General Management/Strategy, International, Entrepreneurial Business Growth, International Expansion, Emerging Markets, Shipbuilding, Family Business, Indonesia, Singapore, Entrepreneurship
Marco Polo Marine (MPM) Ltd was a medium-sized Singaporean shipping company listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange that was involved in regional shipping and shipbuilding. The company was part of a larger Indonesian family business group, and had been built from scratch by the CEO. MPM had started off providing barges to transport sand and mining products, initially for the group’s mining operations, but increasingly for third parties. It subsequently entered the shipbuilding industry by establishing a shipyard in Batam, Indonesia, an island near Singapore. As a next step to grow the company, the CEO intended to become an international player in the much more sophisticated offshore marine services sector, but he had yet to decide what strategy to take to achieve it. The case allows students to analyze a global industry and present recommendations to the CEO for positioning the company within this industry. MPM is an example of an aspiring emerging market multinational, and the case discusses the challenges such companies face in catching up with more advanced incumbents in global industries. In order to penetrate the offshore marine services sector, decisions were required as to what types of vessels to build or buy, which countries to target, and how to enter this market given financial constraints and limited technical expertise.
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