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Wilmar: PESTEL and Porter's Five Forces Analysis and Strategic Recommendations

PESTLE Analysis

Wilmar was established in 1991 and it’s headquarter is in Singapore. It is the largest company listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange. The company is engaged in agribusiness activities including oilseed crushing, oil palm farming, oil filtering, sugar refining and biodiesel, specialty fats, oleo chemicals, composts, flour and rice milling. The company has more than 500 trade plants and wide dispersed network covering China, Indonesia, India and 50 more countries. It has labour force of 90,000 people. The company provides management services to more than 400 subsidiary companies. The agricultural products of Wilmar are the preferred choice of consumers and food industries. Initially the company started operations as palm oil trading company. Over the years, company expanded it’s operations into foreign countries (Anderson, et. al. 2015).  It is also one of the biggest plantation owners in Malaysia and Indonesia. The company faced accusations against grabbing unresolved land in Africa. In this report Wilmar is taken to analyse external environment. For this, PESTEL analysis is done. Porters five force analysis is done to find the forces that affect the company’s market environment. The strategic recommendations are also given to avoid problems which are being faced by the company.

The PESTLE analysis is used by the companies to determine external forces that have impact on organisation. Macro environmental factors include forces which have impact on organisation but are out of control of organisation. PESTLE includes political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental factors. By using PESTLE analysis an organisation can maximise opportunities and minimise threats for an organisation.

  • Political factors: Political factors determine the impact of government policy on organisations. The political factors comprise tax policy, monetary policy and trade tariffs. It may affect the revenue generating structure of organisation (Hillier, 2015).
  • Economic factors: Economic factors are determinants of economy’s performance which have impact on a company. Like increase in inflation rate of an economy affects the price, products and services of the company. It also affects the purchasing power and demand in an economy.
  • Social factors: These factors have impact on market and society. The social factors include population growth, career attitudes, cultural expectations, age distribution, health consciousness and global warming (Stimson, 2016).
  • Technological factors: It is important to consider technology factor, as soon after the launch it’s soon become out-dated. It includes advertisement, marketing and promotional programs. Technology changes the way of producing and distributing products and services.
  • Legal factors: It includes all the legal aspects such as employment, taxation, imports, exports, quotas, equal opportunities, consumer rights, laws and more (Stewart, 2014).In order to trade successfully the companies need to consider legal and illegal factors in the territories they operate.
  • Environmental factors: It includes all the factors which are determined by the surrounding of the environment. Environmental factors include temperature, natural calamities, ground conditions and contamination etc. Due to the increasing importance of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility), this factor is becoming more important (Chance & Brooks, 2015). 
  • Political factors: The political factors have huge influence on the regulation of business. These factors are low trade restrictions, assistance provided by government, reduced costs and experienced political environment (Snyder, 2014).The spending power of consumers and other competitors has equal influence on Wilmar.
  • Economic factors: The economic factors have influence on Wilmar in the form of purchasing power of potential customers and inflation rate which determines the product prices and returns. It also determines the nature of competition faced by the Wilmar and availability of financial resources in the country. It also includes many other factors such as taxes, government expenditure, high productivity and public investment in research and development.
  • Social factors: The sociological trends reflects in the form of demographic changes such as growing economy, young population and growing demand and trends in the way people live, work and think. It also considers the customer needs and potential markets (Beigel, Siegel & Rader, 2015).
  • Technological factors: It includes new approaches of doing new and old things and tackling problems. It’s necessary to involve technical equipment; it can be innovative way of thinking and implementing. Wilmar has increased development cost as a result of government regulations in technological aspect. It has increased automation in business. Technological mission on oil seeds give a push to government’s efforts for enhancing the production of oilseeds. It improves the quality of products and services (Soederberg, 2016).
  • Environmental factors: Environmental factors changes the eating habits as growing awareness of obesity has made shift to soya and palm oil. It has resulted change in consumption pattern. Wilmar has increased producing refined and soya oil to see the demand of products and services. There is also effect on company of infrastructure, green products, weather conditions and sustainability. Purchase of illegally grown palm suits and illegal forest felling are also considered. The global growth opportunities available for Wilmar can be assumed as 44%. The possibility of changing market is 21%.
  • Legal factors: Wilmar is affected by the legal actions in the form of packaging and labelling regulations. The statutory and regulatory requirements and customer notices from food outlets have effect on the company (Martin-Albarracin, Nuñez & Amico, 2015).The legal factors also consider technological problems, increasing automation, developmental risks and technological scale effects. The availability of gobal market is 36% - 44%. The company was charged for purchasing palm oil fruit and it was illegally grown in Sumatra. All of sudden the company had to stop sourcing and it lead to huge loss to company.

In Porters five force analysis five industry forces are taken to describe the intensity of competition. It determines the long run predictions of profitability in the industry (Berg, et. al. 2015). The company can look beyond actions of competitors and can evaluate factors that can affect business environment.

Explanation of Porter’s 5 forces

  • Competitive rivalry: This force determines the competition and profitability of an industry. The rivalry among competitors is penetrating when there are many competitors, growth of industry at slow rate, low customer loyalty and less differentiated products. The competition in the industry is found penetrating due to slow growth and exit barriers (McKenna, 2017).
  • Threat of new entrants: It defines how easy it is for the companies to enter in the industry. The industry is found gainful when there are fewer obstacles for entry. The threat to new entrants is high when there is no government regulation and low capital is required for the entry in the market.
  • Threat of substitute products or services: It leads to threatening of substitutes when a buyer can easily find substitute products at fewer prices and at better quality.  Availability of substitutes leads to shifting of customers to competitor company (Wilkinson, Wood& Demirbag, 2014).
  • Bargaining power of suppliers: Strong bargaining power permits a supplier to sell products at higher prices. Availability of fewer suppliers and few substitutes lead to strong bargaining power by suppliers.
  • Bargaining power of customers: The customers have power to demand low prices and higher product quality from suppliers. This condition exists when there are few buyers and so many substitutes available in the market.

Impact of Porter’s five forces on Wilmar

Competitive rivalry: Wilmar is comparatively young firm founded in 1991 against more established competitors. It is one of the largest companies in Singapore. Since 1991, the company has proved it’s unique integrated business model, grown in both earnings and revenue to beat competitors in size (Buono, 2015). The company faces competition from companies such as Golden agri-resources, First resources and firms like Cargill, Indofood Agri and Archer Daniels Midland Company.

Threat of new entrants: The threat of new entrants is very low as it needs to build a large network of farmers. Such operations require high capital and sufficient time to achieve balance in an economy, before this the company is mostly seen struggling. Many companies are already involved in the manufacturing process and can enter in the particular market where Wilmar is already in, that may determine low motion barriers. Such type of risk is moderated by the integrated business model of Wilmar, in such a way that the corporation has control over production (Albert & Beatty, 2014). It also has the flexibility to modify the use of raw material according to the conditions of market.

Explanation of PESTLE

Threat of substitute products or services: The threat of substitute products and services is away from the basic products. The threat is reduced because of the company’s alternative range of products through decontaminating and handling wide range of other commodities like sunflower seed, canola, cotton seed, soybean, rapeseed, peanut edible oils and meal like rice, bran and wheat flour. Although man made alternatives create non eatable products which could create threat with new expansions which are economical.

Bargaining power of suppliers: Wilmar possesses and manages the production chain from upstream raw material obtaining to downstream purifying, to marketing and supply of products and services. Due to the company’s self-derived raw material, it has rare suppliers. So, the supplier influence will be low. The costs linked with the manufacturing are stable because of the independency of input costs on commodity prices. The company has also diverse business interests geographically in countries like Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, India, Africa and Ukraine. It helps to spread potential cost risks (Nekvapil & Sherman, 2015).

Bargaining power of customers: The ultimate products of the company are traded through the wholesale distributors and retailers. As, the products are sold through large scale retailers and distributors, the consumers enjoy a definite degree of bargaining force as they could substitute products of company with another companies’ products are at low prices. The products of Wilmar are known for high quality and stability but most of the production of company is identical (Haddow, Bullock & Coppola, 2017).  The presence of significant number of alternatives and lack of branding can result in customers can shift to other brands due to increased prices and lack of advertising.

Wilmar implements strategies such as Porter’s generics strategy to avoid problems, gain competitive advantage and to acquire position in market. The strategy has certain aspects such as:

  • Expand overseas, expanding within the same country: Wilmar is the leading agriculture company in Singapore. The company has carried dynamic process to carry business global. It has extensive network in China, Indonesia, India and 50 more countries (Christopher, Laasch & Roberts, 2016).The company can develop it’s business in more countries. For this, it should understand target markets, local market trends and the necessities to successfully launch products. For the expansion the company should develop short, medium and long term strategies to attain goals. The business plan should define goals and objectives of the company. The company can solve legal matters by clearing defining purchase policy.
  • Merger and acquisition, Joint ventures and Strategic alliances: Wilmar has joint venture with Bunge Limited in Vietnam. Both of these companies have done collaboration with Quang Dung. The Quang Dung is a primary soybean meal supplier of Vietnam. This joint venture will create united operations which are source and sales channel for oil in Vietnam (Ying & Hongcui, 2015).Wilmar Industries has done acquisition of Barnett. These both companies offer identical products. Wilmar Industries has doubled market share. It has also done joint venture with Surface Investments in Zimbabwe, which is multi oilseed processing plant.  The company can expand it’s market share by acquiring and mergering established industries.  The company can also make agreement with individual companies via strategic alliance to attain same objectives.
  • Changes to organization structure, new marketing initiatives, process change: Wilmar can change it’s organisation structure by cloud service. It can extend centres of company in various countries. The company can use such flour mill which can increase capacity of producing wheat. The production can also ve increased by making use of green and modern technology. Wilmar can take new initiatives to expand business and solve problems of organisation by investing profits in building a business model. It also has a great opportunity to grow in Africa as it’s economic growth deemed to continue for the next decade (Combe, 2014). The enterprise resource planning could help to enhance efficiency and standardisation of process.
  • Introduction to new products and services: Wilmar can introduce new products other than the products it’s already offering. The range of clothing and foot wears can be launched for the expansion of business. The company is already established so it is easy for the company to launch products and get popularity. As, brand loyalty is already in the market. People are more interested in innovative products; it can introduce new series of products and services by making significant changes.


From this report it has been concluded that Wilmar is a leading agribusiness group with a market capitalization of 17.1 billion SGD. The company is also engaged in the oil palm cultivation, sugar milling and refining specialty fats. The company has achieved growth through mergers and acquisitions mainly in Malaysia and Indonesia. It has also expanded operations in into foreign countries through multiple collaborations and joint ventures. Now the company operates over 500 manufacturing plants and has widespread distribution network in many countries. The company has established an extensive distribution channel for it’s products. The company has been successful to save costs through business model as it strategically places processing units to consumer markets by lower shipping cost. Wilmar has been successful to achieve growth through acquisitions and joint ventures. The company’s joint venture in Myanmar has reduced costs and saved time. The acquisitions of company helped to generate revenues from various regions and have diversified the risk. The company has solved it’s ethical matters of deforestation and illegitimate sourcing by undertaking considerable efforts. It has also attained the recognition award at Singapore apex corporate social responsibility awards 2015. The supply chain of company is also de linked with from forest destruction and human right abuses. The company’s agriculture business model allows scaling up value chain which results in operational efficiency. As recommended above, the company can expand it’s function by launching new products and services such as clothing and foot wear.

Impact of PESTLE on Wilmar


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