Discuss about the Small business and international Entrepreneurship.
Small to Medium Enterprise or the SME is an enterprise that possesses less than 250 persons and the annual turnover is less than 81 million Singapore dollars. According to the US Census Bureau Data, during 2008, SMEs contributed 46% of private GDP and these firms are now potent enough to compete with the international firms (Memili et al. 2015). Since 2000, SMEs started to raise that share in private GDP and the phenomenon is still ongoing that has lead to various researches regarding in order to trace the reason for growth of these SMEs. This essay is meant to analyse a SME and trace how it has become successful in the present days. In order to perform the analysis, the report has chosen M3 Marine Group that operating in Singapore since 2005 (Sg.kompass.com 2018). During the tenure of last 12 years, this firm has become a small consultancy firm to a larger marine offshore broker that deals with the marine valuation projects, remote surveying and inspection of the offshore marine assets (M3 Marine Group Capability Statement, 2018). The firm has gone through various transformations in order to lead it to have better profitability and revenue generation. For instance, the firm was introduced back in 2005 with M3 marine expertise service; however, through diversification it has introduced various other services that aided to survive the competition of national market. During 2008 to 2010 there was hard time for the firm leading to global financial crisis that has made the market saturated for the marine services (Drydakis 2015). Thus, during 2012, the firm went for the internationalisation with a aim to have better market and higher scope of revenue generation. This report will consider the internationalisation as the theme to trace the how it has affected the farm’s performance. Moreover, the report will analyse why the M3 Marine Group has chosen the internationalisation rather than opting for other options in order to revive the poor economic condition of the firm. In order to provide comprehensive view regarding the growth of the firm, the report will provide a summarised overview of the finding to conclude the report.
An enterprise is a basic element of the state economic system of any particular country. The long term existence of any particular enterprise depends on the ability of the small organisation to use resources in a proper manner and make considerable profits by taking into consideration the influence of several environmental factors. It becomes especially crucial to manage the enterprise at the time of economic recessions as the prevention of the business procedures requires flexibility of actions. Besides this, the ability to identify the unimproved resources and make suitable amount of profit taking the impact of several environmental factors in mind (Barnett, Darnall and Husted 2015). Rational decisions also need to be taken which enables suitable sustainable development.
According to popular research, the performances of an enterprise are influenced by three important factors which hare the macroeconomic factors, demand factors and the structure of the sector. The factors which influence the enterprise are mutually interactive and affect the enterprise in certain ways. The quality and the availability of the resources and are related to the national economy. The macroeconomic factor affects the form, the liabilities and the duties of the formation and the structure of the enterprise and internationalisation. The strategy of any SME plays a major role in the flourishing of an organisation (Olusegun 2012).
There are two basic streams of research in case of an SME. These relate to the internationalization as a learning process by the SME and the internationalization from the time of creation of an SME. The first stream focuses on the internal factors of an organisation which are considered during the incremental process of learning at the earlier stages of internationalization. There are certain specific contributions, which the research has been able to identify. The lack of information and scarcity of resources is bound to generate uncertainty. In order to minimize the said risks, the firm is likely to begin its internationalization by choosing markets which exhibit less amount of certainty (Ren, Eisingerich and Tsai 2015).
The second stream of research focuses on the international entrepreneurship and argues that an SME can be international right from the time of its creation. The most important feature of born global firms is that the management adopts a global focus from the outset and embarks on rapid and dedicated internationalization. In certain cases it has been found that they are basically technology intensive firms which are formed by active entrepreneurs. The concept of market orientation is also important in this context (Ciravegna, Majano and Zhan 2014).
Based in Singapore, M3 Marine Group and the subsidiaries of the company provide a comprehensive review and a range of off shore marine services which are tailor made based on the services of the offshore marine oil and gas industry. The M3 marine group of companies was founded by the industry veteran captain Mike Maide and it was supported by an experienced team of energetic employees and associates who are based in Singapore (Energyboardroom.com, 2018). It possesses several decades of relevant experience which is multi-faceted and it also has a direct access to a very huge network of operations. There are also offshore vessel owners and the shipyards and backed by a wide system network of Associates in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and certain other parts. There are certain diverse multi-disciplined teams of dedicated and experienced professionals which constantly interfere with the market, possessing valuable and real experience in their respective fields. The company is one of the most dependable offshore marine providers and truly believes in the addition of value as and when it matters.
The M3 marine group has four major operating divisions. These include the M3 Marine Offshore brokers, M3 marine expertise, M3 marine valuations, M3 marine remote inspection and the M3 marine group capability statement. The M3 marine offshore brokers provide services such as chartering, new-building and sales and purchase (M3 Marine Group Capability Statement, 2018). The M3 Marine valuations offer asset valuations for vessels, rigs, equipment. The M3 Marine remote inspection, offers the services like the utilisation of drones and mini ROV’s, aerial videography, inspection and survey.
The company has provided ship broking as well as comprehensive range of off shore services which are tailored to meet the needs of the offshore marine, oil and gas industry. The group is underpinned by more than thirty years of multi-faceted industry experience as well the direct access to a vast network of vessel owners of all types and categories. The consultants and brokers of the company have extensive experience in their respective fields which allows the m3 marine group to meet the growing local and international demand for specialized marine expertise and uphold the commitment to being the leader of the industry. There are several clients of the M3 marine group. These client range include the vessel owners and operators, the subsea diving and ROV, the cable engineering and inspection companies, the offshore oil and gas operators, seismic vessel support among others (Kunday and ?engüler 2015).
Basic data analysis of M3 Marine Group:
The figure (Appendix, Figure 1) helps in signifying the average number of staffs that M3 Marine Group has employed in Singapore from 2012 to 2017. During this period, the number of individuals that the organisation employed has increased peaking in 2016 at around 335,000 staffs. However, there is a slight fall in the number of staffs in 2017, which denote that the attrition rate of the organisation has increased due to reduced employee benefits and increasing workload.
The figure (Appendix, Figure 2) helps in signifying the overall sales revenue that M3 Marine Group has generated from the years 2002 to 2017. It could be identified that the sales revenue of the organisation has started to increase from 2003 and the trend has continued until 2008. The sales revenue has been fluctuating from 2009 to 2013; however, it has started to increase from 2013 to 2017. The possible reason identified is the rising demand of the various vessels of the organisation in the market along with superior product quality. As a result, it has helped the organisation in maintaining competitive advantage in the market.
M3 Marine Group has four operating divisions, which primarily include the following:
- Marine offshore brokers- This division provides various kinds of services that comprise of new building, purchase and sales along with chartering (bareboat and time).
- Marine expertise- This division is involved in providing marine/ technical consultancy services, commercial consultancy services, marine capability (Europe) services and expert witness or placement services.
- Marine valuations- The organisation is involved in providing asset valuations for rigs, vessels and equipment.
- Marine remote inspection- This division of the organisation is involved in using drones and mini ROVs that take into account inspection and survey along with aerial videography.
Market analysis of M3 Marine Group:
The main competitors of the organisation include Phoenix Offshore Marine Private Limited and Kim Heng Offshore and Marine Holdings Limited. It offers services to the offshore oil and gas industry. It concentrates on brokerage, project management and consultancy services particularly in the fowage and subsea markets. The experience of its staffs and wide array of services offered helps the organisation in adding value throughout the sectors (Burns 2016). The commercial advice and observations are obtained from the projects based on its involvement and long experience in the sector along with establishing close associations with the charterers, owners and shipyards. In case, there is any requirement of equipment, personnel and services, the organisation is involved in providing the same (Cavusgil et al. 2014).
Kim Heng Offshore and Marine Holdings Limited is an established integrated offshore and provider of marine value chain services. The organisation provides wide group of products and services catering to various stages of offshore oil and gas projects. The main services include offshore rig repair, fabrication, refurbishment and maintenance, vessel new building along with blasting and painting works (Coviello, Jones and McDougall-Covin 2015).
Choice of markets:
The organisation has expanded its business operations in various nations of Europe like UK, France and other countries. One of its significant global expansions is associated with Tug & OSV, which is a leading UK magazine for all those organisations associated with the international tug, towage and salvage sectors. It has published full-colour publication with clear text and pages laid out attractively for giving easy source of information about M3 Marine Group (Keskinen 2017). The other significant global tie-ups of the organisation comprise of Maritime CEO, Petromin, Riviera and others.
For M3 Marine Group, it has always focused on maintaining the quality of services. The quality of products enables in building trust and faith of the individual brand. The organisation is involved in implementing different strategies associated with the overall service quality. The strategy that it has adopted to improve the service quality is that it identifies the needs of the individuals and develops its products based on these needs (Charter and Tischner 2017).
In addition, the organisation sets the prices of its services based on their usage and quality. This is because the clients might not be willing to pay additional price, since they consider their budgets before availing ant marine services (Oparaocha 2015). Therefore, M3 Marine Group has maintained competitive pricing structure for its provided services. In the current scenario, the organisation is facing increased competition from the other marine companies. This is because the clients could easily opt for the services provided on the part of the other organisations (Amemaritime.com, 2018). In order to maintain strategic advantage, it conducts proper evaluation of its operating markets. Finally, it lays stress on advertisement as well for enhancing its brand image. The main sources used include media releases and social media. All these strategies have helped M3 Marine Group in maintaining competitive advantage in the marine sector of Singapore.
Relationship between M3 Marine Group and the external organisations:
Suppliers of the M3 Marine Group have facilitated the company in attaining increased foreign sales and enhance its international presence. With having multi-faceted experience, M3 Marine Group has suppliers that include the company’s direct access to network of operators (Terjesen, Hessels and Li 2016). Suppliers that supported its international sales also include offshore owners of vessels along with shipyards backed by board associate network all across the world.
Foreign sales of M3 Marine Group have also increased because of its domestic and international demand for specialised marine services. Few consumers of the company include Dry-docks World SEA, ASL Shipyard Pte Ltd and many more (Sra.sg, 2018). These international consumers have increased the company’s foreign sales through demanding its services such as brokerage for sales and purchase, selling bare boats and vessel delivery (Schaper et al. 2014).
Due to support of some international investors such as drilling contractors, EPIC Contractors, marine service companies and marine oil and gasoperatorsM3 Marine Group attained increased foreign sales. These investors facilitated the company to sell its marine products and services worldwide. After its first foreign sale, the company grew faster, diversified its revenue stream and enhanced its capital return.
Government agencies also played a major role to supportM3 Marine Group in gaining its first foreign sale. The Singapore Government to an initiative of offering $1.1bn package in order to safeguard nation’s marine sector (Sarasvathy et al.2014). Moreover, Sear Asia Offshore Marine Forum also supported the company in finding its financing to export in international market. These agencies offered the company with access to credit other than subsidising cost at below market levels. This helped M3 Marine Group to offer all its marine services as the company attained insurance programs that decreased its risk related with exporter’s loans. Accordingly, the company made its first sale of bare boats and vessel delivery in foreign market profitably.
Analysis of the critical points:
M3 marine group is one of the renowned brand in Singapore that provide wide range of offshore marine services, which are curetted according to the offshore gas and oil industries. Internationalisation is one of the main reasons that have taken the firm where it is now today (Rodriguez and Nieto 2016). With wide range of customer base both in the domestic and international market, this firm has become one of the benchmark of SME in Singapore. Below is the analysis of rapid growth of the M3 marine group through internationalisation in order to find out how the firm become a potential organisation to one of the most developed firm that has higher amount of sustainability, international exposure and well established value chain.
Reason for initiating internationalisation:
Internationalisation is one of the phenomenons that aid the firms to have higher amount of revenue through international exposure (Sun et al. 2015). With the rise in internationalisation, M3 become what it is in present days. Now, why the firm has initiated internationalisation is one of the main issues to discuss. In order to trace this, it is important to consider the corporate structure of M3 marine group as shown in the figure 3, appendix. According to the corporate structure of the firm, it can be seen that there is wide range of services provided by the M3 Marine group. However, according the (M3 Marine Group Capability Statement, 2018), it has been found that, though the firm since its initial days has introduced various services to attract customers and grow its business; however the firm has failed miserably with its plans to generate higher revenue. M3 Marine Valuation was and offshore brokering of the firm was not potent enough to promote the firm’s growth and the lack of marine expertise, used to constraint the growth of the firm. On the other hand, it has been argued by the Mike Meade that, prior to the internationalisation of the firm; abundance of ship building has dropped the brokerage by 40% in domestic market leading to loss of the business (M3marine.com.sg 2018). Additionally, working capital of the firm was deteriorating prior to its internationalisation. In this scenario, it has become evident for the managers of the firm to introduce newer technologies and enhance the technical know-how to deal with the stiff competition in the world market.
Efficiency of internationalisation as growth strategy of M3 marine group:
It is hard to trace the level of association between the internationalisation and the growth of the industry, however, researches has found that there is acute relationship between these two factors (Johanson and Mattsson 2015). Coming to the M3 marine group it has been found that the strategy has aided the firm to become where it is now. Through the utilisation of the internationalisation mechanism, M3 marine group has received much amount of exposure that has guided the firm to reach new high. Besides this, internationalisation proved to be beneficial for the firm due to the fact that it has increased the revenue figure on behalf of the firm and helped it to bring in safer, newer and cost friendly technologies for brokering (Knight 2015). For instance, it has been seen that post the internationalisation of the M3 marine, cash flow of the firm has been increased by $1.2 million annually (M3 Marine Group Capability Statement, 2018). In addition to this, it is also been found through the annual report of the firm that, post internationalisation has helped the firm to generate more job and additional capacity for capital stock. Foreign demand of the services provided by the M3 marine group has also increased due to the internationalisation.
Difference of growth strategy of M3 marine group from its rivals:
Internationalisation is not the only process, which aids the firm to have higher growth and better scope to face enhanced demand from the foreign markets too. Economy of Singapore was sluggish in nature during the 2008 that has saturated the market for the marine service brokers leading the firms like M3 marine group to find alternative route for revenue generation (Siddiqui 2016). There are various other strategies that help the firms to attain their desired goals. Depending upon the structure of the firm, mode of operation, it can be stated that a firm can move from a slowed SME to a fast and capable SME (Arbussa, Bikfalvi and Marques 2017). Coming to the difference of growth strategy of M3 marine group, it can be seen that most of its rivals has used product diversification as the tool of higher revenue generation. They brought newer products and tried to flood the economy with the same. However, lack of international exposure has constrained the growth of these SMEs’ providing comparative advantage to the M3 group.
Implication of internationalisation of M3 marine group:
Internationalisation of the M3 marine group came as the boon to the firm. Initially the firm has slow rate of growth and the revenue generation almost next to none. Only normal profit was achievable from the firm during the initial days due to lack of exposure and market. During 2008, most of the marine brokers were in the same situation and market was saturated, making unable to absorb any new agency (M3 Marine Group Capability Statement, 2018). In his situation, the managers of the M3 marine group found internationalisation more useful rather than any other form of stimuli to lead its SME towards sustainability. It has helped the firm to achieve its desired level of outcome. Revenue increased for the firm to a great extent and employment enhanced largely leading to the better sustainability of the chosen SME (Lepori, Seeber and Bonaccorsi 2015). Besides this, it has also been found that with the first international service sell; the firm got much amount of international exposure owing to their sophisticated service. On the other hand M3 Marine Group has become one of the leading offshore maritime brokers in Singapore and presently it is one of the firms in Singapore that has won the innovation award recently.
This report is meant to find the how a SME transformed itself from a poor economic condition to a better performing organisation. In order to trace the reasons and to assess the various reasons for this, M3 Marin Group has been selected. It is one of the SME in the Singapore that has been performing poorly since its initiation due to saturated market condition. Thus, the report has found that in order to overcome the slow growth rate, the firm opted for internationalisation. From the above analysis it has been found that internationalisation has greatly influenced the M3 marine group. With the saturated market, the firm at first failed to earn profit thus they targeted international market to provide their service and using the tool, success came in. Statistical data highlights the prior and post internationalisation situation, which portrays that the firm has utilised the internationalisation tool properly in order to provide stimuli to its business, thus its revenue figure has enlarged largely making it one of the best profit making firm in the market of Singapore.
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