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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Overview of the Ten-Year Plan of Allstars Shoes

            The 10-year entry plan has been modified from this -
First year. Mexico 
Third year Venezuela 
Fifth year Peru and Brazil 
Sixth year Chile and Argentina 
To this –
First year – Chile
Third year – Argentina
Fifth year – Mexico and Brazil
Sixth year – Peru and Venezuela
The main reasons have been discussed in a previous report but to put it succinctly here, it would be prudent for the company to start with Latin American countries that are more politically and economically stable and with less geographical area to cover logistically.
Exporting would be the best method of entry into Chile and Argentina since both are relatively stable countries economically and politically. Their currencies are also stable, and demographically, they are the countries in Latin America with the most number of middle class people, most likely to use the products of AllStars.  At this point, all the manufacturing is still done in the US, and the products are just exported to Chile first in the first year, and as the brand is established there, to use it as a template once the company moves to expand in Argentina by the third year.
At this point, exporting would be advantageous to Allstar since manufacturing is home based making it less risky than overseas based.  It also gives an opportunity to "learn" overseas markets before investing in bricks and mortar and it reduces the potential risks of operating overseas (Piercy, N., 1982).  One disadvantage of exporting is that the company can be at the mercy of unscrupulous overseas agents and may lack the control (Jaffee, S., 1993).
            However, as the company reaches the bigger Latin American countries like Mexico and Brazil, it would be more prudent to establish a manufacturing arm there since the populations of these two countries are way over 100 million and I think it would be worth investing there since the products of AllStar are not necessarily  just for the middle class, but something that even the lower social classes have to use on a daily basis.  The important thing now is to make sure the products are sold at an affordable price, and this can mean, resizing the products according to the prices the market can easily afford.
            The entry methods for Brazil and Mexico can either be contract manufacture or
participation in export processing zones or free trade zones.  In contract manufacture, the company contracts companies to do the production through them.  This can be advantageous to the host countries, in this case, Mexico and Brazil since that how they can obtain knowhow, gain capital, learn new technologies, allow employment opportunities in the respective countries; foster foreign exchange earnings and gain reputations for the local companies as being world-class (Cunningham, M.T., 29186).
            Finally, since the political and economic situations in Peru and Venezuela are particularly unstable, the entry method for them can be through licensing where a company in those countries can get a license to produce the products of Allstars in that country. It’s a good way to start foreign operations there as it opens the door to low risk manufacturing relationships.  The advantages include the particular linkage of parent and receiving partner interests means both get most out of marketing effort and the company’s capital is not tied up in foreign operations.  However, one major disadvantage is the limited form of participation and that licensees can become eventual competitors as they overcome cross technology transfer deals (Anderson, E. & Coughlan, A.T., 1987).

References:

Anderson, E. and Coughlan, A.T. (1987). International Market Entry and Expansion via Independent or Integrated Channels of Distribution". Journal of Marketing, Vol. 51. January 1987, pp 71-82.

Cunningham, M.T. (1986). Strategies for International Industrial Marketing. In D.W. Turnbull and J.P. Valla (eds.) Croom Helm 1986, p 9.

Jaffee S. (1993). Exporting High Value Food Commodities. World Bank Discussion Paper" pp 198, 1993.

Piercy, N. (1982). Company Internationalisation: Active and Reactive Exporting. European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 15, No. 3, 1982, pp 26-40.




Friday, May 19, 2017

How are Families Changing - Introduction and Global Perspective

How are families changing?

Introduction
According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, a family is a group of people related to each other. There are different types of families but the most common one is nuclear family which comprises of the parents, and the children, living together. Some even say that there is no single ‘true’ family.There are family structures which are simple, like nuclear families, extended families, single- parent family. There are also families with parents who are not married, or not living together. Over the decades, families are changing gradually. Like for example, the average modern family nowadays mostly has technology devices like cellphones, tablets and laptops. But before, in around 1980’s to 1990’s, most families do labor especially the men. The women mostly do the housework. Comparing these days, there are families who hire people for labor work. According to the Australian institute, the marriage rates have fallen from 9.3 in 1970 to 7.4 in 1980. In 2015, the percentage rose to 26% for America.
Global Perspective
Terrorism has been affecting families since the world war. Recently, the ISIS has been threatening countries for bombings, gunshots, especially in Syria. People have been migrating to other countries for them not to witness the chaos and to make their family safe. According to independent.co.uk, highly publicized atrocities or acts of destruction, such as burning to death a Jordanian pilot, decapitating prisoners and destroying the remains of ancient cities, are deliberately staged as demonstrations of strength and acts of defiance. Some families have moved to Great Britain, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and other neighboring countries. Families who have been caught fleeing are forced to come back to their home.
Another challenge to families is poverty. Poverty can affect any family in the social level class. The main common consequence of poverty is that the families would have experience malnutrition. One example of a country that is experiencing poverty is Niger, Africa. According to The Richest, Niger is considered one of the poorest countries in the world. Niger’s poverty is exacerbated by political instability, extreme vulnerability to exogenous shocks and inequality which affects girls, women and children disproportionately. This affects their health, education, economy and society. This also affects the resources because they have limited resources.

Another challenge to families is alcoholism. The effects of alcoholism on families can cause more damage and pain than any other internal or external influence on the family unit. According to worldatlas.com, the Czech Republic is considered the 5th country as alcohol consumption. Alcoholism can affect children and even unborn babies. Alcoholism can also affect families by addiction, can cause crimes, and can even harm their family by the means of physical abuse. According to learn-about-alcoholism.com, this can affect children by letting them feel depressed, anxious, stressed, guilt, despair and others. It can also affect their spouse or partner by having poor spousal communication, increased anger and distress and even depleting finances spent on alcohol. 

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Nature of Inequality in Singapore

Racial and Wealth inequality
•Despite it being one of the most economically powerful countries in the world, inequality still exists in Singapore.
•One type of inequality in Singapore is racial inequality. It happens mainly between the Chinese and Malay
•Income inequality is also present throughout the country.  Last year, the Gini coefficient was down to 0.464
Why does it exist?
Racism
•In Singapore, it is the Chinese who are considered “superior” over the Malays.
•It has been considered a rule that religion, gender and race must not be considered when being hired. Although the Chinese abuse their power on other races.
Income
•The top 10% of workers in Singapore earn around 9 times more money than that of the bottom 10%
Statistics
•It was last year when Singapore’s Gini coefficient was at 0.464. After collecting the taxes and transfers, it went down to 0.412.
•In Singapore, 14% of those with lower-income parents end up in the top 20 percent of incomes.
•Higher taxes have been implemented on the top 5 percent of our population, as to fund the welfare of the country; the middle-class Singaporean will get $2 of the benefits for every dollar paid in tax
What is being done?
•It was in 2013 when the government of Singapore decided to co-fund 40% the wage increases of all Singaporeans.
•Aside from local organizations, organization such as UN as well AWARE support co-funding in order to alleviate the income inequality crisis
Examples
•In some cases, it is often the Chinese who are paid higher than the Malays.
•In Singapore, it is stated by law that one's religion, gender, race when being hired for a job. Although in some cases, this still occurs as the Chinese usually discriminate other races.
•These types of inequality are still very common to this day, as racism is still displayed

Monday, May 8, 2017

Drug Abuse in Pakistan


In 2012, a comprehensive national study of drug use was conducted in Pakistan, providing reliable baseline information on the prevalence and patterns of drug use among the population aged 15 to 64. To generate these results, a series of surveys was conducted throughout the four provinces and Pakistan-administered Kashmir, including interviews of 4,533 high-risk drug users, 58 drug treatment centre representatives; 1,198 key informants; and 51,453 participants randomly selected from the general population.
The survey results show considerable past-year use of both plant-based drugs and medical prescription drugs, particularly of cannabis, prescription opioids (painkillers), tranquilizers and sedatives, and opiates (heroin and opium). Drug use in Pakistan is highly differential by gender. The national population prevalence is a combination of very high levels of use of these substances among men, and generally low levels of use among women offset by considerable levels of misuse of prescription opioids and tranquilizers and sedatives among women. Although Pakistan is a country with a large population of youth, drug use was more common among those between the ages of 25 to 39 than 15 to 24. Among drug users detected in these surveys, dependence and severity of dependence were high. Of the 6.7 million past-year users of any illicit substance, 4.25 million are considered to be drug dependent. For those who are dependent, there is an overwhelming need for drug dependence treatment and care interventions including low-threshold services, both of which need to be upscaled. Three-quarters of the regular opiate users interviewed reported a strong desire for treatment, but cited either a lack of access or an inability to afford treatment. In addition to drug use, there are the warning signs for a rapid expansion of the HIV epidemic. Survey results detected a very high prevalence of HIV risk behaviours among people who inject drugs. Because the majority of HIV positive people who inject drugs are not aware of their status, they are also not taking precautions to prevent further transmission. Further, because knowledge of how HIV is transmitted is extremely low in the general population, opportunities to prevent infection are being missed. Despite extensive efforts, prevalence estimates reported here are likely to underestimate drug use among women. Furthermore, taking into consideration the very high levels of dependency among those who were detected, the researchers believed that recreational or casual drug use is more common than presented in the study, but was not detected due to underreporting in the general population.
The report, Drug Use in Pakistan 2013, aims to provide the basis for design and implementation of effective prevention, treatment and care services that are evidence-based, targeted, responsive, and needs-led to counter the extent of a diverse nature of drug use in Pakistan which include the urposes as well as developing drug use disorders and dependence. In addition to the geographical location of Pakistan with Afghanistan, the largest opium producer in the world has made Pakistan more vulnerable to the drugs like charas and heroin.
Pakistan is a signatory to the three international drug control treaties. The objectives of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961 (as amended by the 1972 Protocol) were to limit the possession, use, trade, distribution, import, export, manufacture, and production of drugs – essentially substances such as opium, cocaine and their derivatives and cannabis – exclusively to medical and scientific purposes.  The Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971, mirrors the 1961 Convention but additionally introduced controls over a number of psychotropic substances, such as the central nervous stimulants, sedative-hypnotics, and hallucinogens according to their abuse potential on the one hand and their therapeutic value on the other. The United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances in 1988, additionally provides comprehensive measures against drug trafficking, which include preventing precursor chemicals being diverted into the manufacture of illicit drugs as well as provisions to counter money laundering. Therefore, the three international drug control conventions, to which Pakistan is a party, together regulate both plant based substances and their derivatives – heroin, cocaine, cannabis and synthetic or psychotropic substances.
Drug addiction, particularly heroin addiction, has become a serious problem which has affected millions of people, including the youth, who are supposed to be the hope of the next generation. The problem of drug abuse, with its multiple aspects, is a major threat to society and is steadily trapping almost all strata. The drug abuse and particularly use of heroin, the most lethal narcotic drug, has emerged as a critical problem with serious social, economic, health and psychological repercussions upon the individual, the community and the society.


References:
1.    Drug use in Pakistan, https://www.unodc.org/documents/pakistan/Survey_Report_Final_2013.pdf, 2013
2.    A SOCIOLOGICAL STUDY OF DRUG ABUSE IN PAKISTANI SOCIETY WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO HEROIN ADDICTION, ITS CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES, Ghulam Muhammad, http://eprints.hec.gov.pk/812/1/523.html.htm, 2003

3.    Shah Zulqarnain (1994), Heroin Trafficking, Department of Social Work, University of Karachi, Karachi, Pakistan  

Friday, May 5, 2017

Best System for Making Appointments


In the past, these appointment processes were done manually and, because of this, there were many instances of overbooking or forgetting to cancel an appointment which could free up the space to schedule another in its place. To eliminate human error due to setting appointments manually, web applications were developed to make the scheduling process easier.
If you do a lot of work online, and have to schedule meetings with other people, do yourself and your clients a favor and eliminate all the back and forth emails by using an online calendar/appointment scheduler knowing that everyone prefers to check it online, and everyone prefers to check it online before they purchase anything or they visit any business place. It will make both of your lives so much easier. If you do a lot of work online, like I do, and have to schedule meetings with other people, do yourself and your clients a favor and eliminate all the back and forth emails by using an online calendar/appointment scheduler. It will make both of your lives so much easier.
Also, for the business owners, the appointment system can help to understand and manage the day perfectly by looking at the number of appointments taken. So, if you use the booking system, you will have a picture of how your day is going to be regarding your business.
So, you are running any business be it online or offline, creating a site using WordPress and adding any of the best appointment booking plugins mentioned in this post will help you to take your business to the next level. So, let’s have a look at the best booking plugins for WordPress in this post.

The possible thing can happen if both parties still rely on the secretary-based appointment system where one sends them an email (or Facebook message, gmailor Skype message or wherever else you are chatting) with a list of times that work for you in the next couple of days. They send you a message back saying none of those times work also because of their personal schedule, and they are only available on the days that you are busy, so they ask what your free time is on severaldays. Those days don’t work for you either, but you finally find a date and time two weeks from that day that will work for both of you.You hope that the potential client can wait for two weeks before you are ready, and you hope by that time he/she does not find another supplier. If you would have known that, that is how it was going to turn out, would you have done something different? Maybe worked them into your schedule or sent them different times?
Send them an email (or Facebook message, etc) with a link to your online calendar where they can see all of the options available. The calendar has already been preset to the times that you are available so all they have to do is select the time that would work best for them.They select the time and send you a message back telling you it’s all done.Look how much time and effort you saved just my streamlining the one process in your business! Wasn’t that easier?
Acuity Scheduling could be the top online system for making an appointment. This online calendar is pumped full of different options, including the option to have someone to pay for a session, right then and there. It’s clean and very easy to use. This is by far one of the best calendars.The free version has minimal options and most client prefer the paid version. Most clients are all about paying a little bit for something that can make me more in return. If you use an online calendar more than a couple times a month, I would definitely check this one out. You can check their website, it isat https://acuityscheduling.com/?kw=YToxMTM2OTA2OA%3D%3D
Other than the above-mentioned advantages, an appointment booking system will help you to create a paperless environment which will save a lot of money as well as a human resource. Also, it will help you to organize your business nicely.
So, if you are running any business be it online or offline, creating a site using WordPress and adding any of the best appointment booking plugins mentioned in this post will help you to take your business to the next level.
References:

https://www.sourcewp.com/best-appointment-booking-plugins-for-wordpress/

https://acuityscheduling.com/?kw=YToxMTM2OTA2OA%3D%3D

http://nataliemariecollins.com/top-3-best-online-appointment-scheduling-software/

Research paper: Online Appointment Management System. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/266171377_Online_Appointment_Management_System [accessed May 4, 2017].



The Struggles of Becoming an SME in Hong Kong

Manufacturing enterprises with fewer than 100 employees and non-manufacturing enterprises with fewer than 50 employees are regarded as small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Hong Kong.
As of December 2016, there were about 320,000 operating foreign and local SMEs in Hong Kong. It really helped the economy to level up by means of giving jobs to the 1.3 million Hong Kong citizens. They accounted for over 98% of the business units.
Most of the SMEs were in the import/export trade and wholesale industries, followed by the professional and business services industry. They accounted for about 50% of the SMEs in Hong Kong and represented about half of the SME employment.
Hong Kong SMEs have played the lead in exploring the Mainland market. Since the mid-1980s, an increasing number of Hong Kong SMEs have established operations in the hinterlands, mainly in the form of Foreign-funded Enterprise (FFE) or Outward Processing Trade (OPT). According to a latest survey conducted by the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong, about 86% of CMA members have investments in the Mainland, of which more than 80% are SMEs.
China has promised to reduce tariff and other trade barriers. Such moves will be greatly conducive to the growth of imports, while enabling FFEs to save the expense on imported materials and parts. More opportunities in trading have also opened because of it.
Hong Kong services SMEs are renowned for their internationalization experience and professional competence. Capitalizing on China's new initiatives in liberalizing services sector, these SMEs will have bright prospects of expanding business scope into the Mainland, especially in retailing, wholesales, international trade, telecommunication and Internet industries. The increasing presence of Hong Kong-based services firms could, in turn, bode well for manufacturers, enabling them to upgrade efficiency and maximize synergy.
Challenge is the twin of opportunity. Now that China is speeding up its pace in market liberalization, it is bound to turn into a battlefield teemed with market-seeking players from all over the world, including Western companies, which are generally superior in size, strength and technology. Thus far, Hong Kong SMEs have mostly been confined to labor-intensive, relatively low-end and export-oriented Outward Processing Trade in the Mainland, and many of them are still short of the right ability and motivation as well to pursue technologic innovation and to snatch domestic market share. With more and more big players flocking into Mainland and domestic enterprises picking up, Hong Kong SMEs could be thrust into deep water. For instance, they might encounter graver difficulties in scraping up market outlets, and also have to brace up for fierce competition when securing operational resources.
The Mainland is now in the process of implementing National Treatments on FIEs, which have resulted in the reduction or phasing out of some preferential treatments previously enjoyed by Hong Kong enterprises, such as tax holidays, refunds, and trading rights for import and export goods. Owing to their meager profit margin, Hong Kong SMEs have generally exhibited a higher degree of dependence on tax or fiscal incentives and are relatively sensitive to related policy changes. The implementation of this National Treatment, though beneficial in the long run, could  backfire among some SMEs in the short term.
Hong Kong SME competitiveness slipped from third to fourth position in the Asia Pacific region, behind China, Japan, South Korea and is now on par with Singapore, according to the UPS Asia Business Monitor (ABM) 2008, an annual survey conducted on competitiveness and issues facing SMEs in Asia. Only 52% of respondents considered SMEs in Hong Kong to be competitive, a decrease of nine percentage points compared to 2015.
In order to rise to the challenges ahead and to maximize the opportunities available, Hong Kong SMEs should, first of all, keep up the "first-mover" advantages. Along with branching out into newly-opened investment areas, Hong Kong SMEs could also consider venture into the Great West, where a far-reaching development campaign is now unfolding.
Another strategy that deserves pursuit is inter-firm collaboration. Hong Kong SMEs, especially those engaged in correlated product lines, can team up under certain kinds of networking arrangements. Such teams working together could not only enhance synergy and efficiency, but also enable SMEs to conduct group investments so as to be eligible for the participation in some projects in the nature of capital-intensiveness, long payback period or high entry barriers.
They can work hand-in-hand to explore domestic market, promote brand names, develop and commercialize new technology, and even take part in the reform of Mainland's State-owned Enterprises (SOEs).


References:
2.    Hong Kong SME's competitiveness in Asia Pacific slips down, http://info.hktdc.com/shippers/vol31_4/vol31_4_Logistics03.htm, 2008 
3.    Small and medium enterprises (SMEs), https://www.success.tid.gov.hk/english/aboutus/sme/service_detail_6863.html, n.d.