Gemneric Computer Consulting is a startup company that specializes in database management and application development support. The company was founded in 2015 by Mohammed Al Saif, a young computer engineer, while he was still in college. The main focus of this company is placed on the service areas of database management and application development support. Thus, the company aims to function while promoting and maintaining a solid relationship with its clients. At the same time, the company hopes to operate tuning its services and make contribution to its industry by developing innovative business solutions. Currently, the size of the company is quite small that, however, is presupposed to be beneficial as it creates the opportunity to act rather quickly and easily enabling it to meet the needs of its clients in time.
The management of Gemneric is operating with the full understanding that the company is involved into an industry that is growing at a significantly fast pace. This is owed to the changing nature of technology as everything is slowly being automated and computerized. However, due to this very same reason, this industry is the best to enter. This is because the growth of technology is traced in different sectors of life, and there is sufficient entry positions as the focus for each company can be on different aspects of the IT industry. Nonetheless, Gemneric will be faced with stiff competitors from IT companies such as Gccweb Hosting Dubai, Soft Solutions World DMCC, Apphitect, and Clarendon Parker Middle East.
As it currently stands, the main obstacle for this company is its limited human resources. To address this issue, the company plans to expand its personnel over the next three years. The main purpose for developing this business plan is to create a strategy that will assist Gemneric in increasing its revenue by at least 20% and growing its assets by at least 30%. Thus, the following prepared business plan will offer an extensive understanding of the company as well as the future growth.
Gemneric Computer Consulting Company Summary
2.1 Business Form
The business form of Gemneric Computer Consulting has been determined in accordance to the UAE company law. Therefore, the company`s form is Limited Liability Company. In this regard, this is a business with not more than 50 or less than 2 partners. Further, it is a business whereby the share of the UAE nationals in its capital is not less than 51 of its total shares. The preference for this business form lies in the fact that it will prove easier for the company to raise capital for its operations.
Gemneric Computer Consulting was initially a sole proprietorship that is owned and operated by Mohammed Al Saif. The goal was to establish the company with the minimum amount of accrued expenses as possible with no any kind of debt financing. Due to the need of the company to grow further, it was later recognized as a limited liability company. This allowed th entry of partners that will be essential sources of increased capital for the company.
2.3 Vision and Mission
The vision of Gemneric Computer Consulting is embedded in the need to promote efficiency in service provision to clients. Accordingly, the vision of this company is ‘providing timely response, informed expertise, and consistent high quality solutions’. This will be critical in helping the company generate adequate satisfied client database that will provide the most stable retainer for the company and allow it to generate enough profit for an enhanced comfortable survival in the industry.
On the other hand, the mission of Gemneric Computer Consulting has been established in a manner that allows it to be as apparent as possible. This is fundamental because a clear mission is vital for the success of any operating business. Thus, the purpose of this IT company is ‘to foster and maintain a positive relationship with all its clients both internal and external by offering cut edge technological services at a price that is reasonable enough’.
The aim of Gemneric Computer Consulting is integrated in the fact that every business tends to operate with the specific aim of generating returns for its owners in form of profit. Consequently, the aim of this company is to ensure the generation of adequate profits for its shareholders through a successful return process of their investment.
The objectives of Gemneric Computer Consulting are clearly devised. It is essential to note that the company has developed these objectives on the basis of what it hopes to achieve and what entails growth in the IT industry where it operates. The objectives are thus highlighted in the salient points below which they have been subdivided into long term and short term.
2.5.1 Short Term Objectives
To offer custom solutions with outstanding customer service. This will be beneficial in enhancing customer efficiency, and thus, it will cement Gemneric’s long relationship through recurring projects.
To increase the human resources of the company in order to be able to effectively support the growing need for services. This is intended to be done by providing flexible work hours and bonuses to commensurate performance.
To deliver contracts. This is supported by the small size of the company which eliminates the burden of bureaucracy that larger companies deal with.
2.5.2 Long Term Objectives
To be able to generate adequate profit that will ultimately finance future growth by providing the necessary resources for achieving other company`s objectives.
To develop business at a high rate, which can be challenging but manageable. The company hopes to do this by increasing its revenue by at least 20% and growing its assets by at least 30%.
2.6 Location and Facilities
The offices of Gemneric Computer Consulting are to be located at Al Attar Tower, Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai. This is a proper location that is at the center of Dubai. The city of Dubai will provide sufficient business avenues for the company due to the growing businesses that are in need of IT services. It is a city that is also described as a global a business hub for the Middle East according to the Dubai Information Site (2010). The city’s western style model of business will also work positively for Gemneric as this is one of the main ways that this city has been able to drive its economy. Thus, Gemneric will be able to offer support to the city’s main sources of revenue that include tourism, real estate, and finance.
3.1 Market Size
The UAE’s market size has grown exponentially over the last few years. Abbas (2015) opines that in 2015 alone, the IT sector in the UAE grew by Dh18.68 billion. The software sales, for instance, increased by Dh3.549 billion which is translated into 18.1% increase (Abbas, 2015). The UAE is one of the Gulf region’s fastest growing enterprise resource planning markets that are supported by a sense of modernization. The IT market size has also been described according to the BMI study: the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry has forecasts the UAE’s IT compound annual rate of expansion as being approximately 8.47% by the year 2018 (Abbas, 2015). Recently, tablet computers have become widely used in the UAE due to their ability to provide computing power and a sense of mobility. The hardware sales have thus grown substantially, and this growth is expected to further continue in the future.
3.2 Industry Participants
The IT consulting market in the UAE has a number of industry participants. This has mainly been brought about by the increased need of many businesses to prefer outsourcing some of their needs as opposed to paying a fixed amount to fulfill these needs. Further, Dubai Information Site (2010) notes the fact that a wide range of sizes and specialties has left this market to have plenty of opportunity to startups to find a niche. Some of the most paramount industry participants are in the form of the following specialties. The first industry participants are consultants who categorize themselves as computer and data processing companies. The second industry participants are identified as service and repair computer consulting companies. Other additional participants include computer consultants specializing in software and services, and system designers. These industry participants indicate that while there are a fair number and category of participants within the UAE, they are widely specialized. The great amount of participants is able to manage large businesses. This is essential as it leaves smaller participants such as Gemneric to have more time to focus on their chosen market segments.
3.3 Target Market Segment Strategy
3.3.1 Market Needs
Experts in the consulting industry in the UAE identify three essential marketing needs that exist for IT consultants. The first marketing need is еру temporary technical aid. In this regard, many businesses need short term assignments that will assist in finding solutions for these businesses. This is identified as being the largest market that needs to be explored. Another essential market need is in relation to specific skill. The first area in this category is the need for software specialty in the view of Glover (2011). A large number of businesses is lacking software specialty, which a factor that hinders them from differentiating themselves. Within this category of specific skill, the second largest area is composed of repair, network administration, database and application development, security and data protection, and system reengineering. The final market need that has been identified is the assistance within the context of trouble shooting. This has the meaning that private home computer users do not make a viable market for computer consultants.
3.3.2 Market Trends
Within this industry, three main market trends have emerged as being essential. The first market trend that is perceived as being the most critical is the rapid change and growth in technology. According to Abbas (2015), this has led to industry participants to continuously undergo the process of upgrading both their software and hardware in an attempt to remain relevant. Thus, the rapid change in technology has meant that businesses have to work to remain flexible to survive. The second market trend can be considered as being moderately significant. The trend is directed at the continued growth and expansion in consulting. This has mainly been created by the fact that many companies have become quite unwilling to pay any kind of fixed costs and salaries. Instead, many of them have made the decision to treat elements such as computer upgrades and repairs as variable costs. This has the meaning that by eliminating permanent staff to undertake this, these companies have created an opportunity for start-ups such as Gemneric to fulfill this role by consulting these companies. The final market trend is not so critical but still remains essential. This market trend is in relation to the fact that there is an increase in design projects. In this regard, many clients are requiring IT consulting companies to serve as consultants and implementers of their findings. This includes taking full responsibility for the project from the beginning to the end.
3.3.3 Market Growth
The global spending on IT increased by almost 8% in 2014 with the UAE recording a 15% year on year market growth as asserted by Abbas (2015). For a nation such as the UAE, this growth partially represents small and medium-sized IT companies and their restored ability to continue with the revenue streams that were experienced before the economic downturn of 2008-2009 (Abbas, 2015). The global IT spending has had a rapid growth. In this regard, the overall IT market has grown by about 3% (Abbas, 2015). Much of this growth was driven mainly by non-western countries in the Middle East including the UAE. This rapid growth of the IT market in the UAE represents a fundamental commercial opportunity for job positions in the sector as well entry for new startups. IT consulting has already emerged as a vital area and is expected to grow rapidly in the future. A number of factors has been responsible for this change. One such factor is the reversion to economic stability in Dubai. Debt restructuring contributed greatly to this trend in a significant sector such as the banking one to stabilize and raise oil prices which have cultivated the growing need for greater storage capacity for digital information. Subsequently, this has led to the demand for consulting companies such as Gemneric Computer Consulting. In the view of Glover, these consulting services are expected to further grow by about 21% in the UAE over the next 2 years (2011).
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3.3.4 Market Segmentation
The market segmentation of the IT consulting business in the UAE is as follows. Firstly, the largest and fastest growing segment is the home office businesses. This segment is composed of small businesses that are mainly based out of the owner’s home. This is how Mohammed Al Saif began Gemneric Computer Consulting. The second market segmentation that is the part of the UAE market is small businesses. BizPlanDB (2014) postulates that the government defines this kind of businesses as those consisting of 1 to 99 employees. This is the second largest growing segment in the UAE. The last two market segmentations include medium businesses and, finally, the large businesses. The medium businesses are defined by the government as having between 100 and 500 employees while the large businesses are those with 500 employees or more (BizPlanDB, 2014). Currently, Gemneric is working towards being recognized as a small business as it intends to increase its human resources. However, it is essential to be more precise and note that the first two market segmentations provide the most proficient opportunities for Gemneric Computer Consulting. Nonetheless, it is evident from the earlier discussed objectives of this company that it aims to expand further.
Marketing Strategy and Implementation
4.1 SWOT Analysis
- Gemneric Computer Consulting has stable income as a consequence of pursuing minimum 20% of its total revenue in the form of contracts.
- The company is flexible and is thus able to generate profit by easily adapting to changes.
- The company has an experienced staff which is able to adequately focus on particular markets enabling it to offer high end consulting services at a reasonable price.
- High substitution is a weakness that is the consequence of the fact that most of the company’s services can be easily imitated by competitors.
- Large scale companies are able to offer high competition by lowering their prices.
- Rapid technological changes easily render some of the company’s services obsolete.
- Technological changes are leading to the emergence of new advanced technologies.
- The change in the operations of businesses as more companies adapt technology in their daily functioning.
- Insufficient cash flow when payments are delayed. This will hinder the operations of the organization.
- Established companies specializing in database management and application development support pose a threat to Gemneric.
- Powerful competitors might be able to expel the company from the market.
4.2 Value Proposition and Competitive Edge
In fact, the value proposition that is being offered by Gemneric Computer Consulting is quite simple. The value proposition is defined in terms of offering goods and services, namely practical solutions for its clients with various computer challenges and those who have the need to upgrade and automate their processes, timely. This is all done at a reasonable and competitive rate. The company also offers its clients a 100% satisfaction guarantee that is meant to build and cultivate the confidence of the customers. According to Balboni and Bortoluzzi (2015), this will be essential in establishing repeat contracts for the company.
The competitive edge of Gemneric Computer Consulting is embedded in the fact that the founder has been able to establish a number of fundamental high quality relations with current as well as potential customers. In this regard, the company has already been able to overcome the entry barrier in the field of consulting. As a result, the business is only in the process of formalizing its position in the market.
4.3 Proposed Customers
The target customers of Gemneric Computer Consulting include those businesses that are not using computers. Other potential customers that the company is targeting are small and entrepreneurial businesses with a few computers. For these two types of companies, Gemneric hopes to introduce automation and the usage of computers in their operations. In addition, currently, almost all aspects of business depend on technology and, thus, computers. Other essential proposed customers for this company are businesses need customized programming services. Gemneric has also set its sights on governmental agencies as potential customers. This is essential given that the UAE government has increased its efforts in enhancing its services to the people through the use of technology.
4.4 Promotion and Advertising Strategy
The primary promotion and advertising strategy to be used by Gemneric is verbal communication. This will be used as a promotion and an advertising strategy due to the fact that this company is new in market and has a limited amount of revenue that it can dedicate to advertising. According to Allen (2015), the use of this method will be effective for the company because it will be done by cultivating existing relationships through the available networking techniques. This will enable the company to develop possible referrals and new customer leads. Further, the company will also apply web based marketing to spread the awareness in the market and seek potential clients. In addition, the company also plans to use social media platforms for its advertising. This will be appropriate for the company since this is a relatively cheap means of advertising for the company. The firm, thus, plans to apply the popular social media platforms of Facebook and Twitter to market itself and become closer to its customers. However, the ultimate promotion strategy that the company will use is assured customer satisfaction that will guarantee customer return. This is an effective promotion strategy because satisfied customers will generate repeat business for the company.
4.5 Pricing Strategy
Establishing a pricing strategy is critical for any business because a developed marketing plan is able to fully become successful only in the case where it has been adequately supported by pricing strategy that is clearly defined. For this reason, Gemneric Computer Consulting operates on the understanding that it will not be able to easily compete with other established IT companies as a consequence of their popularity in the market. Therefore, as the start-up company, Gemneric Computer Consulting plans to use penetrating pricing strategy for initial introduction to the market. As asserted by Allen (2015), this is the best available technique for the firm to be able to adequately lure customers from its competitors.
To be more specific, the pricing strategy of Gemneric will be represented as a flat rate of 415 AED which is charged per hour of service. In this regard, the company operates on the basis of a single hour on site minimum. In addition, to maintain a sense of ethics and fairness, the rate does not increase even in the events of emergencies.
4.6 Market Positioning
A market positioning strategy will be developed for Gemneric Computer Consulting. This is a strategy that shows a deliberate branding plan or processes that operate on the symbolic levels of customer consciousness. BizPlanDB (2014) notes that by advancing and building its corporate database, Gemneric will be able to develop its market positioning strategy. The positioning statement that has been developed for the company is as follows: For businesses that require technical help in the management of their databases and application development, Gemneric Computer Consulting offers a fast and effective response that will ensure that business is supported and running. We offer 100% guaranteed satisfaction to our customers.
The market positioning strategy of Gemneric Computer Consulting has been uniquely limited by a narrow focus on entrepreneurial business and governmental agencies. This narrow focus has made it possible to have in place a comprehensive model that is particularly targeted to these areas of focus. Thus, by using a focus strategy, Gemneric has positioned itself as a company that caters for the needs of the narrowly defined market.
The milestones that are highlighted in the table presented in the bottom line are essential in developing the current business plan and getting the business to officially start its operation and growth. The milestones that will serve the purpose of assisting Gemneric sufficiently gauge its target metrics. It will thus illustrate the tasks that will be involved in doing this.
Year 1 – Grow revenue by 20% and assets by 25%
Year 2 – Transform 15% of revenue into recurring contracts
Year 1 – Hire 5 additional new staff
Year 3 – Become a main contractor in the market
Year 1 – Hire full time proposal writer
Year 1 -Improve business management skills
Organization and Management
5.1 Organization Structure
Developing an organizational structure for Gemneric Computer Consulting will be essential in helping the company implement its strategy. In other words, formalizing its chain of command, the decision-making process, and determining the specific areas of responsibility will be critical when it would deal with enhancing the operations of the company. Gemneric Computer Consultancy utilizes a functional organizational structure. This has been enabled by the fact that the company is no longer a sole proprietorship. This has made the company’s owner to delegate his authority as recommended by Balboni and Bortoluzzi (2015). This has led to the appointment of certain employees to oversee specific functions in the company. Such an organizational structure is able to enhance the company and its operations because the functional orientation of this organizational structure facilitates the process of the staff and management becoming functional specialists. This functional structure further facilitates the process of communication, and thus, it ensures that the methodological governance of the staff’s actions is enabled. The functional organization structure for this company is thus made of the finance, marketing, research, and technical departments.
5.2 Management Team
The management team of Gemneric Computer Consulting is composed of a number of different talents whose individual contributions lead to the successful running of the company. This is because these high caliber professionals have the necessary experience that will lead to the creation of enormous synergy for the company. Moreover, this aspect is influenced by the fact that the ultimate success of this company heavily depends on the management teams’ ability to effectively in terms of cost deliver services to its clients in a large market that is highly competitive. The team is composed of the following individuals as illustrated in the bottom line. The illustration will feature the name of the member, his or her qualification and experiences, and any other pertinent details that will be relevant for Gemneric.
Chief Executive Officer
Young graduate who is in the charge of Gemneric Computer Consulting. Despite having no significant experience in management, Mohammed holds the keys to the company’s functioning and its growth capacity.
Has over 15 years of experience in management. He has mainly worked in the business sector that will, therefore, bring the business skills needed to forge the company further.
Has worked in technical department of several high reputational companies over the last 8 years. For instance, he has been working for Gccweb Hosting Dubai for 2 years. He will be a source of information on how other companies are operating their business and dominating in the market.
He has accumulated 10 years of experience in finance being an accomplished CPA K. He has the competence to manage the finances of Gemneric.
He has worked as a sales manager. He has significant experience in the field of marketing that will be essential in assisting the company in penetrating the UAE market.
Therefore, the total number of staff that is employed at Gemneric is illustrated as below:
Current Staff/Number of Staff
This management team is mainly driven by strengths such as a strong belief in integrity. In addition, the main characteristics of the team that involve a diversity in skills in a number of areas, strong team work, excellent leadership skills, and experience in service delivery makes it possible for the team to adequately run the operations of the company. However, it is also essential to note some weaknesses which have threatened to undermine the effectiveness of this management team. One such exceptional weakness is in relation to the decision making process. In this regard, the emphasis on consultations has led to the decision-making process being rather slow. In addition, another weakness is embedded in the nature of relationship among the various members of the management team. In this regard, the team suffered from various cases of conflict that have threatened its efficiency. It is critical to take actions to settle this. In this regard, the company should focus on illuminating and improving its strengths and curbing its weaknesses.
The financial projections are made with the aim that they capture the whole process of establishing the business as well as the subsequent statements of comprehensive income and financial position. Thus, as a part of the projected start-up costs, the total costs of starting the venture will be approximately 5,000,000 AED with the venture capitalist being able to raise 2,800,000 AED of the total amount of a start-up.
Thus, the projected breakeven for the first 12 months of operation of the business is as follows.
Moreover, the projected funding requirements for the business are as highlighted below.
Note: All the above figures are projected financial indications of the company over the coming one year of its operations. They will be compared to the real amounts at the end of the year to establish the direction of the company in the course of its performance.