The case firm is a global actor in the pulp and paper industry with manufacturing capacity outside the domestic market

Interpretation: The case firm made an investment in a joint venture together with a local partner in order to gain proximity to a growing market area in Asia. An important advantage of the joint venture was the opportunity to work with a stable partner and grow with international customers and brand owners. The local presence enabled the firm to operate with a higher degree of flexibility in the converting process in relation to local customers than exporting from Europe. A new strategic decision was made when the firm decided to dispose of its russianbeautydate link holdings in the joint venture in Pakistan due to market incidents.

Case B

The firm is active in the manufacture of pulp, paper and board products. In 2014 major decisions were taken to increase production capacity, quality and environmental performance. The firm operates in the growing global packaging market where customer preferences for renewable materials and recyclable packaging materials is increasing and driving the market. Close cooperation with customers and partners makes it possible to develop innovative customized packaging solutions in the local market. The firm is working together with brand-owners and major retail- and supermarket chains to improve its activities in the value chain. The customer base consists of approximately 2,000 customers in more than 100 countries.

Market demand is mainly driven by global megatrends such as an increased focus on sustainability, changing consumption patterns by a growing middle-class and an increased urbanization requiring new packaging solutions. With Europe as the main market area 75% of the sales are within consumer-oriented sectors focusing on food products. However, emerging markets in Asia have gradually grown in importance for future business and the firm is strengthening its presence via its own sales and service offices in Singapore and New Delhi. They are also working together with 100 local sub-suppliers to design the best customer solution. The demand for food packaging is expected to grow 3.6% annually with an even higher growth rate in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. A key task in this respect is offering sustainable packaging solutions for protecting and preserving the content to a final customer in a supply chain. Asia has also become the largest packaging market accounting for 38% of the total global packaging industry in 2014. Furthermore, Asia has the highest growth rate and was expected to grow twice as fast as the global . The market in China was expected to grow by 9% per year and India by 11% per year until 2018. The case firm has also provided the capacity to offer global brand-owners and retail chains with manufacturing capacity in Asia innovative and sustainable packaging solutions through its subsidiary specializing in packaging design.

A major consideration here is that such solutions can reduce distribution costs. Offering products with the right properties and qualities is good business but in order to build trust and lasting customer relationships “we achieve that by being flexible and resolving customer problems” (Manager Customer Service). The firm’s approach is based on collaboration, exchange and continuous improvement on a daily basis always with a focus on the customer.

Interpretation: In case B the firm exports products to the local market area mainly from Europe, but they also buy material from local suppliers for further conversion and added value processes. This gives the firm an opportunity to choose the best customer solution based on the material properties. A decision to develop a service centre in Asia also contributes to ent in the region.


An important factor emerging from this study is management’s strategic need to develop markets for mature products. An opportunity for ent seems likewise to overrule the risks and uncertainty behind a market entry. The multiple-case study reveals different management approaches to finding new markets and meeting demand in emerging markets. Previous research shows that the ability to find and screen markets on a global basis depends largely on the conception that potential markets can be assessed by comparing and evaluating different characteristics of each country (Russow and Okoroafo, 1996; Sakaraya et al., 2007). The international business literature is to a great extent in favour of using market size and variables when describing the level of economic development to identify potential markets (Russow and Okoroafo, 1996; Andersen and Strandskov, 1998; Brewer, 2001; Andersen and Buvik, 2002; Sakarya et al., 2007). This can often be combined in multiple stages of assessment in relation to specific market factors.