian market through a partnership with the online retailer Jabong. The entry of Amazon into the Indian market has prompted consolidation among local online retailers, as evidenced by the merger of Flipkart and Myritza, in order to maintain competitiveness.

Online shopping will become an important channel in the apparel industry with increased Internet penetration (now at roughly 10%), more access to smartphones and payment cards, aggressive pricing, and marketing. According to recent data, the online apparel market accounted for a mere one percent of the overall apparel industry in 2013. However, projections indicate that this figure is expected to increase to four percent by the year 2025. The online apparel market has been taken a lift from 9% to 25% (Technavio, 2023).

Competitor analysis

SL no Competitors Name Origin Revenue
1. Jack Wills UK $20M in 2022
2. H&M Europe $22.15B
3. Primark UK $7.7B
4. BoohooMAN UK $260M
5. New Look UK $1.5B
6. Marks & Spencer UK $14.30B

Table 1 Competitors analysis of AllSaints

Source by: Created by author

International brands operating in India are significantly expanding their operations and augmenting their number of stores to align with the magnitude of their domestic counterparts. Marks & Spencer has outlined its intention to elevate its store count to 100, whereas AllSaints has expressed its plan to inaugurate 18 new stores. H&M, a major Swedish retailer, is anticipated to initiate operations in the current year and has announced plans to establish 50 retail outlets in India.

AllSaints focuses exclusively on a particular style that encompasses vintage elements with an industrial aesthetic, British chic rock 'n' roll, and a romantically pre-aged appearance. It is suggested that AllSaints may contemplate the introduction of a line of basic products at a comparatively reduced price point, with the aim of broadening its consumer demographic. Expanding the range would enhance the brand's contemporaneity and enable it to maintain competitiveness in the market alongside other brands like Zara and H&M. As a result of this meticulous attention to detail and commitment to creating really original designs, AllSaints has established itself as a premium brand that consistently delivers high-quality goods that stand the test of time (Jain et al., 2021).

The Apparel industry is characterized by a significant level of competition, with Indian brands that have established themselves as first movers enjoying a strong foothold in the market. The company has successfully developed a robust retail distribution system and enjoys a favorable level of brand recognition among its customer base.

Identification and Evaluation of Geopolitical, Economic and Legal Barriers

  • Political Factors:India, as a prominent democratic nation, operates under a federal system of governance. The political landscape is subject to significant influence from various factors, including governmental policies, the interests of politicians, and the ideologies espoused by multiple political parties. The Indian business environment is influenced by a variety of political factors. The Union Government has established a comprehensive taxation system encompassing various taxes, including income tax, amenities tax, and sales tax (Detailed PESTEL Analysis of India | EdrawMax Online”, 2020). Local authorities are responsible for managing additional taxes, such as octroi and utilities. The process of privatization is subject to government influence, with various programs being implemented to promote free enterprise.
  • Economic Factors:Since the implementation of manufacturing reform policies in 1991, the economy of India has exhibited a notable degree of stability. India's economic environment has experienced a consistent improvement due to various policy measures such as reductions in industrial licensing, liberalization of foreign capital, and the formation of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIBP). The projected GDP at current prices for the fiscal year 2022-23 is expected to reach Rs 272.04 lakh crore, indicating a growth rate of 15.9 percent compared to the previous year's figure of Rs 234.71 lakh crore in 2021-22 (“Macro environmental Analysis of India - PESTEL Analysis”, 2022).

Figure 3 Pestle analysis of India

Pestle analysis of India

Source by: (“Macro environmental Analysis of India - PESTEL Analysis”, 2022)

  • Social Factors:Social factors pertain to alterations in patterns that could have an effect on the commercial milieu. The increase in India's elderly population has led to a significant surge in pension expenses and a rise in the recruitment of senior employees. India's population exceeds 1.2 billion individuals, with approximately 70% of the populace aged between 15 and 65 years. Hence, there exist structures that are categorized based on age percentages. These structures exhibit diverse degrees of flexibility in areas such as education, work ethics, and income allocation, among others (Ahmad et al., 2020).
  • Technological Factors:The impact of technology on product development is substantial, as it also facilitates the implementation of novel cost-reduction strategies. India has access to both 4G and 5G technologies, which have enabled the implementation of numerous technological initiatives. Moreover, the nation boasts one of the most robust information technology industries globally, fostering perpetual information technology progress, software enhancements, and other technological breakthroughs. India has made efforts to launch its satellites into space in recent times (“How India is emerging as the world & rsquo;s technology and services hub”. 2023).
  • Legal & Environmental Factors:India has recently undergone several legal modifications, including those related to recycling, minimum wage, and discrimination based on which have had a direct impact on businesses operating within the country. The impact of industrialization and urbanization on the environment has had a detrimental effect on the air quality in India, leading to various health concerns (Paul, 2019). Consequently, there has been a proliferation of environmental advocacy organizations, implementation of noise abatement measures, and enactment of policies governing waste management and disposal.

Organizations that have established a presence in India are accustomed to encountering these obstacles

Legal Challenge:The legal system of India is characterized by its intricate nature, while the courts are faced with a significant burden of cases. There exist numerous procedural compliance requirements that must be strictly followed prior to the commencement of operations for an establishment in India. At times, prior to commencing operations, investors may become embroiled in legal conflicts pertaining to property and related matters (Mangla et al., 2019). Consequently, foreign enterprises are required to navigate through a series of bureaucratic procedures to acquire the requisite licenses and authorizations to commence operations in India. Both citizens and non-citizens must endure a waiting period of several months.

  • Infrastructure Challenge:The process of identifying an appropriate location in India can pose a significant challenge for international corporations. Owing to inadequate professional infrastructure and substantial market demands, corporations are compelled to reserve office spaces in buildings that are still under construction well in advance of their completion (D'Silva et al., 2019). This poses a significant inconvenience initially as the spaces are disproportionately large in relation to the number of individuals it accommodates. When a company experiences growth and expansion opportunities, the acquisition of additional office space in close proximity to the existing one can be regarded as a fortunate occurrence.
  • Political Instability Challenge:Numerous international corporations encounter the obstacle of political instability while conducting commercial operations in the Indian market. This type of issue frequently arises in situations where a dependable governmental authority is lacking. The occurrence of this phenomenon contributes to the escalation of business expenses, heightens the peril associated with conducting business operations, and occasionally diminishes the capacity of managers to anticipate business patterns (Beteille, 2020). The presence of political instability is often linked to a lack of effective legal framework and corruption, which can serve as deterrents to foreign investment.
  • Lobbying Challenge:Foreign corporations engaged in lobbying efforts that target various business-related issues, including but not limited to tariff arrangements and environmental policies. Enterprises that have made significant investments in pollution control measures may advocate for stringent environmental regulations to exert pressure on non-compliant rivals and place them at a disadvantageous position. Corporations engage in lobbying efforts to impose tariffs with the aim of constraining the competitive abilities of foreign enterprises.

Critical examination of organization's internationalization strategy

A discussion on international market entry strategies

As fashion customers are altering their habits and patterns of shopping and staying in touch with the preferred brands through digital platforms, it has become necessary for the organizations to keep their approaches more flexible than ever. As per data, market research appears to be one of the most integral parts of an industry that allows the small to large business ventures to invade an overseas market and to identify the customer segments as a whole (Hult et al. 2020). In relation to this insight, having a market entry strategy is vital for market growth and it aids in reaping the benefits in an effective manner. From this data, it can be identified that having a proper market entry strategy is essential to merchandise the products in the international market and it also demands precise planning as well as sound maintenance (Qi et al. 2020). Eminent British fashion retailer, AllSaints, specialized in menswear, womenswear, footwear and accessories is aimed at stepping in the fashion market of India to amaze the consumers out there with unique offerings at an affordable range. This endeavor of AllSaints UK has to be organized and well planned to outpace the established Indian fashion brands like Fabindia, Globus, Peter England and others. As per data, before expansion into the foreign land, choosing a strategy for market entry assists in capturing the untapped areas of the market and to ascertain the success at the same time (Grøgaard et al. 2019). In addition to that, choice of a market entry strategy permits the firms to design a marketing plan accordingly and to achieve the long-term goals in this process.

Market entry strategy in essence refers to the launching of a new service or product item to enter a marketplace that is completely alien to the firms (Smith et al. 2021). Once the organizations are done with the choice of strategy, it is ready to establish its invisible monopoly over the market and targeted group of customers. There are six major international market entry strategies that are generally leveraged by the organizations based on their feasibility and the condition of the chosen country for expansion. The six prevalent market entry strategies are direct exporting, licensing, strategic joint venture, franchising, partnering and acquisition (Pegan et al. 2021). Each of these entry strategies has their set of pros and cons that are to be identified prior to the market invasion. In the context of All Saints, UK, the choice of market entry will be completely influenced by the investment climate of the Indian fashion market and the prevailing condition of the economy, instrumental for sustenance of the business.

An overview of internationalization strategy of chosen company

All Saints, hailing from a British origin, has its global strategy in place that enables it to engage the global consumer base across diverse channels of marketing (All Saints, 2023). Enhanced investment in clothing categories has not only shaped the trajectory of All Saints, headquartered in UK, but also facilitated new moves like licensing and franchising to merchandise its new product offerings, perfumes and watches. Data even mentioned clearly that before the pandemic, All Saints made possible efforts to launch its jewelry collection by tactfully utilizing its licensing agreement with its US partner (Retail-Week, 2022). Despite the recent licensing move, All Saints UK has also embraced other market entry strategies like franchising and wholesaling to drive cost-effective growth for both UK as well as global markets. On a more precise note, currently the operation of All Saints is focusing on in-store retail and digital optimisation to carry forward the business journey further (Retail-Week, 2023). In this post-pandemic era, internationalization is heavily dependent on digital assets for creation of brand new opportunities for the organizations and to open up new markets day-by-day. As per data, internationalization in business has its plethora of benefits such as, linking communities with the world, increased degree of global competitiveness and contributing to the growth of global GDP (Virglerova et al. 2021). From this data, a clear idea can be derived that strategic efforts of fashion firms like All Saints aid the business to get acquainted with the global trends and how these trends keep altering on a regional basis.

Recently in UK, All Saints has directed its focus on small yet digital store operations to grapple with the pandemic induced financial loss and to recover its previous position at the same time (Business Cloud, 2023). In light of this data, the authorities of All Saints have justified their attempts by declaring that this strategic move is aimed at providing great services and products to the consumers and to reach them effortlessly via online format. To discuss more about the international policies in business by All Saints, it can also be highlighted that this organization has already expanded its presence into 30 countries all over the world (Retail-Week, 2022). Apart from that, this fashion player has witnessed the scope of major business growth in the Asian region and owing to that, made its first Asian debut in the year of 2014 to unlock limitless opportunities in this arena. Data has pointed out that in Asian countries like South Korea and Japan, All Saints is experimenting with franchise partnerships and licensing operations to spur growth at a substantial amount (All Saints, 2023). However, from the overall analysis, a clear idea can be derived that in the Indian market as well, All Saints would have to maintain the top-notch quality of its products to leave an indelible imprint in the mind of Indian customers.

Application of Uppsala framework

Internationalization of a business is not only about merchandising the products at global level, but also it entails utilization of standardized marketing endeavors, targeting the standardized marketing needs. On the other hand, the Uppsala model describes the process of internationalization as a process of enhancing the involvement, supported by organizational endeavors and changing environment of the commercial arena (Arvidsson and Arvidsson, 2019). Internationalization in reality influences primarily the domestic agents, responsible for price setting. In addition to that, internationalization in the micro level initially casts its spell on the pricing strategies and consumer behaviors, while in a macro level, it has its capacity to alter the incentives introduced by the public policy makers. As per data, Uppsala model of internationalization is one of the well-known models for assessing how the firms begin the process of internationalization and how attains the desired standard of the end results (Igwe et al. 2021). This model has further illustrated the stages of internationalization in business and segregated them into four that are highlighted below.

  • First Stage: Irregular export activities
  • Second Stage: Export through independent representatives
  • Third Stage: Establishment of foreign subsidiary of sales
  • Fourth Stage: Foreign units of manufacturing and production

These four stages advocated by the Uppsala model permit the firms to design their market entry strategy and to measure their viability at the same time. Moreover, the Uppsala model is also based on the four foundational concepts like market knowledge, market commitment, decisions of commitment and current activities (Bauske and Kubilay, 2022). The first two aspects market knowledge and market commitment have their impact on the later two aspects like commitment decisions and current activities. In turn, the market scenario and business operation keep altering and it advances more theoretical ideas of internationalization. Uppsala model and its foundational elements suggest to begin and to invest in a single country at a time, located in the proximity of the headquarter to avert the chances of mess (Sukunesan et al. 2020). In the context of All Saints, this organization has already expanded business in the countries near it and now is determined to invade the Indian fashion market to unravel the dormant opportunities in Asian markets. Furthermore, the Uppsala model usually supports the idea of indirect exporting and hence, it is not feasible for those countries that are planning to export directly to the host country (Kim et al. 2020).

Feasibility of the market entry strategy based on the investment climate in chosen country

Assessment of the investment climate appears to be most vital for a business prior to expansion in the foreign countries and it also helps in measuring the opportunities and drawbacks at the same time. As per data derived from the India Business Climate Survey 2022, the business climate of India is perceived to be good and it has led Swedish companies to seamlessly dominate the local markets (Business Sweden, 2022). On the other hand, it is also discovered that in Indian Territory, franchising appears to be one of the most lucrative business models. As per data, in 2022, franchising sector of business in India was projected to contribute 4% to the growth of Indian GDP (SME Futures, 2022). Hence, adoption of the franchising market entry model will be highly profitable for All Saints, UK to make its mark in the thriving fashion market of India and to establish its own monopoly. It can also be identified that India, currently being one of the fastest growing economies, is recovering rapidly from the economic decline. Therefore, establishment of franchising operations in India by All Saints will not only broaden the sphere, but also will create new opportunities of employment.

Recommendations on how the company could address some of the identified macro environmental challenges and issues

There are significant challenges that foreign companies can face in India. One of the major issues that AllSaints shall face is related to legislation challenge. Thus, it is recommended that Indian Government shall pass a separate legislation that shall deal with foreign companies only as the The Company Act 2013 deals with all companies within India. It creates misunderstandings and confusion for foreign companies. There shall be specialized fast track courts in India that shall solve the issues of foreign companies only as normal court proceedings are extremely time consuming and courts already has thousands of pending cases.

Foreign companies have to collaborate with Indian Government for their entry. The company then can set up their branch via an automatic rule as per the Research Bank of India under the Foreign Exchange Management Act 1999. Next filling the E-Form FC-1 that is needed for foreign companies to operate in India, AllSaints can register themselves within 30 days and operate legally in India (Sukunesan et al., 2020). However, the registration process is complex and foreign companies have to struggle. It is recommended that the process shall be made easier for foreign companies. Moreover, on the other hand, All Saints shall consider the protectionism, anti-corruption, non-compliance laws so that they are not targeted by unethical groups. Moreover, All Saints shall and follow the Indians wage system, Employability laws and so on so that they do not have to get indulged into legal complications. Likewise, the company can easily overcome legal challenges.

After legislation and legal challenges, AllSaints also face infrastructural challenge and it needs to be overcome. Indian government shall focus on transport and connectivity which is one of the major challenges for both foreign and local companies. Although, the ruling government is working on the issue but they are not totally capable of overcoming it. The Indian government shall put their efforts to approve infrastructure projects. India has ambitious developmental plans but the execution plans are poor thus, besides government bodies, public-private partnership model shall put their efforts so that infrastructure can be developed within small areas. Moreover, AllSaints shall book only a small space and initially they can start operating through their online channels. Online operations do not need extensive physical space and hiring employees, marketing their products, selling the products, taking feedbacks and other activities can be done via digital platforms (Virglerova et al., 2021). Thus, the challenge can be overcome easily. Indian Government shall put their efforts to overcome the issues so that foreign companies can operate freely in India and they plays crucial role as they contribute to the Indian national GDP.

AllSaints has already used different market entry strategies for different nations. For example, they has knowledge and used franchising and licensing, whole selling strategy and so on as they help to operate in a cost effective way in the new market. However, according to the interpretation of this report it is suggested that AllSaints shall use one of these strategies to enter in the Indian market Smith et al., (2019). However as for India, franchising is one of the most effective market entry strategy thus, All Saints can use that model.

Conclusion

Thus, to conclude it shall be discussed that AllSaints is a London based fashion retailers which is already established in UK as well as in some other countries. However, due to the Covid19 pandemic, the revenues were affected negatively and they are considering some strategies that can help with their growth. Similarly, they are considering for entering India and selling though online challenges initially. Some of the major reasons for entering India is the huge customer base and emerging become. However, the report has helped to identify that there are certain challenges such as there is issue of lobby, political instability, and infrastructure issue and the most important issue is the legislation issue. Foreign investors who are trying to enter India have to undergo certain political and legal procedures and as the processes are complex thus, they investors have to struggle. Thus, the challenges have to be solved so that India can become global hub for foreign investment and it can contribute to the economy significantly. Similarly, it has been recommended that the government shall develop separate legislation for foreign companies and can put effort for infrastructural developments so that foreign companies like AllSaint can operate in India smoothly.

Moreover, the mentioned company already uses some of the entry strategies such as licensing, franchising, and wholesaling and so on to enter certain countries. But the Uppsala model has suggested for Indian market, franchising shall be the best route to enter. Thus, overcoming the challenged present in Indian market as well as entering through franchising strategy shall help AllSaints to successfully establish and operate in India.

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