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Introduction

In this investigative research, we analyze Kenya and its dedication to growth and development. This will enable us to determine the viability of our company, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., to do successful business and expand its operations into Kenya’s diverse market. The country has diverse population of 41.6 million and a sustained GDP of $33.62 billion (citation). It is situated in the East African region and bordering Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Somalia and Sudan. Kenya is characterized by a middle-class population. This presents a great potential for business expansion and success. This report will amass information about our anticipated consumers as we seek to understand their purchasing behavior. The information will also give insight on our labor force in Kenya and the condition necessary to sustain it. Consequently, we will explore and offer recommendations concerning the business viability Kenya.

Our dedicated aim in this report is to present a complete analysis of Kenya as a business environment. We will be examining the cultural orientation in the Kenyan environment. This will grant us a platform to study human behavior and the cultural settings portrayed by children, women, religion, customs, Kenyan value system and physical environment. In addition, we will examine and compile a report on the country’s labor conditions, fairness, safety, existing laws, and the availability of human labor. To make our report diverse, we will briefly explore the economic environment and its impacts on our decision. This will help us determine how our competitors are fairing and whether we can gain a market share in Kenya. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. targets the growing urban areas where the high and middle-class reside and do business. Therefore, the entire report will revolve around this population.

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Culture

To start with, it is worth noticing that Kenya is diverse as far as culture is concerned. The country is made up of over forty two tribes. Each tribe has its own values, customs and ethical standards. The perception of a woman varies in all the tribes. However, there are standard values that a Kenyan woman should portray. One of the values is submissiveness, respect and obedience to the Kenyan men. This means that they receive orders from men. Consequently, their behaviors and conduct are often influenced by men.  The dress code of a woman in Kenya is culturally defined. Moreover, a Kenyan woman is expected to get married and have numerous children. Marriage is done traditionally and a woman is exchanged with a dowry mostly associated with herds of cattle. The purchase behavior in Kenyan women depends on the perception of men. This is because they are determined to please their men by all means possible. A recent study compiled by Synovate survey, (2012) found that Kenyan women prefer savvy gadgets, tough cars and second-hand clothes. This shows their low self-esteemed and influenced purchase behavior. The study continued to provide that Kenyan women seem to prefer Toyota cars, which are believed to be affordable. They prefer Toyota Prado and Rav 4 whose purchase and spare parts are affordable. Similarly, they prefer Nokia phones, which present a wide-variety to choose from to Samsung, blackberry, Ideos and Alcatel models combined. Affordability in the key determinant as far as Kenyan women purchase attitude is concerned. Women browse the internet using their mobile phones. This allows them to do some research on products and services before developing purchase interests. A woman purchases clothes from stalls or town markets near their places of residence. Therefore, they do not visit the up-market street stores that are rather expensive. The Synovate survey, (2012) obtained data from Kenya Motor Industry Association (KMI), which proved that a Toyota Prado retailed at Sh.4.387 mission while a Rav 4 retails at Sh. 3 million. Other models such as Mercedes retail at a relatively higher price thereby keeping Kenyan away from them. Generally, the survey presented that price is a vital factor as far as purchase behavior is concerned. Women do a lot of research using their mobile phones to seek for cheap products. Therefore, it would be valuable to develop a detailed website of our products as well as their consumer reviews in Kenya. This would allow Kenyan women to research for things they require to facilitate and enhance their shopping experience. Women’s top priority when doing shopping in Kenya is price and affordability. The views expressed in the survey are emphasized in the core values of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. The company strives for affordability and maintains its slogan that it saves consumers money so that they can lead a better life. Given the situation in Kenya, our company will fit well in the environment. Women will find a place to acquire quality products at cheap prices. We operate department stores and warehouses with variety of products under one roof. The pricing of our products is considerate and affordable by the target consumers. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has bend successful in other areas of the world. This would translate well in Kenya to meet the desire of women shoppers. The responsibility of household shopping is left entirely on women. Therefore, their purchase decision is influenced by price tags in stores and product outlets. However, men are the head of Kenyan families and their decision on larger household purchase is final. Fortunately, with more women becoming educated, the role of household purchase is left to them. Kenyan women who live in urban areas are educated, independent and career-oriented. They manage to make decisions pertaining to household décor and purchase of valuable assets. This might also has been fueled by the increase in women’s income. Perhaps the perceived stereotype in Kenya arguing that women are inferior and dependent makes them settle for cheap products. The Synovate survey, (2012) also found out that women go shopping in open air markets or stalls where products are cheap. Most women have shopping as their hobby. If they happen to lack affordable products to purchase, they end up window shopping. It is evident from this discussion that Kenyan women are responsible for almost all the household shopping. Therefore, they form a great opportunity to conduct marketing. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. must provide affordable products to women in order to succeed.

Children are perceived to be the future of the world. What they perceive as right may affect their future decision making. Children provide purchasing ideas to their parents. Their preferences affect the decisions their parents make. In Kenya, children are dependent on their parents. A fraction of children are orphans who depend on well-wishers (Weisner, 2009). Children receive allowances from their parents, which they either use for purchase or save for future transactions. The birth rate in Kenya is high because parents have not endorsed family planning measures (Weisner, 2009). This means that there are high numbers of children in households. These children compete for household resources provided by their parents. Surprisingly, the people with low income are the ones with high number of children. This subjects them to hardship and poor means of survival. Their portion of parents’ resources is small. This information is vital and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. should utilize it to target and capture the Kenyan children to boost sales. For instance, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. should market cheap appliances, video games, toys, clothes, electronics, etc. on television and street walls. Advertising should be through the word of mouth. In Kenyan setting, mobile product promotions should be done to target children. These promotions should involve local celebrities who would perform live concerts while promoting Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. products. When children are young, parents make decisions for them. As they grow old, social influences and media dominate their thinking and life choices. Most children in Kenya spend their free time sharing amongst themselves. They share opinion and perception regarding various life issues. Therefore our main mandate will be to market our products to children through compatible means. In addition, a considerate number of Kenyan children watch television. This means that media commercial will be a marketing tool for our products. This will help capture a section of the children’s market that will in turn spread the news to their friends.

Education provision is the major agenda in the Kenya’s government (Kingori and Ntulo, 2011).  It strives to equip willing citizens with academic knowledge as a way of excelling economically. Moreover, the country has made it mandatory for children to be taken to school for free. Kenya has many educated youths with no jobs. This is an opportunity for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. skilled labor from the unemployed graduates will be available. We will employ educated local people to offer services to their fellow country men.

Kenya is characterized by individualism as far as value system is concerned. This leads to insecurity, lack of harmony, and ethical differences (Ondari-Okemwa, 2000). The people’s opinions vary on grounds of individualism. Everybody in Kenya is determined to succeed. However, the word of mouth is very influential in the country. Celebrities carry the day when advertising. When they endorse a product or service, it is likely to make tremendous sales in the Kenyan market. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will use this as an advantage. We will hire some celebrities to become brand ambassadors in the country. Their campaign will help sell our products successfully and realize large market dominance. As mentioned earlier in this discussion, Kenyan citizens are more prices sensitive and only prefer products that are affordable. Therefore, we will offer low priced products that will enhance their life.

Kenya is a religious country. Its citizens are Christians and Muslims (Oparanya, 2010). All of them advocate for harmony, peaceful coexistence, positive behavior and moral responsibility. The desire to live harmoniously affects the people’s buying decision. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. should familiarize itself with the religious beliefs portrayed by the Kenyan people. Customer service is enhanced by the fact that harmony is mandatory. Our main focus will be to enhance corporate responsibility. This will help us portray a mutual desire for harmony.

The physical environment is Kenya is an interesting aspect. The country has been characterized by rural-urban migration. Most people have moved to towns such as Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu (Government of Kenya, 2006). The cost of housing and means of survival has risen significantly. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. should offer their products at affordable prices. We should also distribute our products to all parts of the country to increase accessibility. This will reduce costs and increase sales. The country’s infrastructure is developed; therefore, accessibility is enhanced. Our business operations will be enhanced to increase customer satisfaction.

Labor Conditions

The moment Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. enters Kenya; it would be required to comply with the laws of the land. We will need to obtain employees from Kenya. In order to do that, the labor laws must be adhered to. The Kenyan government has been keen on fairness and safety at the workplace (Ministry of labor, 2010). The company should provide a safe environment for employees and issue safety precautions where necessary. The ministry of labor insists that employees should receive industrial training, occupational safety, social security, MSE development and reasonable wages (Ministry of labor, 2010). Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. should follow this to the latter to avoid problems.

As mentioned earlier, Kenya has many educated professionals who are unemployed. In addition, there are several uneducated individuals who look for job in the urban centers. The World Bank Group, (2006) argued that these people will provide both skilled and unskilled labor.  Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. should offer good terms to the employees to enhance loyalty. We will ensure that the employees are trained to suit our standards of operations. Our target will be to have the employees follow regulations and shun corruption.

Conclusion

This report presented a potential market in Kenya and introduced Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. the Kenyan culture is diverse due to the numerous tribes existing there. Women in Kenya are submissive, respectful and obedient to their husbands. Their purchase decisions are highly influenced by their husbands. Children also make contribution as far as purchasing is concerned. The Kenyan population is educated, unemployed and live around urban centers. The country has labor laws that must be followed to the latter.

Recommendations

For Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. to be successful, it has to understand the market. It should offer low prices for its diverse products to enhance affordability. Kenyan will purchase form them since they are price sensitive. The company should utilize both the skilled and unskilled labor available in the country. It should also do vigorous promotional campaigns that will capture children and women. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. should understand the labor laws existing in Kenya. It should adhere to them and comply accordingly to avoid conflicts. Business operations should consider the people’s religion and value system. This would enable them to make sound purchase decisions and choose Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. for their shopping.

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