Happy Housewife Appliances Corporation

The Happy Housewife Appliances Corporation is an American manu­factu­rer of kitchen appliances. Based in Boston, Massachussetts, in 1962, and with an employee base of around 5,000, the Corporation markets its range of high-quality kitchen products, com­prise numerous electrical items such as microwave ovens, fuel-efficient cook­ers and stoves, vegetable cutters, juice mixers etc. throughout North America, Europe, the Far East, and parts of the Middle East. It is now trying to expand into the South Asian market. Pakistan, with its population of 150 million, ranks high on the Corporations market priority list.

In a chance encounter at a dinner reception in Islamabad sometime in January 2006, you meet and strike up a long conversation with the Corporation’s Marketing Director, who visited Islamabad on a three-day preliminary “fact-finding mission”. You inform her that in the course of your recent Fall Semester MBA evening progamme at the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology in Islamabad, you have studied the ins and outs of undertaking business research, and have gained some basic experience in undertaking empirical research in a group setting as part of the course. Now you are eagerly looking for­ward for the opportunity to apply your knowledge in a professional business research endeavour, and would be willing to assist Happy Housewife Appliances Corporation in finding out whether it can profi­tably market its products in Pakistan. Impressed by your enthusiasm, and by your description of the course you attended, she hires as a consultant on the spot and gives you a series of assignments as under:

Question 1: The Marketing Director asks you to undertake some quick exploratory research with a view to determining the opportunities for selling its kitchen appliances in the Pakistani domestic market. For a start, this would entail obtaining out all sorts of data and information which are relevant to the planned venture.

What fundamental criteria does the data or information you collect have to fulfill and why? What sort of data and information would you try to obtain for your exploratory research and where would you look for this data and information? Specifically name several possible cate­gories and sources of data and information relevant for this venture.

Question 2: Based on the preliminary findings of your exploratory research, the Marketing Director of Happy Housewife Appliances Corporation thinks that a venture in Pakistan may be financially rewarding, but she is not willing to formally commit her organization until further detailed research is undertaken by you. She assigns you the task of developing a formal research proposal for her based on the guidelines you learned in your Research Methodology course in your MBA programme at the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad.

Design a formal research proposal for the Marketing Director, in­dicating the title of each section and specifically including important content which relates directly to your research undertaking. Choose arbitrary but reasonable values for any section where numerical data may be required.

Question 3: The quality of business decisions are determined to a large extent by the quality of the informational input in the decision-making process. The Marketing Director is aware of this fact from previous bad experience in other foreign market entry ventures and she asks you to be especially careful in how you go about obtaining data and information. In particular, she asks you to explain to her the sampling methodology you intend to use for obtaining your data and information, your reasons for using use this particular sampling methodology, and about all the possible pitfalls or problems which may be associated with it. Discuss in detail (10 Marks).

Question 4: Several techniques for obtaining data were discussed in your course on Research Methodology. Which one technique, or tech­niques, would you opt for in your research undertaking? Where in Pakistan would you apply this technique (or techniques)? Who would you target and why? What possible sources of error may arise in the course of your data gathering activity and how would you try to minimize the impact of these errors? Be as specific as possible in all your answers

Question 5: You have, finally and after painstaking effort, gathered all the data that you need for your research. The next step prior to com­piling your research report for your subsequent written and oral presentation to the Marketing Director and Executive Board of Happy Housewife Appliances Corporation in Boston is to analyze the data using statistical tools and techniques. Briefly discuss some of the “simpler” statistical tools and techniques, including measures of dis­persion, which may be relevant for your research undertaking. If possible, mention if you think any more “sophisticated” (univariate, bivariate, multivariate) statistical techniques need to be applied

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