Challenges in Emerging Markets: The case of Swedish firms in Sub-Saharan African Markets

University essay from Avdelningen för ekonomi

Abstract: Title:  Challenges in Emerging Markets: The case of Swedish firms in Sub-Saharan African Markets Level:  Final thesis for Master Degree in Business Administration   Authors:  Joseph Okhiria and Princewill Dimkpa   Supervisor:  Professor Akmal Hyder                                                      Date: 10th June 2013   Aim: The aim of this study is to investigate and understand the major challenges Swedish firms experience in SSA markets, and how they manage these challenges.  Method: Qualitative study was done on a Swedish firm and an intermediary in SSA countries. An explanatory and descriptive case study approach was used in our research methods and design. In-depth interviews were conducted with one top manager in Gävleborg/Dalarna region of Sweden, one vice marketing president, two project managers and a business associate consultant in Sweden, South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya respectively. These five managers are top managers in their various companies and participate directly in policy making. Findings and conclusions: There are many known challenges like political instability, policy uncertainty, corruption, economic and financial constrain, and cultural differences already exist in SSA markets. Our empirical findings has recorded additional challenges like bad country image, logistics problems, irregular electricity, lack of skilled labor, lack of market information, insecurity of life and property, corporate corruption, political instability, financial instability, instability within the workforce and poor infrastructure. The Swedish firms manage these challenges by applying different instruments. These instruments include the use of local banks, insurance companies, extensive market research, employee training, taking precautions, implementing CSR to deter corruption and becoming constructive. Practical implications: This paper gives an insight of the condition of SSA markets and the Swedish firms operating there. Originality/value: Challenges in the whole emerging markets has not been considered in this paper. But the challenges firms experience in SSA markets in recent time has increased drastically and has not been really attended to and this paper tend to fill this gap.  Suggestions for further study: Challenges in Emerging Markets with focus on western firms in Africa markets can be studied.  Asian firms, particularly from India and China which are the New Players in SSA Markets can be an interesting research area.

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