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Foreign Market Selection

In: Business and Management

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Case Write-up - Foreign Market Selection
Situation Analysis and Overview
The case had highlighted how Electricity has become an integral part of everyday life. It discussed that humans have become more dependent on electricity and is very important for businesses as well; since machines and industries run on electricity. The case focusses on the main issue of countries not being able to meet the demand for electricity. Apart from developing countries like India and China, even developed nations like United State are not able to meet the growing demand of electricity.
As electricity is scarce, many countries are facing issues related to brownouts/blackouts and theft of electricity. It is also discussed that there are some countries that have surplus electricity and are willing to sell the excess electricity to its neighboring countries but are unable to do so because due to lack of required infrastructure.
In this case, we discuss the issues related to electricity in detail and look for solutions to encounter such problems. It also discusses that companies should take these issues into account when they design build and market their products globally.
Critical Issue/Problem
Today every country wants to have strong infrastructure and Internet is one of the powerful tool that could contribute widely to this and for internet, a country should have sufficient power. Insufficient supply of electricity leads to various issues. The case also highlighted that even countries where electricity is surplus are facing issues, few of which are highlighted below:
Electricity Outages – Brownouts/Blackouts are a common problem that many countries are experiencing. It is a situation where supply of electricity is not able to meet the demand, resulting to shut down of electricity for few hours. Even nation like Unites States of America, faced Rolling Blackouts in California affecting approximately 500,000 homes, including some homes from Beverly Hills. Storms are also one reason that could contribute to Blackouts. Even developing countries like India have been facing issues related to outages. Power outages for one hour or more are common in many areas of India. The case highlights, that Purnea, a city in North Eastern Bihar in India faced continuous blackout for 34hours. India is also facing issue related to theft of power and people illegally tap overhead power lines. The Former Power Minister of India in an interview mentioned that almost half of the power in Indian homes are illegal.
Gap in Demand and Supply – Many countries; developed or developing, are facing issues related to electricity because the current supply available is unable to meet its demand. United States has a large middle class and uses a lot of electricity. America, has a population one fourth of India but has a demand 30 times higher compared to India and is still facing meeting the demand for electricity. India, a developing nation has been experiencing scarcity of electricity for decades. Poor infrastructure is one of the prime reason that lead to scarcity of electricity. Today, in India, around 40 percent to 50 percent homes in urban areas have access to electricity while only 3 percent to 10 percent get electricity in rural areas. China, is another developing country who has been struggling to meet the demand and supply of electricity.
Surplus Electricity - The earlier two points discuss that scarcity of electricity is a common issue, however, the case highlights that country like Costa Rica has already met its demand for electricity and are eager to sell the surplus electricity to its neighboring country like United States and Mexico. Even though Cost Rica is willing to sell electricity, infrastructure is a major barrier in doing so. Though they have been to trying to resolve the issue by planning to create Dam in Boruca, they are unable to do so because it would affect the wild life and plants which is one of the major attraction for tourism. They also thought of building hydroelectric power as a cleaner alternative option compared to coal burning and nuclear plants but even that option possess its unique challenges that would result in displacement of people and companies. It may also result in flood with dangerous chemicals or byproducts resulting to water contamination. Alternate Solutions
Countries have already identified that scarcity of electricity will prove to be a deterrent to their growth. Inorder to combat the issue of electricity countries have already started taking the necessary actions.
Build Dams – China, had been building dams to generate more power. China, already has the world’s largest and second largest dam “The Three Gorges Dam” and “Xiaolangdi” respectively. Increase in population will also lead to demand for power and so China is preparing itself to meet the growing demand. China is aiming to generate 1820 gigawatts (billion watts) to satisfy the demand of 1.3 billion people.
Solar Energy – Countries should make an effort to build homes that are energy efficient. This certainly seems as an expensive option in the short run but it would definitely provide benefit in the long run. Industries and offices could look at installing solar panels on the roof of their homes or office which would result in generating natural energy. This would help in building a self-sustaining, energy efficient city or country. They could also look into an option of installing LED bulbs that function on solar energy. They could also look into planting more trees to get natural shade and keep homes cool during warm climate.
Energy Efficient products – Today there are many appliance that are available with the mark of “Energy Star”. They claim to use less power compared to the older products. People should look for appliances that are energy efficient for example: we can choose to use fluorescent instead of incandescent bulbs. Fluorescent bulbs tend to last 8-12 times longer compared to incandescent bulbs. Department of energy in USA have taken various measures in guiding the public on various way to save energy at home.

Recommendation
Given the current situation, I think each individual and society at large should think at generating their own energy. There are various way to make home energy efficient. Small steps would lead to greater benefit. Even companies could look into making product that are energy efficient. Even planting more trees could help in providing shade and reduce heat from homes.
Action Items
Manufacturing companies should make products that are Energy Star compliant. ENERGY STAR is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency voluntary program that helps businesses and individuals save money and protect our climate through superior energy efficiency. People should also ensure, to use products that are Energy Star compliant. Install Solar Panel, plant more trees, use power as required are few more options that people could look into to save and use energy effectively.

--------------------------------------------
[ 1 ]. Rolling Blackouts Hit California Again - ABC News. (March 19). Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=93795ntries
[ 2 ]. ENERGY STAR. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.energystar.gov/
[ 3 ]. How to Make Your Home Energy Efficient. (n.d.). Retrieved November 9, 2014, from http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Your-Home-Energy-Efficient
[ 4 ]. Top 4 Energy Department Inventions Saving You Energy & Money at Home | Department of Energy. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://energy.gov/articles/top-4-energy-department-inventions-saving-you-energy-money-home
[ 5 ]. ENERGY STAR. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.energystar.gov/

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