Entering overseas markets
A Provident Financial case study

Page 1: Introduction

Provident Financial was founded in West Yorkshire, England in 1880 by Joshua Waddilove. The company’s headquarters are still based in West Yorkshire. However Provident Financial has grown from a family owned business to a public limited company (plc) whose shares are quoted on the London Stock Exchange. Provident Financial is a group plc; its largest subsidiary is Provident Personal...
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Page 2: International marketing

There are a number of reasons why business organisations market internationally.For example, the business within the UK may be mature or want to broaden its market base. In the mid 1990s, the directors of Provident Financial decided that the company should investigate whether there was substantial demand for home credit in countries beyond the British Isles. This was one part of a planned growth...
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Page 3: Targeting a market

Provident Financial had to identify correctly the most suitable countries outside the UK where home credit could be offered. The company’s market entry strategy was based on the key factors which would influence its ability to operate in a given country. With the benefit of more than 100 years’ experience of operations in the UK, the company could identify four conditions which would...
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Page 4: Market research

Research would help to estimate the market potential of those who would want to use Provident Financial’s home credit services. It was carried out in three stages to identify suitable countries into which Provident Financial might expand. It consisted of: in-house desktop research   country visits primary market research. Desktop research involves using existing secondary materials as...
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Page 5: Recruitment of staff

Each overseas operation was headed up by one UK manager, each of whom had many years’ experience gained in Provident Personal Credit. However, local staff also needed to be recruited as agents and administrative clerks. At first, English speaking staff were recruited in Poland and the Czech Republic and trained in the UK. However, it proved difficult to recruit staff who had both the...
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Page 6: Conclusion

For a UK based company to enter overseas markets, the first step is thorough investigation of all potential markets. After desk-based secondary research in the UK, Provident Financial made a series of visits to a limited number of countries to see these potential markets at first hand and establish contacts. It then commissioned primary research in these countries which confirmed that introduction...
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