After successfully conducting research in countries such as Argentina, Indonesia, Brazil, the Philippines, Chile and China, the destination of the Sefa Research Project 2018 will be India! The aim of the Sefa Research Project is to do tailor-made research for companies with aspirations towards emerging economies. There are vast opportunities for Dutch businesses in India and we hope to provide services to ensure that these companies will thrive there.
The Sefa Research project is constructed of 16 student consultants who function as a consultancy service. We aim to partner with Dutch businesses and are able to provide fine-tuned consultancy advice that meets the needs of our partner businesses wanting to expand their business into India.
This is the 14th year that the Sefa Research Project has existed and partnering businesses have shown great enthusiasm with the work received. Moreover, we believe that our academic and voluntary nature, our enthusiastic and hard-working mindset, our professional training and counseling, and our cost transparency makes us a unique organization which services can be of great value to your business. To learn more about the Sefa Research Project, its different phases, and the cost framework, complete the contact form at the bottom of the page to receive our Value Proposition.
All the student consultants are either in the last year of their bachelor or are doing a research master. We have been immersed in an academic environment and have been looking at business in a scientific manner. We are experts on the most recent research being done on markets and how businesses operate within them. In the last months, we have and will continue to study the Indian market and will gain many insights into explorable business opportunities for Dutch companies. To summarize, our academic nature gives us an edge to most consultancy firms as they give the same advice they have been deploying for years. We, on the other hand, are able to bring new scientific impulses to your company which could result in smart and creative ways for Dutch business to be successful in India.
The Sefa Research Project offers Dutch companies aspiring to enter the Argentinian market high-quality research on the business opportunities they can exploit in Argentina. The research proposal is drafted in accordance with the specific needs of the client. In follow up meetings with the client the research objective is further investigated and together we analyze which (combination of) research method(s) is best suited to the client’s research objective. In previous years the teams carried out among others profitability analysis, outsourcing possibilities, sector and market analysis and import-export analysis.
During the field research in India, we stay in close contact with the client, to keep the client up to date about the research progress and to ensure the research can be polished where necessary. This way, we are able to offer an entirely tailor-made research package, priced below-cost price.
All sixteen of volunteered to do Research project this year. We all have aspirations to make a career out of this line of work and through the research project, we aim to put all our gained knowledge to practice. Unlike other consultancy firms, we are a non-profit and are not being paid for our participation in the research project. Therefore, instead of doing the bare minimum to receive a paycheck our motivation is inherent as we want to provide the best consultancy advice possible in order to gain experience in this line of work. We will go above and beyond to ensure the successful introduction of your business in India not because we are being paid to do so, but because of our determination to prove to ourselves that we are able to be successful in the world of consultancy.
Before being part of the Sefa Research project, the student consultants have gone through a rigorous selection procedure. Since only third-year bachelor students or master students are eligible they have demonstrated to be hard-working, smart, enthusiastic, and talented by obtaining high marks and participating in extracurricular activities. This ensures that our team consists of only the best economics and business students that have an intrinsic motivation and dedication to the Sefa Research Project.
Besides the knowledge gathered within the domain of their studies, our consultants also receive guidance from representatives of our Board of Advice. Additionally, they receive a diverse array of professional training from our partners such as Boston Consulting Group and Deloitte. This combination of an academic core with professional outer-layer makes the Sefa Research project unique.
The Research Project is constructed on a non-profit basis and we will be completely transparent about the cost structure. Since our student consultants contribute significantly to the annual budget themselves, the price for companies is typically below cost price.
India has the second largest population in the world with over 1.3 billion inhabitants. The United Nations predicts that by 2021 India will surpass China and become the most populated country, while only being a third of the size. By 2025, India will have 69 cities with a population of more than one million each. As a result, India’s rapidly growing population is creating lots of business opportunities for foreign investors.
The IT sector has been India’s sunshine sector for quite some time now. The industry has contributed considerably to changing India’s image from a slow developing economy to a global player in providing world-class technology solutions. The city of Bangalore is regarded as the Silicon Valley of India with all the largest foreign corporations like Google and Apple having national headquarters there. There is a surplus of highly educated people in this sector waiting for jobs.
A large part of India’s economy still consists of agriculture. With India’s growing population and a raised standard of living, India will be looking for more effective farming methods. Since the Netherlands (especially through the University of Wageningen) leads the world in Agriculture technology there are vast opportunities for Dutch companies. Additionally, India’s floriculture segment is small and unorganized while the Netherlands is, by a landslide, the global leader in this sector. There is a lot to be done in this lucrative sector. The global trade in floriculture products is worth 9.4 billion dollars. With an 8% growth, it is expected to grow to 16 billion dollars by 2010
Economically, India is going through impressive times. India is on a high growth trajectory, averaging a 7% GDP growth per year from 1997 to 2018. India’s GDP in 2018 is 2.8 trillion dollars, the third largest in the world (PPP), and it is expected to become a 5 trillion dollars economy by 2025. The projected GDP growth of 7.3% in 2018-2019 makes India the fastest growing economy in the world. Remarkably, the best companies in India grow at 25% to 30% a year. Some of the best banks in India have grown upwards of 20% a year for 20 years in a row now. In the last 20 years, an increasing number of companies have entered the Indian economy due to these reasons. Because of this, the cost of being successful in India goes up significantly every year. Right now is the perfect time to enter the Indian economy in order to establish yourself and fill the existing business gaps before it is a fully established economy.
The Indian healthcare industry has advantages over other developing countries in becoming a global hub for medical tourism. For the medical treatment and educational services in India are a fraction of the cost in developed countries, while quality standards are still very high.
India’s infrastructure growth has been exponential over the past decade. Infrastructure is one of the cornerstones of India’s rapidly growing population and economy. In order to facilitate these changes infrastructure changes are necessary. Competitive foreign investors could play a vital role in these developments.
Only a relatively small part of retail in India is organized efficiently. Despite this, it is estimated that the sector in India’s retail market is will increase by 60% to reach 1.1 trillion dollars by 2020.
With over 460 million internet users, India is the second largest online market, ranked only behind China. With millions of additional internet users added every year, India provides large opportunities in this sector.
Since 2007 Sefa has conducted Research Projects in a variety of countries. Below are a number of brief case studies done in previous years. However, due to the confidentiality of multiple projects, not all previous editions are included.
Secrid is one of the biggest companies that are selling pocket-sized products. The very first Secrid was sold in 2009 in the Netherlands and now they are selling the products in more than 6000 stores all over the world. The products are produced in the Netherlands and make sure the quality is hig.
Secrid keeps on looking for new markets for their products. Because of the positive developments in Mexico, their interest was to move to this country.
What we did
In the summer of 2018, 4 students consultants have done the research in Mexico, with the goal to identify new selling locations, to identify the needs and wishes of the Mexican consumer and to look for some possible difficulties in the the Mexican law. To get to the results the student consultants have been visiting and ranking 70 possible selling locatons. Besides this, more than 100 consumers were interviewed for consumer research.
The rapport gives a clear overview of the potential selling locations for Secrid and helps to find new customers in Mexico. The consumer research will give Secrid insight in the needs and wises of the Mexican consumer.
Running one of the largest and busiest logistics centres in the world for many years has given the Port of Rotterdam Authority a wealth of expertise and experience in developing and managing large ports and industrial areas. The Port of Rotterdam International department (PoRint) uses this knowledge and experience and the world-renowned ‘Port of Rotterdam’ brand to help ports worldwide achieve their maximum potential.
Port of Rotterdam Authority is constantly working on expanding their international network. Because of positive developments on a political and economic level in Argentina, they were interested in the dynamics around the Port of Buenos Aires.
What we did
The 4 student consultants have done a very broad research, in which the following issues have been analyzed; the business model of the port, the stakeholders and their interest, the financial position, the status of logistics and the expectations around politics and economics. For this they have gathered data and have held numerous interviews with, among others, the authorities of the port, port experts, ministries and journalists.
The report has given a clear overview about the situation around the port of Buenos Aires and helps in the conversation about a possible collaboration.
De Heus Voeders is one of the largest independent animal nutrition producing companies in the world with over 35 factories in 9 different countries across the globe. Currently De Heus is in the top 5 largest animal feed producers in Vietnam and already has a strong regional presence: products are being exported from Vietnam to Laos, Cambodia, the Philippines and Myanmar. However, De Heus had been absent in the Indonesian animal nutrition market.
De Heus had very limited knowledge on the Indonesian animal nutrition industry and therefore requested Sefa Research Project to perform a market entry study on feed for aquaculture; an animal nutrition sub-market considered to be of high potential by De Heus.
What we did
The 4 person project team first conducted quantitative research on market size and growth of different fish species while being based in The Netherlands. Based on the outcomes, the team and De Heus decided to focus on a core group of 4 high potential species. Then the team did research on which specific locations in Indonesia were the top fish farming places, and decided to visit five of them. In Indonesia, the team conducted surveys at the different locations with important stakeholders to construct a comprehensive market analysis.
Mr. Johan van den Ban (in 2014 Business Development Manager at De Heus Vietnam, now Managing Director at De Heus Myanmar) says: “The Sefa Research Project team has strong analytical skills and the ability to outline a potential market relatively fast. The slide deck report was very professional and well- structured and has been of added value to our entry to Indonesia. Furthermore, the team showed good teamwork and communication skills”.
Faber Flags is the global market leader in the production, marketing and sales of promotional textile products, such as flags, indoor/outdoor banners, street banners, event banners and parasols. With various participations and joint ventures worldwide, Faber can be described as an internationally oriented company.
With a declining European market for outdoor promotion, Faber Flags continuously searches for opportunities outside the Netherlands to strengthen her international salesnetwork. Having an economic growth of approximately 6% over the last 5 years, and an even larger growth in the advertising sector, Vietnam could be an important new market for Faber Flags. Faber Flags asked the Sefa Research Project to find out what Vietnam offers for them.
What we did
Four members of the Sefa Research Project conducted a market research. Keeping the needs and wishes of Faber Flags in mind, they started with a month of desk research. The team began by mapping the available legislation and processing the relevant macro-economic data. In Vietnam, the team coorporated with e.g. the Dutch Consulate and several (international) business organizations in order to see whether the ideas of the team about the market fitted the actual picture. Visiting several production companies as well as multinationals, the team tried to form a complete picture of the supply and demand side of the Vietnames advertising market.
Martin Koppelaar, CEO of Faber Flags: The cooperation with Sefa went very well. The discussions during the intake, and the desk and field research were very fruitfull. Sefa did deliver and present a valuable report which will help us to take the necessary decisions regarding the entry of the Vietnames economy.
ECN is a mid-sized company involved in energy research and technology development, with a focus on renewable energies. Key activities for the company include contract research and development for external organizations, the licensing of technology and systems to industrial companies and consulting on policy issues around energy.
Developments in the area of renewable energy research (biomass energy and sugarcane) in Brazil had been of interest to ECN in the last year. ECN wanted to enter the market of sugarcane, and improve its energy potential and waste product bagasse. The assignment was to map the market for biomass research in Brazil, meet the companies and institutes behind the key projects and develop leads for our client to enter this market.
What we did
The team began by identifying three key lines of business for the client that best fit the Brazilian market. Then an analysis was made of the Brazilian market to identify companies and institutes that could be of potential interest, this was done by using a value-chain perspective. Additionally they found companies active in interesting biomass projects beyond sugarcane. The research team identified a list of high potential contacts and then departed for Brazil. In Brazil they spent three weeks in Sao Paulo state, the centre of the sugarcane industry in Brazil. The team met with sugarcane producers, industry associations, energy companies, universities, power plant operators as well as legal and regulatory experts and sought their view on the market for biomass research in Brazil.
The team was able to introduce their client’s capabilities to multiple companies and arranged follow-up working meetings between the client and four new companies and institutes in Brazil.
- 2011 – India
- 2010 – Indonesia
- 2009 – South Africa
- 2008 – Bulgaria
- 2007 – Baltic States
Derco B.V. – The Philippines (2015): “The members of the SEFA project team impressed us with their professionalism and dedication. During all phases of the project they kept us informed, and for every challenge they were able to find a solution. At the end of the project they supplied us with a high quality report of the local market, and their recommendations and findings will definitely help us to open up the Philippines market for our products. We can highly recommend SEFA’s services, and we look forward to working with a new SEFA team in the near future.”
E-Crane – Vietnam (2013): “I was truly impressed with the final outcome of this research project. All participants clearly had a good technical and commercial understanding of our E-Crane product line and this resulted in well-documented and valuable tools that were successfully used in approaching and analyzing the Vietnamese market. The final SEFA report is not the end but rather a new and exciting starting point for E-Crane’s expansion in Asia.“
Research Project 2019
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