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smu mba solved assignments for MB0052 Q1. Define the term ‘strategy’. Explain the concept of ‘strategic window’.

Answer: The concept and practice of strategy and planning started in the military, and, over time, it entered business and management. The key or common objective of both business strategy and military strategy is the same, i.e., to secure competitive advantage over the rivals or opponents.

Strategic window: Companies need to evolve and adapt to changing situations, as is clear from the example of Shell that you read in the beginning of the unit. They should always look for
opportunities and make the best of them at the right time. Here, we are referring to strategic windows, the concept which was introduced by Abell (1978). The basic idea behind the concept of a strategic window is this:

there are only limited periods during which the fit or the match between the key requirements of a market and the particular competencies of the firm are at the optimum. Companies should exploit such ‘optimum opportunities’ or windows. Strategic windows arise as a result of business or market evolution.

Businesses and markets are never static. They are constantly evolving. Businesses and markets may evolve because of • Development of new product (new demand);

·         Emergence of new competing technologies; and
·         Market redefinition or changes.

Due to such evolution, it is recommended that investment in a product line or market area should be made to coincide with the period(s) during which a strategic window is open. Companies which do this, optimize returns. For example, Maruti-Suzuki entered the Indian car market at the right time. The  strategic window was open because of the obsolescence of technology of Premier Padmini (earlier Fiat), which was the only available passenger car in the market. (There was also Ambassador, but that was used more as an official car). Even after Maruti’s entry, the strategic windows for cars remained open, and other car companies—General Motors, Tata Motors, Ford, Honda, Hyundai— all entered the Indian car market. Maruti, however, was the first mover and continues to be the market leader.

Strategic windows are also important for timing the exit from a product or a market. There are times when it is advisable, and also possible, to divert a business which a company cannot operate profitably any longer. This means that the strategic window for exit is open, that is, there are buyers or companies, who are willing to acquire the business, and, the company should act on it.


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